Written by on May 29, 2024

20 years! Just under half of my life. How do you sum up a career of 20 years into one blog post? I’m about to try.

From live broadcasts and events, including announcing at Sesame Street Live and taking my niece and nephew, to organizing countless bus trips to Packers, Brewers, and Bucks games, I’ve loved sharing these experiences with friends, family, and YOU. Recently, I’ve hosted winery tours and a bus trip to Nashville, creating 20 years of countless cherished memories. Today marks my final day at Z93 and Mid-West Family La Crosse. While it’s bittersweet to retire from my radio career, I’m thrilled for the next chapter and a new career path that will allow me to stay connected with you in a different way. Thank you for your continued trust, love, and support.

How did this all begin? I started as a weekend DJ on Z93 in May of 2004 after winning over the judges in “Z-Idol”, a singing competition, in the fall of 2003. Thankfully, Jen O’Brien saw something in me during that singing competition and invited me to explore the radio world. I had no idea it would become my life for the next 20 years. Everything happens for a reason.

From starting as a weekend DJ on Z93, in May of 2004, I quickly moved to a full-time position and was live on the air from midnight to 5 a.m.! From there, I transitioned into afternoons on Z93. I also dabbled in the night shift. In 2010, I achieved my goal of becoming “the next Samantha Strong”. As a surprise to me, I didn’t need to be Samantha, because I was about to become the best version of myself.

In 2010, I took over the Z93 Morning radio show and we branded it “The Z93 Morning Buzz”. During the first 4 and a half years, there was a series of morning show co-hosts. In December of 2015, we found the one that stuck! Ballzer was the perfect match. It has been nothing short of AMAZING. Our 20-year friendship paired with our talents, wittiness, humor, synchronization, love for our community, and love for entertaining, set us up for great success. A 2-woman morning show is almost unheard of, but we did it…and, in my opinion, we crushed it! I’ve enjoyed every minute. Again, everything happens for a reason.

In 2010 I also took on the role of Managing and building Mid-West Family Entertainment into a business that is now thriving, growing, and has a stellar reputation. I could not have done that without my amazing staff. It takes a village. Thank you to the hundreds of clients who have trusted us with their wedding day, birthday parties, prom dances, and more. Thank you for trusting us with your special celebrations.

The relationships I’ve built with my co-workers, clients, and listeners, have been the ultimate reason for my 20 years with Mid-West Family La Crosse. I can’t possibly express how much those relationships mean to me.

It feels like fate had a hand in this 20-year journey. Keith Carr was the emcee at Riverfest in 1988 when I performed for “Puttin’ on the Lips.” At just six years old, I wasn’t old enough to compete, but they let me perform because I was eager and ready to put on a show. Who would have thought that Keith and I would end up working together for 20 years?

A special shout out to Jean Taylor, my boss for the past four years and a dear friend. Jean is hardworking, kind-hearted, and genuinely loves helping our community. She’s a true rockstar. I could go on forever, listing everyone in our business who has made an impact—you know who you are. Thank you!

I appreciate the past 20 years at Z93 and Mid-West Family, where I’ve had the chance to learn, grow, and become who I am today. To the listeners, fans, friends, and business partners, I’ll always treasure the opportunity to have met each of you and to have been welcomed into your homes, cars, and offices. It has been an honor, and my love for you will never change. This isn’t goodbye; it’s “see you next time.”

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