BenitoLink Staff & Contributors
Melissa (Flores) Anderson is the former city editor of the Weekend Pinnacle and Hollister Free Lance, where she covered education, county government and more. She currently works for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San Jose State University, where she manages the College blog, newsletter and website updates. She has a master's in print journalism from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.
Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance.
Karminder Aulakh Brown is an agricultural conservation consultant and coordinates the San Benito Working Landscapes Group. She has worked for more than 20 years in the field of sustainable agriculture and horticulture in California and Nevada. She serves on BenitoLink's Board of Directors, and the board of San Benito Bounty, a chapter of Slow Food USA. An avid gardener, she has lived in Hollister with her husband and two sons for the past 12 years.
Jessica is a writer from Los Angeles, California. After studying Literature and Film Theory at Harvard, she traveled the world as a journalist. To date, Jessica has visited more than 40 countries and written about international civil rights, subversive art and music, Chilean wine, and everything in between. Jessica is also a skilled content strategist and has lent her storytelling expertise to leading tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Award-winning photojournalist. Worked for magazines, newspapers, radio/TV, websites. BA in Mass Communications from Chapman University. Graduate studies at USC Cinema School. Wrote or doctored more than 30 movie screenplays. Script, "God's Club," released March 2016. Wrote eight novels, ranging from thrillers to horror with most recent, "The Ghost of the U-85."
Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She spent 10 years with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started her professional career in 1979 (not a typo) as a news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.
Laureen has been in the communication business for many years as a photojournalist, columnist, and blogger.She served as reporter and columnist for South Monterey County Newspapers. She reported for the Soledad Bee and the Gonzales Tribune, and is currently writing feature stories for the Salinas Californian. From 2012-13, She was on a one year journey beginning in the Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert, and many countries and small islands in between. After that she joined AmeriCorps, and served as the volunteer coordinator for the Arts Council for Monterey County. When the 10 month service was completed, she took the earned stipend and used it in Cambodia, where she stayed on a Buddhist Pagoda with the Monks and Nuns. She has written a book about her one year journey and hopes to get it published soon. Her website is: www.walkingovertheearth.com. She lives in Aromas with her cat Pharaoh.
A Hollisterian since 1999 (and a Silicon Valley escapee), Dr. Locci taught English and Intercultural Communication at De Anza College in Cupertino for years before adding a second career as chair of the education department of UC Extension, providing professional development for teachers K-14 in four counties and three countries. Also at UC, Dr. Locci led the development of Advanced Placement® and honors courses for the University of California College Prep Online until retiring in 2012. She serves on the Advisory Board for Benito Link and in December 2014 started a four-year term as Trustee for Gavilan Joint Community College District.
Julie Morris is a writer and local food promoter. She is the Co-Founder and Owner of Morris Grassfed Beef and a former staff reporter for several newspapers, including McClatchy, Scripps and Thomson. Morris has also worked in corporate communications, marketing, and the non-profit sector. She was the Executive Director of Vision San Benito, a project of the Community Foundation for San Benito County, and currently serves on the BenitoLink Editorial Committee. She lives with her husband, Joe, in San Juan Bautista.
Bob Reid is the former Content Director for BenitoLink. He is a local reporter/writer/musician/ horseman/videographer. He spent the past several years covering government meetings in San Juan Bautista and Hollister for the San Juan Star and Community Media Access Partnership. He is currently working to establish a Low Power FM radio station in Hollister to serve the Hollister/ San Juan area. Bob was appointed and served on the San Juan Strategic Plan Committee and the San Juan Bautista General Plan Committee.
Laura Romero is an assistant account executive at Pembroke PR in San Francisco, where she assists with press outreach, event coordination, research and social media planning. Her clients include Interior Designer Will Wick, Brimmoncourt, California Caviar Company and Superga. She graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in public relations. Laura serves as a general assignment reporter for BenitoLink, with beats including schools and San Juan Bautista. She lives in Hollister.