The President's Message: January 2009

Let's Make It a Great New Year!

The members of the Community Papers of Florida (CPF) lost a good friend January 2nd when Charles Papy, Jr., the attorney of record for the association, died. I was very fortunate to have the privilege to know Charlie for over 27 years.

As a representative of this association, he provided a service that was invaluable. We will miss him.

For the first time in the past 15 years, this association had a decrease in revenue. Classified sales in 2008 were $57,000 below budget, and over $200,000 under last year's figures.

Despite a difficult year, in 2009 the association will still be able to provide the benefits that we have become accustomed to. Thanks to our past success, we have placed enough funds in investments to weather the storm. Hopefully, as this year progresses, the economy will turn and revenue will again increase. If the downward trend continues, the Finance Committee will take a look at the current expenses and make the necessary recommendations to maintain the future health of this association.

We are getting close to the annual CPF conference scheduled for May 1-3 in Orlando. The CPF office is in the process of gathering estimates of how many members of your team will attend. It's important that you let us know. We have an obligation for a certain number of rooms at the hotel; and if we don't meet that number, we need to attempt to negotiate a new contract. This can save the association thousands of dollars.

Once again the annual conference will feature two days of training. We will kick off with a welcome reception Thursday evening. The Conference Committee has recommended we kick off the meetings with publisher and senior management segments.

The Leadership Institute (TLI) sponsored by the Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) gives us a choice of seminars to offer. We will be asking for your feedback on what courses are of interest to you, and the Training Committee will make a decision based on that information.

We also are in the process of eyeing breakout sessions for graphics, editorial and circulation personnel. The CPF office will be asking which sessions are of interest to you, and whether the membership will send enough team members to warrant the expense. It is not financially feasible for the expense if only a few members attend.

The "Big News" from the Conference Committee is that we will go back to the old format for the "Awards for Excellence" banquet. The banquet will be held Friday evening.

Saturday morning we will be back to the grind with scheduled seminars. Saturday afternoon we have scheduled some free time. We will close the conference with a famous free paper tradition, the Kentucky Derby Reception.

The only investment you have to make to attend is the cost of transportation. Place the conference dates on your calendar.

Congratulations are in order for 20 members of the free paper associations who will be certified as Associate Advertising Executives by AFCP at its conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on April 23-25. To accomplish this feat, they attended 15 TLI sponsored and approved classes, worked in a sales capacity for a minimum of two years, and passed a comprehensive exam.

Hats off to Ann Waite of Tower Publications in Gainesville for being on this list. We will also congratulate J.W. Owens, a former president of this association who has moved to Savannah, Ga., for being included on the certification list.

TLI has become a benefit that exceeds all expectations for training in the free paper industry. Congratulations to AFCP for making this happen.

Let's make it a great New Year!

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