Our Team


President
B.C. Interior South

Dave Hamilton
250-204-2720

Dave has worked with Black Press since 2007 beginning his career in sales at the Comox Valley Record, then taking on multiple Black Press publisher and group publisher roles including the Fernie Free Press, Invermere Valley Echo, Golden Star, Campbell River Mirror, Comox Valley Record, Comox Valley Echo and the North Island Gazette.
dave.hamilton@blackpress.ca

Director of Sales
B.C. Interior South

Karen Hill
250-215-2222

In October of 1989, Karen began her career in the classified department at the Kelowna Capital News. Most of her tenure in Kelowna was spent in the accounting department where she worked her way to group controller for the Interior with Lower Mainland Publishing and then West Partners Publishing when they bought the newspaper in 2001. In 2003, Black Press purchased the Capital News and Karen integrated into the accounting department, working with the president on all the southern divisions until she took on the position of publisher at the Vernon Morning Star in 2006. In September 2010, she made her way back to Kelowna as publisher of the Capital News and Lake Country Calendar, as well as our specialty products Food & Wine Trails and Grapes to Wine.
karen.hill@blackpress.ca

Editor
Phil McLachlan
250-423-4666
Phil McLachlan is the editor at the Penticton Western News. Prior to this he served as the reporter, and eventually editor of The Free Press newspaper in Fernie, for three years. Before coming to Fernie he worked for the Meridian Booster in Lloydminster, Alta. Since graduating from Loyalist College’s Photojournalism Program in 2016, he has been nominated for and won several provincial and national newspaper awards. He possesses a passion for storytelling, an appreciation of community news, and a love for photography. In Fernie he became known by locals as ‘the man on the street with a camera’.
editor@thefreepress.ca 

Bureau Chief of B.C.
Interior South Division

Jen Zielinski
250-979-7306
Jen graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. She also has bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University. Previously, the Fernie native was the senior video journalist for Castanet News, based in Kelowna. She has a passion for online journalism, as well as local volunteer organizations, such as the BC SPCA.
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca 

Assistant Bureau Chief of B.C.
Interior South Division

Paul Clarke
250-309-2065
Since graduating from Carleton University’s school of journalism in 2012, Paul Clarke has worked for several news organizations, including New Brunswick’s Telegraph-Journal, the Rwanda News Agency and the Toronto Star.
In more recent years, Paul was a reporter and an editor for the Jasper Fitzhugh and spent the past year-and-a-half reporting for the Rocky Mountain Outlook in Canmore, Alta.
Along the way he has earned several provincial and national writing awards for his enterprise reporting and is keen to hit the ground running when he arrives on September 16.
Outside of work Paul is an avid skier who loves exploring the backcountry and is looking forward to getting into lake life.
paul.clarke@blackpress.ca 

Barry Gerding

Regional Editor
Barry Gerding
250-763-3212

Barry Gerding is the senior regional reporter for Black Press in the Okanagan. Barry’s career as a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field spans 37 years working in northwest B.C., Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan. He was managing editor of the Kelowna Capital News for 16 years from 2000 to 2016, and prior to that editor of the Burnaby Now, Chilliwack Times and Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle. He also worked as a reporter for Houston Today, Interior News in Smithers, Sidney Review on Vancouver Island and Abbotsford Times. He currently works out of Kelowna and resides in the Toovey Heights neighbourhood, married with two kids and far too many animals.
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Alistair Waters

Regional Assistant Editor
Al Waters
250-979-7305

Alistair Waters has a nose for politics at the civic, provincial and federal levels, and helps readers understand the verbal spin doctoring politicians are fond of using.
awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Regional Assistant Editor
Steve Kidd
778-738-1055
Steve is an award-winning photojournalist turned writer with a long history in the industry, freelancing for newspapers throughout B.C. He came to Black Press in 2007 when the chain acquired the Lake Country (Winfield) Calendar. He is now a regional editor in the Okanagan bureau, after having worked for a decade in Penticton covering a variety of beats from the arts to politics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Thompson Rivers University and a diploma in new media communications from the College of the Rockies.
steve.kidd@blackpress.ca 

