RESUME 


Outside the Rails
Wadsworth, Illinois
February 2015 to Current
Founder/President


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I currently serve as the President of Outside the Rails, a small business based in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. We specialize in railroad route guide books for passenger train routes across the Midwestern United States. I founded Outside the Rails in February 2011 and decided to devote more time to the business starting in February 2015. Currently, the two best selling books are rail route guides for Amtrak's Hiawatha Service and Empire Builder route between Chicago, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, MN... and Amtrak's Southwest Chief route between Chicago, Galesburg, and La Plata, MO.  As President of the company, I do everything from develop ideas for future books to researching, writing, and marketing. Besides the two main books, Outside the Rails has developed a partnership with the Friends of the 261, a non-profit railroad history group in the Twin Cities, and has developed numerous route guides for their private and public rail excursions. Outside the Rails also partners with Flashing Yellow Guidebooks, which produces their own rail route guides for other passenger train routes across the United States. My wife Kandace serves as the Vice-President of Outside the Rails and handles some of the special events we do, along with inventory control. On many weekends you can find us participating in book signings all across the Upper Midwest and giving train tours along the route. Flashing Yellow Guidebooks and Outside the Rails books are also sold through www.outsidetherails.com.


     
NBC News Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 2013 to February 2015
Assignment Editor


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After a nearly four year hiatus, I briefly re-joined the world of television news in May 2013 as an Assignment Editor for WTMJ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee. An assignment editor is a member of the newsroom staff at a television station whose job duties include deciding which reporter will cover a given story. I worked first shift three days per week and second shift two days per week. In addition to generating story ideas and delegating coverage, assignment editors write and edit news stories and update the station's social media and website. Assignment editors assist their news team in coming up with story ideas and gathering information. Based on their news judgment and the preferences of viewers, listeners or readers in their market, assignment editors search for news by listening to police scanners, accessing news wire services and using social media websites. They also develop and maintain contacts with law enforcement and fire departments, local government and community organizations to stay updated on current events. It was an honor to work at WTMJ-TV, which has long been recognized as the "station of record" in the Milwaukee market and served as the flagship station of the Journal Broadcast Group for many years. I decided to leave WTMJ-TV in late 2014, but stayed on part-time through February 2015 to help out in the interim. The station has since been sold and is currently owned by the E.W. Scripps Company.




Oak Creek Police Department
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
July 2009 to May 2013
Emergency Police & Fire Communications


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I spent about four years working in emergency communications for the City of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. My main duties included answering 911 calls and dispatching fire, police, and EMS services. I also was responsible for handling calls from the media and putting out press releases. I was also responsible for writing and editing call logs that would sent out to various newspaper, radio, and television journalists in the Milwaukee area. Occasionally, I would also be sent out on patrol. One of the most challenging times occurred on August 5, 2012, when six people were killed at a religious temple in our city; one of our officers was among those injured in the incident. I spent many hours working inside the command post on scene of the incident. Emergency dispatchers often work for a police department, a fire department, or an emergency medical service, or sometimes all three. The dispatcher will send the appropriate unit, and the appropriate number of units, in response to the calls he gets for assistance. A dispatcher will determine the type of assistance that is needed by carefully listening to the caller. The questions an emergency dispatcher may ask will help him find out the type of issue, the seriousness of the issue and the location of the caller.




CBS News Milwaukee
West Allis, Wisconsin
February 2003 to March 2009
Senior Morning News Producer


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My experience in television news includes being a television news producer at WDJT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee. I started at the station in February 2003 as an Assistant Producer on the one-hour local morning newscast. In December 2003, I was promoted to Morning News Producer. When the show expanded to two hours in 2005, I was named the Senior Morning News Producer. I was responsible for the overall content of the newscast and also was in charge of supervising two Assistant Producers. TV news producers often work nights, weekends and holidays. After all, the news never ends. Their tasks tend to vary by market size. That said, nearly all are responsible for putting together a newscast, helping decide what story should lead the news, how long each report should take between commercial breaks, and what stories can be held for another day. On top of working with the graphics department, reports and anchors, news producers often introduce music and other sound effects into a newscast. TV news producers are in the information business, and therefore, need to be outstanding communicators. Often they will direct an anchor or news program host by talking into a microphone that comes out in the on-air talent's earpiece. I was laid off from the station on March 6, 2009 when a series of budget cuts impacted many workers in the newsroom.


     
NBC News Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana
December 2001 to February 2003
Morning News Producer


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My television news career continued at WKJG-TV, which at the time, was the NBC affiliate for northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. I was responsible for the overall content of the station's two-hour long morning weekday newscast featuring Zach Myers and Susan Ware. I wrote all of the content and helped to decide what stories would be covered by feature reporter, Mark "in the Morning" Evans. Television news producers often work nights, weekends and holidays. After all, the news never ends. Their tasks tend to vary by market size. That said, nearly all are responsible for putting together a newscast, helping decide what story should lead the news, how long each report should take between commercial breaks, and what stories can be held for another day. On top of working with the graphics department, reports and anchors, news producers often introduce music and other sound effects into a newscast. TV news producers are in the information business, and therefore, need to be outstanding communicators. Often they will direct an anchor or news program host by talking into a microphone that comes out in the on-air talent's earpiece. I left WKJG-TV and Fort Wayne after only a year; in early 2003 I was offered a job at WDJT-TV, which allowed me to move closer to my family in the Chicago area. Shortly after I left WKJG-TV, the station was re-named to WISE-TV and was sold/merged with the ABC station in Fort Wayne to become the present-day "Indiana's News Center".


