Your Board in Action

Julie Pedretti, President

It must be “season.” Many of the Press Club of Southwest Florida Board Members were busy with visitors or traveling and unable to attend last month’s board meeting. While we did not have a quorum for the February 28 meeting, those who attended were able to discuss a number of important issues.

Karla Wheeler talked about her participation in the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) 3rd Annual Media Career Prep Workshop, where she met Kaela Thompson and Devonte Richardson, journalism students at FGCU. Because of Karla’s involvement in the workshop, both Kaela and Devonte applied to become student members of the Press Club of Southwest Florida. They have since been approved by the board, and many of us who attended the March 7 NPC lunch were able to meet Kaela.

Kaela Thompson

Devonte Richardson

The board discussed ways to prepare for the March 30 annual board strategic planning meeting. Among our topics will be membership, fundraising for the Terrence J. Miller Journalism Scholarship Fund, and ways to extend programs and events geographically to attract and engage working journalists.

When it meets for five hours on that Saturday, the board will start with the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, a planning tool that has been used by businesses and organizations for decades. For example, one of our strengths is a core of dedicated volunteers who helped create and continue to nurture the organization. A weakness is the fact that while we have 150+ members, most simply don’t have the time or the interest to be involved in assisting on committees, planning programs or organizing fundraisers. An opportunity is the geographic expansion to North Naples, Estero, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers—the Media Mixers held last summer in these areas were well-attended and attracted working journalists and others who enjoyed and benefitted from the networking. One of the threats—which we are reminded about regularly—is the daily schedules of most working journalists who have difficulty attending our events and meetings, whether for breakfast, lunch or after work/evening.

If you have suggestions for issues that should be included in the SWOT analysis, please send an email or call me ( or 414.861.3077) or another member of the board. 

I believe the Press Club of Southwest Florida has great potential to be an advocate for the First Amendment, to support a free press that provides fair and factual reporting and play an important role in supporting future journalists. But we are at a crossroads. If you are able to provide advice or are willing to become more involved, we invite you to step forward. We need you.

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