A Year of Changes
The Community Papers of Florida (CPF) has concluded the 2009 year with a number of changes - with one exception. The sales reps at Tower Publications in Gainesville continued to rack up the dollars in the CPF network "Best of the Best" contest.

During the year Pam Slaven twice won $2,000 prizes. Ann Waite won $1,500 in one contest and $1,000 in another, which made their manager, Charlie Delatorre, the big winner. Under the contest rules the manager wins an equal amount of money, which put a total of $6,500 in his pocket.

Other winners in the recent contest included Pat Snyder, Christine Iannotti and Anna Vasquez of Hometown News, and Beverly Kay and Brenda Knowles of the Observer News in Ruskin.

In the points contest, Vasquez finished in third place and won $1,000. By the luck of the draw Iannotti won $1,000, which equaled $2,000 for Snyder. Kay won $500 in the drawing, which also awards $500 to Knowles.

Waite was named the recipient of the Terry Hisken Telemarketing Award and took the impressive perpetual plaque home for one year.

Highlights of the year included the CPF conference in Orlando. Over two hundred persons attended the conference at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. The training programs included sales, editorial, graphics and an open mic session. As always, the Kentucky Derby Reception was a hit.

Changes were made to the CPF board of directors. Kelli Hull was appointed by the board to replace Gary Hawken, who retired. Hull is the general manager of the Daytona Pennysaver Group.

Jose Alou was appointed to the board to replace Jackie Cesaretti, who resigned after accepting a new position with the West Palm Beach Post. Alou is the general manager of LaPalma, a weekly Hispanic publication that serves the Palm Beach market.

Charles (Austin) Moisio was named the recipient of the 2009 CPF annual scholarship. Moisio was a graduate of Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, where he maintained a GPA of over 4.2. His father, Richard, is employed at the Daytona Pennysaver.

Samuel J. Morley was named the attorney of record for the association. Morley is the general counsel for the Florida Press Association (FPA). He has held the FPA general counsel position since 2004 and has represented FPA before the state legislature and administrative services. A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, he earned a law degree from Wake Forest University.

Among those who left the industry was Leonard Marsh, the longtime general manager of the Daytona Pennysaver. Marsh is a former longtime supporter of CPF and served on its board of directors. He opted for early retirement and is now teaching at Daytona Beach Community College.

Steve Blais, general manager of the West Volusia Pennysaver, also left the industry. Blais was a longtime CPF board member and for a number of years served as the association's treasurer.

Doug Hodson, the longtime general manager of the New Smyrna Pennysaver, has likewise left the industry. He was a former CPF board member and a board member of the Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association (SAPA).

CPF had its share of tragic events during the year. The longtime attorney of record for CPF, Charles Papy, Jr., died of a massive heart attack on January 2. He represented CPF successfully in Tallahassee, and was successful in representing members in tax audits and when cities were eyeing delivery ordinances. He was a frequent guest at annual conferences where he provided seminars on labor laws and delivery ordinances that affected the membership. He made many friends in the association.

Members of the association were shocked to learn of the death of Craig McMullin, the executive director of the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP). McMullin worked closely with CPF in many ventures, including joint conferences. In August he was killed in a motorcycle accident in Utah while returning from a vacation. He was 52.

In November, a member of TheFlyer.com team in Tampa was killed by her ex-husband. Sheryl Partington Laird was a 17-year veteran of The Flyer and was brutally murdered. The couple was involved in a dispute over $17,880 in child support payments. The week they were scheduled to go to court her ex, Robert, shot her multiple times at her Lakeland home and placed her body in the trunk of her car. He then drove through Tampa and St. Petersburg to the Skyway Bridge, where he stopped at the top and set the car on fire before jumping off the bridge, killing himself instantly.

The association donated $4,000 to a scholarship fund set up for their seven-year-old daughter, Kelly.

For the first time in many years, the CPF classified network failed to meet its budget. Sales were down 42%. Because of investments made in recent years, the benefits provided by the association remained intact.

Let's make 2010 a great year!

- Dave Neuharth

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