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Fall '09 Convention Highlights

Members and friends of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association met in Peoria over the weekend of October 2, 2009.

Old friends had a chance to catch-up.  New friends came to meet new people. All came to learn to be better storytellers. We also honored those who dedicated themselves to keeping the public informed and making broadcast journalism better.  The convention was a success thanks to the hard work of Emily West and H Wayne Wilson, convention co-chairs.  A special thank you goes to Lee Milner, who once again selflessly recorded the convention in pictures.

The traditional Friday night reception featured a decidedly untraditional mix-- a combination of fine cuisine (including shots glasses of cold soups) and a balloon artist.

Saturday morning, the membership got to work with a series of workshops put on by the nationally-renown reporter/photographer team of Boyd Huppert and Jonathan Malat.

 Boyd and Jonathan's Workshop

Boyd and Jonathan demonstrated good storytelling techniques from every angle-- talking about what makes a good story, finding focus, and how to capture important, unique moments.


At lunch on Saturday, INBA welcomed back 23 past presidents of our organization, including many who had returned for the first time in several years.  Click here for more on the past presidents' reunion.  

The membership also honored Rich Bradley, who retired as the news director of WUIS radio and host of "State Week in Review".  Rich's last day on the job at WUIS was Oct. 1-- which also marked his 35th anniversary at the station.  Rich is a teacher as well as a broadcaster-- many INBA members, including past president Bill Wheelhouse (seen with Rich, below) spoke of Rich's influence on their careers.

After lunch, INBA members convened for the annual General Membership business meeting, which included discussion of several proposed changes to offer new membership categories for out-of-state and online journalists.  Both proposals were tabled until the Spring 2010 convention.  The membership also voted for the formation of a committee to present a comprehensive list of bylaws changes to be considered in the spring.

INBA members also elected new officers and directors, including our new President, Melissa Hahn (seen here at dinner with UIS' Charlie Wheeler).

At dinner on Saturday night, INBA explored the controversial and complicated topic of national healthcare reform, made clearer by Eric Parmenter of Towers Perrin.

This year, Gary Mack, INBA's original auctioneer, returned to the podium for the annual Scholarship Auction.  And what an auction it was!  Thanks to Gary's excitement and personal generosity, lots of planning by auction committee chair Blake Wood, and the deep pockets (and lines of credit) of the assemblage, INBA set a record.  Saturday night we raised nearly $8,000 for the INBA Foundation-- by far the largest total proceeds from an auction in the history of our organization!

On Sunday, convention-goers learned about ways to better cover the arts from the best possible source-- the artists themselves.  Peoria-area artists shared their insights about the relationship between art and the media, and what broadcasters can do to highlight the interesting and significant aspects of culture in their communities.

The Fall 2009 Convention concluded with the presentation of the Illinoisan of the Year award.  This year INBA's past presidents selected former Governor Jim Edgar as the recipient.  The former governor and first lady joined the membership for Sunday brunch, and Governor Edgar shared his insights on the current financial crisis facing Illinois government.  INBA Past President Michelle Eccles presented Edgar with his well-earned plaque.

The membership moved to convene again on April 16, 2010 in Oak Brook for the Spring convention.  Keep an eye on for future announcements about our next gathering!