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Senior Leadership & Head Office

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Todd Carpenter

Chairman

Todd H. Carpenter, a 40-year veteran of our industry, began his career in production at The Tuscaloosa [Ala.] News at the age of 13.  He continued as a group circulation leader, then a publisher and eventually president, CEO and director of Boone Newsmedia [BNI].  A native of Tuscaloosa and a graduate of the University of Alabama, he is a member of The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet, the College of Commerce Board of Visitors, and the College of Communications Board of Visitors. 

Todd has actively participated in various leadership roles in civic and industry organizations throughout his career.  He resides in Natchez, Miss., where he was publisher of The Natchez Democrat before becoming president of BNI and developing Carpenter Media Group.  His work is based in both Natchez and Tuscaloosa.

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Tim Prince

President & CEO

With 35 years of experience, Tim Prince is originally from Alabama and began his community media career in Texas after graduating from the University of Alabama.  He is actively involved in leadership roles in civic, church, and industry circles.  Prince has served on the boards of the Alabama Press Association, the Alabama Newspaper Foundation, and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.  He is a founding member on the boards of America’s Newspapers and America’s Newspapers Foundation. 

Tim served as the publisher of the Shelby County Reporter for over two decades.  During his tenure, the newspaper was named Alabama’s best community newspaper for 17 consecutive years, and its websites and magazines were recognized numerous times as the best in the state by the Alabama Press Association.

Chris Hargreaves

Chris Hargreaves

Senior Vice President - CFO

Chris Hargreaves has spent his career in several different industries, quickly gaining a broad range of accounting and business experience that has helped turn him into a leader among his peers. He started his career running logistics and doing accounting for a very small publicly traded, high growth company. During this time, he was in university pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a specialty in accounting. It was after his time spent there, that he actively pursued his CPA designation, gaining invaluable experience along the way and eventually leading him to join the newspaper industry in 2021 as the Director of Corporate Finance for the Black Press executive team. Since then, he has helped the company navigate through some extraordinary times.

Through Chris’ time spent with Black Press it has strengthened his passion to see that strong, fact-based journalism continues in our communities. He likes to spend his time hiking, skiing, and camping in the place he calls home, Vancouver, BC.

Andrew Franklin

Andrew Franklin

Senior Vice President - Digital

Andrew Franklin is a seasoned executive serving as the Vice President of Digital Operations for the Canadian Division. With a distinguished background in the United Kingdom newspaper industry, he transitioned to the Fraser Valley division in 1995, where he held various leadership roles. He also oversaw operations at the Abbotsford Press Plant while managing his publishing duties.

Throughout his tenure, Andrew demonstrated a deep commitment to community engagement, serving as president for organisations such as Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and the Hospital Foundation, among others. He has furthered his impact through participation in significant humanitarian missions to Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Under Andrew’s leadership, his publishing teams achieved unprecedented success, earning a record number of awards across diverse categories, including recognition for Best Newspaper in BC, Canada, and North America.

In 2016, Andrew spearheaded the launch of a pioneering digital division for the Canadian Division. Leveraging the expertise of his team, the digital division has since evolved into one of Western Canada’s largest social agencies amongst managing a myriad of high-performing digital solutions.

Andrew, originally from Bath, England, now calls Abbotsford, British Columbia, home. Alongside his wife Chris, he shares a passion for travel, having explored more than 20 countries to date.

Dennis Francis

Dennis Francis

Senior Vice President & Group Publisher

Dennis Francis serves as President & CEO of Oahu Publications and Publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  Dennis has more than 40 years of senior newspaper management experience.

For the last 34 years, Dennis has been the top media executive in Hawaii.  In 2010 Dennis orchestrated the buyout and seamless merger between the Honolulu Advertiser and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin to become the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  Oahu Publications (OPI) publishes four daily newspapers in the State of Hawaii along with fifteen magazine titles.

Editor& Publisher (E&P) magazine named Dennis “Publisher of the Year” in 2013 and was recognized as “the Distinguished Citizen Award for the Boy Scouts, was presented the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for Distinguished Public Service from the March of Dimes, was Salesperson of the Year in 2015 by the Sales and Marketing Executives of Honolulu.  Dennis serves on numerous boards in the community including Hawaii Pacific Health, the state’s largest health organization, the Red Cross, Straub Hospital, Adult Friends for Youth and the Hawaii Cancer Center.

Josh O'Connor

Josh O'Connor

Senior Vice President & Group Publisher

Josh O’Connor enjoys the challenging dynamics of building successful community publications and coaches a commitment to delivering relevant, local news that directly affects the lives of those who raise families and work in the communities that we serve. 

With the company since 1998, Josh serves as president of the Sound division, where he oversees day-to-day publishing operations. He was also named co-chief operating officer in 2021, overseeing the Prairie, Central Web and Kootenay Divisions.

Josh served as the publisher of the Daily Herald of Everett from 2013 until 2021. During his tenure, the newspaper was named Newspaper of the Year in 2014 by the Local Media Association.

He is actively involved in numerous leadership roles within the industry, as well as an executive board member of Association of Washington Business and the Snohomish County YMCA.

Randy Blair

Randy Blair

Senior Vice President & Group Publisher

Randy Blair’s career in the local media industry has spanned over 47 years. In 1989 he joined the Abbotsford News and Mission Record as publisher. During his stewardship, the Abbotsford News and Mission Record clinched numerous industry and community accolades, including many first-place honors for the Abbotsford News in the British Columbia, Canadian, and Suburban Newspapers of America General Excellence Awards.

In 2005, Randy was appointed Vice-President of the Lower Mainland Division and continued as President of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island Divisions, COO for the British Columbia division and eventually becoming North American CO-COO in 2021.

Randy resides in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and has been actively engaged in various non-profit and industry boards throughout his career.  He was named a Paul Harris Fellow for his community service.

Steve Schotts

Steve Schotts

VP Finance - Canada

With more than 30 years of experience, Steve Schotts runs the financial operations of the Canadian division as Vice President of Finance. Steve began his career as an accounting clerk at the Surrey Leader before moving to the Abbotsford office to join the finance team and complete his CPA designation. Steve lives in Abbotsford with his wife Jennifer, and three children and is very active in the baseball and real estate communities.

Karen Johnston

Karen Johnston

Senior Director - Delivery Division

Karen Johnston has more than 35 years experience in the publishing industry. After starting her career in Alberta, she moved to the East Kootenays in 2006, and became group publisher of the Kootenay region in 2022.

Karen is well versed in every aspect of news media, including multi-media advertising options, editorial, press operations and newspaper delivery.  Karen believes deeply in the value of local journalism.

Karen has also played an integral role in the launch and current success of the BP Express Delivery service, which provides 98.5 per cent or better on-time final mile delivery for Amazon in the Kootenays and Okanagan and serves as general manager of that division.

Kristy O'Connor

Kristy O'Connor

Director - Direct Marketing

Growing up in a family deeply rooted in the publishing industry, Kristy O’Connor developed an innate flair and passion for the business. Her family boasts more than 100 years of combined experience in media, advertising, and journalism and Kristy feels fortunate to have the benefit of all that knowledge so close to home.

