Our Team

B.C. Interior South

Dave Hamilton

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.

Director of Sales
B.C. Interior South

Karen Hill

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.

Director of Distribution
and Manufacturing Operations
B.C. Interior South

Ian Jensen

Ian started his newspaper career in 1985 at the Nanaimo Daily Free Press as a circulation representative. In 1987, he became the circulation manager of the Prince Albert Daily Herald and held the same positions at the Vernon Daily News, Prince George Citizen and also had a stop at the Victoria Times Colonist. In 2003, Ian was promoted to publisher of the Prince Albert Daily Herald, and in the spring of 2012, moved to Vernon to become publisher of the Vernon Morning Star.

Operations Manager
Larry Mercier

Larry Mercier has over 35 years of newspaper experience in sales and sales management, with 25 of those years at the Penticton Western News. Larry came to Penticton in 1981, transferring from Calgary to manage the local Saan Store. Within a year, he discovered a knack for creating ads and was recruited by the Penticton Herald. Never someone to remaining idle, Larry spent free time running Creative Sportswear and Silk Screening. He sold that business after five years, then began to work evenings as a projectionist at the Pen Mar theatre where he met his wife. Together, they have raised four boys and more recently been blessed with two grandsons.

Kristi Patton, editor
Kristi Patton

Kristi was born and raised in Penticton and graduated from the journalism program at SAIT in Calgary, Alta. Prior to joining the Penticton Western News in 2008, Kristi worked for Sun Media in Southern Alberta for three years. She has won numerous awards for her sports and feature story coverage. Patton covered courts, crime, regional news and arts and entertainment at the Western News before moving to the position of editor.

Steve Kidd, reporter and photographer
Senior Reporter
Steve Kidd
I have been working as a journalist and photojournalist for … well, a number of years. I joined Black Press in 2007, moving to the Penticton Western News later that year, where I now cover the city beat and anything else that needs a story. I can also be contacted at city@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Mark Brett, reporter and photographer
Mark Brett

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.

Dustin Godfrey
Dustin began his journalism career in the summer of 2016, joining the Western News in May 2017. Dustin covers just about everything under the sun, including Penticton city council and Penticton’s courthouse.
and on Twitter: @dustinrgodfrey.

Okanagan Digital Editor
Jen Zielinski
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.

Okanagan Digital
News Editor

Carmen Weld
Carmen graduated from BCIT’s Broadcast Journalism program in April 2012 after completing a bachelor’s degree in economics and criminology at SFU. Her career started in radio as a news reporter in Duncan, Campbell River and Kelowna. She spent three years as a multimedia journalist for Castanet News. The North Vancouverite has a passion for online news, journalism, the community, her rescue pups and the Okanagan’s fabulous wine.

Senior Sales Consultant
Harpreet Sidhu
The newspaper industry has been in Harpreet’s blood from an early age. As a child she delivered the Prince George Free Press. She went on to earn her diploma in journalism from Langara College which lead to her start with Black Press. She spent the next seven years working for Black Press as the sports editor in three markets — Prince George, Penticton and Kamloops before making the move to the advertising department. Harpreet is always eager to help businesses market themselves better in the community. She’s also very involved in the community sitting on the board of Penticton Women in Business and the Peach Festival Host Committee. She was also on the promotions committee of the 2016 Penticton BC Winter Games.

Senior Sales Consultant
Liza Simpson
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.

Marketing Consultant
Sandi Nolan
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.

Creative Services Manager
Steven Stoochnoff
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.

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

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