WENY News Team
News Director | Anchor
Renata Stiehl is a Twin Tiers native with a passion for local news.
She joined the WENY News team in May 2005. Over the past several years, she’s worn many hats, working her way up from producer, all the way to News Director, a role she took on in December 2013. She has also served as an anchor for the station since 2008, and currently anchors WENY News at 6. She's also an award-winning journalist and producer, recognized for her work by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
Renata grew up in the Northern Tier, graduating from Towanda High School and getting her degree from Mansfield University in Broadcasting. Before she was hired at WENY, she interned at the station, where she got valuable hands-on experience in reporting and news writing.
What she enjoys the most about local news is having the ability to share what's happening in the communities of the Twin Tiers with the people who live there.
During her time at WENY, Renata has also been involved with several charity organizations, from the local chapter of the American Red Cross, to helping raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Children's Miracle Network. Through her work with CMN, she was able to tell the stories of families whose children spent time in the neonatal ICU at Arnot Ogden Medical Center and raise funds to purchase life-saving equipment for babies.
When she’s not working, Renata being enjoys being a mother to her son Andy, spending time with her husband and their dog, reading and exploring the Finger Lakes wine region!
Executive Producer | Anchor
Jennifer joined WENY News in March 2013. She is WENY's Executive Producer, 5:30 Evening Newscast Anchor, and Host of Twin Tiers Sunday.
Getting to know the Twin Tiers thru the eye of the camera made her fall in love with the area, and she has enjoyed learning something new about the Tiers everyday.
She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2011 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a concentration in Television.
Over the course of her college years Jennifer worked in several aspects of television journalism, from documentary TV to international reporting. She was an intern for Kurtis Productions where she worked with Bill Kurtis and his team to make documentary’s for CNBC. She was credited for her work on the show Crime Inc. where she worked on an depth investigation of human trafficking in the United States. She also helped produce the show American Greed.
Jennifer’s international studies took her to an array of different EU countries where she navigated thru the international press corps, working with the French Embassy, U.S. Embassy, European Union, United Nations and the International Criminal Court. She reported on the ghettos of Paris, the ICC trial of the former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Jean-Pierre Bemba, and much more.
She was also an anchor and reporter for Columbia College Chicago’s live newscast Newsbeat.
Jennifer traveled abroad every summer since she was a baby to visit her family in Poland. More recently she has enjoyed the life and music of Downtown Chicago where she has lived for the past six years. She is an avid boxer, loves Reggae music, the beach, and taking long bike rides with her best friend and dog Pocha.
She wants to thank her Mom and Dad for the tremendous amount of support and love they have always given her.
Good Morning Twin Tiers Anchor | Producer | Reporter
Leanne DeRosa joined the WENY News Team in September 2014 as a reporter. She comes to Elmira from Oradell, New Jersey, but as a Syracuse University alum, she’s no stranger to Upstate New York!
Ever since Leanne was a kid, her dream job was to be the host of a morning show at one of the major news networks. Leanne first discovered her love for television reporting in high school while taking TV production classes. But Leanne says the defining moment was when she was chosen to appear as a reporter on MSG Varsity Network’s Scholastic Spotlight her senior year. After that first TV debut, Leanne knew this was the career for her.
From there, Leanne went on to study at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, and graduated in 2014 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and minors in Marketing and Psychology.
Over the course of the four years, Leanne fell in love with London while studying abroad, was an active member in her sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, and practiced her broadcast skills at SU’s student-run news station, Citrus TV. There she wore many hats, such as operating the cameras, reporting, anchoring, and even spent a few years as the weather forecaster. She truly enjoyed it all.
In between school years, Leanne held various internships. She practiced her reporting skills at News 12 New Jersey and New York 1 News, brushed up on her teen-celeb news at Popstar! Magazine, and learned about corporate communications in Prudential Financial's production department. Leanne is so thankful for all the wonderful experiences and mentors who helped her along the way.
