Breakfast with Jocelyn Maminta
by Cara Rosner / photography by Allegra Anderson
To call Jocelyn Maminta a busy woman is an understatement. Many know her as the 9 a.m. co-anchor of News 8’s Good Morning Connecticut and the station’s medical reporter, but her high-profile day job is just one aspect of the entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother’s life.
In addition to her career as an Emmy Award-nominated newswoman, she is co-founder of Caroline’s Room, an effort to create safe places inside hospitals where families can cope with the challenges surrounding the birth of a premature baby. Maminta and husband Gary Doyens were inspired to create these spaces after losing their daughter, Caroline, at the age of two months. What started at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital has spread to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center as well as to hospitals in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
Maminta also is CEO and founder of Frangi Pangi, a company that makes hosiery for women of all colors. And she serves on the board of The Friends of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, is an advisory member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, and is a member of the Junior League of Greater New Haven.
She recently took time out of a busy afternoon – ducking into an unoccupied room at the television station to sip some tea and chat – to share what she loves best about her work and the city she calls home.
Q: What is a typical work day like?
A: I get up around 6:30. I do some time on the stepper when I’m watching the morning news headlines. I take a quick look online because I need to know what’s going on before I walk into the newsroom. As soon as I get into the newsroom, I start reading the scripts for the 9 a.m. newscast. I do my hair and makeup – yes, we do our own hair and our own makeup! After that, I make my calls to set up my medical stories [I’m working on] and any health news that might be breaking that day. Usually I have a shoot already set up that I do after the 9 a.m. show. After my [work] day, I have a lot of public appearances. It’s not unusual for me to be rushing out of work to be getting to an event that is obviously very well worth it – usually a nonprofit event.
Q: What led you to a career in reporting?
A: I wanted to be a doctor originally. My dad’s a doctor, and wanted us all to be doctors. Keep in mind, I’m an immigrant from the Philippines. In college, I decided that wasn’t for me. I graduated with a major in political science and a minor in business. [I moved to Washington, D.C.] and became administrative assistant to Ursula Meese, whose husband was U.S. attorney general under President Ronald Reagan. Just through the years working with them, I obviously was exposed to the media and just felt I could do a better job of reporting the facts. A lot of the coverage about them just was not accurate, and I thought I could do a better job. [After internships in the news industry] my first job was in North Carolina as a general assignment reporter. Once I got into it, I realized that I really, really enjoyed news. Initially I wanted to be a sports reporter but I realized I could make a bigger difference in news. I just wanted to make a bigger impact in people’s lives.
Q: Are there any stories you’ve covered that have really stuck with you?
A: It’s my storytelling as a medical reporter that probably gives the most satisfaction. What I really love most is when someone tells me that they learned something from me. What it tells me is that the viewers are paying attention and I’m really making a difference to people. I’m blessed that I have the ability to do this. My job is to take a complex story and simplify it so people at home can understand.
Q: What spurred you to start Frangi Pangi?
A: My frustration at not finding hosiery that would match my skin tone. You want that barelegged look, and I could not find that tone that matched mine. My product fulfills a need. [Frangi Pangi hosiery comes in 10 different shades, plus black.]
Q: Where’s your favorite place to grab lunch in New Haven?
A: Zoi’s and P&M deli. I know the owners; they’ve become friends. And I love Olea for dinner.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I watch sports, a lot of sports. I watch it all. I watch baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, boxing. I can not tell you a sport I do not watch. I just love sports. I also love to read; I’m a voracious reader.
Q: What do you love most about spring in New Haven?
A: The biggest thing for me is I can go outside and walk and I see my neighbors again. I love seeing my neighbors. I have a great neighborhood [Westville] for that.