Consumer & Investigative Reporter
My passion for saving money was instilled in me as a child. My father and mother taught me the value of every penny through their words and their actions. My parents lived within their means, they saved something from every paycheck, and they didn’t create debt. Those lessons have served me well! But it wasn’t always easy; the time came when I found myself “robbing Peter to pay Paul” (one of my father’s least favorite expressions). I turned to the all too easy credit card routine, buy now-pay later. As a young, single mother I was often struggling to make ends meet. Yet, I found whenever I went back to my dad’s budget basics, I was able to navigate my way to the other side. But it wasn’t just changing my spending habits, it was changing my whole attitude towards the money I did have.
I worked hard at creative ideas to help support myself and my son, and wanted to share my strategies. In 1998 I was invited to be on a local TV station. My very first story was based on something I had just done for my son: I put a kids’ wardrobe together for under $100 by shopping resale. That one segment led to my dream career as a consumer reporter. Over these 20 plus years, I found that the money saving lessons I learned from my father applied to every personal finance story I worked on. As an on-camera consumer and investigative reporter, I was honored with two Emmy Awards, The Edward R. Murrow Award, The Mark Twain Associated Press Award and two National Headliners.
From 2000 to 2008, I was the chief consumer reporter for CBS 5 in San Francisco, where I helped start and build the ConsumerWatch unit and Volunteer Hotline. My money saving and consumer protection segments became the backbone to my 30-minute consumer show, The Real Deal. This Emmy nominated show ran for seven years on CBS 5 and is the recipient of eight Press Club Awards for Best Program. Consumer Action honored me with the Award of Excellence for my work.
After a three-year, in-depth investigation into the wireless industry, the Attorney General of California ordered certain carriers to pay back California consumers money owed to them as well as a large fine to the state. This story aired on "30 Minutes" created by Don Hewitt. Additionally, "Liar Loans" which predicted the housing meltdown in the Bay Area aired on "30 Minutes".
After leaving CBS 5, I started bringing my stories to a larger, national audience. I was a guest expert for The Today Show, as well as other network shows. I was the money contributor for the Hallmark Channel's Home & Family Show for four years. While on the nationally syndicated "Better Show" I was the money-saving contributor for five years. As a contributing on-camera reporter and producer for USA Today and their video network, I covered The Gold Star Wives being denied benefits as a consequence of what is often referred to as The Widow’s Tax. For this two-part series, I was honored at United States House of Representatives in Washington D.C. with the 2014 Award of Excellence.
Through the years I have worked with one goal in mind- empowering viewers to take control of their finances by getting back to basics. I help people, help themselves, so they can help others.
2 Emmy Awards
The Edward R. Murrow Award
Associated Press Award
Mark Twain Award
Consumer Action National Media Award
11 San Francisco Press Club Awards
2 National Headliner Awards
Nautilus Gold Medal Book Award
Congressional Award of Excellence (presented by the Gold Star Wives)
As the Buyer Beware columnist for MarketWatch, I helped consumers learn ways to protect themselves. I was a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal Sunday, AARP, The Huffington Post, and Better Homes & Gardens. Currently, I write for The Street: Retirement Weekly offering readers ways to save money in their day to day lives. My work as an on-camera contributor to The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and WSJ Radio focuses on consumer protection. While working at CBS, I co-authored Raising Baby Green, a recipient of the Nautilus Gold Medal Book Award and The Library Journal.
In 2008, I founded Real Deal Productions. Since then, our team of media professionals has produced hundreds of projects for private clients, corporations and network TV. Our multi-award-winning team has won several national awards including several Press Club and Telly Awards.
In 2011, I wrote and produced my first short documentary "From Hell to Heaven" which focuses on the dedicated people working for change in the world of human trafficking. The film debut at the Bay Area Women in Film Festival. In 2016, I produced #4MOM: The Suzy Bishop Story, which gave insight into the world of early onset Alzheimer’s through the eyes of Suzy Bishop.