Regional press associations gather for joint convention

A joint convention in Rockwall brought together members of the West Texas Press  and the North and East Texas Press Associations.
The groups met together for many of the sessions and programs and held separate awards programs. Friday sessions included a welcome by Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt, “Creative ways to Generate Local Content” by Brad Blakemore, “Real Journalism Roundtable” with Jim Bardwell, Wyndi Veigel and Kristen Tribe, and “Selling Total Audience/Digital Advertising” by Jake Mienk and Lange Svehlak.
The luncheon speaker was syndicated columnist John Moore. Afternoon sessions included “The 3 Rs of Cumulative and Acute Stress” with Kelly Wise of Wise Health System and “How to Get the Most from Photography as a Reporter” with Reuters freelancer Mike Stone.
NETPA honored retired Marshall News Messenger Publisher Jerry Nye with the Sam Holloway award. Rick Craig, publisher of the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, was presented the Tom Mooney Memorial Friend of the Newspaper Award.
Both groups announced awards in their annual Better Newspaper Contests. Jake Mienk, publisher of the Palestine Herald-Press, was contest chairman for NETPA and Maria Weaver, publisher of the Hamilton Herald-News, chaired the WTPA contest.
Sweepstakes winners in the NETPA contest were the Post-Signal, Pilot Point, small weekly division; Farmersville Times, large weekly division; Wise County Messenger, semi-weekly division; Tyler Morning Telegraph, large daily division; and Cleburne Times-Review, small daily division. Journalists of the year in each division were Abigail Adams, Post-Signal, Pilot Point; Meredith Shamburger, Panola Watchman; and Josh Edwards, the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. Full NETPA awards are listed on the NETPA website.
In the WTPA contest, The Lampasas Dispatch Record took sweepstakes honors in the semi-weekly division and The Texas Spur took sweepstakes honors in the weekly division. Awarded journalist of the year honors were Kathy Cruz, Hood County News, in the semi-weekly division, and the Ozona Stockman in the weekly division. To see full contest results, click here
NETPA also installed new officers for the 2021-22 year, including Wyndi Veige, Marshall News Messenger, as chairman of the board; Dan Moore, Henderson News, president; Jake Mienk, Palestine Herald-Press, first vice president and convention chairman; Lange Svehlak, Athens Daily Review, second vice president and contest chairman; and Cher Thompson, Hood County News, secretary-treasurer. NETPA directors include Chad Engbrock, Wylie News; Kim Ware, Azle News; Pail Gaudette, The Dublin Citizen; Jim Bardwell, Gladewater Mirror; Meredith Shamburger, Panola Watchman; and Jeff Pownall, Lufkin Daily News. 
Suzanne Bardwell is scholarship chairman and Rick Craig is bingo chairman.
In fundraising activities, the Robert Burns Memorial Bag of Air raised $1,300 for the NETPA and WTPA scholarship funds.

Other regional group conventions set
• Texas Gulf Coast Press Association will meet for their annual convention May 6 – 8 at Tejas Camp & Retreat In Giddings. The 83rd annual convention will feature programs, Chad’s Pad hospitality event and awards in the annual TCGPA Better Newspaper Contest.
• Panhandle Press Association 2021 convention will be held July 23-24 at the Courtyard Marriott in Amarillo. More details will be announced soon.
• South Texas Press Association will meet July 29-31 in Uvalde.