For most of the kids in my fifth grade class, the field trip we took to WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee was a fun diversion from an ordinary day in the classroom. But, for me, it was destiny calling. I knew at just 9 years old that I would someday work in a TV newsroom.
I grew up in the small mountain community of Blue Ridge, Georgia. (Fun fact: the Appalachian Trail starts in my hometown!)
I’m a graduate of Berry College in Rome, Georgia. During my freshman year at Berry, I got my start in the biz by working in the news department at a local radio station in Rome. I spent four years working for that radio station and from there, I landed a job as an associate producer for WSB-TV in Atlanta. I transitioned from working behind the scenes to on-air reporting and anchoring at ETC3-TV, a small cable company in Ellijay, Georgia.
After spending a decade working toward my dreams of becoming a journalist, I set out on another longtime dream – to move out West. For as long as I can remember, I had felt a calling to move to that part of the country. I had joked with my parents that as soon as I could, I’d pack my bags and move to Alaska. Needless to say, they weren’t too surprised when it finally happened!
My opportunity to visit Alaska came in June 2007. It was during that two-week vacation when I fell in love with the Southcentral region. While spending a day in Anchorage, I dropped off a resume tape at KTUU. Even though there were no job openings, I remained persistent, calling and e-mailing the then-news director, John Tracy, at least once a week. A couple of months later, he finally called me back! I traveled 4,300 miles for a job interview. Two weeks later, I started at KTUU and served as the station’s Valley Bureau Chief in Wasilla, reporting daily for three years before being promoted to weekend anchor. Also during that time, I was awarded by the Alaska Press Club for reporting and live shots. After leaving KTUU, I signed on as News Director for KTBY FOX4 and KYUR ABC13 – a joint news operation in Anchorage. I’m absolutely thrilled to now be part of KTVA News!
Being a broadcast journalist, especially in Alaska, is the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve traveled around the state meeting new people and sharing their amazing stories. In this business, every day is different and with that comes a variety of challenges and endless opportunities to learn something new. But, the greatest gift is being able to make a difference in the communities and the lives of viewers. That’s why I LOVE my job. And, I LOVE living in Anchorage! Similar to what you hear from many other Alaskans, I only planned to spend two years here. It’s been six, so far!
In addition to being a journalist, I enjoy dabbling in photography and knitting. I also consider myself an avid outdoorswoman who loves fly fishing, camping, hiking and exploring the great state of Alaska with my husband. He is also a familiar face, or should I say, familiar voice, in Anchorage – Bob Lester of KWHL’s Bob & Mark Show. We live on the Hillside with our three truly Alaskan mutts – Winston, Oscar and Baxter.