On June 8, our treasurer, Connie Kindsvater, hosted the entire Board of Governors (a miracle that everyone could attend!) at Pelican Isle Yacht Club for our annual planning retreat. We had time to discuss several issues we’d only glossed over during the year. We also focused on our club’s direction for the upcoming year.
Observant readers will notice that we have a NEW SCOOP EDITOR! Jackie Simenauer stepped up to take the helm of our NPC newsletter. Her wealth of experience and her creativity will take us to new heights. Congratulate her and help her by writing articles for inclusion in upcoming issues of SCOOP. The newsletter is on vacation until the September issue. Send your articles by August 23 to Jackie firstname.lastname@example.org
Program VP Randy Jones intrigued us with guest speakers already committed along with others he hopes to wrap up soon. Without spoiling surprises, I can tell you we’re in for a terrific season of luncheon presentations that should bring out good attendance. We renewed with Hilton-Naples as our venue for 2013-14.
Administration VP Phil Jason is hard at work arranging a fundraiser for our scholarship program. This will come in the form of a Celebrity Author Luncheon, most likely scheduled sometime during “season.” Stay tuned for when/where/ who. Possibilities are narrowed to two. Both are prize-winners in the journalism field, and either of them will have plenty to talk about that will draw club members and the general public. Watch SCOOP for details when we know more.
Scholarship committee chair Phil Beuth reported on students who currently receive one of our NPC scholarships as well as new applicants. Read a full account of these scholarship recipients elsewhere in this SCOOP issue. This fund grows only when members contribute to it or when we have some kind of fundraiser. For years, our Authors & Books Festival and Writers Conference brought in enough for us to be generous. We currently have endowed $15,000 to FGCU School of Journalism and also offer small amounts to qualifying students attending other schools.
Sell Your Books
Many of our NPC members have written books. No surprise. These authors have frequently requested opportunities to offer their books for sale at NPC meetings. The board agreed that, come October, we’ll set up a table at our monthly luncheon for members to display and sell their books. If it works out well, we’ll make this a standard part of all luncheons. So if you were one of those who asked for this, MAKE IT WORK by attending, bringing your books and preparations for making change. If you have one of those gizmos to attach to your Smartphone for credit card charges, that would be helpful.
Bring Toiletries & School Supplies
To continue our club’s community outreach initiative, we ask club members to bring to each summer mixer and season luncheon personal hygiene items for homeless children in our local schools. We’ll keep it up until the need has disappeared. In addition, at our August mixer, we request that you bring school supplies. Watch for an e-blast on what supplies to donate. These donations allow our club to contribute in small yet meaningful ways to the community we cherish.
New Technology Committee
We spent a good portion of our retreat talking about technology and how best to use it for the benefit of our club. We established a technology committee consisting of board members Gina Edwards, Karla Wheeler, Sandy Reed and Jackie Simenauer. They will work with Birgit Pauli-Haack, our website manager and all-around fabulous tech guru.
Here’s what they’ll do:
- streamline WordPress usage
- update our website and member databases
- develop a consistent look for NPC communications
- utilize our Facebook and Twitter accounts (Did you know we have them?)
We are exploring the possibility of taking on an intern from FGCU to help facilitate some of these tech tasks plus others.
Honoring NDN Editor Lewis
Finally, the morning of our retreat, the Naples Daily News announced the retirement of its editor—and our member and friend—Phil Lewis. We will do something, as yet undetermined, to pay tribute to Phil. Maybe he’ll now have time to attend NPC meetings!
The board can report that the club is in excellent shape:
- good financials
- 120 dues-paying members—many of them actively engaged in journalistic pursuits
- more applicants nearly every month
- excellent luncheon programs and social mixers
- scholarship program
- community outreach
In summary, NPC is a club others might envy.
We all felt the retreat was worth our time and efforts. We hope, as the coming season unfolds, that you will also realize the benefits of our work.