In her spare time, Leanne loves cooking, taking Zumba classes, and spending a day at the beach or in New York City. But most of all, she loves spending time with her wonderful family and friends.
Leanne is excited to make Elmira her new home, and tackle all that the Twin Tiers has to offer!
Anchor | Producer | Reporter
Nick started at WENY NEWS in May 2011 as the night side editor and photographer, and moved to the newsroom in April 2013.
Nick has had a camera in his hand since he was a young kid. From begging his parents to let him use their 8mm Handycam, to saving up money for his first digital camcorder as a teenager, Nick has always been interested in shooting and editing video. Nick's work has been featured on VH1, MTV, and Youtube. His work at WENY-HD NEWS won awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
Originally from the Capital District, Nick moved to the Southern Tier, and has called it home since 2004. In 2007 he enlisted in the Armed Forces, and honorably served his country for several years. During his time in the military he traveled all over the globe, crossing every degree of longitude, and meeting people who make up the world we live in. During Nick's service, he was twice awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
On the weekends, Nick loves to travel and explore the area, taking random day trips throughout Upstate New York, and if the weather is bad, he can be found glued to his computer playing video games, or watching his favorite movies.
Anchor | Producer | Reporter
Ross DiMattei joined the WENY News team in January 2015 as a morning co-anchor and producer of Good Morning Twin Tiers.
Originally from the Boston area, Ross comes to the Twin Tiers from Philadelphia where he graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism.
As a senior, Ross covered Philadelphia's Latino population as a beat reporter for Temple's online publication, Philadelphianeighborhoods.com. On the beat, he covered Mayor Nutter's decision not to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement trying to detain illegal immigrants in Philadelphia.
Ross also worked for two years at KYW Newsradio 1060 in Philadelphia as both a production assistant and a service aide. There he worked directly with the station's reporters, anchors, and editors, gathering any news and facts they might need and editing content for air.
As a fluent Spanish speaker, Ross fondly remembers breaking Pope Francis' exciting announcement that he would be visiting Philadelphia in 2015 when he translated the Pope's message on the air.
Ross spent four years on the airwaves of WHIP, Temple University's student-run radio station, as a daily news and sports talk show host. He was honored to be chosen by his peers to be a play-by-play/color commentator for both the Temple football and basketball teams during his senior year. He also won talk show host of the year for 2013-'14.
Ross also anchored and reported for the university's weekly sports television show, OwlSports Update, closely covering the school's football and men's basketball team.
His passion lies with the news, but when he is not working, Ross is an avid sports fan and can enjoy a game of almost anything, but he most enjoys watching football and hockey. Some of Ross' other hobbies include cooking, reading, and traveling, especially out of the country.
Anchor | Producer | Reporter
Asha McKenzie is a New Jersey native and she joined WENY News in March 2014 as a general assignment reporter. Asha graduated Cum Laude from Montclair State University with a degree in Broadcasting. She studied abroad in Madrid, Spain where she produced a documentary on the art of Flamenco dancing.
Before coming to the Twin Tiers, Asha worked as a Desk Assistant at WABC in New York City.
Asha loves to travel and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a passion for news and is excited explore the Twin Tiers.
Joe Veres can be seen weeknights on WENY News at 6:00pm and 11:00pm.
Originally from Parsippany, New Jersey, Joe had an early interest in weather. In elementary school he would entertain his family with weather forecasts gathered from watching the Weather Channel. In high school Joe gained valuable experience working at ION Weather, and became the "go-to guy" for the inside scoop on impending snow storms.
Joe's next stop was Lyndon State College in northern Vermont where he studied Meteorology and Communications. While in college, Joe gained on air experience doing fill in work at WCAX in Burlington. He also interned at FOX 5 in New York City. Upon graduation Joe headed north to WAGM in Presque Isle Maine. In just three months he was promoted to the 6 and 11pm newscasts. After a long cold winter in potato country of northern Maine, Joe and his wife Donna headed for the warmer climate of the Twin Tiers.
