Elias Funez has graciously accepted the position of editor of the Patterson Irrigator newspaper as of Jan. 1, 2015. Funez, a 2001 graduate of Patterson High School, and native of the city, is the first Hispanic to hold the position at the paper.
Funez follows former editor Brooke Borba, who left the Irrigator in June 2014 to pursue a career in Southern California.
Marybeth Bragdon, general manager of the Irrigator, said Funez is a good fit for the paper.
"I am very happy that Elias has accepted the position of editor to the Patterson Irrigator newspaper," Bragdon said. "He will bring a well-balanced and positive attitude to the reporting staff. Elias is an excellent writer and will be a perfect fit as our team’s leader."
Funez started his journalism career at the Irrigator, serving as staff photographer from 2005 to 2012, and he received numerous awards for his photography.
Funez concentrated for many years on black-and-white photos, chronicling the beauty of Del Puerto Canyon and the growth and housing boom of Patterson. Funez also brought his talents to the students of the community, teaching a Patterson High School afterschool photography class.
Funez re-joined the Patterson Irrigator staff in May 2014, taking over for reporter Nick Rappley after working for some time as a Modesto Bee and Merced Sun-Star photographer. Over the past eight months, he has covered City Council, Planning Commission and Del Puerto Health Care District meetings, as well as local crimes and community events.
"Taking on the editorship of my hometown newspaper isn’t anything that I had ever dreamed of, and it is not a task that I take lightly," Funez said Tuesday. "A great deal of responsibility, dedication, and long hours comes with this job, and I will strive to do my best in overseeing the content of the paper to ensure quality and balanced reporting on anything Patterson."
Funez is an active community member, who served from Aug. 2006 to Jan. 2009 on the Patterson Planning Commission and from 2009 to 2012 on the Patterson Parks and Recreation Commission. He enjoys the outdoors and has led the hiking portion of the Hikes, Bikes and Kayak programs offered by the Patterson Parks and Recreation Department.
Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or email@example.com.