Mary Jo Ola
Hometown: Roselle, IL
High School: Lake Park High School
College: Columbia College Chicago
Other Journalism Experience: Reporter at WQRF/WTVO in Rockford, IL; Intern at WQRF/WTVO in Rockford, Better Government Association, WGN/CLTV, Public Works Magazine all in Chicago
Started at WISC-TV on: March 25, 2013
What is your favorite part about living in Madison?
I'm still new to Madison but the people have been so great, and I'm excited about all the restaurants I get to try!
What is the biggest news story that you've covered?
That's a tough one. There's the $53 million embezzlement case out of Dixon, Jack McCullough the man responsible for one of the nation's oldest cold cases, and the tragic crash of one of Rockford's medical helicopters. Each one felt like the whole community was waiting to see how the story would unfold.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to dance, eat and spend time with friends and family.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
Cake batter or cookie dough anything
What is the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?
Too many funny, really more embarrassing things happen to me to even name.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Anywhere and everywhere, I love seeing new places.
Who is your hero and why?
My parents. They are the definition of true love and hard work. I would not be where I am without them.
What was your favorite band when you were in high school?
I don't think I had a favorite band. Some I really liked were Destiny's Child, Aerosmith, NSYNC, Boyz II Men, and Rascal Flatts
What is your favorite sport to play or watch?
Football and basketball.
If you could possess one superhuman power, what would it be?
The power to fly.
What are you really bad at that you'd love to be great at?
Singing, I do it anyway but people might stand me more if I was better at it.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
Studying abroad in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. I loved seeing so many places I had only read about! The Philippines was amazing too. It was very hot but it felt good to see where my parents grew up.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
Selling cell phones in the middle of a mall.
What is your favorite tradition around the holidays?
In addition to family gatherings, my immediate family and I always do a sit down dinner. My parents and brother are great cooks and we usually just tell funny stories the whole time.
What is your favorite song of all time?
"Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
You can do anything you set your mind to.
If you could relive any moment...what would that be?
The days my family would just hang out around the house, watch a movie we rented, and just enjoy each others' company.
Where were you when September 11, 2001 occurred?
In 7th grade music class taking a test. I just remember wondering why my teacher was running around and finding the whole thing surreal.