The Harrowsmith Team

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Yolanda Thornton

Publisher and CEO

Yolanda Thornton founded Moongate Inc., a custom content, branding and strategic communications company in 2009. Her experience spans over 30 years in the communications industry, and roles with national consumer lifestyle magazines and broadcast sales including 14 years as the Director of Advertising Sales and Marketing at Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine. Yolanda has a deep understanding of how organizations, business sectors and Canadians get their information, entertainment and engage socially. She’s well versed in developing traditional and online communications strategies, magazines and content to create audience engagement, community involvement and loyalty.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Karine Ewart

Interim Editor-In-Chief

Having had the privilege of being at the helm of numerous national magazines, including Chatelaine and Today’s Parent, Karine is passionate about content and building strong communities. Her 30+years working in the magazine industry in Canada and the U.S. have allowed her to develop an editorial vision that focuses on exceptional story-telling, dynamic media packages, successful brand partnerships and robust digital strategies, all with the audience’s wants and needs top of mind. Karine enjoys collaborating with her team, clients and members of the community, so please do not hesitate to reach out to her. 

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Derek Lackey

VP Business Development

In a distinguished career of well over two decades, Derek Lackey has consistently combined entrepreneurial spirit with street-smart marketing while working with major international brands such as Canon, Air Canada Vacations, Arthur Andersen & Co., Pioneer Electronics, AGFA Film, American Express Merchandise Services, and many others. Derek owned and managed a mid-sized full-service advertising agency based in Toronto. His creativity and insights around branding and marketing are practical and grounded. As an entrepreneur he has a healthy respect for activities that produce results and is quick to change tactics when they don’t.

Educated in Marketing at University of Toronto, Derek applies creativity to his business strategy while placing a strong emphasis on results. At one point in time, 7 of the 9 brands handled by his ad agency were #1 in their categories in Canada. After successfully building and operating the agency for 12 years, Derek sold the business to concentrate on working closely with clients to develop integrated Rapid Growth Initiatives for Entrepreneurs.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Michael Roussetos

Art Director

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it well enough yourself”    – Albert Einsteen. 
I’m very lucky to be surrounded by fellow creative minds. I’ve closely collaborated with creative teams and production studios to craft impactful marketing materials that I’m genuinely proud of. Based in Toronto, I’m a designer with a diverse skill set and extensive experience spanning consumer magazines, custom publishing, user experience design, and motion graphics. 
Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Teresa Martin

Executive Assistant

Teresa brings more than 35 years of administration, media and client service experience working with entrepreneurs, small businesses like Harrowsmith Magazine, and Bowen College. Her attention to detail, makes her ideal for executing tasks that have several moving parts accurately and on time. Teresa also serves as project manager and coordinator for Harrowsmith’s website, the magazine and newsletter.

This includes communicating with clients regarding creative material for upcoming issues and processing insertion orders and advertising contracts. She is well versed in all Microsoft Suites and works with the Moongate sales team to effectively deliver professional PowerPoint presentations and documents. Clients find her organized, efficient and super‐friendly.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Cheryl Carter

Editor – Marketing & Promotions

Cheryl is an award-winning copywriter who has spent more than 20 years helping some of Canada’s most well-known brands communicate their messages effectively. A versatile content specialist who writes for virtually every medium and format, her specialty is distilling complex information into communications that are reader-friendly and actionable. Cheryl’s early career in publishing was followed by several years as an Account Director at a Toronto marketing agency. When she’s not busy writing or reading, she can often be found dockside in Muskoka or slopeside in Whistler.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Steve Maxwell

Editor – Home & Farm

Steve Maxwell and his wife Mary live on a 90-acre modern homestead on Manitoulin Island, Ontario in a stone house they built with local materials beginning in 1985. Steve is Canada’s longest-running home improvement and how-to columnist. He divides his time working on the land, building things large and small, and creating articles and how-to videos that teach sustainable, self-reliant, hands-on living skills.

Steve’s website is named after the rural road where he and Mary live with their five kids.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Wayne MacPhail

Podcast Specialist

Wayne is the host of Harrowsmith’s National Radio Show.  Wayne is a podcast expert with extensive experience in traditional, online and communication strategy development. He has assisted clients like Random House (where he helped establish digital outreach programs), the Association of Science and Technology Centers, McMaster Family Medicine,, University of Toronto, Engineering reimagine their communications strategies for an emerging media landscape and new audiences. Wayne brings three decades of rich media content creation, a background in journalism and the ability to create podcasts for Moongate’s clients that capture the interest of audiences. He has taught and developed online content creation and communications for a variety of colleges and universities in Ontario.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Mark & Ben Cullen

Gardening Editors

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author, broadcaster and tree advocate and holds the Order of Canada. His son Ben is a fourth-generation urban gardener and graduate of University of Guelph and Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Visi them at or visit them on Facebook and bi-weekly on Global TV’s National Morning Show. Just look for @markcullengardening!

