February 2013: Letter from the president

Better Kat pic

By Katherine Ann Rowlands, JAWS president

JAWS has a lot of momentum right now on several fronts, and I am happy to share our progress with you.
We are thrilled to announce that Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, will be our Saturday night keynote speaker for 2013 CAMP at The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa near Burlington, Vt., Oct. 24-27. In addition, we are working on some terrific programming, including a Foodie Friday set of panels, a weekend of tech training aimed at both beginning and advanced users, and a host of meaty topics, such as data analysis, health care reporting, and finding jobs in this new media landscape.

We are working to build alliances with other journalism groups so that we can take advantage of each other’s strengths. We now have reciprocal membership privileges for events and conferences with the American Copy Editors Society. (Check out their summit on plagiarism and fabrication in St. Louis on April 5 at www.copydesk.org). And we will be looking to collaborate with Exceptional Women in Publishing. (JAWS members can attend their Women’s Leadership Conference in San Francisco on March 6 at a reduced rate at www.ewip.org.)

The board has studied options for a more streamlined and versatile listserv tool for our members, which will launch this spring with Google Groups. We are making improvements to our website to serve our members with more news and information. We are developing a strategy to more actively use social media to advance our organization and the work of our members. And we have started publishing our newsletter every month to keep you current with the great work JAWS is doing.

Earlier this month, a core group of board members and other stakeholders met with two consultants from Philanthropy Expert to brainstorm about initiatives to help JAWS grow. We came out of a daylong workshop with a plan to revisit our bylaws to build continuity on our board, craft clear documents based on our core values to relay our message and mission to new members and donors, and begin imagining what ambitious programming we could offer if our budget were to double or triple and enjoy the stability of an endowment. These efforts to dream big will set the stage for further conversation as the year goes along.

Thanks to all of you who have already renewed your membership this year. As a reminder, your $75 fees cover the calendar year, helping to support the programming, networking, mentoring and professional development that JAWS is committed to providing our members. If every current member reaches out to two additional women this year, we will hit our membership growth targets early and ensure our success in the years ahead. Share the inspiration with women you know by inviting them to join JAWS. Spread the word!