Spring offers new beginnings, growth and a fresh start.  After 17 years of serving Northeast Iowa, I, Liz Brown, am hanging up the headset and shutting off my microphone at KOEL AM 950, for a new beginning and growth.

In January 2002 I walked into the offices at KOEL AM 950 to apply for a receptionist position.  However, my interview took a completely different turn and I was offered a job as a Copy Writer.  My job would include writing and voicing commercials for KOEL AM in Oelwein and the three FM stations located in Waterloo.  It would also involve working every third Saturday to read news and answer calls for the weekend call-in show, Swap Shop.  My brain was screaming NO, but somehow my mouth said, Yes.  And that’s how it all began.

I clearly remember my first weekend on the air.  Roger King gave me some great advice, sat me at the microphone, handed me a list of funeral announcements and said “Here you go, turn on the mic and just read them”.  Wait?  What?  Live? On the air?  NOW?

That first Saturday was not pretty, but I made it and I made it the next week when I worked again with Rich Calvert and learned more.  It wasn’t long and I was on my own.  Boy was the first show, on my own, a mess.  I survived.

As with any business, staff came and went over the years and in the summer of 2007, I was promoted to Farm Director and Brand Manager for KOEL AM 950.  It was like my first day all over again.  I fumbled and messed things up, but pushed forward and made it through.

Oh the people I have met, from the locals to “the Stars” all have a special place in my timeline.  Some were a delight, some were a lesson, some made me laugh and others made me frustrated, but all are a blessing.  I thank each and every one of you for the roll you played in my career.  I have truly enjoyed most days and every year here.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be around the area.  I’ll still visit the fairs (if there are dozer machines on the midway, look there first), I’ll stop in to Party-In-The-Park in downtown Oelwein this summer and I’ll be at the parades, as a spectator.

My last day on the air is Friday, March 29th.  This last week will be one of the slowest and yet fastest weeks I have ever experienced.  I’ll probably cry a few times and of course laugh too.

Thanks for the 17 years of growth.  Take care and stay safe.