Summer Contributors

Meet three of our dedicated In The Hills team members: acclaimed writer Dan Needles and our two advertising gurus, Erin Woodley and Roberta Fracassi

June 16, 2023 | | Contributors

Dan Needles

Dan Needles’ humour column “Fence Posts” has chronicled country life in these pages since 2012. His works are largely set in the town of Larkspur and Persephone Township, fictional stand-ins for Shelburne and Mono Township where he spent his youth. Dan now lives a few miles north of these hills on a small farm in Nottawa.

A member of the Order of Canada, Dan is a playwright and author whose work – most notably his Walt Wingfield series of stage plays – has been seen on virtually every English-speaking stage in Canada. He received the Leacock Medal for Humour for his novel, With Axe and Flask.

His latest book, Finding Larkspur: A Return to Village Life, will be published this fall. It is a humorous reflection on country life past and present, and offers a guide to newcomers to this beautiful part of the world.

Roberta Fracassi

Roberta Fracassi has fond memories of growing up in the hills of Headwaters. And after 19 years caring for patients as a dental assistant – which she describes as her “first love” – Roberta found her calling as a marketing manager at In The Hills.

Over the course of 15 years, Roberta has brought her trademark warmth and care to the task of helping hundreds of our advertisers succeed. “I’ve so enjoyed being a part of the small business growth in our area,” she says of her clients in Orangeville, Shelburne, Rosemont and other locations north of Highway 9.

Off the clock, Roberta makes the most out of life with her husband, their two children and her friends – especially when there’s a beach sunset involved. Roberta is also a committed community leader who has given her time to groups including Dufferin Women in Business and 100 Women Who Care Dufferin.

Erin Woodley

In her decade with In The Hills, marketing manager Erin Woodley has applied the energy and focus she needed to win a 1996 Olympic silver medal in synchronized swimming to her work with her loyal advertising clients – in Caledon, Bolton, Erin and other areas south of Highway 9. This was especially true during the turbulence and uncertainty of Covid-19. “I’m proud to have played a role in helping my clients to weather the storm, and to survive and thrive through the pandemic,” says Erin, who has a background in advertising, sales and fundraising.

Erin moved to Orangeville with her husband and two daughters in 2012, and finds it hard to believe they’ll be empty nesters later this year. Not one to stay out of the pool, Erin spends much of her spare time October through March as the volunteer head coach of the Dufferin Dolphins Special Olympics Swim Team.


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