Jim Norton is Publisher of Lifestyle Publications. He founded these affluent City Specific magazines 10 years ago starting with Weston Lifestyle, then adding Parkland Lifestyle, Estate Lifestyle, Las Olas Lifestyle, Coral Spring Lifestyle and Estero Lifestyle in Southwest Florida. From nothing, Jim built the company revenues to a Multi-million dollars per year media company while engaging his mission of creating value for clients, company and community. Recently, Lifestyle Magazines took on investors and became Lifestyle Media Group – now with 10 titles through an acquisition and an expansion in 2013.
Jim has been a leader in the publishing industry for more than 25 years. Prior to launching Lifestyle Magazines he was the Vice President and Publisher for the Sun Sentinel’s Community News Group (CNG) of weekly newspapers, including the Jewish Journals. After one year being with the CNG the Tribune Company bought the firm for $40 million dollars. Preceding CNG, Jim was the Director of Sales for Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing in Miami. While there, he earned honors from the company for exceeding revenue and profit goals several years in a row.
With the vision of growing business by helping to build good communities, Jim’s leadership skills extend beyond the corporate environment. He is a City Commissioner in Weston Florida and he was the Governor for Rotary International in South Florida, where he was elected to lead more than 2500 members across Dade, Broward & Monroe Counties, as well as Grand Bahama Island. Jim’s community involvement makes him one of the most recognizable people in Broward County. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
Jim has received a variety of recognition for his community leadership, most recently being named a 2012 Valor Award Nominee. He also received the Pinnacle Award from the Southwest Broward Regional Chamber of Commerce, was named one of the South Florida’s Finest Couples, was a Hispanic Diamantes Award recipient and he was a South Florida Business Journal finalist for the Up & Comer Awards, as well as being named a Hurricane Wilma Hero Recipient from the Cleveland Clinic.
Jim earned an MBA from Florida International University graduated with a BBA from the University of Miami and was part of the 1983 National Championship Football program at UM.
Jim’s leadership is enhanced by his ability to collaborate, solve problems and bring people together.
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? My proudest personal accomplishment continues to be the magazine! People always stop me to say they feel this is “their Hometown Magazine!” A week doesn’t go by when someone new approaches me to tell me how much they Enjoy the Lifestyle™
What do you enjoy the most about your work? Meeting people, helping organizations promote their causes and assisting our marketing partners elevate their brand and connect to current and new customers.
Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input? I am fortunate to have several mentors. Most of whom belong to my Rotary Club – Bankers, Lawyers, Business Leaders and Professionals.
You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met? Steven Tyler would probably be the most interesting. Even had the chance to have dessert with him at the Hard Rock.
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? I am most excited about assisting programs and organizations that really care about helping those in need in our community – children, elderly, veterans and the disabled.
How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support? I assess their reach, who they serve, what funds go to the programs and services as well as the professionalism and credibility of the staff.
Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year? There are so many, it would not be fair of me to name just a few.
How have things changed for you through the years? Things always change. It’s the change that makes life interesting. Setting and achieving new goals makes it worthwhile!
What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? My reputation, credibility and my ability to connect most anyone make me an asset to my company, clients and the community.
What is your greatest challenge at this time? My greatest challenge is making time for everything going on. It’s not unusual for me to be at 2 to 3 events going on at any given time. Somehow, I get there!
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I believe happiness comes from within. I think Ralph Waldo Emerson put it best - To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? There are many “important” things I’ve learned - Do unto others what you’d have done to you. Help people, and if you can’t help people, at least don’t hurt them. Live Life to the fullest! Life is a self fulfilling prophecy – you usually get what you expect. And, “opportunity” is the only thing one is offered every day. So, you have to Take Action if you want to succeed. And finally, one has To Make Each Day Count!
How do you relax? Golf, Working Out. Going out to a favorite restaurant or just hanging out with family and/or friends around the house.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot? We’ve been fortunate to go to Aruba, Bermuda, Bahamas, Spain, Napa, Nashville, Vegas, New York, The mountains of North Carolina, Cruises to many exotic destinations, but our favorite so far has been Greece and Turkey!
What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of? Love
If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it? All my family memories, cures or all know diseases, the next big technology to make everyone’s life easier.
How can we reach out to other people in the world? One at a time. Build an A-R-K - with Acts of Random Kindness.
Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others? I have several favorites, but I have always recommended “My American Journey” by Colin Powell.
What can make you laugh? Joking with friends or just kicking back and reliving fond memories.
What can make you cry? The courage of the service men and women who gave their best for our Freedom!
Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life? I believe life is a journey and that for me, the best is yet to come. I like where I am at, but believe there is more to do; more to accomplish!
What do you still hope to accomplish? World Peace, Global Collaboration and Opportunity for all humanity! If you’re going to dream – Dream Big!
Is there a fond childhood memory you can share with us? I am fond of the times I recall hanging out with my childhood best friend and best man. I was blessed to have been with him last year, thanks to my wife. Great Times – We Were Born To Run!
When you were a little boy, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? The only thing I recall saying is “I want to change the world for the better!” I don’t recall saying anything serious, other than the usual fireman, doctor, and policeman!
What is your vision and hope for the future? I see a world free from disease and at peace; A world where technology helps us to be more human; a world filled with opportunity for all.
