MarketInk: From Deejay to Church Leader Mike V, “I Can’t Believe I Can Do This”

mike vasquez
mike vasquez

Ahead of Easter Sunday, Mike Vasquez, director of connections at Grove Church, a Christian church in Mission Valley, recalled his 34-year career as a DJ and program director for many of San Diego’s most popular radio stations. .

“I loved my time working in radio, it was a lot of fun,” Vasquez told The San Diego Times. “Easter is always a busy time of year with extra work and preparation for many churches, including ours. But working for a church doesn’t feel like work. Every day I say to myself, ‘I can’t believe I can do this. “I’m living proof that God uses average, everyday people to meet real spiritual needs. It’s truly amazing.”

Vasquez, 55, oversees volunteers, parking and special event logistics and helps with digital media ministry at Grove Church, which attracts more than 600 guests to three Sunday morning services.

“Working in radio has been a big part of my life for several decades and I miss the people at the company,” Vasquez said. “But now God has given me a new job in this season of my life. It’s exciting to encourage our volunteers about the important role they can play in someone’s reconciliation process and to help create an environment where people can experience love and hope and experience spiritual transformation. It’s very humbling to be part of it.

Vasquez volunteered at the church for several years before his career transition to a full-time position with the church, a decision prompted by a layoff at his last radio job.

Since the age of 7, Vasquez has said he wanted to be a radio DJ. His first radio job at age 19 was on the Sunday night crew as an on-board operator at KEZL-FM in Fresno. He then became the station’s program director for 12 years (1986-1998) and led the station to become one of the top-rated stations in the country with a contemporary jazz format.

It was then that Vasquez caught the eye of Mike Stafford, then-general manager of KIFM-FM, San Diego’s smooth jazz station. Today, Stafford works in advertising and media consulting for marketing agency CSB Impact in San Diego.

“When Mr. Stafford offered me the position of program director for KIFM, it was a dream come true to work in the San Diego market,” Vasquez said. Within two years, in 2000, KIFM became San Diego’s highest-rated station in the 25–54 demographic. In 2005, the National Association of Broadcasters awarded KIFM the coveted Marconi Award as one of the best stations in the country.

Vasquez, known as “Mike V” on air, spent 16 years (1998-2015) at KIFM before his position was cut in a corporate restructuring.

“I spent eight months on the beach until Garett Michaels revived KFMB and called me to join his team,” said Vasquez, who spent four years (2016-2020) at KFMB-FM 100.7. In 2000, Vasquez lost his programming job when Tegna sold the station to Local Media San Diego, where Michaels today serves as program director for XTRA-FM 91X and KFBG-FM 100.7 Big-FM.

“I took the year of COVID (2020) to take classes, build my digital marketing skills. During this time when churches were not meeting in person, Grove Church started their ministry online and needed support. helps, which led to me joining his staff,” Vasquez said, and his part-time job later turned into a full-time job at The Grove.

“It has been encouraging to see how God’s plan can turn difficult and unexpected life events into positive steps,” Vasquez said. “The Lord still works miracles today and equips, releases, and reproduces people into their potential. Personal spiritual transformation is the best measure of success.

Would Vasquez ever consider returning to radio?

“I was asked this question the other day at a reunion, over dinner with some old radio friends,” Vasquez said. “I’m not sure of the answer because you never know God’s future plans, where He wants you. But, I believe that God wants me where I am right now. It’s rewarding and meaningful work and I soak it all up.

The Grove’s Sunday morning services at 8:15 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. are held at 4562 Alvarado Canyon Road, San Diego.

Local Media San Diego Radio Presents SoCal Taco Fest

Local Media San Diego, operator of four radio stations in San Diego, will present SoCal Taco Fest, a one-day festival featuring tacos, music, Lucha Libre wrestling, a beauty contest and horse races. Chihuahua, beginning at noon Saturday, May 14, at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego.

Musical groups on stage include Banda Machos, Ana Barbara, Los Amigos Invisibles, La Sonora Dinamita con Vilma Diaz, Los Sleepwalkers, Kimba Light, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Naughty By Nature, Rob Base, Young MC, The Purple Madness, FlashPants, 40oz at Freedom, High Tide Society, DJ Niayuku, Mariachi Diamante, DJ Viejo Lowbo, DJ Josexxx, Familia Loteria and Wa-Kushmá.

General admission tickets are priced at $60. For more information, visit SoCalTacoFest.com. LMSD operates KFBG-FM Big-FM 100.7, XHRM-FM Magic 92.5, XHTZ-FM Z-90.3 and XTRA-FM 91X.

REQ appoints Brooke Weller as senior vice president of media

REQ, a Washington, DC-based digital marketing and brand management firm with a San Diego office at Scripps Ranch, has hired Brooke Weller as senior vice president of media.

Brooke Weller

Weller will lead REQ’s digital media team and oversee search, social advertising and display, as well as search engine optimization, social media and digital content. She will work closely with the company’s media team to advance client performance through strategic business recommendations, actionable activation planning and data-driven optimizations, REQ said.

Previously, Weller spent more than a decade supporting large-scale global media planning and execution programs at marketing agencies iProspect and Neil Patel Digital. She has led client programs for Fortune 500 brands including Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Xbox, Levi’s and Anthem. Prior to his agency career, Weller spent five years building a research team at Adobe Systems, Inc.

“Brooke brings enormous qualifications and leadership experience to REQ’s award-winning advertising and SEO team,” said Tripp Donnelly, CEO and Founder of REQ. “As marketing and communications continue to merge and evolve, Brooke’s addition underscores REQ’s commitment to providing clients with innovative and holistic marketing solutions at all stages of the business lifecycle. .”

IABC discusses game-changing corporate communications

The San Diego Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators will host a virtual interactive session on “Game Changers of Business Communications” with Maria Huntalas of BioMed Realty, a commercial real estate firm specializing in life science industries and technology, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. , Thursday, April 28. Cost to attend the webinar: $10 for members, $20 for non-members and $5 for students.

Huntalas, Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing at BioMed Realty, will share practical ways to reinforce the value of the marketing communications role using proven case studies. The IABC said it will also discuss measuring external and internal communications strategies to prove ROI and tips for establishing business value for your leadership.

Since joining the BioMed Realty team nearly three years ago, Huntalas has raised the company’s brand awareness and thought leadership profile in the life sciences sector of real estate. commercial, the IABC said. Prior to joining BioMed, she held various performance management and programmatic marketing positions at IBM. Huntalas holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Rick Griffin is a public relations and marketing consultant based in San Diego. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in the Times of San Diego.

Jerry B. Hatch