Meet the Staff


Steve Whipple
As a proud Methuen native, I attended Methuen High School where I still hold the school record for Most Unimproved in classes that require any left-brain effort.I gravitated toward activities like writing, adult Dr. Seuss poetry and photography, so long as the camera had Autofocus.
At UMass Lowell, I dropped just one course. I considered it useless at best. In retrospect, nixing Editing & Publishing wasn’t the wisest choice, but it forced me to learn outside the books.In 1985, I began as a (lousy) sports writer for The Eagle-Tribune. The following year, I began the Whip’s Wheels column featuring people and their hot rods, muscle cars and antiques. Interest in special-interest vehicles was and is so popular that I started the Whip’s Wheels newspaper in 1992. It’s still published each May through October.
We launched MethuenLife in February 2001. People liked the combination of good news, humor and lots of pretty pictures (thank you, Autofocus). So we published a second issue … and a third …I’m asked if all that silly stuff I write about in my editorials is really true. Sadly, it is. About 90 percent is accurate and the other 17 percent is embellished. Which means, technically, I can sue myself for libel.I’ve been super-fortunate to have the advertising prowess of my mom, Sue, and the editorial savvy of Melissa Fili to create a monthly publication we’re so proud of. When not working, I am enjoying life with my wife Jen, daughters Geni & Emerita, and my Roush Mustang.


Managing Editor
Melissa Fili 
Melissa@MethuenLife.comA South Lawrence native, I moved to Methuen in 1996 and started reading MethuenLife with its first issue in 2001.One night I ran into ML editor Steve Whipple, a former Eagle-Tribune co-worker.”Love MethuenLife!” I told him. “But why so many commas?”And so in 2002, I joined MethuenLife as the copy editor (proofreading stories and writing headlines) with 12 years of daily newspaper experience on my side.
Then one day, there was a hole to fill in the paper. I suggested that Steve come by my chaos-riddled home and spend some time with my two young sons. Without a doubt, he’d find something wacky to write about, I guaranteed him. He suggested that I do the writing, and so the Mom’s the Word column was born in 2003. Reprints have appeared in award-winning publications and Web sites, including Bay State Parent magazine and
In addition to writing and taking photographs for MethuenLife, I’m also the newspaper’s managing editor. I help develop story ideas, work with our writers on articles, and field comments, questions and news items from the public.
I enjoy sharing this city’s good news with our readers, and I love meeting Methuenites of all ages! I’ve been contacted by fellow residents as well as people in California, Texas, Florida, etc., who have been touched by MethuenLife stories, which is truly rewarding.
I married my husband Bill in 1995 and we have two sons, Jared and Shayne.
Contributing Writers
We would like to introduce you to our team of talented individuals that contribute to the editorial content of MethuenLife.

Advertising Director
Sue Whipple

Having a father, Rudy
Dietrich, who was born and raised on Milk Street in Methuen, I came with my family to reside in his hometown in 1951.
With sons Steve and Bruce in tow, husband Gray and I moved to our own home on Howe Street in 1968. Bruce is still there with his family: wife Anne and my grandchildren, Justin and Alicia.

After employment at Macartney’s in Lawrence, running a sewing business from home, working with Steve publishing Whip’s Wheels, publishing my own senior-focused magazine Forever Young, I finally settled into the advertising, photography and delivery business of MethuenLife and Whip’s Wheels.
While taking a concentrated computer course in 1990, I found, after getting sick before every class, that I was not cut out for this computer business. The teachers noticed! However, when one needs a job and one’s son says, “Mom, you can work for me?” it’s hard to refuse.
Steve’s teaching experience came in handy as he proceeded to teach a very difficult student. He paced behind me a lot! The end result of 14 years on “the box” is that if I can learn to use a computer, ANYONE CAN.
I am never bored: I love sewing, photography, reading, taking early morning walks, visiting my twin Sandi in Mississippi and working on home projects with my companion, Jim.
Methuen is an involved community. It is full of marvelous people with incredible stories to tell, friendships to be made and advertisers who become friends. It is easy to print a positive, feel-good magazine like MethuenLife when the town has so many good things to offer its residents. A very rich history … still in the making.
My heart belongs to Methuen.



