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As a father, the opportunity to raise his children near family in Southern Nevada is a thrilling prospect. Reed states: “I can think of no better fit than serving Southern Nevada and raising my children in the community whose issues are now my own."
Reed has spent nearly two decades covering some of the biggest stories to hit local and network television screens across the country. From the Elizabeth Smart case, to the disasters in Haiti to being the first television anchor on air in Salt Lake City to report the terror attacks on 9-11, live, breaking, unscripted, big story coverage is what he thrives on.
Reed believes it’s not enough to just report the news and then go home. He believes in getting active for change. As part of this, his list of accomplishments include being a champion for bullied kids. Reed is responsible for drafting the first of its kind legislation in Utah designed to curb bullying. As part of that effort, he was the co-creator of Mary Kaye Huntsman’s Power in You youth mentoring program, which tackled bullying through massive stadium-sized events with school children of all ages.
Because of his expertise in this effort, Reed has become a widely recognized speaker on bullying and champion for diversity in schools. He’s shared the stage with Nobel Peace Prize nominees and former Presidents.
In 2006, Reed experienced the tragic loss of his son Wesley in a backyard swing set accident. His research in the months that followed Wesley’s death led to the discovery that the swingset design that killed his son was responsible for other traumatic accidents involving children. Reed’s work ended in the design being banned by the ASTM, which sets minimum safety standards for swing set safety, the design being removed from big-box stores and finally in 2010 a CPSC alert.
As a part of giving his son a legacy, Reed founded the Wesley Smiles Coalition. The WSC works with school children in the USA to build schools in developing countries. To date, Wesley’s legacy has been a part of building 23 schools in Kenya for AIDS orphans. One of Wesley’s schools is a part of a complex of schools where Oprah Winfrey and the late Dr. Atkins also have schools.
Reed was also selected to be a semi-finalist by Oprah Winfrey for her YOUR OWN SHOW contest. Out of that, Oprah used Reed’s motto and show concept as part of one of the OWN Network’s more successful shows.
While Reed’s accolades include numerous Emmy awards and a GLAAD award for journalism, he’s most proud of the simple things. He’s a father. He’s a champion for animal adoption. And he owns and operates a small farm in the Utah ghost town of Myton, Utah.
“You want to know me, you have to know my core belief,” says Reed. “Every Life has a Story, Every Story has a Lesson…and every lesson has the power to change the world. To tell stories, to get those lessons out there—and to hold a mirror up to a changing world is humbling. It’s a high honor.” -Reed Cowan