MAB Young Professional Awards Recipients

Jeana Gondek, WKZO-AM/FM(Kalamazoo)

Jeana Gondek is both the News Director and the Morning News Anchor at 590AM and 106.9FM WKZO. She joined the WKZO family as the Morning News Anchor in January of 2018 and was quickly promoted to News Director about a year later.

She heads the news department in Kalamazoo and communicates with all other Michigan Midwest Communications stations to gather stories, share content, and inform listeners throughout the state. She also runs WKZO’s Facebook and Twitter pages and keeps their website updated with the latest news, which has helped the station’s online presence really grow. For example, in April of 2020 WKZO’s website page views were up nearly 203% from the year before.

In Jeana’s first two years at WKZO she won eight Best “Broadcast Excellence Awards” from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and two Merit awards, helping WKZO earn the title of Station of the Year in 2019.

Jeana is a hard-worker, a team player, and passionate about the news she provides to the Kalamazoo community. Her broadcasting career began at Grand Valley State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and worked at GVSU’s student-run radio station, while also interning at Newsradio WOOD 1300AM and 106.9FM in Grand Rapids. She was then hired as a producer, afternoon news anchor, and fill-in traffic reporter at WOOD once her internship was over.

Now, in the very little free time Jeana has when not covering news she enjoys teaching Zumba at a local fitness center in Kalamazoo, doing yoga, running, and of course napping. Jeana strives to live by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” in hopes of informing listeners and striking up positive change in the community.

Karie Herringa, WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac/Traverse City)

Karie Herringa is Northern Michigan’s News Leader’s director of digital operations.

Born and raised in Cadillac, Karie graduated from Cadillac Senior High School in June 2007. While in high school, she also attended the Cadillac Institute of Cosmetology through the school’s career tech program, and was enrolled in courses at Baker College.

Karie graduated from the Cadillac Institute of Cosmetology a few weeks after high school, and earned her state license in cosmetology that fall. She worked as a cosmetologist to earn money for college, and continued taking courses at Baker College part-time for a few years before transferring to Central Michigan University in the fall of 2011, where she double majored in journalism with a concentration in public relations and English.

She graduated magna cum laude in the spring of 2014. While at CMU, Karie joined Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and served as the PR/Rush Chair. She worked for CMU’s Career Services as a mock interviewer, as well as a student tutor. She was also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She continued to work as a cosmetologist part-time, and interned for former Senator Roger Kahn in the Michigan Senate and for the Alex Harrison Memorial Foundation.

After receiving her degree, Karie accepted a job as the communications coordinator for the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation, a nonprofit based in Baltimore, Maryland, focusing on expanding skilled trades education and opportunities.

After a while, Karie missed the beauty of Northern Michigan and returned up north to her hometown.

Karie joined the 9&10 News team in Dec. 2014 as a web producer. From there, she worked her way up to executive web producer before settling into her current position as director of digital operations.

Karie also makes a weekly appearance on their news & lifestyle show, the four, bringing Northern Michigan the latest tech news every Tuesday.

During her time at 9&10, Karie has been involved in launching the hyper-local GTPulse column, creating the 2018 election center on the station’s website, and covering some of 9&10’s biggest events from the field on all of the company’s digital platforms. Karie’s work has been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Michigan Associated Press.

Karie’s dad, Patrick, is a Purple Heart veteran of the Vietnam War. Her mother, Judith, works as an administrative assistant for Cadillac Area Public Schools, and her older sister, Kellie, is a nurse practitioner who recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl to the world.

Karie lives in Tustin with her boyfriend of five years, Chris, their cat named Faramir, and two dogs. She’s an avid rock hound who enjoys hand-polishing Petoskey stones. At nights, you’ll find Karie outside exploring the night sky with her telescope. She’s an amateur photographer and woodworker.