Your Board in Action

Soni Dimond

Soni Dimond, President

Greetings to all! As your new president, it gives me great pleasure to submit my first “Your Board in Action”!

Our first meeting of the incoming Board of Governors on December 13, 2016, was a wonderful way to pay tribute to our amazing club and wrap up the year, along with a preview of our plans and promises for 2017.

The board discussed the great success of our 20th Anniversary celebration, which celebrated all NPC members, and awarded those who founded this tremendous organization. Based on all the abundance of positive reviews, everyone enjoyed the event, which was held in the beautiful Tiburon Golf Club.  My mentor and outstanding Presidential Predecessor Carole Greene ceremoniously passed the gavel to me, as we mutually expressed our deepest respects in honor of NPC’s two decades of history.

At our December 13 meeting, the board gave thanks to the dedicated committee leadership of Marisa Cleveland, who brilliantly coordinated the entire 20th Anniversary event. I was also honored to be a member of the 20th Anniversary celebration committee, along with Mike Sheffield, who did a fine job of inviting founders and past presidents to receive their awards. Board members also thanked Ted Epstein for his expert photography, capturing memories and moments for us to treasure. Joel Banow is still reviewing the videos of his interviews with members, and we’ll be eager to enjoy watching and hearing the results of his Q & A sessions. The wrap-up of this outstanding day would not be complete without a huge THANK YOU to Randall Kenneth Jones for acting as moderator for the “NPC Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” program and also his role in the creation of the pre-luncheon video.

Discussion at our December meeting reminded us of the continued arrival of donations and essential funding for the good works of our club. We heard about the growing strength of the Scholarship Fund. Connie Kindsvater shared the news that the matching funds challenge was met, so the anonymous donation of $1,000 doubled the year-end donations to the fund. This success opened a discussion regarding the proposed creation of a Scholarship Committee workshop to brainstorm on exactly how to best utilize all scholarship money and return their “working paper” to the board.

We intend to put the “fun” into fundraising this year! We discussed how we may thank Phil Beuth royally for his generosity to the Scholarship Fund. We asked “What can our club do to thank a member for donating $20,000 payable over four years, in honor of our 20th anniversary?” Gina Edwards proposed hosting a “Roast” for Phil, with paid admission, which would raise additional funds for the Scholarship Program. We’ll explore that idea with enthusiasm! 

Throughout 2017, the Press Club of Southwest Florida will continue our commitment to journalism and education. Connie discussed that on January 24, 2017, the NPC will return to FGCU, where we will host another journalism panel discussion. All members of the Press Club of Southwest Florida, especially the board, are encouraged to attend and support the journalism program at FGCU. VP/Programs David Silverberg has agreed to return to the panel as the moderator. Local TV News anchor Chris Cifatte (WINK) has shown interest in participating in the panel for a second time. I must add, Chris consistently provides brilliant insights on our panels! I also have been in touch with NBC2 morning anchor Rachel Pierce, who has indicated she wants to help our club with various programs we offer in 2017. It’s terrific to see the enthusiasm we receive from these on-air professionals!

Upcoming luncheon speakers are gearing up to address the Press Club of Southwest Florida in this new year, starting with our January 5 speaker, Jack Wert, executive director of Naples Florida Convention and Visitors Bureau. Presenters for the February luncheon will be the two Naples Daily News reporters who produced the “Shrinking Beaches” series of articles. Additionally, the Marine Corps “Honor the Free Press” lunch will take place in March, so there will not be a Press Club of Southwest Florida lunch that month. David Silverberg is hard at work lining up speakers for future luncheons!

The board decided to give honorary one-year memberships to all luncheon program presenters. Karla presented a design for certificates, which David will present to speakers on the day they provide the program.

While I’m thinking about exciting programs for our members, this is a perfect time to prepare to renew your NPC membership! Karla Wheeler will send email reminders to members about dues renewal. She intends a three-pronged approach:

  1. An email to all members to invite them to pay their $50 for 2017 dues at our website, via PayPal.
  2. Anyone attending the January 5 luncheon can pay dues at that time.
  3. In February, there will be a paper mailing to any member who has not yet renewed.

Our next NPC board meeting will be on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. If any member knows of an issue we should look into, please notify me prior to that date.

What an exciting time to be a member of NPC!

Eager to see all of you, renew our NPC relationships and meet new members in 2017!

Cheers to this New Year!

~ Soni

Soni Dimond, NPC President

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