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Meet the Montana Press

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

From photographers to writers, editors, artists and distributors, the staff at the Montana Press Monthly compiled The Best of Montana on the page for readers across the state form 2018-2021.

 

About Us: Editorial Staff

 

Features writer Brian D'Ambrosio is an American journalist and author best known for his interview-based features about Montana subjects. His most recent books include "Warrior in the Ring, The Life of World Champion Native Boxer Marvin Camel," which was a High Plains Book Award finalist. The book brings to life the story and struggle of forgotten boxer Marvin Camel, a half-Black, half-Indian pinball mechanic who became the first cruiserweight titlist. His other books include "Shot in Montana: A History of Big Sky Cinema" which includes the locations and behind-the-scenes interviews from 93 movies made in Montana, and "Montana and the NFL" which includes interviews and profiles of Montana-born or Montana-connected football players. Brian writes the Unsolved Montana series in the Montana Press Monthly and reports on arts and artists around the state.


Breeana Laughlin is a professional writer who uses her talents to inspire others to explore and care for the natural world. Her work runs the gamut from newspaper journalism to SEO content writing and internet marketing. At Montana Press, Breeana has written a series of feature articles that delve into the ways climate change is impacting Montana industries, including farming and ranching, national parks and winter recreation. Breeana's educational background includes a Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism from the University of Montana. She also has two bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Community and Environmental Planning from the University of Washington. When she isn't clacking away at her keyboard, you can find Breeana sliding down the mountainsides at Discovery Ski Area, stand up paddle boarding at Flathead Lake or hiking the Mission Mountains with Boomer, her Jack Russell terrier.


MacKenzie Dexter was born and raised in Helena, MT. She recently graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in English, creative writing and a minor in journalism. She wrote for "The Western Front" and The "AS Review," two school newspapers, and wrote and edited for "Klipsun," a narrative journalism magazine. After graduating in 2020, she moved back to Montana to pursue freelancing in her home state, launching. career in newsroom journalism.


Award-winning journalist, writer and publicist Nikoleta Morales is based in Chicago and writes remotely for the Montana Press. Her passion is entertainment and film and she has interviewed celebrities and politicians of all walks of life. Her Montana Press story "Perma Red: The True Story of Missing Indigenous Women of Montana" won CJA and IWPA awards in 2019. Nikoleta has covered the Oscars in 2019 and 2020, as well as the Sundance Film Festival. Currently, she is the Assistant Editor for Community Health Magazine.



Jay MacDonald is an international award-winning journalist, author and songwriter whose obsession with the creative arts inspired him to forge a freelance career interviewing hundreds of bestselling authors, poets and musicians. A native of Seattle, Jay became enthralled with Montana when his father’s career as a contractor for Boeing landed his family in off-base housing adjacent Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls. He went on to earn his journalism B.A. at the University of Colorado in Boulder and spent several years as a United Press International wire service reporter in Chicago and Seattle before embarking on a diverse and creative freelance odyssey. Jay has two forthcoming books from Austin Macauley in 2023 including a Florida-themed collection of hundreds of book features and a mystery, "The Last True Blonde."


After receiving a Bachelor's degree from Montana State University in 2017, Montana Press contributor Geneva Zoltek temporarily gave up winter and relocated to Hawai'i. There, her passions for environment, community, and conversation were ignited. After a year on the Big Island, she returned to Montana and lobbied for her alma mater at the 2019 Legislative Session and earned her Masters of Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism at the University of Montana.  Endemic to Kalispell, Geneva now works in broadcast journalism as a meteorologist.


While in journalism school at the University of Montana, Salt Lake City native Mazana Boerboom learning the craft of reporting and feature writing from experienced professors and by writing for both the Montana Kaimin and the Montana Press Monthly. She is fond of profiling people who are making strides for equity in Missoula and on the UM campus.




Rob Brezsny writes the internationally-syndicated column Free Will Astrology and is the author of the the book "Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings." In addition to his books and column, Brezsny has created five music albums. Three were with the band World Entertainment War, which recorded on MCA Records and was nominated for a "Bammie," California's version of the Grammies. WEW benefited from the promotional wizardry of one of rock's top impresarios, Bill Graham, who managed the band until his death. In its profile of Brezsny, the New York Times quoted a reader who compared his writing to that of Tom Robbins. The horoscopes "are like little valentines, buoyant and spilling over with mischievousness. They're a soul prognosis.”


Publisher and CEO of Memphis magazine and the Memphis Flyer for over 35 years, Associate Editor Ken Neill has served as president of the national City and Regional Magazine Association and the international Association of Alternative Media. In his retirement, he provides editorial consultation and copy-editing for the Montana Press Monthly and enjoys his membership in the Commanderie de Bordeaux. He splits his time between Memphis and Montana.



Brad Snow, one of the first two scholars to earn a Doctorate of History from Montana State University, currently teaches history at MSU. His book, "Living with Lead: An Environmental History of Idaho's Coeur d'Alenes" examines the interplay between economics and the environment along with the legacy of silver and lead mining and smelting in the region. He contributes editorial perspective and copy editing skills to each issue of the Montana Press. Snow grew up spending summers with his extended family in Glacier National Park and now resides in Park County near the Yellowstone River.


Trained sociologist and former managing editor at the Livingston Current, Jen Eames dives into the newspapers of Montana's past to spear poignant "Bygone Days" for both print and social media editions of the popular feature.



A fixture of the Montana political scene on the pages of newspapers around the state, George Ochenski writes a monthly "Montana Voice" column from Helena. He also publishes a regular column in the Missoulian.




 

Publishing/Design

 

Staff Photographer for The Montana Review, Lindsay Wells resides in the beautiful little community of Pray, Montana in the Paradise Valley and has happily called the mountains her home for the last 18 years. Lindsay is a freelance photographer and has been professionally photographing people, places, and things for various publications and for her own business since 2007 after she received her bachelors degree in Media & Theatre Arts from MSU in Bozeman. Lindsay’s love & passion for photography has been her greatest escape for 13+ years and it continues to evolve and shape the person she has become today. When Lindsay isn’t busy photographing the always spectacular and forever changing landscapes that surround us in Montana, delicious food + local restaurants and the many faces across our state, she can be found spending time in the trees with her husband and two amazing daughters Willow and Scout. Lindsay can be reached at lindsaywellsphotography.com.


Reilly Neill is the founder, editor and publisher of the Livingston Weekly-Current, the Montana Press Monthly and The Montana Review. Born in Ireland to American parents, Reilly spent her early childhood in County Mayo on the Atlantic coast. She moved with her family back to America in the late 1970s where her father founded a publishing company in Memphis, Tennessee. Reilly joined the family business in her teens and has since worked in publishing, writing, editing and design for publications as varied as the Memphis Magazine and Memphis Flyer, The Ruidoso News (New Mexico), The Ouray Plaindealer and Ridgway Sun (Colorado), and the Missoula Independent, where she worked while attending University of Montana and studying ecology and environmental education in the early 2000s. In 2004, Reilly founded the weekly Livingston Current and published the newspaper for nearly a decade in Park County. After selling the Livingston Current to the Park County Journal, Reilly attended the Fine Arts program at Montana State University. Her print page design in the Montana Press won a first place Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Reilly also served as a Representative in the Montana State House in 2013 and wrote a book chronicling notable legislation from the 2013 session, "On the Floor: Tales from the Montana State House." She has also moonlighted as a cook/chef at restaurants Second Street Bistro, Earling Jensen and the Double Arrow Lodge and Resort. She lives just outside Livingston with her family and the wind.


To contact any of the Montana Press Monthly staff, email info@montanapress.net.

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