SJV Water Team

Lois Henry

CEO and editor Lois Henry has spent 30 years covering the San Joaquin Valley.

She was raised on a ranch east of Fresno and attended Clovis High School, then Fresno State where she majored in Journalism.

While still in college, she worked the late night and weekend shifts at the Fresno Bee covering cops and writing obits. After graduating in 1989, she worked in the Bee’s south valley bureau covering Hanford and Lemoore.

In 1990, she moved to Bakersfield where she took a job covering eastern Kern County – Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Weapons Center – for The Bakersfield Californian. Over the years, she had a variety of beats including social services, the oil industry, city government, county government and a stint in Sacramento at The Californian’s capitol bureau.

Henry spent 10 years as a manager, rising in the ranks from Metro Editor to Asst. Managing Editor overseeing the paper’s 80+ newsroom employees. She was the lead editor for the paper’s many award-winning projects.

In 2007, she began a twice weekly, investigative column and was able to focus on one of her passions – water.

Though her column delved deep into this sometimes arcane topic, readers responded with overwhelmingly positive comments.

Valley residents innately understand the importance of water. Henry has helped develop that understanding by untangling the complicated knots of rights, lawsuits, contracts and deals by which water is moved and consumed.

She plans to continue that mission through SJV Water.

Henry lives with her husband, two dogs and one very spoiled cat in Bakersfield. 

Jesse Vad

SJV Water Reporter Jesse Vad was born and raised in the Bay Area.

He is a multimedia journalist and graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York. 

While primarily interested in water coverage now, he has also covered a range of beats including immigration, health, arts and culture and more. He has produced critical pandemic coverage for hyperlocal publications as well as in-depth enterprise stories for larger outlets such NBC and The Fresno Bee.

Jesse attended Humboldt State University for undergrad where he studied geography and environmental science.

Outside of work, he enjoys obsessing over maps and exploring California on his motorcycle.

Lisa McEwen

SJV Water Reporter Lisa McEwen grew up in Tulare County.

She has reported on agriculture and other issues for a wide variety of publications, including, Ag Alert, Visalia Times-Delta, the Fresno Bee and the Tulare and Kings counties farm bureau publications.

She is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo’s journalism program and has earned a certificate  in Technical Communication from Arizona State University.

She and her husband, Matt, own a citrus grove in Exeter and have two college-age children.

Sonia Lemus

SJV Water Freelance Reporter Sonia Lemus was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States with her family in 2002.

Family members settled in Kern County, where they continue to reside.

Sonia holds a Bachelors’ Degree in English from California State University, Bakersfield. While there she worked on The Runner Newspaper, serving as a news reporter and news editor. 
She enjoys scrapbooking and banking as well as traveling to her hometown in Mexico whenever possible.
Her work for SJV Water is supported by a grant from the James B. McClatchy Foundation.

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