Steve Whipple



Sue Whipple



Susan Foster
MethuenLife Seniors in Motion columnist
Write to Sue at
As activity coordinator to the Methuen Senior Activity Center, I find this job is an honor to me. The reason is clear: I get to meet so many people from all over. To be able to help someone or see a sparkle in their eyes makes my job so much fun. We here at the center not only work for and with the seniors of our community, but with many from different communities.
What else makes my job so special is something that is near and dear to me: The Happy Hearts Chorus! I have been director for nine years of this very special group. Going to different places to sing and bring smiles is what I like to do the most! Does this job require a lot of work and planning? YES! The hours are long sometimes, but the results are immeasurable.
Working with MethuenLife helps the Methuen Senior Center reach many, many people in the community and surrounding cities and towns which gives us great results. From enrichment classes to trips near and far, MethuenLife helps us to get a great response.
I have lived in Methuen for 11 years with my husband Ralph. I have two beautiful daughters, Heather and Tara; a wonderful son-in-law, Jose; and two amazing granddaughters, Kortnee and Jadalyce.

(Back to top)



(Back to top)


Jim Keogh
MethuenLife Travel Talk writer
Jim can be reached

I have had the pleasure of writing the Travel Talk column for seven years.
I have been involved with the travel profession ever since I joined our family’s business in 1970. In addition to assisting with vacation travel arrangements for hundreds of clients each year, I also enjoy creating and escorting bus tours from Methuen as part of our agency’s Olde New England Tours division. I am delighted to have the opportunity to share travel information and tips with the readers of MethuenLife.
I am a Vietnam veteran and have been a Methuen resident since the 1950s. Some day I would like to arrange and escort a trip to Vietnam as a modern-day tourist destination.

(Back to top)


Krista McLeod
MethuenLife’s Check It Out! columnist &
Director of Nevins Memorial Library
Krista can be reached at

Being a librarian is the best, if not the oldest, profession in the world. Every day at the Nevins Library is fun, fun, fun … OK that is not really true, but we do enjoy working with and for the people of Methuen to promote reading, literacy and culture in our community. I have been the library director at the Nevins Library since 1992, and before that I worked in academic, special and other public libraries. I am also involved with many regional and statewide library organizations and activities, and have served as president of the New England Library Association, the Massachusetts Library Association and the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium.
Writing for MethuenLife is important to me because we want to make sure that you know what is going on at your library. I live in Methuen with my husband, Matt McKeon, and our tween-ager, Madeleine. In our house we love movies, history and — guess what — reading!

(Back to top)


John Molori
MethuenLife Sports Blitz columnist
John can be reached at

I’ve been covering sports since 1986. Currently, I write for Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Baseball Magazine and New England Golf Magazine, and co-host the “J-Team Radio Show” Mondays at 6:30 p.m. on AM 980 WCAP and My “Media Blitz” column can be read at and I am a regular on the “Papa Joe Chevalier Show” at KLAV LasVegas and
My columns have been published in The Boston Metro, The Providence Journal, The Lowell Sun, The Eagle-Tribune, and several other newspapers and web sites. My work has been honored with the New England Emmy Award, CableAce, Beacon Award, Hometown Video Award and the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters Award.
I have also been featured on “Monday Night Football,” ESPN Radio, WEEI, Sporting News Radio, FOX25, Comcast SportsNet, NESN, NECN, The Boston Globe and The Sports Business Journal. I have lectured on sports media at Emerson College, Boston University and Curry College. My television career has taken me to 7NBC, WNDS-TV 50 and SportsChannel America, and I have hosted radio shows all over New England.
MethuenLife gives me the chance to cover local sports, something I did for 15 years at Continental Cablevision, MediaOne and Comcast. There is something very special about local athletes and it is a treat to share their stories with my readers. Methuen has been my home since childhood and I am proud to be president of the city’s Cable Advisory and Methuen Community Television (MCTV) Board of Directors.

(Back to top)


Sal Petralia
MethuenLife Money Matters columnist
Sal can be reached at

Writing a financial column for MethuenLife has been fun and keeps me disciplined by maintaining a focus on what’s important to readers and clients. After getting an accounting degree at Merrimack College, I did a stint as an IRS agent where I developed an appreciation of how every part of a family’s existence revolves around finances. Over the years I got an MBA, worked in corporate finance, and taught taxes and finance at Rivier College.
I’ve been a financial planner now over 20 years and I take a holistic approach to client finances because every action taken has ramifications. A plan must be consistent, understandable and changeable to accommodate life’s challenges. Investments, debt, education, health and leisure, taxes and retirement are all inter-dependent. I hope to make these issues interesting and provocative so readers will give them the attention they deserve.
Finally, it is not true that I enjoy being the skunk at the cookout. Well … maybe a little.

(Back to top)