The President's Message: March 2011

Looking Forward to a Great Conference

by Charlie Delatorre

Rooms are going fast for the annual Community Papers of Florida (CPF) and the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) joint conference scheduled for May 5-7 at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach.

In these difficult economic times, the associations agreed to keep the room commitment to a minimum. If we have an overflow, there are nearby hotels; but if you want the convenience of staying in the hotel where it's happening, make those reservations now!

This will be the third time we have joined our friends from AFCP for a conference and once again, it is shaping up to be a great one.

In the past we met together at Daytona Beach and had a memorable reception at the famous Daytona International Speedway. The event included shotgun rides at speeds up to 170 miles per hour on the world's most famous track.

Four years ago we were at the famous Blue Monster, the Doral Country Club in Miami. We had a record attendance at this conference. We will always remember that CPF's tradition, the Kentucky Derby Reception, had over 800 people in attendance.

We are again looking forward to the Kentucky Derby Reception. Ladies and their hats are a tradition for this famous event, and we are going to have a "Hat Contest" with prizes being awarded to those who display the fashion of the South. (See page 5.)

We can also look forward to two great keynote speakers: Dan Clark and Diane Ciotta. Breakout sessions include graphics sessions with Kevin Slimp, an alternative revenue panel, a postal forum, and a co-op advertising session. The Leadership Institute (TLI) will offer a study hall, numerous sessions to choose from, and a TLI test to become certified.

We are looking forward to a Cinco de Mayo party and dinner, Club AFCP, a beach party and dinner, golf, tennis, mini golf and plenty of activities in the neighborhood for those who want to visit the popular St. Petersburg area.

The annual CPF "Awards for Excellence" graphic and editorial awards presentation will be held at the joint conference. The deadline for entries is March 10. Information on the awards contest has already been distributed. If you have not received this information, contact the CPF office or download it from the members-only area of the CPF Web site.

Once again, we will honor a deserving recipient with the annual CPF scholarship award. Applications are accepted from employees of member publications that participate in the association's classified network. The awards are open to member employee's immediate families. The recipient will receive $1,000 each year for up to five years. To receive this amount annually, the recipient must provide proof they are remaining in college and maintaining a 2.5 grade point average. Information has already been distributed and remains available in the members-only area of the CPF Web site and at the CPF office. The deadline for entries is April 4.

Congratulations to Val Simon, publisher of the Coastal Breeze News on Marco Island. The Coastal Breeze celebrated its first anniversary on January 21. That's quite an accomplishment during these economic times.

Sign up now for the annual conference. The training that is available will help you meet your goals in 2011. Let's make this a great year!


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