Jackson County now has a new spokesperson. Marshanna Hester brings her impressive communications background to the County as Public Information Officer starting June 12.
Marshanna is returning home after working for more than 11 years as a television anchor and reporter for stations in Milwaukee, Peoria and Topeka. She is originally from Boonville and a graduate of the University of Kansas, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
"This is a homecoming for me,” Marshanna said. “After 12 years of being away from family as part of my television broadcasting career, I realized I had been away long enough. My family is here and it was hard missing out on those special moments together. It was a priority for me to come back to Missouri, even if that meant changing careers. But I have been blessed with the new opportunity for which I was searching and serving as the PIO for Jackson County is the icing on the cake with my return to the Show Me State!"
"I look forward to exploring all 607 square miles of Jackson County and what makes each community unique, meeting the people whom the County serves and establishing relationships with the news media to keep the public accurately informed," she said.
During her time in Milwaukee, Marshanna was the co-anchor on the hour-long CBS 58 News at 9 on WMLW and also served as an evening reporter. Before moving to Milwaukee she served as an anchor, reporter and producer in Peoria, Illinois for two years. While there she played a critical role in the station’s wall-to-wall coverage of the historic April 2013 floods and devastating November 2013 tornadoes.
Marshanna started her professional career as an anchor and reporter for five years in Topeka, Kansas. In that time, she had the privilege to be the only television reporter to travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the Kansas Air National Guard, as guardsmen prepared to help those affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. She’s been recognized for her work with awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.
Marshanna is an avid sports fan, "I love sports, but my favorite sport to watch is college basketball. I live for March Madness! In high school, I played basketball and volleyball. In fact, I considered walking on the KU volleyball team, but decided to focus on academics. My competitive spirit has never left though, it’s still strong in everything I do."
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, going to the movies and spending time with her dog, Sam, a rat-terrier she adopted from the Humane Society in Topeka. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
"I am excited to be working with a leadership team, led by County Executive Frank White, Jr., which is actively engaged and committed to improving the quality of life for Jackson County residents. Challenges may exist, but they should not overshadow the great work of each County department. It is my priority to ensure that happens," Marshanna said.