Meet the team behind Karen Elgersma Media!
I love stories. I always have. My grandmother was a great storyteller and would entertain me for hours telling me tales of her childhood. I loved reading and being read to. I also loved telling stories, especially if I had an audience, the bigger the better. Even as a little girl, I loved to “interview” people -- I would pretend I had my own show, and I would use my hairbrush as a microphone and badger friends, relatives and strangers, to participate in my make-believe TV show.
I went on to study storytelling at UBC, graduating with an honour’s degree in Creative Writing and Journalism. I then pursued a career in journalism, telling people’s stories through radio, magazines and television. I was a multi-award-winning TV journalist, who spent over 20 years in front of the camera, telling the stories of the people, places, events and ideas of Vancouver Island. In 2014 I went back to school to study the art of storytelling in the digital age and graduated with Distinction with a Master’s degree in communications from Royal Roads University. My thesis was an award-winning documentary on the power of storytelling.
After completing my Masters, I worked with travel writers telling the stories of Victoria and Vancouver Island as the Manager of Media Relations at Destination Greater Victoria. And I supported Cowichan in telling their stories to the world as the Executive Director of Tourism Cowichan.
Today, I am the founder of Karen Elgersma Media, and my passion is discovering your story and creating digital content that will tap into your audience’s emotion and make them feel something remarkable toward your brand.
Shane Yakelashek is an accomplished videographer with 15 years of experience in the television industry. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's Certificate in Project Management, which has equipped him with the skills and knowledge to excel in his field. Throughout his career, Shane has worked on a variety of projects, including documentaries, music videos, commercials, broadcast graphics, promotions and corporate videos. His work has been featured on major television networks and streaming platforms.Shane is known for his technical expertise and strong interpersonal skills, enabling him to collaborate effectively with clients and production teams. He is dedicated to ensuring that each project he works on is executed to the highest standards, from pre-production planning to final delivery, and proves to be an enjoyable experience for all involved.
Rae-Anne Guenther is a freelance videographer and photographer born and raised on Vancouver Island. As a child she was constantly interviewing people with her father’s camcorder, even holding the pizza guy hostage until he answered her questions. Storytelling has always been an essential part of her life. When Rae-Anne doesn’t have a camera in hand, she is playing with her two sons on their off-grid farm in Nanaimo. She is grateful to be part of such a passionate, driven team.
Freelance writer and editor Danielle Steiner has a BA in psychology and anthropology and an editing certificate, giving her unique insight into sharing engaging, meaningful stories of the people and communities she interacts with. She has been published in various reputable print and online publications and is the editor of two Edible magazines. When she isn't furiously typing up a storm on her laptop, she can be found with her hubby travelling, hiking, camping, paddleboarding, running, or doing anything else that involves the great outdoors.
Videographer & Photographer
With a background in event coordination and business operations, Corry Matechuk has a natural knack for project management and plays multiple roles for KEM Inc. & Edible Vancouver Island. Her career started in the film and television industry, where she worked as a makeup artist. This provided her many opportunities for professional development and a familiarity of the film industry that makes her an expert on organizing the many moving parts of KEM. Having also been a well-respected farmer and educator for many years, she has fostered deep connections throughout the local culinary industry, much to the benefit of Edible Vancouver Island. Her experience and organizational skills have led her to coordinating local festivals and events, managing farmers markets, planning tours and workshops, and co-founding the Victoria Public Market. When she is not working her behind-the-scenes magic, she is cooking, painting, spending time outdoors and exploring our beautiful Island.
Jenny’s passion for food started when she was a little girl. She was born and raised in Victoria into a food-loving family, and her father was one of Victoria’s first dim sum chefs. Growing up, she was always surrounded by talk of good food and cooking. Working with KEM and Edible Vancouver Island has been a dream come true for Jenny, because she is able to combine her passion for marketing by helping share stories of local entrepreneurs and small business owners. When Jenny isn’t working, you can find her dining around town, sipping on London Fogs and snapping pictures of food to share on her personal social media account.
Social Media Manager
Leanne Von Hollen
Originally from Alberta, Leanne has called the West Coast home since 1999. She is mom to two fabulous, active kids and one very non-active cat/assistant who she shares with a hubbie that is somehow always willing to listen to her extol the virtues of a great new font (NOTE: Leanne may have a font obsession).She is a passionate strategic art director with more than 20 years’ experience in the graphic design industry. Her decisiveness in planning work and executing brand visions to achieve marketing and advertising goals have been hallmarks of her career. She is known for a careful eye to the fine details and final composition and excels in fast-paced environments with tight timelines. Leanne enjoys the rush (and maybe celebratory cocktail) of a well-executed design sent off to press or published. Good food, yummy bevies and exploring new places inspire her creativity. In her downtime she enjoys the outdoors, running, skiing, tennis, walks, patio season with friends and a good book in her backyard hanging chair.
Reggie is a rescue pup from the Humane Society who is passionate about people, walks and treats. Whether he is greeting a new client, sleeping on his KEM dog pillow, or trying to get one of the team members to pet him, he is committed to keeping joy and puppy love at the centre of KEM HQ.