A long-time White Rock/South Surrey resident, Kristy earned a diploma in Criminology at Kwantlen University before moving to news media in 2003 as a classified sales consultant.

She worked in various roles as a marketing executive and is now Director of Sales for Western Canada. Her focus encompasses national and regional group sales, special events, and classifieds. Kristy undertook the Business Foundations program at Thompson Rivers University.

Kristy is also a self-taught chef actively engaged in her local community. She generously gives back to non-profits, foundations, and associations, utilizing her culinary skills to make a positive impact.

Suky Dosanjh

Suky Dosanjh

Human Resources Manager

After spending some time in banking, Suky Dosanjh pursued a degree in business administration with a specialty in human resources. Since starting her position in the Canadian division, she has dedicated herself to providing the best support possible to all employees. A powerful work ethic and recognizing the importance of robust teams have been keys to her success. She is proud to work in community news media, which she believes is an integral part of successful communities across Western Canada. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Suky is happy to call British Columbia home.When she’s not working, Suky spends her time boating. 

Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

Director of Content and Reader Engagement

Ashley Wadhwani-Smith serves as the Editorial Director for Canadian operations, a position that marks the pinnacle of nearly a decade of dedication to the journalism field. Her career began with a focus on hyperlocal reporting in her hometown of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, showcasing her commitment to community-centric journalism. 

Ashley’s contributions to the industry have been recognized with several prestigious awards. She was the inaugural winner of a multimedia digital storytelling series with the British Columbia and Yukon Community News Association and secured a second-place finish at the Jack Webster Awards. In 2022, her innovative approach to journalism was acknowledged when she was listed among the Top 25 Under 30 by Editor & Publisher. 

She leads audience development with a reader-first approach, prioritizing storytelling across multiple platforms and emphasizing meaningful journalism. Ashley is based in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia.

Tarlyn Liebholz

Taryn Liebholz

Director of Customer Strategy

Taryn Liebholz has worked in marketing for more than eight years and managed a variety of teams. 

Since moving to community news media in 2020, she has had the privilege of working as a Social Media Manager, handling direct client relations from ad to ad, then growing to manage the Social Media Department for two years and expanding the team and product offerings along the way. Taryn and her team are twice Meta certified in marketing and creative strategy and use these certifications to deliver the best service and return on investment for clients across the Canadian division.

In 2023, Taryn took on the role of Director of Client Strategy, focusing on local sales development, sales training and business strategy, while still managing the Social Media Department. 

Aaron J. Kotarek

Aaron J. Kotarek

SVP Audience/Operations - Hawaii

Aaron Kotarek is Senior Vice President – Audience & Operations.  Aaron oversees the circulation for the sixth largest print newspaper in the United States.  He is also responsible for commercial print & direct mail, manufacturing operations, information technology & compliance, audience development, and consumer revenue enhancement sub-departments.

Aaron is a native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Prior to arriving in Honolulu, Aaron was Vice President of Audience Development at McClatchy’s Herald-Leader Media operation based in Lexington, Kentucky.

He has held various executive leadership positions within several other large media chains including Thomson, A.H. Belo, Cox Enterprises, Morris Communications, the Omaha World-Herald Company and the Dow Jones Local Media Group.  In 2022, Aaron was named one of “North America’s Top 25 Media Executives Over the Age of 50” by Editor & Publisher magazine.

Dave Kennedy

Dave Kennedy

Chief Revenue Officer - Hawaii

Dave Kennedy served as the VP of Marketing from 2002 to 2010 for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, after the merger in 2010 he was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Graduating from the University of Nevada with a degree in journalism he joined Gannett newspapers from 1981 to 2001 in both Circulation and Advertising in Reno, Olympia, Guam, and Honolulu. 

Dave has been a leader in the sales department, providing incentives and new ideas creating alternative revenue streams. He oversees the management team of retail, classifieds, and digital sales.  Dave is active in community organizations and serves on several non-profit boards.

Gail Akabane

Gail Akabane

Finance - Hawaii

Gail Akabane holds the position of Vice President Finance. Prior to her appointment at OPI, her extensive experience spanned several notable companies including Trinity Investments, Hawaiian Host Group, Aqua-Aston Hospitality LLC, Alice.com, Inc., MGE Energy Inc., Grant Thornton LLP, and RSM US LLP. Each tenure reflects a different facet of her capabilities, extending across a diverse range of sectors. 

Gail hails from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she graduated with honors, possessing a double major in Accountancy and Finance. She is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants — an organization recognized for its collective expertise and adherence to ethical standards.

Hailey Petrunia

Hailey Petrunia

Senior Marketing Operations Manager

Hailey Petrunia began her career in the Canadian division in 2020 when she was initially hired as an administrative assistant before moving into an ad operations position in 2021. Her love for detail and data have led to her heading a team of three people managing Contests and Promotions, Ad Ops and Digital Analytics. 

With a passion for innovation and a commitment to staying ahead of industry trends, Hailey, along with the digital team, continuously refines strategies to drive success in the ever-evolving  landscape of digital advertising.

Ian Snook

Ian Snook

Software Development Manager

Ian Snook is a Software Development Manager with the Canadian division, having started with the company in 2013. Hailing from Newfoundland, he holds a Computer Science degree from Memorial University, complemented by a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Ian’s experience includes digital advertising developer and system analyst and he has also worked in project management.

Jas Rayat

Jas Rayat

National Account Manager

Jas Rayat was born and raised in the United Kingdom and is a proud alumnus of the University of Hertfordshire, where he earned his BA (Hons) in Economics.

In 2016, Jas immigrated to British Columbia and now proudly calls BC home. 

With an impressive career spanning more than 16 years in multimedia sales, Jas started his professional journey with one of the leading publishers in the UK. In 2016, he brought his wealth of experience to the Canadian division, stepping into the role of classified consultant. As a testament to his dedication and expertise, Jas has grown through various roles within the organization.

Jas wears multiple hats, excelling both as a national sales consultant and as the Career Expo Sales Manager. Beyond his professional achievements, Jas exemplifies a harmonious blend of professional success and a heartfelt commitment to his Sikh community.

Jennifer Blyth

Jennifer Blyth

Managing Editor - Impress Studio

Jennifer Blyth is a 30-year veteran of Canadian community newspapers, joining the Saanich News as a reporter while studying at the University of Victoria. An award-winning journalist and former editor of the Saanich News and Oak Bay News in Greater Victoria, Blyth spent many years producing editorial content for special projects and magazines, with a focus on community initiatives and tourism.

Blyth moved to the digital team in 2016 to manage the company’s rapidly growing Branded Content division, working with clients from Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories to British Columbia, Alberta and Washington state. Today, as managing editor of the Impress Studio, she oversees the Branded Content team, editorial for West Coast Traveller, Canadian Evergreen and Today’s Drive, and various special projects.

In the community, Blyth is a longtime volunteer with various youth sports and community organizations.

Leaha Hammond

Leaha Hammond

Marketing & Engagement Account Director

Leaha Hammond is a seasoned marketing expert with over a decade of experience. Starting her career as a broadcast journalist, she honed her skills in communication and storytelling. Transitioning to community news media she quickly excelled in the ad ops department while developing the very successful social media department, demonstrating her prowess in optimizing advertising strategies for maximum impact. Today, she serves as the Canadian division’s Marketing and Engagement Director, spearheading innovative campaigns that captivate audiences and drive results while overseeing the video department. 