Social Media Manager & Multi-Media Reporter
Natalia Cuevas-Huaico
778-738-3057
Natalia would describe herself as creative, driven and vivacious.
A Vancouver-born and recent graduate of the Broadcast and Online Journalism program at BCIT, she decided to jumpstart her social media and journalism career in beautiful Kelowna.
Her love for visual storytelling and social media stemmed from watching in-depth documentaries and growing up during the surge of social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Before joining the Black Press Media team, Natalia gained multi-media skills while interning at CityNews Vancouver, CTV Morning Live and Vive Social PR where she learned how to manage digital platforms with compelling content.
Apart from being a social media aficionado, Natalia also thrives in the video editing suite. Her main goal is to transport her audience to new places while teaching them new things. She believes evoking compassionate emotions through storytelling is the first step in creating change. If you asked her what her beat is, she would say community and pop-culture.
During her spare time, she enjoys travelling, all things tacos, immersing herself in all genres of music (except Country) and rewatching her favourite Netflix shows.
natalia.cuevashuaico@blackpress.ca 

Mark Brett, reporter and photographer
Multi-Media Journalist/Photographer
Mark Brett
778-476-8167

Mark is a photojournalist that has over 40 years of experience in the newspaper business. He has won multiple Canadian Community Newspaper Association Awards, B.C./Yukon Newspaper Awards, a Canadian Press Award and a Black Press Award.
photos@pentictonwesternnews.com


Multi-Media Journalist
Jordyn Thomson
778-476-8166
Jordyn is a recent journalism and communications graduate who is new to the Penticton area. An alumni from University of Calgary and SAIT, she previously worked as a community news reporter for the Cochrane Eagle Newspaper in Cochrane, Alta. Jordyn is willing to cover any news story that comes across her desk and has a passion for writing and research.
jordyn.thomson@pentictonwesternnews.com

Multi-Media Senior Consultant
Liza Simpson
778-476-8161
Liza Simpson has 28 years of newspaper and media experience in various cities across Western Canada. She has worked at the Western News since June 2016, and comes to us from Saskatoon SK. where she was most recently a senior sales consultant with CTV Saskatoon. Liza is originally from Vernon, B.C. and started her newspaper career at the Vernon Daily News. She has also been a sales consultant at the Lethbridge Herald, Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal, and Kelowna Daily Courier. She is very excited to be back in the Okanagan Valley, and is thrilled to call Penticton home.
liza.simpson@blackpress.ca

Marketing Consultant
Sandi Nolan
250-492-3636
Sandi Nolan has worked at the Keremeos Review and Similkameen Spotlight since 2012. She’s spearheaded multiple advertising campaigns during this time and is the driving force behind the Similkameen Valley Tourism Guide, which is done in partnership with TOTA and the Similkameen Valley Planning Society.
sandi.nolan@pentictonwesternnews.com

Creative Services Manager
Steven Stoochnoff
778-476-8158
Originally from Castlegar, B.C. Steve came to work at the Western News in 2000 from Cranbrook, B.C. Starting off in the creative services department as a designer, Steve was promoted to creative services manager in 2015. When not working Steve enjoys riding his mountain bike along with being an avid sport shooter.
Steve@pentictonwesternnews.com

Regional Circulation Manager
Brian Gold
778-212-0524

Lead Paginator
Sydney Watt
778-738-2902
Sydney is the lead paginator for the Okanagan. She started more than a year ago designing ads, but then switched to doing the layout for a few papers and then taking care of the layout for seven of the papers across the Okanagan.
sydney.watt@kelownacapnews.com

 
Circulation Manager
Suzanne Kovacs
778-476-8159

 
Office Administration
Rhonda Fujino
250-492-3636 Ext: 4210

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