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Photo Library of My Career

Posted on 30 November 2021 by Monica Zech

Photo Library – Highlights During My Career

I am sharing some fun photos and special honors during my career. I feel so blessed and grateful for the many opportunities I’ve been given in my career!

(1984-2001) – I’m proud to have been San Diego’s 1st female Air Traffic Reporter and San Diego’s first Television Air Traffic Reporter. I worked for the Automobile Club of Southern California, contracting with local radio and television stations.





My first Public Relations picture was as an air traffic reporter for the Automobile Club of Southern California.







Climbing into our traffic helicopter at Montgomery field







I felt so blessed to have such a fantastic job flying over San Diego – my office in the sky!









From my first year as an air traffic reporter with my pilot Captain Dennis Hottenstien.















In 1985, I co-hosted a United Way event at the Old Globe Theater with baseball great Steve Garvey – that was a fun evening!


Below, I had the honor of meeting former San Diego Charger Coach Don Coryell. I was so excited to meet him, but I was stunned when he said he was excited to meet me and tell his wife he had met me. He coached the Chargers from 1978 to 1986. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2010 at the age of 85.










In 2016 I was very honored to be given the first honorary Associate of Arts degree by Grossmont College. It was Grossmont’s first honorary degree ever given at the College. Thank you for this incredible honor!















In 2010, I was invited by the PTA of a Private High School in Miami, Florida, to deliver one of my safe driving talks to their students; they especially wanted me to target the dangers of “texting” behind the wheel. They had this wonderful banner made to promote my presentation at the school. I first spoke to the students at a noon assembly and was scheduled to talk to their parents later that evening. I was forewarned not to expect very many parents to attend. But, to their surprise, it was “standing room only!” Apparently, students insisted that their parents come to see my presentation, and many of them returned to see it again. It was a very successful trip!










In 2001, I was honored to be the El Cajon Fire Department’s first Public Information Officer (PIO) and safety educator. In 2005, I became the City’s first PIO.











Following 9/11, it was such an honor to meet several New York City firefighters who came to provide fire training classes at the fire training facility in El Cajon. In the picture is my daughter Victoria and a New York City Firefighter.









In 1994, I was honored to be the first female emcee of the Fairest of the Fair pageant for the Del Mar Fair, now the San Diego County Fair. For the first 49 years, the pageant had a male emcee, so it was quite an honor. My father would have been so proud to have been there; he loved the Del Mar Fair. Unfortunately, he was killed by a DUI driver two years before this event. I’m sure he was smiling down at me.












I was given this beautiful crown as a thank-you gift for emceeing the Miss La Jolla Fairest of the Fair pageant.




On November 5, 1993, I was invited to be the Guest of Honor at the Recruit Training Command at the Naval Training Center (NTC) – this was the second to last graduating class before the Naval Training Center officially closed. It was an emotional day in which they also paid tribute to my father. Sadly, he was killed a year before this special event. My father graduated from NTC when he came to San Diego and joined the Navy in the 1940s.







At a freeway opening, I was the emcee of this special event for Caltrans. Then-Senator Lucy Killea thanked me for my work as an air traffic reporter and promoting safety in the air and the community. I was so honored by her remarks.











I was honored to be the emcee for the official opening of the Otay Mesa Border Crossing in 1983.











In the mid-80s, I was invited to speak to students at Chase Avenue Elementary in El Cajon in this first photo. I talked to them about my job as an air traffic reporter and the importance of safety. When I arrived, I found this great sign in front of the school. Wow-what a welcome!























I was invited to the school by this young lady “Monica Ambrose.” She presented me with these beautiful flowers as a thank you! She is now grown up with a beautiful family of her own.









As part of my safety educator duties for the El Cajon Fire Department, I had the incredible opportunity to educate our young people on fire safety. One of my favorite events was the 3rd Grade Home Escape Plan Poster contest. Pictured here is one of our 1st Place winners. During my first year of talking to 3rd-grade classes about the importance of having a home escape plan, I’ll never forget a comment from one of the students after my presentation. A young girl walked up to me while students were leaving the assembly and said proudly, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you!” I almost cried; I thanked her as she gave me a big hug!” I knew then I had decided to leave my career in broadcasting and join the fire department. Additional duties included fire investigation, conducting fire inspections, and talking to the media.



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MADD is Here for You!

Posted on 12 March 2021 by Monica Zech



MADD is here for you!
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ‘s mission is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.


MADD – Local Office:

San Diego Office Address: 9948 Hibert Street, #107
San Diego, CA 92131
Open: M-F: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: (858) 564-0780

Are you or someone you know a victim of a DUI collision? 