Leaha’s commitment to excellence is underscored by her numerous achievements in the field of marketing. She has earned recognition for her proficiency in leveraging platforms in the digital space to craft compelling narratives and amplify brand presence. Her strategic insights and creative vision have propelled brands to new heights, earning accolades and establishing her as a trailblazer in the marketing landscape.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Leaha finds fulfillment in her role as a devoted parent to four children, nurturing their growth and fostering a sense of wonder in the world around them. 

Based in Surrey B.C., Leaha continues to make indelible contributions to the marketing industry, blending innovation with empathy to create meaningful connections and inspire change.

Linda Woo

Linda J. Woo

Group Publisher/Magazine Division - Hawaii

Linda Woo joined Oahu Publication in 2008 after 14 years at the Honolulu Advertiser and is the Group Publisher of OPI’s Magazine Division overseeing fifteen different magazine titles.  These publications serve a vast range of readerships, including luxury, tourism, community, and custom publications.  

Linda also serves as Director of Sales and Marketing managing all the brands under Oahu Publications. Her vast network ensures that all OPI products are represented at events and sponsorships keeping the Honolulu Star-Advertiser brand and all OPI products top of mind.  Linda continues to serve on the board for Kapiolani Women’s and Children’s Hospital and sits on several non-profit committees for art, theatre, and music.

Michael Gates

Michael Gates

Controller - Sound

Michael has served as the Controller for Sound Publishing since joining the company in 2014. He has well-rounded experience in all facets of financial administration and accounting management. His knowledge and skills were developed in varied businesses, from a publicly traded equipment rental company to a privately held, family-run cable contracting business, as well as several years in public accounting. His background includes working for businesses with multiple locations in different states, and he understands how to achieve efficiencies through centralization. Michael is an avid triathlete and trail runner when he’s not working.

Rebecca Stolar

Rebecca Stolar

Human Resources - Hawaii

Rebecca Stolar, Vice President of Human Resources began her career in 1998 with MidWeek community newspapers. In 2001 Black Press purchased MidWeek and the Star-Bulletin, which led to Rebecca being named Human Resource Director.  After the merger, Rebecca went from managing 170 employees to over 500.

Ryan Ruiz

Ryan Ruiz

Marketing Manager

Ryan Ruiz is an accomplished Marketing Manager. With a keen eye for design and a passion for marketing, Ryan plays a pivotal role in shaping brand success. As a creative powerhouse, Ryan crafts compelling marketing campaigns that resonate with audiences and elevate Canadian division branding.

Whether it’s developing eye-catching visuals, strategizing effective campaigns, or collaborating with the team, Ryan’s dedication shines through. Always ready to lend a helping hand, Ryan ensures smooth operations and contributes to the collective success of the organization.

Sarah Rice

Sarah Rice

Social Media Assistant Department Manager

Sarah Rice’s marketing journey took a leap forward when she joined the Canadian division in 2022 as a Social Media Manager. With a solid foundation of more than three years in the marketing field and an educational background from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in the New Media and Web Development program, she brought a wealth of digital marketing expertise to the team. Her commitment and prowess were quickly recognized, culminating in a promotion to Assistant Social Media Department Head in May 2023. In her current role, Sarah is instrumental in steering the department’s operations, providing essential guidance and support to social media managers and representatives as needed.

Sarah excels in devising impactful social media campaigns, adeptly crafting ads that cater to a wide array of industries each month. Her ability to tailor strategies to meet the specific needs of each client not only highlights her extensive skill set but also brings her immense professional fulfillment. She sees her role not merely as a job but as a pivotal opportunity to influence the digital strategy and growth of both the company and its clients, ensuring they reach their full online potential.

Troy Fujimoto

Troy Fujimoto

Digital Media - Hawaii

Troy Fujimoto Vice President, Digital Media has 25 years of experience in the digital marketing field. Troy manages the digital side of Oahu Publications, overseeing websites for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, West Hawaii Today, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, The Garden Island, and Hawaii.com.

Troy’s extensive senior-level experience has provided strong leadership to his team which lead OPI to digital transformation, strategy innovation, and data-driven marketing.

Consultants

Gary Blakeley

Gary Blakeley

Procurement, Workplace Safety and Operations

Gary brings over 40 years of print industry expertise, commencing at the Orange County Register. His journey traversed diverse roles: hardware technician, programmer, general manager, Procurement Director, approved Workplace Safety Trainer, and CEO. He enriched renowned entities like Freedom Communications, Atex, the Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA), Olive Software, Southern Lithoplate, and PAGE Cooperative. At PAGE Cooperative, he navigated strategic pathways until 2023.

Gary’s commitment extends beyond professional realms; he served on three non-profit boards in Colorado Springs and currently volunteers for a prison ministry program. Embracing independence, Gary now thrives as a print industry consultant, leveraging his wealth of experience to shape the industry’s future. His narrative underscores resilience, adaptability, and a steadfast dedication to enhancing print and digital media’s landscape.

Glenn Rogers

Glenn Rogers

Acquisitions and Corporate Strategy

Glenn Rogers is currently interim CEO of Black Press a large independently owned media company with over 1200 employees and 250 newspapers, web sites and magazines.

Prior to this Glenn Rogers held several senior positions in Digital Media and Communications companies. He was EVP of Reed Elsevier’s publishing division.  which published well-known magazines such as Daily Variety and Publishers Weekly with annual revenues of $500 million and 2500 employees. 

 He was also President of a large newspaper company with 160 supporting web sites in the US and Canada. Additionally, he was EVP of Advanstar Communications and was responsible for numerous trade publications and related trade shows that were global in their distribution. His group had offices in the United Kingdom, France, Brazil and China.

John Matthew

John Mathew

Real Estate and Special Projects

John M. Mathew is president of Namekagon Newspaper Services, LLC, a Wisconsin-based community newspaper services company.

John, a native of Iowa, has worked in community newspapers since 1973, starting as a part-time sportswriter while in high school.  He holds a degree in journalism from Drake University in Des Moines.

John joined Boone Newspapers, Inc., in 1975 when his home-town Oskaloosa Herald was acquired by BNI.  John later served as publisher for three BNI newspapers and became president of the company in 1988.

He then joined Arizona-based Wick Communications Co. in 2001 as its president and CEO and served in that capacity until 2013, when he formed his community newspaper services company.

John has been active in industry associations and served for a number of years on the board of Inland Press Association, serving as chair for the Group Executives Committee for many years.

John has homes on a lake in Northwest Wisconsin, in Valley Forge, Pa., and in Cape Coral, Fla.  He is an avid traveler and has visited 47 states and 40 foreign countries.

Vice President & Group Publisher

Betty Ramsey

Betty Ramsey

Vice President & Group Publisher - Georgia & Virginia

Betty began her career in media at Media Links in Honolulu [HI] 28 years ago. She joined The Tidewater News in 2005 as the advertising director and was promoted to general manager in 2009. In 2010, she was named publisher of Tryon Newsmedia, LLC, based in Tryon [NC], an affiliate of Boone Newsmedia, LLC and Carpenter Media Group. Betty returned to Virginia in 2017 as publisher of Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. She was named group publisher in 2020, where she rejoined The Tidewater News as publisher, along with affiliate Suffolk Publications, LLC. Betty currently serves as vice president of Carpenter Media Group and group publisher of The Farmville Herald, The Charlotte Gazette and The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. 

