About Us

Janis Hall and Terry Gahan launched the newspaper in early 1990 in their Linden Hills home, brainstorming ideas with a small news team at their kitchen table.

Their company Minnesota Premier Publications has expanded to include The Journal serving downtown and Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota Parent and Minnesota Good Age. The newspaper has won many awards over the years, including the coveted Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award and several honors from the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and the Minnesota Newspaper Association. The newspaper’s offices are at 1115 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.


Meet Our Staff

Publisher: Janis Hall / jhall@swjournal.com

Janis and Terry started the Southwest Journal in 1990 in their basement, never dreaming that the business would grow to include four publications. They have a wonderful staff and take great pride in providing outstanding news and information coverage for the their readers. Janis is also an old-house nut with the 1916 Arts & Crafts home to prove it. She shares the house with husband Terry, two field spaniels named Django and Emmet, and large piles of reading material.


Co-publisher & Sales Manager: Terry Gahan / tgahan@swjournal.com

Terry Gahan likes the newspaper business and the fun that comes with working with business and community leaders who recognize the Journals’ contribution to the community. He also enjoys spending time with his family, working out and playing music.



Editor: Sarah McKenzie / smckenzie@swjournal.com

Sarah McKenzie has served as editor of the Journals since 2006. She also has a weekly news segment on Fox 9 on Monday mornings. She covers city government news and a range of other issues for the newspapers. She lives in the North Loop neighborhood with her husband Neal, Rudy (a Shih Tzu) and Bunk (a distinguished cat). Before joining the Journals, she was a reporter for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn.


Assistant Editor: Dylan Thomas / dthomas@swjournal.com

Dylan Thomas is assistant editor for The Journal and Southwest Journal. He started at the papers in 2007 and covers schools, the arts, environmental news and Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods. Dylan is an alumni of the University of Minnesota, where he did his first reporting for the Minnesota Daily, and before joining the Journals was a staff writer for his hometown newspaper, the Mankato Free Press. Dylan and his wife, Nicky, live in CARAG with their son, River.


Staff Writer: Michelle Bruch / mbruch@swjournal.com

Michelle covers general news and all the business buzz in Southwest Minneapolis. She graduated from UW-Madison and worked at a Chicago-area newspaper chain before joining the Journals in 2006. She lives with her husband Matt and two wild little boys.



Staff Writer: Eric Best / ebest@swjournal.com

Eric covers downtown and Northeast Minneapolis neighborhoods and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. He joined the Journals in 2014 and focuses on business news, development, neighborhood issues and lifestyle features. He is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota where he served as an editor of the Minnesota Daily. He lives in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.



Creative Director: Dana Croatt / dcroatt@swjournal.com

Dana Croatt got into publication design at his college newspaper, when he discovered he didn’t really like writing that much. He received a degree in journalism from MSU-Mankato and worked at two daily newspapers in Illinois before coming to MPP — where he just started writing a blog. Go figure. He lives a very typical suburban life with his beautiful wife Heidi, 4-year-old son Kipton, 1-year-old daughter Eden and pooch Jovie. He’s a rabid fan of the Vikings, golf, Mad Men, and never exercising. He also may be the only guy who enjoys reading fantasy novels and playing fantasy football.


Client Services: Zoe Gahan / zgahan@swjournal.com
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Zoe enjoys the unique challenges and opportunities that come with working in a small local business and the connections she makes each day with clients and readers. You can usually find her cooking, reading, hiking or gawking at cute dogs, or ruining her hearing at a loud metal concert.



Client Services: Lauren Walker / lwalker@swjournal.com

Lauren graduated from Augsburg College with a B.A. in Studio Arts in 2013, where she explored her passion for film photography. She currently lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, John, and enjoys partaking in food and beverages of all kinds.



Client Services: Emily Schneeberger / eschneeberger@swjournal.com

A recent Minneapolis transplant, Emily was raised on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she graduated with a Master’s degree in English literature. Her interests include reading anything she can get her hands on, running around outside with her tiny dog, Penny, playing the piano, and eating as much Indian food as possible.



Senior Graphic Designer: Valerie Moe / vmoe@swjournal.com

Moe,Valerie_350x350_1Valerie Moe grew up in Mankato, moved to the Twin Cities in 2001 for college, and then never left. While attending The Art Institutes International Minnesota, she worked at TGI Friday’s — which is where she met her wonderful husband. Now they live in Bloomington with their three children. They love being outside, whether it’s camping in the pop-up, playing at the park, biking around the neighborhood or taking a walk with the stroller.



Graphic Designer: Amanda Wadeson / awadeson@swjournal.com

Amanda Wadeson designs pages and advertisements. She also serves as the internship coordinator for the design team. She grew up on a farm in southeastern North Dakota and attended Minnesota State University Moorhead. After graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design, she moved to the Twin Cities to see what else the world had to offer. When not at work she tries to find the time to travel, host dinner parties, dig around in my garden and work on a variety of craft projects. 


Distribution Manager: Marlo Johnson / distribution@swjournal.com

Marlo Johnson leads a force of 60 carriers and drivers to ensure timely and accurate distribution of our publications. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He came to Minnesota Premier Publications after working with national newsstand magazines for a number of years.