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!
Presidio's interior trails closed to dogs as coyote pupping season begins
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Coronavirus Crimes: San Francisco restaurants see trend in break-ins amid COVID-19 shelter-in-place
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Coronavirus Kindness: Kid entrepreneurs make leather goods to support other students amid COVID-19 school closures
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Coyotes caught on camera fighting at the Presidio now facing crowds during COVID-19 shelter-in-place
Park officials are calling it a "coup d'etat" after a group of coyotes were caught on camera fighting at the Presidio. Now that pup season is here, park officials are closing trails to dogs n an effort to head off dangerous confrontations that have happened around the Bay Area.
Race and Coronavirus: San Francisco Bay Area residents share their stories of hate and new solutions
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San Francisco Bay Area siblings create adorable coronavirus rap while stuck at home
From her moody, dimly lit "studio" 9-year-old Ellie dela Cruz spits prescient rhymes like, "It feels like it's preventing me from chilling socially. It looks like the virus is taking over globally."
Coronavirus impact: South Bay couple gets crafty, celebrates anniversary on dream trip while sheltering in place
Pat and Ray Burleigh didn't let the shelter-in-place interfere with their anniversary plans. Instead, the pair got dressed up, grabbed the champagne, set up a green blanket inside their San Jose home...and got creative!
Life during Coronavirus: Bay Area communities share moments of joy and kindness
SPREADING JOY: During these extraordinary times we're sharing little pieces of joy from across the Bay Area. There are so many stories of families and total strangers, spreading happiness during the "new normal."
Coronavirus discrimination: Victims share stories of hate crimes after 650+ incidents reported
ALARMING: One week ago, an online reporting center was launched so people who experienced coronavirus-related discrimination could share their stories. Since then there have been more than 100 cases reported each day.
Coronavirus outbreak: Neighbors form peace group to keep Chinatown safe from crimes
"We need to become the leaders ourselves." With the emptiness that comes with shelter-at-home orders, some community members are worried about crime and looting. That's why a group calling themselves the SF Peace Collective have formed to take action.
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