The Soko Team
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, M.Sc., has been writing for Men's Health magazine for over 8 years and is the author of the world-famous Turbulence Training for Fat Loss System at www.TurbulenceTraining.com. He has a Master's of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology and has been a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist for over 10 years. Craig creates a new Turbulence Training workout each month for busy men and women who want to lose fat at home without slow, boring cardio workouts. When not working, Craig spends a lot of time with his dog Bally, who also has six pack abs.
Stephanie Bonotto is a graduate from York University’s Professional Writing program. Among other things, the program has taught her to never leave home without a notepad because inspiration can come from the most unlikely of sources. In addition to writing, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her nephew, whom she thinks is the cutest kid ever. Like many others, Stephanie is conflicted by a love of technology and distaste for the invasion of privacy that technology brings. She could not live without her stretch, no-zippered jeans (especially during the holidays), her Maltese, Timbit, her family and her boyfriend Matt.
Jenny Ferguson has been writing since she learned not to eat the crayons. She attends the University of Windsor and can see the Detroit skyline reflected in her bathroom mirror at night. She spends her free time daydreaming about travel, the world and cookies.
If part-time was a profession, Lauren Festa would be C.E.O.: muse, model, bartender, fashion designer, blogger, student, DJ and the list goes on. Fusing her love of both fashion and writing, she's currently obtaining a certificate in Magazine Publishing at Ryerson University. Through her Soko column, she hopes to provide Toronto's sophisticated bright young things with style that makes sense. A lover of art, Europe and anything expensive, Lauren can't live without these three Cs: coffee, champagne and chocolate.
Kevin Fleming is a graduate of Western Illinois University, holding B.A.s in political science and history, as well as an M.A. in political science with concentrations in public administration and public policy. When he isn’t obsessively watching the news, he can be found tinkering with cars and anything else that he shouldn’t tinker with. He can also be found tinkering in and studying the world of any sort of human relationships. Kevin has travelled to Russia, Denmark, and Norway.
Reine Gammo’s love for everything fashion and beauty is endless. Reine graduated with honours with a BA in Communications and English from York University and is slowly working her way up in the world. After a brief stint as an editor for a fashion magazine, she realized her love for the fashion world keeps getting stronger and she would one day love to work for Vogue magazine. She enjoys reading, exercising, shopping and, of course, giving helpful beauty and fashion tips to whoever will listen.
An internationally recognized and in demand fitness expert from Edmonton, Alberta, Dan Grant is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He currently is a featured expert for Inside Fitness Magazine. Dan has spoken about his “Good Times Lifestyle” approach in both Canada and the USA. Dan graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s in Physical Education and has coached everybody from pro athletes to people recovering from double knee replacement surgeries on living an elite and vitality driven life.
At a riverside home in Kamloops, BC, Tyler Kalmakoff spends his days reading and writing with his cat, Roxy-Banana, always nearby. The 22-year-old journalism student at Thompson Rivers University enjoys sports, politics, weightlifting and studying body language. You can talk to him, just don't lie. Write to Tyler at tyler (at) thesoko (dot) com.
Peter Liu is busy finishing a BA in English at York University. He has been a vegetarian for six months (and counting!) and is devoted to living a healthy lifestyle while sharing his accumulated knowledge with Soko readers. In his spare time, Peter loves scouring the internet for good food recipes, and can usually be found in old bookstores looking through comics and taking in that old book smell.
Marta Maslej has recently graduated from York University with degrees in English and Education. Now she is busy putting off the dreaded 9 to 5 job (with its implicit acceptance of adulthood) by juggling bartending, teaching, editing, writing and supervising at a research centre. Eventually, she would like to complete a graduate degree and teach at a post secondary level. When not at work, she spends her time either reading, painting or recklessly weaving through Queen street traffic on her bike.
Nikita Oliver-Lew is a graduate of McMaster University where she studied Political Science and Comparative Literature. She went on to Trinity College Dublin to study European Politics and during a year long stay, much to her own surprise, she managed to earn a Masters degree, before returning to Toronto to brush up on her French and German at York University. In her spare time she reads and listens to anything and everything she can get her hands on and quotes the comedy of The Mighty Boosh, often entirely out of context.
Robyn Simpson is just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. She hails from southwestern Ontario, but would happily trade it in for a life in the big city. Robyn graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a double major in English and Criminology. This qualifies her to fight crimes against literature. She finds herself unintentionally dating outside the box and has experiences that range from unorthodox to downright bizarre. When she is not channelling her inner Carrie Bradshaw, she likes to keep herself in shape, read and plan her next adventure. At present, she is seeking employment and battling unfortunate addictions to Sephora and Oxygen magazine.
Matthew Stefanson is a young man with big dreams. A man who thinks that ghosts may or may not exist and an avid supporter of Canadian music. A man who firmly believes that writing about himself in the third person narrative is the most fun he has ever, or will ever, have. The sort of fellow that you wouldn't want in your corner during a bar fight, but one that you'd love to have at your sporting event or box social.
Never content to do one thing at a time, Sarah Stefanson balances her work as Editor and weekly columnist for The Soko, with editing duties at DriverSense.com and Livedress.com and writing for AskMen.ca, CahootsMagazine.com and ModelsandMoguls.net. Occasionally, she throws in an office day job, just to keep things interesting. Sarah lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in front of her Macbook, from which she occasionally looks up to pay a little attention to her family and friends who mean the world to her. You can find her at www.facebook.com/sarahstefanson or write to her at sarah (at) thesoko (dot) com.
As a self-proclaimed music junkie, bookworm and grammar nerd, Nicole Stevenson spends much of her time going to concerts, reading and playing Text Twist online. She loves swimming, travelling and musicals, and cannot live without The Office, SNL or Big Brother (just don’t tell anyone about that last thing). Nicole is a graduate from York University, with a degree in English and Professional Writing.
Lisa Xing holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Carleton University and an MSc in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, England. Lisa has also worked as a reporter in television journalism in various newsrooms across Canada. Travel and anatomy inspire her creative writing, while a love of London street wear inspires her column.
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