I’ve been bitten.
Not by a pesky mosquito – at least not yet – but the bug that comes from being around other inspiring people. Through WPC’s and WPC-ICT’s programming, I have found lots to be inspired about – from making connections to hearing relevant information about the media, publishing and other communication matters.
At the end of June, I and several other WPC members are planning to attend the NFPW conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For years, Jill Miller, a longtime national conference attendee and the conference’s former director of fun, has always talked about how valuable attending the conference has been. I now know what she means.
I attended my first NFPW conference when Kansas Professional Communicators hosted the event in Wichita in 2016. The June 2019 conference will mark my fourth consecutive attendance.
The first year I attended, in 2016, I reconnected with someone whom I wrote stories for as an undergraduate student at the University of North Dakota; she was the media coordinator for the UND med school and now reports for a major North Dakota daily.
Last year, in Pennsylvania I listened in awe as NFPW member Betty Packard Voris, now in her 80s, told a group of us at dinner about her experience fighting gender pay discrimination in Indiana. At the time she was the first woman editor of a national financial magazine and she had discovered that she was the lowest paid editor in the editorial department and had just as much, if not more, education. This was in the 1970s – and it remains a concern today. Two years ago, in Alabama, it was Verna Gates who impressed me. A Times and Reuters correspondent, she had covered so many political figures and has since written a travel book and started a nonprofit to spread science education. She was one of CNN’s first employees. This is impressive stuff, people. Plus, the folks who come to the conference are a lot of fun to be around.
I can’t wait to hear stories and meet more people – and come away inspired – at the June NFPW conference in Baton Rouge. We’ll be hearing from the editor of one of the top 10 independent newspapers in the country, the First Amendment, the dilemma of preserving history through newspapers and more. There’s still time to get in on the early bird registration rate, which ends May 31. Come be inspired!
– Amy Geiszler-Jones, WPC president