If you were able to attend the November 7 lunch meeting, you witnessed the launch of the new name. The Naples Press Club has officially made the transition to the Press Club of Southwest Florida.
As part of the presentation, Press Club members were reminded of the history of the 23-year-old organization and its founding members. Past presidents were asked to stand and be recognized.
The name change was the result of a strategic planning meeting in June 2018 which led to discussions about the need to expand geographically and to offer a wider variety of programs, including “pop-up Newsmaker” events at different times of day, to meet the needs of working journalists who primarily work and live in Lee County.
Frank Cipolla agreed to chair a Name Change Committee and convened several meetings during the summer. Members included Board members Tom Marquardt, Karla Wheeler, and Carole Greene. The NPC Board ratified the new name in the fall: Press Club of Southwest Florida.
In spring 2019, a Name Change Implementation Task Force was tasked with developing and fulfilling a plan. The task force included Jill Jaffe (drafted key messages and press release), Cindi Withorn (oversaw the design functions, including the pull-up banner, podium sign, business cards and website), Marqueeta Curtis-Haynes (implementing social media changes), Karla Wheeler (led effort to update name badges), Carole Greene (as a Founding Member, provided input and institutional knowledge), Birgit Pauli-Haack (utilized her firm’s capabilities to roll out the website redesign expertly and smoothly — on time and on budget), and Sandy Reed (offered insights as the club’s resource to update SCOOP and the website each month). It was a true team effort!
As a reminder, in spite of this historic change, our mission has never wavered: we always have, and always will continue to advocate for quality journalism, defend both the First Amendment and the public’s right to know, and support future journalists through scholarships and mentoring.
Your continued support will ensure our transition to the new “Press Club of Southwest Florida” identity and position our Club to continue to grow and to better serve our community.
Consider becoming more involved. Your expertise and enthusiasm will help us support the First Amendment and current and future journalists. There is a variety of opportunities, including serving on the board, joining the program committee, assisting with PR, and serving as a correspondent to write summaries of the monthly lunch programs and other events. Please let me know where you’d like to make your contributions to creating a more vibrant and relevant organization.