July 2012: Letter From the president – Planning for the future

Better Kat picBy Katherine Ann Rowlands

We are growing our membership! We are improving our website! We are planning for the future! I’m pleased to share several news items that will keep Journalism & Women Symposium moving forward in the coming year.

First, the board is happy to report that we now have some 500 current members, including those who have paid for membership in 2011 or 2012. The board has been reaching out for the last few months to get all existing members to renew (the membership period goes from January to January), and to recruit new members through frequent mixers, training sessions and personal contacts. We have more members than at any time in our history, which is a testament to the hard work of our organization and the need for the kind of support, networking and training we provide. Personal connections are still the best, so please pledge to reach out to two more women who you think would benefit from being part of JAWS and send them here to sign up.

Second, we are making some improvements to our website so that we have more content and more updates for members. Our site is not only a convenient place to get news about CAMP and regional programs, but also a place to highlight the accomplishments of our members and the achievements of our organization. We have lists of books and blogs written by our members, as well as a new feature on our membership directory that shows areas of interest — so be sure to update your profile. We also have the inaugural Fran Lewine Interview with Peg Simpson and Edie Lederer (thanks to Nina Zacuto), the TedX talk on women in the media with Megan Kamerick that started in Albuquerque and recently went national, the 365 Women on Power project by Fara Warner, and the Women Journalists in the 21st Century project by Pamela Creedon. Sandra Fish was generous enough to tutor me last month on how to make website changes so more of us are now available to keep the site fresh. Do you have something to share? Let us know.

Third, the board has approved a new Strategic Plan covering the years 2012-2017 (it will be posted in the members section of our website). This document provides guidance for the organization and sets specific goals for our growth and development during the next five years. One big push is to boost our programming efforts by hosting more regional training for members during the year and doing more technology training at CAMP. In October, you will see two full days of “flash tech training” on everything from sorting data to finding sources to broadcasting your work through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Another big push is to build on our financial base by increasing our earned income and continuing to solicit donations from individuals, foundations and partners who are aligned with our mission. Board members agreed to either give or get $500 toward this goal and we are pursuing outside grants and donations as well. The more robust our budget, the more programs and services we can offer our members.

Enjoy your summer and check out www.jaws.org for updates on CAMP and news about JAWS.

Katherine Ann Rowlands
JAWS President