What We Cover
If you know of an event, but don't see it listed, we invite you to add it. Also, feel free to upload pictures of your child's latest game, comment on stories; even send updates on what your Neighborhood Watch group is up to.
Meet Your Local Patch Team
Jay Corn, Editor
Jay is the Local Editor of the Lake Minnetonka Patch. Before coming to Patch, he spent five years as editor of the Kanabec County Times in Mora, MN.
Jay was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, and he moved to Minnesota about eight years ago to attend St. Cloud State University.
He and his wife Becky are parents of a 4-year-old girl and, together, they enjoy the outdoors, music and baseball. In recent years, Jay has taken up golf, and he never turns down a get-together with buddies for a game of poker.
Jay views himself as a conservative liberal. He believes in the right to bear arms, free market enterprise, gay rights and the death penalty. He opposes off-shore drilling, abortion and prayer in public schools.
While he has issues with the church, Jay is a born and raised Catholic. He spent two weeks in Israel when he was 21 and says he learned a lot about himself. That said, he enjoys learning about other religions and civilly discussing faith with believers and non-believers alike.
Local hot button issues:
Jay concedes he has a lot to learn about the issues you care about and understands those issues differ between Orono, Wayzata, Deephaven, Excelsior and Mound-Westonka, the core towns of Lake Minnetonka Patch. But already, you'll see a mix of stories about local government, business, sports, the arts, education and, through it all, the people who make this area special. Look soon for stories on everything from development projects to the environment and local economy.
Jay pledges the news you read on the Lake Minnetonka Patch will be timely, built on fact and delivered through a lens of balance and objectivity.
Chris Steller, Contributor, Editor
You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 763-218-8319. My hometown is Minneapolis. My birthday is the same as Elvis Presley's.
Wendy Erlien, Editor
Wendy Erlien is a former freelance writer as well as newspaper community editor and reporter. She covered community news in the northwest metro for about five years. She is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead with a double major in mass communications and English, focused on journalism. Wendy grew up in Maple Grove, attended schools in the Osseo School District before moving to cities such as Fargo, Moorhead and Eden Prairie for several years. She has been living Maple Grove with her family for the last nine years. Wendy joined Patch in April 2011.
Mike Schoemer, Contributor, Editor
Mike Schoemer is a 13-year veteran of community journalism, having worked in cities including West Fargo, N.D., Edina and most recently, Monticello, where he was managing editor of the Monticello Times.
Valerie Engler, Contributor, Editor
Valerie Engler stumbled upon Patch at a Maple Grove farmers market in the summer of 2011. After freelancing for Maple Grove Patch and a number of other Patch sites, Val fell in love with the Patch way of life and is now the go-to girl for everything Golden Valley.
Although Val loves Golden Valley, she's a California girl at heart.
Val was born and raised in San Diego and attended Torrey Pines High School. In 2003, she graduated from high school and moved to Minnesota to swim for the Gophers.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism in 2007, Val dove head first into the world of community journalism. She wrote for a handful of community magazines including Lake Minnetonka Magazine, Eden Prairie Magazine, Maple Grove Magazine and Plymouth Magazine.
Val dabbled in coaching prior to her work at Patch. She was the head coach for the Eden Prairie High School boys swim team in 2009 and was an assistant coach for Team Foxjet.
Today, when Val isn't bustling around Golden Valley, she's spending time with her daughter, running with her dog or hanging out with her husband.
Lisa Baumann, Editor
I am the local editor for the Redmond and Woodinville Patch sites in Washington state.
Valerie Engler, Contributor, Editor
I'm a freelance writer and editor from San Diego, Calif., but I've been living in Minnesota for almost 10 years. I attended the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and have spent most of my career writing for community magazines.
In my free time, I love hanging with my baby girl, Ava, and my husband, Aaron.
You can usually find me running around Maple Grove's Rice Lake with Como, our lab mix.
Eric Best, Contributor, Sales, Sales_ops
Lisa Buck, Contributor
I received a bachelor degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law. I practiced law in the twin cities until deciding that I'd rather just stay home and negotiate with toddlers. I live with my husband, kids, dog and cat on Lake Sarah. When I'm not writing, I enjoy photography, reading, running and boating.
Pat Henning Strother, Contributor
Betsy Sundquist, Contributor
Betsy is a former reporter for The Forum of Fargo (N.D.), the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader and the St. Paul Capitol Report/Politics in Minnesota. She also wrote a pop-culture column and was national copy editor for Internet Broadcasting, and an interim managing editor at the Minneapolis Business Journal.
Jack Ellis, Contributor
John Molene, Contributor
I'm a longtime and award-winning journalist who has been at this stuff for more than 30 years, primarily on weekly and small daily papers in Iowa, Oregon and Minnesota. In my journalism career I've been a sports writer, sports editor, reporter, photographer, news editor, features writer, restaurant and movie reviewer and columnist, among other jobs I've forgotten. Since 2001, I've been a freelance writer and photographer in the Twin Cities and worked for a wide variety of area, regional and national publications. My journalistic passions are pretty evenly divided between writing and photography. I've interviewed people ranging from presidents and archbishops to grave diggers and dog catchers.
