Making a difference

Irwin named one of most influential women in West Michigan

By Sarah Hillenbrand | 1/15/14 8:51am

Every other year, 50 women are chosen for the list of the most influential women in West Michigan. For the second time in a row, Shelley Irwin was named to that list.

Irwin is the host and producer of the WGVU Morning Show, WGVU TV Ask the Expert, Community Connection and Family Health Matters.

“It’s very exciting that I’m surrounded by 49 other strong and influential women,” Irwin said. “I also received it two years ago, and it’s still a surprise to me. It means that hard work can be recognized, and it also means that you don’t take it for granted and that you should continue to set the bar high for yourself and bask in your success for a day.”

Irwin originally went to school and got her master’s degree in physical therapy, but after working in the field for 15 years, she decided to change careers.

“I followed my dream,” she said. “I always wanted to be in broadcasting and it took two and a half years from Indiana where I got my undergrad and graduate degrees, and (I) made the career change in Rochester, Mich.”

Irwin said her typical day involves getting to work at around 6:15 a.m. to prepare for her two-hour morning show, then either around noon or in the evening she will attend a community or board meeting. Thursday nights, she hosts a live television show and in between, Irwin said she is often taping interviews and preparing for the next show.

In her free time, Irwin enjoys training for marathons and working toward her exercise goals. Currently, she is training for upcoming races that include a half marathon and a half iron man.

“I go to a lot of power breakfast and lunch meetings with friends and acquaintances, and we encourage each other,” she said.

Irwin added that running with her three dogs helps to keep her life balanced between work and other activities. She plans to continue doing what she loves in her spare time to train toward more difficult races.

Irwin said she has several goals for the New Year, including someday writing a book and reaching for bigger and better goals.

“I hope to keep doing what I’m doing to serve the community,” she said.

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