The President's Message: Conference Wrap Up
Can Déjà vu feel different? This feeling of familiarity, of having "already lived through" something is a welcome one; but at the same time, we hope at the end it feels different - heck, even better.

This is my second time being trusted with the Presidency of this organization which has been a part of my professional life for so long. I thank the Board of Directors and our members for putting their trust in my hands; it is an honor I do not take lightly. I'm excited about the opportunities and the new direction our Board has defined for your association. More on that in a bit.

For those of you who attended the annual Community Papers of Florida (CPF) conference in Stuart, we thank you. Thanks to the speakers - Elaine Buckley, Anna Vasquez and J.W. Owens - for their insightful sessions. We hope they provided you with a satisfying learning experience. The attendees were the recipients of some lively sessions and we thank you all for participating.

We also thank the 12 participants in the Idea Fair and congratulate the winners: first place winner Tracy Volz of Ocean Media Solutions, second place winner Mariella Oliva of Islander News, and the third place winning team of Kayla Evans, Lora Uber and Heather Donaldson from Hometown News. See the article and photos on page 6 of the newsletter for a full list of the participants.

Now on to our future. We know the challenges CPF, and other organizations like ours, have faced over the last two years. There's no need to elaborate on them. To address this, outgoing President Farris Robinson led us in a long, lively and spirited Board meeting, challenging us with exploring what needed to be done in order to once again be the envy of other associations across the U.S. Florida has always been a leader in our industry and that remains our #1 goal; to lead and be the organization others look to emulate.

It is not a secret that our industry, in its past form, has gone through significant change. Just look around at the options advertisers have to market their product and our audiences have at their disposal. CHANGE. Driving constructive change was the focus of what your Board of Directors focused on during the marathon meeting. The outcome is an exciting one!

CPF has been replaced by FMA. Florida Media Association.

What does this mean to you, as present members of CPF and charter members of the Florida Media Association? Opportunities. Our goal is to expand the breadth of members who belong to our association, to give us, and incoming members, access to new ways of doing things, new technology we can learn from, alternate ways to solve problems, to expand our local audience and advertising base.

FMA will look for new members among web, digital, advertising agencies, radio and TV, social, and all the media businesses that have helped reshape our landscape in recent years.

We welcome our new Board members, Mike and Cristina Jones, Rene Brown, Glen Fetzner and Elaine Buckley. They all see the same opportunity the legacy Board members feel. These newbies have volunteered to help set a new, exciting and prosperous course for your Association. More on them inside this issue.

We go into 2019 with a long and aggressive "To-Do" list: to increase membership, increase benefits to our members, become more "social" and better communicators, to augment our revenue stream, and culminate in a larger, more diversified 2019 conference. As we succeed in adding benefits and changes, we will keep you, our membership, informed.

Thank you for supporting FMA and joining us in this exciting new phase.


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