Posts Tagged ‘spring conference’


Passing the baton in Region 7

Passing the batonTwo years.

That’s the time it takes to obtain a community college education. It’s also the average lifespan of an iPad, the honeymoon period in a new marriage, the unofficial season length for a U.S. presidential campaign, and the sum of one term for an SPJ regional directorship.

Of course, options exist to extend the calendar on any of these things, though the rationale for that extension differs greatly from person to person.

Which is why on Saturday, my term as Region 7 director came to a quiet, satisfying conclusion during EIJ14 in Nashville, and I handed the baton to Rob McLean, Omaha-based digital managing editor for Hearst Television.

Rob’s recent work with the Society underscores his qualifications. He has been at the forefront to re-establish the Society of Professional Journalists in Nebraska, both at the professional and student levels. A few weeks ago, he started moonlighting as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Before landing in the Cornhusker State, Rob was a reporter for Patch.com in suburban St. Louis and was an active member of the SPJ professional chapter there.

Rob is a good man with drive, determination, and a devotion to SPJ that few can match. The region is in good hands, no doubt.

So let me use the remaining space in my final Region 7 post to thank all the great journalism professionals and students in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri who assisted me, informed me, and enlightened me the past 24 months. Your contributions helped make SPJ stronger, wiser, and better positioned to effectively confront the challenges that journalists and educators strive to turn into opportunities.

For the next year at least, I will continue to work with my home chapter, St. Louis Pro, as well as help launch a new national community, SPJ Digital, which debuted last month, and broaden my continued engagement with SPJ’s Freelance Community. And Rob and I will be working together to plan the Region 7 Spring Conference in Omaha in March.

In the meantime, Rob has my full support and confidence as Region 7 director. I hope he has yours, too.

Joint regional conference to be held near the Gateway Arch

When Region 7 and Region 5 have their joint spring conference in St. Louis next April, the event will take place in the shadow of the Gateway Arch.

The Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch has graciously agreed to host the conference on the weekend of April 26-28, setting aside a large block of rooms reserved for conference attendees and preparing two luncheon banquets for each region’s Mark of Excellence awards. The tentative conference schedule includes an informal welcome gathering on Friday, sessions on Saturday, and a regional strategy meeting Sunday morning.

The location not only has fine amenities and fabulous views, but also is close to downtown historic sites, sports venues, shopping, and nightlife.

This is the first time St. Louis has hosted a regional conference in three years. At the suggestion of Region 5 leadership, the Gateway City’s proximity to south central Indiana and western Kentucky also proved an optimum location for that region’s burgeoning membership in those areas.

Details about the conference sessions are pending, but anyone interested in making individual or group reservations now can do so at this link at a reduced rate for SPJ attendees. This special rate and availability are guaranteed up to March 26.

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