Yolanda Thornton, Founder and CEO
Yolanda Thornton founded Moongate Inc., a custom content, branding and strategic communications company in 2009. Her experience spans over 30 years in the communications industry, and roles with national consumer lifestyle magazines and broadcast sales including 14 years as the Director of Advertising Sales and Marketing at Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine. Yolanda has a deep understanding of how organizations, business sectors and Canadians get their information, entertainment and engage socially. She’s well versed in developing traditional and online communications strategies, magazines and content to create audience engagement, community involvement and loyalty.
Jacquie Court, Strategy & Communication Development
Jacquie is a seasoned digital content strategist, storyteller, creator and producer with over 20 years in the advertising, public relations and social media industry. She is able to combine her experience in creative, research and strategy to create content that captures attention, evokes conversation and increases share of voice. Her writing and strategic experience includes work on brands such as Beauti-Tone, Aveeno, J&J, BMW, Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Mattel, Scotiabank, Canadian Tourism Commission, Home Hardware and Subaru to name a few. Her strategic approach to content has helped brands increase their scope of reach to include Millennials and Gen-xers. Jacquie’s’ work as social media content creator for the Canadian Tourism Commission’s NYC Summer campaign in partnership with NBC won a 2013 HSMAI Gold Adrian Award. She has worked at the Account Director and Content Director level for several advertising agencies such as john st, FCB Canada, DDB Canada, Bensimon Byrne and Cundari. Jacquie has recently created digital and video content for Princess Margaret Hospital, Tower Solutions, Beauti-Tone/Home Hardware, Toronto Rehab Institute and GIVEX. Her previous work with agencies helped them to amplify campaign creative across multiple platforms. She has created social media copy, content, podcasts and videos for both large and small businesses.
Jules Torti, Editor-in-Chief
Jules Torti’s resume reads more like a well-folded treasure map. She has been a canoe outtripper, outdoor educator, colouring book illustrator and freelancer. Jules has volunteered (and eaten all sorts of questionable things) in the soupy jungles of Costa Rica, Uganda and the Congo. Her work has been published in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe & Mail,travelife, Canadian Running and Coast Mountain Culture. She writes about books, birds, burgers and beer (in no particular order) across the latitudes from Zanzibar to Iceland. She has been known to slam on the brakes for photo ops of saltbox houses, saddle roof barns, snowy owls and sunflower fields. As editor-in-chief of Harrowsmith she is thrilled to be able to curate, write and read about the very best things in life from her lakeside house on the 45th parallel in Lion’s Head, Ontario. Her memoir, Free to a Good Home, will be published by Caitlin Press in Spring 2019.
Catalina Margulis, Editor, Online Editions
An editor with 15-plus years in the publishing business, Catalina Margulis’ byline spans travel, food, decor, parenting, fashion, beauty, health and business. A former Elle Canada and Flare editor, she offers editorial consulting to her corporate clients and writes for The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Parents Canada, among others. When she’s not chasing after her three young children, she can be found painting her home, taming her garden and baking muffins. She hopes to write a book about it all one day.
Meredith MacKinlay, Creative Director
Meredith has designed and consulted for some of Canada’s most recognized corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Following her tenure with top branding firms in Toronto and Vancouver, she founded Egg Design in 1998. Meredith’s collaborative approach to the creative process and reputation for refreshing solutions has earned her accolades, including several national and international awards.
Cheryl Pauchuk, National Accounts Manager
Cheryl Pauchuk has been involved in the sales and marketing industry for over 30 years. Her diverse portfolio showcases successful partnerships with advertising agencies, media clients and promotion sales. In the last 10 years, she has worked predominantly with the LCBO, focusing on ad campaigns and promotions for Food & Drink magazine. Her adaptation and flexibility in working with a wide variety of clients continue to refine her ability to create clever and strategic cross-platform campaigns. Cheryl has tremendous enthusiasm and a passion for people which explains her greatest success: building relationships, partnerships, brands and integrated programs.
