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.

Assistant Bureau Chief of B.C.
Interior South Division

Paul Clarke
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.

Lachlan Labere is editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market News and Eagle Valley News.
He began his career with Black Press in 2004 as a reporter for the 100 Mile House Free Press.
The following year, he was given an opportunity to move to the sunny Shuswap to join the team at the Observer. Best move ever.
Lachlan loves photographing community events and has won numerous newspaper photography awards. When not in the office, he enjoys spending time with family. He endeavours to make use of the local cross-country ski area in the winter, and hike the region’s amazing trails in the summer.
Lachlan graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Thompson Rivers University. He and his family live, work and play in Salmon Arm.

Martha Wickett, reporter

Senior Multi-Media Journalist
Martha Wickett

Martha Wickett came to Salmon Arm to work at the Observer in May of 2004. She moved in an effort to escape the traffic and concrete of the Lower Mainland where she had worked in community newspapers for more than a decade.


Multi-Media Journalist
Jim Elliot

Jim has worked for the Salmon Arm Observer and Eagle Valley News since 2016. He has spent time covering sports and local government in Salmon Arm, but his efforts are now focused on telling the stories of the community of Sicamous as the primary reporter for the Eagle Valley News. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Thompson Rivers University.


Multi-Media Journalist
Cameron Thomson

Cameron graduated from the journalism diploma program at Langara College in 2019. Originally from Tsawwassen, he is excited to call Salmon Arm his home. One of the things Cameron is looking forward to the most is getting to know people in the community and telling their stories. Cameron was an intern with Global BC before getting hired by Black Press. Some of Cameron’s hobbies include woodworking, jewelry making, playing guitar and photography.

Advertising Sales
Penny Brown
(250) 832-2131

Advertising Sales
Laura Lavigne

Advertising Sales
Tammy Howkins

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.

Social Media Manager & Multi-Media Reporter
Natalia Cuevas-Huaico
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.

Regional Circulation Manager
Brian Gold

Lead Paginator
Sydney Watt
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.

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