BVH alumna becomes Managing Editor of Forbes


Madison Geering

BVH alumna Joyce Bautista Ferrari was recently appointed as the Managing Editor for Forbes magazine.

“As scary as change is, I think it’s exciting.”

These are the words of Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Bonita Vista High (BVH) alumna and newly appointed Managing Editor of Forbes, a prominent business magazine. She was announced as the new Managing Editor on Oct. 12. Bautista Ferrari graduated from BVH in 1991, a former editor for the Crusader, embarking on her unpredictable journey through the world of journalism.

During high school, Bautista Ferrari was involved in numerous extracurricular activities as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Throughout her years at BVH, she dedicated herself to her work as a diligent and involved student.

Ferrari was a graduating senior when she was featured in the 1991 Excalibur yearbook from BVH’s library. (Madison Geering)

“I had a lot of homework. I had a lot of activities, and I was so burnt out by the time I graduated from high school on the newspaper staff,” Bautista Ferrari said. 

After graduation, Bautista Ferrari attended Washington and Lee University, majoring in Pre-Law. Exhausted from her years of student journalism at BVH, she rejected the idea of continuing that path in college. However, she eventually gravitated towards Ringtone Five, her college’s newspaper, and found herself switching her major to Journalism.

“In college, I avoided publications because I was just done with them for a while. But in my freshman year I couldn’t help myself,” Bautista Ferrari said. “I got back in and I started working for the college-sponsored paper. Eventually, I broke the news to my parents and I became a Journalism major.”

Although she began her work in journalism on a newspaper staff, Bautista Ferrari found herself passionate about the world of magazines. Her fascination with the “glamorous” and “glossy” pages filled with “big, beautiful photos” and “in-depth stories” led her to New York City, the “magazine capital of the world.” In New York City, Bautista Ferrari reunited with other BVH alumni as her roommates as she sought out the excitement of New York City and chased her dreams.

“When you’re 20-something and you’re in New York it’s a weird thing to say, but it’s such a great place to be broke because there’s so many free activities,” Bautista Ferrari said. “New York is just so amazingly exciting.”

Ferrari when she was a graduating senior, featured in the 1991 Excalibur yearbook from BVH’s library. She was recently appointed as the Managing Editor for Forbes magazine. (Madison Geering)

Bautista Ferrari worked three journalism internships with Paper, Elle and Mirabella magazine in addition to a job at an art gallery when she first moved to New York. She emphasized that her internships were extremely important to her career success.

“It was because of the internship I thought [I] would be the least likely to get me a job, which was the Paper magazine internship, which actually was the reason I got my first paying job,” Bautista Ferrari said.

Bautista Ferrari broke into the world of Condé Nast, one of the world’s leading media companies, in a moment of flux when they were relaunching Conde Nast House & Garden. Working as a receptionist led to her eventually becoming Assistant Editor, making design choices and interviewing notable figures like Brooke Astor.

“I think [my job at Conde Nast] really set the stage for my career because ever since then I feel like I’ve worked at brands that are either relaunching, going through a redesign or restructuring,” Bautista Ferrari said. “I’ve always sought out [that change] and I’ve always succeeded in those environments.”

Five years later, Bautista Ferrari became the Associate Producer for Oxygen Media, where she met her colleague of 20 years and co-founder of the Swell Pilar Guzmán. After working at Oxygen Media, Bautista Ferrari filled the role of Home Editor at several publications including One Media, Home Style Magazine and Real Simple.

“Joyce quickly proved herself to be an incredible tastemaker,” Guzman said. “She always had her ear to the ground about new trends and design and she has an incredible aesthetic, and she always had an eye for who the emerging stars were in the field.”

Ferrari (second on last row) takes a group photo with the 1990-1991 Crusader Staff. She was a part of BVH’s newspaper in high school and did not intend to continue with journalism in college until she joined her university’s newspaper as a freshman. (Madison Geering)

In 2005, Guzman was asked to be the Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast’s parenting magazine Cookie. Given their shared history, Guzman asked Bautista Ferrari to join her team. 

“I said ‘I’d love for you to come help me launch,’” Guzman said. “Joyce said ‘okay, I will come help you launch, but what I really want to be is a Managing Editor.’ She said ‘if I can prove to you that I can do that, that’s what I want to do for my next chapter.’ So I said, ‘let’s do it. I have faith in your ability to do this, we’re starting from scratch, I’ve never been an Editor-in-Chief, why shouldn’t you be able to be a Managing Editor if that’s what you want to do? I believe you can do it.’ We were blazing new trails and it was so fun and terrifying.”

You don’t just make the most of what you’re given, you ask for more, you do more and you strive for more”

— BVH alumna and newly appointed Managing Editor of Forbes Joyce Bautista Ferrari

For Bautista Ferrari, becoming Cookie’s Managing Editor opened a new chapter of her career where she worked in management. Never having worked in management before, she began to learn about leadership within a publication, establishing her belief that in the newsroom, equitable treatment is more important and effective than equal treatment.

“I think it’s about admitting when you don’t know something, speaking up and not being afraid,” Bautista Ferrari said. “I think the challenge going into managing was assuming I knew everything and assuming that I know how to treat people, and that’s definitely not the case. It’s about asking if you don’t know something, asking if [people] need something. If someone isn’t performing, maybe it’s for a reason, maybe it’s because they don’t have what they need.”

Bautista Ferrari continued to embrace the role of Managing Editor at several publications including Brides, Conde Nast Traveler and Marie Claire before being appointed as Managing Editor of Forbes last month. At Forbes, a business magazine, Bautista Ferrari is exploring another new frontier in her career.

“What I’m looking forward to is really working with everyone,” Bautista Ferrari said. “I have never worked at a business publication before, but they are smart, they are dedicated [and] they blow me away every day with their knowledge and their drive.”

Throughout her career, Bautista Ferrari’s development has hinged on change. The publications that she has worked for have brought her on in the midst of relaunches and redesigns. While intimidating to some, Bautista Ferrari shows that, if one takes risks, change can propel one to new heights.

“It’s no wonder that she has managed, through all of the tumultuous changes in our industry, to keep reinventing and adapting to the changing media landscape, finding herself in these leadership positions,” Guzman said. “She’s really the most modern media executive I could ever think of in her ability to constantly evolve.”

At Forbes, Bautista Ferrari is setting out to promote diversity and equity, embracing the idea that everyone deserves a place for their voice to be heard. According to the Forbes press release announcing her appointment, “on Capitol Hill, she served as a point person on issues involving women and underrepresented groups in business, education and government reform” and  “managed government relations for the National Women’s Business Council.” She promotes the values of resilience and determination that Forbes is based upon as part of her outlook.

“Having entrepreneurial spirit isn’t just about owning a business,” Bautista Ferrari said. “That spirit of entrepreneurship is really about the hustle about forging your own path and looking for opportunities where maybe there were none before.”

While her journey was not what she expected, Bautista Ferrari has seen the unpredictability of her path as exciting. She proves that, while plans for the future can be made, sometimes life happens best on its own.

“When I left BVH, I didn’t want to enter journalism. I was ready to leave it behind. But I got back into it,” Bautista Ferrari said, her eyebrows furrowing in thought. “When you’re young, especially before the internet, you think of your world as small. And then you graduate and get out into the real world and understand that the world is huge. It can be scary, but it also means that you have so many options.”