I began my career in broadcasting at the age of 15, when I took my idea for a weekly radio program to my grandfather, Don Seehafer. He told me that I would have to earn my airtime by selling sponsorships, and I think he thought that that would likely be the end of that conversation. My weekly program, The Stand Up Radio Ministry, is still on the air today on WOMT – 1240 AM, and that turned out to be just one of countless times that my grandfather helped me, encouraged me, lead me, and helped to shape who I am in both my career and my life.
I began working in sales full time for my grandfather immediately after high school at a time when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with myself; with no experience, he offered me the opportunity to try and to see what I could make of myself within the company. Without that initial chance, I never would have discovered my passion and calling for sales and the broadcasting industry.
Soon after I started full time, my grandfather began bringing me along to the WBA Winter and Summer conferences. He always made sure to introduce me to other broadcasters, and I loved the opportunity to tag along as he connected with his friends as well as to hear stories that others shared about him and his career. My grandfather truly understood the importance of community, including the community of people in the broadcasting industry, and he instilled that same understanding in me. During my years of attending conferences and events with him, I had the unique experience of knowing him in a different way than I had as simply my grandfather, and I really grew to admire his impact on the people he interacted with through the course of his career. I wanted to be just like him, and that desire to be like him and to make him proud has pushed my decisions throughout my own career. Some of my most cherished memories throughout my working life are sharing my accomplishments and struggles with my grandfather and hearing his take on all of it. He truly exemplified for me what it means to guide and mentor the next generation.
With my grandfather’s recent passing, we as a family had the opportunity to honor his commitment to community and leadership once more by establishing a memorial in his name to be donated to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation. I’m so proud of the way that he inspired people, and thankful of the way that so many showed up to help us honor him in this way.
It has been an honor working for my grandfather for twenty years and it is a privilege to be a part of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
Terry Stevenson, Seehafer Broadcasting, Manitowoc