In 2020 Betty received the Virginia Press Foundation’s Leadership & Innovation Award. In 2021 Editor & Publisher named her one of 15 over 50 honorees who remain committed to news excellence.

Betty is a Rotarian, a member of the Lions Club and has served on multiple boards.

John Carr

John Carr

Vice President & Group Publisher - Kentucky & North Carolina

John graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology before beginning his media career at the Vero Beach Press Journal [FL] over 30 years ago.  John served as an advertising director in several states before becoming a publisher of the Georgetown Times [SC].  In 2015 John joined  the Suffolk News-Herald [VA] for Boone Newsmedia [BNI].

Since 2020 John has served as Publisher of the Salisbury Post and Stanly News & Press [NC].  John is a Rotarian and active board member of the North Carolina Press Association.

Mary Kemmis

Mary Kemmis

Vice President & Group Publisher - Northern BC, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Mary Kemmis began her career as a news reporter and within a few years moved into sales and leadership roles, working for media companies across Western Canada and Ontario including broadcasting, daily publications and community news media.

As president of the North Division, Mary draws from her considerable organizational leadership experience, a talent for change management, and a deep commitment to community media to grow strong teams focussed on audience and revenue growth. 

Over the course of her career, Mary has served on numerous community and industry boards and is also a strong advocate for women and diversity in media. She believes that business leaders have a responsibility to drive positive changes both in their organizations and their communities.

Rebecca Alexander

Rebecca Alexander

Vice President & Group Publisher - Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas

After graduating from the University of Memphis, Rebecca Alexander has been in media 30 years. She held leadership roles in several states in the west and southeast and served as digital director of sales.. She has been active in Rotary and local chambers of commerce.

Since 2019 Rebecca has been the publisher of community newspapers in North Mississippi. She is a board member of the Mississippi Press Association and the local chamber.

Publisher/Regional Publisher

Headshot Tomiak Alan Salmonarm

Al Tomiak

Publisher of the Salmon Arm Observer and Eagle Valley News

Born in Vancouver, but raised in Vernon, Alan Tomiak owned and operated a sporting goods store in Vernon for 14 years. In 2008, he started a new career with The Vernon Morning Star, first as a sales representative and then as sales manager before moving to the Kelowna Capital News. After a stint in a related industry, Alan joined the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market News and Eagle Valley News as publisher.

Alan is excited to provide trusted local community news for readers and marketing solutions for local businesses.

Headshot Demeer Andrea Similkameen

Andrea Demeers

Publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight

Andrea DeMeer is the publisher and editor of the Princeton Similkameen Spotlight and has worked in the valley since 2014.

DeMeer began her career at age eight, writing the finest First Brownie Pack report published in the Paris Star. Thirteen years later, after graduating from journalism school and winning two national awards, she became editor of that paper and eventually its publisher.

Comfortable in both editorial and advertising departments, DeMeer went on to publish a variety of products including a daily newspaper, mass circulation shoppers, weekly newspapers and magazines.

Over the years, she accumulated dozens of industry awards for both advertising and editorial achievements.

Andrea and her husband Robert have been married for 38 years and have raised four children who DeMeer insists are her finest products.

Artur Ciastkowski

Artur Ciastkowski

Regional Publisher - Vancouver Island, BC

Artur Ciastkowski brought more than a decade of news media experience with him when he joined the Comox Valley Record in 2017 before moving to the Campbell River Mirror in 2019 as publisher. In 2021 he returned ‘home’ to lead the Comox Valley Record team. In September 2022, Artur took on the position of Group Publisher for Vancouver Island North adding the North Island Gazette to his administrative portfolio. 

Artur is greatly invested in the communities where he lives and works. He is an active participant with various local organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Comox Valley United Soccer Club, Rotary and the Immigrant Welcome Centre. 

Artur’s leisure moments are spent with his wife, Jennifer, and son, Markus, in a blend of sports, outdoor exploration, and travel.

Barb Pettie

Barb Pettie

Regional Publisher - Sylvan Lake, Eckville Lacombe, AB

Barb Pettie began her career as a journalist in Two Hills, Alberta. She worked at several community newspapers in the province, serving as a reporter then editor before taking time off to raise a family. That decision took her from Central Alberta to Fort McMurray where she and her husband owned and operated a property maintenance company.

Family commitments brought them back to Central Alberta where they settled in Sylvan Lake and Barb returned to the workforce, passionately selling Harley Davidson Motorcycles in Red Deer. This ultimately led to a role in advertising sales at the Red Deer Advocate, bringing her back into community news media. In 2018, Barb was appointed sales manager at the Sylvan Lake News and Eckville Echo and is now Regional Publisher for those publications and the Lacombe Express. 

Barb is an active volunteer with the Chamber of Commerce and tourism and performing arts initiatives in Sylvan Lake.

Carly Ferguson

Carly Ferguson

Group Publisher - Fraser Valley Region

Carly Ferguson began her career in community media in 2007, working throughout the Fraser Valley as an advertising manager before taking on her current role as Group Publisher. Over the years, Carly has also successfully developed, implemented and managed a number of corporate operational projects.

Carly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University, followed by her Certificate in Executive Management and Leadership from Thompson Rivers University. She has also been recognized as the Advertising Manager of the Year by the Local Media Association.

Carly has a long history of community support and involvement, most recently as a Board Member of the 55+ BC Summer Games in Abbotsford. She is currently a member of Character Abbotsford and most recently joined the Salvation Army as a member of the Community Council. 

Cathy Webster

Cathy Webster

Publisher - Goldstream News Gazette

Cathy Webster grew up in Merritt  BC, where she started her media career with the local community newspaper in 1991. Moving to Vancouver Island in 1993, she continued to follow her passion for community news, winning several Canadian Newspaper Association awards for layout and design before becoming publisher of the Goldstream Gazette.

Cathy plays a significant role in local charity events and as publisher of the Goldstream Gazette she continues to support all things local. She is committed to ensuring the Gazette remains the voice of the West Shore. When she is not working you can find her on long rides on her bike. She is also a very passionate baker.

Chris Hammett

Chris Hammett

Publisher - Grand Forks, BC

Chris Hammett moved to Grand Forks in 2004 and started at the Grand Forks Gazette as an advertising sales representative. She immediately fell in love with the news media business and Grand Forks. She retired from the Gazette in October of 2014 as the associate publisher and was elected to city council that November. In February of 2017, she returned to the paper and is now the publisher as well as sales representative. Chris believes that the best part of her job is working with her clients to help them grow their businesses. Chris is also an active volunteer in the community.

