Meet our newsroom
SoCoNews.org is a new news organization, made up of the owners and staff of Sonoma West Publishers, which owns four legacy newspapers: The Healdsburg Tribune (founded 1865), Cloverdale Reveille (founded 1879), Sonoma West Times & News (founded in 1889 as The Sebastopol Times) and Windsor Times (founded in 1987). Only one of those papers, The Healdsburg Tribune, is still in print, but our news has more readers than ever before, thanks to our strong online presence. The newspapers' owners, Rollie Atkinson, a lifelong journalist, and Sarah Bradbury, have decided to gift ownership of the papers to a local nonprofit, Sonoma County Local News Initiative, which was created to preserve local news and journalism in Sonoma Country.
Meet our team and then join us by becoming a supporting member of the Local News Initiative.
ROLLIE ATKINSON, PUBLISHER
Rollie Atkinson is the publisher of Sonoma West Publishers' four community newspapers. He started his journalism career in 1974 at his hometown newspaper in Frederick, MD. He continued his career at The Healdsburg Tribune after moving to Healdsburg in 1981. His newsroom assignments have included big and small stories that took him to state houses and U.S. Congress, steelworkers strikes, CIA investigations, presidential political campaigns, cub scout pancake breakfasts, numerous centenarian birthdays, river floods, high school sports action, wine industry milestones and many other places.
Atkinson has marked his journalism career with two guiding principles: to protect and defend the First Amendment and the public's right to know, and by his understanding of the high honor bestowed to him by his readers and local community members that continue to allow him to tell their story.
Atkinson, 69, also considers it a privilege to work alongside his much younger but equally devoted Sonoma West Publishers journalists.
ZOË STRICKLAND, MANAGING EDITOR
Zoë Strickland is the managing editor of SoCoNews. Hired in July 2018 as editor of the Cloverdale Reveille, Zoë has a passion for small towns and writing articles about the people who live in them. Zoë was born and raised in southern Sonoma County, but moved to Oregon in 2014 to pursue a bachelor of arts in English literature. Four years and one degree later, she moved back to Sonoma County. Before working at the Reveille, Zoë spent two years as the editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, three years in various positions at her weekly college newspaper, four years as the editorial director of an editing company and had a brief stint as a radio DJ. When she’s not reporting, Zoë has a passion for baking, taking care of plants, finding the best coffee shops and hanging out with her dogs.
HEATHER BAILEY, REPORTER
Heather Bailey grew up in Sonoma County and graduated from Ursuline High School in 1991. She was a dedicated competitor in the sport of three-day eventing, an Olympic equestrian discipline and represented California at the junior Olympic level. She moved to the east coast in 1995, and graduated from George Mason University in 1998 with a degree in communications. Her initial work in journalism was as a writer for The Chronicle of the Horse, the nation’s oldest, weekly horse sports magazine, where she covered Olympics and World Championships, as well as national competitions and wrote feature stories.
She has worked professionally as a horse trainer and riding instructor, in addition to her work as a writer. She currently lives with her husband and son on a farm, where her husband trains horses and riders, and they raise Nigerian Dwarf goats and various breeds of chickens.
She is also the president of the board of directors of the Sonoma County CHANGE program, a local nonprofit that provides rescue, foster, rehabilitation and adoption services for equines taken into custody by Sonoma County Animal Services. She also runs their field operations, driving their trailer to pick up equines that are loose, abandoned or being seized by law enforcement. She also provides services during emergencies and natural disasters and operates a foster facility for the serious neglect and abuse cases.
She has won various awards for her writing, including from the International Association of Equine Journalists, the California Newspaper Association, the California School Board Association and the National Newspaper Association.
In her spare time, such as it is, she likes to read and watch movies.
GREG CLEMENTI, REPORTER
Greg Clementi has patrolled the sidelines as sports editor for Sonoma West Publishers for nearly 17 years, covering five high schools in north and west Sonoma County with a genuine love and admiration for coaches, student athletes and youth sports. Greg began his career as a writer and co-publisher of Sporting Edge Magazine in 1982, covering the Marin County boxing scene. He was a regular contributor for Petaluma Magazine and a prolific freelance writer focusing on running and fishing before joining the Sonoma West team in 2002. Under Greg’s watch, Sonoma West Publishers was recognized by the California Prep Sports Writer’s Association for providing the best high school sports coverage in the entire state, regardless of newspaper circulation size.
A native of Wisconsin, Greg is an avid fisherman, car enthusiast and a two-time finisher of the Boston Marathon. He’s been married to his wife Ann for 35 years and they have five daughters and five grandchildren.
KATHERINE MINKIEWICZ-MARTINE, REPORTER
Social/digital media manager and staff writer Katherine Minkiewicz grew up in Marin County, where she set her sights on being a journalist when she joined her high school’s newspaper, the San Marin Pony Express. She attended San Francisco State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in print and online journalism with a minor in English literature. During her years in college, she worked on crafting her skill, grit and love of coffee as a staff writer, and later as a managing editor with the Golden Gate Xpress (Go Gators!).
After college she started her local newspaper career at The Community Voice in Rohnert Park as a writer/editor. She covered city council, the school board and everything else in between. A year later she joined the Sonoma West family where she enjoys working with the talented, kind and funny crew of dogged journalists, some of whom also share her enthusiasm for burritos and more coffee.
Her favorite part about her role is keeping social media up to date on all the latest news and chasing down SoCurious-powered stories. Particularly, she enjoys writing about city developments, housing, crime, and community events.
In her spare time, Katherine likes spending time hiking at Helen Putnam Regional Park in Petaluma, eating Thai noodles and binge watching “Doctor Who” with her fiancée. She also enjoys visiting her family dog Teddy, who lives with her parents in Novato.
CAMILLE ESCOVEDO, REPORTER. Bio to come.