Our Team

Group Publisher South Okanagan Region
Shannon Simpson
Shannon Simpson has 30 years of newspaper experience in a variety of sales and management roles in cities across Western Canada. He moved to Penticton in August of 2015 from Saskatoon, SK. where he most recently had worked at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix along with being a business partner in the launch of a community newspaper (2011) in the same city. Simpson has lived in the Okanagan Valley on two prior occasions, Vernon from 1991-1993, and Kelowna from 2000-2004. He is excited to now call Penticton home.

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.

Emanuel Sequeira, sports editor
Sports Editor
Emanuel Sequeira
Emanuel is the Penticton Western News’ sports editor and has been since January of 2008. He came second place for Best Multimedia Feature in the Canadian Community Newspapers Award. Sequeira has a diploma in applied communication from Camosun College and a journalism degree from Thompson Rivers.

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. dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com
and on Twitter: @dustinrgodfrey.

Sales Manager & Special Features
Larry Mercier
Larry Mercier has over 35 years of newspaper experience in sales and sales management, with almost 25 of those years at the Penticton Western News. He came to Penticton in 1981 to manage the local Saan store, and within a year he discovered a knack for creating ads and was recruited by the Penticton Herald. Never someone to enjoy remaining idle; Larry spent some of his free time as a projectionist at the local theatre where he met his wife. Together they have raised four boys and more recently been blessed with two grandsons. He is excited for the recent opportunity to take on more responsibilities, including working with the Summerland Review.

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.

Senior Sales Consultant
Rachelle Wirth
Rachelle and her family relocated from the Sunshine Coast BC, joining the Western News team in August 2016. She is an innovative, results-driven sales leader who combines a strong entrepreneurial drive with a proven record of achievement in strategic planning, marketing, new business development and brand management. She has a strong background in working closely with diverse non-profit, private, and public organizations, elevating their community engagement, awareness, and profitability.

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/Classifieds
Rhonda Fujino
250-492-3636 Ext: 4210