Editor / Publisher
Terri Wiebold holds a Marketing Communications degree 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 twenty years, Bob. Terri has spent the past sixteen years as a stay-at-home mom, raising her son Brett (16) and daughter Taylor (14). 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 designing and publishing The Connection community newspaper and Food & Dining guide, Terri enjoys yoga, going to movies, traveling with her family, and taking her dog Buddy on nature walks.
A windy city native, John has spent his professional career in Colorado, including the past 15 years as a Castle Pines resident. A graduate of Purdue University, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. When he’s not writing for The Connection, John works for a Littleton-based criminal justice and sobriety technology company. Prior to that, he enjoyed a 30-year career in software technology in the petroleum industry with roles in product management, marketing, communications and sales. When not found walking the neighborhood trails with his faithful companion Stan, you are likely to find John wetting a fly in Deckers, indulging his love of ice hockey at the Pepsi Center, or trying to coax his aging knees to carve just a few more turns through the bumps (small-ones these days) in the high country.
Lisa Crockett has worked in journalism and public relations for 16 years, 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 coming to Colorado, Lisa worked mostly for non-profit organizations involved in religious and philanthropic endeavors. Lisa enjoys working from home so that she can spend most of her time raising her three children. Her favorite articles to write for the newspaper are features about kids and adults doing volunteer work, and she is a "foodie" with her monthly restaurant spotlights and recipes in The Connection. Lisa and her husband Richard have lived in Castle Pines since 2003 and are happy to call it their home.
Writer / Proofreader
Kathy Fallert is a fifteen 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 (15) and son Kyle Dunker (7), 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 Castle Pines 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 Castle Pines 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."
Elean has lived in Castle Pines since 2002. She attended the University of Denver and holds a bachelor's degree in business & marketing. After spending a decade in the corporate world in client management and product marketing in the health care and email marketing industries, she gave it up to stay at home with her kids. Never one to sit still, Elean quickly became involved with her homeowner’s association, her childrens' schools, and helped a friend create an online children's furniture store. Currently, Elean serves as VP of Communications for Boys Team Charity Mile High League (a volunteer service organization for boys in 7th through 12th grades); is the VP of Communications for Rocky Heights Middle School’s Parent Teacher Alliance (PTA); is a free-lance writer; and has been reporting for the The Castle Pines Connection since 2006. She loves creating newsletters and communicating through the lost art of writing. When not working or volunteering, she enjoys family time, friends, tennis, the mountains, and traveling with her family.
Advertising Account Manager
Laura Gooding is a 10-year resident of Castle Pines. She relocated from San Diego in 2006 with her husband, Darren and her two sons. Laura earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology with a minor in business management from San Diego State University. She spent 13 years in the corporate world, namely in commercial real estate, where her primary focus was account management and customer satisfaction. Always active, Laura has enjoyed volunteering at her children's schools as needed and in various capacities. Laura’s favorite part of working with The Castle Pines Connection as an account manager is meeting new people in the community, developing deep connections, and helping position their business for success. In her spare time she enjoys experiencing the beauty of the outdoors with her family and friends. Laura also enjoys skiing, hiking running, reading, cooking, traveling and all kinds of music. She is currently fulfilling a lifelong goal of learning to play the piano. Laura has a rescue dog named Porter and a cat named Bailey who like to follow her around on a daily basis.
Joe Gschwendtner hails from New York and was educated at Cornell University. After marrying Barb and spending eight years as an officer in the army, he helped raise a family of three. Joe is a businessman with an accounting background, especially as a workout specialist. He has owned several firms and currently manages an accounting practice specializing in recovering money spent in error. Joe has an insatiable appetite for adventure and politics and is a self-described "serial traveler." He writes purely for pleasure and prefers political op-eds, human interest stories, and travel insights.
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 five 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. aNancy'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: Wendy, Jennifer, and Rob – who have blessed them with four grandchildren. Most of their weekends are filled with family activities and getting together with friends throughout Colorado.
