Oconomowoc, Wisconsin , United States
|| August 07, 1975
Aug 24, 2018 12:17pm
Caucasian - Married - Cancer - Straight -
|Info||Rebecca’s Wisconsin roots were planted generations ago when the promise of innovation and good work brought her Great Great Great Grandfather west to Wisconsin in 1856. Horatio Gates Howard Reed built the Sheboygan Fond Du Lac Railroad and served in the 1869-1870 Wisconsin State Assembly before managing the Kaukauna Water Power Company. |
Rebecca’s family tradition of strong women is laid out in the story of her Great Great Great Grandmother, who was surprised when the newly-purchased family farm along the shore of Lake Butte des Morts was also the site of a time-honored Menominee trail. When Chief Oshkosh himself once led his band straight to her door, Ester Mary Cole Reed was there to entertain with a jar of cookies. (Later she learned her guests liked doughnuts even better.)
Her parents were high school sweethearts. Dave and MaryJo Reed began dating at Brookfield Central High School when they were 16!
Becky was the first of two daughters. As a child, she loved learning about nature. Her dad was patient teaching her to fish and catch baby snakes and crayfish.
As a teenager, Becky learned the value of work by filing invoices in her dad’s home office for pennies a paper and teaching tap lessons at her mother’s dance studio. But it was her father’s work for Butler’s own Western States Envelope Company that sparked her interest in marketing. Every time a new line of products or colors was produced, Becky delighted in consulting, churning out dozens of name suggestions for each new selection.
When college came, though, Becky wanted to tell the stories of people instead of products and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
At her college internship at WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Becky met Joel Kleefisch, a young reporter whose quick rise to a top 30 TV market interested her. He interested her, too.
Their first date was to Lambeau Field where the pair was too frugal to part with the money for tickets, so they got to know each other over the time-honored tradition of watching the Packers rout the Vikings from a tavern.
Rockford, Illinois was Becky’s first morning news anchor job. She typed scripts on a typewriter, learned to work sources, write her own promos and collect business cards for an over-flowing Rolodex of experts. She was ready to return to Wisconsin.
In 1999 Becky joined the ranks of WISN-TV. Before long, she was again behind the morning anchor desk, fronting two hours of daily coverage for the Southeastern Wisconsin station, chatting with her co-anchors about politics during commercial breaks.
When Joel and Becky’s first daughter Ella arrived in 2003, Becky left her job as a news anchor to stay at home, but still committed to keeping the family finances on track. Becky and Joel sold their house and moved into one with a more affordable mortgage. They began clipping coupons and cutting back.
Becky arranged freelance work when Joel was home to watch Ella and Violet.. Her work in TV and college coursework in marketing put Becky in a unique niche to do contract work in marketing, public relations and media. She did all three, squeezing in volunteer work in Ella’s classroom and teaching Violet’s Sunday School class.
In 2009, with kids out of diapers, Becky was frustrated watching her beloved Wisconsin being wrecked by liberal tax-and-spenders. Combining her TV background and political junkie tendencies, Becky started a video blog, embedded once a week on “Sykes Writes”, a widely read conservative Wisconsin blog. Shortly after, she snagged a regular seat as a conservative pundit on “Sunday Insight”- a political talk show.
Banking on her experience in marketing and messaging and her love of politics, people started suggesting it might be time for a mom with some kitchen table common sense to lead. So Becky filed some papers to run for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin.
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