Q&A with TV Anchor and Hartsdale Resident Gerri Willis

Hartsdale resident Gerri Willis is host of The Willis Report on Fox Business Network and was formerly personal finance editor for CNN Business News and a senior financial correspondent at SmartMoney magazine. Willis, an avid golfer, moved with her husband from New York City to Westchester seven years ago. We checked in with her recently.

What’s the best thing about living in Hartsdale? I love my neighborhood—everybody watches out for each other. Westchester is great because there is so much to do— hike, kayak, golf, tour a historic home, eat in great restaurants. Plus you can always get a fabulous mani-pedi.

Where the heck can a Spruce Pine, North Carolina, native now living amongst Yankees get an authentic Southern meal? I just ate at Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle and, boy, was the kale and fried chicken good! Not sure whether the coconut margarita was Southern, but it was definitely tasty.

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What’s the toughest part of your job? Getting my fake eyelashes off at night. Kidding. It’s really being on top of every news story—it’s impossible to ever feel fully prepared.

Strictly on economic-policy issues, what letter grade—A to F—would you give the Obama Administration? They get an A for effort, but an F for execution. Forty-two months of unemployment above eight percent is a tragedy for Americans. We can’t accept mass unemployment as the new normal.

What’s the number-one no-no the typical American does personal finance-wise? I think you can divide most of us into two camps—those who stand in line at Starbucks to see their special drink made at a cost of five or six dollars and those who never buy a Frappuccino. We spend too much on things that return too little to our lives.

What’s the biggest change in the news anchor business from when you first started? Jeez, I consider myself a newbie, but the biggest change is probably the way the whole business has opened up. You no longer have to come up the ranks. Networks increasingly hire people for on-air work who have special knowledge of a topic. I got my first job as an anchor because of my personal-finance specialty.

Did a producer ever offer ‘suggestions’ on your dress/look/weight, et cetera?  Are you kidding? An easier question would be who hasn’t made suggestions about how I look or what I wear. The guy at my dry cleaner has ideas.

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Where do you play golf?  I play all over the county. Hard to pick a favorite, but I spend a lot of time at Saxon Woods and Mohansic.

Do you curse after a bad golf shot?  Does ‘crapola’ count?

Who is the one person you’d love to play a round of golf with and why? Naturally, being a fellow Southerner, I’d love to play a round with Bubba Watson to ask him how he managed that hook shot from deep in the woods to win the Masters this year.

Tiger Woods, hero or zero? I’m embarrassed to say I am back to pulling for Tiger. He is still a lot of fun to watch. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and manages amazing and surprising shots. All’s fair in love and golf, I suppose.

Twitter or Facebook? Twitter is faster. More to the point. I like it better. Is that under one hundred forty characters?

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