Follow on Twitter @szaagman
Reporter. Photographer. Marketing and promotions expert. Swing dance organizer. Board game champion. Drinks too much coffee. Love classic cars, craft beer, and finding the story in anything.
You only have worked in Grand Rapids?
Yes… for the most part.
I joined WZZM 13 in 2003 as a senior promotions producer which meant I created lots of TV commercials about WZZM 13, administered our social media products, and generally came up with ways to get the word to the community about WZZM 13. I got to be super creative. I won lots of awards! But alas it was time for a change and I took the leap from behind the camera to in front of it.
But I thought you had a face for radio?
What who said that… it's true… but who said that?! Make-up can do wonders.
In 2011, I became a reporter at WZZM 13 and boy was it a change. Imagine spending three days to make a 30 second commercial to making two minute news stories in less than five hours. I realized that deadlines (and coffee) can really focus the mind.
Every day as a reporter I get to do the stories that are a little strange, a little weird, but often a lot of fun. The people I get to meet are simply amazing and sometimes even famous, like Madeline Albright. I even get to help people and those stories can be the best.
Are you that swing dancer guy that does that swing thing?
Yes and you should dance too because it's AWESOME.
A lot of people know me from organizing swing dance events in Grand Rapids. I run a group called the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society and I put on free community events. It has grown to be the largest in the world and made it into the Guiness Book of World Records (awesome). I even got a lifetime achievement award because of it (more awesome), got a museum exhibit about my life (most awesome)! I over use the word awesome (not awesome).
If I ever meet you in public, what should I do?
I don't know, give me money… I would like that.
Really though, you can say hi or tell me story. I like hugs and handshakes.
I am just a normal guy born and raised here in Grand Rapids and I want to tell the stories of our community.