2022 Young Professional Award Recipients

Casey Jones
WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids)

Casey Jones was an intern at WOOD-TV while attending Grand Valley State University. After graduating, he was a GA reporter and fill-in Anchor in South Bend, and then joined the WOOD-TV team as a sports anchor and reporter in 2012. He has earned a reputation as an outstanding communicator and storyteller, and an excellent station representative with a heart for the community. In 2015, he was given the opportunity to become the main co-anchor for the #1 morning newscast in the Grand Rapids DMA, where he furthered his journalistic impact by developing a series entitled “On Your Corner” that took viewers to places in our region to present untold stories around their diversity and unique contributions. He was also a key driver behind our “Friday Morning Football Frenzy Tailgate” project, taking our morning show to local high schools weekly during the fall since 2017. In the summer of 2021, Casey was promoted to the position of Community Affairs Director, leaving behind the anchor desk (but not the storytelling!) and joining the department head team of the station in his first management role.

Dalton Shetler
Spartan Media Network

Dalton Shetler is wrapping up his sixth season with the Spartan Media Network, serving as a broadcaster and producer.  Duties include pregame and halftime host for Michigan State Basketball Radio Broadcasts, co-host of “The Kick-Off Show” as a part of the network’s MSU Football presentation, and play-by-play for Michigan State Softball. Shetler also co-hosts and produces “The Sports Life” on SIRIUSXM.  Dalton has filled-in providing play-by-play for MSU Basketball and hosted both the Mel Tucker Show and Tom Izzo Show. Shetler’s experience also includes play-by-play of the 2022 MHSAA Softball Finals. Dalton PA announces for MSU Volleyball and Baseball, which also included this past year’s Big Ten Softball Tournament. Hosted and produced “The Morning Show” heard daily on WVFN-AM Lansing, MI for more than three years.  Shetler graduated and played basketball for Goshen College.


2021 Young Professional Awards Recipients

2020 Young Professional Awards Recipients

Caleb Gordon
WPHM-AM, Radio First (Port Huron)
Watch the tribute video

Andrew LaCombe
WLUC-TV (Marquette)
Watch the Tribute Video

Jeana Gondek
WKZO-AM/FM (Kalamazoo)

Karie Herringa
(Cadillac/Traverse City)


The MAB Young Professional Awards recognize and honor two young professionals (one in Radio, one in Television) who have made a significant impact on advancing broadcasting or media within their organization, demonstrated exceptional leadership potential, and established an understanding of broadcast industry standards, practices and ethics.

Award Criteria

  • Currently working for an MAB member or associate member station or company in good standing
  • Meets the definition of a young professional:
    • A person 35 years of age or younger at the time of nomination, employed full-time by a MAB member broadcast station or company in Michigan (Students not eligible)
  • Demonstrates strong leadership skills (Examples required)
  • Demonstrates strong teamwork skills (Examples required)
  • References from senior management of a member station required (General Manager must be one of the references)

Nomination Criteria

  • The nomination form must be completed in full and contain sufficient information documenting the nominee’s contributions and achievement to accurately determine the candidate’s eligibility and qualifications for the award
  • Self-nomination is not permitted
  • The nominee must be nominated by their company’s General Manager (or equivalent)

The nomination submission must contain:

  • Complete MAB Young Professional Award online application
  • At least 2 letters of nomination, one from the lead nominator (General Manager or equivalent) and another from current or past colleagues or managers
  • Nominee’s education history, including if the individual participated in or benefited from MAB Foundation programs while in school
  • Summary of major contributions
  • Resume or biography
  • Lead nominator’s name and contact information

The MAB Staff will send each nomination package to a designated panel of judges(MAB Awards Committee members) for evaluation. If a nominee is not selected, he or she may be re-nominated in subsequent years (a new nomination package must be submitted).

Award Winner Benefits

  • Free registration to all educational training events throughout the year (Media Show, Summer Conference, Webinars)
  • Asked to participate in MAB/MABF Committees
  • Attend following year MAB board meetings as a special guest
  • Future consideration for MAB/MABF Board of Directors
  • Recognition at the Awards Banquet (Summer Conference)