The first Press Club of Southwest Florida Board Meeting for 2019 was purposely scheduled for two hours—longer than the traditional meeting—so there would be time for four new board members to be introduced and several important issues to be discussed.
Our new NPC Board Members elected in December:
Marqueeta Curtis-Haynes, Freelance Writer/Producer & Blogger; Owner/Blog: Ageless Glamour Girls; Former Writer/Producer-CBS News
Pam Fultz, Community Relations Manager, Vi Bentley Village and Former Radio News Reporter
Tom Marquardt, Former Editor of the Capital Gazzette Newspapers, Annapolis, and Syndicated Wine Columnist
Gregg Ramshaw, Former Managing Producer, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on PBS (now the PBS NewsHour)
In addition to following the typical agenda that includes committee reports, board members spent time reflecting on the changes the organization has undergone in just the past year or two.
It was suggested that we take time for strategic planning early in the year, rather than wait for the summer planning retreat. Our plan is to analyze the needs of our club members and plan a long-term strategy. Before we begin, however, we need to determine our objectives. What do we want to happen? For example, membership growth is generally a goal of an organization like NPC. For us, more members means more dues money and greater potential for donations to the NPC Journalism Scholarship fund, our largest financial obligation.
With our current—and I would say appropriate—focus on defending a free press, the public’s right to know and the First Amendment, and supporting journalists, we’ll need strategies and tactics that ensure we clearly and diligently play that important role in our community.
We also need to better understand the kinds of programs that attract the general public, so not only do we have broader financial support but we also create greater awareness of who we are and what we do. At the same time, we are reaching into Lee County to offer programs to meet the needs of local media and others. We need to make sure we have the resources to provide quality programs and networking opportunities.
The board will soon schedule focus groups and direct conversations with our members to gather information about needs. This is going to be an ongoing project for the next several months, while at the same time we will offer Newsmaker programs and networking events in Naples and in Fort Myers.
We look for your support as we continue our journey to make NPC a stronger, more viable organization for the future. If you wish to talk to a board member now about your needs and how the Press Club of Southwest Florida can be more relevant to you and our community, feel free to reach out.