Jeanine and I escaped the office last Thursday when we headed to Charleston to take part in the West Virginia Press Association Convention. We arrived at the Sheraton Hotel just before the WVPA Board meeting began around 1:00 PM. It was followed by the WVPA Foundation Board Meeting of which I am president.
Since we haven’t had in person conventions for the past two years it was great to see old friends and colleagues. With full agendas and what now, due to COVID, seemed like a new format, it is no wonder both meeting ran past their allotted times.
Our industry has some work ahead of us to fix issues that we are facing. It was obvious that the members sitting around those tables and the general membership which met on Saturday morning are ready and anxious to tackle those challenges.
The convention had a number of valuable seminars… most of which I found helpful and interesting.
In addition to the Advertising awards being announced at Friday’s luncheon. Chief Justice Dan Greer of the newly formed WV Intermediate Appellate Court was on hand to explain the new court system and how it would operate. While I still question the need for this court, considering the case load of the Supreme Court, I did find Judge Greer’s presentation informative.
The hotel was right on Kanawha Boulevard where all the Multifest activities were taking place. Jeanine toured the stands and fortunately didn’t come home with much in tow. I only ventured out mid-day Saturday to visit an ice cream stand. The crowd, coupled with the heat and sudden bursts of rain caused the Hotel staff a lot of grief as those attending the festival would wonder in off the streets seeking air conditioning and/or shelter from the rain. It certainly was a challenge for them to service the true guests of the establishment.
In keeping with tradition, the Convention concluded Saturday evening with the announcement of the Better Newspaper Contest winners and this year’s recipient of the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award, the highest honor bestowed by the association. This year’s winner was Jim Spanner, publisher of the Parkersburg News/Sentinel. I have had the pleasure of working with Jim for a number of years on the various boards of our organization and he is quite deserving of the recognition. Having received the honor a few years back, I can attest to how much of an honor this award is which was also apparent in the look on Jim’s face when his name was announced.
Sunday morning, we headed out bright and early and were glad to get back to Braxton County. This convention, like many of the past, has renewed my vigor for the work we do here at the papers. I have new ideas and direction that I hope to incorporate in our publications. Stay tuned to see if I succeed?