The President's Message: May 2009

We hit a home run!

We hit a home run with the recent Community Papers of Florida (CPF) Annual Conference in Orlando.

The conference was well attended. It featured first-class receptions and more importantly, some great training seminars that were well attended.

This year we went back to a previous format for the Awards for Excellence program to honor graphic artists and editorial personnel. The formal Friday night affair drew 280 persons, who were all dressed up for the occasion.

Not only did the Awards for Excellence winners receive plaques commemorating their awards, we also sent them home with a lot of money since each first, second and third place award carried with it a cash prize. Congratulations to all the winners! They were very deserving and every entry was a winner in the eyes of the judges. Once again we thank Tom Lindley of the Daytona News Group for heading up this program.

We continue to owe a great deal of gratitude to the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) for The Leadership Institute (TLI). Florida members Rob Zarrilli and Chris Dayton provided excellent programs. They were joined by Bill Osborne of Maryland, Jim Busch of Pennsylvania and Diane Ciotta of New Jersey.

Peter Lamb moderated a great open mic session and an Internet panel where he was joined by Marc Mandt and Bruce Causey.

The feedback we received on the various breakout sessions was that they were all excellent. We extend our thanks to those session leaders: Ed Henninger (editorial), Douglas Mitchell (graphics), Jennifer Ingram (CPF network classifieds), and our distribution panel participants: Vincent Grassia, Charlie Delatorre and J.W. Owens.

Hats off to the CPF office and the Conference and Training Committees who coordinated this conference. They did their job. Now it is up to you to use the knowledge you received to improve your performance at work.

Congratulations are in order for Ann Waite of Tower Publications in Gainesville. As the recipient of the perpetual Terry Hisken Telemarketing Excellence Award, she received the perpetual plaque, an individual plaque and $500.

The big winners in the CPF "Best of the Best" classified ad contest received their checks and were honored. Pam Slaven, Delatorre and Waite of Tower Publications, along with Christy Crouch and manager Lisa Jemison of American Classifieds in Tallahassee, were the big winners. In the contest drawing Heather Sorensen and Christine Iannotti of Hometown News struck gold and won $1,000 and $500, respectively.

We concluded this conference with our annual tradition, the Kentucky Derby Reception. As usual, this event drew a large crowd and the hotel was rocking when Mind The Bird shot up the rail and won by 6-1/2 furlongs. It was a great way to send everybody home happy!

Now it is time to start the planning process for the 2009 conference. We welcome comments on this year's conference and suggestions for next year. E-mail them to the CPF office at

Thank you for attending.

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