This year has been a historic and humbling experience for me. It is a tall order to serve as president of the Wichita Professional Communicators (WPC) after you did it 11 years ago. But it was my time to take on leadership of an organization that offers many benefits and is a group worth bragging on. WPC has been and continues to be the right fit; here are three key reasons.
First, the WPC board backs the president. Since we are all volunteers working toward common communication-related goals, it is important to know that interest-minded people have your back. Every second Monday of the month we would meet at Watermark Books and Café to discuss our business and plan activities. Sean Jones documented our actions taking the minutes as secretary. Becky Funke handled the books as the treasurer. We had two vice presidents: Emily Christensen who tracked our membership and Michelle Vann who booked speakers for our monthly luncheon programs.
Naomi Shapiro served as an official WPC greeter and took reservations for each program. Darcy Gray updated and managed the website. Shannon Littlejohn tackled three roles as historian, scholarship chair and WPC-ICT organizer. Littlejohn will pass the scholarship torch on to Judy Conkling and me so we can focus on more donations to help college students. Four at-large board members stepped up to help with fundraising to scholarship committees – Jennifer Eaton, Beth Bower, Cheryl Miller and Katherine Ambrose. Promotion of our activities from member accomplishments to news about professional development was handled first-class by Amy Geiszler-Jones, past president and the nwsbrfs editor.
Second, networking reigns as one of the biggest pluses of a group this size. With the woes of the pandemic, it is crucial to connect with your colleagues. They can give leads to jobs and share resources invaluable if you just ask. We had a few months that we introduced ourselves at meetings, mingled and exchanged cell numbers during our luncheons at Larkspur Bistro and Café. We were forced to hold virtual meetings via Zoom for the safety of our membership. Such changes and adjustments have taken a toll on our times to bond in person.
Third, endless opportunities for professional development are offered — all for the price of an annual membership. Growth comes at the local (WPC), state (Kansas Professional Communicators) and national (National Federation of Press Women) levels. You must take advantage of conferences and webinars to polish your skills and keep up with our techy world. If you go snoozing too long, you will be left behind and frustrated.
The WPC board and our members have coped with changes galore in 2020. Now is the time to pass the leadership torch on to the 2021 slate of officers who will move WPC onward and upward. Proudly, I will be on the sidelines supportive as a past president and board member.
I am looking forward to being a part of WPC in 2021!
– Wilma Moore-Black