Meg Marker remembers watching her daughter’s face brighten with a warm smile as she knocked on the door of an elderly resident and dropped off a freshly cooked beef stroganoff. The experience was emotional, as it reminded her of the time she spent as a young girl with her own mother volunteering by serving soup to families that couldn’t afford to put food on the table. “It was so rewarding to see their faces light up during each thoughtful visit,” says Marker. “It is something I have always loved to do, have taught my children and will continue to incorporate into my life.”
After studying broadcast journalism in college, Meg moved to the desert. Now, she is Vice President, Head of Philanthropy, and owns Marker Broadcasting with her husband Todd. Marker Broadcasting is the parent company of five local radio stations, the Big 106 Country KPLM, Q102.3 Classic Rock, KOOL 95.9, JAMMIN 99.5 and ALT 101.5. It’s the largest independently owned broadcasting company in the Coachella Valley and has been broadcasting and producing events and concerts throughout the desert since 1996.
“Our company employs many people and is a successful one. We help businesses thrive, create and promote events throughout the desert, and service the valley’s half a million residents. In the event of an emergency, our stations provide the Emergency Alert System for the valley’s residents,” says Meg.
“As Head of Philanthropy, my biggest role is to create and produce charitable events across the desert. Our KPLM Radiothon has raised over $2mm for Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Desert. We put together capital campaigns for various charities annually, and have donated millions in radio airtime to promote numerous local nonprofits over the last 27 years.” Giving back has always been at the forefront for the Markers. “We are constantly looking for unique ways to tie a philanthropic aspect to our events.”
A love for radio
For Todd Marker, broadcasting runs in the family. Born and raised in Minnesota, Marker moved to the desert in 1989 after studying business in college with a degree from University of Wisconsin. While working for his uncle, who owned a radio station here in the valley, he learned the ins and outs of the broadcasting business. Eventually, Marker and his cousin took over the station, expanding it throughout the Coachella Valley.
“There was just something about the radio that I loved. Maybe it’s hearing your favorite song come on or listening to one of the hosts make conversation. Something drew me in, and I just adored it,” says Marker. “I’ve spent most of my life connecting with people through radio broadcasting. I enjoy hearing their stories and getting the opportunity to share them.”
On a whim, Marker went on a blind date. The blue-eyed blonde-haired girl named Meg would eventually become his wife and the perfect addition to his radio business. They continued to expand their company together, growing their business to be the largest in the Coachella Valley. They have been married and living in Rancho Mirage for almost 30 years now while successfully raising their two children, Lauren, 27, and Ryan, 25.
Call to public service
With her latest endeavors, Meg hopes to directly impact Rancho Mirage residents. She is running for a City Council seat in November 2022. “Throughout the years I have involved myself in our community through different outlets, opportunities and experiences,” says Marker. “After serving on several boards and being involved with many local charities, I feel that taking this step is a natural progression towards giving back to my community, which has always treated my family so graciously.” To name a few, Meg has served as a board member for the Bighorn Institute, the local chapter of the American Red Cross, a founding member of Eisenhower Health Circle of Stars women in charity, a founding member of the Junior League of the Desert and many more.
In addition to her experience and expertise, Marker’s sincere care for Rancho Mirage will make her a valuable advocate for the city and its interests. “I will commit to having a thoughtful approach and remaining open-minded when making decisions affecting our residents, city, schools, businesses and overall environment.” Maintaining a high standard of living for residents is her goal. “I will be deliberate and strategic when deciding what businesses we attract to our city. As an active member of Rancho Mirage, I will listen carefully, advocate for what is best for our community, communicate effectively and strengthen relationships with our neighbors.”
Crafting events that give back to the community is no easy task, but Meg has enthusiastically taken the challenge head-on. Incorporating philanthropy is second nature for her, and she encourages everyone she crosses paths with to get involved. She is eager for the chance to show the residents of Rancho Mirage the difference she can make. To learn more about Meg Marker, visit her website at www.electmegmarker.com.