Editorial Staff Bios
Mark Ohrenschall is Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Energy NewsData. He oversees the company's editorial content and services, as well as strategic planning, business development and client/external communications. He also plays a leading role in marketing, subscription and other issues. Mark previously served as Executive Editor/Associate Publisher, and before that, as Editor of NewsData's Con.WEB and Conservation Monitor newsletters. Prior to moving to the Northwest and joining NewsData in 1991, Mark worked as an award-winning editor and reporter for several Colorado newspapers, after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in history. A resident of suburban Seattle, Mark enjoys family time with his wife Janice, daughter Rachel and son Willie; serving on the Kenmore Planning Commission; reading; novice birding; golf; and other sports and recreation pursuits.
Steve Ernst has been covering energy policy and resource development in the Pacific Northwest since 1999. In 2003, he joined Energy NewsData, for which he currently edits Clearing Up and previously edited Energy Prospects West until its completion in 2014. Prior to his tenure with NewsData, Steve covered venture capital, technology, energy and sports business for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle. His work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and has appeared in MSNBC.com, Seattle Weekly and the Associated Press. In 2000, he was a fellow with the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. He has also moderated panels on regional and national energy policy, and has been a guest speaker on local radio stations. Steve lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.
Rick Adair has been news editor for Clearing Up since 2003. His duties include making sense of dozens of complex utility and court cases in play during any given week, and helping to maintain Clearing Up's high editorial standards. His prior experience includes covering the utility, science and environment beats of a biweekly newspaper at Lake Tahoe, where his work won several Nevada statewide awards. Before turning to journalism, Rick earned geophysics degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.) and University of California, San Diego (Ph.D.). His research and engineering work touched on earthquakes, geothermal prospects, oil/gas hydraulic fracturing, advanced sonar, and processing Mars and lunar images. He has written and edited elementary and high school science-reference books.
Laura Berg joined Energy NewsData in July 2015. As the editor of NW Fishletter and contributing editor for Clearing Up, she brings more than 20 years of experience working the government side of Columbia River Basin fisheries. She's variously been a writer, editor and public information manager for Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, NOAA Fisheries, the Yakama Indian Nation, Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board, Upper Columbia Recovery Board and Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Laura is a graduate of Portland State University and resides in Portland, Ore. Some of her favorite activities are hiking, cooking, gardening and yoga.
Dan Catchpole joined Clearing Up in 2017, where he covers Montana, Idaho, the Mid-C utilities, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, energy storage, and myriad other subjects. He has been hooked on journalism ever since he interviewed Muhammad Ali for his high school newspaper. He comes to Energy NewsData with more than a decade of experience as a journalist, mostly working in daily newsrooms. Prior to joining Clearing Up, he covered Boeing and the aerospace industry for The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington. He also has worked overseas as a stringer for the Christian Science Monitor and The Washington (D.C.) Times, and did a stint with the Associated Press. Catchpole grew up just outside Boston. He earned his B.A. degree in international studies from the University of Washington. Now, he lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. With three young kids, he does not remember what hobbies he likes.
Mavis Scanlon is editor of California Energy Markets, where she covers PG&E Corp., the California Energy Commission, and energy-related legislation, litigation and water issues. Before joining CEM in 2009, Mavis covered the banking and energy beats at the East Bay Business Times, where her work won several awards for business and investigative/enterprise reporting. She covered the energy and oilfield service sectors at TheStreet.com, and the cable TV industry for CableWorld magazine. Mavis earned an M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. from St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. A Long Island, N.Y. native, Mavis now lives in Oakland.
Leora Broydo Vestel
Leora Broydo Vestel rejoined California Energy Markets as a staff writer in April 2011. She was also a staffer at CEM from 2003 to 2005. Leora has worked as a journalist for more than 15 years, and has contributed articles to many publications, including the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and The Sacramento Bee. After graduating from Occidental College in 1990, she lived overseas, working for ABC News in London and Prognosis newspaper in Prague. Leora lives in San Francisco with her husband and two kids. In her free time she's been working on her own wind-energy project: learning to windsurf.
Kavya Balaraman covers the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E Corp. for California Energy Markets. Prior to this, she was a reporting fellow with E&E News in Washington, D.C., where she wrote about climate change-related policy, impacts and scientific research. She graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and has spent four years researching and reporting on environmental issues like water scarcity and waste management in Bangalore, India.
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