Kevin Mannix (2016 Maine Broadcaster of the Year) is best known as one of Maine's most popular television weathermen. Serving the broadcasting world for over forty years, Mannix was part of the WCSH 6 Portland and WLBZ 2 Bangor weather teams from 1989 to 2014, where he forecast the weather for Maine and New Hampshire on the NEWS CENTER Morning Report. Prior to joining WCSH, Mr Mannix was a weather forecaster in Presque Isle, Maine and Phoenix, Arizona. He was also a radio personality and television news anchor in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from Northeast Broadcasting School in Boston with a certificate in Broadcasting. Kevin and WCSH received the 2014 Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Commitment to Community Award for "Kevin's Story" - the series that led to he and Linda co-authoring Weathering Shame.
Linda Rota, LSW, has been a social worker for more than 30 years. She is a 1982 magna cum laude graduate from the University of Southern Maine where she earned a B.A. in both social welfare and criminal justice. After college she served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Ms. Rota's social work has been concentrated in the areas of child protection and community support services. She helped develop and implement three community integration programs and worked on several grants dealing with child abuse prevention, substance abuse and mental health issues. Her work currently is focused on contract level child protection casework. Linda was the Children's Advocacy Council's Child Prevention Award Honoree in 2008 and was a contributing author in several national publications.
As neighbors, married to other people, Kevin and Linda once lived on the same delightful little street in Portland, Maine. They both eventually moved from that neighborhood and their lives continued to unfold as they do for all of us. Fast forward almost 10 years when they ran into each other at a high school football game. There was a greeting, a conversation, a connection, and soon after they began dating and married in 2011.
Part of their strong connection was in learning that each had experienced childhood trauma, specifically growing up with difficult family issues and illnesses. As adults, they had both come to recognize that those experiences had influenced their own behaviors and choices. In recognizing and coming to terms with past traumas, they had gained a greater understanding of their lives and developed a deeper sense of self. Linda asked Kevin if he would be willing to share his story of personal healing with his viewers, knowing that he was so admired and respected in his field. Kevin did not think anyone would be interested in his story and was not sure that there were others struggling with the same stigma and shame he had lived with. As a social worker, and as one who had been affected by a family trauma herself, Linda could envision the help this could extend to others suffering with similar difficulties in life. Reaching out to others dealing with stigma and shame was something she had always dreamed of doing.
In 2013, an opportunity came up at Kevin's work and he mentioned developing a piece on the subject of shame and stigma. After much collaboration, "Kevin's Story" was born and aired on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2 in September of 2013. The series was well-produced by WCSH and the public response was overwhelming and positive. People in the community kept asking for more on the subject. As a result, Kevin and Linda collaborated in sharing their stories in the book "Weathering Shame". Their goal is two-fold: to encourage others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and to encourage society to become more compassionate and less stigmatizing. This has evolved into speaking engagements as Kevin and Linda travel to share their stories.