I always give credit to my mother…
for my TV career because she took me to The Mike Douglas Show in 1976. I was 14 years old and I spotted a girl on the set with a clipboard. I didn’t know what she did, but I knew immediately I wanted to do it too. Years later, when my clipboard dream became a reality, I realized that it was my mother who put me in the TV environment, but it was my father who inspired me to follow my heart and work for Oprah. My parents are both love laborers.
“He made his patients feel like they mattered…”
My dad never smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol. He knew those things would get in the way of being an All-American athlete. And even though my dad was not an All-American athlete, he was always striving to be one. And that was all that mattered. My father raised three daughters to be athletes because being a part of a team was integral to my father’s life and he wanted to make sure it was at the center of ours.
My dad knew everyone by name, usually by nickname, and he said hello to everyone – from the doctors to the custodial staff. My father believed that everyone mattered and everyone played a part in the success of the hospital. He was doing Oprah before Oprah was doing Oprah! It was during these visits that I discovered I wanted to be part of that magic. I wanted to help people. I wanted to impact people’s lives. But I knew I wasn’t smart enough or brave enough to be a doctor.
“I wanted to impact people’s lives.”
The Oprah Show gave me the team my father had prepared me for. A team that through thick and through thin, worked hard and played hard. We were a work-family that shared one motto “Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork”. There was nothing we couldn’t do, as long as we were doing it together. We were a team of love laborers. And I am so grateful to have been a small part.