Our Team

Andrea Horton
250-832-2131 ext. 92
I began my career in the newspaper industry in 2007 as a reporter with The Free Press in Fernie, B.C. After taking a brief hiatus, I returned to The Free Press in 2012 after it was purchased by Black Press Media to work as a sales consultant. It wasn't long until I was promoted to the position of publisher in 2013. In 2017, my family and I relocated to Salmon Arm, where I continued to work with Black Press as the publisher of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market News and Eagle Valley News in 2019. I thoroughly enjoy being involved in community events and you will often see me around taking photos with my camera. When I'm not working, I love taking my puppies for walks by the lake and enjoying the longer Shuswap summer days with my husband and two sons.

Jen Zielinski (She/Her)
Bureau Chief of B.C. Interior South Division
I graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. I also hold a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University. Prior to this, I was the senior video journalist for Castanet News, based in Kelowna. I have a keen interest in online journalism and I'm also actively involved in supporting local volunteer organizations such as the BC SPCA.

Lachlan Labere
I'm the editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. My journey with Black Press Media started back in 2004 when I worked as a reporter for the 100 Mile House Free Press. The next year, I moved to the Shuswap and joined the team at the Observer, where I've been ever since. As an editor, I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged. I love photographing community events and have won numerous newspaper photography awards for my work. Outside of work, I'm an avid outdoor enthusiast and make frequent use of the area's recreational opportunities, hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Martha Wickett
Senior Multimedia Journalist
I came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.

Rebecca Willson (She/Her)
Multimedia Journalist
250-832-2131 Ext9217
I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton. I love reading and writing, and upon seeing a poster for the journalism program at my school, I knew that was the right fit for me. I also enjoy hiking and snuggling my cat, T’Challa (I am also a Marvel movie fan!).

Laura Lavigne
Multimedia Marketing Specialist
250 832-2131 ext 92
I moved to Silver Creek from Ontario in 1997 with my family. In 2004, I started my journey at the Salmon Arm Observer as the Circulation Manager and later transitioned into Advertising Sales two years later. I find joy in working with a diverse group of clients and helping them with their business needs. Over the past 16 years, I've seen a lot of changes in the advertising world, with many new options becoming available to clients. Despite these changes, I find that every day is different, which keeps the job interesting and exciting! I am a Nana to 15 grandchildren and enjoy baking and spending time with family.

Sarah Sigurdson
Multimedia Marketing Specialist
I recently moved to Salmon Arm in 2021 from Surrey. Ever since my arrival, I've fallen in love with the stunning beauty of the Shuswap region. I've been working with Black Press Media since 2015, starting at one of our sister papers in Surrey before transitioning to the Salmon Arm Observer. One of the things that I enjoy most about living here is the sense of community. I've been keeping myself busy by meeting new people and volunteering my time with Rotary.

Melissa Ramstad
Admin Co-ordinator / Circulation Manager
I have lived in the Salmon Arm area most of my life. I love to spend time camping, exploring, and enjoying what the Shuswap has to offer with my husband, two children, and our dog, Annie. I started with the Observer in January 2022 and have fast become an important part of the daily operations, including managing the front desk, the Amazon depot, and circulation for the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market News, Eagle Valley News, Golden Star, and Revelstoke Review.

Barry Gerding
Regional Editor
I am the senior regional editor for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been working in the B.C. community newspaper industry for 37 years, starting in northwest B.C. and later moving to the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan. I spent 16 years as managing editor of the Kelowna Capital News from 2000 to 2016, and before that, I was editor of the Burnaby Now, Chilliwack Times, and Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle. I also worked as a reporter for Houston Today, Interior News in Smithers, Sidney Review on Vancouver Island, and Abbotsford Times. Currently, I work out of Kelowna and live in the Toovey Heights neighborhood with my spouse, two children, and far too many pets.

Brian Gold
Regional Circulation Manager

Sydney Watt
Lead Paginator
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.