Not everyone gets their dream job, but I’m a lucky person who has. Ever since my family started watching the news on WHIO when I was a kid, I wanted to work here.
I was drawn to the profession of journalism because I’ve always been curious about what’s going on in our community, the nation, and the world. I grew up reading the newspaper and vividly remember watching TV news coverage of JFK’s funeral and Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk. I take very seriously the viewers’ trust and have strived every day of my career to be accurate, fair, and balanced in my reporting.
I’m not a Miami Valley native, but it’s been home for most of my life. My dad was in the Air Force and was transferred from Waco, Texas to Wright-Patterson in the mid-1960s. In 1968, my mother died of breast cancer, leaving my dad a widower with six children. I went to school at St. Helen’s in Riverside and Carroll High School. I later earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati. A bonus to being a student at UC: I could hop on the city bus and go to Reds games. I was a huge fan of the Big Red Machine of the 1970s!
My senior year of college, I interned at WKRC radio where I learned to really use what I was learning. In those days, almost everyone worked in radio news before moving into television news. Radio was great training ground for writing fast, developing one’s delivery, and meeting hourly deadlines.
From there, I worked in radio for three years—with stints at WING 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 several big cases and high-profile trials.
During those years, I won four regional 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 received an Emmy for Investigative Reporting, for a three-part series on repeat drunk driving offenders. In 2013, I added two more Emmys for half hour specials that my co-workers and I produced. One was "Miami Valley Murder Mysteries"; the other was called "PTSD: Invisible Wound"--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. And in 2020—I won my ninth Emmy for our Breaking News coverage of the Oregon District mass shooting in 2019.
I’ve been twice honored as Best Anchor by the Ohio Associated Press and twice as Best Anchor by the Society of Professional Journalists. I’m a member of the Ohio Valley Silver Circle presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Science for performing distinguished service in the television industry for 25 years or more. I've also 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. Twice I’ve been part of a WHIO team that’s won regional Edward R. Murrow awards—for a 2010 half hour special called "Domestic Violence: Breaking the Cycle" and for our 2019 Breaking News coverage of the Oregon District mass shooting.
One of the highlights of my career was the night of Memorial Day 2019 when I joined our Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs on the air for hours, warning our viewers to take shelter as fifteen destructive tornadoes tore through the Miami Valley. It’s been humbling and rewarding to receive thanks from people who believe our coverage saved their lives.
From 1987 through 2014, I co-hosted the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, which raised money for Dayton Children’s Hospital. I’ve also emceed a number of other community events over the years—including the United Way Big Thanks volunteer breakfast, the Dayton Defense Education Gala, 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.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best in the business—having anchored with Jim Baldridge, Ken Jefferson, and now James Brown. However, I couldn’t possibly name all my coworkers—present and former—who’ve taught me so much over the years and have been such a pleasure to work with every day.
My biggest supporters are my family—my husband Bob and our two daughters, Christina, and Maria, as well as my dad, my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews.
I'm a big sports fan, cheering for local teams—especially the U.D. Flyers, Wright State Raiders, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Cincinnati Reds and Bengals. I love to stay active and work out. My favorites are running, swimming, and yoga, and walking our black rescue Lab, Missy. When I have spare time, I enjoy cooking and reading.
Anniversary Symptoms are a normal feeling victims of trauma feel when they are reminded of the event. News Center 7 talked with a psychologist and survivors of the Oregon District Shooting about what people who experience this could feel.
As the Food and Drug Administration considers authorizing the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children as young as 12, the News Center 7 I-Team took questions surrounding vaccinating young children to the doctor overseeing an Ohio clinical trial and a Miami Valley pediatrician.