Our regular board meetings tend to be quick and to the point so we can take care of business in less than 1 ½ hours. When we convene for our annual half-day planning retreat, we adopt a more leisurely pace. We have time for deeper discussions plus convivial camaraderie.
That’s exactly what members of the board plus one guest enjoyed on May 21, our final meeting of the season, to delve into what happened during the past few months and what we look forward to in future months.
The club continues to evolve in membership and the benefits they receive. We added 30 new members in the past year. We’ve also lost a few, but we’re still ahead of the game. We approved two applicants at this meeting.
Now that Program/VP David Silverberg has said farewell to his dream job in D.C. and returned to us here in Paradise (in case you missed his reason—he didn’t like being away from his wonderful wife, whose job is here), he’s hard at work planning enticing programs and events. He hopes to expand our membership into Lee County, where NPC can use a room on the conveniently located campus of Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers. He’d like to reach out to more broadcast journalists—to discover how our club could be of benefit to them. He proposed to provide valuable information on our NPC website—job openings and recruitment advice—in the hopes that our site might be more useful to our members and potential members.
The retreat afforded a good deal of time to talk about how we can be of more help to our scholarship students. Providing $1,000 per year to deserving applicants meeting our criteria is the club’s Numero Uno project. Thanks to last year’s fundraising efforts, our scholarship fund at Champions for Learning is sufficient to cover the four recipients returning from previous years—Melissa Gomez, Ellie Rushing, Kyle Shatto, Lauren Schoepfer (for one semester only)—plus two recent Collier County high-school graduates just announced—Tamica Jean-Charles and Jaynie Tice. We have awarded proceeds from our $25,000 endowed scholarship to Villy Satine. Those proceeds (from investments the FGCU Foundation makes) yielded only $900, so the board voted to add $100, bringing his scholarship to the same amount the others receive.
A member of the club serves as a mentor to each student, who is considered an honorary NPC member and can attend any of our meetings. Recognizing that students are typically short of money, we comp their lunches when they attend. We also advise them on networking and job applications. In other words, we don’t just hand them the bucks and disappear.
Jeff Margolis acquainted us with an opportunity that we jumped on. We voted to fund transportation for field trips to the Naples Daily News—up to three a year—for elementary school children. We hope this will start them on the road to understanding the importance of a free press. We’ll do this on a rotation basis so over a few years all our county elementary schools will get a chance. Jeff will facilitate. The first one he’ll approach will be Shadowlawn.
Our interaction with FGCU journalism students over the past year has been heralded as a resounding success. We will definitely do more, so watch for ways you can become involved. It’s good for them and it’s good for us. I just love win-win situations, don’t you?
Many tasks NPC performs are doing fine and need no changes. Our newsletter Scoop will continue to inform and entertain. Remember, we welcome members’ contributions.
Our dues at $50 will continue. Our luncheon fee, reservation and check-in process will remain the same. However, our reservation coordinator will change. Anyone wish to volunteer to take the place of Kay Kluever, who has had to bow out? Let me know.
One big change bears mention: on the FIRST THURSDAY of the month, starting in October, we move to Tiburon Golf Club for our luncheon meetings. David is working on a summer mixer to introduce this beautiful venue. Watch your email for information.
Finally, we discussed plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Press Club of Southwest Florida. I won’t spoil any surprises, but “save the date” of Dec. 1 for a special luncheon.
This is our final issue of Scoop until September. Anything you need to know before then will show up in your email Inbox. Enjoy the summer and come back to the club rested and eager to help NPC evolve for the next 20 years.