Our Staff 2017-10-28T18:01:04+00:00

Our Staff

EDITOR / OWNER

Thorunn Kristjansdottir is the principal, editor, publisher and designer of Main Street Magazine. She founded the magazine in January of 2013, because she found a niche: there wasn’t any magazine specifically for this area. Yes, there were numerous magazines that covered the area, but they also covered everything from Poughkeepsie to Vermont. Thorunn thought that there was a need for a magazine for just this area, featuring stories about the people, businesses, and curiosities that are to be found in this corner of the world. Having done this before (she was the co-creator, editor and publisher of another similar magazine), she went to work to create Main Street Magazine for Millerton and it’s surrounding area in late 2012. A magazine that is high-end in every aspect, from the content, writing and articles to the photographs and advertisements, from the layout to the printing. She strives for perfection at each step of the way.

Thorunn’s background lies in design, branding, marketing, and the magazine publication world. She has a BFA in Graphic Design and a BA in History, both with Cum Laude honors, from SUNY New Paltz. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Integrative Marketing Communications at Marist College. Thorunn is also the principal of Thorunn Designs, LLC., a graphic design and marketing firm, as well as two seasonal Icelandic horse magazines —Tolt News and The Icelandic StudBook.

Thorunn can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

ADVERTISING

Ashley Kristjansson is the director of advertising for the Main Street Magazine Ashley Kristjansson is the director of advertising for the magazine, amongst other things. Her background lies in the sales and customer service sector, with over 10 years of experience.

Ashley’s face is the face of the magazine in many ways, whereas she’s the friendly face that greets everyone who visit our office, and because she’s the one who is constantly out on the road meeting with our readers and advertisers. She’s got her finger on the pulse of the tri-corner area and welcomes your greetings and inquiries.

Ashley can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Lazlo Gyorsok is the magazine’s in-house photography contributor and Photoshop guru – he even had a Photoshop technique named after him!

Lazlo was born and raised in Hungary, but sailed west in 1972. He settled in the Big Apple first and then in Cornwall Bridge, CT, where he still resides. Lazlo got his first camera (kind of a Russian version of Kodak box) at the age of ten and has been taking pictures ever since. In 2000 he graduated to digital and hasn’t looked back. He currently uses Sigma SD14, Nikon D700 and Fuji X-E1 cameras. Lazlo is a member of the Housatonic Camera Club and is also their webmaster. He loves to take pictures at Civil War reenactments, but his main interest are portraits. He likes the candid shots because they reveal much more of people than posed pictures do. Lazlo’s images have received numerous national (New England Camera Club Council, Photographic Society of America) and international awards.

Lazlo’s images now grace the covers of the magazine, as well as some may accompany articles. We’re truly excited to have Lazlo’s vision grace our pages. To see more of Lazlo’s work visit his website at www.pictures-by-lazlo.com.

Lazlo can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Olivia Valentine Markonic  is one of the magazine’s in-house and contributing photographers. She relocated back to her hometown of Millerton, NY eleven years ago. Photography became a huge part of her life when she became a mother. She was constantly taking pictures of her three girls and soon started taking photos of her friends’ children and their friends’ children. She recalls racing to the local camera shop with the film in the camera rewinding, eager to see what she had managed to freeze in time. Although she has switched to digital, she misses film. When she picked up her photos and went through them, she would instantly buy frames to put the photos in she deemed worthy. That isn’t the case so much with digital. Now we just look at photos on our computer screens!

Truth be told, Olivia isn’t skilled in Photoshop – basically what you see in her photos (besides maybe a little color enhancement) is what she saw looking through her viewfinder. However, Photoshop is something that she does hope to learn some day.

Olivia encourages everyone to slow down in this hectic life we are all living in and really look around and take in all the beauty that surrounds us.

Olivia can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

WRITERS

Allison Marchese  is a contributing writer for the magazine. Her focus is predominantly on the area’s history, but Allison has also written a number of stories about local people of interest as well as personal pieces on yoga and other life-enriching activities.

Allison Marchese has over 30 years experience as an author, writer, editor, marketing, communications and public relations professional. She is a born entrepreneur with an amazing work ethic. She has gained her concentration and discipline from years as yoga practitioner.