John Simmons, National Accounts Manager
John Simmons is an experienced, knowledgeable sales and marketing professional with an extensive background in print, digital, online and event marketing. Having worked both sides of the marketing desk enables John to understand and empathize with marketers. As a strategic thinker and objective observer, he has the unique ability to listen, understand and discover client needs and recommend strategic well considered solutions.
John’s past successes include Sales Management with the Globe and Mail, Publisher/Owner of Canada’s top ranked pet magazine and most recently as Regional Manager for a leading American Publisher. John credits his friendly, confident demeanour and enthusiastic approach to business as keys to building trusted relationships.
Life balance is important to John, his wife Linda and their four children. When not enjoying long work days or quality time with family, John finds value in volunteerism.
Cheryl Carter, Editor, Marketing, Promotions
Cheryl is an award-winning copywriter who has spent more than 20 years helping some of Canada’s most well-known brands communicate their messages effectively. A versatile content specialist who writes for virtually every medium and format, her specialty is distilling complex information into communications that are reader-friendly and actionable. Cheryl’s early career in publishing was followed by several years as an Account Director at a Toronto marketing agency. When she’s not busy writing or reading, she can often be found dockside in Muskoka or slope-side in Whistler.
Rebecca Meïr-Liebman, Editor, Sommelier Wine Writer
With over a decade of experience in some of Canada’s top dining rooms – Canoe, Luma, and Maple Leafs Sport & Entertainment – Rebecca, continues to hone and broaden her keen palate. Satisfying her thirst for wine knowledge is a never-ending quest, and that’s a good thing, as she’s frequently invited to wine regions around the world, to explore, taste and judge. Still, all roads lead her back home to Canada, one of her favourite wine regions. Along with partner, Chef Eyal Liebman, Rebecca is co-owner of Chef & Somm, Toronto’s only bespoke private dining and sommelier service. For more words of wine wisdom from Rebecca visit: www.chefsomm.ca.
Steve Maxwell, Editor, Home & Property
Steve Maxwell and his wife Mary live on a 90-acre modern homestead on Manitoulin Island, Ontario in a stone house they built with local materials beginning in 1985. Steve is Canada’s longest-running home improvement and how-to columnist. He divides his time working on the land, building things large and small, and creating articles and how-to videos that teach sustainable, self-reliant, hands-on living skills. Steve’s BaileyLineRoad.com website is named after the rural road where he and Mary live with their five kids.
Wayne MacPhail, Podcast Specialist
Wayne is a digital strategist with extensive experience in traditional, online and communication strategy development. He has assisted clients like Random House (where he helped establish digital outreach programs), the Association of Science and Technology Centers, McMaster Family Medicine, rabble.ca, University of Toronto, Engineering reimagine their communications strategies for an emerging media landscape and new audiences. Wayne brings three decades of rich media content creation, a background in journalism and the ability to creatively understand brand and messaging and create new platforms and opportunities for Moongate’s clients. He has taught and developed online content creation and communications for a variety of colleges and universities in Ontario.
Mark Cullen, Gardening Editor
Canada’s best known gardener, connecting with over one million Canadians weekly through various media outlets. Whether it is through his many online posting, numerous books or as our very own gardening editor, his personable style and great tips have captivated audiences and continue to garner his fans across Canada. He is also an Order of Canada recipient. Mark lives in his environmentally friendly dream home, where he enjoys his 10-acre garden and spending time with his wife and four children.
Signe Langford, Food Editor
From Hudson, Quebec, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories, creates delicious recipes, and published her award-winning book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015. Her work as a chef has garnered excellent reviews and four star ratings. She studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto, and York University, graduated with honours from OCAD University, and earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College. Signe shares her Port Hope, Ontario, Victorian home with a menagerie of rescued critters and backyard hens. For more stories and recipes please visit www.signelangford.com.
