What led you to a career in the radio industry?
I used to have to go to speech therapy when I was little because I had a raspy voice. The therapist asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said I didn’t know. He said “you know it would be crazy if one day your voice was on the radio…” — Challenge accepted. Fast forward 13 years and I fell in love with Christian radio while I was in college. I was a broadcasting student and pursuing a career in journalism, but quickly realized I wasn’t about an industry where “if it bleeds it leads.” I wanted to be a part of something that gave people joy, hope and ultimately pointed people to God.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
I would say go in and learn as much as possible about the industry first. Find out where radio was years ago and what’s changed. Why things work and run the way they do. Who makes up the industry and the different positions at a radio station. Then use your passion, talents, and fresh eyes to help it grow! Find someone who can help mentor you along the way.
Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
There have been SO many in my life throughout the years… Jon Hull at KSBJ helped me get my first job in this industry and taught me so much. Susan O’Donnell was an amazing boss and mentor. She showed me how to think outside of the box and understand more about making connections with listeners. Carlos Aguiar opened my eyes to a new kind of music and a future in Christian radio that is so needed. Seriously there are so many – Andrea Kleid, Carol Ellingson, Scott Herrold, Tracy Johnson, and the God Father of Christian Radio – Alan Mason! Currently (and you can call me a brown noser I don’t care) Michelle Younkman is making a huge impact in this industry. Her heart for our music, our people and our future has been inspiring to watch and be a part of. Oh yeah, and Mike Couchman.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Love That Sticks. When we launched this campaign at KSBJ and NGEN radio we had no clue how big it would get. Who would have thought a sticky note with an encouraging message for a stranger would impact so many people?!!?!?
Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.
The last few years of my life I have experienced a lot of trials and Christian music was always there for me. There have been so many songs that made a difference in my life during a particular season or difficulty. The biggest impact I got to witness was at a Britt Nicole concert that I took my daughter to. Britt was on stage talking about her parents going through a divorce and sang the song “All This Time.” I looked down to see my daughter praising God and singing along like I had never seen before. Later she told me she’s realizes now “she’s not the only one.” We will forever be fans of Britt Nicole and I will forever be thankful for her authenticity and heart.
Events Manager, CMB