Our Team


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 

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

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 

Okanagan Video Journalist
Twila Amato
778-738-0627
Before joining the Black Press Media team, Twila was a radio reporter based in northern Vancouver Island, reporting for stations in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port Alice, Port Hardy, as well as Powell River. She won the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award while at BCIT and before then, received a degree in ancient and modern Greek history from McGill University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, singing show tunes, collecting lipstick and hanging out at Sephora.
twila.amato@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

Sales
Sandi Nolan
250-295-3535
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.
sales@keremeosreview.com

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

Regional Circulation Manager
Brian Gold
778-212-0524

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