This month, we caught up with someone who’s made a career out of talking out. Melissa Chase is program director at Cox Media Group, which operates four radio properties locally, including 103.7 The River, where you can hear Melissa most weekday mornings with her on-air partner, Jack Lauterback.
Melissa has been waking up Richmond for ten years now, and has emerged as one of the area’s most popular radio personalities. As a working parent and mother of a preschooler (London is three-and-a-half) she’ll be the first to tell you about her transition from “wild child to mom,” and how she wouldn’t give it up for the world.
“My job allows me to dabble in the fun party lifestyle…going to concerts, hanging out with celebs…which I still enjoy, but I get lots of mom-time, too,” says Melissa.
While she gives all due credit to her own mother for staying at home with the kids full time, when it comes to her family dynamic, Melissa says she feels like working helps her be a better mom than she would have been had she chosen to put her career on hold. “It’s a part of my identity, and I feel it’s important to set an example for my daughter that a woman can succeed in a mostly male-dominated field like radio. ”
Married for six years, Melissa lives in the West End with her husband, Tyler. “He is a third-grade teacher and I work in radio, so we keep each other balanced,” says Melissa. “Our ideas of a normal work day are totally opposite!”
Take mornings for example. Melissa’s show means an early wakeup call for her, while Tyler gets the party started at home. But it makes for good programming that she’s in front of the microphone first thing. “I like being able to change people’s day for the better,” says Melissa. “It can be as simple as playing music that puts you in a good mood, or telling a joke to make you laugh and forget you’re driving to work.”
Melissa also enjoys using her powers for good to hype community-focused charity events, like Feed Richmond, Cinderella Dreams Project, and Boobie Bowl, a fundraising event to benefit breast cancer research.
Keep reading if you’d like to know even more about Richmond radio personality Melissa Chase.
Mountains or beach?
A little of both. I mean, a redhead can only spend so much time at the beach before looking like a lobster.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. But we own two mischievous kittens, Ralph & Zilla.
What book is on your nightstand right now?
This is a family magazine, so I shouldn’t say 50 Shades of Grey—right?
If you were stranded on a desert island, what food would you want to grow on trees?
Strawberries! And if it’s a deserted island and in a cold place, I’d want chocolate-covered strawberries!
Same island – what’s the one tech gadget you would want with you?
Smartphone with unlimited battery and good service so I could call someone to…get me outta there!
What’s the last song you downloaded on your iPod?
Gosh, I have no idea! Being a DJ we are sent music all the time. About half of it makes it onto my iPod. Could be anything from Dave Matthews Band to One Direction…lol.
Favorite Richmond restaurant when family comes to town?
Candelas. We all fight for the last piece of their buffalo chicken pizza.
When it’s just you and yours?
I have amazing memories of my hubby and I eating out at least three times a week at Robin Inn when we lived in the Fan. It’s our spot
What is your favorite way to spend a rainy Sunday?
Being silly with my 3-year-old daughter. We do everything from arts project to dressing up like princesses and watching movies together or putting on raingear and splashing in puddles.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Sunset Beach, North Carolina, in the summer; camping at different Virginia State Parks with my family when it’s cooler.
What is your energy source?
Love for my family and friends when I’m at home. Nothing will make me perk up faster than a silly grin from my 3-year-old. And at work, my energy comes from loving what I do and our incredible team at Cox Media Group. You have to love what you do when you have to be at work by five-thirty in the morning every weekday!
Ultimate family day outing?
Just being together, with none of us working, and getting to enjoy each other’s company. We love outings to the Metro Richmond Zoo, Squirrel’s game, or just going to the park.
Finish this sentence: “My family loves it when I…”
can shut off my phone (and work-brain) and be present. Not always easy for us working moms to do.
Readers will be surprised to know… our family will be growing again this summer! We have another daughter on the way this month.