Editor / Publisher
Terri Wiebold holds Business and Marketing Communications degrees from California State University, Chico and spent six years as a police officer and fire fighter in California before moving to Colorado in 1998 with husband of 23 years, Bob. Terri has spent the past 19 years as a stay-at-home mom, raising her son Brett (19) and daughter Taylor (16). A resident of Parker, Terri has worked in the Castle Pines community for more than a decade and feels like it is her home away from home. She is a strong advocate for local business and is a former member of the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce board of directors, as well as a member of the Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Lone Tree and Parker chambers of commerce. When not sharing "a little good news" through The Connection community newspaper, Terri enjoys yoga, going to movies, traveling with her family and taking her dog Buddy on nature walks.
Elise Brassell has lived in Colorado for nearly 30 years, relocating from Western New York. After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University, Elise began her career in public relations. Throughout her career, she has served Colorado’s high-tech industry as a trusted resource to translate subject matter expertise into compelling stories for media, customers, prospects and employees. Elise moved to Castle Pines with her family in the fall of 2017 where they enjoy hiking and watching Broncos football.
Lisa Crockett has worked in journalism and public relations for two decades, though she knew from a young age that writing was what she wanted to do with her life. In high school during the late 1980s, she was an editor at the school paper and also worked as a reporter at her college paper. Prior to working with The Connection, Lisa worked mostly for nonprofit organizations involved in religious and philanthropic endeavors. Lisa is The Connection's foodie and can be found in her kitchen trying out new recipes or cooking techniques to interest our readers. This year, Lisa embarked on a new endeavor pursuing a master's degree in English education so she can share her love of the written word with a new generation of writers.
Writer / Proofreader
Kathy Fallert is a nineteen year resident of Castle Pines and is originally from Southern California. Kathy graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor of architecture degree and went on to graduate from UCLA with a master's degree in Architectural History. She moved to Colorado in 1997. Kathy set aside her architectural career when her first child was born in 1999. Now, along with husband Mitch, daughter Michelle Dunker (18) and son Kyle Dunker (11), the family enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping, skiing, or just hanging out at the pool with friends. Kathy also enjoys photography, traveling, cooking, staying busy with her kids' activities, and, of course, writing for The Connection. Kathy has two cats named Zoey and Tigger and two Labradors named Sadie and Tebow; and yes, he was named after Tim Tebow. Go Broncos!
Advertising Account Manager
Sandy Gamble is a wife, mother, and friend to all. She is a 25-year resident of Castle Pines and brings her much appreciated skills (way too many to mention) to The Connection. She enjoys her post as an account manager selling retail advertising. "I just love it; I absolutely enjoy the time I can spend with my clients and I'm proud to represent such a worthwhile publication. It adds so much to our little neck of the woods and I find myself smiling every time I read it. If you want to connect your business with this market, I hope to see you soon."
Graphics Guru / Webmaster
Tim Gamble is a 25-year resident of Castle Pines, full-time father to Jeremy, and husband to Sandy. He is a part-time photographer, webmaster, graphic designer, ad writer, and digital artist. Tim comes to us from the retail industry with a 25-year marketing career at a large national furniture chain. His award-winning expertise in Adobe Photoshop is truly remarkable. Tim is currently utilizing his "jack-of-all-trades" talents at The Connection as an assistant to the publisher, tackling the variety of endless tasks that present themselves in the day-to-day business of successfully running the local publication. Tim has a simple business philosophy: "What do we need?" followed by "OK, we can do that."
A native of Westchester County, New York, Joe has been happily ensconced in Colorado with Barb and family since the Red Miller days. Joe’s CV includes a B.S. from Cornell University, and eight years military service as captain of artillery and military intelligence. Joe made a second career as an accountant in the pharmaceutical industry rising to treasurer of a public company and later, owner of several local businesses and then, his own forensic accounting firm Consortium Three in 1987. Joe has an unquenchable thirst for travel and is an unabashed serial traveler, until the money runs out. He is committed to community service at all levels and holds several positions within Castle Pines Village. Joe created the now popular “Wildcat Lore” segment and also stokes travel passion through the “Travel Monocle.” Joe and Barb celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018.
Nancy Koontz has been a freelance feature writer interviewing well-known Colorado leaders and celebrities since 2004. Nancy also had her own column, known as "Have You Heard?" for Blacktie-Colorado sharing nonprofit news in the Denver community for several years. Nancy came back to her love for writing after 15 years of service as the event manager for the Janus Funds, a Denver-based mutual fund company. Complementing her 30+ years of professional work experience is her commitment to the community by serving on a variety of nonprofit boards. Nancy's academic background includes post-graduate coursework at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado as well as numerous accreditations and certifications in the special events industry. Nancy is married to Bob Koontz, a real estate developer and partner with Kelmore Development. Together they have three children who have blessed them with four grandchildren. Most of their weekends are filled with family activities and getting together with friends throughout Colorado.
