Profile on former WISM guy and Mad grad

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Posted by Big Fan on June 14, 2011 at 11:13:55:

For Highlands Today
Published: June 13, 2011
Updated: 06/13/2011 08:42 am

SEBRING - That smooth, lyrical voice that comes on the air on 105.7 Lite FM at 6 a.m. five days a week belongs to David Onsted, a man well known not only as "Morning Dave" but also by the many roles he plays in organizations in Highlands County.

Onsted was born in Eau Claire, Wis., and earned a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1978. This stately, tanned "golf fanatic" jokes, "What am I doing in radio?!"

A National Merit Scholar who worked his way through college at WISM, a top-40 radio station, Onsted has had a long and successful career in broadcasting. He has worked for Hearst Broadcasting in Milwaukee, Airwaves Communications Group, Pueblo Broadcasters and, in 1995, took a management position with WNAX for Saga Communications. He began working with Cohan Radio Group in 2004, on air and in marketing.

Onsted and Gladys, his wife of 28 years, bought their home in Sun 'n Lake in December of 2003. He moved to Highlands County because, "with the number of people that settled here with roots from the Midwest� it makes sense to an old Midwestern farm boy� I feel good about the people here."

Vicki and Mike Jarvis, owners of Frames and Images in Sebring, consider Onsted a friend and colleague and said, "Dave is a warm, caring husband and very involved in several community nonprofit groups. He has been an American Red Cross volunteer for over 30 years� he has also co-chaired the Drs. Vinod and Tarika Thakkar Red and White Ball for the last five years. He has been involved with the Salvation Army. He is also very active in the Rotary Club of Highlands County�and he enjoys a game of golf and is pretty good at it."

Onsted is on the board of the Red Cross's Mid-Florida chapter, which serves Polk and Highlands counties; he held the position of treasurer for five years.

He first became involved with the Red Cross 35 years ago after assisting with ham radio communications at a Wisconsin shelter during a blizzard. Watching the volunteers, he realized there was a heartwarming "level of good feeling" involved in being able to provide help.

He has "a great deal of respect" for the Red Cross, whose volunteers go through extensive certification classes and receive background checks.

Onsted has been a ham radio operator since he was 12 years old and finds a satisfaction in being able to work in conjunction with emergency management to provide communications during disasters. He is a member of the Highlands County Amateur Radio Club, and his current call sign is W9CWN. The club's annual Field Day will be held June 24 � 25, at Istokpoga Park.

Cindy Maxon, whose husband, "OJ Scott" Maxon, works with Onsted, said of him, "He is extremely intelligent, talkative, great for radio�(he is) helpful, has a caring heart, more energy than the 'Energizer Bunny', and is just truly a genuine asset not only to Cohan Radio Group but to the community."

ARC is another organization that Onsted is involved with as a volunteer. He calls their goals and their work "a passion" that he believes in. "I have the benefit of having a 20,000 watt megaphone in the morning; so when they need someone to make some noise for what they are doing I am there for them." He adds, "This company (Cohan Radio Group) has always done a wonderful job of lending their airtime to worthwhile causes."

Onsted is an active member of the Rotary Club of Highlands County and was formerly president of the organization. He is also a lay minister at St. Agnes church and active in other groups. Onsted said, "I enjoy helping people."

Whether he is listening to live music at Duffer's on Wednesday nights or attending events like the Sunrise Rotary Golf Tournament, the ARC Kokomo fundraiser or the Run to the Heartland motorcycle weekend (Sept. 30), Onsted has become a familiar face and voice in Highlands County.

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