I just returned from Las Vegas where our annual SPJ conference was held. Much fun was had by all and enthusiasm was high. At the same time, I am happy to report that we accomplished a lot, and I feel good about the direction we’re going as a group.
Six out of seven chapters were represented at the conference: Montana (Ian M.); Snake River (Becky T.); W. Washington (Clay H., Cliff D., Oren C.); Oregon (Sara); William O. Douglas (Kristen K. and Paula H). and Inland NW (Mark P. and Pia). Other members from the chapters were represented but these were delegates and/or chapter reps.
For those of you who weren’t able to attend the conference, here’s a quick synopsis of what went down at the regional business meeting:
Inland Northwest update: After several years of lying dormant, the Spokane chapter of SPJ is slowly coming to life, thanks to Mark Peterson and Pia Hallenberg. They are taking their media message on the road by visiting local colleges and universities to talk about the skills needed to make it in today’s social media-savvy world.
Regional conference update: Kristen & Paula updated us on their plans for the regional conference next spring. It will be held at WSU, Richland, Washington in the Tri-Cities April 8-9. Anticipated attendance: 80-100. They brought “save the date” cards and asked for help with programming ideas. We also discussed the idea of the region helping to pay for the annual conference through contest proceeds. The group was in favor of this idea though an official vote was not held. Stay tuned for updates on the William O. Douglas website.
Regional contest: I will contact two outside vendors (besides BNC) for quotes to take our system online. We might go with BNC for now and see what service national rolls out next year and be a test pilot. Chapter responsibilities: providing contest swap partners by December 1 and a chapter contest coordinator who will be my primary contact during the contest season.
Contest timetable: This will be the same as in past years.
- Rules, categories, etc. to be ready and posted online by 12/31/10
- Promote contest during January
- Entry deadlines for all categories: mid-February
- Entries to out-of-state swap partners: March 1
- Entries to be judged by April 1
- Trophies & certs to be done by May 1 (Ian will do trophies again; Ruth will do certificates.)
- 2011 Awards Banquet: Saturday, May 21 in Seattle and Portland
Regional blog: My goal this year is to keep this updated with news at the regional level as well as at the chapter level. I encouraged chapter contacts to send me news, events and other updates so we can work more closely chapter-to-chapter than we have in the past. Send posts to me via email and I will post them here for everyone within the region to view (Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana).
Regional synergy: I’d like to see us work together more closely, particularly in terms of membership challenges and programming ideas. I believe we can leverage technology to create ready-made, portable programs that can be easily duplicated in other chapters throughout the region. This is particularly important in those chapters that are separated geographically. One idea: freelance program, All Access Pass, could be tailored to freelancers in other markets. This could be a good pilot for the “program in a box” concept.
Please help me keep this blog alive and well and subscribe to the RSS feed or check back regularly for updates, news and more. I look forward to working with you over the next year!
~ Dana Neuts, regional director