Garden & Gun
Rebecca Wesson Darwin is cofounder & CEO of the media company she formed with partners Pierre Manigault and J. Edward Bell III that owns Garden & Gun. Darwin launched Garden & Gun in spring 2007, after moving back south to Charleston, South Carolina, following a successful career in publishing in New York City. In 2007, the magazine was named the #2 hottest launch of over 700 magazines that year and has garnered a substantial number of awards in the years since then. The magazine has been named winner of the National Magazine Award in General Excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2011; named to Advertising Age’s 2011 Magazine A-List (ranked #4 out of 10); a winner of the National Magazine Award for Most Delicious Cover in 2013; a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in 2014; a winner of the National Magazine Award for Style & Design in 2015. The Garden & Gun brand has continued to develop under Darwin’s direction through the creation of G&G Mercantile & Co., G&G Events, G&G Land, and the Garden & Gun Jubilee.
Darwin grew up in Columbia, South Carolina attended the University of North Carolina, and then moved to New York. She established her career at GQ, where she implemented national retail advertising and promotions programs. She later became the first female publisher of the New Yorker and the publisher of Mirabella, and she was the marketing director of Fortune. She also served as the president and CEO of the National Association for Female Executives. Her immersion in the worlds of media, fashion, advertising, and business bring an understanding and grace to the world of Garden & Gun. Darwin resides in historic downtown Charleston with her husband Cress, the senior pastor of Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston; her two girls, Lily and SaSa; and her springer spaniel Philip.
David DiBenedetto is the senior vice president and editor in chief of Garden & Gun, where he oversees all print and digital platforms. Formerly the executive editor at the title, DiBenedetto was part of the team responsible for the magazine’s National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2011. Previously he was the editor of Salt Water Sportsman, where, in addition to implementing a complete redesign of the 78-year-old magazine, he led the title to its first-ever National Magazine Award nomination (General Excellence) in 2007. Salt Water Sportsman was the first, and is still the only, fishing publication to be nominated for such an honor. Prior to his time at Salt Water Sportsman, DiBenedetto was the deputy editor of Field & Stream. He began his career at Men’s Journal in 1995 as an editorial assistant just three days after graduating from college and worked his way to senior editor in 2001.
Also an author, DiBenedetto wrote On the Run: An Angler’s Journey down the Striper Coast in 2003 for HarperCollins. The book received numerous accolades, including a coveted starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. The magazine has so far published three books during his tenure: The Southerner’s Handbook, Good Dog, and The Southerner’s Cookbook, all New York Times best-selling titles.
DiBenedetto was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, and now resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, Jenny; their children, Rosie and Sam; and their Boykin spaniel Pritchard.
Christian Bryant is Vice President and Publisher of Garden & Gun, where he oversees the creation of media partnerships which authentically deepen the connection with brand partners and the magazine’s highly engaged audience. In this role, Bryant supervises the national advertising sales team and the brand’s creative services and integrated marketing groups.
Prior to joining Garden & Gun in November 2013, Bryant held positions at Condé Nast, Meredith Corporation, and Hearst, working with publications such as Bon Appétit, Harper’s Bazaar, Martha Stewart Living, and Vanity Fair.
Throughout his career, Bryant developed critical understanding of the strategies and programming which lead to success in magazine publishing, including how editorial and advertising succeed when they speak with one voice; how brands excel when they connect organically to the passions of readers; and how the goals of all departments are inextricably tied to each other’s success. This experience has guided Bryant’s tenure at Garden & Gun and continues to inform the brand’s mission.
Bryant earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. He was raised in Illinois and now resides in Charleston, South Carolina.