(February 24, 2020) Sometimes opportunities seem to fall into our laps. Such was the case for Dewayne Cook with his new job as Operations Manager/Sports Director at Iowa’s Ottumwa Radio Group.
The opportunity came his way when ORG President Greg List found Cook’s demo and resume in the Talent Search on the STAA website. List called STAA owner Jon Chelesnik to learn more about Cook, who admits, “I had no knowledge of this job opening, and truthfully I wasn’t actively pursuing another job at the time. The owner of the company found my information on STAA, called me, and the rest is history.”
Cook is excited not only for the opportunity to climb the proverbial career ladder, but also for the challenge and responsibility that will come with this management role.
Since 2016, Cook has been with KSID Radio in Sidney, Nebraska. While his new position in Iowa will bring him east, it’s still a far cry from sunny Florida, where Cook grew up and attended college.
The culture shock and cold of the Midwest has not been an issue for Cook. “I just remembered what several of my professors told us during my college career, ‘A lot of you will live and work in places that you may never have even heard of, but you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and do what it takes to advance your career.’”
Snow boots and warm coats aren’t the only things that have helped Cook with the transition. “I grew up an only child and have always had a sense of independence, so I felt confident I would be able to adapt to whatever culture and community I ended up in.”
He also credits the Sidney community and especially his former boss, Suzy Ernest, with helping ease the transition. “She was a joy to work for and really helped me through that first year in particular. The community of Sidney was also very welcoming as a whole.”
Cook was referred to STAA by fellow STAA member, Mike Ridaught. He joined in 2018 after graduating from the University of Florida in Gainesville. He says, “In my final semester at UF I spent time perusing the free job boards on STAA looking at different job listings, but once I graduated I decided to join for good to have access to all job opening information.”
Cook stated that one of the benefits of a membership with STAA is “what a great job Jon does in staying in contact with a wide range of companies, teams, etc. and letting members know when openings are available.”
He continues, “This Ottumwa Radio Group opportunity fell into my lap and while that’s true, it wouldn’t have happened without Jon specifically mentioning my information to the owner of the company. How he’s able to keep everybody’s information straight is beyond me, but it is definitely appreciated and comforting to know you have someone with his contacts there to promote you.”
(Visit Dewayne’s STAA Talent Page).