The Team

Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher & Director of Advertising Partnerships

Karen Meshkov is a Montgomery County native and an alumni of Abington Friends School. She attended undergraduate at George Washington University and LaSalle University for her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Over the past two decades, Karen has worked in sales, marketing advertising, PR and event management for such organizations as the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Auto Show and the Merrill Lynch Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropy Management, as well as 7 years as the director of Sales and marketing for Philadelphia Eyeglass Labs, a 5th generation, family-owned optical company with 6 area locations.

Karen’s spiritual path began during her upbringing in a customary Jewish home and continued during Meeting for Worship at her Quaker high school. She has been a practitioner of Hatha yoga since 1996, and Buddhist meditation since 2004. In 2014, she received her 200-hr yoga certification at Integral Yoga in Princeton, and her certification in Restorative Yoga shortly thereafter. During that time, she realized she wanted to live her commitment to an authentic lifestyle in all dimensions of her life, including her career. Shortly thereafter, she was introduced to Audrey Chen, and the opportunity to step into the role of publisher for Natural Awakenings BuxMont.

Karen is training to become a facilitator of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) technique. She lives with her husband, filmmaker, activist and advocate, Matt Pillischer, and their 1 year old son, Asa, in Cheltenham Township.

Email Karen directly, here. 

MelanieMelanie Rankin, Associate Publisher

Melanie has a master’s degree in English, with an emphasis in Technical and Professional Communications. In addition to several years of university-level teaching experience, she has more than 20 years of operations management, editorial and graphics design experience and has been working with Natural Awakenings since 2006. As a former owner/publisher of two Natural Awakenings magazines along the Gulf Coast, she has experience in all areas of magazine production. She lives in Pensacola, Florida, with her husband, a retired third-generation web press printer, and shares life with her four children, four grandchildren, three dogs and five cats. “I have always felt honored working with Natural Awakenings, where the journey towards health and happiness brings communities together.” Feel free to reach out to Melanie here or by calling 267-544-9585.

SarahGreySarah Grey, Editorial Staff

Sarah Grey is an experienced editor offering boutique editorial services to publishers, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals, including developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, and indexing. Sarah specializing in nonfiction related to current affairs, geopolitics, social justice, and other fields in the humanities.

Her work on reproductive rights, environmental issues, political economy, parenting, and labor has been published at Jacobin, Salvage, Truthout, Bitch, The Frisky, International Socialist Review, Monthly Review, MRZine, GRID, Next City.

Sarah’s writing on food and culture has been published in Saveur, Serious Eats, Lucky Peach, Spoonful, Edible Philly, Roads & Kingdoms, and she was nominated for  Best Food Writing 2015, She has been interviewed about her writing in Real Simple, on public radio, and on a variety of podcasts. Sarah also runs, a site about food and community.

As an editor, Sarah was recognized with the 2016 Robinson Prize for Excellence in Copy Editing by the American Copy Editors Society. She speaks, teaches, and writes about language and editing for outlets such as Copyediting, The Freelancer,Indian Copyeditors’ Forum, the American Copy Editors Society, the Editors Association of Canada, the National Writers Union, and more.

She and her husband Joe and daughter Lucia live in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.You can learn more about Sarah’s editorial work at

michellebenseMichelle Bense, Editorial Staff

Michelle Bense has been a writer, editor and proofer for Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery counties for three years. Now working as a freelance editor and writer for several other editions of Natural Awakenings across the country as well, she shares her knowledge and insight with publishers both new and experienced.

After attending William Tennent High School, Bense went to Penn State University for Print Journalism—a major she is now putting to good use, despite everyone’s worries that it wouldn’t be relevant—but her favorite classes were Anatomy & Physiology and Yoga. Before working with the magazine, she worked as a receptionist-turned-marketing assistant/event planner for a medical software company.

Working from home has given Bense the opportunity to drive cross country several times in the last few years. She has been to 32 states, spending much time in Clovis, New Mexico; Kansas City, Kansas; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Her goal is to visit all 50 states and get started on the rest of the world—especially Europe.

When she’s not editing or writing, Bense enjoys trying new recipes from Pinterest, searching thrift stores for new books to add to her never-ending library, playing with makeup, traveling to new places, and listening to The Rat Pack. Bense hopes to expand to editing books and other types of publications, and finally start that blog she keeps talking about. One day, she’d like to have enough material to write a book of her own.

To connect with Michelle, visit her on

untitled-1_0001_3723964Carrie Jackson, Writer

Carrie Jackson is a Chicago native who loves sharing stories and connecting with her community. She’s traveled to more than 25 countries and studied at the University of Reading, in England.

Carrie has a degree in Communications from DePaul University and explored outdoor wilderness training through NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, in Wyoming. She is an outspoken Alzheimer’s advocate who has written and spoken extensively about the disease.

Carrie is passionate about biking, yoga, craft beer, the outdoors, shopping at thrift stores, laughter, and random acts of kindness.


Julie Vitto, Writer

Julie Vitto is a freelance writer and copy editor from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Temple University.

Her credits include contributions to local, regional, national and international publications for print and the web. After several years of proofreading in the accounting industry, she relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark for 9 months for the opportunity to intern as an editorial assistant for a creative lifestyle magazine.

She is happiest when listening to classic rock and soul in the car with the windows down, after having written and upon taking the first sip or bite.




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