KIWA Staff

Mark McHugh

Chief Operator | On-Air | Production | Social Media | Web | Transmitter Maintenance | Technology

Mark was born on a chilly Saturday morning in February 1982, and grew up for all of 12 1/2 years on a farm 1 1/2 miles west of Royal, Iowa, before moving to Spencer in 1994, then to Estherville in 99.

He enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in May 1999, and after his junior year of high school, attended Basic Combat Training in Fort Benning, Georgia that summer, and Advanced Individual Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina the following summer. Mark’s unit was called to active duty in September 2002 in the wake of the September 11th attacks for Operation Noble Eagle II, landing Mark on Selfridge Air National Guard Base just north of Detroit, Michigan on the shores of Lake St. Clair, pulling site security at various locations.

It was while Mark was in Selfridge where he discovered his love for flight. He began pilot training, which continued when he got home. He has attended pilot training at Leading Edge Aviation in Spencer, Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, and Delta Connection Academy in Sanford, Florida, eventually earning himself a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating, as well as an Advanced Ground Instructor.

For a number of years, Mark worked for Walmart, at various locations in three states. Part of that, Mark attended a management training program in Derby, Kansas, during which one of his fellow trainees asked if anyone has told him he has a ‘voice for radio’, to which Mark quipped, ‘no, I know I have a FACE for radio…’. This gave Mark a radio bug, which a number of years later, he brought to KIWA in February 2022 part-time doing Sunday mornings, but has been fortunate enough to work full-time at a job he loves since June 2022.

Mark currently lives in Sheldon with his wife, Tabitha, son Hayden, and daughter Aspyn. He enjoys rodeo, especially bull riding, which he likes to watch, as well as talk about, many times to his co-worker’s dismay… or especially to his wife’s. Mark has plans to attend a bull riding clinic soon, after which, he hopes to join up with small local rodeo circuits to enjoy the sport from the backs of bucking bulls and within the chutes.