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.

Bureau Chief of B.C.
Interior South Division

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.

Barry Gerding

Regional Editor
Barry Gerding

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.

Alistair Waters

Regional Assistant Editor
Al Waters

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.

Regional Assistant Editor
Steve Kidd
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.

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.

Mark Brett, reporter and photographer
Multi-Media Journalist/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.

Multi-Media Journalist
Jordyn Thomson
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.

Multi-Media Senior 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.

Regional Circulation Manager
Brian Gold

Circulation Manager
Suzanne Kovacs

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

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