Your Board in Action

Soni Dimond

Soni Dimond, President

All who serve on the Press Club of Southwest Florida Board of Governors are pleased to share our collective best wishes in this heartfelt missive to our members.

We are so grateful for your support, particularly at this happy time of year. We wish you and yours a joyous Holiday Season.

In our final board meeting for 2017, we recognized and reflected on our accomplishments, but we also eagerly anticipated much more expansion with exciting programs and goodwill in 2018.

At this point, our membership has risen to 154 members, with two new applications coming from spouses of current members.

We are grateful for the diversity of our members’ demographics, as younger NPC members are showing interest in joining our club.

During our November 14 board meeting, Connie Kindsvater shared encouraging news in her scholarship committee report. This has been an extremely rewarding year as we have continued to encourage young people to engage with Southwest Florida’s working, professional journalists.

We have been increasing our commitment to college students by continuing to host our successful panels. We proudly presented the “How to Get an Internship” panel at FGCU on Thursday, November 16. Our five panelists included Naples Daily News’ Internship Coordinator, Kristyn Wellesley; Jim Goin, senior producer at WGCU-TV/ESPN3; Teri Evans, editor-in-chief of Naples Illustrated; R.J. Roan, managing editor of Naples Herald and an FGCU graduate; Karla Wheeler, owner of Quality of Life Publishing who also shared ideas of Cayla Childs, editor of Gulfshore Life, who could not participate. Follow this link for Connie’s in-depth coverage of this event.

NPC member David Silverberg served as the moderator. Additionally, Sharon Hood, publisher, and Kelly Jane Farrell, editor of eBella magazine were invited to attend as observers. The students enjoyed this meet & greet at FGCU along with Judd Cribbs and Lyn Millner, FGCU journalism professors.

This is a good time to remind every student who wishes to apply for internships for summer 2018 – please do not delay your application!

We urge students to apply as soon as possible. The process is highly competitive. I ask all members to help us reach students who need to understand that urgency.

This is also a perfect time to remind everyone to mark your calendars and plan to attend our NPC annual meeting and holiday luncheon, which is slated for Thursday, December 14 at Tiburon Golf Club.

You will receive your e-blast with an event flyer soon. Please remember to RSVP early, as our seating will be limited at the Annual Meeting, Elections and Holiday celebration. This event promises to be outstanding as we have several announcements to share regarding the addition of new board members, as well as a farewell to a few exiting board members. Also, it will be wonderful to witness our presidential transition to our new leader, incoming NPC President Julie Pedretti!

Please join me in thanking Julie for starting her presidential reign by providing us with outstanding speakers. We will be honored to welcome Michael Harrington, president and chief operating officer for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, as our “newsmaker” speaker at the December 14 luncheon. He will be joined by Kristine Guleserian, MD, senior director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, which is South Florida’s only independent, free-standing licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children.

Dr. Guleserian is board certified in general surgery, thoracic surgery and congenital heart surgery. She is a graduate of Harvard University and earned her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. She completed her general surgery residency at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University Alpert Medical School in Providence and her thoracic surgery residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Guleserian also completed fellowships in congenital heart surgery, cardiovascular tissue engineering and cardiac pathology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Mr. Harrington will discuss Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s commitment to ensuring the best possible care in the most appropriate setting for children. That mission is fulfilled by leading the way nationally and globally with technology and innovations that allow the hospital to care for children wherever they may be. The presentation will feature examples of the innovation technology that allows Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to provide compassionate, state-of-the-art care to newborns, infants, toddlers, adolescents and teens in Florida and globally. Dr. Guleserian will talk about Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s new pediatric heart transplant program.

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital strives to be the most innovative and technology-driven—yet the most caring and compassionate—specialized pediatric health provider in the world. They have strategically moved beyond the Miami market, firmly establishing themselves as South Florida’s only healthcare system exclusively for children and are starting to create their strong brand right here in Southwest Florida.

In 2015, what was formerly called Miami Children’s Hospital assumed the Nicklaus name in recognition of a generous pledge from golf icon Jack Nicklaus (“The Golden Bear”), his wife Barbara and their Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Nicklaus Children’s Hospital continues to expand its services through telehealth and other technologies throughout Florida, the United States and globally.

Finally, in the spirit of the holidays, we urge attendees to please bring a “golden” stuffed bear to the annual NPC Luncheon on December 14. These bears will be donated to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to be given to children who travel to Miami for care for complex conditions not available locally, such as epilepsy surgery, heart surgery and brain tumor surgery. On average, two children from Southwest Florida are admitted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital each day to receive highly specialized—and often life-saving—pediatric medical care.

What a way to ring-in a very happy holiday season! I am leaving my presidential post with a big smile and deep gratitude to everyone who has enriched the Press Club of Southwest Florida experience for all of us.

Thanks to you, we have been honoring our NPC traditions while creating a stellar future.

May your holidays be merry and bright!

Soni Dimond

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