Jan Wondra, Managing Editor
Jan began her career as a writer and business executive upon completing a degree in journalism at the University of Wisconsin, after which she held several positions, including columnist and staff writer for Minneapolis and St. Paul Skyway News and contract writer for the Milwaukee Journal. She moved into global advertising and marketing with Campbell Mithun Advertising before moving to Denver to become vice president of Sales Promotion for May D&F. Her accounts have included 3M, General Mills, Jolly Rancher and USWest.
Jan spent nearly a decade running her own marketing and writing agency with offices in Denver and Milwaukee. Her firm handled such diverse accounts as Wisconsin Gas, USWest/Qwest and MagneTek Waukesha. Working for Thomas and Perkins ad agency, she handled Xcel Energy, Wendy’s Rocky Mountain region and Gart Sports/Sportmart.
After rescuing the Children’s Museum of Denver, Jan moved to corporate roles, becoming director of Western Union North American Money Transfer, completing First Data Corp.’s First Leader program, becoming vice president of Marketing and e-Commerce for Ent Federal Credit Union and working as general manager of Arrow Electronics Global Marketing. In 2010 Jan returned to journalism with the Villager Media Group in the south Denver Metro area, launching TheCorridor.biz in 2015 and working from her home in Chaffee County.
Jan’s work has won numerous awards, including National and Colorado advertising awards, national direct marketing honors, and journalism honors from the National Press Association and Colorado Press Association. In 2014 she was named a Fellow of Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.
Jan has served on many nonprofit boards, including the Arthritis Foundation and the Colorado Episcopal Foundation. She is the National Chair of Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, Including Neighboring Countries. In Chaffee County she serves on the Housing Policy Advisory Committee and the Communities That Care action group.
Contact her at Jan@arkvalleyvoice.com
Henry John DeKam, Reporter
DeKam graduated from Western Michigan University in 2018 with dual majors in Geography: Resource Management and Environmental Studies & Sustainability. DeKam’s interest in writing began in high school when he represented his peers in a region wide literary arts showcase. As a college student, DeKam was a freelance content-writer for Cousign LLC, and contributed over 100 articles to the company blog. An avid outdoorsman, DeKam grew up in West Michigan where he learned to fish, bow-hunt, backpack, and camp. He resides in Buena Vista, where he covers city government, general news, events, and recreation for Ark Valley Voice.
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Stephen Hall, Justice Specialist
Hall is a fifth generation Chaffee resident and Salida graduate, who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice degree with an emphasis in political science; interrupted by 9/11 and an additional two years serving overseas, before graduating in 2006. He has worked in nearly all aspects of criminal justice; including two years for the Colorado Department of Corrections as a correctional officer in the Buena Vista Correctional Facility and seven years for the Department of Homeland Security as a Border Patrol Agent serving in the San Diego Sector. Most recently, Hall spent four years working for the Colorado State Patrol primarily in Chaffee and Fremont Counties, before covering justice issues and investigative work for Ark Valley Voice.
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Sandy Hobbs, Photojournalist
Hobbs, a photo journalist contributor who enjoys documenting community activities, is also responsible for the book keeping and finances at Ark Valley Voice. She is passionate about horses, fox hunting, her dogs and photography. She resides in Salida, CO.
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Elliot Jackson, Reporter
Jackson writes about theater, music and politics when she isn’t busy making theater with Shakespeare in the Sangres, music with her band Stuck in the Briars, or waves in various communities.
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Avery Martinez, Reporter
Martinez began work in journalism while at Salida high school, writing for The Tenderfoot Times. The first graduate of the new Journalism and Mass Media Studies (JMMS) Major at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, he served as producer for the campus video news program and the editorial board of The Independent News Organization, president of the KDUR radio station board of directors and on-air presenter for an online television station linked to The Durango Herald. Prior to his current role, Martinez was a staff writer for The Pagosa Springs SUN newspaper. He is a produced playwright, published poet, Irene Ryan Acting Competition nominee and avid motorcycle rider.
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Adam Silverman, Security Columnist
Adam L. Silverman has a doctorate of philosophy in political science and criminology from the University of Florida (2002) and is currently a National Security Consultant specializing in low intensity warfare, special operations, civil affairs, and psychological operations. He has previously been a Senior Fellow at SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University (2015), a subject matter expert with the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Security Dialogue and US Army Europe (2014), the Cultural Advisor (temporary assigned control) at US Army Europe (2013-2014), the Cultural Advisor (temporary assigned control) at CA Branch (2014), the Cultural Advisor (temporary assigned control) III Corps (2012), the Cultural Advisor at US Army War College (2010-2014), and the Cultural Advisor for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team/1st Armored Division (2007-2008) deployed with the brigade combat team in Iraq in 2008. He has also provided support for numerous Army, DOD, and Interagency elements.
Daniel Smith, Reporter
Smith is a veteran print and broadcast journalist. His background includes a nationally syndicated business talk show, as well as reporting and photography duties for the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post.
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Taylor Sumners, Reporter, intern
Taylor Sumners graduated from Western Colorado University in May of 2019 with a degree in Marketing and minor in English. As an English Honor Society member with Sigma Tau Delta, Sumners has always been a fan of the written word and most recently held a role as an Associate Editor for the art and literary magazine, Pathfinder. As a book lover, coffee connoisseur, snowboarder and avid adventurer, she looks forward to becoming a member of the community of Salida and working with Ark Valley Voice to cover Salida City Council, the Salida School District and other community engagements.
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Jenny Wright, Reporter
Covers arts, culture and community events, is a lifelong Colorado resident. A history and English major, she is versatile writer who writes on a variety of subject areas. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and playing ice hockey, as well as singing and acting with several groups around the state. She is a retired professional cellist and is active in theater and the arts.
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Michelle Pujol is a first generational Cuban American who grew up on the east coast and overseas. Not surprisingly, Michelle got her M.B.A. in International Business and has worked in online marketing and operations for over 25 years. In that time she has worked for a plethora of companies of all sizes, from multinational companies to start-ups and mom and pop businesses. She currently works as the Marketing & Advertising Manager on web usability, social media optimization and advertising for the Ark Valley Voice.
When she’s not optimizing the online space for companies, Michelle keeps busy traveling with her husband and her two dogs and as a silversmith, designing jewelry for her growing jewelry design company.
Becky Osterwald, Copy Editor