Current Achievements
Allison is the Author of the recently published book, The Hidden History of Columbia County – NY (History Press – 2014). The book uncovers the hidden history secrets buried in one of New York’s most popular counties for New York’s second home owners. Featured on the cover The Chatham Press, The Hidden History of Columbia County is already selling out in stores. Her blog: Columbia County Life – Conscious living in the country has a large following. The author’s posts feature individuals and their contributions to enhancing life in Columbia County (http://columbiacountylife.blogspot.com.

Allison has been commissioned for a second history book, Hudson Valley Curiosities, publishing spring, 2017. She is the featured history writer for Main Street Magazine in Millerton, New York, and has recently accepted the freelance Editor position at History & Heritage Magazine in Kinderhook, New York.

Background
After graduating with honors from Fordham University in New York with a degree in communications and creative writing, Allison promoted luxury spas and hotels as Director and then Vice President of Public Relations for real estate developer, Edward J. Safdie. The Group’s holdings included The Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, The Norwich Inn & Spa, The Greenhouse Spa and the California Terrace at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Her work with spas included placing stories in the media and writing all major press materials, brochures, freelance articles, ad copy, company biographies & policies, news alerts and speeches. Her promotional work produced placements in beauty, health and fitness editors, television reporters, and national and international journalists and producers. Allison also escorted a group of noted journalist on an international press tour to Monte Carlo.

Broadening her experience in consumer products, Allison was hired to oversee the International Food Media Conference with the well known Culinary PR Agency, Primavera Public Relations in Yorktown, NY. Writing for Chefs and food media, Allison advanced her communications skills working with such culinary stars as Julia Child and James Beard. She became a prolific food writer creating news releases and for both restaurants and food products. Allison was instrumental in promoting the very first low- calorie gourmet food book called “Spa Food “ (Clarkson/Potter, NY).

Allison continued her successful career as a writer and public relations professional promoting spas as Corporate Director of Public Relations for Canyon Ranch Health and Fitness Resorts in Tucson, Arizona and Lenox, Massachusetts. While with the Ranch, Allison’s pr campaign led the launch of the new 40 million dollar luxury resort. Her good work produced over 100 media placements in the first 8 months. Her writing appeared in press media kits, brochures, and direct mail pieces, company manuals and newsletters and annual reports. She worked with the country’s top beauty and fitness magazines including Vogue, Town & Country, Travel and Leisure, Connoisseur and others. She also met and worked with journalists at the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time and Newsweek.

Allison went on to Direct Communications for Kripalu Center the largest Yoga and Health center in the country, located in Lenox, Massachusetts. In this role Allison was responsible for filling the specialty resort’s 56,000 annual guest nights and producing program catalogues reaching over 200,000 copies. She managed a staff of over 25 employees including the program director, sales director, public relations coordinator, writes and editors, print manager and the reservations staff. She wrote and directed the Center’s first yoga video and initiated a successful marketing program.

Following her years at Kripalu, Allison headed up marketing and fundraising activities for The Austen Riggs Center, a private psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Her work produced a first-ever waiting list for the hospital and brought the organizations educational institution a $3 million donation. Under Allison’s direction, the hospital appeared in US News & World Report’s Best Hospital list for the very first time. She was instrumental in the production of a feature length video for PBS, created and wrote the hospital website content and fundraising letter, fundraising brochures, policies and speeches.

Inspired to explore entrepreneurial endeavors, Allison became an independent marketing and public relations consultant offering services promoting such clients as The Old Chatham Sheepherding Company & Inn part of the Relais et Chateau group of hotels, The Shaker Museum & Library, Silver Hill Hospital, Gilda’s Club, Sundog Solar, The Berkshire Botanical Garden, Serenity Hill Equestrian Center and others. An avid rider and horse lover, Allison began volunteer educational non profit, The Equine Fund, devoted to raising awareness to protect horses and offering educational programs and scholarships to equine veterinary students. She created special events with Olympic riders Lendon Gray and Jane Savoie and Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Allison has a passion for writing about horses and her freelance pieces have been published in: Dressage Today, Practical Horseman, Holistic Horse, The Horse Whisperer and a number of websites.

