Scott Copeland is the CEO and owner. In the spring of 2021, Scott and his wife, Jillian Copeland, acquired Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat from co-founders Steve and Susan Hull.
Longtime residents, business owners and philanthropists in Montgomery County, the Copelands believe an informed community is an engaged community and understand that trustworthy journalism strengthens readers and empowers individuals to engage with the world around them. As stewards of the next generation of these publications, they are excited to bring together content that matters to readers on a new, reimagined website—from timely news to compelling features.
Scott Copeland is a principal of RST Development LLC, a mid-Atlantic developer of multifamily market-rate and affordable housing. Together with Jillian, they also co-founded Main Street, a unique model of inclusivity and affordability that provides housing and dynamic community engagements so people of all abilities can live their best lives; and The Diener School in North Bethesda, which supports academic and social needs for students with learning differences.
Copeland has served on several boards including Children’s National Medical Center, Green Acres School, Sunniva Super Coffee and Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), a Chicago-based nonprofit.
The Copelands have four sons and reside in Rockville.
Sumindi Peiris joined as the president at the beginning of 2022. Peiris is a seasoned executive with a passion for purpose-driven brand building. She has spent the past 25 years helping build iconic brands at international companies spanning the media, hospitality and consumer goods sectors. Known as a master collaborator, Peiris excels in building community, engaging audiences and creating high-performing teams. Her work has been recognized across business publications, such as Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Brand Week and Ad Age.
Most recently, Peiris was the global chief marketing officer at Time Out Group, a global media organization that reinvented itself when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and went on to win multiple international awards for its innovative response. Prior to Time Out, she was the vice president of global brand marketing for luxury and lifestyle hotels at Hilton Worldwide and held leadership roles at Diageo, LVMH, Bacardi and Unilever.
An avid learner, Peiris has completed executive programs in digital marketing and social media analytics from MIT Sloan School of Business and INSEAD in Fontainbleau, France. She earned her International MBA from Long Island University in Switzerland and her BA in International Business from Franklin University in Switzerland.
Born in Sri Lanka, Peiris grew up in Kensington, traveled the world and now lives in North Bethesda with her husband, Sam, their son, Daveeth, who also attends Walter Johnson High School, and their 4-year-old Bichon Frise, BooBoo.
Anne Tallent is the executive editor of Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat. She joined the publications in August 2021 after 16 years as an editor at The Baltimore Sun. There, she rose from copy editor to director of content/news, overseeing teams responsible for coverage related to breaking news, justice, features, magazines and sports, among other topics. Her leadership contributed to Sun coverage recognized by Maryland Delaware DC Press Association awards, the National Press Club, the National Headliner Awards and the Pulitzer Prize.
Previously, Tallent had been an editor at the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., and the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. She attended the University of Maryland and graduated from Oklahoma State University. Tallent has been a resident of Silver Spring since 2015. She and her husband have a young son enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools.
VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jennifer Farkas first joined the organization in 2007. As the vice president of business development, she is focused on strategizing and implementing ideas to improve and grow the business through revenue, reach and reputation. Before holding her current position, Farkas was the director of sales and marketing, an advertising sales account executive, marketing manager and associate art director. She has also worked in commercial printing and home retail marketing.
Farkas holds a B.S. in fine arts from Towson University and has a passion for all things paper and ink. She is a lifelong Montgomery County resident, currently residing in Kensington with her husband and two children.
COUNTY GOVERNMENT REPORTER
Steve Bohnel joined Bethesda Beat in 2021. He is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a suburb about 30 miles north of Philadelphia. After graduating from Temple University in 2017, he moved to the Midwest to work for the Globe Gazette, a small newspaper in Mason City, Iowa. His most recent job prior to Bethesda Beat was at The Frederick News-Post in Frederick, where he predominantly covered county government.
MANAGING EDITOR, LONG-FORM
As the managing editor, long-form, Kelly Kendall helps come up with story ideas and then sees them through to completion, from assigning stories to freelance writers to working on edits along the way to coordinating the right photos with the art department to combing through final pages. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in French in 2000 and Indiana University School of Law in 2004. Kendall spent years writing and editing for The Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Monthly, her hometown newspaper and magazine. She arrived at Bethesda Magazine in 2022.
SENIOR EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT REPORTER
A western Nebraska native, Caitlynn Peetz started at Bethesda Beat in 2018, covering education and development. She previously covered local news in and around Mitchell, South Dakota. While studying at Dakota Wesleyan University and later at South Dakota State University, she participated in a journalism program through USA Today, writing about student life.
Kathleen Seiler Neary
Kathleen Seiler Neary joined Bethesda Magazine in 2015. She edits several sections in the magazine, including travel, dining, events and special features. Neary has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. She’s worked for George, American Photo and Ladies’ Home Journal, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Parenting and other publications. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in magazine and lives with her family in Kensington.
Kelly Martin joined Bethesda Magazine/Bethesda Beat in early 2022. He has over 20 years of experience in visual storytelling and branding that span print and digital media. After more than a decade of working in print journalism, Martin opened his own studio in 2015, serving clients such as AARP, The Atlantic, The Investigative Reporting Workshop, Politico and Kx Advisors. A graduate of Ohio University, Martin is a native of Cincinnati and will gladly explain why Skyline Chili is far superior to Gold Star.
BETHESDA BEAT ACTING MANAGING EDITOR
A veteran reporter and editor, Julie Rasicot has worked on the staff of newspapers in Connecticut and Massachusetts and in Montgomery County. As a freelancer, she wrote or edited for a variety of publications, including for The Washington Post for 12 years and Bethesda Magazine since shortly after its inception. She also served as the first managing editor of Bethesda Beat. She has lived in Silver Spring with her family since 1995.