A Colorado native, Susan Helton has lived in Castle Pines since 1999. She shares her home with her husband of nearly 25 years, their daughters, her mother and a manx-mix cat. Susan holds a master’s degree in Technical Communication from the University of Colorado at Denver. She loves to write and has written materials ranging from corporate classes and software users’ guides to a homeschool group’s handbooks and co-op class catalogs. For fun, Susan loves to spend time with family and friends, play games, camp and hike in the mountains, craft, read and, of course, write.
Before moving to Highlands Ranch, Heidi Lewellyn was a resident of Castle Pines North for more than 22 years. Heidi obtained a bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Marketing from University of Houston and also completed pre-med at the University of Colorado/Denver. Immediately after college graduation, she was fortunate to earn a position with an upstart cable television programming company, and she remains in this industry today. For the last 11 years she has worked in advanced advertising in the corporate headquarters of a large cable television company. Heidi has a teenage son and enjoys traveling to warm weather destinations and scuba diving.
Originally from North Dakota, Julie has lived in Colorado for 30+ years and is currently a resident of Castle Pines. The community of Castle Pines brings Julie the warmth and feel of her small town Dakota roots. Julie has 13 years’ experience in the telecomm industry where she wrote and implemented numerous training programs for specialized sales teams. She loves family get aways, exploring and game nights with her husband Robert and son Garrett. When she is not journaling or writing about current school events, Julie enjoys hiking, fitness, crafting and a good movie.
Celeste cultivated a love of stories and storytelling as a child from her grandfather. She is passionate about the empowerment of a personal story and recognizes stories in the mundane details of ordinary lives and ordinary people. A Colorado native, Celeste and her husband Travis (also a Colorado native) have lived in Castle Pines since 2004. She graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Communication and has since devoted her time to raising their four active children. Celeste is deep in the trenches of both motherhood and academia. Currently she is a MA candidate in Professional Creative Writing at the University of Denver. When not writing, Celeste enjoys adventuring with her family, reading, hiking, researching family history or sewing.
Amanda Merriman joined The Connection in 2015, bringing a lifelong love of writing to fruition. Happily, she was able to support her bookish habits with the creation of the “Bibliophiliac’s Corner” segment. Amanda also keeps readers current on all the latest apps with her “What’s Your APPtitude” feature. When not writing for The Connection, Amanda works as a public health nurse and is committed to promoting health and wellness by belonging to various community organizations. She enjoys the great outdoors plans on qualifying for the Boston Marathon some day. Most of all, Amanda likes to spend as much time as possible with her husband, three children and BRD (best running dog) Molly.
Barbara has enjoyed 23 years total as a Colorado resident. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and spent most of her childhood and early adulthood in Little Rock, Arkansas, allowing for a keen understanding of the culture of the Deep South, a land of contradictions and storytellers. Barbara also lived a decade and a half in Southern California. She writes of what she observes and loves about Douglas County, this wonderful place she is proud to call home.
Lisa Nicklanovich moved to Castle Pines from Northern California in 2010 with her husband Steve, and two children Andrew (22) and Natalie (19). Lisa grew up in a small seaside town on Long Island, New York, then migrated west for college, graduating from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She worked in the Bay Area in advertising, marketing, and training in both the corporate world as well as the wine and food industry. She owned a memory-book design business and assisted with editing a cookbook and a photography newsletter before making the move to Colorado. Lisa and Steve are empty nesters, with both children attending CU Boulder. In addition to writing for The Connection, Lisa enjoys working part-time at The Container Store, walking her rescue dog, Roxie, and traveling as much as possible.
Krysta Parr is a freelance graphic designer originally from northern California who moved to Centennial (then it was Englewood) in 1997. A graduate from Colorado State University with a bachelor of Fine Arts degree with concentration in graphic design, Krysta's had a variety of jobs. During her summers between college, Krysta worked with the Castle Pines Metropolitan District as a maintenance seasonal employee, mowing lawns and painting the street signs. She has an appreciation for the uniqueness and beauty of Castle Pines and is happy to be working in the community again. An avid snowboarder, Krysta worked for a few months in Beaver Creek at the ski resort. In her free time, she enjoys attending rock concerts, weight lifting, trying new craft beers, and taking her dog Buddha on walks.
Dr. Michelle Post, SMS
Dr. Michelle Post is a driven, passionate and experienced leader, teacher, social media strategist, connector and national and international speaker. Her desire to connect and inspire throughout more than three decades of career translates into her ongoing effort to help the development of ideas, people, content, and learning. Her passion is to help others to learn how to release their internal gifts for personal and professional success. She believes every person’s life matters and what they do matters too. In addition, every individual has a story that needs to be shared, and The Connection is lucky to have her on their team.
