The road, or maybe should we say ‘flight path,’ from San Marino, Calif. to Eugene, Ore. has been long, but the time and miles have never affected the permanent smile and ever-present effervescence of San Marino High School graduate Julie Lin.
In fact, her name is probably the only difference from the former jayvee basketball player, varsity cheerleader, Amician and member of the speech & debate and mock trial teams, who received her diploma in 1994 when she was Julie Chan.
Julie graduated from USC in 1998 with a degree in Business and an emphasis in Marketing, but a childhood dream never got too far from her mind.
“I think I was born wanting to pursue a career in television and become the next Connie Chung,” Julie says with her trademark enthusiasm. “But I also wanted to get married and have a family. Since I was an only child for first 10 years of my life I really wanted three daughters close in age.”
Seek and ye shall find.
Julie took a job in advertising sales at House Beautiful magazine, later returning to USC, where she worked in alumni relations. Local stints in real estate led to a job in Calabasas for a home developer, but in the meantime, Julie took classes at the UCLA extension in news writing and talk show hosting.
Her many worlds came together on April 29, 2011.
“Prince William and Kate Middleton were getting married,” Julie recalls. “I put my three kids to sleep and held an all-night royal viewing party. KTLA and KABC sent trucks to our house and interviewed guests throughout the night. The KABC photographer, Edgar Alcala, overheard my friends tell me I should become a reporter since they knew that was always one of my goals. Edgar came to my house the next day to deliver the footage and he brought up the subject. He introduced me to a man who helped teach me and make my newsreel.”
Julie shopped her talents for a full year before receiving a nibble from Torrance Citicable Television.
“It was an amazing experience,” Julie said. “I had the opportunity to report, edit, produce, anchor, host and build my own show called Spotlight Torrance. I interviewed Senator Ted Lieu alongside the other Los Angeles television networks at his campaign party. I interviewed the family of Louis Zamperin, Chris Harrison, host of ‘The Bachelor,’ and many others.”
Julie would put her children, who were 5, 3 and six months at the time of the now-famous viewing party – down for the night before researching job openings and sending her newsreel across the country in search of a morning anchor job.
Soon, Eugene’s KVAL, a CBS affiliate, came calling and Julie found herself on a weekly commute to the Pacific Northwest.
“I was told over and over this would not happen,” said Julie, who uses her maiden name, Chan, on the air. “My advice is to follow your goals and don’t take no for an answer. If you find people in your path who aren’t supportive, move on and keep the ones who lift you up and believe in you.”
She has clearly found that characteristic in husband Jeff, who Julie calls “a saint.’
“He is truly the most amazing, supportive husband on the planet,” Julie said. “He is my rock and is my mentor and he truly is the strongest, most respectable, honorable human being I have ever met. Jeff is steady, calm and collected and quietly loves my chaos and drive. When I doubt what I’m doing or how it’s affecting our family, Jeff is the first to reassure me that the girls are fine and that we can do this and it won’t last forever.”
One would need a supportive partner given the hectic schedule.
“On Friday, I finish work at 12:30 in the afternoon, head straight to the airport, fly home and spend time with my family,” said Julie, who got that morning anchor shift. “On Sunday morning, we go to San Marino Community Church as a family and then we go as a family to the airport. In Eugene, I wake up at 1:30 a.m. and arrive at the station at 2:30 a.m. I anchor from 5-7:00 a.m., produce and anchor from 9-10:00 a.m. and anchor again at noon.”
Back home, Julie’s parents Amy and Gene and husband Jeff make sure the kids get where they need to go, but many others play valuable roles.
“It takes a village to raise a child and clearly my village is amazing,” Julie said. “Each of the girls have amazing teachers who stay connected with me on a weekly basis, and of course, having a network of good friends and a tight knit community makes all the difference.”
She got the three daughters on her wish list. Madison, 10, is in the 5th grade at Westridge; Kelsey, 8 is a third grader at Carver where she is joined by Allison, 6, who is in kindergarten.
If you want to watch Julie in action, log on to www.kval.com/live between 5 a.m. and 12 noon.