In early 2007 Allison joined forces with a business partner to create, In the Clutch, LLC, designing, manufacturing and marketing a new line of women’s travel clothing called Perfect PouchWear™. The partners’ innovative new travel dresses, pants and tops have been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, in an article touting the ‘creativity and convenience of the company’s new portable backpacks and clothing.’ The new company has been well received and the clothing is debuting summer 2009 in a national catalog. The backpacks were worn by characters in a major Showtime series January 2009.’ Allison is responsible for all of the company’s internal and external communications and business plan for In the Clutch Bags and securing major investors.

She wrote the company websites and catalogue, ads and promotional copy. She also produced the companies press materials, e-blasts, and direct mail brochures. Perfect Pouchwear was written up in Berkshire Living Magazine and included in an in-flight video presentation on all major airlines. Allison has been interviewed extensively by the press and has appeared on the Joan Hamburg radio show in New York City.

Allison has written freelance on a variety of topics including, Solar energy, Personal Growth & Yoga, Psychiatric Care, Horse Riding/Training, Triathlons, How To Fundraising Guides, and created a class at MCLA called: The Seven Secrets of Special Events. Her articles have appeared on a number of websites and in Hudson Home & Garden, The Chatham Press, The Women’s Times, The Paper and other print publications.

Today Allison is a freelance writer, publicist and blogger consultant. She is currently working on a new history book and writes the feature history stories for Main Street Magazine in Millerton, NY.

Allison can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Betsy Maury is a contributing writer for the magazine. She writes about books and authors with a connection to the tri-state area. She was an acquiring editor at Random House and wrote guidebooks for Fodor’s Travel Publications while living in Europe for 15 years. During her time in Slovenia, she was involved with PEN International editing translated works of Slovenian poetry and advocating for writers coming out of post-war Yugoslavia. She has lived in Lakeville since 2011 but got to know the area with her parents and five brothers and sisters as a child when Terni’s in Millerton was a regular stop for penny candy. Since living in the area with her husband and son, she has been involved in a middle school writing project with students at Salisbury Central School and serves on the board of the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury. She studied History and Latin at Smith Colleg

Betsy can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Carol Ascher is a contributing writer for the magazine. Carol’s focus and writing contributions range from matters of faith to historic pieces and people profiles.

After decades of writing fiction, memoir and nonfiction, Carol Ascher is discovering the pleasures of journalism. Her novel A Call from Spooner Street (her sixth book), came out in fall 2015, freeing her to pay attention to unsung people and places in Dutchess and Litchfield counties, as well as to such national and international issues as gun legislation and refugees. “I’m delighted to get outside my own imagination,” she says, “and it’s wonderful to begin and end a project within a couple of weeks.” You can find out more at carolascher.net

Carol can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

CB Wismar is a contributing writer for the magazine. His focus is very multifaceted, but the common theme is his focus on people.

CB Wismar has fashioned a career out of being a storyteller. From his early days as a writer and producer of television shows and short films in Hollywood, where he managed to get three EMMY nominations and was twice a finalist in the Short Subjects competition for an “Oscar,” to his years of creating corporate videos for Fortune 500 companies and producing large form events and concerts, his goal has always been to create experiences. “I’m sure I’ve borrowed the definition of ‘experiences’ from someone along the way,” admits Wismar, “but I never think a story, a speech, an event or a film is worth doing if it doesn’t change the way people think and behave. You do that by telling a story.” He has written two feature film scripts, a book and countless speeches for corporate and philanthropic executives. In “re-firement” as opposed to “retirement,” he divides his time between creating strategic marketing packages for several clients, free-lance writing and getting in the way of his wife, artist Kathy Wismar, in her Kent, CT studio.

CB can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Christine S. Bates is a contributing writer for the magazine. Her focus is in the business, finance and real estate related fields, not to say that she won’t cover some of the fun and quirky, too!

Christine grew up in Upstate New York. She had a business career in banking and consulting stretching from Brazil to Korea, Miami and New York. After raising a family in Greenwich Village she moved to the village of Millerton five years ago with her husband, Peter Greenough.

Christine is a graduate of Oberlin College, University of Michigan and Columbia Business School where she received her MBA. She is a Director of the North East Community Center in Millerton and formerly reported on Millbrook for The Millerton News.

