Working at WHIO-TV is a dream come true for me. From the time my father was transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the mid-1960s, my family always watched Channel 7.
I finished grade school at St. Helen's in Riverside (formerly Mad River Twp.), then graduated from Carroll High School. I later earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati. While in the Queen City, my roommate and I would often hop on the bus for a trip down to Riverfront Stadium to watch the Big Red Machine play! My senior year at U.C., I was fortunate to get an internship at WKRC radio where I learned to really apply what I was learning in college. I worked in radio news for three years, with stints at WING radio in Dayton and WCKY in Cincinnati, before landing a job as a reporter at WHIO-TV in August of 1981.
For much of the 1980’s, I covered the Dayton Police/Montgomery County Courts beat, reporting on all kinds of stories from the local criminal justice system. I covered a number of high-profile trials, including the murder trial of Ted Sinks. He was convicted of killing his wife and burying her body on the seventh floor of the Dayton Newspapers Building in downtown Dayton. During those years, I won four Emmy Awards. Three of them were for Spot News (now called Breaking News), including live coverage of a grueling police search for a teenager who was abducted by her mother’s killer. In 1990, I was thrilled to receive an Emmy for Investigative Reporting, for a three-part series on repeat drunk driving offenders.
In 2013, I added two more Emmys for two half hour specials that my co-workers and I produced. One was "Miami Valley Murder Mysteries"; the other was called "PTSD: Invisible Wound"--our goal here was to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress among our military combat veterans. I added two more Emmys in recent years for another “Miami Valley Murder Mysteries” and a special half-hour report about problems at the Dayton VA.
From 1991 through August of 2009, I anchored News Center 7's evening newscasts with my good friend and colleague, Jim Baldridge. He is now enjoying a well-deserved retirement. I'm fortunate that another very hardworking newsman succeeded Jim. James Brown and I are both sticklers for accuracy and grammar, and while we both like to joke around, we take very seriously our responsibility to our viewers here in the Miami Valley. From 1987 through 2014. I co-hosted the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, which raised money for Dayton Children’s Hospital. I also emcee a number of events every year—including the Dayton Defense Education Gala, the United Way Big Thanks Volunteer Breakfast and the Hundred Club, which recognizes police officers and firefighters who go above and beyond and provides scholarships to children of those who die during their public service.
Between 2007 and 2012, I was fortunate to be honored twice as Best Anchor by the Associated Press and once by the Society of Professional Journalists. Since 2007, I've been honored with induction to the Radio/TV Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Ohio, Carroll High School's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame and the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Three of my co-workers and I also received a regional Edward R. Murrow award for a half-hour special we did in 2010 called "Domestic Violence: Breaking the Cycle."
When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Bob, our daughters, Christina and Maria, and our black Labrador and rescue dog, Missy. I'm a big sports fan, cheering for local high schools, the U.D. Flyers, Wright State Raiders, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Cincinnati Bengals and Reds. I love to exercise, especially running, swimming, and yoga. I enjoy cooking, and my favorite thing to do is relax by the pool with a wonderful book (after swimming my laps, of course!).
Q & A
Where were you born? Charleston, South Carolina
Where did you grow up? In Dayton from the time I was 9 years old. Before that, we lived in Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina. My dad was in the Air Force.
What was your favorite TV show then? Probably Andy Griffith
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be? A nun.
How might someone have described you in high school? Friendly, outgoing, and not very serious.
What was your first job? Serving hamburgers at Hardee's.
What was your first job in television? Anchoring morning cut-ins on WKRC-TV in Cincinnati
What do you like about your job? I love the challenge of communicating the news of the day in a clear, concise manner.
What do you not like about your job? Having to be concerned about hair, makeup, and clothing.
What might people be surprised to know about you? That I'm very athletic and that I can be very silly.
What is the hardest thing you ever did? It's something I still do every day—being a working mother.
What would be a perfect day for you? It would be a day spent doing something fun with my family, where we're all laughing and enjoying each other's company…maybe playing at a water park all day, then getting cleaned up and having a nice dinner out somewhere (any dinner's nice that I don’t have to prepare and clean up!)
What advice would you have for someone wanting to go into the business? Learn how to write well, be curious about the world around you, and pursue your dreams.
If you could only keep one 5-minute tape from your career what would be on it?
A combination of anchoring with Jim Baldridge, and some of my reporting for which I won Emmy awards.
Favorite book: The Five People you meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.
Favorite CBS show: Survivor and 60 Minutes
Favorite food: Chocolate of any kind
Favorite hobby: Reading for pleasure, and exercising—walking, running, swimming
Favorite Miami Valley place: I love all the parks, including Carillon, John Bryan, and Cox Arboretum