Meet the Team
Brett Freeman is an award-winning journalist who founded Halston Media in 2010.
He was recognized in 2019 as Businessperson of the Year by the Somers Chamber of Commerce. He was recognized for leadership by the Somers Town Board and the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Brett has also received the Putnam Community Service Network’s Award for Excellence in Communications, the Somers Lions Club’s Robert J. Uplinger Distinguished Service Award, the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce Member Appreciation Award, and in his younger years was a 40-under-40 recipient of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, which later also awarded him as a community “Trailblazer.” Brett was also a co-recipient, along with his wife, of the “Community of Caring” Award from Community Cares in Mahopac.
Brett currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the New York Press Association, which was founded in 1853 and is respected as one of the oldest and most important journalism organizations in New York State and nationwide. Previously, he served on the boards of the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce, the Somers Chamber of Commerce, the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, and the Putnam Hospital Center Foundation. Brett is also a past member of the Lake Mahopac Rotary Club. Currently, Brett volunteers monthly with Hillside Food Outreach and is a member of Lakeview Community Church.
Brett has earned numerous journalism awards with the New York Press Association, including his latest First Place Award for Best Feature Story in Mahopac News. Brett is proud of his staff, who have won numerous top awards in journalism and design.
Brett earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University and a master’s degree in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. Brett would like to acknowledge his wife, Lauren, who is the Halston Media Director of Finance & Administration and has been by his side throughout the existence of Halston Media. Together, they have two children, Jenna and Jared.
Brett would also like to acknowledge his founding partners, Shelley Kilcoyne, and his father, Ken Freeman. Ken was instrumental in helping Brett get Halston Media off the ground, both in terms of sweat equity and generous financial support. He continues to serve as a business confidante and adviser to Brett.
Tabitha Pearson Marshall
Tabitha Pearson Marshall creates and oversees the design of Halston Media’s family of award-winning newspapers, including the advertising in each publication. She is also responsible for the look of all marketing and branding material. She is also well-known in the community for her photojournalism.
Tabby is also a member of the Lake Mahopac Rotary Club. Previously, she served as creative director for Madison Direct Marking and art director for Doubleday Book and Music Clubs. She has volunteered her time for many non-profits and charities in the community, including Putnam Arts Council, Community Cares of Putnam, and Freezin’ for a Reason.
“This is the kind of work I’ve always wanted to do… to ‘see my art in print,’” Tabby said. “Whether it’s good ad design, editorial design, photography, or guiding my crew to reach new levels of creativity and design for our newspapers, it’s a great feeling to see a well-designed product and know I had a hand in getting it there!
Paul Forhan has over 35 years of advertising experience at both the national and local levels.
“My advertising partners know how much I believe in the marketing products that I represent,” Paul said. “They know that I care greatly about the success of their business or organization. Long-term success is best achieved when you put the priorities of your advertising partner first, your company second and yourself third.”
Tom Walogorsky received his BA in English from Buffalo State College in 2008. Prior to working for Halston Media, he served as the editor for The Pawling Record, in Pawling, NY, for three years.
His strengths as an editor revolve around a fair and balanced approach to journalism and placing emphasis on the paper’s community involvement.
“I believe that every story has importance, and even the smallest news can sometimes lead to big things,” Tom said.
Lauren Freeman received her Bachelor of Business Administration from George Washington University with a concentration in marketing and human resources. She started her career in public relations and recruiting.
From there, I started working with my husband at Halston Media when our daughter was 3 months old. Watching this business grow from three people to where it is today has been the most amazing opportunity. Some may say working with your husband is a burden, but for me, it has been the best gift I didn’t know I was looking for.
Vim Wilkinson was a Broadcast and Cable Productions major and a Journalism minor from Western Michigan University. She was a pioneer on-air promotions producer with Measat Broadcasting, the first satellite and pay television in Malaysia. She created successful promotional campaigns for the clients. During that time, she won the TV3 (Malaysia) Best On-air Promo Award. She started her own TV production company in 2001, creating content in collaboration with local and international companies.
Vim joined Halston Media in 2021 to share her expertise and to serve and support her local and surrounding communities with a passion to help small businesses in our towns.
“My work philosophies are: Be different, make your work stand out, introduce something new while striking a balance between old and new, think outside the box, and if it works run with it,” Vim said. “If it fails, go back to the drawing board and come up with a new and improved plan.”
Bob Dumas is an award-winning journalist with four decades of experience working in everything from community journalism to trade publications. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from SUNY Oswego.
He began his career in 1983 with the Pawling News-Chronicle, where he started as a beat reporter and sportswriter before being promoted to managing editor. He worked in Los Angeles for nine years as a senior editor for Pool & Spa News, an international trade magazine for the swimming pool/backyard living industry, where he won the prestigious Maggie Award for Best Feature Article.
Coming back east in 2008, he was the deputy editor for the North County News in Yorktown and later served as a beat reporter for The Daily Voice in Lewisboro and Pound Ridge.
He joined Halston Media as a beat reporter in 2015 and was soon promoted to editor of Mahopac News, where he garnered numerous New York Press Association awards, including Best Columnist in 2018.
Dumas believes that a community newspaper needs to be a leading voice in its town and proactive whenever possible, where the editor is the face of the publication and must be accessible to the readers.