Chris Lewis

Chris Lewis

Publisher - Americus & Cordele, GA

Christine Lewis, a 27 year veteran with the Cordele Dispatch, began her career in the newspaper industry in 1997 as the administrative assistant to the publisher. During her tenure with the Dispatch, she held several roles before her current role as the Dispatch and the Americus Times-Recorder publisher. Lewis graduated college with a degree in accounting. Lewis and her husband Ronnie have been married for 12 years, and they have two grown sons, Cody and Andy, one granddaughter, Braelynn, along with two dogs and a cat.

Christina Komives

Christina Komives

Regional Publisher - Wetaskiwin, AB

Christina Komives attended Lethbridge College where she received a diploma in Mass Communications. She started her career at a small, family-run publication in Olds, Alberta before moving on to the Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer in 2006. 

Starting in the Flyer’s commercial print department, Christina has held various positions with the publication over the past two decades. She expanded her role to Regional Publisher in March 2022 with the addition of The Ponoka News.

Christina feels fortunate that she has had the opportunity to experience many wonderful things in her career with one of her favorites being able to immerse herself in the communities she works in. Christina has volunteered with many organizations in Wetaskiwin and Ponoka and currently sits as a board director for her local Chambers of Commerce. Christina is proud that community news media is the place communities turn to first for credible and hyperlocal content.

Dal Hothi

Dal Hothi

Publisher of the Surrey Now Leader and North Delta Reporter

Dal Hothi’s journey in the media industry began at the Williams Lake Tribune, where he dove into sports reporting as a summer intern. In 2002 Dal joined The Surrey Now’s sales team and earned the top sales award the following year.

In 2015 Dal took on the role of sales manager of the Surrey Now and in 2017 he led the consolidation of the Surrey Now and Surrey Leader sales departments and has successfully managed the Surrey Now-Leader sales team since 2017, as well as launching the North Delta Reporter. Dal took on his current role as publisher in 2023.

Currently, Dal serves as the chair of the John Volken Academy Advisory Board, is a member of the Surrey Board of Trade Arts and Culture committee and he is also on the Simon Fraser University advisory council. Previously Dal was a director on the Capilano College Board and his commitment to community service is further evidenced by his past role on two of the Vancouver Foundation’s grant awarding committees, distributing millions of dollars annually to local charities.

 

Daralyn Anderson

Daralyn Anderson

Publisher - Vashon-Maury Island, WA

Daralyn Anderson, dedicated publisher of The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber since 2004, is responsible for the newspaper’s overall operations.

Daralyn finds satisfaction in her total commitment to perfection in every aspect of community newspapers, both in print and online: in depth, revealing journalism, deeply researched and presented with the highest standards, as well as advertising which serves her clients productively.

Vashon Island is a unique and vibrant community, accessible exclusively by water (ferries), which is a contributing factor to its quirky and close-knit culture.

The Beachcomber has earned an abundance of awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) under her leadership, including several 1st place wins in categories including General Excellence, Special Sections, Advertising, Cover Designs and Newspaper Community Service.

Hailing from Yakima, where she was born and raised, Daralyn relocated to Seattle in 1987, where she was employed by Seattle Radiologists and subsequently served as the Marketing Representative for Radiology Consultants of Washington.

She is a member of the Vashon Rotary Club and the Vashon Chamber of Commerce and finds these affiliations crucial for networking with islanders and current events.

Daria Zmiyiwsky

Daria Zmiyiwsky

Group Publisher - Canadian Prairies

Daria Zmiyiwsky joined the Prairie division in 2022 as president with 15 years of media experience.

A dynamic leader who is results-focused, she oversees all operations on the Prairies including Central Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. 

Daria is passionate about building stronger communities through local journalism and is dedicated to supporting local advertisers achieve their revenue goals. 

As a strategic thinker and cross-functional collaborator, Daria’s main focuses are sales performance, revenue development, and operations. Daria is committed to giving back to her communities through her Rotary volunteerism.

David Van Deventer

David Van Deventer

Publisher - Cowichan Valley & Lake Cowichan, BC

David van Deventer was born in Port Alberni and grew up both in Abbotsford and the Cowichan Valley. 

After graduating from Cowichan Senior Secondary, David attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Following a long and successful career in the automotive industry, David transitioned into the media business as a multi-media sales consultant for the Nanaimo News Bulletin. While at the News Bulletin, David achieved President’s Club status for three consecutive years. David became the Director of Sales for Central Vancouver Island in 2018, and assumed the role of Publisher in 2021.

David is immersed in the local community, currently serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce as well as serving on the boards of the Duncan Business Improvement Association and the Community Action Team. He is also very active in the local hockey community.

Deanne Cornell

Deanne Cornell

Publisher - Fernie, BC

Deanne Cornell’s career in newspapers started in 2003 in the call centre of an Alberta daily newspaper, fielding calls from people who hadn’t received their paper and selling subscriptions and promotions. That customer service experience served her well as she transitioned into advertising sales. Deanne worked at several community publications throughout British Columbia and Southern Alberta, as well as two daily newspapers, before becoming publisher of The Free Press in 2021.

Headshot Scalf Delaney Elizabethton Star

Delaney Scalf

General Manager - The Elizabethton Star

Delaney Scalf, a native of Elizabethton, began his media career at the Elizabethton Star in 1986 and has worked in all facets of the newspaper industry. In March 2014, he was promoted to General Manager of The Elizabethton Star and Elizabethton Newsmedia, LLC. Delaney took over leadership at the Star in December 2015.

Delaney is committed to his community and passionately supports local businesses and non-profit organizations. His goal is to provide trusted local community news for readers and marketing solutions for local businesses.

Active in the community, Delaney is a member of Harmony Freewill Baptist Church in Hampton and Rotary. He has been on several boards throughout his career in youth sports. Delaney is married to Pam and enjoys spending his free time with his family and restoring his Trans Ams.

Eran Kennedy

Eran Kennedy

Regional Publisher - Olympic Peninsula

Eran Kennedy has been a media professional for over 35 years and is the Olympic News Group’s publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. A graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, she began her career in circulation and advertising with Black Press Media, later moving to Hawaii when the company purchased the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and MidWeek Publications. Prior to returning to Black Press Media in 2018 to become the group’s advertising director, she was appointed marketing director for the building industry associations for the state of Hawaii as well as the North Olympic Peninsula. 

Throughout her career, Eran has taken pride in community leadership and has actively served on many nonprofit boards. On the Olympic Peninsula, she serves as president of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce and board director for the Clallam County Economic Development Council.

Etelka Mihaly

Etelka Mihaly

Group Publisher of Castlegar News, Trail Times and Rossland News

Etelka Mihaly started her career more than 40 years ago at her family-run paper in Northern Alberta. Over the years she has honed her craft at a number of local news organizations including Ponoka, Williams Lake and Merrit. After a pause to pursue other interests, she returned to news media in 2022 as the sales manager and publisher of the Castlegar News and took on the position of group publisher for Castlegar News, Trail Times and Rossland News in 2023. She is passionate about helping local businesses succeed, supporting community initiatives and upholding local journalism traditions.

Grant Harris

Grant Harris

Publisher - Smithers, BC

Grant Harris started his media career at the local television station in his hometown of Terrace, British Columbia. After a move to Smithers, he worked in retail sales management, learning first-hand the importance of small businesses to the local economy. Grant eventually returned to media, first as a radio advertising sales representative, and then as sales manager and now as publisher of the multi-media Smithers Interior News. 

