Congratulations to our 2022 award winners!
Mike Oatman Award for Broadcast Sales Excellence – Laura Capps – SummitMedia, Wichita
Laura Capps is an accomplished professional in the broadcast industry. She graduated from Wichita State University with honors in Business Management, Psychology and Communications.
Laura exemplifies the leadership, business development and focus on sales excellence that this awards namesake, Mike Oatman would have been proud of. Laura began her career with SummitMedia stations in 2001 coming from the Occupational Medicine field with no radio experience. She quickly learned the business and was soon among the sales leaders in Wichita. Laura balanced her career while raising 3 young children. Laura is consistently the overall sales leader in her cluster of stations.
She has been awarded numerous awards during her career for sales excellence including recently the SummitMedia Presidents Club Award in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Laura mentors new Account Executives. She has a very creative mind and is always willing to help with ideas and solutions for her teammates. This team first approach has earned her the trust and respect of the entire staff. She has developed years long relationships with many of her clients and is a trusted source for them. Her focus on putting the customer first sets her apart from many in our market.
Laura will tell you she feels privileged to walk the same halls of “The Radio Ranch” that legends have walked through the years. She credits them for their mentorship, as well as her father who taught her humility, integrity, to work hard, put others first and success will follow. Laura says her greatest rewards are her husband, three daughters, family and serving her clients and community.
Rising Star TV Award – Lily Wu – KWCH, Wichita
Lily Wu has been a television journalist for nearly 12 years and began telling stories in her hometown of Wichita as a teenager with the Wichita East High School newspaper
and KTQW TV, where she won a KAB 1st place award in Public Affairs in 2003.
In June 2020, she joined the Eyewitness News team as a co-anchor for the 4 p.m. newscast and multimedia journalist for KWCH. Lily also produces a weekly business and employment story for the “Building You” franchise and informs viewers of daily “Job of the Day” opportunities on KWCH at 4 p.m.
Lily earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Hong Kong, while serving as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She also earned the distinction of Summa Cum Laude, graduating with two bachelor’s degrees in international business and integrated marketing communication from Wichita State University. She is dedicated to serving her community as an active volunteer for various organizations. She is a board member of the Steve Clark YMCA and the WSU Barton School of Business Advisory Council, director of the Miss Wichita Asian Festival Scholarship Pageant, and past president of the Wichita Asian Association. She has previously served on the boards of the WSU Alumni Association, Orpheum Theatre of Wichita, Botanica Chinese Garden of Friendship, Susan G Komen Wichita chapter, WSU SIFE, Visioneering Wichita, and Diversity Kansas.
Lily was involved in pageantry and placed 4th Runner-Up at the Miss Global 2017 pageant held in Cambodia. She won the titles of Miss Kansas United States 2012 and Miss Kansas Teen International 2003, and represented the USA at Miss World University and Miss Chinese World. She was named the “2020 Exceptional Young Leader” by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and a “2015 Leader in Diversity” by the Wichita Business Journal.
Rising Star Radio Award – Matt Althouse – Eagle Communications, Great Bend
Matt started his radio career at KJCK-FM in Junction City in 2003 as on air talent and later, music director. He spent one year with Rocking M Radio in Great Bend in 2008 at KZRS working the mid-day shift.
In 2009 Matt joined Hull Broadcasting in Great Bend where he had the opportunity to be exposed to every facet of the business. From traffic logs and programming, to engineering, and later Operations Manager and Digital Sales Manager for Eagle Communications.
He was also Program Director for KBGL-FM from 2012 until 2021 when he accepted the position of General Manager for Eagle Communications in Great Bend. In his first year of station management, Matt and his sales team have hit all but one of their monthly quotas. He’s successfully navigated the replacement of an operations manager and news director and orchestrated the successful and profitable giveaway of a brand-new car for Great Bend radio’s summer promotion.
Matt sees himself as a problem solver. He enjoys helping clients and staff members solve their problems, and says, “There is no shortage of problems out there.” He looks back with pride on some successful cases, such as the plumber who showed up at the office as a one-man operation with a single truck who now runs a large fleet with storefronts in multiple communities–proof of the power of radio and a strategic advertising campaign.
Matt is also passionate about enriching the next generation of media professionals. He works hard to enable young people with opportunities to grow and succeed in the broadcast industry.
Away from the office, Matt has successfully navigated some challenges as well. As a single dad with two young children (Lucas and Emma) work/life balance is a top priority and a challenge that he has conquered.
Rising Star Award – NEW AWARD!*
The KAB Rising Star Award seeks to recognize young broadcasters who have made a significant impact on their stations and communities. Nominees must be under the age of 40 at the time of their nomination and must have spent a minimum of ONE year at a radio or TV station in Kansas. Finalists will be selected based on their contributions to the industry, spirit of innovation, and community involvement. Anyone can make nominations. Nominations will be accepted in the form of a letter of recommendation not to exceed 500 words, emailed to [email protected] by August 1.
Three finalists and a winner will be chosen by the KAB Board of Directors. All three will be profiled in KAB publications. The winner will be awarded at the KAB Broadcast Excellence Awards Dinner.
KAB Distinguished Service Award
The KAB’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, is given annually for exemplary service to the community, state and broadcast industry. All DSA’s prior to 2000 were automatically inducted into the KAB Hall of Fame when it was started that year.
See nomination guidelines here.
KAB Sonny Slater Award for Service to Station and Community
The Sonny Slater Award was established in 1992 to honor Sonny Slater and to recognize a Kansas broadcaster, who is not an owner or general manager, for long time service to his or her station and community. See nomination guidelines here.
KAB Mike Oatman Award for Broadcast Sales Excellence
KAB established the Mike Oatman Award in 2003 to honor his memory and to recognize outstanding achievement in Kansas broadcast sales, sales management and mentoring others to sales success over a period of time. It was presented the first year, posthumously to Mike Oatman. See nomination guidelines here.
KAB Hod Humiston Award for Sports Broadcasting
(Presented at the Sports Seminar in April/May)
The Hod Humiston Award is given annually to a Kansas broadcaster who has made significant contributions to the field of sports broadcasting as well as work in the community. See nomination guidelines here.
KAB Friend of Kansas Broadcasting Award
This KAB award was established in 2001 and is not intended to be awarded annually but only when the KAB Board of Directors determines that an individual or organization merits such recognition. See nomination guidelines here.