Texas Press Association members will gather in Corpus Christi for the 2014 TPA Newspaper Leadership Retreat at the Holiday Inn Downtown Marina, June 19-21.
Attendees will enjoy presentations by a former major league pitcher, a light-hearted trainer with a quiver full of critical skills to impart and an award-winning, action-hungry newspaper photographer. Attendees also will be served up with a meeting agenda featuring group discussions on topics relevant to the business side of newspapering, plus opportunities to network, relax and enjoy Corpus Christi's many attractions.
The Robert Burns Memorial Golf Tournament sponsored by the Texas Newspaper Foundation kicks off the Thursday, June 19, activities with an 8 a.m. tee time at the picturesque NorthShore Country Club. Registration for the golf tournament is an extra $100 per golfer. Committee meetings begin at 2 p.m., followed by the Texas Press Service Inc. Board of Directors meeting at 4 p.m. Next on the agenda is the opening dinner at 6:30 p.m., featuring a presentation by Port Aransas South Jetty photographer/reporter Dan Parker.
Friday morning's agenda begins at breakfast with entertaining speaker Ken Schrom, president of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. Schrom played for Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
A two-tiered meeting room specially set to enhance communication among all attendees will be the site of a general session beginning Friday at 9:30 a.m. This tried-and-true setup used for summer retreat group discussions since 2012, enhances an environment in which members may share ideas and experiences.
Group discussions and publishers slated to lead them are:
•"Treating Public Notices as Marquee Content" with Lisa Chappell, Greenville Herald-Banner;
• "Political Fairness During Campaign Season" with Nelson Clyde, Tyler Morning Telegraph;
• "Oil & Gas Boom Challenges" with Pat Canty, Odessa American;
• "Making $$$ From Good News" with Terry Gonzalez, Rusk Cherokeean Herald; and
• "Better Promos = Better Community Events" with Dan Kleiner, Madisonville Meteor.
With the 2015 regular session of the Texas Legislature on the horizon and big issues for newspapers ever at stake, political grassroots trainer Joe Gagen of Austin will speak at the June 20 Friday luncheon. Gagen will work with the audience on effective ways to develop working relationships with state representatives. Afterward, Gagen will conduct one-on-one coaching ("legislative batting practice") with members.
Early afternoon on Friday is a perfect time to explore Corpus Christi, home of the Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center and much more. At 3 p.m., a tour of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is scheduled.
Attendees will drive a few miles north to a dinner event and self-guided tours aboard the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, to begin at 6:30 p.m. TPA will honor four member of the Texas Legislature at the dinner with the "Friend of the First Amendment" award. Recipients include: House Speaker Joe Straus III, R-San Antonio; Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi; Sen. Rodney G. Ellis, D-Houston, and Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler. The four legislators have been instrumental in helping TPA achieve its legislative objectives over the past several sessions, and are expected to be key supporters of government transparency and newspapers in the 2015 session as well.
Events on Saturday, June 21, begin with group discussions and leaders, as follows:
• "City Coverage: Perseverance Pays" with Laurie Ezzell Brown, The Canadian Record, and Tara Huff, Fritch Eagle Press;
• "That Should Be in Open Session!" with Melissa Perner, Ozona Stockman; and
• "Quicksand Ahead (Helping Each Other Learn the Easy Way What We Learned the Hard Way)" with Bob Buckel, Wise County Messenger.
Following the custom, the closing luncheon will feature the Texas Better Newspaper Contest Awards, and presentations of the:
• Golden 50 Awards;
• Nancy Monson Spirit of FOI Award;
• Fred Hartman Excellence in Sportswriting Award; and
• Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership.
To view the agenda and register, visit www.texaspress.com. Registration forms may be downloaded and faxed or mailed. Call TPA at (512) 477-6755 for assistance.