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Donna's Story

Donna Jefferson

Read all about how Chesapeake Family started...

It all started in my kitchen 28 years ago, after a summer of planning and preparation, the first Chesapeake Family (then called Chesapeake Children) hit the stands. My daughter, Janet, was seven and my son, Tyler, was just six months old.


Frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t find information relating to the children in elementary school, I followed in the footsteps of my grandparents who owned a newspaper in North Carolina and started my own publication for local parents. My mom says that publishing is “in my blood.”


The startup wasn’t easy, to say the least. Our longtime babysitter fell and broke some bones so she couldn’t lift the baby. My parents were on an extended vacation and the neighborhood teenager was away for the summer. I was desperately dialing for babysitters. My husband, Jim, came home for lunch once or twice a week so I could run out and talk to potential advertisers. At other times, I put Tyler in his baby swing and made calls or worked on the computer. I’d work at night when the kids were asleep. Jim also reluctantly helped by doing the desktop publishing. I missed the first deadline with the printer and pulled an all-nighter to finish production.


As I pulled out of our driveway, I was so excited and tired that I backed into the neighbor’s car. (Fortunately, there was no damage!) In record time, the printer completed the job of printing 10,000 copies with 12 pages and 20 advertisers. We stuffed them all into the back of my SUV and then I drove around passing them out. And here we are 28 years later, with a staff of 27, 30,000 print copies per month and 100,000 plus pageviews.

In 2016 our staff took at look at the resources needed by today's wired-in parents and we expanded our focus and changed our name to Chesapeake Family Life to encompass more of what today's parents need.


Thank you for making Chesapeake Family Life the #1 resource for helping parents raise their children.


Donna Jefferson has owned and operated the company since its inception in September 1990. The office of Jefferson Communications, LLC is located in Annapolis, Maryland. In addition to print and online media, the company produces annual family and consumer events.


The company and its employees are actively involved in the community through various not-for-profit organizations, educational foundations and business programs. It is this commitment to improving the industries and communities it serves that forms the foundation for Jefferson Communication’s culture and operating philosophy. Owner Donna Jefferson was recognized in 2007 as owning one of Maryland’s Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises. Jointly the publications and websites have won more than 100 national awards for Design, Editorial, Marketing and Web.

"Behind every successful woman, is a tribe of other successful women who have her back."

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