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Chef ILona Daniel

Chef ILona Daniel is the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, community and culture development, and game-changing deliverables. With 15 years of experience, she is a thought leader and an established business-builder with projects spanning the globe including Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. Her strong background in consumer products and services includes a specialized focus on the interconnected producer and consumer in the food service sector. Ilona is also on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI & The PEI Writers Guild. Chef Ilona is a published writer for numerous publications, is a media personality, and a dedicated Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada. The episode, “PEI Lobster” of the series, “Untamed Gourmet”, which Chef Ilona hosted was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Mark Sirois


Mark’s passion for meteorology started at the age of 15, and for the past 27 years he has fine-tuned his multi-faceted approach to long-range forecasting. Since 2007 he has covered severe and long-range forecasts through the Severe Weather Network. Mark’s forecast predictions have won him respect in many circles including hobby gardeners, farmers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Robert Dick

Astronomy Editor

One of Canada’s foremost writers and educators on astronomical topics, the Almanac has benefited from Robert’s expertise since its inception. Robert was recently invited by the Canadian Space Agency to be the astronomy instructor to our astronauts, and he ensures that our section on the tides, sunrise and sunset, stargazing, and celestial events is so detailed and extensive it is almost like its own almanac.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

David Burman

WCAG Standards Specialist for e-accessibility

David Berman’s accolades run as long as the mighty Mackenzie River. Armoured with over 30 years of experience in design and communications, he is a career shapeshifter. His professional work has brought him to over 50 countries as an expert, speaker, designer and communications strategist. He has been a High Level Advisor to the United Nations and provided training in AODA Pac 2.0 tagging and accessibility to various federal government departments as well as governing bodies in Australia, Bahrain, British Columbia, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Manitoba, Mexico, Norway, and Oman.

He served as the first elected president of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario. In November 2005, David was elected to the board of Icograda (now ico-D), the world body for graphic design and visual communications, and was re-elected twice. Since 2011 he serves as Sustainability Chair.  David is also an Invited Expert to the W3C, the publishers of the WCAG standard for e-accessibility.

His clients include BMO, IBM, Honda, the International Space Station, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the World Bank, Sierra Club and the Aga Khan Foundation. David’s work includes award-winning projects in the application of plain language, typeface design, and the development of a system to republish the laws of Canada in plain writing and design.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Diana McLeod

Circulation Manager

Diana oversees magazine subscriptions, online sales, database management and customer service. She brings with her more than 30 years experience in direct sales and customer service, including roles as General Office Manager of Multilin Canada and Creative Marketing Consultant to C29, a division of Elizabeth Grant.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Scott Bullock

Newsstand and Retail Sales Consultant

Scott is a veteran circulation expert with experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and has been the circulation director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art among others. Scott has a deep understanding of the unique pressures on publishers transitioning to online platforms and has been instrumental in bringing all of our titles online.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Shane Birley

Web Design and Management

Shane Birley is a Vancouver-based web developer, author, blogger and technology consultant. As a partner in Left Right Minds Initiatives, Shane develops websites using content management systems where his clients can edit and update their own web content. He did extensive research for the published book BitTorrent for Dummies, co-wrote three editions of Blogging for Dummies and most recently wrote two books for kids about blogging, podcasting and vlogging. With a background in improvisational theatre and a B.A. in English, Shane is well qualified to translate difficult computing concepts into easy plain language. Shane is also a member-at-large for the board of The Karen L. Colussi Foundation – an organization which supports and encourages Montessori programs in Victoria, BC.

Yolanda Thornton, Publisher and CEO

Allyson McGrane

Special Projects

Allyson McGrane is a successful producer, creator and consultant. Currently a founding partner at digital agency Left Right Minds Initiatives, her work includes grant writing for individuals and organizations, with a focus on taking a strategic approach. She recently spoke at the 2020 conference for the Magazine Association of BC and is pleased to be a magazine coach for the association. In addition, she is currently a part-time instructor in the Arts & Entertainment Management program at Capilano University and the honourary treasurer of the Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content