Grant takes pride in his team and works hard to meet the invigorating challenges of both publishing accredited journalism and helping local entrepreneurs thrive in this ever-changing marketing and media landscape. 

Jacquie Duns

Jacquie Duns

Publisher - Campbell River, BC

Jacquie Duns began her community media career in 1999 as a sales representative. Her passion, persistence and determination are valued by her customers and are the keys to her success.

Jacquie’s years in the industry have taught her that every story, every voice, and every perspective matters. She approaches life from a people-first position which has served her well since her promotion to publisher in 2021.

Not to be outdone in her private world, Jacquie and her husband Allen have four beautiful kids and two busy grandchildren.

Janet Gairdner

Janet Gairdner

Associate Group Publisher of South Vancouver Island and the Publisher of Saanich News

Janet Gairdner brings a wealth of industry knowledge and leadership skills after more than 25 years of experience in media-related fields. With an advertising agency and television background, she joined the Oak Bay News in a sales role in 2009. Since then, she has served as Advertising Director for Monday Magazine and Boulevard Magazine, became Publisher of the Oak Bay News and Tweed Magazine in 2015, Publisher of the Saanich News in 2018 and Associate Group Publisher of South Vancouver Island publications in 2022.

Active in the community, Janet has volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Victoria, Royal McPherson Society and the Boys and Girls Club.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the BC and Yukon Community News Media Association as Treasurer.

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Jeff Allison

Publisher - Tryon, NC

Jeff Allison is the General Manager of Tryon Newsmedia, where he also serves as editor and publisher of the Tryon Daily Bulletin and numerous award-winning publications.

Jeff grew up in the foothills of Tryon, North Carolina, and began his career at the Bulletin in 2002. After acting as head of production for over a decade, Jeff was named General Manager of Tryon Newsmedia in 2021. He has deep roots in the community, working with the local branch of Habitat for Humanity for over twenty years, and is an active member of the Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club of Tryon.

Under Jeff’s leadership, the Tryon Daily Bulletin remains committed to serving the area’s readers with award-winning, hyper-local content, as well as helping the local business community thrive with best-in-class marketing solutions.

Jeff Kuerzi

Jeff Kuerzi

Regional Publisher - Kentucky

Jeff’s media sales career goes all the way back to his undergraduate days at the University of Kentucky’s daily newspaper, covering nearly 40 years. While at UK, Jeff earned his MBA in Marketing and began his management career in media and marketing.   

Jeff has held senior leadership positions at Knight Ridder Digital, Belo Interactive, The Dallas Morning News, The State newspaper in Columbia, SC and the Louisville Courier-Journal.  Over that time Jeff led national, major accounts, classified and digital teams.  Outside of media publishing, Jeff also served as VP of Midwest Sales at Centro (now Basis) and VP of Sales Operations and Marketing at Horizon Data Center Solutions (now Vazata).  

Jeff serves on the board of directors of the Andy Kehl Foundation for cancer research and is active in Rotary.  An avid youth sports volunteer, he is married to Dana and enjoys spending his free time with his extended family, five adult children and three grandchildren.

Joe Imel

Joe Imel

Publisher - Bowling Green, KY

Joe Imel is the general manager of the Bowling Green Daily News, which has been publishing for more than 169 years in Southcentral Kentucky. Imel began his journalism career 37 years ago as a reporter for the McLean County News, later the Hardin County Independent and finally arrived at the Daily News as a photojournalist in 1991. He rose through the newsroom ranks as chief photographer, photo editor, assistant managing editor, director of digital operations, general manager of WDNZ-TV, a low-power TV station owned by the paper, and later promoted to general manager for the Gaines family. He continues in that role with CMG. Imel studied photojournalism at Western Kentucky University. He is an award-winning photographer that continues to pick up his cameras when he is not listening to the police scanner and tweeting to more than 76,000 followers. He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Bowling Green. They have a son that works in politics in Washington, D.C. 

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John Wells

Publisher - Bainbridge

John Wells serves as Publisher of The Post-Searchlight. After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2017 with degrees in marketing and management, John quickly climbed the ladder in the marketing world, becoming a leader in the digital media space. In 2020, John was named a Tuscaloosa 40 Under 40 award recipient. John is an active member of Rotary, his local church, and his local chamber of commerce. In his spare time, John loves spending time with his wife and two children. He is an avid Traveler, having visited 23 countries in the last 10 years. 

Karen Hill

Karen Hill

Group Publisher - Okanagan Valley, BC

Karen Hill began her career in the classified department with the Kelowna Capital News and within a short period of time moved into accounting, taking on the group controller role with several media companies in the BC South region.  After many years on the business side of the industry she moved into a leadership role working with several publications in the Shuswap Okanagan region.

Change is inevitable in any organization and Karen’s extensive leadership background provides her with the skills to guide teams to navigate transitions effectively. Her dedication to community media reflects in her understanding of its role encouraging local engagement and community involvement.

Karen’s active involvement on community and industry boards highlights her commitment to driving positive change, fostering collaboration, and advancing the interests of both her community and the media industry.

Karen Murtagh

Karen Murtagh

Publisher of the Mission Record and Maple Ridge News

Karen Murtagh embarked on her media career 25 years ago with a local community media group in the United Kingdom. Since relocating to Canada, she has contributed her expertise to newspapers in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, and Mission. A staunch supporter of local media, Karen champions its crucial role in fostering connected and well-informed communities. During her career she has actively participated in multiple local boards, emphasizing community partnerships and fostering effective collaboration. Karen finds inspiration in the shared journey of supporting local businesses and witnessing their growth and success.

Kathy McLean

Kathy McLean

Publisher - Williams Lake, BC

Kathy Mclean has more than 25 years experience in the community news media industry, moving from sales to leadership roles in the Williams Lake area. In 2009 she proudly accepted the position of publisher of the Williams Lake Tribune. Kathy and her team have won multiple media and special publication awards and have been recognized for excellence in their field. One of Kathy’s proudest achievements was being presented the 2016 British Columbia Multicultural Award for a feature she published in The Tribune. 

Kathy has been an active board member of the Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce since 2013 and is also a member of the Business Excellence committee.  

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Kevin D. Austin

Publisher, The State-Journal & The Ironton Tribune

Kevin D. Austin is a visionary leader, community advocate, has a passion for journalism and an influential Newspaper leader. Born and raised in Lansing, the capital of Michigan, Austin developed a deep appreciation for the power of local sports, news storytelling and the vital role of newspapers in fostering informed and connected communities at a young age during his newspaper routes.

After earning a degree in Management from Northwood University, Austin embarked on a career in media, working in local television, direct mail and his own advertising agency. He discovered the newspaper industry was his passion. His journey began in the trenches of New York, where he worked in sales, moving quickly into management, honing his skills with companies such as, Gannett Newspapers, Cox Communications, Tribune Media, Lee Enterprises, Boone Newspapers and now Carpenter Media Group. 

Austin, would go on to earn his Master’s Degree in Education, in 2019.

As Publisher, he is driven by a relentless passion for change, Austin earned a reputation for his unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity, fearlessness in the face of adversity, and innovative approaches to maximizing revenues through print and digital solutions.

