The North Bay fires had just broken out and within an hour, I was in the epicenter of the destruction. The adrenaline kicked in. From neighborhoods of multi-million dollar homes to mobile home parks, the flames showed no mercy. Fire victims were stumbling through the street, dazed and covered in thick black ash. The air so thick with smoke, it burned your lungs and tears would stream down your face.
Despite the chaos and gut-wrenching sadness, being able to tell their stories was an honor and a privilege and it reminded me of why I got into this crazy TV news business in the first place.
The path to ABC7 News started when I was a small child, and my parents, two immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan wanted me to learn how to speak "proper" English and would sit me in front of the TV to watch ABC's 20/20. Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters were my heroes. It struck me as I got older, maybe I could give others a voice like they did.
Former mentors, starting from my high school TV teacher, Mr. Lewis, to another Mr. Lewis who was, at the time, news director at a station in Hartford, Connecticut helped give me my start as a student reporter.
From there, the business brought me to Springfield, Massachusetts as a bureau reporter, then Kansas City as a weekend and then weekday morning anchor, primary evening anchor/reporter in Charlotte and most recently, main anchor/reporter in Tampa Bay. The journey has taken me from ground zero after hurricanes and tornadoes to broadcasting in a booth next to Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention, and to Hollywood for red carpet TV show premieres. You really never know what your day is going to be like in this business.
While I don't have any personal Emmy awards, I am proud to have been voted "Best Morning Anchor" and "Best TV Personality" by different publications in Kansas City and Charlotte, and then named one of the nation's top 18 leaders under 34 in TV by Broadcast & Cable Magazine. To me, those kinds of acknowledgments mean more than a golden statue.
Having those roles allowed me to pursue community involvement projects, such as developing programs for women's professional groups and students revolving around the theme of laughter, empowerment and being authentic. This is my passion. Using those platforms, sharing my own personal struggles in navigating a very competitive business as a minority woman, I've contributed to the Huffington Post and written a series for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website and signed on last year as an author for Full Circle Literary.
When I'm not on TV, you'll find me with friends exploring all the amazing food available in the Bay Area, traveling around the world and volunteering and acting as an ambassador for the non-profit Best Buddies. My husband, a professional poker player and I are the parents of a Miniature Dachshund named Daphne and a Yorkie named Georgie. Fun Fact: I have a sushi roll named after me at The Cowfish restaurant in Charlotte, Atlanta and inside Universal Studios City Walk...and yes. My parents were big Dionne Warwick fans!
EXCLUSIVE: Mother of victim in deadly NYE hit-and-run in San Francisco speaks of 'turmoil' in her heart
She says she's known there was trouble in San Francisco since her 2019 visit from Japan to the world-famous city. But she didn't know DA Chesa Boudin's lenient handling of repeat offenders, could lead to her own daughter's death.
Martin Luther King III speaks on father's legacy, commitment to finishing MLK's work
"I think my father would be greatly disappointed in where we are as a nation at this particular moment, but he would not give up on the nation. He believed in the power of people, the power of young people, the power of change to come," Martin Luther King III said in an interview with ABC7 News.
'I'm shocked': Memorial for SF hit-and-run victim vandalized as community seeks change in troubled city
A friend of the victim says this points to a larger problem in San Francisco, "Some level of mutual respect between human beings, which is severely lacking in the city, needs to be addressed."
Bay Area researchers develop new rapid COVID-19 test that uses smartphone camera
The method not only can detect COVID-19 in under 30 minutes using a phone camera, it can also help monitor the progression of a COVID-19 infection and estimate how contagious a person might be.
'It's frustrating': Former SF Mayor Willie Brown proposes universal COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan
In a phone interview with ABC7 News on Sunday night, Brown expressed belief in simplifying the process to where everyone can go to their local elementary school and get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nearly 100 priceless costumes stolen from renowned San Jose Dance Theatre
"If you have it in your heart to return them, we would not press charges. We would be eternally grateful to have these one-of-a-kind masterpieces back so we can use them and continue what we do for performing arts," Linda Hurkmans, the artistic director says.
EXCLUSIVE: Suspect's mother says fatal NYE hit-and-run in SF 'could have been avoided'
Troy McAlister's uncle echoed her statement, saying, "I don't know why they released him. I really cannot understand that."
EXCLUSIVE: Mother of San Francisco NYE hit-and-run victim arrives at SFO from Japan ahead of vigil
Hiroko Abe will be speaking at a community remembrance vigil at Mission and 2nd streets at the time her daughter, Hanako, was killed.
CA officials say SF DA's failure to file criminal charges led to deadly hit-and-run on New Year's Eve
"Had the DA done their job, Mr. McAlister would've been in custody and you would not have grieving families," said the president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association.
SF District Attorney cites systematic failures after parolee suspected of deadly New Year's Eve hit-and-run
Boudin says SFPD didn't notify parole in McAlister's most recent arrest on Dec. 20 and Daly City police didn't arrest him after receiving a report that he may have stolen a car on Dec. 29.
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