CEDAR FALLS — Jim Coloff, owner and general manager of KCVM 93.5 The Mix Radio, is co-founder of Magical Mix Kids, a nonprofit organization created to provide a worry-free vacation for chronically and terminally ill children of the Cedar Valley area. The trips are 100 percent funded by donations. Last year marked Magical Mix Kids’ 20th annual trip to Walt Disney World.
What drives you?
I take great inspiration from my parents, who are wonderful people and taught themselves how to be successful business owners. Their success has helped inspire me to be the best person that I can be. I also believe that in all the things that you set out to do, do them as if you are doing them for something bigger than yourself or someone else. That helps keep the fire alive when you need to hurdle those inevitable roadblocks that come your way.
What was your biggest accomplishment in 2018?
In terms of our radio business in the Cedar Valley, we started two new radio stations in 2018. First was the new 102.3 FM signal for our Sports Talk station, 1650 The Fan. The second was our new Country station for Waterloo/Cedar Falls at FM 106.5 and 93.5 HD2. We are the only commercial station broadcasting in HD radio in the market, and it has allowed us to do some innovative things with these new radio stations.
Personally, going into my 20th year leading Magical Mix Kids is a highlight I would have never imagined when we started. The continued support the Cedar Valley gives to help us provide this once-in-a lifetime trip to Disney World for these sick children is amazing. The accomplishments made over these 20 years by our many volunteers and board members is a career highlight most will never realize. I am grateful I have been a part of it.
What are your goals for 2019?
My goal is to involve more individuals in my organization in the leadership of where we are going and the direction that we are heading. I am fortunate to have some very talented and committed people that I work with, and I hope they are eager to step-up and take advantage of the opportunities we have in this growing company. We have seen strong growth in both our radio business and in our new digital marketing division. Together, they are tremendous in producing results for our marketing clients and our community service efforts. 2019 is going to be a banner year for us.
What makes the Cedar Valley a great place for business?
The Cedar Valley is now a very progressive and successful place to do business. When I moved here in 1993, I don’t know if I would have said this. Some visionary business and community leaders in the late ’90s worked very hard to bring our two communities together and instill a self-belief into how great we could be as a community. Before then, I believe there was a lack of belief. However, it is still strong today, and you can see it in the individuals who are investing, building and supporting the Cedar Valley. Success breeds success, and it’s contagious. We have many young entrepreneurs who continue to promote this belief that we are in a great place to do business
What’s a lesson you’ve learned in your career journey?
I have a quote written on a large piece of faded paper on the wall in our office that reads, “You’ll never make it.” I put it on the wall after I was told that by someone in my industry when I got started in the Cedar Valley. Early on, I learned there are some individuals who don’t want you to be successful and, I believe, don’t want to be successful themselves. You will come in contact with them throughout your career, maybe even working with them. What I learned is that you can’t help what other people think about you or your dreams, or what they think of themselves. All I can do is always be working to be the person I want to be, never losing sight of my values and goals, and not getting frustrated at others lack of ambition or devotion to their dreams.