     
ABC News Jonesboro
Jonesboro, Arkansas
December 1998 to December 2001
Assistant Producer/Weekend Producer


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My career in commercial television news began in late 1998 at KAIT-TV, the ABC affiliate for northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri. Between December 1998 and October 2000, I served as an Assistant Producer for the 5:00PM, 6:00PM, and 10:00PM newscasts four days during the week. I would help the Producer write scripts for the shows and edit video from the national feed of ABC News. I was also responsible for typing in the text for the stock and agricultural news ticker at the bottom of the screen and "infopods" during commercial breaks. I was promoted to be the Weekend Producer in October 2000 and became responsible for the overall content for the four weekend newscasts - including at 5:00PM and 10:00PM on Saturdays and at 5:30PM and 10:00PM on Sundays.  I will always remember working at KAIT-TV the afternoon of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. All of us at the station tried to focus on the positive things going on in the community (blood drives, fund raisers for the American Red Cross, etc.) instead of focusing on the horrible images coming out of the east coast. I produced weekends for a little over the year, before leaving the station on December 10, 2001.



KASU-FM
Jonesboro, Arkansas
February 1998 to December 2001
On-Air Talent/Production

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Between freshman and senior year of college, I worked part-time for KASU-FM, the National Public Radio affiliate serving portions of northeast Arkansas, southwest Missouri, and west Tennessee. It was owned an operated by Arkansas State University, where I was a student at the time. My duties at the radio station included just about everything... from live on-air work, to reporting news stories, to answering the phone and listener feedback. I was the on-air host for the pre-recorded overnight program called "Nightstreams"; I would announce the titles of the new age and jazz music, and provide frequent weather updates. Other voice work at KASU-FM included promotions and the annual NPR pledge drive. I was the main radio producer/audio editor for a local show called "Pet Talk", hosted by Mark Smith. I was also one of the first reporters on the scene of a tragic school shooting that occurred just outside Jonesboro on March 24, 1998; my work was heard internationally from that story. I left KASU-FM when I graduated college at Arkansas State University in December 2001 and found a television job closer to my family in the Upper Midwest.



KDRS-AM & KLQZ-FM
Paragould, Arkansas
May 1998 to December 1998
On-Air Talent/Production


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My first job working in commercial radio was at KDRS-AM and KLQZ-FM in Paragould, Arkansas. At the time, these two sister radio stations were owned by Monte Lyons and his partners at Paragould Radio Broadcasting, LLC. On the weekends, I had a 12-hour on-air shift at KDRS-AM, which at the time, featured a Southern Gospel and Christian music format; it was called "Sonshine Christian Radio 1490AM". We even had local ministers who would by on-air time to preach on Sunday mornings and afternoons.  I was responsible for news updates at the top of the hour, and announcing the music and community events. I also did fill-in on-air work on KLQZ-FM, which at the time, featured a classic rock format. I would also be responsible for producing local breaks in sports coverage on both stations, including during Saint Louis Cardinals baseball and Arkansas Razorbacks football. During my time at KDRS-AM and KLQZ-FM, both stations were sold and automated. I ended up leaving the radio business and got into television, which appeared more stable. KLQZ-FM was later re-named KDRS-FM; both stations have since gone through multiple ownership and format changes over the last decade.



GBN-TV
Northbrook, Illinois
August 1995 to June 1997
On-Air Talent/Production

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During my junior and senior years of high school, I worked for GBN-TV, an educational cable access channel that was owned and operated by Glenbrook North High School. I started working at the station in August 1995, producing segments for the news magazine program called "Inside GBN". Memorable segments included interviewing students and staff about their thoughts on the death of Jerry Garcia, and serving as the television host of the annual pumpkin carving contest and Springfest. In January 1996, I produced a two-part series called "Meet a Meteorologist"; it featured interviews with all four Chicago-area weathermen at the time, including Tom Skilling, Steve Baskerville, Andy Avalos, and Jerry Taft. I am probably best remembered for being the host and producer of the longest running live show (to date) in GBN-TV history; it was called "Tabern Live". In total, we did 15 episodes between February 1996 and May 1997, although some episodes had to be pre-recorded. I would host the talk show alongside Alexander Rubinow. We would often feature special guests and special segments that ranged from skits to interviews with students and teachers. I left GBN-TV when I graduated high school in June 1997, but still return to the studios to speak to students about careers in broadcasting.


WMWA-FM & WGBK-FM
Northbrook, Illinois
August 1994 to June 1997
On-Air Talent/Production

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My very first job in broadcasting was working as a producer at WMWA-FM, a low-powered radio station that was owned (at that time) by the Glenview New Church and School; it would lease time to Glenbrook North High School on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for students to broadcast on. Between August 1994 and January 1995, when I was taking an Introduction to Broadcasting class, I produced pre-recorded segments that would air during live afternoon radio shows. Features included various audio interviews with students and staff, parody commercials, and features about various rock bands. Between January and May 1995, I hosted my own live radio show on Friday nights on WMWA-FM, alongside partners Ben Foreman and Joanna Meredith. During 1996 and 1997, I would be a regular on WMWA-FM, when I made appearances on my friend Alexander Rubinow's radio show called, "Late Night with the Beatles".  In January 1997, WMWA-FM was sold to Glenbrook North High School and its called letters were changed to WGBK-FM to reflect the new affiliation with the school. During my last semester at Glenbrook North, I would continue to make guest appearances on WGBK-FM.  I still return to the studios of WGBK-FM once a year, usually in mid-April, to help out with the school's annual radio-thon, which raises money for children's cancer; I was involved in the first radio-thon back in 1994. I am so glad the students have found it worthwhile and continue doing it!  Money raised goes to the Emily Dorfman Foundation.