Chris Vanderveen is the Director of Special Projects at 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado.
Chris settled on this journalism thing shortly after completing his first semester in AP Calculus at Denver's Thomas Jefferson High School.
"I could probably use one less variable in my life," he thought.
After four years at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Chris traveled in his father's old car to Natrona County, Wyo., - the childhood home of Dick Cheney. At KGWC-TV in windy Casper, Wyo., Chris wrote scripts, photographed meaningful and non-meaningful events, tried to forecast the weather and wore a wool suit in a hot studio during his first attempt at anchoring.
A few "Broadcast News" jokes later, Chris headed south on Interstate 25 to the one-time summer home of General William Palmer. At KOAA-TV in beautiful Colorado Springs, Chris gave up his aspirations of becoming the next Tom Brokaw and became comfortable with the idea of learning how to become a mildly talented general-assignment reporter.
In 2002, following a dare from a co-worker, Chris applied to 9NEWS on the off chance the station he grew up watching might be foolish enough to hire him. A few interviews and a lot of prayers later, Chris received the job.
Since then, Chris has traveled to places like Biloxi, Miss., to cover the damage from Hurricane Katrina; Boston, Mass., to pretend to convince his friends that he was actually covering a World Series inside Fenway Park (he spent most of it inside a satellite truck); and Iwo Jima to witness the most amazing thing he has ever witnessed in his life (it involved a few veterans and the top of Mt. Suribachi).
He has covered everything from the shootings at Columbine and Aurora's Century 16 theater, to the fires and floods that forever changed the landscape of his native home. He's won a few awards along the way, but remains most proud of a national Edward R. Murrow Award he won in 2011, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Reporter of the Year Award he won in 2012, and a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award he won in 2014.
In 2014, Chris transferred over into 9Wants to Know, and while his stories' subject matter largely changed, his heart and soul did not.
Chris has two brothers. One works at a competing station in town. The other is his twin. No, they do not look alike.
His parents remain his role models, and his dog Ralphie remains his escape.
Should you ever have any thoughts, concerns, or questions to throw Chris' way, please don't hesitate to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just don't ask him any questions about calculus.
He's a journalist; not a mathematician, for goodness sakes!
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