Meet the Team
William M. Macfadyen, founder, publisher and partner
Bill Macfadyen is the founder and publisher of Noozhawk.com, Santa Barbara’s freshest news and information source — and its only 24/7 professional news site. Commanding a staff of seven full-time professional journalists, two full-time sales representatives and an army of community contributors, he’s on a quest to figure out how to make online local news viable and sustainable.
He was the co-founder and editor and publisher of the South Coast Beacon, a weekly community newspaper that made its debut in 2002, won the California Newspaper Publishers Association General Excellence Award the following year and went bust in 2005. Not having the sense to get a real job, he turned his attention to the Internet, where the overhead is lower and the optimism knows no boundaries.
Bill moonlights as a board member of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, Santa Barbara Partners in Education, Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Santa Barbara High School’s Multimedia Arts & Design Academy and the Westmont College Foundation. He’s also a member of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse’s Fighting Back Steering Committee.
He has served as senior warden at All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, was recently elected to a second term as a Vestry member and is a past board member of All Saints Parish School. He’s also a past member of the statewide organizing committee of Common Sense California, which is now part of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.
In 2008, Bill was named Entrepreneur of the Year by both the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara Technology & Industry Association. In 2012, he received the national Journalism Education Association’s Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award in recognition of Noozhawk’s work with The Charger Account, the student news website at Dos Pueblos High School. He and Noozhawk are founding members of the Local Independent Online News Publishers Assocation (LION).
He was a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow (Class of 2011) at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, and was the architect of Prescription for Abuse, a six-month Noozhawk team project exploring the misuse and abuse of prescription medications in Santa Barbara County.
Bill and his wife, Missy, live in Montecito with their beloved Alaskan malamute, Riley. They have three grown children, all of whom have worked for Noozhawk.
Tom Bolton, executive editor and partner
Award-winning journalist Tom Bolton joined Noozhawk as executive editor after more than 20 years of guiding newsroom operations for newspapers at each end of Santa Barbara County.
From 2003 to early 2012, he served as vice president of news for Lee Central Coast Newspapers, leading the Santa Maria Times and supervising the Lompoc Record, the Santa Ynez Valley News and other local Lee publications.
He previously served as publisher and editor of the weekly South Coast Beacon, which he helped establish, and as executive editor and managing editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press, where he spent much of his career prior to its sale by The New York Times. He also has worked for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo County and as a private consultant.
Tom has a reputation throughout the region as a tough but fair editor, whose staffs consistently generate top-notch news coverage — in print and online. He has guided scores of investigative and in-depth projects on topics as varied as homelessness, wildfires, affordable housing, youth violence, earthquake risks, and the future of agriculture. Many of these projects have won awards at the state and national level.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Santa Barbara, where he was editor in chief of The Daily Nexus student newspaper. He is a past board member of the California Society of Newspaper Editors, and also has been affiliated with the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the California Chicano News Media Association and other national media organizations.
Tom and his wife, Joan, live in Goleta, and have two grown children.
Kim Clark, vice president of business development and partner
Kim Clark is a proven sales and marketing leader with the ability to cultivate and build strong business relationships. She possesses more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the Santa Barbara community, and received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UCSB.
Before joining Noozhawk, she was division director for Office Team, a subsidiary of Robert Half International, and led her staff to be the top-producing team in the region. She previously was sales and marketing director at the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce and spent 14 years at the Santa Barbara News-Press, developing the company’s New Media Department in the 1990s and serving as online sales manager before leaving in the mid-2000s.
Michelle Nelson, managing editor
Michelle Nelson joined the Noozhawk nest in April 2008. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She previously worked as a copy editor for The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, Ore., a position she held for more than 10 years. Michelle and her husband, Pete, have two sons, Garrhett and Blake.
Giana Magnoli, news editor
Giana Magnoli came to Noozhawk right after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a journalism degree. After working at the Mustang Daily for three years and interning at the Pacific Coast Business Times, she decided to jump aboard the enterprising online news train and moved down to Santa Barbara. She’s a general assignment reporter and photographer who wishes more work could be done outside. She has been selected as a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow (Class of 2013) at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
Janene Scully, North County editor
Janene Scully joined the Noozhawk team in 2014 after working for the Santa Maria Times and its affiliated newspapers in northern Santa Barbara County for 23 years. Most recently she served as associate editor of the Times and managing editor of the Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News. An award-winning journalist, she grew up in San Luis Obispo County and earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Fresno State University.
