Member Spotlight – ShawnMarie Aiken

What is your favorite song?
New one right now is Lincoln Brewster’s “No One Like Our God”, I’m going to introduce this to the Presbyterian church where I lead worship, and maybe (just maybe) get them to raise their hands.

What is the last book you’ve read?
“Hillbilly Ellegy” by J.D. Vance (on audio) and actual read, “Bridge To Haven” by Francine Rivers.  My favorite book I’ve read is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers – made a huge impact in my life (part of my testimony).

What led you to a career in radio?
I had a background in media sales — I sold advertising for the local CBS affiliate in Great Falls, MT before I worked for Family Christian Stores.  When I managed the FCS in Bozeman, MT I would write and voice the radio ads for the store that ran on the local, Christian radio station (99.1 The One).  As a listener, I would give during their Share-a-thons, and even brought in my keyboard and recorded a Christmas jingle for a local business….”Oh the weather outside is frightful, doesn’t pizza sound delightful, and since there’s no place to go like Rosa’s Pizza, Rosa’s Pizza, Rosa’s Pizza…..” I had taken a career break from managing for FCS to raise my 2 children, and three weeks later found out I was pregnant with SURPRISE baby #3.  I quickly found out I was NOT a good stay-at-home mom, and needed to get back into the workforce, but couldn’t find a job that would justify paying for daycare and the cost of working.  So, I became a house-cleaner.  I did that for over 7 years. Without giving away my age, I had a true melt-down, mid-life crisis shortly before I turned 41. It’s hard to go from a management position and making pretty good money for your family to kneeling in front of someone else’s toilet.  This was NOT what I had goal planned in high school.  One Sunday morning in January (I did not go to church), I took my 112 pound Akita for a walk in the field and I had a wrestling moment with God. I cried out, “God, if cleaning is my lot in life, if this is what you have planned for me, if my dream of being a singer/song-writer is out of reach and on the shelf, then I surrender.  But You need to make it OK with me in my mind and my heart.  Then You need to give me a new body to keep cleaning.  I figured I needed to clean 1,000 toilets before I experienced “Career Breakthrough” – And left the counting to some “accounting angel” in heaven. Within days I received a call from the General Manager and owner of 99.1, asking me to come in for an interview.  I must have hit my 1,000th toilet, because two weeks later I got a call from him offering me a job as a Sales Executive and Production Assistant.  I almost dropped my phone in the toilet. That was seven years ago.

What advice would you give people new to the business?
Learn to love deadlines.  If you work in a small station, you will wear many hats, so get ready to be stretched – After-all a rubber band in not useful until it’s stretched and in Christian radio you will be stretched.  We’re a business AND we are a ministry.

Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact?
To Brian Sanders at PAR and their #ENCW Project – Love what his organization is doing to inspire and connect Christian radio stations across the country to reach and impact a billion lives.  I’m honored to be a part of his weekly Leadership calls and soak up the wisdom from the best in our industry.  Also a “special thanks” and “shout out” to Paul Tipton at Christian FM.  Without Christian FM, we would not have our station, and he has taught me so much about Christian radio.  I only wish that when I come to Florida to visit, it won’t rain and I’ll actually get to spend some time at the beach.

How do you refresh your creative energy at work?
I play the keyboard and sing (I also lead worship for a Presbyterian Church).  When the snow finally quits falling in Montana, I love to play in the dirt and plant flowers and set up my patio and “patio”.  My motto:  “Beauty is cultivated – Weeds grow with no work at all”

Amazon Echo or Google Home?
We have an Amazon Echo.  My husband thinks Alexa is the only woman in his life that listens to him, and answers.  I find her creepy, and am freaked out that she’s probably spying on us.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy the creative aspect of copy writing and production.  I like the personal interaction with the folks that come into the studio and partnering with local churches and ministries within our community.  And then when I’ve had enough of “playing nicey-nice” with people, I can shut the studio door and do my thing.

Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
Jerry Woods at WGTS 91.9. Last year at Momentum he was our table leader at the cohort lunch.  He was relatable to everyone at our table, and he spoke “leadership” to me, and really encouraged me – He said, “You’re funny and you have good things to say. You will have your own radio show”.  He got his start in a small market and understood my desire/passion to grow.  Thanks Jerry!

What was your last non-industry job?
Cleaning houses and before that store manager for Family Christian Store.

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career. 
I think everything I’ve done has been a building process – Not any one thing. I’ve survived Radio Sales and thank you Jesus, we have a real sales person now.  I’ve produced some really good commercials and completed a Good Friday dramatic reading from one of our local pastors w/ various music backgrounds and sound effects. I’ve cultivated relationships with local churches and ministries and have been an M.C. twice in the past year.

Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.
I can teach how to smoke meat.  Pulled pork, Salmon, Beef ribs, even a Turkey – hungry yet?

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Radiant Red – love red – it’s my power color.

ShawnMarie Aiken
KCMM – Studio Manager
CMB Silver Member Since 2017