About Us

Rural Innovation eXchange (RIX) focuses on the innovation, talent, entrepreneurship, social innovation and community development taking place in rural Michigan and features the work of rural talent and content creators. 
RIX cares about what’s next for rural places in Michigan. Each week we will feature content highlighting innovative entrepreneurs, talented people, dedicated organizations, and devoted community-builders. Additionally, RIX will lift up innovative people leading impactful work in Michigan to help strengthen the work of people in rural areas and foster a deeper sense of connection.  

Issue Media Group is honored to partner in this effort with Connected Nation Michigan, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, MSU Extension, Michigan Center for Rural Health, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Michigan Municipal League, Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Downtown Association and Michigan Fitness Foundation. 

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Please share your thoughts and story ideas with us at [email protected]

Meet the Rural Innovation Exchange team: 

Greg Tasker, managing editor
Greg Tasker is a journalist based in Traverse City. He was formerly managing editor of Cadillac Magazine and served as an editor in the business and features departments at The Detroit News. Greg has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and his work has been published in various media including BBC Travel, Michigan Blue, Parade, and Model D. 

Jaymie Depew, writer
Jaymie Depew is a writer living in Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula. She obtained an English Writing degree from Northern Michigan University and has had articles and essays published by The North Wind, The Mining Journal, The Munising News and Pyre Publishing. After copywriting for economic development and tourism-based businesses the last several years, she’s looking forward to getting back to her true passion – journalism.

About Issue Media Group
Rural Innovation eXchange is published by Issue Media Group. Incorporated in 2005 in Detroit, Michigan. IMG operates a national network of online media outlets leveraging the power of solutions-based journalism to report on community change.  Our publications aim to connect readers to their communities' most visionary and innovative people, projects, businesses, and organizations — fostering civic capacity, improving understanding of key issues, amplifying underserved voices, and building community attachment during a time of local media decline.

We work with like-minded stakeholders across public, private, nonprofit, and grassroots organizations whose values and missions align with ours through an underwriting model of publishing. Our journalists connect with community stakeholders through regular listening sessions designed to build trust and shape authentic community stories.

IMG's work has been recognized and supported by leading journalism organizations nationally including INC Magazine, Knight Foundation, Columbia Journalism Review, Facebook, Lenfest Institute, Google, Solutions Journalism Network, Ground Source, and Society for Professional Journalists.

Michigan Assets 
Issue Media Group’s Michigan footprint of 18 local online community news sites is grounded in cross-sector stakeholder coalitions comprised of leadership in foundations, nonprofits, government and municipalities, education, community and economic development, health, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. Through regular community listening sessions, these leadership coalitions help guide relevant community-informed coverage, increase local audience engagement and ensure influential readership networks.   
All Michigan content is published through a growing network of sites that include: Detroit’s Model D, Grand Rapids Rapid Growth, Metro Detroit’s Metromode, Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti’s Concentrate, Kalamazoo / Battle Creek’s Second Wave Southwest, Flint’s Flintside, Port Huron’s The Keel, Catalyst Midland, Route Bay City, Epicenter Mount Pleasant, UPword in the Upper Peninsula, and Rural Innovation Exchange covering Michigan's rural community. Every week, Second Wave is published to a statewide audience featuring a listing of top stories from across IMG’s network of sites. Current Michigan assets include over 120 community partners, 80 journalists, 4.6 million annual readers, 280,000 emails, and 213,000 social media followers.

Detroit's Model D: www.modeldmedia.com 
Second Wave (statewide):  www.secondwavemedia.

About The Inspiration for Rural Innovation eXchange Logo: 
Secret Sky Barn, HumeTownship, Michigan, Artist: Catie Newell.
Reworking the iconic structure of the existing barn, Secret Sky Barn allows the sky to enter and permeate the building. By day, the visitor sees the patterning and intricacy of the barn walls, juxtaposed with a massive cut that lets the daylight pour through. At night, the work glows from within, acting as a large-scale lantern in the landscape and casting long shadows across its surroundings, giving light and dark back to the sky.