"Tonya has a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill..."
Louis A. Trosch, Jr.
Superior Court Judge at NC Administrative Office of the Courts
I have known Ms. Rivens for many years, both through her work with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) and as a reporter and On-Air Personality with both WCCB and WBTV. Not only is she incredibly thorough, professional and efficient, but she is a joy to work with. She has a unique ability to relate with people from all walks of life and to help them be their best selves. For example, I once appeared on a news program to discuss some potentially controversial topics related to our court system and was extremely nervous. Looking around at the other panel members to be featured on the air, I quickly realized that I wasn't alone. Tonya, who was the on-air reporter for the segment, immediately put all of us at ease, explained exactly what to expect, and helped us prepare quickly and efficiently. After just a few minutes with her, we became a well oiled machine. In her capable hands, we presented our topic in an informative and entertaining manner.
Every time I have had the pleasure of working alongside Ms. Rivens, my experience has been similar. These experiences have included projects with the MCSO and a court initiative called Race Matters for Juvenile Justice that Ms. Rivens joined as an important partner. She is tireless and passionate about her work. Whenever I know that Tonya will be involved in a project, I am confident that it will be done well. I am honored to highly recommend her.
Tonya Rivens is an award winning Journalist with close to thirty years in radio, ten years in television and many years as a feature writer. She received the 2021 Chan Zuckerberg Grant from the National Association of Black Journalists and is a 2021-2022 North Carolina Equity Fellow. During her career in the industry, Rivens has worn the titles of Program Director, Music Director and Public/ Community Affairs Director. Her current show, Sounds of Inspiration with Tonya Rivens, is featured on Praise 100.9 FM. Her radio career also includes stints at WPEG (Power 98 FM), WBAV (V101.9) WPZS (100.9) and Streetz Charlotte (103.3/100.5) and television at WBTV (CBS affiliate) and WCCB (CW Network). The Ausie & Martin Rivens Scholarship Foundation, formerly the Ausie Rivens Community Center/Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2004 in honor of Tonya’s grandfather, one of the first black barbers in Cornelius, and has provided scholarships for area youth to pursue a career in Barber Styling. The non-profit, changed to AMRS in 2019, also sponsors youth camps, trips and a successful, annual outdoor gospel celebration known as ‘Praise in the Park’ and known as the 'Queen City Gospelfest'.
After a lengthy career in Airline Management, Tonya developed a passion for all things radio. Early in the year of 2011, Rivens decided to branch out in the pursuit of radio syndication with the creation of ‘Gospel Insight with Tonya Rivens.’ Less than a year later the show was featured on WBTV News on BOUNCE TV, weekdays at 8pm. Tonya worked as a Television personality, Traffic Reporter, on WBTV, from 2011 until 2017 then joined WCCB TV, Charlotte's CW, News Rising until 2018. In December 2018, Tonya accepted the Public Information Manager job for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office. Currently, you can hear Tonya on Praise 100.9 FM as the host of 'Sounds of Inspiration'. She also writes for 'Cornelius Today', a daily online and monthly news publication, hosts 'Canceling COVID', an online podcast, host of TTIME, a gospel entertainment segment, and provides freelance reporting for local television. Rivens is a former member of the Board of Directors for Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, the Stratford Richardson YMCA and is a graduate from the FBI Citizens Academy. Committed to her community, the multi-media journalist serves as a member on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, International Minority Coalition, Charlotte Mecklenburg NAACP, Women in Radio, and others. She has won community service awards from Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Putney, Business Today for 2017 Top Female Business Owner, Urban League of the Central Carolinas, Charlotte Mecklenburg NAACP President's Award, Carolina Film Festival, MLK's Growing the Dream, Gospel Impact, Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award and more.