Member Spotlight – Nikki Martinez

What is your favorite song?
Right now it would have to be Aaron Cole’s “Right On Time” – I could listen to it on repeat and I’d still be good with it. The song FEELS like warm weather, and has such a good message of the trust we need to have in Jesus’ timing, not our own!

What is the last book you’ve read?
I actually haven’t read a book in a while (besides the Bible), BUT I’m currently reading “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell – Nathan’s (my husband) grandma told me I HAD to read it if I’ve seen the movie. She said there’s so much more to the story in the book!

What led you to a career in radio?
While interning at KSBJ the summer before my Senior Year at Baylor, I got asked by then APD (and now PD here) Susan O’Donnell what I wanted to do when I graduated. My plan was to try and be a record producer or engineer because I LOVED music and wanted to help create with artists who had these amazing songs for God. She told me straight-up not to do that and instead I needed to be on the air in radio. After I laughed a bit, I realized she was being real with me. She said, “I’ve worked in the business for a good amount of time, and I know when someone has ‘It.’ You have ‘It,’ and if you don’t do something about it, you’re going to kick yourself for the rest of your life. I’m glad I’m not kicking myself 🙂

What advice would you give people new to the business?
Have patience and give grace to others AND to yourself. You’re not going to be perfect or pristine out-the-gate, so be okay with that instead of either beating yourself up OR having an ego about yourself and not willing to learn

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
Honestly, I would give a shout-out to my whole team here at KVNE and KGLY, but specifically right now, Jill Smith and Fletcher Jonson – they are the dynamic duo of our Community Connections team and they are ON-FIRE. Not only with constantly having us as a ministry in the middle of our East Texas Community, but setting up Prayer Stops, engaging continuously on Social Media, keeping the public informed through our website, and it all be to share Jesus and His heart with as many as we can! We may be considered a “small station,” but that doesn’t show at all through what Fletch and Jill do with our team, for our team, and for East Texas! They have a passion to share God with all they can, and they always are learning and growing, open to try new ideas and making small changes to continue to be the best.

How do you refresh your creative energy at work?
The only real way to do that is to spend time with God, which is actually encouraged DURING our work day here. Honestly, I know friends and family who would wish to have 30 minutes of quiet time with God on top of the 30 mins-1 hour lunch break they may get, so I never want to take that time for granted. It’s something Susan has implemented in our work day and I’m grateful for it!

Amazon Echo or Google Home?
I have neither, but probably Echo.

What is your favorite part of your job?
It might sound cheesy, but getting a chance to chat or pray with our listeners. These are real people on the other side of the radio, listening to every “awesome” break or mispronounced word, and they’re going through their own things that they may just need a break from. And for them to turn on a radio and actually take moments to listen to us, or even CALL us – that is a whirlwind of responsibility, but I am grateful God has given it to me for as long as He wants me to have it. I do LOVE music, and the power of a song that we chose to play is never forgotten, but for right now, I think getting to have connections with our listeners – it’s so cool!

Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I would be bias if I said Lauren Lee at Air1 (seeing she’s my best friend), but she really is an amazing talent and I couldn’t be any more proud of her. She is quirky as all get-up (which I get because I am too), but there is this joy that just bursts through the radio that you can FEEL, this passion for Jesus that you KNOW is there. She really makes you stop at times to just listen, whether if it’s about a burden on her heart, a prayer for a listener, or a hilarious issue with a face mask she was trying on, she has what Susan labels “It.”

What was your last non-industry job?
Working on staff (part-time) for my church back in Roseville, CA in the Childcare Department, mainly taking care of children around 1st-3rd grade, but helping anywhere honestly.

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I would say 2-fold right now. First, just this past October I reached my 10 year mark in radio, which half of that has been predominantly with 1 company (and no, I don’t plan on leaving here at all – I love the people too much)!  But in this process of celebrating 10 years in radio, I’ve also had the privilege to help co-develop a somewhat new format for one of our stations (KGLY): Christian Coffeehouse. And what’s been incredible is that the unique listenership (and listenership alone) has increased in huge ways! This idea that Susan and myself had just a little less than 2 years ago actually has been working and it is awesome 🙂

Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.
I’m not sure where it began, but there are groups around the US that use plastic bags to help out the homeless…and I’ve joined in on it. Whether you knit or crochet, there are these mats that you can make for the homeless using plarn – plastic yarn, which is made up of cut-up plastic bags. We actually have a woman named Ferna here in East TX that decided she wanted to start a group like that (called Caring Hearts and Helping Hands), and so about a year ago or so she began it. I’ve knitted since college, and when I was looking at things on our station events calendar to talk about on the air, I saw this chance to use my knitting skills for another purpose. So, I called her up and she told me about a big Saturday workshop they were about to have and how I should come for just a few minutes to learn a bit and maybe pick-up some balls of plarn to start knitting with. I did show up, and it was amazing to see the pictures of people around East TX who have already been blessed with these mats to keep their sleeping bags and blankets dry from the damp ground at night: https://tylerpaper.com/news/local/volunteers-use-plastic-grocery-bags-to-make-sleeping-mats-for/article_f9166ae0-f64c-11e7-953b-877e9e61c7b9.html

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I would be sky blue – my favorite color being blue, but open to the sun shining in on my life 🙂

Nikki Martinez
KVNE – Music Director/Mid-Day Host
CMB Silver Member Since 2013