Susan Helton is a native of Colorado, and has lived in Castle Pines since 1999. She shares her home with her husband of more than 20 years, their two daughters, her mother and a Manx-mix cat. Susan graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in geography. She received her Master of Science degree in Technical Communication from the University of Colorado at Denver. Susan's past experience includes corporate instructional design and technical writing. Most recently, Susan has been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom and volunteer with her homeschool group, compiling co-op class catalogs and group handbooks. For fun, Susan loves to spend time with family and friends, play games, camp and hike in the mountains, craft, write and read.
Before moving to Highlands Ranch, Heidi Lewellyn was a resident of Castle Pines North for more than 22 years, having been relocated by her then employer from Houston, Texas. 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 nine years she has worked in advanced advertising in the corporate headquarters of a large cable television company. Heidi has two teenage sons, and enjoys traveling to warm weather destinations and scuba diving.
Lynne Marsala Basche
Managing Editor / Writer / Social Media
Lynne Marsala Basche joins The Castle Pines Connection team after a 20-year career at two New York publishing companies as a senior editor and project manager. She has a bachelor's degree in English and Communications from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. Lynne is an active member in the community, most recently volunteering at Buffalo Ridge Elementary school and coaching for Castle Pines Athletics. In addition to The Connection, Lynne is a freelance writer/editor, contributing to several local corporate communications projects. A 10-year resident of Castle Pines, Lynne lives with her husband, son, and dog, Harper T., a Dumb Friends League alumni, who is known throughout the neighborhood bike path network for his signature greetings. While her passions change with the season, she loves knitting, cooking and reading and is an enthusiastic downhill skiing novice. An avid traveler, when not found enjoying beautiful sunsets on the patio of The Ridge at Castle Pines North golf course, you are likely to find Lynne beachcombing in Delaware, collecting seashells on Sanibel Island, or enjoying relaxing afternoons in Dana Point.
Writer / Photographer
Amanda Merriman has been a resident of Castle Pines since 2006. Since moving to Castle Pines with her husband and son, their family has grown by two daughters and a Labradoodle. Amanda and her husband were drawn to Castle Pines because of the feeling of community and beautiful surroundings. They cannot imagine raising their family anywhere else. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 2006, Amanda has worked as a registered nurse. Amanda has worked in various different fields of nursing, most recently in cardiology. Since the end of 2014, Amanda stopped working full time as a nurse to have more time with her school-aged children. When she isn’t chasing children, she enjoys a variety of pursuits including writing, launching her own Etsy shop, photography, running, volunteering in the community, and spending time outdoors with her family. Amanda is very excited to be a part of The Connection.
Lisa Nicklanovich has lived in Castle Pines since 2010 with her husband Steve. They have two teenagers – Andrew, who attends CU Boulder and Natalie, who attends Rock Canyon High School. 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 photography newsletter before making the move to Colorado. Lisa and Steve are adjusting to life as the nest gets smaller, and hope to do more traveling. Lisa enjoys walking her rescue dog, Roxie, volunteering, scrapbooking, hiking, and exploring all of Colorado.
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.
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.
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 Castle Pines Connection include writing, graphic design of ads, fixing up all the great photos, and most recently, working on the website.
Kevin Trice is a Graphic/Web Designer, Colorado native, and a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver (now Metropolitan State University). Kevin has a corporate background, working for DexMedia for 16 years. He has freelanced his Graphic/Web Designs for the last three and a half years. He loves promoting new or existing businesses and the communities within the state he loves so much. Kevin currently resides in Aurora with his wife, daughter and son.
Elizabeth Wood West
Sales Manager / Writer
Elizabeth Wood West joined The Castle Pines Connection in 2009 and is a staff writer and advertising account manager. Elizabeth holds a degree in interior design and 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 family, church, vacations to Florida's Gulf coast, and the outdoor beauty of Colorado.
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.