#MediaMonday – Wende Schwingendorf
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Wende Schwingendorf, who joined Albuquerque Business First as managing editor in May.
How did you get your start in the media? What is your story?
I got my start in 1993 as a reporter at the Albuquerque Journal, bringing to the forefront subjects and stories important to New Mexicans – water and land issues, public safety, healthcare, education, economic development, financial literacy, and family health and well-being. My first gig at the Journal was a stringer for the sports desk, taking box scores over the phone for the agate page.
During my PR/Communication career, I served on leadership teams at the state of New Mexico as communication director of the state Department of Tourism and protocol assistant to the Office of Governor Gary Johnson, at the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners as special assistant to District 3 Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins and as webmaster in the county’s public information office, as communications director at the New Mexico Community Foundation’s Elev8 community schools initiative, and as vice president of communications at the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. I also have worked in marketing departments at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Nusenda Credit Union, Citadel Broadcasting (now Cumulus Media), and Univision Radio (now American General Media).
In 2020, I ran for the Bernalillo County Commission District 4 seat, which encompasses the far north end of Bernalillo County. I earned my bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from the University of New Mexico, and in December 2022, received my master’s degree in communication from Eastern New Mexico University.
My partner, Mark, and I have known each other since middle school (he was my friend’s pesky little brother), and we reconnected over Facebook about 10 years ago. We have two dogs, Bella and Bandit, and love to explore our state’s outdoor scene – especially fishing.
Tell us about your role and what types of stories you are looking for?
My task is to use my lifelong New Mexico connections to help our staff. Many of our reporters are younger and new to Albuquerque and New Mexico. It’s my job to help the editorial team connect the dots for their stories and to provide resources to help them succeed. My hope is to be a “profession elder” that can help guide them to be their best.
At ABQ Business First, we’re open to covering many types of stories, but we always look at them through a business lens. Currently, we have a Dow Jones News Fund intern who is specifically covering minority businesses, which has been well-received. We also like to showcase leaders in our community through our weekly New Mexicans to Know feature, and we celebrate and honor community leaders through our 40 Under 40 Awards, Diverse Business Leaders, Best Places to Work, and Women of Influence.
Where did you grow up?
I’m a military brat – my mom and dad met at an airshow at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque. I was born at Ft. Campbell, Ky., where my dad was stationed. We also lived in Long Beach, Calif., and Michigan City, Ind., but moved back to New Mexico before I started kindergarten. We have four generations on my mom’s side that are from New Mexico and Arizona because of the military. In fact, my great-grandmother broke wild horses as a trainer in Tucson!
Right now, purple and orange.
Favorite TV shows or movies?
Mark and I love watching the History Channel or the Science Channel, so we’re big fans of Josh Gates (Expedition Unknown). I’ve also been known to go on a Magnolia Network bender for an entire weekend. I also love watching cooking shows. We don’t go to movie theaters very often, but my favorite standbys are Contact and The Italian Job. I’ll also never pass up watching a movie with Will Ferrell in it.
Something readers would be surprised to know about you?
When I was at the University of New Mexico, I was the mascot (Lobo Lucy) for two years.
Contact: You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at 505-350-2843.