Whether you find her traveling the roads avoiding mayhem with Allstate, behind the counter at Kory Souza Originals, or over the airwaves on her very own radio show, Courtney Lambert knows only one pace in life…. Wide Open.
The Early Years
Her passion for motorcycles can be traced back to her childhood. Growing up in Chattanooga, Tenn., Courtney Lambert was the oldest of three and the only girl – a self-proclaimed ‘Daddy’s girl’. An avid dirt bike rider, her father loved to tell the stories of his youth and growing up on dirt bikes, riding the Chattanooga mountain sides with his cousins. It was no surprise that Courtney’s first bike came at age 5 – a small Honda 50 dirt bike, which she says she promptly rode “straight into a brick wall.”
A dedicated athlete through out her school years, Courtney was a fast-pitch softball star, playing 2 seasons of the sport per year for 14 years. A bit of a rough start on two wheels, a move to the Atlanta area at age 13, and a busy schedule in school meant that bikes took a back seat for awhile as she grew up.
My dad’s company transferred him to Atlanta when I was 13. Sucked at the time, leaving my friends, but kind of allowed me to reinvent myself and make all new friends. And it put me somewhere that offered so much more opportunity and diversity. Best thing that could have ever happened to me.”
Her dad always had a love of classic hotrods, a love that Courtney also shared. After she left school, that interest would expand into custom paint and auto body, and eventually would lead her to re-sparking a love for custom bikes.
Her professional start in the motorcycle industry didn’t come until she was 27 years-old. She was approached by Allstate Insurance to become a spokesperson for their Motorcycle product, traveling across the country doing stage shows and emceeing national motorcycle events and rallies.
…it [Allstate’s Job Offer] didn’t even sound like work to me, so I accepted! Eight years later, the program has grown drastically and I’m still enjoying my time on the road with Allstate Insurance.”
Wide Open onto the Airwaves
In 2010, Courtney began hosting her own talk radio show about motorcycles called Wide Open Radio. She was on FM Radio stations in the Chattanooga, Nashville and Atlanta markets. With no prior training or knowledge about radio, she adopted the ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ mantra, a process she said took a few years. Relocating from Chattanooga to Sarasota, Fla., she moved the show to the Orlando/Tampa market, before finally moving to an internet radio platform.
It wasn’t until 2015 that I finally became intentional with Wide Open Radio and made a growth plan and stuck to it. During this year, our listeners grew from an average of 750-1000 listeners per episode to over 35,000 listeners per episode – and we’re still growing! I still can’t even believe that as I’m saying it! So cool!”
Courtney also launched the Wide Open Radio Show website, which she is building to become a leader for custom motorcycle entertainment and news – including archives of all Wide Open Radio episodes, product releases & reviews, national event coverage, special pricing offers from top manufacturers and blog posts about the latest news, trends and events in the industry.
With Wide Open Radio currently in a growth spurt, Courtney is pushing to keep up with the demands of her growing legion of listeners. They recently lengthened the show time from one hour to two hours, and are planning to add shorter, mini episodes throughout the week.
She also is developing another show platform to add to the Wide Open network this year, involving her love of classic cars. Though she currently does not plan on hosting the show, she will be involved in producing it.
Where Two Roads Merge
I truly found my home here. When I am not at the shop, most of the time I’m wishing I were there. Crazy, I know, but I am seriously passionate about growing this business. Kory is super talented and I’m so proud of this company he has build from the ground up, all by himself.”
It helps that I’ve streamlined my career so that everything I do is in some way related to motorcycles. This allows me to use my contacts and connections for whatever I happen to be working on at the moment. All 3 sides of my career feed off the others this way. Things are pretty much always crazy and our schedule is always full, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
But what does her family think of her Wide Open lifestyle?
Two of my family members, my dad’s brother and my dad’s dad, have been in severe motorcycle accidents, so my family, especially on my dad’s side HATES that I ride, but I love it too much to stop.”