Liz Rector was born in Colorado and recently returned after living in Pennsylvania and Texas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in art from Texas Christian University. She first explored her passion for journalism when she founded her high school newspaper. In college, she sharpened her skills as a staff member of TCU’s paper, and then as creative director of a literary magazine. After college, Liz worked for three years as a head copywriter before moving into teaching. A certified English and art teacher, she looks forward to becoming deeply engrained in the Castle Pines community. You can typically find Liz walking her dog Parker, hitting the golf courses, feeding her coffee addiction, working on her novel or creating art.
Marla Silverman joined The Connection as a proofreader in November 2017. Originally from NJ and NY, Marla spent 21 years in beautiful Bucks County, PA, before relocating to Castle Pines in 2015. She holds a BS in Psychology and a minor in Educational Psychology from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Marla has worked in advertising, residential real estate and more recently, as an administrator at a preschool. When not volunteering
at SkyRidge Medical Center, Marla can be found biking with her husband,Howard and son, Jared (21). Marla also enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, theater, photography, taking her dog, Arlo, to the dog park and enjoying all of the beauty that Colorado has to offer.
Graphic Designer / Writer / Distribution
Patte Smith is a free-lance graphic artist and writer. A Colorado native and Surrey Ridge resident, she is a nature enthusiast and enjoys spending time camping, hiking, and riding her ATV in the back country. Woodworking and designing with reclaimed wood are at the top of Patte's list of fun things to do. After working for many years in corporate marketing departments, Patte now feels lucky enough to pursue free-lance work while spending the majority of her time raising her grandsons, writing, designing, traveling and enjoying each beautiful Colorado day. Patte's contributions to The Connection include writing, graphic design of ads, fixing up all the great photos, and most recently, working on the website.
Catalin is a Colorado native, a college student studying health coaching, and an all around bubbly spirit. Her love of journalism took flight during her freshman year of high school when she published her teen focussed, female-empowerment magazine, “The Smile in You.” Since then, Catalin has continued to write about her life experiences on her personal blog, and is excited to bring a young, fresh vision to The Connection. Outside of writing, Catalin is a professional dancer focussing in contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and Argentine tango. And when she’s not writing or dancing, Catalin would never pass up on a good book, some dark chocolate or a really fun adventure.
Elizabeth Wood West
Sales Manager / Writer
Elizabeth Wood West joined The Connection in 2009 as a staff writer and is now the advertising sales manager. She holds a degree in Interior Design and previously owned her own design firm; she also has an extensive business and legal background. Elizabeth grew up in Douglas County and has been involved in the community for many years. She and her family reside in Happy Canyon and enjoy hiking in the the outdoor beauty of Colorado, vacations to Florida's Gulf Coast, classic movies, and are active members of their church.
Steve and his amazing wife Kim live in the Sapphire Pointe community with their two dogs, Scout and Kandy. Steve has a degree in Philosophy of Religion and works for a local church overseeing community groups. He is one of Amazon’s top book reviewers and he writes poetry in the French form of the villanelle and can’t seem to stop writing them. He is an accomplished chess player and experiences the outdoors through skiing and hiking. Steve and Kim are devoted travelers, with regular visits to Europe, the Caribbean and Israel.
Daniel Williams is an award-winning writer, journalist and business editor with extensive experience in print and digital media. His investigative pieces on Alzheimer’s and Elder Financial Fraud won him the Folio Award for best feature writing in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and his profile of TV star Vicki Gunvalson was a Folio finalist in 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, an MBA, and a master’s degree in Environmental Management, all from Samford University. After a short stint as a marketing analyst in the corporate world, Daniel launched his writing career as a film critic, covering the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy Awards, and interviewing luminaries such as Willie Nelson, Kevin Bacon and Oscar winner Louise Fletcher. A native of the Deep South, Daniel relocated from Los Angeles to Castle Pines with his wife and daughter in 2008. He is a hospice care volunteer and works on a variety of projects that study aging in America.
Advertising Account Manager / Photographer / Writer
Lynn Zahorik has lived in Castle Pines for 17 years with her husband Steve and their three children Zach, Luke and Claire. Originally from Indiana, Lynn is proud to be a Hoosier. She graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor of arts degree in Telecommunications, Marketing and Political Science. Lynn has worked in advertising and marketing for 20 + years at the Arthritis Foundation, radio stations in Michigan, Indiana and California, and car companies Mazda and Mitsubishi. Lynn has been an avid photographer since high school and is proud to contribute her photographs to The Connection. She is an active volunteer at Rock Canyon High School and the Dumb Friends League. Lynn enjoys music, tennis and yoga, and loves to travel and explore new places. On most days you can catch Lynn starting or ending her day walking her rescue dog, Marco in Castle Pines.