Your Board in Action

As mentioned in “Your Board in Action” in mid-May, the Press Club Board is looking for ways to stay connected to you, our members, through social distancing.

At our Press Club of Southwest Florida Board of Governors meeting on Zoom on Thursday, July 16, we spent a significant portion of the meeting discussing ways to provide programs of interest to our members.

What do our members want? Well, we decided to ask. Please watch for a survey in the next few days. Please respond. Please let us know what we can offer to you to keep you engaged for the next few months.

While we wait for your responses, we discussed several ideas that we will pursue and may modify based on the survey results.
• A COVID-19 Hot Topic (Florida)
• How to professionally and effectively present yourself on Zoom or other virtual tools
• Craft work/tools workshop for emerging journalists provided by veterans in media (retired or with years of experience)
• A national “big name” presentation on Zoom (the beauty of Zoom events is that you can attract speakers who live in other cities)

Let us know what you think of these ideas. And, again, please respond to our member survey.

Remember that mini-SCOOP is now a weekly newsletter. Please feel free to contribute an article and photos to the online publication and be sure to share your weekly copy of SCOOP with friends who may be interested in the topics. Send articles to our Communications Chair Mark Young at

Mark also has been diligently posting timely articles on our Facebook page. If you are on Facebook and have not yet liked and followed our Facebook page, please do so today.

As reported earlier, Press Club Board Members Rhona Saunders and David Silverberg are working with a coalition of organizations planning and hosting a debate for the 19th Congressional district in October. A location is being secured but note that no audience will be at the event. It will be live-streamed and may also be posted live on Facebook.

Board members Bob Orr, Gregg Ramshaw, Marqueeta Curtis-Haynes and Karla Wheeler are leading efforts to secure self-nominations for the Press Club Young Journalist Awards. This is an opportunity for local young journalists to be recognized for their excellence in journalism. Click here for more information. A committee will review the entries before awards are presented at the December Press Club Annual Meeting.

Finally, we reluctantly accepted the resignation of Press Club Board Member and Membership Committee Co-Chair Rachel Pierce. As many of you know, Rachel was morning anchor with NBC-2 and recently retired so she could spend more time with her family (four young children and husband) and her art business. Board members voiced their gratitude to Rachel for her years of dedicated service to the club.

We also welcomed new associate member Nizar Mamdani, who was a member of the Omaha Press Club until he and his wife relocated to Naples. He has an impressive background and you will meet him at an upcoming meeting (virtual or otherwise). Please encourage your colleagues to join us. Membership remains at $50 a year and membership applications are available on our website’s membership page.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, our mission continues:  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.

Consider becoming more involved. Your expertise and enthusiasm will help us support the First Amendment and current and future journalists. There are a variety of opportunities, including serving on the board, joining the program committee to help with special online events and programs, assisting with PR, and serving as a correspondent to write articles for SCOOP. Please let me know where you’d like to make your contributions to creating a more vibrant and relevant organization.

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