Amber grew up on the beaches of the Space Coast of Florida, but comes to Lexington from the Western Slope of Colorado, where she was the evening news anchor for the CBS affiliate in town. As the evening news anchor at WTVQ, she has loves getting to know the community.

Like many Lexington residents, horses are Amber’s first love, and she’s so happy to be living in the Horse Capital of the World. She was a member of the University of Florida’s Equestrian team, Block and Bridle Club, and grew up riding and showing horses. She was extremely active in the 4-H Equine Horse Judging and Hippology programs and even competed at the Kentucky Horse Park on various occasions.

TOPS: When did you know you wanted to become a journalist?

Amber: I always enjoyed reading, writing and telling stories, but I guess my career in broadcasting started at the local little league baseball fields. Growing up, my parents would very lovingly force me to tag along to my brother’s practices and games. While they were coaching, umpiring and team momming it up, rather than sit in the stands, I’d go up in the booth and play on the microphone. Soon I was announcing line ups and calling games, which among other things, was a great early lesson that people – very rightfully so – prefer to have their names pronounced correctly!

In school I was always part of the TV broadcasting classes through graduating high school. I actually started college majoring in equine science with the intentions of becoming a veterinarian. After realizing I’d never actually be able to euthanize an animal, I switched paths to what I’d always been drawn to – TV journalism. I love being able to hear about their experiences and then share that information with others. That is what journalism is about.

TOPS: What’s a story that sticks out in your memory?

Amber: I’m a big fan of feature stories highlighting good things people are doing to make a difference in our community. One involves a young girl with a huge heart. After someone stole her beloved Christmas decorations from her family’s lawn, she was given a shopping spree at a retail store. We had video of her furiously tossing toys from the shelves into the shopping cart as she tore up and down the aisles. However, all of the items were not for her. Instead, she was thoughtful and kind enough to bring them to her school and distribute them to her classmates, so that they too would have gifts and holiday joy. It was the sweetest thing.

TOPS: What’s a typical day like for you?

Amber: There’s never a typical day in the news business.  News is constantly happening, developing and changing, along with our schedules. You kind of have to accept being comfortable with the uncomfortable, or you risk perceiving your entire day as a failure because things didn’t go as planned.

TOPS: What’s the best thing about covering the news in Lexington?

Amber: Such a large part of the community is dedicated to helping others and improving and growing the area in innovative ways. The compassion so many have is obvious through the news releases and letters we receive every day about various organizations making life better for so many people in need. I just wish we could cover them all.

The best thing about covering the news here is most definitely the people.

Having a great team here at WTVQ really is a blessing. You want to like the people you spend so much time around, and we have some incredible, caring and helpful people at our station.

I’ve also been fortunate to meet so many welcoming and amazing people in town. It really says a lot about an area when people who grew up here stay their entire lives or those who moved away ultimately come back to raise families and grow their careers.

TOPS: How did you get involved with the equine world?

Amber: My parents, although they both like horses, were not part of that scene while I was young. So I had to be resourceful and would do whatever work was needed to be around the animals. I cleaned stalls, painted fences, pulled weeds, groomed, fed and rode anything and everything just to learn.

I started showing in the 4-H system and wholeheartedly stand behind the principles it teaches young adults. I was also involved in 4-H horse judging and hippology teams, where we competed at the national level (even here in Lexington). I eventually won Horseman of the Year for the state of Florida my senior year, complete with a scholarship to college.

TOPS: What are some of your favorite local places to shop and eat?

Amber: Downtown is great with the combination of the college campuses and nine-to-fivers. There are some delicious places to eat and super cute boutiques. I love the character of the Distillery District. It’s such a unique space and always has a great vibe.

TOPS: What’s your resolution for 2018?

Amber: After surviving my “freshman year” here in Lexington, I really want to make a better effort to get out and explore all the really interesting and diverse places and activities this area has to offer. I believe it’s important to be involved around the community. •