Victim Services provided at No Charge – MADD strives to provide as many services as possible to drugged and drunk driving crashes victims.

Listed below are some examples of services that MADD may be able to provide. The actual services provided will be based on availability.

  • Offer emotional support to those impacted by phone, in person, or via email.
  • Provide a wide selection of free brochures and literature, available in English and Spanish related to the crash’s aftermath.
  • Provide information, education, and assistance in understanding the various laws related to drunk and drugged driving laws in your area.
  • Education on the criminal justice process and court proceedings
  • Assistance with preparation of a Victim Impact Statement to present at the sentencing of the offender. Depending on availability, sometimes MADD can accompany you to a court or if you are unable to attend, keep you informed of the legal proceedings
  • Assist victims in understanding their rights as a victim and completing an application for Crime Victims Compensation
    Assist in preparing statements for parole hearings or probation hearings
  • Referrals to local community resources, including but not limited to support groups, crisis professional counselors, and civil attorneys.


MADD was there for my family and me when a DUI driver killed my father on June 5, 1992. (My father pictured here) MADD helped us through the court process, what to expect and what our rights were.  We are eternally grateful for their valuable support.  Since then, I’ve been a MADD guest speaker and supporter of MADD.


If you are looking for a MADD speaker for your group, class, company, or Military Safety Stand-Down, don’t hesitate to get in touch with MADD, we’re available to speak to your group!

MADD San Diego Office number: Phone: (858) 564-0780

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Latest Report Shows DUI’s Are Highest in San Diego

Posted on 13 November 2019 by Monica Zech

Traffic Research on DUI:  Well, this is sad and disappointing news…San Diego #1 in DUI’s.  With a large number of colleges and military bases in the county, the rise in craft breweries, and being so close to the border, it’s not too surprising.

I’m glad I’m now directing all my energies to speak on safe driving in an effort to reduce the death and injury we’re seeing on our roadways. I hope you’ll join me in being a part of the solution, instead of part of the problem. DUI’s – a preventable crime.

*You’re welcome to schedule one of my life-saving presentations. Now scheduling for the New Year.

#StayAlertStayAlive #Safety

Here’s the actual data report:…/drunkest-driving-cities-in-america


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Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage – A Must Have!

Posted on 09 November 2019 by Monica Zech

Important information…

It’s time to check your motorist insurance policy.  The BIG question, for your protection, do you have “uninsured/underinsured” motorist insurance coverage???

It’s important to make sure you and your passengers are well covered if you’re involved in a collision.   A must-have should a driver that hits you has little or “no” insurance.  The minimum insurance coverage in California is only $15,000 to obtain a driver’s license.  This does not cover much if you are transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious injuries.

This coverage is a must-have, according to the Padilla Law Group. Please click on the following link for a clear explanation of the importance of this insurance coverage.

UM Handout

Thank you to the Padilla Law Group for providing this valuable information.

Note: If you are involved in a collision and are not at fault, make sure you obtain the name and insurance company names of the driver who caused the collision. Most important, DO NOT deal with the insurance company.  Get a personal injury lawyer to handle all the paperwork, especially if you are injured and your vehicle is damaged.

(2022 – On a Personal note:) The Padilla Law Group recently settled a collision I was in, and they did an awesome job for me. Thank you! 







Please Note:  The following is a link to a news story reported on November 14, 2019.  It’s regarding a man who was seriously injured by a driver who had the minimum insurance coverage of $15-thousand.  His medical bills were almost $100-thousand.  If he had the above coverage, his bills would have been taken care of, if not lower.  At least $1-million coverage is recommended.

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Feeling Sad, Stressed, Depressed? Important Numbers & Links To Prevent Suicide

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Dear Friends,

Thank you for checking this posting.

Many of us have experienced the feeling of loss, sadness, depression, and stress…sometimes leading to thoughts of “suicide.”  The worst thing you can do is to drink alcoholic beverages – this will only make the problem seem bigger.  Alcohol is a drug – a depressant, thus making you depressed.

Please click on the following link for a story about “help” available in our County.  There is “hope” – and sometimes, by having a clear-rested mind, such as good nights sleep, the problem is not as bad as it first seemed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255

If you’ve had thoughts that “no one cares” – “wrong” – I care about you, and that’s why I’m posting this very important link.  There is hope – here are additional resources.

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A Letter of Congratulations From Sheriff William Kolender

Posted on 25 December 2010 by Monica Zech

Right-click to download PDF

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Thank You Letter From Chaparral High

Posted on 25 December 2010 by Monica Zech

Right-click to download PDF

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Thank You Letter From Cajon Valley School District Transportation Department

Posted on 25 December 2010 by Monica Zech

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The Real-Life Dangers of Texting and Driving!

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