How she did it: Local mom aims to inspire with talk show

By Sarah Ravani | Enterprise correspondent | August 20, 2008 11:49

Koren Motekaitis always has been interested in how women balance family, work and other areas of their lives.

A Davis working mother herself, she wondered how women made the difficult transition from leaving the workforce to have a baby, then returning to their jobs. She wondered what inspired them to juggle their family and careers.

Koren Motekaitis hosts a radio talk show Fridays on KDRT, addressing issues that affect women. Wayne Tilock/Enterprise photo

Koren Motekaitis hosts a radio talk show Fridays on KDRT, addressing issues that affect women. Wayne Tilock/Enterprise photo

So she took her thoughts to the airwaves about two years ago, launching her own radio talk show, ‘How She Really Does It,’ on Davis’ low-power FM station, KDRT 101.5 FM. (The station changes to 95.7 FM on Sept. 23).

‘My belief was always that I would rather learn from other people, and learn from their mistakes,’ Motekaitis says.

Before she started her talk show, she was passionate about inspiring people through coaching. She moved to Davis in 1990 to attend UC Davis, majoring in visual studies. However, since she had a love for coaching, she attended graduate school at the University of San Francisco, where she studied sports management. She became a swim coach for the Sacramento City College swim team, and eventually, she became part of the faculty, teaching physical education and health.

Her personal life is a juggling act. She and her husband Pete care for their two daughters, 8-year-old Mia and 6-year-old Elle, as well as stepchildren Ty, 20, and Samantha, 18. Pete Motekaitis is a longtime Davis swimming coach.

When Koren Motekaitis, 36, dreamed up the idea for a radio talk show, she was apprehensive because she had no prior experience in radio.

‘I really struggled with this at first, then what I came to realize was, this is what I would do with coaching,’ she explains. ‘The whole idea with ‘How She Really Does It’ is to inspire, empower and entertain people. It was no different than what I did with coaching. It’s what I’ve always done, whether it’s one on one with athletes or with my team – now it’s just on air.’

The show airs live from 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays, and repeats from 5 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays, 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays and 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays. Although the show is geared toward women, she counts many men among her listeners.

Lisa Lengtat, a friend of Motekaitis’ and a fan of the show, says, ‘My husband probably listens more than I do! I think it’s a really good show.’

Motekaitis’ biggest goal for the show is for ‘people to think outside of the box and to realize the possibilities are endless.’

With the support of her friends, she was able to establish a contact base where she could find guests who would relate to her listeners. Guests have included a fashion editor in Great Britain, people in the health field, therapists, Wall Street Journal columnists, scientists and financial experts.

‘I’ve always been good at finding resources and picking people out to ask them questions,’ she says.

Specific guests have included life coach Martha Beck, who has written for Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine and has been a guest on Winfrey’s television show, and cancer survivor Mark Barr, a Davis native set to compete in the Paralympic Games next month in Beijing.

‘The big thing is to expose listeners to other things that are out there,’ Motekaitis says. ‘Give them resources to inspire them to dream big and to live the best life. Some of the people that come on have careers that really weren’t careers 10 years ago, like a life coach or ‘mompreneurs’ that have Internet businesses.’

Future guests include author D.G. Fulford, who wrote, ‘Designated Daughters: The Bonus Years with Mom,’ with the help of Phyllis Greene. The book is about how Fulford grew closer to her mother after her father’s death.

Another upcoming guest is ‘MomTalk’ radio show host Maria Bailey, an expert in advertising directed at mothers. She interviews ‘mompreneurs’ on her talk show and she has been featured in O magazine, Women’s Day, USA Today and Parenting Magazine.

‘It’s amazing that (Motekaitis) can do all of this,’ Lengtat says, ‘being a mom, a full-time teacher and a coach. On top of that, she has to read books and have two interviews a week.’

Fans of the show don’t need to be in Davis to listen to it, thanks to audio streaming on the Internet. Podcasts are available online at The show also can be downloaded from iTunes.

Motekaitis hopes to start a blog for the show so she can begin to reach broader audiences.

‘This is information so you can empower your life,’ she says.

Tune in
Show: ‘How She Really Does It’
Station: KDRT, 101.5 FM (changes to 95.7 FM on Sept. 23)
Airs: live from 10 a.m. to noon Fridays; with repeats from 5 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays, 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays and 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays.