By Lea Haben, Publisher of SmartFem Magazine…

My favorite part of being Publisher at SmartFem Magazine is that I get to meet amazing people who do a lot for the community. I have worked with Phoenix Arizona’s Channel 3 throughout the years but never formally had a chance to work with or interview Tara Hitchcock up until now.

As many of you know Tara Hitchcock left Channel 3 about two years ago and, like many of you, I’ve had heard a few rumors so I decided to check in with Tara and find out for myself. I had the chance to interview her and found her to be the way we all know her as perky, funny, candid and passionate. She is also quite the philanthropist.

Tara Hitchcock_SmartFem Interview_300_1SmartFem:  Tara, The rumor mills are flying and the women of the valley want to know; what’s your next adventure?

Tara:  Ironic that you asked me that because I will be starting a new weekly segment on CBS5 on Thursday mornings called, Tara’s Reel Travels. The show airs on Oct 31st from 6-7am and will feature all the things I love; travel, sports and entertainment. We will be kicking off the show with Harrison Ford, star of the upcoming movie Enders Game. I have some other projects in the works such as She Knows.

SmartFem:  Do you miss getting up early with Channel 3?

Tara:  I missed the original show and the fun and friends I worked with. I enjoyed my time on the news but it got tough constantly reporting on all the tragedy’s and horrific things going on and being sad all the time. I was really ready for a change. Sometimes things happen for a reason which is revealed later on. About 3 months after my departure my step-son Dylan suffered a frightening brain injury and I just felt grateful that I was afforded the time to be there for him and my family.

SmartFem:  Tara, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to SmartFem. Can you tell us about some of the challenges you have faced throughout the years being in front of the camera and what message would you like to convey to our readers?

Tara:  You are very welcome, and I like the positive messages you try to convey to women [through SmartFem]. It has been my experience that women need to be nicer to each other and support one another. My worst critics over the years have been women talking about the way I dress or my big Texas hair. I would love to see us move away from all the pettiness and embrace and support each other despite our differences.

SmartFem:  So true Tara. I understand that you will be participating in Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk. Can you tell us about that?

Tara Hitchcock_SmartFem Interview_300_2Tara: I am thrilled that Debbie has invited me to emcee this year. I have been one of the models in the past years but have never really been comfortable in that role so I am thrilled that I can highlight all the other models this year. It is going to be a great event as working with Debbie always is. I am looking forward to the fashion, the fun; and knowing that it all goes to a good cause just makes it that much better.

SmartFem:  Tara you have had your hand in philanthropy for a number of years, what started that?

Tara:  It stems from my grandparents who were always heavily involved with the Salvation Army. I feel that as a TV personality it gave me a chance to show my support when my checkbook couldn’t.

SmartFem:  You seem to have it all Tara, a family and a career. Do you have any words of advice?

Tara:  Yes it’s very important make time for family, and to enjoy the time with them as much as you can. I believe it’s also important to have something of your own. Find what you love and try to make a living out of it. Despite the fact that my husband is well to do I have always maintained my own bank accounts and had my own identity. Sometimes marriages fall apart. We hope they don’t but sometimes they do so you should always know that you can take care of yourself.

SmartFem:  Tara what a pleasure. Thank you for opening up to us and I look forward to seeing you again at Catwalk. I know we are all excited to see you again.

Be sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, November 21, 2013. Tara Hitchcock will be emcee for Debbie Gaby’s Celebrity Catwalk presented by Sleep America Charities. Celebrity Catwalk is an entertaining fashion show where each model is a local celebrity competing for the attention of an adoring audience. Follow the event on Facebook.

Also be sure to check out Tara’s Reel Travels on CBS5 Thursday mornings starting October 31.