“The WVPA works to make each convention an outstanding partnership, networking opportunity and educational experience, for both our membership and our guests,” said Don Smith, executive director of the WVPA. “We are excited to have two new partners — AARP and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association — joining with our traditional partners such as The Associated Press and West Virginia University at Convention 2014.”
AARP is working with the WVPA on an editorial board program at convention. AARP’s West Virginia office is bringing in Timothy M. Kelly, a member of AARP’s national Board of Directors and a retired newspaper executive , for the editorial board program, which is part newspaper industry training exercise and part AARP policy review. The AARP representatives and West Virginia newspaper editors will join together for a discussion of AARP’s viewpoint on national issues that will impact West Virginia’s population. AARP has joined the event as a Gold Sponsor.
“The WVPA has been reaching out to businesses and industries to strengthen their communications with our newspapers. AARP West Virginia State Director Gaylene Miller and Associate State Director of Communications Tom Hunter were very interested in developing this type of program for AARP,” Smith said. “As AARP notes, West Virginia’s population is aging faster than the national average. Residents age 60-plus are projected to make up nearly a third of the state population by 2030. Having our editors discuss the relevant issues with AARP makes good sense. This also allows all the editors and reporters at convention to participate in the editorial board. We greatly appreciate Gaylene and Tom for their support and assistance.”
The West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association was one the first groups to work with the WVPA on arranging meetings between industry officials and local reporters and editors.
“WVONGA Executive Director Corky DeMarco and Rebekah Hogue, WVONGA’s Special Events Coordinator, saw the need for improved communications. They helped arrange a series of meetings that allowed reporters and editors to talk with oil and natural gas industry representatives,” Smith said. “Corky and Rebekah understand that our reporters and editors have a job to do. We all agree that having more information, along with the right names, numbers and emails, can help our newspapers get the story and information to our readers. They have been great partners in this effort.”
Smith explained that The Associated Press, represented by Dorothy Abernathy, the Mid-Atlantic Bureau Chief for West Virginia, Virginia, DC, Maryland and Delaware, has been a constant supporter of the WVPA.
“The AP and the WVPA partner on projects such as the Legislative Lookahead and other efforts. We certainly appreciate Dorothy and the Associated Press. The AP will provide a photo display for Convention 2014,” Smith said.
Another regular supporter of WVPA efforts, Smith said, is West Virginia University.
“Through the Reed College of Media and the office of University Relations and News, WVU is another constant supporter of the WVPA convention. Dean Maryanne Reed and her staff and students also partner with our member newspapers in several areas. John Bolt, director of University Relations and News, was instrumental in getting WVU President E. Gordon Gee as our keynote speaker on Thursday evening. We greatly appreciate WVU’s involvement in Convention 2014,” Smith said.
To register for convention or see more on the program, visit our Convention 2014 page