Our Team

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Parker Crook

Parker Crook

Newsletter Editor - Canada

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Parker joins the Orato family as the Newsletter Editor and brings with him years of experience in both journalism and communications.

His career in journalism began in Calgary, Alberta, where he worked as a columnist before he specialized in court reporting in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. It was there in B.C. that he first sat in his first editor’s chair and led a newsroom of four veteran reporters into the digital age.

Before joining the Orato team, Parker worked as a communications specialist for a non-profit organization that feeds and supports the community’s homeless and low-income families.

Parker is thrilled to be a part of Orato and lead the company’s newsletter strategy.

Karen E. Peterson

Karen E. Peterson

Project Support - Canada

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Karen’s entrepreneurial beginnings morphed into project management and program development over her career leading her to roles with major construction and infrastructure projects and working as a leader with business associations.

Her understanding of business operations was put to the test while working to develop programs to mitigate the impacts on more than 1,000 businesses spanning five major commercial corridors during a 4 year, 19 km rapid transit construction project.

In recent years she has worked as a liaison between clients and service providers within the provincial health authority information management and information technology realm. Her work to support Orato comes from her instinct to listen to people — to hear them truly — and understand their needs.

An example of how she takes action based on truly hearing was when she assisted with the build of one of the largest Ronald McDonald Houses in the world, taking into account the clients at every step in choosing furnishings, fixtures, and equipment and interviewing health care providers, volunteers and families to fully comprehend and plan for their needs.

Stefano Porcile

Stefano Porcile

Foreign Language Editor - Spanish

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Stefano has more than 10 years of experience working in communication strategies, content, social media, and journalism.

He speaks five languages and is an expert in digital journalism and content management.

Stefano tiene más de 10 años de experiencia trabajando en estrategias de comunicación, redes sociales y medios de todo el mundo.

Habla cinco idiomas y se especializa en periodismo digital y gestión de contenidos.

Richard Storey

Richard Storey

Legal - Canada

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Richard is a lawyer educated in both finance and law.

Rick holds a degree in economics from Simon Fraser University, an MBA from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand (a joint Kellog/Wharton school), completed at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University in Chicago, and a law degree from Cambridge University in England. In addition, he has an MA (Cantab) from Cambridge University.

Law is Rick’s second career. He worked in the world of financial derivatives (futures, forwards, options, swaps etc.) for Refco Group and Man Financial. In that role, he traded derivatives and managed risk for large Canadian and U.S. corporations. During that time Rick also taught market risk management to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Canada.

Stephen Symons

Stephen Symons

Special Projects - Canada

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Stephen brings a Jack of All Trades approach to the Orato World Media Team with a wealth of entrepreneurial experience from a multitude of industries. Having started his career in hospitality he followed a creative path as a Chef, Designer, Jeweller and Artist. Most recently applying his skills in Healthcare, with a focus on plant-based therapeutics.

As a foundational member of the organization’s revival of the Orato Brand, Stephen’s focus is on Human Resources and Special Projects Coordination.

John K. White

John K. White

Managing Editor - Canada

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John is a journalism veteran who has been developing editorial content and direction since 1992.

He has been an editor, media consultant, and president/founder of two online media companies. He was nominated for the 2018 Aberdeen Publishing Columnist Award by BCYCNA.

He is thrilled to be leading the push to tell true stories from real people from all over the world.

Chet Woodside

Chet Woodside

Digital Consultant - Canada

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Chet is currently the Product Director and co-founder of Inside the Jar media before that he was the product director for the Georgia Straight, Straight Cannabis, and the Grassroots Cannabis Expo.

Chet has more than 19 years of experience guiding and directing teams through concept, design, development, launch, and iteration of new and refreshed products.

Before getting involved with media, Chet was the owner and founder of a boutique product build studio that he ran for ten years. Before winding the studio down the client list included small business owners, tech start-ups, mid-sized design agencies, and Small Business BC to name a few.

Sam Yehia

Sam Yehia

Founder & Publisher - Canada

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Sam is a proven entrepreneurial leader with more than 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and in real estate developments in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.

Sam founded the Cambie Malone’s Group of Companies in 1990 and established a number of highly successful brands employing some 250 staff, generating $25M in annual sales in a portfolio of high value real estate assets, all of which he retired from in early 2019.

Orato Media in its first iteration was created by Sam in the late 1990s based on his experiences in the entertainment industry. He learned there was keen interest in first-person, non-fiction stories from real people when he invited the press to interview the jazz greats he was booking into entertainment venues in B.C. and Alberta. The stories of their lives were captivating and generated enthusiasm for the performances.

Nominated for a Webby Award, the original Orato web site provided high-quality content, validated, and fact-checked by traditional journalists who assisted with polishing citizen-told stories from around the world. Juggling the priorities of 13 businesses concurrently with the growing demands of the Orato site became difficult, and therefore the “day jobs” took precedence.

In this unprecedented and almost unrecognizable world of ours, not to mention, all the current issues we are confronting, individually and collectively, such as degradation of our environment, systemic racial inequalities, ethnic cleansing, and collapsed economies, Sam felt there was no better time to rebuild and relaunch Orato so as to bring true stories from real people so that every man, woman, and child can now be heard.