Joe has been the Chief Meteorologist at WENY News since 2000 and is the only local Meteorologist to hold the prestigous National Weather Association Seal of Approval.
Joe is active in the local community often going to schools and talking to students about weather safety. In his spare time Joe enjoys working around the house and traveling with friends and family. He and his wife Donna, daughter Madelyn, and son Joseph reside in Big Flats.
Good Morning Twin Tiers | Weather
Craig is happy to be part of the First Warning Weather Team at WENY News. You can watch Craig weekday mornings on Good Morning Twin Tiers and WENY News at Noon.
Craig is a Central New York native and has been interested in the weather since he was nine years old. Craig recalls the tornado outbreak across Central New York in May 1998 and credits that outbreak to his interest in the weather. “I remember driving around with my Dad and seeing all the damage from an F3 tornado that ripped through a neighboring town. The damage was incredible and it made me wonder what makes the atmosphere do that?”
Craig jumpstarted his television career while in high school, landing an internship at a station in Albany. “Eventually they started paying me” Craig says. It was at WTEN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Albany, where he gained valuable forecasting experience. Craig worked at the station through college and after graduating ended up as the weekend weather anchor. He was at WTEN-TV for almost seven years.
From there, Craig moved into a similar position at FOX23 News in Albany. He has also worked at stations in Utica, NY and Burlington, VT. In addition to his television work, Craig's forecasts have been heard several radio stations throughout New York and New England.
To date, one of the most memorable weather events in Craig’s career is Tropical Storm Irene. “I remember being on the air literally all day with live weather updates. We were wall-to-wall with coverage of the storm from roughly ten in the morning through midnight and I distinctly remember almost losing my voice by the end of the day. It was such an adrenaline rush for me, but at the same time, it was a devastating storm for many upstate New York residents” says Craig.
Craig has always worked hard to bring viewers the most accurate and reliable information and enjoys being the “communicator” letting you know whether or not to bring along an umbrella. Craig enjoys the long winters and the summers are beautiful here in New York State. However, he does admit that he wishes the summer months lasted a little bit longer. If you run into Craig around the Twin Tiers, make sure to say hello!
Jenna Cottrell joined WENY-HD in September of 2013, as Sports Reporter and Anchor.
Jenna has a strong connection to upstate NY. She grew up just outside of Albany in Saratoga Springs
and is a proud Orange Alumni. Jenna graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in
broadcast journalism and political science.
She grew up playing sports but never thought she could turn her love of them into a career. It was
not until getting to SU and realizing psychology definitely was not her thing that Jenna decided to
pursue her dream job.
During her college years she interned at WRGB and WTEN in Albany, as well as WAER in Syracuse, NY.
She enjoyed her time and the people she met at all of her internships, but is especially grateful to
have covered the New York Giants Training Camp during the summer of 2012.
On the highlight reel is also the time Jenna spent working production for ESPN. She had a great time
covering the X-Games and exploring the ESPN campus.
In her spare time Jenna enjoys watching sports and eating food. Life is really about the simple
pleasures. She also includes working out into the mix as well as hanging out with her amazing group
of family and friends.
Jenna would like to thank her family and close friends for their support and love over the years.
Samantha joined the WENY News team in June of 2014, as a news reporter.
As an Elmira native and Southside High School alum, she is excited to be home and to be reporting on issues that personally affect her family and friends. Samantha attended the University at Albany where she earned her degree in political science and journalism.
During college, Samantha worked her way up from cameraman to Vice President of Albany Student Television. She also ran her own news show called “ATV 360,” in which she produced, directed, edited and occasionally anchored. She realized her passion for reporting when she landed an internship at WENY in 2012. Soon after her internship, she began actively reporting for Albany Student Television in hopes of coming back home and working full time as a news reporter.
During the summer of 2013, Samantha studied abroad in India working with the Global Citizens for Sustainable Development. While in India she worked with underprivileged kids teaching them English, math and how to limbo, while they taught her how to speak Kannada (very little) and how to play cricket. She also worked with other students from Kuwait, India and the U.S., and together they built a home for a woman and her grandson.
