I am from a town called Austin. No, not Austin, Texas – Austin, Minnesota. You may have heard of it as it is the SPAM capital of the world. Did you know the most SPAM is consumed in Hawaii? Anyway, that is where I am from. I went to school at South Dakota State University and was involved in several on-campus organizations including the University Program Council, Hobo Day Committee, Students’ Association and The Collegian.
After college, I went to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to work at WDAZ. I love the Grand Forks and Fargo areas and now have big appreciation for UND hockey. After 1.5 years there, and the hardest winter of my life (remember, I am from Minnesota and went to school in South Dakota), I took a job at KELO. I remember understanding the impact KELO has had in the region during my college days. I heard several friends say, “I am going to watch KELO,” rather than saying, “I am going to watch the news.” I am happy to live in Sioux Falls, and consider myself incredibly fortunate because many of my friends from college still live in the area.
I have always been a huge fan of television and the writing that goes with it. My mom tells me that even at age three, I would watch the news, I knew who the anchors and reporters were, and I would also memorize lines, plots and impersonate characters from sitcoms and movies. I think this is why I consider myself a “viewer” more so than a “news man.” I hope this fact helps me find interesting stories that will engage, connect, be meaningful and will allow people to say, “well huh, I never thought of it that way before.”
I have always enjoyed writing, and thankfully my seventh grade English teacher noticed it and encouraged it. In high school I wrote and was an editor for the newspaper. My journalism teacher was a great mentor, and put me on the track toward this career. I won an Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism scholarship during my senior year in high school, which helped me connect with and be inspired by other aspiring journalists. In the last few years, I have been fortunate to have guidance from my very tough-to-please, yet very wise college professor, as well as my first boss- a very intimidating redheaded news director who is now a good friend. I take the time to mention these people because they took the time to invest their time in me. Teachers are our greatest resources. If you can, try to be a teacher to at least one person in your life.
Beyond work, I love standup comedy, live music, books, locally-owned restaurants, movies in the theater, and spending as much time as I can with my friends.
I always want to hear from you.