Stephanie Larsen, Contributor
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991 with a BA in Journalism (public relations and advertising), Stephanie worked in marketing communications at several local health care companies, including 3M Health Care and Medtronic. Since 2002, Stephanie has been a self-employed communications consultant.
Sydney Reiners, Contributor
Zac Farber, Contributor, Editor, Reporting
Jon Wright, Contributor, Editor
Jon is a member of the Twin Cities Professional Photographer's Association. Currently he is on it's board of directors. He is a graduate of the Minneapolis College Of Art And Design (BFA) and has studied in Holland at the Rietveld Academie. His company, J&K Creative! of Wayzata, Minnesota (www.artbyjon.com) is well-versed in almost all aspects of photographic design. Jon is equally comfortable photographing familily members or the board of directors of international corporations.
Wendy Erlien, Contributor
Wendy Erlien is a freelance writer who recently worked as a community editor for two weekly community newspapers in the northwest metro area. She is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead with a double major in mass communications and English, focused on journalism. Wendy enjoys feature writing about parenting, schools and pets.
What is Patch?
Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you.
We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation.
We want to be the most trusted, comprehensive, and relevant news and information resource in your community. What can you do on Patch?
- Keep up with news and events
- Check out photos and videos from around town
- Learn more about local businesses and the people behind them
- Participate in discussions
- Share your perspectives via our Local Voices blogging platform
- Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
Who's Behind Patch?
Patch is run by professional editors, photographers, videographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters. Patch also gets advice from our Advisory Board and from many members of the community.
We look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. If you see us around town, don't be afraid to say hi and tell us what you want to see on Patch!
Where You Come In
We hope that our sites will strengthen communities and improve the lives of their residents, but we can't do it without you. We've built Patch so that you have plenty of opportunities to comment on stories, share your opinions, post photos and announcements, and add events to the community calendar. So get to it! And if you're a business owner who wants to be listed, just let us know.
You can't truly serve a community unless you provide the help it needs most, which is why giving back is so important to us. We do it as part of our coverage — in a dedicated space that lets local charities and volunteers find each other — and with a program called "Give 5," through which we donate advertising space to charitable organizations and contribute our own time as volunteers. Want to know more? Email us at email@example.com.
Phil Meyer is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in Journalism in the spring of 2008. He joined the Journalism School in 1981 and served as Knight Chair in Journalism Professor from 1993-2008. Prior to joining the school, he held a number of reporter and research positions at various media outlets.
He has won numerous awards including the 2005 Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for Research About Journalism (with Scott Maier). He was named a Fellow of Society of Professional Journalists in 2005. In 2004, the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication gave him its Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award. And in 2000 he received the American Association for Public Opinion Research Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.
Meyer is the author of several books including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age and Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods. Journalism Quarterly in 2000 listed this book as one of the 35 significant books of the 20th century in journalism and mass communication; and the American Association for Public Opinion Research, observing its 50th anniversary in 1996, listed it as one of 50 significant books on public opinion research.
He received his B.S. in technical journalism from Kansas State University and his M.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Steven Berlin Johnson is a pioneer in the web world, as a co-founder of FEED, Plastic.com, and Outside.in, which was acquired by Patch in March of 2011. He also co-created Findings.com, which launched in late 2011. Steven was the 2009 Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence at The Journalism School at Columbia University, and served for several years as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Journalism School. He is a bestselling author of seven books, and won acclaim and a Newhouse School Mirror Award for his 2010 Time Magazine cover story, "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."
Speaking of Steven's editorial prowess, check out this video based on Steven's book, Where Good Ideas Come From, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Economist.
Brian Farnham, Founding Editor-in-Chief
Brian was Editor-in-Chief of Time Out New York magazine before coming to Patch. Before that he worked for a variety of publications both online and off, including Details magazine, New York Magazine, and the old, dearly departed Sidewalk.com. He has written for numerous publications, from the New York Times magazine to Harper's Bazaar. He graduated from Bowdoin College and got an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University so he could put his novel in a drawer with distinction. He lives in Manhattan with his beautiful wife, adorable son, angelic daughter and the world's most dog-like cat. He’s proud as hell of what the Patch team has built.
Ken Paulson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the First Amendment Center
Ken Paulson is president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Paulson served as the editor and senior vice president/news of USA Today. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.
Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.
He also is past-president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news media leaders.
Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program “Speaking Freely,” seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.
He was an early advocate of making newspaper content available online, launching online newspapers in both Florida and New York in 1993.
For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.
In 2007, Paulson was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, “the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.” In 2008, he received the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications from the Southern Regional Press Institute. He has also been elected to the Illini Publishing Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from American University.