Those of your reading fredi Magazine for the first or second time probably don’t realize the history behind it. fredi Magazine is published by Whatever Publishing, which designed and printed its first magazine 10 years ago. In August of 2005, residents in the City of Vaughan received its first copy of ‘Whatever Vaughan’, a 48-page 6″ by 9″ digest that featured stories about local people and businesses.
Over the next few years, Whatever Vaughan grew to a more standard size often reaching up to 100 pages per issue. The magazine grew not only in size, but in prominence, as cover stories included prominent celebrities including Canadian Crooner Michael Bublé, Breakfast Television’s Dina Pugliese, former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Doug Gilmour, former WWE superstar Trish Stratus, Children’s Rights Crusader Craig Kielburger, ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and many more. Soon, the quarterly magazine became a staple, and Whatever Publishing became ingrained in the community by supporting many charitable causes including multiple benefits for The Hospital for Sick Children, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the future Vaughan Hospital and among others.
The sustenance and growth of Whatever Vaughan, fredi Magazine and Whatever Publishing in general has been possible thanks primarily to three people.
The first is Fred Vallozzi – the founder and president of Whatever Publishing, and Impact North Inc., Fred’s advertising agency, which has been in business since he graduated from Sheridan College in 1981. “The agency is what has made Whatever Publishing possible,” he explains. “At Impact North, we have always had a great team with great account managers and talented creative people who conceptualize, design and lay out the magazines and many of the ads. Essentially, the agency created a turn-key opportunity for the publishing side to get started.”
After its inaugural year, Fred brought in his managing editor, Filomena Rosati, who was a key contributor to the growth of the publication. Under Filomena’s guidance, Whatever Vaughan began to target more recognizable cover stories, and in every year since, has strived to make every issue better than the last. Her background in marketing and account management allowed her to grow the magazine both organically and strategically, setting a foundation for success. “This magazine has always been close to my heart,” she says. “I think that in this age, where people can find almost anything online, a local publication like this still plays an important role in putting interesting content at their fingertips they wouldn’t have otherwise known about.”
As Whatever continued to flourish, Fred’s daughter Joanna Vallozzi joined the company as an account executive, and eventually worked her way up to become the Managing Director of the magazine. Joanna handles the sales side and works closely with Filomena to ensure that advertising and editorial objectives are synced to create an attractive and effective balance in every issue. “I grew up watching my father work harder than anyone I’ve ever known, so I know how important a strong work ethic is,” Joanna states. “We have a great foundation of loyal advertisers who have supported us for a long time. We’re so thankful for their support and we’re happy to continually deliver a product that makes them proud.”
In 2015, Whatever Publishing made the bold decision to evolve and expand. Whatever Vaughan had been distributed only throughout the City of Vaughan for its first 9 years. This year, the overall look was changed, and the short, catchy name “fredi” was adopted. “A brand new look and feel was designed by our brilliant art director, Alanna Palumbo, giving it a younger, fresher, more high end appearance than ever,” Filomena says with pride. fredi’s distribution strategy was changed to include high-income residents of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Aurora, Richmond Hill and King City. “It was time for us to spread our wings a little,” Fred explains. “We felt the magazine has the strength and appeal to reach many more people, so we decided to simply go for it.” Distribution continues to take place exclusively through Canada Post, along with pickup points at Longo’s Supermarkets throughout the GTA.
What’s down the road for Whatever Publishing according to Fred? “Ask me in another 10 years,” he replies with a shrug and a smile.
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