Meet the Team: Crozet Gazette Adds Staff, Expands Coverage

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Clover Carroll, Heidi Brown, Mike Marshall, Allie Pesch, Theresa Curry, Lisa Martin and Mary Cunningham

In 2016, after ten years in publication, Crozet’s hometown newspaper joined the Virginia Press Association, where it competes annually with magazines like Bay Journal, Style Weekly, Virginia Business Magazine and Washington Business Journal. The Gazette has won multiple awards each year since, for news, column writing, design, photography and feature writing. In the past few years, the Gazette has added several staff members, all of whom have contributed to its award-winning coverage. The Gazette also has a number of local columnists who provide lively commentary on medicine, gardening, cooking, veterinary medicine, local history, old-time rural arts, and exercise.

Heidi Nolte Brown began her career with the Associated Press in 1983, while still a college student at Northeastern University in Boston, and was hired after graduation as a full-time news writer and then as a broadcast by the AP’s Richmond Bureau. In 1993, she left the AP to raise four daughters, traveling with her husband and finally settling in Crozet in 2000.  Brown rejoined the AP in 2007 as the election stringer coordinator for Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC. She also manages the AP’s broadcast awards for Virginia, West Virginia and the Chesapeake region. She won the Virginia Press Association’s first-place award in newswriting for her Gazette coverage of the 2018 Amtrak collision in Crozet.

Clover Carroll graduated from the University of Chicago, and earned master’s degrees in English and education from UVa. She taught writing and literature at James Madison University and  UVa’s Engineering School, and English in Albemarle Schools. After earning library certification, she was Western’s head librarian for 16 years. She began her literary column for the Gazette in 2006, and became a staff writer in 2015. She won an award for column writing for the Gazette from the Virginia Press Association in 2016, has an honorable mention from the American Academy of Poets, and recognition from Babelfish for best educational website. She writes about performance arts, books and other selected topics for the Gazette, as well as her popular literary commentary, each month. 

Mary Cunningham joined the Gazette staff in 2018 and has lived in Afton for 19 years. She graduated from the Wharton School of Business and earned a master’s in training and development from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She’s volunteered with Rockfish Valley Community Center since its beginning and is a member of its Board of Directors.  Her long career includes healthcare, pharmaceutical development, financial services, and adult education. She’s served area youth as a Girl Scout leader, a financial aid advisor and as a foster parent. Cunningham writes stories about events and issues of interest to readers in Afton and Nellysford, including the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway and the  Rockfish Valley. 

Theresa Curry joined the staff in 2017, covering religion and business for the Gazette. She also writes news from her business beat and human-interest features. She has been a long-time freelance writer, was a weekly columnist for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, and wrote for national and regional publications. She also wrote and edited newsletters, social media content, educational materials and news releases for an international non-profit agency as the communications manager. She won Virginia Press Association awards for the Gazette for her feature portfolio in 2017 and for general news writing in 2018. In the past she has also won VPA awards for column writing, features, general news, and food writing. 

Lisa Martin joined the Gazette in 2017 and writes about education and local government. Her School Notes cover western-district schools. She also writes in-depth pieces about division-wide education issues and broader investigative pieces on topics from recycling to development to living with wildlife. Her Coyotes in Crozet story won a 2017 Virginia Press Association “Best in Show” award for the Gazette. Lisa has a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, taught college for several years, and writes fiction and poetry. She co-authored a children’s trilogy about two adventuring cats, the Anton and Cecil series, which got rave reviews from the New York Times Book Review, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly and others.

Allie Pesch became art director in 2008 after earning a master’s degree in Art History from New York University. Allie has won four first place, three second place, and two third place VPA advertising design awards since 2016. Editor/publisher Mike Marshall founded the Gazette in 2006 and has won awards for news writing and photography.  

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