Providing life-changing opportunities to youth in Union County

Union County 4-H Foundation

I grew up on a farm in Kingdom City, MO, a small rural community about halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City. I’m the son, grandson and great-grandson of Missouri farmers.

At an early age I knew I wanted to be a television news anchor. I dreamed of someday becoming the anchor of NBC Nightly News or the co-host of the Today Show. Perhaps it was meant to be that I grew up about 20 minutes from the world's oldest journalism school, the University of Missouri-Columbia.

I pursued a journalism degree at Mizzou and worked almost three decades in various roles as an anchor, reporter and producer at television stations in Missouri, West Virginia and finally at WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte.

In 2012, I made a career change, leaving the TV news business, and pursued a career in higher education. I currently work at Wingate University in the Office of the President on strategic partnerships.

I'm married to a native Charlottean. My wife and I have a daughter in high school here in Union County. My hobbies include running, racquetball and trips to the mountains and the beach with my family. We love living in the Carolinas!

Jeff Atkinson