Our People

Meet the Staff


UnknownBob Fernald, President, Publisher, and CEO

Bob started calling Down East “home” in 1977, when his parents bought the magazine. He would paint walls, stuff envelopes, answer reader letters, and otherwise cause trouble. Twenty-five years later, he became president and CEO, continuing Maine’s tradition of great family businesses. E-mail Bob at bob.fernald@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-979Kathleen Fleury, Editor in Chief

Kathleen was born in Brunswick and grew up on Cousins Island. After attending Middlebury College in Vermont and working in publishing in New York City, Kathleen joined Down East in 2007. She is now the first woman editor in chief in the magazine’s history. Kathleen lives in Camden with her partner and fellow avid tennis player, Noah, and their two-year-old daughter. E-mail Kathleen at kathleen.fleury@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-743Thomas J. Giovanniello Jr., Associate Publisher

Tom is a native of Massachusetts and was first introduced to Maine at an early age by his grandparents on family vacations to Old Orchard Beach. Throughout his 33-year career, Maine has held a special place in his heart. He joined Down East in 2011 and currently heads up the Portland office. Preferring the ocean to the mountains, he lives with his wife in Kittery. E-mail Tom at tom.giovanniello@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-576Becca Gildred, Marketing Director

A Rockport summer kid growing up, Becca moved to Maine after college and joined Down East in 2001. She has held positions in the production, circulation, and book departments and currently heads up the marketing department. She organized the magazine’s very first Best of Maine and Top Docs winners’ receptions. Outside the office, she and her husband enjoy introducing their tween and toddler to new Maine adventures each year. E-mail Becca at becca.gildred@downeast.com




Unknown-2Lorraine Hedger, Director of Circulation/Audience Development

A native of Massachusetts, Lorraine fell in love with Maine when she visited the University of Maine at Machias campus and saw the seals playing in the Machias River. Upon graduation from UMM, she relocated to Iowa, where she spent 10 years. Because she missed her New England roots, she moved back to Maine in January 2000, when she joined the Down East team. E-mail Lorraine at lorraine.hedger@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-598Miroslaw Jurek, Design Director

Born in Poland, Mirek has designed magazine titles both in the United States and abroad. He joined Down East in 2005, and in 2012 led the redesign of the magazine. His former careers include a show jumper in Warsaw and horse-riding instructor in London. When not in front of his Mac, he can be found fishing for squid in Rockport Harbor or tending to his chickens. E-mail Mirek at mirek.jurek@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-925-1Virginia M. Wright, Senior Editor

Virginia has traveled to all corners of Maine to write about its people, places, and culture. She has interviewed artists, architects, and scientists, profiled dozens of communities, and covered such diverse topics as Maine-grown oysters, Poland Spring’s controversial expansion of water extraction, and the curious commuting rituals of the Islesboro Island ferry. She has authored five books for Down East Books, including Ultimate Acadia and The Maine Lobster Book. E-mail Virginia at virginia.wright@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-546Will Bleakley, Associate Editor

Will grew up in New York City and fell in love with Maine while attending Bowdoin College. Since joining Down East in 2011, he has written and reported on everything from the evolution of Belfast to the Four Square World Championships in Bridgton, and “50 Reasons to Love Portland.” Outside of the office, Will can be found hiking Camden Hills State Park or being tempted by Portland’s dining scene. E-mail Will at will.bleakley@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-901Caroline Praderio, Assistant Editor

Caroline grew up in Massachusetts and spent many happy summers camping with her family in Maine. She joined the Down East team in 2013, shortly after graduating from Emerson College in Boston. In her spare time, she’s busy playing alto saxophone with the Midcoast Community Band and exploring her new home state. E-mail Caroline at caroline.praderio@downeast.com




DE_Portraits-468Betsy French, Customer Service/Accounting

Betsy was born and raised in midcoast Maine.  After high school, she moved to Florida, where she enrolled in accounting courses at Edison Community College and worked the last years there for Ethan Allen Furniture. She missed family, the change of seasons, and the safe, simple life found in Maine, so she moved back, married her husband and together they raised their daughter. She loves creating things in her spare time and spending time with her daughter, husband, family, and friends.  E-mail Betsy at elizabeth.french@downeast.com



Dawna Hilton, Director of Photography

Dawna joined the magazine in 1989 and has worked with four out of five of the Down East editors since 1954. Born in Maine, she has lived in the state her entire life. She is hooked on juicing, volunteers with two dog rescues, and takes more photos of her dogs and nights at her fire pit than her Instagram followers care to see. E-mail Dawna at dawna.hilton@downeast.com