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Carole Sharwarko, Editor-in-Chief

It’s a lucky person who knows her passion early, and Carole Sharwarko wanted to be a writer from the time she was 12 years old. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a master’s degree in media communications from Governors State University in Chicago’s south suburbs, Carole worked as a newspaper reporter and editor before moving to Community Magazine Group.

Bret Figura, Art Director

After Bret Figurawon first place in a school-wide art competition in kindergarten, visual arts became a consistent environment of enjoyment, expression and education. Bret graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelors of fine arts degree. Bret has worked on a myriad of artistic and design-oriented projects, from a mural for World Music Theater to logos for small businesses. He worked as a designer for more than a decade for Sun-Times Media, and in 2010/11, conceived a branding platform for its custom publishing division.

Jackson A. Thomas, Associate Editor

Jackson A. Thomas is a self-proclaimed grammar geek who graduated cum laude from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazine journalism. With a passion for journalism—editing in particular—he held multiple jobs in college before joining Community Magazine Group, including copy chief for The Columbia Chronicle, Columbia’s award-winning newspaper, and copy chief for Echo Magazine, Columbia’s award-winning magazine. Post-college Jackson also worked at Time Out Chicago as an editorial intern, Logan Square Literary Review as a freelance copy editor and as a freelance writer.

Dr. Janis Mendelsohn, Medical Editor

Dr. Mendelsohn has been an attending pediatrician at the University of Chicago since 1972. She is primarily a general pediatrician who sees patients on a daily basis. Mendelsohn has had extensive teaching experience with medical students and residents throughout her career and is presently the medical director of her General Pediatrics group at the University of Chicago. Mendelsohn is board-certified in pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.