Samantha loves to travel whenever possible and especially enjoys going new places. Even though Elmira is home, she is excited to explore different parts of the Twin Tiers.
Logan Wilson joined the WENY News team in October 2014 as a news reporter. Originating from the Philadelphia suburbs, she is excited to call the Twin Tiers home!
Logan graduated from Temple University, in Philadelphia, with a degree in Journalism. During College, Logan interned with CBS KYW-TV and also helped create Temple University Television's first entertainment talk show called Temple Talk. She was also an intern and volunteer for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
One of Logan's most favorite memories from college was her time studying abroad in London. While there Logan worked for isango! Travel company in their media department. She blogged, tweeted, posted, and pinned all things travel related and also critiqued a few West End shows for a theater website.
A true Philadelphia girl, Logan enjoys following Philadelphia and Temple sports teams. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.
Logan is a member of the National Association of Black Journalist and a 2014 scholarship recipient.
Natalie joins the WENY News Team from New York City where she earned her graduate degree in broadcast journalism with a concentration in health and science from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism.
During her master's program, Natalie was part of two teams winning Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards for collaborative projects for the New York City News Service. One for the Tell Us What #PovertyIs, a multimedia collaboration between the News Service and NBC News. And one for her work on the Stop the Mold project, a crowd sourcing collaboration between the News Service and the New York Daily News.
Natalie was also a co-anchor, reporter and producer for the award-winning CUNY TV program, 219 West, and the award-wining AudioFiles Podcast.
While earning her undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College, Natalie was an active member of the campus radio station, WBCR. During her time at WBCR, Natalie created, hosted and produced her own 2-hour weekly radio show, The Natini Hour, a cultural and public affairs program where she interviewed CEOs of national advocacy groups, Academy Award Nominated producers and directors, national multicultural advertising agencies and national music acts. She was also the station's News Director from 2012 - 2013.
Natalie has held three internships with NBC Universal's NBC News division. Two as a digital journalist and editor for News Mobile and most recently in in the production offices of the Today Show.
She was born in Corning, NY and grew-up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., returning every year to the Southern Tier for Christmas with the family.
Natalie is passionate about news, meeting new people and being a voice for the voiceless. She is excited to make the Twin Tiers her home and to be a part of the Good Morning Twin Tiers news team!
Isabel Garcia joined WENY News in March 2015 as a multimedia journalist. Isabel previously worked at CBS3/KYW-TV in Philadelphia on the Assignment Desk, where she cultivated her skills as a journalist on the production side of the industry. She is excited to engage with the community members of the Twin Tiers and is looking forward to sharing their stories!
Isabel has a passion for news and journalism. She began growing her interest in visual story-telling while attending college at Temple University where she volunteered for the student-run, award-winning newscast, Temple Update/Temple University Television.
During her college-career, Isabel had a unique opportunity to cover the Olympic Games in London in the summer of 2012. She was later nominated for two National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Emmy Awards, and won an Emmy for her coverage of sustainability efforts in the Olympic Games.
Isabel believes each and every story is relevant and important. She is looking forward to exploring the region's culture and spirit, while bringing enthusiasm, truth and value to each report.
If you have a story idea, please feel welcome to reach out to Isabel and the WENY News Team!
Washington, DC Bureau
Jacqueline Policastro rejoins the Lilly Broadcasting Washington, DC Bureau as Bureau Chief and Correspondent. She created the bureau in 2007. Jacqueline covered Congress and the White House for Lilly Broadcasting affiliates throughout the nation. She then signed on to the evening anchor desk at CBS WSEE TV in Erie, PA. Jacqueline most recently worked as a reporter and anchor at CBS WISH TV in Indianapolis, IN where she has been honored for her breaking news reporting.
