Mar 1, 2017
Co-hosts Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos interview
Steffan Tubbs. Steffan is best known in Colorado as the co-host of
Colorado’s Morning News on KOA NewsRadio in Denver. Overall,
Steffan has more than 26 years of news experience and is a
four-time winner of the Edward R. Murrow award for national
reporting. In this
interview, Jim, Jan and Steffan discuss whether some people are
born to be leaders, and then
assume leadership responsibilities; or some are thrown into
circumstances where leadership is demanded and step up to the
discussed is why some seek leadership positions with no motivation
for personal gain.
When Steffan covers people who complain and blame their
circumstances, he challenges them that a single individual can
still make a difference.
Listen in to learn more about how passion for a cause
can inspire others to achieve heroic aspirations..
[3:39] Steffan first embedded in Iraq in March 2006,
to report to his audience firsthand on conditions. He saw our men
and women carrying out orders, and also going beyond to fulfil
[6:16] At home, an email informed Steffan that a new
friend had lost his life to an IED, in the same Humvee they had
shared less than a month earlier. Steffan vowed that his mission
would be to remember our troops — men and women — and their
sacrifices. This has led to incredible experiences.
[10:34] Filming ACRONYM, Steffan had many
opportunities to talk and travel with WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf
War, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan veterans, who spoke to him
about wanting to protect our country, the Constitution, and our
democracy, but suffered terribly doing so. This day, more than 20
veterans will take their lives, and 75 more will attempt it.
Steffan spreads awareness of this tragedy.
[12:39] Steffan’s life changed on April 19, 1995,
when the AP ticker reported an explosion in Oklahoma City, at the
Murrah Federal Building. Steffan arrived within six hours, and was
on site for a week. That was his first tragedy coverage of many. In
the aftermath of tragedy, he saw ordinary people become leaders, as
they evacuated buildings and saved people’s lives.
[17:53] Some people are born to be leaders,
and find leadership positions. Some are thrown into circumstances
where leadership is demanded, and step up to the occasion. Some
seek leadership position with no motivation for personal gain. Some
people do not seek to lead.
[21:04] When Steffan covers people who complain and
blame their circumstances, he challenges them. A person can still
make a difference, living in this, the greatest country on
[22:51] WWII veteran Joe LaNier grew up in segregated
rural Mississippi, grandson of a slave, and became a Navy Seabee.
He always looked at life’s positives After interviewing with
Steffan, he became the subject of Steffan’s first book and
documentary film, Life, Liberty & Resilience. Taking
on the dual project “just about killed” Steffan, but he and Joe had
great experiences working together.
[29:29] Steffan tells of his early life, and the
resilience of his divorced mother, as she provided for him as well
as she could. Steffan knows both poverty and comfort. He rejects
keeping the hand you were dealt. He creates opportunities, makes
things happen, and believes others can, too. Resiliency helps in
any hard circumstance. Steffan is an eternal optimist, in part
through the examples of people he meets.
[34:00] You can learn optimism by paying attention
around you. There’s always someone who is in a worse situation than
you. If you see them coping, and being resilient, take a lesson
[37:40] Steffan tells why he likes to create
documentary films. His company trademark is Documentary Films That
MatterTM. Everybody has a story, and most people have a
compelling story. Steffan’s curiosity drives him to discover,
explore, and share these stories in documentary form.
Books Mentioned in This Episode
Life, Liberty & Resilience: A Man’s War on Three
Fronts, by Steffan Tubbs
Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities,
by Paul G. Stoltz
Steffan has funneled his passion for fair, honest reporting into
Mountain Time Media and making Documentary Films That Matter.™ His
first 3 films, Life, Liberty & Resilience,
Droughtland, and ACRONYM: The Cross-Generational
Battle With PTSD, all have been critically acclaimed and
created amazing engagement opportunities, including a private
screening on Capitol Hill for the House Veteran Affairs
addition to his radio experience, Steffan has spent more than six
years as a national correspondent with ABC News based in Los
Angeles, and nearly two years as a reporter/anchor for Fox5/WNYW-TV
in New York City before moving back to Denver in 2005. Steffan
hosted Studio 12 on Colorado Public Television for eight years. He
has covered the Oklahoma City bombing and subsequent trials,
Columbine, 9/11 recovery from Ground Zero, the Virginia Tech and
Aurora Theater shootings and every type of natural disaster – from
fires to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, drought, and tornadoes.
His sports coverage has included Super Bowls, World Series, NBA,
and Stanley Cup Finals. Steffan is a frequent contributor to the
Fox News Channel and ABC News. He is a proud supporter of our
military and was twice embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq (2006
& 2010.) In both 2010 and 2012, he assisted WWII veterans back
to the island of Iwo Jima. He ends his show daily by reminding us
to Remember Our Troops.
In 2012, Steffan published his first book Life, Liberty &
Resilience – the story of a segregated WWII Iwo Jima veteran who
grew up in rural Mississippi. His first film of the same title was
released in 2013. In 2014, Steffan’s second film Droughtland was
released to critical acclaim. His latest film, ACRONYM: The
Cross-Generational Battle With PTSD has garnered overwhelming
support in Colorado and Nationally.
Facebook: Mountain Time Media
Facebook: ACRONYM: The
Cross-Generational Battle With PTSD
Twitter: @TubbsKOA (This links to a specific Tweet on the
Official U.S. Navy page)