Michel Lavigne

Michel Lavigne is the Publisher and founder of The Valley Gazette. He was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario. His first stint in the newspaper industry was 40 years ago, when he delivered "The Nugget" newspaper to households all over the city. Michel came to Barry's Bay 13 years ago for a change of pace, and he held various jobs throughout the years. In 2010, however, he decided to start up a weekly community newspaper for the Madawaska Valley, reflecting his strong support for the Township and its neighbours. His hobbies include golfing, woodworking and fishing.

Rachel Etmanskie

The Gazette is proud to announce, Rachel Etmanskie as the newspaper’s new production manager.

Etmanskie has about 20 plus years experience in the newspaper industry. She studied graphic design at St. Lawrence College and has worked for Barry’s Bay This Week and The Bancroft Times.

“I’m glad to be back home and working in the area,” Etmanskie said. “And I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

The Gazette’s new production manager loves being challenged. Whether it’s in regards to design ideas, brochures or business cards, she’s up to the task, she says and excited about her new venture at The Valley Gazette.

Etmanskie has also over the last 20 years taken home several awards for design layouts and advertisements designs from the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA). 

“I love being creative,” she said.

So, whether you catch Etmanskie on the golf course this summer or in the office, she extends an invitation to all community members to contact her in regards to any potential projects or advertisements.

For any further inquiries, please email rachel@thevalleygazette.ca or give the office a call at 613-756-0256. 

Christine Hudder

Christine Hudder was born at St. Francis Memorial Hospital and raised in Barry's Bay where she attended Sherwood Public School and later Madawaska Valley District High School. After graduating from Canadore College's three-year journalism program in 2009, she headed out west for a reporting position at a radio station and online newspaper. Wanting to return to her roots, Christine came back to the area to work at the Valley Gazette as a reporter in May 2010. In her spare time, Christine enjoys photography, writing, reading and travelling with her husband Benton Hudder.

Ben Filipkowski

I think, in hindsight, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve been fascinated by stories since an early age, and considering I studied English literature and world history in university, I think it’s safe to say that fascination has stayed with me. When I finished my university education last summer, I came out to Barry’s Bay (where my parents had been for a few years already) to figure out the next step in life. I took a few courses at Algonquin College following a disappointing job hunt, and started my search once more in December. Journalism itself is something I’ve recently fallen into, almost by accident, but as far as accidents go, it’s the best one I’ve been involved in. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work at the Valley Gazette, and I’m eager to work with the team to bring stories from the region to you. I want to write stories that matter and stories that you want to read. I can be reached by phone at 613-756-0256 and by email ben@thevalleygazette.ca

Lorielee Shulist

Lorielee Shulist is the Gazette’s part-time office receptionist. She will be responsible for taking classified ads and directing customer inquiries. She is the daughter of Vic Shulist who was the clerk/treasurer for the Village of Barry’s Bay from 1967 to 1987. In the early 1980s, Lorielee started working for her father at V&J Shulist Accounting Service. She took an income tax course in 1984 and worked under the guidance of her sister, Dolores. “It was very intimidating at the beginning,” Lorielee said. “I really didn’t think I would still be doing this.” Technology has come a long way, as Lorielee remembers completing tax returns with a pencil and an adding machine. Her brother, Victor, introduced the business to computers and E-File, a software program that would make filing more efficient. “I feared the computer and didn’t want to change,” Lorie recalled with a laugh. However, the business adapted and thrived under the new technology. Vic passed away in March 14, 1998. In 2009, Lorielee wanted to branch out and start her own business, so Lorielee’s Tax Service was born. It was a learning curve, but her clients helped her with the transition. “In order to be good at what you do, you need to treat people the way you would like to be treated,” she said. “Word of mouth goes a long way.” Tax season, which runs from February until the end of April, is a full-time job for Lorielee. She will continue operating her business in 2015. However, she wanted a way to stay busy for the remaining months of the year. When the receptionist position opened up at The Valley Gazette, Lorielee jumped at the opportunity. “It was a perfect fit for me,” she said. “I like working for a local community newspaper and reconnecting with the familiar faces that come into the office.” On her time off, Lorielee enjoys horseback riding and spending the day by the lake.

Barb Caron

Helen Trader

Jen Juhasz