Southwest Michigan's Second Wave

About Us

Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave is an online news magazine focused on the dynamic communities, businesses, and residents of Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and the surrounding area. We cover what's next in entrepreneurship, creative culture, and urban development in and around the city, and are part of the Issue Media Group family.

Meet Southwest Michigan Second Wave’s team and contact us here.

Kathy Jennings, Managing Editor
Al Jones, On the Ground Kalamazoo Project Editor
Vicky Kettner, On the Ground Kalamazoo Engagement Editor
Jane Simons, On the Ground Battle Creek Project Editor
Jeff Cotton, On the Ground Battle Creek Project Editor

Mark Wedel, Zinta Aistars, Rosemary Parker, Caroline Bissonnette, Casey Grooten

Photography Contributors
Susan Andress, Taylor Scamehorn, Fran Dwight, John Grap

Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave is published by Issue Media Group, co-founded by Brian J. Boyle and Paul Schutt. 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.

Tips and feedback
If you have a tip or suggestion for us, please email

If you would like to advertise on Southwest Michigan's Second Wave, or in any of our Issue Media Group publications, contact us here.

If you would like more information about purchasing photos, please contact

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Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

How to pitch us freelance stories
Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave receives valuable contributions from a network of talented freelance writers, photographers, and videographers. We encourage anyone interested in contributing articles, personal essays, photos, videos, social media projects, or any other creative method of storytelling on a topic related to Southwest Michigan to email with a pitch describing the story you want to tell, how you plan to tell it, and why you think our audience will be interested.

Managing Editor -- Kathy Jennings
Kathy Jennings is the local editor of Second Wave. She worked 25 years at the Kalamazoo Gazette where she covered business, courts and entertainment. She also edited lifestyle and entertainment sections as well as regional news sections. She is a freelance writer, editor and marketing consultant. She moved to Battle Creek, Mich., at age 12, convinced even then that life would be better having left Indiana. A Central Michigan University graduate, she began her journalism career in 1978 at a community newspaper in Novi, Mich., and moved to the Gazette in 1985. She was a downtown Kalamazoo resident for 15 years and now lives just three houses outside the city limit. She lives with an Australian Shepherd who may be the most beautiful dog in the world.

Photographer -- Susan Andress
Susan grew up in Niles and moved to Kalamazoo to attend WMU where she studied art at WMU. Susan earned a B.A. degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she continues to live. She started her career as part of the photography department at The Upjohn Company where she soon branched out from photography to video and sound editing. When the new field of computer design came along it captured her interest and she went on to work creating presentation graphics and speaker support materials for company meetings, annual meetings, and sales conferences. As other new technologies were developed, they captured her interest as well, which led to animation, interactive media, and website design projects. Susan also likes to paint and has worked in watercolor, pastels, and oil but has always maintained a strong interest in photography. Since 2002, her artwork has combined multiple photographic and scanned images with added painterly effects. Susan has exhibited her original digital collages in local juried shows at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, The Art Center of Battle Creek and The Carnegie in Three Rivers. 

Contact Us
Please send all press releases and article submissions to or

For sponsorship and partnership opportunities, please visit here or here.
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