Recalling a Great 2013!

SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter members and friends,
As the year winds down, I wanted to send a recap of all the accomplishments YOU helped us achieve this year.

In January, President Paul Fletcher lined up with the Virginia Press Association and Virginia Coalition for Open Government during the General Assembly session. He helped outline our positions on open government, FOIA, public notice and other issues to lawmakers, and plans to do so again in 2014.

In April, our chapter hosted the Region 2 Spring Conference for the second time in three years. We enjoyed sharing the Norfolk Waterside Marriott’s facilities with the Virginia Press Association and Virginia News Photographer’s Association. A big thank-you is due to Vice President Robyn Sidersky for chairing the event.

In June, we appointed new officers and board members during the George Mason Banquet. Rachel DePompa from NBC 12 is a welcome new face on the board, and Robyn Sidersky has stepped up as chapter vice president. Jeff South has done excellent work as chapter secretary; he departs in January for a Fullbright Scholarship.

SPJVA was well-represented during the Excellence in Journalism Conference in August. Our chapter was selected as Small Chapter of the Year; Brian Eckert was again honored as Regional Director of the Year; and Paul was elected as national secretary-treasurer.

Student journalists from across Virginia gathered at The Richmond Times-Dispatch for our inaugural College Media Day in October. About 40 students turned out to hear workshops and panels about landing jobs and internships, social media, the Freedom of Information Act, column writing, data journalism, photography, how to enter and win journalism contests and WordPress.

In November, our chapter welcomed SPJ’s Ted Scripps Leadership Institute to Richmond. The program helps develop the next generation of local and national SPJ leaders.

Earlier in December, SPJVA financially supported two great events with close ties to our mission. AP Day at the Capital took place Wednesday, Dec. 4, offering a chance for dozens of journalists to get an early look at the big issues in the 2014 General Assembly. Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe also spoke. On Friday, Dec. 6, the Virginia Coalition for Open Government was held, with in-depth discussion of the Star Scientific gift scandal, ethics reform and other issues.

Thanks for everything this year and I’m looking forward to 2014!

Pat Kane
Chapter President

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