Nebraska Press Women members worked Saturday at a special summer meeting on the second floor of the Prairie Winds Art Gallery in downtown Grand Island in a third strategic planning session.

The overall effort started with a member survey that had about a two-thirds response, which I understand is an amazingly high number for any type of survey. Our strategic planning leader Judy Nelson of Lincoln reminded us that the last detailed NPW survey had been done by then vice president Jill Claflin before she moved to Georgia to oversee communications for Habitat for Humanity.

Judy Nelson1

Jill was in Georgia for 18 years and we so happy that she chose to return to Cozad recently and jump right into the the middle of NPW activities again.

We acknowledged that 18 years was too long to take a detailed look at our members needs and interests, and to make some specific plans for our future. The timing is right because NPW turns 70 in 2016 and plans are being developed for a celebration at our spring meeting in Lincoln.

One of the topics in my group – we divided into three groups Saturday to set goals and some priorities toward reaching them – was how the programing and promotion of that event can fit our key areas of membership, visibility and branding.


We had started this process at our winter board meeting in Grand Island and continued the middle part at our spring convention in Lexington. By the time Barbara Micek and Nancy Hansen host us for a fall meeting in Columbus and Genoa, we will have specific goals with committees assigned to move forward on them.

It has been interesting to me as a member of the NFPW board to watch the same process go forward on the national level. The board and appointed directors worked on this for most of our spring meeting in Las Vegas, under the leadership of Cynthia Price of Virginia and Karen Stensrud of North Dakota, who peppered us with questions and encouraged us to present any an all ideas.

One of the best things about our NPW work on Saturday is we had three twentysomethings – two 2015 members and one who will join in 2016 in September – and another more veteran weekly journalist who is new this year. Their input is much needed to enlighten the majority of the rest of us who count our NPW and NFPW membership in decades.

By being involved in this process on both levels, I hope to find elements unique to each that can be shared with the other.

All of this is probably a message to do some self-review and goal setting, but I think I can handle only two such efforts at a time. Maybe 2016 will be my self-awareness year.