I was a college broadcasting student in Ohio when my dad flew on a business trip from Grand Rapids to China. Seated next to him on that flight was a man who was the News Director at WZZM.

For the next 13 hours, my dad bent Jack Hogan's ear, telling him about his "brilliant daughter" who was soon to graduate from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism. While I didn't yet have the experience to work in Grand Rapids, Jack Hogan encouraged me to start in the Cadillac/Traverse City television market, so that's what I did – and I stayed nearly four years.

Finally, in 1987, I thought I had reached the Big Time when Hogan said I was ready, and brought me to Grand Rapids.

I've never stopped listening, learning and telling people's stories.

Over the years I spent in News, I've been able to work as a producer, reporter, news anchor and special projects manager.

I've managed to win some awards that seemed pretty exciting at the time, but it is very clear to me today that my real reward is the opportunity to impact the community and make a difference in people's lives.

Today I serve on the station's management team, overseeing Programming and Community Projects and contributing to our daily News/Lifestyle show, My West Michigan.

I'm an active community volunteer, currently serving on the boards of directors for the Rockford Education Foundation and Bethany Christian Services – both on their corporate and international boards. I've worked on a variety of community diversity initiatives. I'm a past president of the Junior League of Grand Rapids. I've also served on the Boards of Directors for ACCESS of West Michigan, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society, the West Michigan Alzheimer's Association, the Kent County Humane Society, Direction Center and the Grand Rapids Metropolitan YMCA.

My husband Kurt and I have two children, Carly and Christopher. As their mom, I've done everything from Den Mother to Room Mother … Baseball Coach to Odyssey of the Mind Coach. I've led batting practice and spelling bee prep … cheered from the sidelines for both football and band … and managed to find this wonderful blend of career and family. There's no place else I'd rather do that than here in West Michigan.

You can email Catherine at catherinebehrendt@wzzm13.com.