Christine can be reached at christine@mainstreetmag.com.

Claire Copley is a contributing writer. Her focus is on our environment here in the Northeast corner of Dutchess County. She recently moved to the area with her husband after living in New York City for 35 years and raising a family there.

Claire has a background in the visual arts and education. She grew up in Los Angeles and still holds tight to her California roots. She holds an M.A. from Columbia in Arts Administration and an M.Ed from Bank Street College. Claire had an Art Gallery in Los Angeles, worked as the School Librarian at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Manhattan, and more recently completed a certificate in Landscape Design at the New York Botanical Garden.

Claire likes to focus on landscape and our interaction with it, both actively and philosophically. She is an avid gardener, beekeeper and student of the environment.

Claire can be reached at at christine@mainstreetmag.com.

Dominique DeVito is a contributing writer for the magazine. Her areas of interest are as vast as her knowledge of wine!

Dominique DeVito is an owner of the Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY. She was in magazine and book publishing in NYC, and has continued to write and edit. She had a regular column in the Register Star, and is delighted to be a regular contributor to Main Street Magazine. Dominique and her family are enchanted with Columbia County and all that the area has to offer, and her home and winery tasting room are full of books!

Dominique can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com

Ian Strever is an outdoor enthusiast who moved to Falls Village five years ago to become the Assistant Principal at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. He has explored the local area on foot, on bike, on ski, and on snowshoe, and has written about it for The Lakeville Journal and on his blog, outdoorsct.wordpress.com. He graduated with a BA in English from Albright College, and MA in English with a Writing Focus from Western Connecticut University, and a MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Bridgeport. He has taught English at the high school and college levels, and his prose and poetry have appeared in a number of publications for nationwide audiences.

Ian can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Jessie Sheehan is a contributing writer for the magazine. She is a cookbook writer, recipe developer and food blogger, blogging about all things sweet at www.jessiesheehanbakes.com. Her first book, Icebox Cakes, was published by Chronicle Books in 2015. Her forthcoming second book, The Vintage Baker, also published by Chronicle, comes out in the spring of 2018. She lives in Sharon CT and Red Hook Brooklyn with her husband and two boys. She can be found on Instagram at @jessiesheehanbakes.

Jessie can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

John Torsiello is a contributing writer for the magazine. He is an independent writer/editor living in Connecticut and part-time in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

John writes extensively about homes and gardens, architecture, and business topics, as well as dining and entertainment. His work has appeared in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, Passport Magazine, Lawn and Landscape Magazine, LCT Magazine, The Litchfield County Times, Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Magazine, Charleston (S.C.) Magazine, Connecticut Business Magazine, Hartford Magazine, the Westchester County Times, the Waterbury Republican, the Housatonic Times, Fairfield County Life, a number of others, and now in MainStreet Magazine.

John has also written extensively about all aspects of the golf industry for a number of national and regional publications. He is Editor for Golfing Magazine New England, Associate Editor for Golfing Magazine New Jersey-Eastern Pa., and a regular contributor to Golf Course Industry, PGA Industry Insider, Golf Range Magazine, and Cybergolf.com. He is a former Editor of The Best of Northeast Golf Magazine, and has written for Golf Digest, Golfweek, Golf Product News and Executive Golfer magazines. John is also a member of The A Position team of golf and travel writers and has his own website, www.torsmangolf.com.

John has done in-house/website writing/promotional work for several golf management companies in the New Jersey/New York/Florida areas, including Empire Golf/Club Max, Appliedgolf, and The Proponent Group.

John has won over two dozen awards for his writing from national, regional and state organizations, including two First Place Awards from the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association for a pieces that appeared in Golf Course Industry and Golf Business Magazine, as well as recently being selected the Connecticut Media Person of the Year by the Connecticut American Legion Baseball Committee.

John is an avid golfer and tennis player, and he and his wife enjoy reading and walking. More information about John is available at www.torsmangolf.com.

John can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

KK Kozik is an artist and writer living and working in Sharon, CT and Brooklyn, NY. Her paintings have ben exhibited widely in the United States and abroad and have been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Artforum, The New Yorker and Art in America, among others. Images of her commission for the New York MTA, stained glass windows at the Rockaway Beach Park/116th Street subway station, were recently reproduced in The Underground Museum, published by Monacelli Press.

