Focus on a Founder: Joan Dixon March 29, 2019 – Posted in: Photography


Joan (center), with Gerhard (right) and Jimi (left).

Today our ranks thin as one of our founders, Joan Dixon, takes off her editor’s glasses and heads into retirement. Joan’s presence with this company and the story of Rocky Nook are intertwined from the very beginning, when she and Gerhard Rossbach opened our doors for the first time in 2006. She has been an essential aspect of building this business from humble roots to what we’ve become today: a leader in the industry of publishing great photography books.

As an original member of the Rocky Nook team, Joan has worn just about every hat there is to wear here, starting as an office manager and quickly taking on other roles and tasks, including project management, editing, marketing, Human Resources, foreign rights management—she even watered our little office shrub every week without fail, and we watched it grow from the size of a milk carton into a majestic jungle tree! For the past nine years Joanie has served as our Managing Editor and Jane (or Joan) of All Trades. At one time or another, Joan has been involved in all the moving parts that come together to create our books, and the Rocky Nook company. If you have enjoyed one of our books, or read one in another language, you can thank Joan for her hard work to make that possible!

(L to R) Joan, Jocelyn, Maggie, and Matthias

Joanie has seen Rocky Nook through its many changes and stages of growth. She has never wavered in her commitment to the success of the company and has been dedicated to making Rocky Nook an incredible community, whether you’re a staff member, author, publishing partner, or customer. Joanie has worked hard to foster an environment in which the members of our team not only have a passion for the work we do, but also have fun and enjoy one another’s company.

We honor Joanie today, and wish her the very best in this new, exciting phase of her life. Her compassion for people, passion for the craft, and commitment to creating high-quality books is immeasurable, and she is absolutely irreplaceable. She has developed relationships with authors and publishing partners, making Rocky Nook the outstanding example of high-quality artistry and education that we provide today. She was devoted to the staff on a personal and professional level, and supportive of our authors, allowing them the confidence to bring us their very best work, which we then pass on to our readers. She has been the “mother” of Rocky Nook in more ways than one, and her meticulous touches in book production and sophisticated knowledge of photography has guided this company in its success.

Joan believes in putting people and product quality first. We credit Joan with putting together the incredible Rocky Nook team that we currently have. It was her vision, drive, insight, and dream that brought all of us together to become the top publisher in the photography genre. While we are sad to see her go, and know that we are losing an incredible leader, team member, person, and friend, her legacy lives on in the continued excellence of the company she helped to build. We couldn’t have done all this without Joan’s guidance, knowledge, and support, and we wish her the absolute best in her retirement.

Thank you, Joanie, for all you’ve done for us!

A picture of the Rocky Nook team in 2014. (L to R) Joan, Devon, Jocelyn, Jessica, Maggie, Scott, and Matthias

An article from Rocky Nook’s opening in 2006.