On May 15 - 17, the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association held its 76th annual conference in Port Aransas.
On Friday morning, Griff Singer, director of the Dow Jones News Fund Editing Excellence at the University of Texas, led the panel discussion Dealing with Disasters. The versatile nature of this seminar is its unique catering to the region it is presenting to: naturally, being on the coast, one would need to know how to protect and cover a hurricane rather than a tornado.
Panelists included Rick Adams, emergency managment coordinator; Libby Averyt, publish of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Nick Harrison, firewise coordinator; Larry Jones, corporate communications manager for AEP Texas; J. Lynn Lunsford, midstates public affairs manager; John Metz, chief meteorologist; and Ruth Rendon, governmental affairs manager of Marathon Petroleum Co.
After the panel, two longtime members were inducted into the association's Hall of Honor: Willis Webb, retired publisher of the Jasper Newsboy and Alvin Holley of Polk County Enterprise.
Friday's events concluded with a sunset cruise, a pirate presentation, and a watergun stand-off.
On Saturday morning, members sat through Dan Parker's presentation, "Marooned on an Island with a Camera." Parker, a Port Aransas South Jetty reporter/photographer, provided tips on catching "the moment" and other helpful hints. Parker will also be speaking at the TPA Newspaper Leadership Retreat on June 19. The conference ended with the 2014 TGCPA Better Newspaper Contest presentation. To view the winners, click here.
This year's conference also saw the most attendees on record. "We had 21 newspapers registered and 101 people signed up for the Friday event," Mary Judson, publisher of the Port Aransas South Jetty, said. "Those numbers exceeded the previous high, achieved in Port Aransas in 2012, by three newspapers and 12 individuals."
The association elected the following officers: Danny Reneau, Silsbee Bee, chairman of the board; Tania French, Port Lavaca Wave, president/secretary; Sue Brown, Pleasanton Express, first vice president; Ramona "Bebo" Ferguson, The Banner Press Newspaper - Columbus, second vice president; Nick West, Palacios Beacon, treasurer/intern chair; Mary Judson, Port Aransas South Jetty, assistant to the president; Chad Ferguson, The Banner Press Newspaper - Columbus, assistant to the president; and Larry Hauk, Cove Banner - Copperas Cove, scholarship chair. Directors of the Board are as follows: Jason Collins, Beeville Bee-Picayune; London Ferguson Webb, The Banner Press Newspaper - Columbus; Ryan West, Palacios Beacon; Janet Reneau, Silsbee Bee; Lawrence Levy, Jewish Herald-Voice; and Nonnie Barton, The Fayette County Record. The 2015 conference will be held May 14-16 at the Holiday Inn in Galveston.