For as long as he can remember, Gary Lezak has been passionate about weather. Growing up in California, he never let an opportunity go by to study clouds and rain. In 1980, Gary attended the University of Oklahoma, turning his hobby into a career.
He started as the morning meteorologist at KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City, and in 1992, moved to Kansas City. In his 30 years in Kansas City, Gary’s been the morning meteorologist at WDAF-TV and most recently, the Chief Meteorologist at KSHB-TV, a position he’s held since 1999.
Gary and his team have won several WeatherRate awards for weather accuracy in Kansas City. He’s also been responsible for researching cycling weather patterns, publishing a peer-reviewed paper on the topic in 2018.
Gary had made his mark in the community. Over the last 30 years. Gary has visited more than 1,000 schools. In 2022, he hosted School Day at the K – a partnership between KSHB 41 and the Kansas City Royals – in front of thousands of kids at Kauffman Stadium.
Gary has been the emcee of Wayside Waifs’ Fur Ball for 18 years and has hosted 20 pet telethons. He’s been known to share air-time with his well-known dogs. He also has written a children's story about his dogs called “It’s a Sunny Life.”
In 1999, Gary met his biggest challenge in life – a diagnosis of extra-skeletal osteogenic sarcoma cancer. Gary underwent extensive chemotherapy and two surgeries to remove the cancer. He’s been cancer-free ever since. For the last 20 years, he’s shared his weather and cancer journey at the annual Cancer Action Volunteer Awards banquet.
Mandy Murphey is currently in her 35th year of her television career. She celebrated her 31st year at KTVI in September.
Mandy first got her passion for journalism at the age of 15 as a DJ at WPKY radio in Princeton, KY. She worked at the on-campus radio and TV stations while attending Murray State University.
Mandy started her television career as an intern and reporter at WPSD in Paducah, KY where she moved on to weekend anchor, producer and consumer reporter. In 1992, she got a job at KTVI Channel 2 in St Louis as the Contact 2 consumer reporter. A year later, Mandy took over the main anchor position alongside Dick Ford and later Tom O'neal, both of whom are Silver circle members. Mandy is currently the anchor of Fox 2 News weeknights at 5, 9, and 10. She is the longest serving news anchor currently on St Louis television in the evenings.
Mandy has won 14 Regional Emmy Awards for Reporting, Investigative Journalism, Journalistic Enterprise, Writing, and Anchoring. She also has two Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Mandy is currently on the Board of Directors for National Charity League, the Advisory Board of Girls In The Know, a former President of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, and has worked extensively with Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis, Food Outreach, and many other St. Louis charities. Mandy is married to Tom Caradonna, and they have 5 children.
Jim Kirchherr has been a producer, host, and executive producer at Nine PBS in St. Louis since 1991. A University of Illinois graduate, his career began in radio news in Danville and Joliet, Illinois; he moved into TV news at WEHT in Evansville, Indiana and at KTVI in St. Louis. From 1987 to 1991 he was a senior news editor at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany.
His work at Nine PBS has included producing stories for the magazine program Living St. Louis as well as national and local documentaries, town halls and public affairs specials.
Jim has been awarded Mid-America Emmys for producing, writing, and hosting. He has been honored by the Historical Society of St. Louis County for his history programs, is in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, and this year he and his fellow Living St. Louis producers were named Media Persons of the Year by the St. Louis Press Club.
Jim has also served on the Mid-America chapter’s board of governors, as chapter president, and currently as one of the national trustees.