Beyond his professional achievements, Austin is deeply committed to giving back to the communities he serves. He has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at promoting media literacy, empowering aspiring journalists, and fostering a culture of civic engagement.

He oversees, The State-Journal, FRANK Magazine, Frankfort, Ky and The Ironton Tribune, Tri-State Living Magazine, Ironton, OH. All Award winning publications.

Laura Blackwell

Laura Blackwell

Publisher - Burns Lake & Houston, BC

Laura Blackwell has worked in the media business for 28 years as publisher for the Burns Lake Lakes District News and the Houston Today. Laura is heavily involved in her community as a volunteer with many organizations including the Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce.

She works diligently in the ever-changing marketing and media landscape and believes community newspapers help build and maintain the connections of trust necessary to link members of the community. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Laura resides in Burns Lake.

Laura Gellatly

Laura Gellatly

Publisher - Nelson, BC

Laura Gellatly has more than 25 years of media sales experience, developing a strong knowledge of broadcast and local media sales prior to becoming the Publisher and multimedia sales consultant for the Nelson Star.

Laura moved back to Nelson in 2020 to fulfill her current role and feels very fortunate to be back in the city that she considers home.

In addition to enjoying the beauty that Nelson BC offers, she is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Nelson Chamber of Commerce.

Leah Bousfield

Leah Bousfield

Publisher of Rimbey Review

Born and raised in Oak Bay, British Columbia, Leah Bousfield showed an early affinity for news media. In 2007 Leah moved to the Central Okanagan and started her blossoming career as a sales representative with the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market News and Sicamous Eagle Valley News. Onward to new paths, Leah moved to Central Alberta and worked for publications throughout the area. Since 2017 Leah has been the publisher for the Rimbey Review. Her passion for her community and love for her job shine through in the energy and creativity she brings to everything she does. Alongside her work, Leah volunteers with a number of local boards and service clubs.

Mario Gedicke

Mario Gedicke

Group Publisher of Boulevard Magazine

Mario Gedicke holds a bachelor of commerce degree and has extensive international business development knowledge and experience. He also has a history of introducing new products into markets via numerous media vehicles. As group publisher for Boulevard Magazine, Mario is recognized as a fixture in the Central Okanagan community for his work highlighting the Okanagan and its lifestyle in various beautiful ways.

Mario and the team at Boulevard are believers in giving back to the community and assist a wide range of non-profit organizations achieve their goals.

Martina Dopf

Martina Dopf

Group Publisher, BC Central Interior

Martina Dopf began her career with the 100 Mile Free Press as a sales consultant in 2005. Her ability to connect with customers and her strong organizational skills lead to her taking on more responsibility, becoming publisher in 2016. Two years later she further expanded her role as Group Publisher for the BC Interior. Prior to her move to Canada in 2003, Martina completed a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Management, with a focus on Marketing and Public Relations, from the University of Applied Sciences in Nuertingen, Germany.

Melissa Ash

Melissa Ash

Publisher - Prince Rupert, BC

Melissa Ash was born and raised in Prince Rupert and feels fortunate that she has been able to grow her career in the area. Melissa started with the Northern View in early 2014, working in administration before moving into sales and marketing and taking on the responsibilities of publisher in 2022. 

She’s proud to be part of the north’s strong tradition of community storytelling and enjoys supporting local businesses and helping them reach their goals. 

In 2020, Melissa earned the British Columbia and Yukon News Association’s (BCYCNA) Gold Community Service Award for contributions to event promotion in Prince Rupert. In 2023, she received the BCYCNA Gold Special Section award for The Northern View’s National Indigenous Peoples Day feature.

Michelle Cabana

Michelle Cabana

Group Publisher / South Vancouver Island

Michelle Cabana started her media career in 2006, moving seamlessly over the years between newspapers, digital, video and specialty magazines. Her expertise includes content marketing, advertising, and distribution. She played a crucial role in launching the Greater Victoria Editorial Bureau in 2018 as well as driving the digital success of the six community news platforms in the Southern Vancouver Island region. 

With four generations of her family residing on the Island, Michelle now considers Metchosin, where she lives with her husband and daughter, home. They cherish the outdoors, love exploring the island, and actively engage in community activities. 

 

Mike Bryant

Mike Bryant

Group Publisher, Northern News Service

Mike Bryant began his career with Northern News Services as a cub reporter in 1999 and went on to win numerous national and provincial journalism awards. Save for a year at the start of this decade, he has been with the company ever since. 

Mike took on more leadership roles as he grew with the company, becoming editor of News/North newspaper in 2003, editor of Yellowknifer in 2006 and Managing Editor in 2017. After exploring new career opportunities in 2020, the lure of community media brought Mike back to Northern News Services the following year as Group Publisher. He added General Manager of sister company, Canarctic Graphics to his responsibilities in 2023.

Mike is an active member of the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce, encouraging business growth across the NWT and Nunavut.

Misty Johnsen

Misty Johnsen

Publisher - Kitimat, BC

Misty Johnsen started her news media career in administration and circulation at the Kitimat Northern Sentinel. Over the past 10 years Misty moved into sales and then into the position of Publisher in 2023. Growing up in Kitimat has allowed her to understand and appreciate the challenges of living and doing business in a northern community and she’s able to share that knowledge with businesses in the area who rely on her marketing expertise. 

Misty serves on the Kitimat Library Board and enjoys reading.

Natasha Griffiths

Natasha Griffiths

Publisher - Port Hardy, BC

Born and raised in the North Island area, Natasha Griffiths began her career as a sales representative with the North Island Gazette before taking on the publisher role.

Natasha is actively involved in the North Island communities including membership in the Rotary Club and president of the Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund. Her commitment to driving positive change, fostering collaboration, and advancing the interests of both her community and the media industry shine in everything she does. 

Randi Page

Randi Page

Publisher - Victoria, BC

Randi Page was born into a military family in Ottawa before settling in the Comox Valley. There she found her passion for sales, business, and technology while working for her parents’ technology company. 

In 2003, Randi moved to Victoria to attend Camosun College and commence a new chapter in her life. Following a decade-long career with the provincial government, Randi pivoted into the media industry with the Sooke News Mirror. She quickly found success, moving into a senior sales position with Victoria News in 2018. Her hard work and dedication earned her a spot on the 2022 Sales Superstars list by Editor & Publisher Magazine. 

In 2023, Randi took on a new challenge, stepping into the role of Publisher of Victoria News. Throughout her career, she’s built long-standing meaningful connections with local businesses and the community. 

Beyond work, Randi and her husband Jimmy are deeply involved in the local community and the stories that connect Greater Victoria.

Rod Sluggett

Rod Sluggett

Publisher - Sooke, BC

With nearly five decades dedicated to the news industry, Rod Sluggett’s career has spanned from Port Hardy to Sooke and encompassed Courtenay, Parksville, Powell River, and, briefly, Surrey. Rod and his family have traversed Vancouver Island, witnessing significant transformations in small-town media, from traditional print exemplified by publications like the “Green Sheet” in Courtenay to the contemporary comprehensive multimedia platform he now leads.

