Team

Writers

Miranda Lightstone

Miranda Lightstone

Biography

From as far back as she can remember, Miranda used to tell her Mum she wanted a little red sports car when she grew up. Forget a white, poofy wedding dress (which she really didn't have, by the way) or a mansion on the hills by the ocean; she just wanted a fast, little, brightly coloured car. Clearly her priorities were already in order.

Since 2006, Miranda has been active on the automotive scene, test driving cars and writing for outlets such as the Montreal Gazette, AskMen.com, Automoblog.net, MSN Autos, The Suburban and her own personal blog, DrivingMsMiranda.wordpress.com, as well as video car reviews for WatchMojo.com.

Cars drive Miranda; they are her passion, her inspiration. From the sound of a deep, guttural exhaust to the high-pitched whine of a supercharger and the fluttering tweets of a turbo -- really, there's nothing better.

Émilie Asselin-Mercier

Émilie Asselin-Mercier

Biography

It's through her spouse's love of cars that Émilie Asselin-Mercier has developed a keen interest in the auto field. Always searching for that perfect vehicle to meet all her needs, she's constantly on the lookout for new arrivals on the market.

Recently a new mom, she is now broadening her knowledge with her interest in auto accessories that deliver a better, more comfortable travel experience for the whole family. Émilie joins the Auto-Vénus team in 2012.

Marie-Andrée Ayotte

Marie-Andrée Ayotte

Biography

Awarded a diploma in metallurgical engineering in 2003, Marie-Andrée Ayotte worked in the aircraft industry before joining l'Institut de Recherche en Électricité du Québec (IREQ).

In 2005, she caught a serious case of auto modification fever (‘tuning'). Everything about tuning interests her: the manufacturing, the aesthetics, the performance mechanics as well as the competitions.

She also writes for fan magazine, BURN OUT, and helps organize competitions and other diverse events. In 2012, she joined the Auto123.com team.

Shayla McRae

Shayla McRae

Biography

Shayla McRae was born in the Scottish border town of Jedburgh and immigrated to Canada as a young lass. She started tinkering with her Hyundai Pony by necessity in high school, around the same time her mother's love of the written word (as a frustrated romance novelist) began to rub off on Shayla.

The two combined have led to an unlikely career as an automotive journalist. Her dream car is a '57 Corvette convertible. She isn't related to Colin McRae, but they were born on the same day, and she sometimes likes to hint that she is.

Josie Padro

Josie Padro

Biography

Like most North Americans, cars have played a major role in Josie's daily life. One of her first car related memories was of her father's 1965 Volkswagen Bug, which fourteen years later, would be hers. She's owned many small cars and reluctantly, as a mother, a few minivans. Now that the kids are grown up, she's downsized to a Mini Cooper.

She worked as a nurse for over a decade and she now covers health, food, and the environment for magazines and the web. She is a health and lifestyles writer and is a regular contributor for Auto123.com where she explores automotive consumer and safety issues.

Marie-Laurence Paquin

Marie-Laurence Paquin

Biography

Marie-Laurence is a car enthusiast through and through. She started in auto racing at the age of 12, first with karts, then with open-wheel cars. In two seasons of the Formula 1600 Canadian Championship, she raced on some of the most renowned tracks in the country including Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, and at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. All this time behind the wheel motivated Marie-Laurence to become a stunt driver in 2005 and acquire a drift car to further develop her skills in various situations. She's now a certified driving instructor who can teach you quite a few things about performance driving and defensive driving. With a Bachelor's degree in Television at UQAM, Marie-Laurence also writes automotive features and op-eds, hosts various blogs, and even serves as analyst and interviewer during the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.

Alexandra Straub

Alexandra Straub

Biography

For as long as she can remember, Alexandra has had an affinity for things with wheels.

Having spent her summers in Budapest, Hungary, she also developed a strong fondness for motorsports.

While attending the University of British Columbia for her English Literature degree, an opportunity presented itself to start writing automotive news, and then to start road testing vehicles.

That was almost a decade ago and she's still going strong. Having hundreds of published stories and thousands of published photos to her name, there's no slowing her down, literally.

With two automotive and one motorcycle column each week in the Province newspaper, her work can additionally be found in the Montreal Gazette, online or in front of a camera. Her work is further syndicated across Canada in various newspapers and websites.

Whether on two wheels or four, she'll ride or drive whatever she can get her hands on.

Catch her if you can!