Lara Cooper, reporter
Lara Cooper came to Noozhawk after covering Goleta with the Valley Voice for two years. She’s been a news junkie since her early teens when she began working for the Tulsa World, her hometown newspaper in Oklahoma, typing up weather forecasts and obituaries. After earning a photojournalism degree from Western Kentucky University, Lara packed up all of her earthly possessions, her camera and her cats and moved out West to Santa Barbara. She’s a general assignment reporter and photographer, and in 2013 was awarded a California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
Gina Potthoff, reporter
Gina Potthoff came to Noozhawk after covering education and breaking news in northern Santa Barbara County for a year and a half at the Santa Maria Times. An Ohio native, she worked four years at the daily Bowling Green State University newspaper, and eight months in an extended internship at the Columbus Dispatch before deciding to move where year-round sunshine is considered a normal thing. Gina is a general assignment reporter and photographer.
Joshua Molina, reporter
Joshua Molina is an award-winning journalist who joined the Noozhawk team in 2014. He previously covered City Hall for the San Jose Mercury News, and worked as a reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press. When he's not covering the news, Molina loves coaching his son in youth sports. He lives in Goleta with his wife Dina and two children. Joshua is a general assignment reporter and photographer.
Doreen Stevenson, online media consultant
Doreen Stevenson flew into the coop in 2014, and brings to Noozhawk years of experience in sales and marketing with an emphasis in advertising. A native Californian, she has a heart for the least and the lost. She enjoys helping people, whether it’s feeding the homeless, visiting with the elderly, or assisting businesses in achieving their sales goals. Doreen has two grown children and a four-legged companion, Daisy, who vies for her time and attention when she’s not golfing. Doreen was once Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fun, Fearless Female for riding a 250cc motorcycle in the Baja 1000. She’s just as brave in the New Media arena.
Laura Bolton, creative services lead designer
Laura Bolton joined the Noozhawk team in December 2012 with a strong background in art and architecture and a passion for all things design. A Santa Barbara native, Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree from UCLA. She currently telecommutes to the nest from North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, a captain in the U.S. Army, and their puppy, Mack.
Frankie Victoria, marketing assistant
Frankie Victoria joined the Noozhawk nest as a fresh graduate from the University of San Diego, where she was heavily involved in content writing and social media marketing for the USD Women’s Center. She is grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her hometown after spending four years away, and is excited to contribute her writing, marketing and social media skills to Noozhawk.
Will Macfadyen, development and special projects manager
Melissa Walker, iSociety columnist
Melissa Walker is Noozhawk’s iSociety columnist, a contributing writer and a photographer, and her favorite assignments are nonprofit events and covering local people in the community. Originally from Lake Tahoe, she worked for The Presidio Trust in San Francisco, where she helped create the first sustainable national park while developing a passion for writing with articles for The Presidio Post. She is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, did an internship at KEYT and created a public-service announcement for the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara on the Santa Barbara Channels. She now calls the American Riviera home and likes to run, surf, snow ski, write short stories and spend time with her cat, Java, and husband, Ron. In 2012, Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal appointed her to the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women.
Rochelle Rose, contributing writer
Rochelle Rose was a columnist for the Goleta Valley Voice and the Santa Barbara News-Press, covering nonprofit organizations, society events and Goleta news for 10 years. A UC Santa Barbara graduate, she has worked and volunteered for many community groups in the areas of affordable housing, health care, youth development, women in business, music and dance. Rochelle likes to go to the gym, movies and museums, and tries to keep up with her teenage children on Facebook.
Mike Eliason, contributing photographer
Mike Eliason is an award-winning photographer with more than 28 years of professional experience. A Santa Barbara-area native, Mike worked as a photographer for 25 years with the Santa Barbara News-Press, and for three years for the National Football League, and has photos hanging in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. He also teaches photojournalism at Santa Barbara City College, and works part time as a public education officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Larissa White, contributing videographer
Videographer and journalist Larissa White has worked in television production since 2006. Raised in Ventura, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Sports Management in the School of Kinesiology with an Emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. Larissa is a former director of video production for the UC Santa Barbara Athletics Department and hosted a 30-minute magazine show about Gaucho sports. In addition to working with Noozhawk, she’s a sideline reporter for ESPN3 and other national broadcasts, and is a videographer for the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team.
Reach Larissa at email@example.com
William Bermant, intern
William Bermant is an Honors student at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., and is studying Business Administration with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Global Business Management. He was CEO of his freshman class start-up business, BioGrounds, and will be a mentor for freshmen in their first-year entrepreneurship course in the fall. He has a Certificate of Bi-literacy for English and Spanish on his Dos Pueblos High School diploma. He skis black diamonds, rock climbs, plays and referees soccer, has a PADI Scuba Diver certification, and enjoys traveling abroad.
Reach William at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Moehlis, contributing writer
Jeff Moehlis is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara, and a self-proclaimed music fanatic who started writing concert reviews and previews for Noozhawk in the summer of 2008. He enjoys most genres of music, but his favorites are psychedelic rock, progressive rock, Krautrock and Old School punk rock. His Web site, music-illuminati.com, covers music in the Santa Barbara area and beyond, and includes extensive interviews with musicians and recommendations for upcoming local concerts.
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