Tami Marler earned her MBA from the University of Tulsa. She was Miss Oklahoma in 1989 and won a talent award and placed in the top 10 at the 1990 Miss America Pageant.
From Beauty to Newsy
After her pageant days, Tami anchored the news for the CBS affiliate in Tulsa. As a hard-hitting investigative journalist, she won numerous awards for her investigative and enterprise work.
When she left KOTV to lead the communications department for Oklahoma’s largest school district at the time, her news director said, “Tami always brings good story ideas to the table and pursues those stories with passion and determination. The end result is always smart, thorough and something the competition doesn’t have. In addition she has been a seasoned, professional presence on the weekend anchor desk.”
Tami Marler has provided marketing and strategic planning expertise to multiple businesses and individuals since 2010. She returned to news in 2014 and found that it wasn’t the same as it was when she left the top station in the market.
“That last newsroom recruited me, hoping my experience and contacts would drag them from the bottom the barrel,” Marler said. “But I quickly learned, there were many, many reasons they weren’t successful; and there wasn’t much I’d be able to do to save them. It was a devastating experience. I thought I’d never recover.”
The and the experience was so traumatic, she decided to make a major life change.
“I suffered severely from PTSD when I left my last job. I couldn’t go back to news, and I had a really hard time being around people, so another corporate job was out of the question. Then I learned about the horse slaughter industry, and I knew there was a reason God gave me the skills he’s given me, and the drive to do what’s right.”
Marler saved her first horse, Jake, and soon after, a second. She founded Swingin’ D (short for Danny, her husband) Horse Rescue, and rescued two dozen more by the end of her first year.
“Any career I’ve ever accepted, I’ve accepted because I believed I could make a difference,” Marler said. “I don’t know if I can say I made a difference in anything I’ve ever done. But I know I’m making a difference now. I’ve never been more broke, and I’ve never been as fulfilled as I am, surrounded by these beautiful creatures. Horses don’t lie to your face and stab you in the back. They don’t cheat, or steal, or get jealous, or scheme or try to destroy you. They’re straightforward, honest, loyal and trusting, and they deserve to have someone fight for them.”
Marler said she’s been fighting for herself and the underdog her whole life, making more enemies than friends, and losing more than she gains. She says her new venture is different.
“I’ve always fought for what I believe is right,” Marler said. “It drives the people who love me nuts, but it’s who God made me. It’s just not in me to tolerate injustice. I think that’s what made me a good reporter, and I hope it’s what makes me a great rescuer.”
Today, Tami Marler, former Miss Oklahoma, former television anchor and journalist, now spends her days sweaty, grubby, muddy, shoveling manure and working horses. She says she wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.