I first started attending NFCB conferences in the late 90s and, ever since, spring makes me think of these great escapes. Whenever I would find myself feeling a bit burned out by the day-to-day pressures of running a station, thinking nobody else could possibly understand the very random issues that arise in this, my chosen profession, or that I just wish I had someone to talk to about some of my questions, there it was…..the email from Ginny with registration information for the annual conference. YES! There are people who understand, people who can answer my questions and, more importantly, HAVE been there. The gathering of my people is near!
Perhaps that sounds a bit ‘sappy,’ but I mean it most sincerely. This amazing community that has come together through our collective passion for sharing ideas, stories and music, and for keeping our own communities informed and connected, is very precious to me. I attribute my successes in community radio to my association with this organization. I have learned so much from you, my peers, and have shared so many great moments with many of you along the way.
I am so excited to be participating from a different vantage point this year–I am handling Member Services for NFCB and couldn’t be more pleased. I have served community radio in many capacities, from Membership Director to Program Director, from Development to managing several stations. I’ve always been impressed by the work of this organization and am so pleased to be able to serve at the national level.
Without NFCB conferences, I don’t know that I would have made it to Charlottesville, VA and attended a BBQ with Corey Harris, or led a parade with the Rebirth Brass Band down the streets of New Orleans, attended the Gathering of the Nations in Albuquerque, NM, visited Atlanta, GA, and many more great communities that have hosted our conferences. If I had, I would not have seen them through the eyes of community members and shared the experiences with colleagues.
So, with a little over one month until the 39th Annual NFCB Conference commences in Reston, VA, I encourage you to join us for the annual ‘gathering of our people.’ Come and share your stories, learn, teach, laugh and eat. Yes, we usually have some pretty decent meals–how often do you get cake with lunch?–and we have amazing speakers, workshops and more. Check out the conference registration materials and please introduce yourself if we haven’t met yet. I look forward to seeing you all there!