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? We are a country of extremes. One where people believe you can only get ahead if you mistreat or put down your opposition or treat them uncivilly. Additionally – through our desire to give our children everything, we have raised an “entitlement” society. This will certainly have to be addressed – one way or another.
How do you want to be remembered by future generations? What I want to be remembered for is being someone who left the world better than the way I found it!
What do your want your epitaph to read? Hopefully, “Jim was a good father, husband and friend. He had adversity, but overcame it and grew from those experiences. He helped and inspired others. He founded a Media Company that was successful. The world is better because he lived!”
Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life?
I believe – “Believe and you will achieve. You move in the direction of your thoughts. Attitude conquers all. And, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” We are guaranteed “opportunity” – So Take Action! And Make Each Day Count!
What word best describes your life right now? Unbelievable! Enjoying the Lifestyle! ™
What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time? Many through Lifestyle Magazines – Personally – the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.
What is your proudest achievement? Our son. Getting married to a great woman. And, being on the 1983 University of Miami National Championship Football Team GO CANES!
What is your fondest childhood memory? Hanging out with my best friend and going to Bruce Springsteen Concerts.
What is something your parents taught you that you will never forget? Mom always said – What Goes Around Comes Around!
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title of it be? Imagine!
Who is your hero? Those who serve our country, especially those who wear the uniform and provide us Freedom, are the only heroes I know.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation? It has yet to be taken, but we are planning on Ireland & Europe this year.
What’s been the key to the success and growth of Lifestyle Magazines? Our success is based on a reputation and strong desire to serve! To build a strong community so the business can take care of itself. In order to thrive and survive in the corporate workplace, we sometimes have to desensitize ourselves in order to get ahead. Not being real and authentic, isn’t that a big sacrifice to make? It is a sad reality. But for me, I go by the philosophy – WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get. I do what I say and say what I do.
How does one hold on to their true self in the corporate world and still become successful? I believe one will come to a fork in the road. I choose the “road less traveled.”
How do you stay so motivated and committed? I am blessed to get up every day. I am given an opportunity to make each day count. My best days are ahead of me. That motivates me to move forward!
When does someone know when it’s time to move on? When you aren’t wanted. Move on.
What are your favorite leisure time activities or hobbies? Golf, working out – Going on a Cruise!
What is your favorite sport? Football to watch. Golf and Tennis to play.
Do you feel women have made progress in their quest to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace? Women are strong, smart and have a driven spirit! I believe everyone has opportunity, regardless. One gets treated the way they allow others to treat them.
How does the “seasoned” woman compete in a marketplace that is focused on looking and being young? Again, I believe the cream rises to the top – regardless of external factors!
Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!”? When someone young is taken too soon, one understands how precious each day is! That’s why I say – “Make Each Day Count!”
Are there any future trends you see in the marketplace for Lifestyle Magazines? Many! Look for us to add additional marketing platforms to elevate our publications and marketing partners.
You are evidently a very capable and talented man, what other talent do you wish you had been born with? I am able to remain calm when climatic situations occur. I cut through the minutia and have an uncanny ability to solve the problem or make sense of complex issues.
What’s the best movie you have ever seen? Top Gun – ask my wife why.
What three things are always in your refrigerator? Water, Spinich dip & Yogurt.
What is your most treasured possession? My National Championship Ring
What is your greatest indulgence? A great Cab or Meritage! Opus One sounds good about now!
What is your favorite store for clothes shopping? No Favorite
What magazine do you look forward to reading each week/month? Lifestyle Magazines – Of Course!
What is your favorite restaurant? Too many to Name just one.
What will we find you doing on a Saturday night? At a charity event
What is your favorite room in your house? The Theater room!
If your house was up for sale, and a potential buyer did a walk through, what would your home say about you? A Guy would say – too cool! A woman – Hmmmm – Nice Kitchen.
What is your pet peeve? People who complain.
What is your greatest strength? The Ability to Solve Problems.
What is your greatest weakness? Giving people too many chances.
What are you most disciplined about? Keeping my word and being Loyal.
If there were a movie being made about your life, what actor/actress would best play you? Christian Bale
What is a moment you will never forget? Besides my son’s birth – Winning the National Championship and beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl – January 2, 1984
What is something you have learned from a pet? Sometimes you’ve got to lay down and take it easy. And, don’t bite the hand that feeds you!
If you were going to be on a Space Shuttle for about a year, what one item would you have to take with you? DirecTV
What is your favorite snack? Wheat Thins
What is your favorite Ice Cream flavor? I do not eat Ice Cream.
What is your biggest fear? “Fear itself”
What do you like the most about yourself? Being here to do good.
What would you still like to learn how to do? Speak Spanish Fluently
What do you have to say to all the young women/men out there ready to take on the future? Be True to yourself. Seek out opportunity. And, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
How do we get our young people more interested in charitable giving and community volunteering? Start young. Take them by the hand and lead by example.
What would you like to see happen in our world, let’s say, five years from now? A Cure for all Cancers and other diseases.
What can we personally do to make things better for future generations? Let them Dream Big. Encourage them to follow their passion. Put government policies in place which embrace opportunity and promote a global view
Great meeting you again on here Jim. You've done a great deal already; helping others, leading others and contributing to our community. I look forward to seeing you again soon as we serve together. Proud to know you.
Thanks so much for being on my "Have You Met" feature!