It might not be the most romantic of meeting places, but love has certainly prevailed for WANE-TV newscaster Heather Herron and her husband, Jim Wilcox, since they first met years ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan while taking out the trash. The couple, who will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary this September, graciously welcomed us into the home they share with their two daughters, Danielle (17) and Carly (15).
Situated on 19 acres, the Wilcox home is an inviting place for the family to spend time together. “We love being ‘out in the country’,” says Heather. “We’ve lived here about seven years and would never go back to being in a neighborhood. The house is the perfect place for entertaining, which we do often, and for our daughters’ friends to hang out. There always seems to be lots of kids around our house and we love that the girls often have friends over.”
The girls keep busy with school and extracurricular activities, which their parents encourage and support as much as possible. A competitive dancer, Carly practices about 22 hours a week so the family spends many weekends year-round traveling and watching her dance. Danielle was a dancer until last year, when she decided to change schools and focus on academics instead. She is currently a part-time nanny.
Heather knew by the age of 13 that she wanted to be a journalist and pursue broadcasting. She has a BS in Telecommunications from Ball State, and you’ll likely recognize her from reporting the local news for WANE. Despite both working full-time jobs, Jim and Heather pride themselves on being hands-on parents. “We are very involved parents—our kids might say we’re too involved,” laughs Heather, whose evening work schedule has allowed her to be very active in their schools.
Jim owns Wilcox & Associates, a company primarily focused on Sandler Training. His career has taken a few different directions, though. With two nursing degrees (ADN & BSN), Jim worked in Trauma and Critical Care Unit for many years. “I started and sold a business during that time as well,” says Jim. “After a couple other career stops I went to work locally for a company that participated in Sandler Training with much success. This experience fundamentally transformed the company and myself as a sales professional, so much so that when the opportunity presented itself to start a Sandler Training business locally, I did just that.”
Jim and Heather have always worked opposite non-traditional schedules, which has been ideal for many reasons—they’ve never had to put the girls in daycare—but it is challenging. “Jim and I are definitely a team,” Heather says with a smile.
Like most families with two working parents, the Wilcoxes strive to balance their lives as much as possible. “We always have several balls in the air and are juggling them with various degrees of success,” says Heather. “The fact that we work opposite shifts complicates things even more, but we are committed to making family a priority. Our lives are far from perfect, but we do the best we can. Now that our girls are getting ready to go off to college, we’re looking forward to having time to reconnect as a couple.”
It’s the love for one another, dedication to parenting, and commitment to their family that keep Heather and Jim motivated to seeing their daughters succeed. “We are what I would consider to be strict parents (comparatively speaking) and set high standards for our girls,” says Heather. “We have a lot of rules and expectations that are based on raising respectful, considerate and independent young women. We’ve worked hard to instill in them a positive sense of self-worth and confidence while teaching them to be humble and charitable.”