DESIGNER OF PRINT AND DIGITAL PROJECTS
Olivia Sadka joined Bethesda Magazine in April 2021. She designs print and digital projects, working across the editorial, advertising and marketing departments. Sadka graduated from James Madison University in 2020 with a degree in media arts and design and a minor in art. She lives in Annapolis and loves spending time traveling with her friends and family.
CRIME AND DINE REPORTER
Dan Schere joined the Bethesda Beat staff in 2018. He first covered county government and now reports on police, courts, emergency services, restaurants and retail. Previously, Schere was a reporter with Washington Jewish Week and Baltimore Jewish Times. A North Carolina native, Schere graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014.
Marketing & Advertising
Arlis Dellapa has been working in the publishing business for almost 20 years, working for The Washington Times and Hanley-Wood Publishing before joining Bethesda Magazine. She has been with the company since 2014, helping businesses meet their marketing goals through evolving digital and print platforms. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Dellapa graduated from Auburn University with a degree in marketing and is often heard saying “War Eagle!” She has two daughters, Grace and Sarah, and lives in Rockville with her husband, Mike, and three “pandemic kittens” who are taking over the house.
MARKETING AND EVENTS MANAGER
Ashley Fletcher joined the Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat staff in December 2021. Born and raised in Springboro, Ohio, Fletcher graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2016. She is responsible for virtual and in-person marketing events as well as the marketing plans leading up to them. Fletcher loves trying new restaurants in the DMV area with friends and traveling to Florida to spend time with family.
Shelley Golinsky has over 15 years of advertising sales and business development experience with companies including Cypress Magazines, Home and Design, Niche Media and Wachovia Securities. She has a true passion for helping businesses build their brand and increase sales. She graduated from Elon University with a degree in business administration and marketing. Golinsky resides in Olney with her husband and two children. Some of her favorite activities include fitness and playing tennis and she loves to travel and spend time with her family.
AD SALES COORDINATOR
Mel Korobkin joined the Bethesda Magazine team in August 2021 and works with advertisers, the production team and the sales team. With a background in events, she has worked with local businesses to build their brands and bring the community together. Korobkin was raised in Howard County and moved back to the area after graduating from College of Charleston with a degree in sociology and communications. Korobkin is expecting her first child and lives in Bethesda with her husband and dog. She loves exploring new restaurants in the area, traveling and spending time with loved ones.
DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & DIGITAL PRODUCTS
Leigh McDonald joined the company in 2018. She oversees the digital platforms and products, as well as audience development and engagement initiatives. She also manages the newsroom’s membership program. An Annapolis native, McDonald earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland. She freelanced as a multidisciplinary writer and producer before working in branded entertainment and marketing for Warner Bros. Discovery. McDonald has been a Silver Spring resident since 2014.
Penny Skarupa has over 30 years of advertising and marketing experience. She began her career on the agency side in Boston, but soon moved into advertising sales, which included large national and smaller local companies. Skarupa worked for Boston Magazine for five years until her family relocated to the D.C. area in the early 1990s. She has been with Bethesda Magazine for over 18 years, since the second issue. Originally from Connecticut, Skarupa is a Boston College graduate who splits her time between Boston, Rockville and Florida. She and her husband have two grown children, Dylan and Haley, and a daughter-in-law, Karen.
LuAnne Slagle Spurrell
LuAnne “Lu” Slagle Spurrell, has over 30 years of advertising and marketing experience with companies including Mead Data Central and Congressional Quarterly. She is passionate about her clients and loves to help them achieve their goals. Spurrell is an avid VOL fan who graduated from the University of Tennessee. She resides in Bethesda with her husband, and has two grown daughters, Evan, an architect in Colorado, and Megan, an emergency room doctor in Virginia Beach. Spurrell enjoys playing golf, hiking and traveling. She also loves to spend time at the family’s river cabin in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Erin Roby joined the Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat staff in August 2019. She has eight years of digital content experience. Roby manages website, newsletter and digital advertising operations, as well as digital analytics. Roby was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia, and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015. She loves reading, traveling, baseball and Elvis, whom her daughter is named after.
DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING OPERATIONS
Amélie Ward joined the Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat staff in 2017 working in web production, marketing and events before assuming her current role in 2021. As the director of advertising operations, she is responsible for the management of all print and digital ads. After graduating from Denison University in Ohio in 2013, Ward moved to Washington, D.C., to work at Sibley Memorial Hospital in marketing and communications. Originally from Westport, Connecticut, Ward resides in Annapolis with her husband, Greg, and daughter, Madeline.
Mary Beth May
Mary Beth May joined the team in November 2021. She ensures the efficient operation of the office, including communication, finance and contract management responsibilities. She grew up in Derwood, graduated from Villanova University with an accounting degree and earned her MBA from The University of Chicago. May has held sales, marketing and management roles in grocery, retail home improvement and senior living businesses. She and her husband, Patrick, returned home to Maryland from Chicago shortly after becoming parents to live closer to their large families. They have three daughters; the youngest attends the University of Maryland in College Park.
CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER
Onecia Ribeiro has been with Bethesda Magazine since 2015 and manages customer service and print magazine subscriptions. Born and raised in India, Ribeiro graduated with a finance degree and spent several years in Dubai and London. She lives in Potomac with her husband and three sons, and enjoys traveling, exploring varied cuisines and spending time with family and friends.
HUMAN RESOURCES CONSULTANT
Chessie Williams is the human resources consultant for Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat. She has over 15 years of industry experience and holds a masters degree in human resources. Previously, Williams worked for Hercules Real Estate Services, Lowes and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. She prides herself in impacting the lives of others and has a passion for people and helping small businesses.