Growing up in Buckingham, Michelle Grossman learned the value of hard work by helping in the family restaurant. After excelling in sales, the Penn State graduate pursued her passion and joined NBC 10’s EarthWatch team in 2008. Now with a successful career and a beautiful new daughter, her life couldn’t be sunnier.
Since I was 5 or 6, I wanted to report on the weather. I used to videotape snow coverage and watch it over and over. I just loved the excitement of it.
[WPVI’s] Jim O’Brien was my idol growing up. A little girl heard me say that and sent me a letter to say she is going to be able to say that she watched Michelle Grossman when she was growing up! I have that letter on my fridge.
Despite your dream, you first chose a different career. Why?
I didn’t have the confidence to do it sooner. I worked hard in sales and had some success, but I wanted to become a meteorologist, so I took classes for three and a half years while working full time. My husband, Spencer, was in dental school, so my income supported us.
Then I had the opportunity to take an unpaid internship for six months. My husband said, “Every day all you talk about is the weather. Do it.”
I had to commute 78 miles each way from my house [to NBC Weather Plus in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.], but after the internship, I was offered part-time work then worked my way up. Eventually, I was offered an on-air position.
I tell kids, especially girls, that even if something doesn’t work out, try it. At least you’ll have no regrets.
You said you would like to chase tornadoes. Why do so many meteorologists go out into the elements to report the weather?
I think people are so visual; it helps them understand the story. They need to see the person trying to stay up in the wind.
What appeals to you most about your hometown?
It’s a great place to grow up. There’s a wonderful sense of community.
I think my pride stems from my parents owning a restaurant. Some people came in three times a day, and when my dad got sick, I realized they weren’t just customers, they were friends.
Did all five children in your family work in the restaurant?
Yes. When I was in fourth grade, my parents owned Charlotte’s on 313 [now Cross Keys Diner], and we were all so petite and carrying these big trays. But we loved it.
We watched our parents working very hard and that made an impression on us.
Sounds like you were a close family.
We still are. My parents live a mile from us, and my brother and two sisters all live nearby. My twin sister, Megan, lives with us and takes care of Ella, who’s not quite 2, while I’m at work.
With so much weather to report this year and so many community events, what do you do in your “off time”?
I spend every single second with Ella. Thursdays and Fridays are my weekends with her.
What’s the best part of your job?
It’s so important for kids to have someone to look up to. I try to be a good role model. On Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I read books at a preschool. I started my day with 40 hugs from preschoolers. How great is that?
Maria Martino Evans is a professional writer in Pipersville.