1. What’s one of the scariest things that has ever happened to you?
One of my scariest experiences happened while I was working at WOOD TV. I took a phone call in the newsroom from a woman who confessed to shooting her husband. It’s a really long story. But I took a bunch of notes, unsure if the call was a prank or the real thing. I called the sheriff’s department and asked them to stop by the house. It turns out, it wasn’t a prank. And I ended up testifying in the murder trial. It was a scary and sad experience.
2. Where did you go to college? What did you major in?
I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Journalism. My emphasis was Political Science. It took me four and half years to graduate. But I also completed three internships during those years. And I worked as many as three jobs at once, at various times. I was hired by the CBS station in Lansing during my senior year. I don’t think my life has slowed down since.
3. What was your first job out of college?
I continued working at WLNS TV in Lansing after I graduated from MSU. I was a newsroom assistant. That’s a broad term for doing every job in the newsroom. I was a reporter, photographer, producer, editor… I even set up and operated the live trucks in the field! It was the BEST way to start in broadcast television. It taught me to appreciate every job and person who contributes to a show or newscast. I still believe it today – every member of the team is important.
4. Where did you and your husband meet?
I met my husband at Meijer. I was covering a story about how Grand Rapids Griffins tickets were being sold at kiosks in Meijer stores. He worked for the ticketing company at the time. He sent me a thank you letter and asked me out. The rest is history. Years later, I interviewed Fred Meijer. I told him you really could find anything at his grocery stores… even a husband! He loved it.
5. What’s the most embarrassing moment of your career?
One time I swore on TV. I thought my microphone was off, but it wasn’t. I don’t even swear a lot. So it was especially careless and embarrassing. It happened over 15 years ago, but I remember it so clearly. I got suspended from work for three days with no pay. But my news director was kind to me about it. He knew I felt awful. I also learned an important lesson… to watch what I say because some words can not be taken back.
6. What’s one thing you regret doing and why?
I don’t have a lot of regrets. I try to see mistakes as “learning opportunities”. If I had to pinpoint something though, it would be not telling the people around me how much they mean to me. I really try to do this. But I always think there’s room for improvement.
7. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Why did you choose that location?
My husband and I went on a Mediterranean cruise for my honeymoon. It was my first trip to Europe. We spent 12 nights on the ship. We visited Spain, Italy, Monaco, Turkey and Greece. It blew me away! We visited the Blue Mosque, Pompeii, the Acropolis, Capri, and so much more. That’s where my love for travel started. There’s something amazing about seeing new places and learning how other people live.
8. Do you like to exercise? If so, what type of exercise do you like to do?
I am one of those crazy people who really like exercising. I try to get to the gym at least 3 days a week. I have to admit… making time to exercise is tough between family and work. But leading a healthy lifestyle is important to me. I often wake up VERY early to workout… at a time when most people are still sleeping. And I love classes. I do kickboxing, weight lifting, zone training, etc. I run too, but it’s not my favorite. When I’m with my family, we bike, swim and explore.
9. Do you have any children? If so, how many?
I have two daughters. And they’re awesome in every way.
10. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
My favorite is Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I have to admit… I don’t have a sweet tooth. But I find the refreshing taste of mint and dark chocolate irresistible!
11. What is one of your pet peeves (something that really irritates you)?
Something that really irritates me is negativity and complaining. I always try to find the up side. So I refuse to be around negative people. Life is too short to waste your time, energy and mind on negativity.
12. At what age did you have your first date? What do you remember about it?
My parents didn’t let me date until I was 16. I could go on double dates before that, but that’s it. I did bend the rules a bit.
13. Where’s the best place you’ve vacationed?
One of my favorite vacation spots is Thailand. It took over 20 hours on a plane to get there, but it was worth it. My husband and I went to Bangkok and Phuket. Thailand is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. We explored temples, visited the famous Night Market and enjoyed stunning beaches. We visited Thailand two years after the deadly tsunami hit. Many were still experiencing difficult times. But I found the people in Thailand to be incredibly kind and the culture fascinating.
14. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
My favorite holiday is Christmas. There are so many reasons why. But most of all, because it’s a time when we truly celebrate and concentrate on our faith. I also enjoy coming together with family and friends. There’s something magical about Christmas. It’s a time of year that brings out the best in everyone.
15. Do you prefer dogs or cat? Or neither? Why?
Tough one! I’ve owned dogs and cats. And I like them both for different reasons. Right now, we own two fish. We inherited Taco from my daughter’s classroom. And we bought another fish, Burrito, to keep him company.
16. If Hollywood were going to make a movie about your life who would you want to play you?
I think I would want Tina Fey to play me in a movie. I’m not NEARLY as funny as she is. But she seems fun, likable, hardworking and creative. And she has a passion for writing, like I do.
17. Coffee or Tea and why?
Coffee. I like it black with a touch of natural sweetener.
18. What’s one country you really want to visit that you haven’t made it to yet?
I don’t think I can pick just one place I want to visit. Australia and New Zealand, South America… and more of Europe would be wonderful. I also hope to return to Italy one day. I absolutely love it there.
19. What’s a food you dislike?
Oh boy! This sounds strange… but I can’t eat meat or fish when the head is still attached. I like ham and bacon, but no pig roasts for me! Same with seafood.
20. What season do you like best and why?
My favorite season is summer. I definitely prefer the heat over the cold. I’m half Mexican, and I’m thinking that has something to do with it. Ha! I love the water too. I’m a constant fixture at the Lake Michigan lakeshore.
21. What’s something you got in trouble for when you were younger?
I was a talker when I was little. My family nicknamed me Motormouth. I couldn’t stand it! So I literally talked them out of changing it. I guess a career in TV was inevitable.
22. Do you have a big family or small family?
My family is pretty large. My dad is Mexican, and he has a lot of brothers and sisters. And they have a lot of kids too. My parents divorced when I was young and they both remarried. So I’ve always had double the amount of grandparents and relatives as other people. On top of that, my husband is one of six kids. And so my family got even larger when I married him.
23. What’s your favorite song from the 2000s?
Yikes! I can’t name just one. “All the Small Things” by Blink 182. “Take a Picture” by Filter. “Maps” by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon. I’ve always liked alternative music. But I also like classic artists too. My dad made me listen to a lot of Beatles, Jethro Tull, Pablo Cruise and Fleetwood Mac when I was a kid.
24. What’s your favorite quote?
I have many favorites. But near the top of the list is a quote by Margaret Mead. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” People often think they have no power. No voice. But if you are really committed to something, I believe you can make a difference.
25. What’s your dream car and why?
I’m not a car aficionado. But I’m a fan of James Bond. And I think the Aston Martin is classy and cool.