Members of the West Texas Press Association traveled to Decatur for the association’s 83rd annual convention, July 18-20, at the Hampton Inn & Suites with meetings at Decatur Civic Center.
One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the Harold Hudson Memorial Award to Marshall Day, publisher of The Gatesville Messenger. The award is presented annually to an outstanding member for his or her commitment to their community and the newspaper profession in West Texas.
Day began his newspaper career as a sports reporter for the Hereford Brand and later served as publisher in Seminole and Edna before taking his current position in Gatesville. He is a past president of WTPA, the Texas Press Association and the North & East Texas Press Association. He was honored with the WTPA Dewane Kelly Memorial “Friend of the Newspaper” Award in 2008.
New officers and directors were also elected by the membership. To serve in 2013-14 are Mark Engebretson, Lake Country Sun (Graford), Chairman of the Board; Lisa Davis, Wise County Messenger (Decatur), President; Mindi Kimbro, Olney Enterprise, First Vice President; Carlina Villalpando, Kerrville Daily Times, Second Vice President; and Mary Dudley, The Perryton Herald, Secretary-Treasurer.
New two-year directors are Brian Brisendine, The Brownfield News; J.L. Mankin, The Big Lake Wildcat; Dustin Wright, Seminole Sentinel and Robb Krecklow, Graham Newspapers. Elected to one-year unexpired terms were Kristen Tribe, Wise County Messenger and Thad Swiderski, eType Services. Returning directors are Bill Crist, Snyder Daily News and Ashlee Estlack, The Clarendon Enterprise.
A session on “Dealing With Disasters” was moderated by former University of Texas Journalism lecturer Griff Singer, sponsored by the Texas Newspaper Foundation through a grant from the Association of Electric Companies of Texas. Panelists who offered tips on dealing with disasters included Nick Harrison of the Texas A&M Forest Service, Eric Paul of the Association of Electric Companies, Decatur Fire Chief Mike Richardson and editors Engebretson and Tribe.
A second session was a panel discussion on “When National News Comes to your Doorstep” moderated by Wise County Messenger publisher Roy Eaton. The panelists consisted of Roger Enlow and Debbie Schneider from The Hood County News, Wise County Messenger photographer Joe Duty, Tribe Brandon Evans and Wise County Sheriff David Walker.Other activities included a reception at Eaton’s “Car Barn,” featuring several antique and vintage vehicles, Beverly Ross of Wise County Christian Counseling addressed the group on “Victims Needing to Tell Their Stories,” and Randy Keck of The Community News, Aledo, gave a motivational presentation. Also on the line was the annual Robert Burns Memorial Golf Classic and silent auction, both benefiting the WTPA Bob Craig Memorial Scholarship Fund and concluding Saturday morning with the Better Newspaper Contest Awards.