Monday, August 1, 2016

I had a wonderful time celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Colorado Press Women last week. President Sandy Nance was my fabulous host.

The CPW organizers had the perfect program - remembering the history and memorable moments throughout the years - and learning more about the women who founded the group.

Please enjoy these photos from Tuesday, July 26 - the actual 75th anniversary. Congratulations to CPW, and here's to 75 more!

Happy Birthday to Colorado Press Women!

The pitch from NFPW to Colorado.

The meaning of a word can certainly change over time!

CPW COA Carol Anderson (left) listens to COA Director Sandy Graham during the COA award presentation.

President Sandy Nance holds the proclamation.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Are you like me - frustrated by what is happening in our country and our world?

I will pray for Nice, Dallas, Orlando and every other place that needs it. I also pray for peace, for our country and our world.

As long as someone out there doesn't believe that #AllLivesMatter, we will have discord and violence, whether it be racially, religiously or politically motivated.

Do you remember the immortal words of Rodney King, way back in 1991? "Why can't we all get along?" He was referring to racial riots after he was beaten by Los Angeles police officers. It's amazing when you realize that happened 25 years ago.

What is incredibly sad about that is similar incidents are still happening today. For better or for worse, we may be hearing more about these issues because of Social Media. For better, we have new worldwide forums for discussion and free speech. For worse, we have those who use these platforms to spread discord and inflame others.

In 25 more years, who knows where we will be in America and across the globe - in a state of peace or in a state of chaos? Only time will tell. Until then, if you're like me, just keep praying.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My, how times have changed. I checked Twitter this morning, as I often do in the morning, to see what's trending.

In Britain, they weren't worrying about #Brexit. Instead, Brits were bemoaning their men's soccer team loss to Iceland (yes, Iceland) in the Euro tournament.

But what caught my attention more was the outpouring of thoughts and support for Pat Summitt and her family.

Summitt coached Tennessee women's basketball for what seemed like forever as she was only 22 when she was hired for the job. Her accomplishments in the sport are almost without comparison.

But she was forced to step down several years ago when she was diagnosed with early onset dementia - Alzheimer's type. She passed away overnight at age 64.

My mother, Loverta, was about Pat's age when she began showing symptoms of the same disease. In fact, my sister Julie and I can confirm first realizing the severity of the illness when mom attended the 2005 NFPW Conference in Seattle with us.

Of all things, I had scraped my leg on the rope playing sand volleyball and the scrape had become infected. I don't know how many times I told mom that it was a scrape from volleyball, but she kept insisting it was poison ivy. This happened repeatedly during the trip.

Before we left for Seattle, mom had loaded one of those weekly pill containers to take on the trip. Fortunately we noticed it had disappeared and packed another one before leaving for the airport. To this day, that set of pills has never been found. We don't know where mom put it; we had even checked the trash cans throughout the house.

My mom passed away in 2012 at 74 - far too young - and the same is true of Summitt, a great lady and a great coach.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Memorial Day weekend 2016 was memorable for me in more ways than one.

First, my sister and I took Thursday and Friday off work. We spent Thursday flying to Charlotte, N.C. As our flight left Omaha late due to storms, we arrived at Chicago Midway in time to dash from the B Terminal to Gate A4A in the A Terminal. If you've never been to Midway, this gate, and Gate A4B were Southwest Airlines' solution of how to fit more gates into an airport where there is no more room to do anything. Southwest's flight attendants even felt the need to explain why the pilot hit the brakes so hard when we landed ... it's OK, we get it - short runway.

On Friday, we toured the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which was delightful. As fans of NASCAR since cable TV brought the races to all segments of America, and not just the South, in the 1980s, we were thrilled to tour the Hall. Even if you are not a race fan and find yourself in Charlotte, the tour is well-worth the $20 or so admission price.

On Saturday, we rested up so that Julie would have enough energy to last for 400 laps during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

On Sunday, we were treated to lunch with two of our favorite NFPW friends, Meg Hunt and Rebecca West, who made the drive up from South Carolina. We let them select the restaurant, and they did not disappoint.

Peace -N- Hominy,, provided just that as well as some delicious BBQ. If you're in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend stopping by, but be aware that the post-church crowd on Sunday will fill the joint.

It was also a reunion of sorts for me with Meg and Becca as I first met them at the 1995 NFPW Charlotte Conference when I was a first-timer. They became lifelong friends after agreeing to take me to Charlotte Motor Speedway while they were out running errands one evening even though they aren't race fans. And they had just met me. Yet I was privileged to meet Meg's sister Susan and nephew Jacob, a mere babe at that time, during one of our stops.

That has made them my lifelong friends, even if I have never been able to convert them into race fans!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Investment opportunity for tax refunds

Does your pocketbook feel a bit heavier right now?

If you are like me and are paid every other Friday, if you are paid on the same Fridays that I am, April was a treat: we received 3 paychecks.

Now, this is a bit like taking from Peter to pay Paul in that the first paycheck we receive in May isn't until the month is basically half over, But why worry about that? If you received an income tax refund - federal and/or state - you have even more extra money available right now.

If you're ready to spend that money, I know just the event! The Kansas Frontier conference, NFPW's annual soiree, will be held in September in Wichita. If you are ready to apply some of your hard-earned money, that opportunity is coming soon.

Hotel registration at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport is already open at
I've also heard from a few members who have already booked their flights. One was able to get one-way tickets to and from St. Louis for $49 each thanks to Southwest Airlines.

Soon, registration will be open for the tours and conference itself. So I'm encouraging everyone to hold on to that dinero for just a little longer so that you can spend it on your trip to Kansas!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Making sense of the 'Madness'

If you're like me, my NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is busted. It's been broken into pieces, stomped on, trounced and left for dead.

It's amazing how Americans seem to unite over their brackets, and by now, nearly everyone has lost their national champion unless they opted for Oklahoma or North Carolina. For the record, for some reason I chose Michigan State. Yes, that selection was the beginning of the end for myself and millions more.

I guess the tournament wouldn't have the "madness" factor if teams like 10-seed Syracuse didn't make the Final Four, and that's what makes it exciting.

With the growth of online contests, brackets have become a popular way to decide the best-ever this or that. I had a unique thought - let's turn the presidential campaign into a bracket contest. Who would encompass the Final Four? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz?

What would the tiebreaker be? Who wins Florida? Well, I guess we've been there and done that where a presidential election is concerned.

Monday, February 29, 2016

NFPW debuts new YouTube Channel

I am often asked about being a member of the National Federation of Press Women, and this is especially true when I am introduced as the national president. Usually, the focus is on "Women." Most folks want to know if the group is just for women.

I am always pleased to tell them that NFPW is open to all professional communicators - men and women.

My affiliate, Iowa Press Women, has had a tradition of gentleman members, although we do not currently have any. Bruce Miller of Sioux City was a longtime member, perennial contest sweepstakes competitor and was Iowa's Communicator of Achievement nominee back in the late 1990s.

The other interesting time to explain that the organization is open to men and women was for the annual High School Journalism Contest. Not only could female students enter, but the guys were welcome to as well. I'm sure more than once an honor winner thought it was "weird" to win a "Women's" award, but hopefully they realized it was "cool" too.

This brings me in a round-about way to a great video from NFPW Membership Director Tiffany Ervin. She brings us the male point of view courtesy of Illinois Women's Press Association member Tim Libretti.

Check out that video on NFPW's new YouTube Channel:

Thanks to Tim and Tiffany!