Active in his communities, Rod has been president of Chambers of Commerce, contributed to Rotary, and participated in local sports organizations. He recognizes the essential elements for the success of small towns including compassion, collaboration, and understanding.

Embracing the evolution of the role as the trusted local community information source, Rod cherishes and proudly accepts the changes. His numerous provincial and national awards, achieved with his teams over the years, reflect his pride in how the industry has effectively responded to challenges, ensuring its continued vitality.

Ron Prince

Ron Prince

Regional Publisher - Louisiana & Mississippi

Ron Prince is a media professional with over 35 years of experience in digital and print marketing, as well as newspaper and magazine publishing.  He has held executive posts with The E.W. Scripps Company, Gannett, BH Media and Lee Enterprises. He has given back to the communities where he has lived by serving charitable and civic organizations including chambers of commerce, Rotary International, Boys & Girls Clubs, and United Way.

Ron is a native of Alabama, and an alumnus of the University of Alabama.

Rudi Alcott

Rudi Alcott

Publisher - Everett, WA

Rudi Alcott is the publisher of The Daily Herald.

He started professionally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as a sales manager for Darlington Farms and Ellison Bakery, then the makers of Archway Cookies.

He spent a decade in Washington with Horvitz Newspapers, guiding circulation marketing development, then worked for Swift Communications in Greeley, Colorado, as the assistant circulation director. 

He joined Sound Publishing as publisher of the Federal Way Mirror, then took on the same role for the Enumclaw Courier-Herald. He was named Sound’s vice president of advertising in February 2020.

Alcott serves on several community boards including the Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County, Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and Homage.

A native of Compton, California, Alcott grew up in Colorado and Indiana. He attended Anderson University, majoring in accounting and sports medicine. He and his wife have two adult sons, two dogs and reside in Covington, Washington.

Sean McCue

Sean McCue

Group Publisher of the Nanaimo News Bulletin, Ladysmith Chronicle and Chemainus Courier

Sean McCue grew up on nearby Gabriola Island and began his newspaper career at the Nanaimo News Bulletin in 1995. He started as a sales representative after he successfully completed his Business Management Diploma at Malaspina University College. In 2008, Sean became sales manager at the News Bulletin and in 2017 he was appointed publisher of the Nanaimo News Bulletin. Additionally, in 2021 Sean became publisher of the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle and Chemainus Valley Courier. Sean is a British Columbia and Yukon Community News Media Association board member. He has also been an active volunteer in Nanaimo with St John Ambulance since 2004 and was admitted as a member to the Order of St John in 2021.

Headshot Burkett Shaulene Langley Aldergrove

Shaulene Burkett

Publisher of the Langley Advance Times and Aldergrove Star

Shaulene Burkett’s news media career spans 27 years. After graduating with a BBA with a major in marketing, she joined the Abbotsford Times in 1997 as a senior sales consultant. Over the years, Shaulene has held multiple management positions including business manager, advertising sales manager, group advertising manager and her current role as group publisher of the Langley Advance Times, Aldergrove Star, Real Estate Abbotsford and Today’s Home website.

Shaulene is an active member at North Langley Community Church and has been an executive on several committees and boards throughout her career, both in sports and business. She is proud of her team including journalists, sales and circulation and the talent they demonstrate.

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Stacy G. Graning

General Manager at The Daily Leader and The Prentiss Headlight and Regional Editor

With more than 30 years experience in media, Stacy G. Graning is an award-winning journalist and newspaper leader. 

Stacy began her career as a Lifestyle Editor in Natchez, Miss., and went on to lead the newsroom as its editor, earning a reputation for excellence in serving the community and training and developing journalists. Under her leadership, the editorial team was consistently recognized with state, regional and national awards.

Stacy spent 20 years as Publisher of Troy Publications Inc. in Troy, Alabama, helping develop editorial excellence and build strong strategic partnerships in the growing community before returning to Southwest Mississippi 2021. Today, she oversees the operations of Brookhaven Newsmedia LLC and The Prentiss Headlight and works as a regional editor, coaching and working with editorial teams throughout the region.

Stacy has served in leadership roles with the Mississippi and Alabama Press Associations, as well as on numerous civic, church and community organizations in both states.

Stephen Hemelt

Stephen Hemelt

Regional Publisher - Port Arthur & Orange, TX

With 21 years of experience, Stephen Hemelt is originally from New Orleans and began his community media career in Louisiana while attending and graduating from Louisiana Tech University. He is actively involved in leadership roles in civic and industry circles.  Hemelt serves on the board of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and co-leader of the Port Arthur LNG Season of Giving initiative, which delivers more than $50,000 annually in Christmas grants to local nonprofits. 

Stephen is serving currently as publisher of The Port Arthur News and Orange Leader in Southeast Texas. He previously served in editor and publisher roles in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. He and wife Candace have two children, Dominick and Mallory.

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Steve Scott

Publisher of the Peace Arch News and Cloverdale Reporter

Steve Scott embarked on his sales career in 1992 as a sales representative with the telephone directory. In 2006 he moved into news media as a senior sales manager at Vancouver’s daily papers before joining the Surrey Leader sales team in 2013. Steve moved to the Peace Arch News in 2016 as advertising manager and is now the publisher of both the Peace Arch News and Cloverdale Reporter.

During Steve’s tenure with the Peace Arch News, the team secured top honours in the General Excellence category of the British Columbia and Yukon News Association Ma Murray Awards an impressive five times within an eight-year span and claimed second place in the remaining three years.

Tara Hiebert

Tara Hiebert

Publisher - Chilliwack, BC

Tara Hiebert began her advertising career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2001 and was appointed publisher in 2019. She has more than 22 years of experience in print and digital marketing and her energy and dedication are keys to her success.  Tara is committed to her community and passionately supports local businesses and non-profit organizations.

Teresa Bird

Teresa Bird

Group Publisher of the Parksville Qualicum News, Alberni Valley News and the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News

With more than 40 years experience, Teresa Bird started in the newspaper industry in high school, writing a bi-weekly column about school activities for the Maple Ridge Gazette. She attended journalism school in Kamloops before starting her career at the Westcoaster in Ucluelet. After her young family moved to northern Vancouver Island, Teresa freelanced and eventually became editor and then publisher/editor of the North Island Gazette in Port Hardy.

In 2011, Teresa moved to Port Alberni as publisher of the Alberni Valley News and in 2022 expanded her role to regional publisher overseeing Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Alberni Valley News and a return to the west coast of Vancouver Island with the Westerly News. 

Teresa has served in leadership roles on several civic boards in every community she has lived and worked and is currently a member of Rotary and the Oceanside Business Women’s Network.

Tracey Roberts

Tracey Roberts

Publisher - Vanderhoof, BC

Tracey Roberts started her news media career as a sales representative in the small Kootenay community of Nakusp. In 2006 she moved to Quesnel to work for the Cariboo Observer and in 2010 she was appointed publisher. In 2022 she added three more publications to her responsibilities including the Vanderhoof Omineca Express, the Caledonia Courier and the Stuart Nechako Advertiser.

Tracey is an active community volunteer and is currently secretary of the Quesnel Ladies Curling League and a past vice president of the Quesnel Downtown Association. She also proudly represented the Quesnel Cariboo Observer and her community as marketing director of the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games.