She has been a contributing music writer at The Brooklyn Rail since 2001. She was also Senior editor and contributing music and art writer at Cover, an East Village alternative press and contributing editor at Artnexus (Bogota). Her writing has been published in Latin American Art, Journal of Contemporary Art, The Exhbitionist, New Observations, and Vytvarne Umeni (Prague), among others.www.k2kozik.com

KK can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Mary B. O’Neill, Ph.D. is a contributing writer on a variety of topics. In whatever she writes, Mary tries to see the humorous and philosophical in the subject at hand. She is an adjunct instructor in philosophy at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT. Prior to that, she coordinated adult programs at the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, CT and worked in numerous non-profit organizations including The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Before moving to the area she lived in London for nearly a decade. Mary writes a periodic column for The Lakeville Journal called The Agora. She lives in Lakeville, CT with her husband and three children.

Mary holds a bachelors degree in accounting and philosophy from the University of Scranton and a doctorate in philosophy from DePaul University.

Mary can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Melissa Batchelor Warnke is a contributing writer for the magazine who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, where she writes for the likes of the LA Times as well as for us. Melissa focuses on pieces that explore human experiences, stories and ideas as well as travel pieces from around the world.

Melissa grew up in Lakeville, CT. She has worked in the Google Creative Lab in New York City, as a human rights grantmaker across Africa and as an anti-genocide community organizer in Washington D.C. Melissa returned to the States in the summer of 2015 from living and working in Rwanda, working on a research project as part of the Fulbright Scholarship that she received in the summer of 2014.

Melissa graduated with a Masters Degree in Journalism from Berkley in California in 2017. She is also a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she studied Political and Social Thought & African-American and African Studies. In her free time, she writes poems. More of her writing is available at www.melissabatchelorwarnke.com.

Melissa can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Paige Darrah is a contributing writer, and a freelance travel and culture writer who recently moved from from Dallas to Hudson to New York City.

In addition to Main Street Magazine she contributes to outlets including Delta SkyEasyJet TravellerWine EnthusiastNewYork.comn by Norwegian, and Afar magazine.

Paige graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2008, where she studied Financial Economics and French. She has worked for NGOs in Namibia and Ghana; she did graduate work in French and Francophone Studies at Middlebury College but quit because they make you read far too many texts from the middle ages.

More of her writing is available at paigedarrah.com. Paige can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

Sarah Ellen Rindsberg is a contributing writer to the magazine who seeks out novelty in and around the tristate area. Her oeuvre covers a wide array of subjects ranging from filmmakers to international business.

Sarah, a self-proclaimed francophile, enjoys traveling to Europe and beyond. An arduous hike at Machu Picchu was her most recent adventure. Stateside, she takes in as many cultural events as humanly possible including author talks at the White Hart, theater at the Mount and exhibits at Mass MoCA. Sarah also ventures to the surrounding metropolises of New York and Boston to partake of additional artistic experiences which greatly inform her writing.

Sarah’s formal education began at Webutuck High School where she discovered an affinity for the French language and continued at Mount Holyoke College and the NYU Stern School of Business.

Sarah can be reached at info@mainstreetmag.com.

ON LEAVE

Brandon Kralik was a contributing writer for the magazine and wrote the Artist Profile. We were fortunate to have Brandon with us from 2014 through the summer of 2015. When he joined us he had just returned to the States after 14 years in Scandinavia. He was raised in Colorado where he lived on a cattle ranch, later studying Art and Communications at Western State Colorado University, as well as at CUNY in Manhattan, before setting out on a life of creative adventure that has led him around the world. After living in Alaska and Hawaii, among other postcard destinations, he moved to Norway to study with figurative painter Odd Nerdrum. There he began his evolution from an Artist to a Contemporary Classical Painter.

In addition to exhibiting his paintings internationally Brandon also writes an art blog for the Huffington Post and contributes to Combustus.

In the summer of 2015, Sweden beckoned Brandon and so he made the decision to leave his Cornwall, CT home and all of us here in the Tri-corner area and return to his adopted country. We are very happy to report that Brandon is doing well, is happy and is working on art. Takk svo mikid og bestu kvedjur