Meet the Homeplate hosts

Metro Monthly and AddMoxie continue the second season of their “Homeplate” television program with a series of new tapings in and around the Mahoning Valley.

“Homeplate,” which began its new season in April 2011, is created and produced by Ron Flaviano of AddMoxie, LLC, and Mark C. Peyko, editor and publisher of the Metro Monthly. “Homeplate,” which is filmed, produced and broadcast in a high-definition format, airs every Saturday at 7 a.m. on WYTV (Channel 33) and at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays on MyYTV.

“Homeplate” continues its celebration of locally owned and operated restaurants, food manufacturers and ethnic cooks, but has added local culture, history, health and fitness and home-design tips to the mix.

Besides an expanded format, the program also features a diverse, multi-generational lineup.  In addition, “Homeplate” now includes a weekly historical feature. Culled from the film collection of the Business and Media Archives of the Mahoning Valley, the feature covers topics of local historical importance and interest.

STEPHANIE SHAW Interviewer & Host/Homeplate restaurant segments – Each week, join Stephanie as she visits a locally owned restaurant and learns the story behind a beloved Mahoning Valley eatery. Stephanie’s visits also involve the sampling of food, so bring your appetite. Besides her on-air contributions as host of “Homeplate,” Stephanie is executive director of the Eastern Ohio P16 initiative and responsible for overall management and operation of an educational initiative spanning Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana and Ashtabula counties.  Stephanie is very active in the children’s ministries at Believers Christian Fellowship in Warren. A graduate of Youngstown State University, she is working toward a master’s degree in leadership from Northeastern University.

MITCH LYNCH Host/Homeplate Homestyle/cooking segments – New Jersey native Mitch Lynch comes to the “Homeplate” with impressive kitchen credentials. While earning a chef’s apprenticeship at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., Mitch studied under classically trained European chefs. During this American Culinary Federation apprenticeship, he learned the cooking styles of many different countries.  Mitch and his wife, Patricia Tinkler, own Friends Roastery in downtown Salem, where he is chief baker and coffee roaster. He is also a certified fitness and diet coach.

HELGA WENGLER Host/Homeplate Homestyle/cooking segments – “Homeplate Homestyle” co-host Helga Wengler says she learned cooking from her mother (in Germany) and a sister (in Ohio). Helga was born Frankfurt, just before World War II.  After relocating to the U.S. in 1955, she worked at Packard. Married for “54 wonderful years” to her husband Wolfgang, she has three daughters and six grandchildren.Helga is a member of the Saxon Club and co-host (with Wolfgang) of the “German Radio Hour” on WKTL. She says her favorite TV cooking personality is Rachael Ray. Her favorite foods include Sauerbraten, Spetzel, Schnitzel and potato salad.

SOPHIA BROOKS Interviewer & Host/Expressions – Local broadcast pioneer Sophia Brooks is host of the “Expressions” segment on “Homeplate.” Each week, Sophia conducts a brief artist interview, which is followed by a musical or theatrical performance. A fine arts performer herself, Sophia served 14 years as community-affairs director for WKBN TV-27, where she hosted a regular program called “Expressions.”

PAULA JASPER Interviewer & Host/”Explore the Mahoning Valley” – Each week, Paula and viewers discover the region’s sometimes hidden assets during “Explore the Mahoning Valley.” Paula, who also contributes general voice work to “Homeplate,” moved to the Mahoning Valley with her husband, Jack Carlton, in 1993. Paula has extensive teaching and performance credentials and has lived on the West Coast, Mid-South, and New England.  With her husband, she assisted in the development and management of the “Murals Project – Museum Without Walls,” which brought art to vacant storefronts in downtown Youngstown. Paula holds a master’s of fine arts from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s in fine arts from Pacific Lutheran University.

JOHN WEBSTER Host, Columnist & The Wine Guy – John Webster, who writes a monthly column on wine for Metro Monthly, hosts a short weekly segment on “Homeplate” called “The Wine Guy.” In addition, John’s ‘Homeplate’ segments are currently in development for as short podcasts on iTunes.

KEVIN KRALJ Host & Design Specialist/“StyleLife” – Kevin Kralj and his sister, Kristy Regula,  share home improvement and decorating tips with viewers during their “StyleLife” segment.  “I enjoy homekeeping (including gardening), entertaining friends, watching Bravo and HGTV, and my Siamese cats,” says Kevin. “My design inspirations are Martha Stewart and Sarah Richardson and my favorite “food” star is Ina Garten, also known as The Barefoot Contessa. “She makes it look so easy,“ Kevin says. A practicing attorney, Kevin works for a Mahoning County governmental agency.

KRISTY REGULA Host & Design Specialist/“StyleLife” – Kristy, who works as a television producer for WPXI in Pittsburgh, describes herself a “news junkie.”  Kristy holds a bachelor’s in broadcast news and a master’s in telecommunications management from Ohio University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Robert, and their four pets: Munch and Emmy (the cats), and Spanky and Stewart (the shih tzus). “I also enjoy watching anything on Food Network, HGTV and Bravo,” she added. Kristy and her husband recently celebrated the birth of their first child.

 © 2011 The Metro Monthly, Homeplate and AddMoxie. All rights reserved.

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  1. This is still a work in progress. Your patience is appreciated.


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