Bruce Heller earned his B.A. from the University of Rochester and his M.B.A. from the Zicklin School of Business (Baruch College). Bruce has 10 years of media planning experience; on the agency side with Grey Advertising and McCann-Erickson and the client-side with Time Warner Cable Media Direct. He also has over 10 years of sales experience at Cablevision and Halston Media.
“One of my biggest strengths is respect for others,” Bruce said. “Having been on the other side of the desk, I know what it’s like to have 40 media companies calling on you. I am diligent, on-time, detailed, analytical and I follow up. One of the things that differentiates me is that I put recommendations together as if it was my own money.” Having worked on multi-million-dollar accounts and $1,000 accounts, Bruce believes every dollar should work for the client.
“I know many clients are very busy and not able to spend the time needed on marketing,” he said. “I view my role as a marketing consultant, not as a vendor, and I am always trying to get feedback. I enjoy helping local companies grow their business.”
Bruce is currently a Somers Lion and has been on the Board of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, as well as a Trustee on The Somers Education Foundation and a member of The Somers Litter Force. He lives in Somers with his wife and 3 children (2 are in college). When not watching/stressing over the Yankees or Cowboys, he can be found jogging very slowly on the streets of Somers, watching several episodes of a great show on Hulu with his wife, or picking up his daughter from a friend’s house.
Jay Gussak graduated with a B.A. in Broadcast Communications from SUNY Oswego. He owned a print shop for 10 years after spending seven years in the field of broadcasting. He went back to the corporate USA to work in all forms of advertising – online, broadcast & print.
In his younger years, Jay won a national award in college for sports broadcasting and he became an Eagle Scout. Currently, he serves on the board of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce.
Lisa Kain graduated with a B.A in marketing from the University of Hartford. She has over 35 years of broadcast and print media sales/sales management experience – five years at WABC Talk Radio as local sales manager, 15 years in national cable advertising, including five years as General Sales Manager and National Sales Manager for the Northeast Division of Cox Communications. She also spent 14 years at North Jersey Media Group (NJMG), the largest publisher of community newspapers in New Jersey, and was singled out on the local sales team for turning a traditionally low-performing territory into one of the top revenue-producing areas for the company.
Carol Reif went to Syracuse University where she earned a journalism degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and won an award from the Frank E. Gannett Newspaper Foundation. One of her big scoops was mentioned in “Editor & Publisher,” a monthly trade magazine covering the newspaper industry. Carol has been with Halston Media since 2018. She started off as a freelancer and eventually became a full-time reporter and now managing editor.
In the prior 43 years, she had worked as a writer, editor, and photographer for community newspapers both big and small. Some have been digital-only, but the vast majority were real print publications.
“Yes, I am one of the last of the ink-stained wretches,” Carol said. “The very first daily – The Peekskill Evening Star — to employ me was still setting lead type by hand. So now you know how old I am.”
Carol’s longest tenure (28 years) was as a wire editor/copy editor/page designer with The Times Herald-Record across the Hudson River. In her 20s, she was a cub reporter and news editor with the now-defunct Patent Trader in Mount Kisco, reporting on some of the same towns she currently covers.
“It’s an irony that does not escape me,” she said. “But it’s also a privilege to be able to look back four decades and see what’s changed and what hasn’t.”
Carol has a word nerd’s devotion to language and the ability to write about anything but sports.
“Sports are definitely not in my wheelhouse. And math.”
She was an English major. She can tackle subjects about which she may know next to nothing and still be able to produce a story that not only informs and educates readers but also sparks their curiosity.
“I had two choices in life: become a teacher or become a reporter. To me, the careers are really one and the same,” she said. “It may sound super corny, but to me, journalism isn’t a job, it’s a calling. When I’m not writing (or reading), I’m thinking about writing (or reading).
Whit Anderson is a Magna Cum Laude Manhattan College graduate. He was a contributing writer to his school’s newspaper, The Quadrangle, and worked for various sports media outlets as an undergraduate. He is a hard worker, personable, and willing to take risks.
“I pride myself on journalistic integrity,” he said. “My work philosophy is bringing together the community one story at a time.”
Sophia Caselnova earned her B.A in English and Professional Writing, with a focus on journalism at Western Connecticut State University. She graduated in December 2021. While in school, she won awards for one of her senior theses and for her participation on campus. Prior to working with Halston Media, she worked at a small public relations and marketing firm as a junior account executive.
“A strength of mine is getting to know my beats,” she said. “Working in such great communities does not make that very hard to do, but building relationships with the people in the towns I cover is both enlightening and rewarding. I get to do my job and make wonderful connections simultaneously.”
Gino De Angelis
Gino De Angelis has his master’s degree in journalism from Emerson College and is also a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. He has previously worked at Prime Publishers at their weekly newspaper “Voices,” which covers a large swath of Western Connecticut. He also worked as the storytelling coordinator at Project Purple, a pancreatic cancer non-profit.
“I believe my biggest strength in journalism is making sure my stories are always to-the-point and get the reader the info they need first,” Gino said. “My job philosophy is to always use the same amount of effort throughout an entire project, from the preliminary reporting to the final editing phase.”
With a unique eye for design and a knack for digital creations, Noah Elder thrives as a graphic designer. When not at his computer creating pages, ads, or illustrations, Noah is traveling in his self-converted sprinter van looking for anything that involves adrenaline-boosting activities or good food. He spends his free time mountain biking, perfecting his cooking techniques, or finding a new extreme sport to try.