@KSHB, Since 1997
Hometown: Niceville, FL
College: Oral Roberts University
Years in the Industry: 37
How have you survived in the industry?
I attribute my survival to being flexible to changes and teachable. I also survived because I am motivated to continue my career. My goal is to use my platform in television news to help other people. That’s the joy that keeps me motivated to get up every morning and do my best to tell the news with compassion, honesty, character and connect viewers to the people in my stories.
I am also proud that since coming to Kanas City 20 years ago I founded Awesome Ambitions, a college and career readiness program for 8th through 12th grade girls in the Kansas City area (www.awesomeambitions.com). I’m able to invest in the lives of my Awesome girls in the same way so many people helped me realize my dreams in life. Finally, my faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has kept me inspired to keep going when it’s not easy.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is the tragic stories I cover when people have been murdered or their children were murdered or killed in crashes or horrible accidents. Talking about their sorrow hurts. It is a comfort to know that when they trust me to tell their story–I strive to connect their hearts with the viewers.
What’s the easiest part of your job?
The easiest part of my job is meeting wonderful people and telling their stories.
What do you like most about the Kansas City market?
I believe Kansas City is amazing because we’re in the heart of the country, we have the ballet, symphony, extraordinary theater, awesome music of all kinds and a vibrant city that is growing and alive.
Tell us about your most memorable interview?
My most memorable interview is with Aren Almon in Oklahoma City after the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. She is the mother of the baby who died in the day-care at the Federal Building. A picture of her baby’s body being cradled in the arms of an Oklahoma City firefighter went global. I was the first reporter to interview her and introduced her to the firefighter who carried her baby’s body out of the demolished building.
What something professionally that you haven’t done yet that you want to do?
Because I am a breast cancer survivor, I want to continue making a difference on the air to help raise awareness and save lives of women who are mistakenly waiting until it’s too late to get a mammogram or do their monthly breast self-exams. Please do not be afraid of finding out you have breast cancer, be afraid of finding out too late.
How do you feel about being approached when you are in public? Selfies? Autographs?
I am thrilled when people come up to me in public and say hello. They’re typically very respectful and do not spend a great deal of time– when they see me in a grocery store or at the mall. I’m happy people are watching. I thank them for watching.
Were you a reporter in high school? What after school activities or sports did you play?
I attended Niceville High School where I started start our high school newspaper The Eagle Edition, and was its editor. I was also Miss Niceville High School in 1976 and played one year on the school basketball team.
What’s something interesting and fun about yourself that people may not know?
I play the guitar–just for fun… mostly praise and worship songs. I’m a Christian and I attend United Believers Community Church.
Who is your favorite music artist? What is your favorite genre of music to listen to?
Contemporary Christian Music is my favorite genre but I listen to all kinds of music. I love, love, Oleta Adams. Awesome singer, inspiring woman.