Jacqueline covered the Indiana Democrats walk out over right to work, the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as the 2004 Republican Convention. She reported on several candidates on the 2008 campaign trail, the Pope’s first visit to the United States, President Bush’s State of the Union Addresses, and the 2009 G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh.
Jacqueline was chosen to moderate a live debate between the Democratic candidates running for the PA-3 Congressional seat, one of the hottest races in the nation during campaign '08. She was also a panelist alongside several national journalists during the event, "Full Disclosure: The Media and the 2008 Election." Jacqueline was part of the team that won a 2009 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Award.
Jacqueline worked for Associated Press Television in Washington, DC and spent time at the ABC News bureau in Washington and the Fox News Channel in New York City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.
She attended BU’s Sydney, Australia and Washington, DC journalism programs. Jacqueline is a Paul Miller Washington Fellow, an NAB Professional Fellow, and a Fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation.
She is originally from New Jersey.
Washington, DC Bureau
Lauren joined the Lilly Broadcasting Washington DC Bureau in December 2013. There, she covers local lawmakers' reactions to the stories that affect their constituents.
Before joining the DC Bureau, Lauren worked for two years in Erie, Pa. She started as a producer and reporter, then anchored SEE News at 6, SEE News on the CW at 10 and SEE News at 11.
She had the opportunity in 2012 to travel to Las Vegas to cover the Miss America Pageant.
She was born and raised in Erie, and graduated in May 2011 with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University. She is the 2011 recipient of the Tim Russert Medal of Merit Award.
Lauren loves spending time with my family and friends and cheering on any Pittsburgh sports team!
Washington, DC Bureau
Kellie joined the WENY-HD News team in March 2013 as general assignment reporter. Kellie's no stranger to the Twin Tiers, she's been visiting her grandparents in Sayre ever since she was a child.
Kellie grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and moved to Philadelphia for college. She graduated from Temple University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Kellie realized her passion for news reporting at 19, during her first internship at WBRE-TV in Wilkes-Barre, PA. From there on out she interned every chance she could. Wanting to learn as much as possible about the field.
One of Kellie's favorite experiences was when she moved to London, England to study abroad her junior year of college and interned in travel journalism. Kellie was a born traveler, her father being a pilot for US Airways and spent her whole life traveling. But it wasn't until she started traveling abroad at 17 then again when she studied abroad, that she truly learned about the world. She says it was one of the best things she could have ever done and truly made her grown as a person.
But Kellie couldn't stay away from the newsroom for long, following her travels she returned to Philadelphia and interned with Fox-29 and CBS-3.
Kellie graduated in May 2011 but wanted to do one last internship program before she left for good. Kellie always wanted to move to Los Angeles and work in television so she took the opportunity to go there with Temple's program after she graduated. And she had one incredible summer, living in the Hollywood Hills and interning at Paramount Pictures with The Dr. Phil Show and Nickelodeon on their kids show 'Supah Ninjas', and with Cheri Sundae Productions. Kellie loved her California summer and brings what she learned there and all her internships to her job today. She says she wouldn't be where she is today without all these experiences.
Kellie had once last thing to do before she started her career in TV. She always wanted to move back to london to live and work for a year, before starting in news. She says she wanted to Learn about the world before she started reporting on it. And that's just what she did. From January 2012 through just before starting at WENY she lived in london working with her old internship company from her study abroad. It was one of the biggest challenges she ever faced but said she wouldn't be the same without it. And she made the most of that year. Traveling all over the world- from the beautiful islands of Thailand, to exotic Croatia, down under to Australia and all over Europe from the Cannes film festival, to the queens diamond jubilee, to being at as many events as possible at the london 2012 Olympic Games. She took advantage of all the events but knew one thing was missing, she missed reporting. So she returned in December 2012 and found her way to the WENY.
Kellie is so thrilled to finally have made it as a reporter after all her internships and travels and happy to be here in the Twin Tiers. Feel free to contact Kellie at firstname.lastname@example.org she loves meeting new people and hearing new stories and can't wait to meet all of you!