The Montclair Local is a nonprofit news organization, dedicated to empowering the residents of Montclair by keeping them well-informed.
JOIN OUR TEAM: Montclair Local is hiring for a Human Connections Reporter. See the description and information on how to apply here.
Our staff includes:
Louis C. Hochman – Editor in Chief, CEO
Louis is a two-decade-plus New Jersey reporter and editor who believes a community news organization serves its audience best by embracing values of inclusion, equity and solutions-focused journalism. He’s guest lectured at area colleges and universities on journalistic ethics, the evolution of digital journalism and the work required to earn trust from audiences in a 24-7 media world. He co-created, filmed and produced “Heroin Uncut: The Truth About the Crisis,” a video and podcast series that in 2017 won The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies’ “Truth in Media” award. He’s won several awards from the New Jersey Press Association and chapters of the Society for Professional Journalists for news writing, video production, print design and interactive digital media. He lives with his partner and their three cats, about whom and about which he talks incessantly. Lou enjoys an irresponsibly expensive hobby and occasional side vocation as a photographer; his work can be seen at LCHPhoto.com. His pronouns are he and him. He prefers “Lou” over Louis in casual conversation, but really, anything other than “Louie” is OK.
Jaimie Julia Winters – Associate Editor
Jaimie is an award-winning journalist and editor having been employed at New York regional area weeklies, dailies, magazines and digital news sites including The Ridgewood News, Community News, South Bergenite, The Record, NorthJersey.com, Our Meadowlands Magazine and Montclair Local. She has 20-plus years experience cultivating stories that affect readers, as well as bring about policy and social change. She strives to get the more compelling and humanistic side of a story, and feels a strong responsibility to readers to deliver only the highest of journalistic standards. Those stories have garnered over 85 New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists and New Jersey Press Association awards.
Andrew Garda – Sports Editor
Andrew has been covering sports for over a decade, from NFL games to college basketball to events like the NFL Draft and Big East Tournament. During his time on the sports beat for the Montclair Local, he has covered things like the high school’s first African-American female basketball coaching staff, an undefeated state championship football season, and the ups-and-downs of returfing Fortunato Field and resurfacing the track at Woodman.
Talia Wiener – Reporter
Talia (she/her) is a general assignment reporter for Montclair Local and is always looking for ways to view stories through a solutions journalism lens. She has spent time in newsrooms of all sizes and scopes. From National Public Radio in Washington D.C. to Transitions Online in Prague, Talia has written around the world and across topic areas. She has written stories about indigenous language revitalization in Alaska, social justice marches on Washington, and land use in Charlottesville, VA. Most recently, she worked for Public Herald, a nonprofit investigative news organization covering fracking in the United States. An investigation from 2019 with the organization resulted in public outcry, served as a piece of evidence in an Attorney General investigation, and led a State Congresswoman to draft a bill addressing the issues covered in the piece.
In her free time, Talia likes to roller skate, make gluten-free pasta, and buy records.
Diego Jesus Bartesaghi Mena – Reporter
Diego was born and raised in Lima, Peru. A recent graduate of Columbia Journalism School, he has previously worked as a summer correspondent for Latinorebels.com, where he wrote local and national news stories with a focus on the Latino/Latinx community. His past work in social services, ignited his passion to talk to people and listen to their stories.
Joe Dziublenski – Copy Editor
Joe worked for more than 35 years as an editor for The Bergen Record. He held a variety of supervisory positions, overseeing teams of writers who covered municipal, regional and specialty beats. He was a member of editing teams that supervised an investigative series, feature stories and special sections that won national, state and regional awards. He has a special interest in working with young journalists and was associated for many years with the state’s high school press association. He was co-founder and coordinator of The Record’s Journalism Day program, through which more than 2,750 high school newspaper staffers visited the paper for tours and seminars between 1991 and 2017.
Andrea Bondy — Paginator
Andrea has worked for many years in the graphics field, beginning her career at a large New Jersey advertising agency. Responsibilities there included meeting with clients, and managing the production schedule and the production staff. From there, with a partner, she founded a graphic design studio, featuring production of print and web design projects for a variety of clients that included companies in the fashion, photographic, music, newspaper and charity fields.
In 2006 she accepted a part-time position for North Jersey Media Group, doing pagination for the Essex County weekly newspapers. Upon leaving Gannett, she was invited to join the staff of Montclair Local, doing pagination for the then-newly founded newspaper. Keeping busy and following her five grandsons’ activities are her passions
Sales and Operations
Jack Marflak – Operation and Sales Director
Jack has over 30 years experience in sales and management and has worked for numerous media companies in New Jersey, including The Star-Ledger, NJ Advance Media, Worall Publications, and North Jersey Media Group. He boasts extensive experience in both print and digital advertising, and he has also been the owner of his own marketing company for over 10 years, serving Montclair and greater suburban Essex County.
Scott Drukker – Advertising Account Executive
A longtime Montclair resident, Scott has been a newspaper sales representative in this area for nearly four decades, developing deep community ties and strong business relationships throughout Essex County. Prior to Montclair Local, he worked for the Montclair Times and North Jersey Media Group from 2000-2017. He is also founder of both the Verona and Cedar Grove chambers of commerce, and the proprietor of the Great Scott! Magic Show.