Lesley Wimbush

Lesley Wimbush

Biography

Lesley has had an affinity for cars since that fateful day when, helping her big brother clean parts from his disassembled Camaro RS, she dropped a carburetor on her foot, breaking several bones. This earned her a certain cachet amongst the boys in her 5th-grade class, most of whom had no idea what a carburetor really was.

A member of the AJAC, Lesley was a 20-year employee of The Peterborough Examiner, where she put together the automotive section, worked in the art department and frequently contributed editorial cartoons.

For several years, Lesley was a regular reviewer for the Toronto Sun chain, where she also wrote and illustrated the feature AutoBiography. Her work has appeared in many outlets, both print and online, including Auto123.com, The Truth About Cars, Canadian Driver, Inside Track, Driver Magazine and Auto Trader.

In addition to car reviews and feature writing for Auto123.com, Lesley is a well-known motorsports illustrator whose work regularly appears in Norris McDonald's column in the Toronto Star, and distributes racing prints through Michael Keyser of Speed Merchants fame.

She attends lapping days whenever possible, and is well experienced in the art of hurling a ratchet at the wall.

Swat Team

Alexandra Caron - Publishing Coordinator

Alexandra Caron

Biography

Before joining the editorial team, Alexandra knew very little about cars other than the four wheels, engine, headlights, and expensive gas. However, she has since built and uploaded so many car reviews and articles that she's become a walking encyclopedia. One day Alexandra's dream Camaro will finally be hers!

Claudia de Pessemier - Ad Ops Manager

Claudia de Pessemier

Biography

After earning a bachelor's degree in marketing from UQAM, Claudia has spent the past seven years and more heading several work teams, one of which represented a marketing agency that developed advertising campaigns for shopping centres. She's become an expert at promoting brands and retailers. Driven by productivity and results, Claudia is always looking for new opportunities that will help companies maximize their visibility and return on investment.

Suzanne Gendron - Proofreader

Suzanne Gendron

Biography

For as long as she can remember, Suzanne always had fun juggling with words and correcting every single error she stumbled upon... while those who made them gnashed their teeth in frustration. She's made it a career, which she conjugates with her passion for driving. Shifting gears on a tight winding road while listening to the sounds of the high-revving engine really gets her heart racing. Behind the wheel, grammar no longer matters, so Suzanne can dream about driving a Porsche!

Cosima Marcos - Marketing Coordinator

Cosima Marcos

Biography

Born in France, Cosima moved to Quebec more than eight years ago. This online marketing expert has a bachelor's degree in Marketing and a master of advanced studies in Electronic Business. She has also worked for Corus Québec, BV! Media, and Publicis. As a marketing and communication specialist, she's involved in product launches, branding, advertising and remarketing campaigns. Smart and sparkling, Cosima is a perfectionist who still manages to live every moment with a smile.

Josée Paquet - News Writer

Josée Paquet

Biography

Holding two degrees from UQAM (Linguistics and Writing), Josée had been working for almost nine years as a proofreader in the auto industry and publishing world. After joining the team as a news writer and researcher, she wants to make women fall in love with Auto-Venus.com and ''emasculate'' the world of cars by writing about other things than horsepower and top speed. Josée currently runs a blog about dramatic arts and also reviews cultural events – that is when she's not taking care of her three little boys!

Tonia Pelliccia - Ad Ops Coordinator

Tonia Pelliccia

Biography

With a diploma of collegial studies in Marketing and several years of experience in sales coordination and marketing within the fashion and pharmaceutical industries, Tonia now works as an ad ops coordinator. She primarily oversees the development of advertising campaigns for car dealers. Constantly looking for ways to improve her personal and professional life, she spends her free time meditating and doing yoga.

Claudia Sauteur - Marketing Coordinator

Claudia Sauteur

Biography

Claudia is a marketing and communication coordinator with a master's degree in Operational Marketing from Paris and five years of experience in marketing for numerous automotive and technological firms based in France. Her brain never stops working and coming up with new ideas. She's excited to be working within the Canadian auto industry and turning her skills to good account for a company that shares her own values. Claudia is also an avid musician and urban dancer.

Stéphanie Vallée - Web Designer

Stéphanie Vallée

Biography

After graduating in Graphic Design and Multimedia Integration, Stéphanie has spent five years using all her creativity for the benefit of various multimedia agencies including Niveau 12 Média. When she manages to detach herself from the computer screen, she attends new shows and listens to new music for inspiration.