Mark Sirois, Meteorologist
Mark’s passion for meteorology started at the age of 15, and for the past 27 years he has fine-tuned his multi-faceted approach to long-range forecasting. Since 2007 he has covered severe and long-range forecasts through the Severe Weather Network. Mark’s forecast predictions have won him respect in many circles including hobby gardeners, farmers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Robert Dick, Astronomy Editor
One of Canada’s foremost writers and educators on astronomical topics, the Almanac has benefitted from Robert’s expertise since its inception. Robert was recently invited by the Canadian Space Agency to be the astronomy instructor to our astronauts, and he ensures that our section on the tides, sunrise and sunset, stargazing, and celestial events is so detailed and extensive it is almost like its own almanac.
Jennifer Krissilas, Copy Editor
Jennifer is obsessed with details, so it’s no wonder she has spent 14 years copy editing Canadian publications, including a decade-long tenure as copy chief for Style at Home magazine. But commas and semicolons aren’t her only interests: the outdoor adventuress is equally at home trekking the Camino de Santiago in Spain or cycling solo across Ontario as she is tending her wee balcony garden in Toronto. She brings her specialty in home and garden, travel, lifestyle and all things Toronto to her work.
David Burman, WCAG Standards Specialist for Electronic Accessibility
David Berman’s accolades run as long as the mighty Mackenzie River. Armoured with over 30 years of experience in design and communications, he is a career shapeshifter. His professional work has brought him to over 50 countries as an expert, speaker, designer and communications strategist. He has been a High Level Advisor to the United Nations and provided training in AODA Pac 2.0 tagging and accessibility to various federal government departments as well as governing bodies in Australia, Bahrain, British Columbia, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Manitoba, Mexico, Norway, and Oman.
He served as the first elected president of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario. In November 2005, David was elected to the board of Icograda (now ico-D), the world body for graphic design and visual communications, and was re-elected twice. Since 2011 he serves as Sustainability Chair. David is also an Invited Expert to the W3C, the publishers of the WCAG standard for e-accessibility.
His clients include BMO, IBM, Honda, the International Space Station, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the World Bank, Sierra Club and the Aga Khan Foundation. David’s work includes award-winning projects in the application of plain language, typeface design, and the development of a system to republish the laws of Canada in plain writing and design.
Jay Santerre, Photographer
Formerly a contributing editor at Harrowsmith Country Life for over 14 years, Jay has worked on every edition of the Almanac since its inception in 2008. A talented photographer, skilled wordsmith and proud dad, Jay can write on any subject that you can name, a skill that comes in handy at his full-time gig as editor of Montréal enSanté magazine.
Claire Dam, Photographer
Claire Dam is a professional photographer from Hamilton, Ontario, specializing in food and lifestyle.
Her work has been featured in a variety of publications; most recently in the cookbook Debauch, for the Other Bird group of restaurants.
Claire and her husband live on a 17-acre, multi-generational, permaculture farm where they raise a variety of animals and work to nurture the connection between their land, their food and their community.
Diana McLeod, Circulation Manager
Diana oversees magazine subscriptions, online sales, database management and customer service. She brings with her more than 30 years experience in direct sales and customer service, including roles as General Office Manager of Multilin Canada and Creative Marketing Consultant to C29, a division of Elizabeth Grant.
Scott Bullock, Newsstand and Retail Sales Consultant
Scott is a veteran circulation expert with experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal, and has been the circulation director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art among others. Scott has a deep understanding of the unique pressures on publishers transitioning to online platforms, and has been instrumental in bringing all of our titles online.
Teresa Martin, Executive Assistant
Teresa brings more than 30 years of administration, media and client service experience working with entrepreneurs, small businesses like Harrowsmith Magazine, and Bowen College. Her attention to detail, makes her ideal for executing tasks that have several moving parts accurately and on time. Teresa also serves as project manager and coordinator for Harrowsmith’s website, the magazine and newsletter. This includes communicating with clients regarding creative material for upcoming issues and processing insertion orders and advertising contracts. She is well versed in all Microsoft Suites and works with the Moongate sales team to effectively deliver professional PowerPoint presentations and documents. Clients find her organized, efficient and super‐friendly.