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2016 NFPW Communications Conference

Kansas Frontier

September 8-10, 2016 — Wichita, Kansas

four photos from museums arranged around the conference logo, which is located in the bottom left corner

Places to visit while in Wichita — Mid-America All Indian Center (top left) ; Exploration Place (middle left); Wichita Art Museum (top right); Botanica Wichita.


Our conference theme "Kansas Frontier" immediately brings thoughts of the Old West ("Gunsmoke") and prairie settlers ("Little House on the Prairie"). But closer to home—and in the present day—many of us in communication fields are looking at the individual frontiers we face.

Julia Fabris McBride standing, looking at the camera.

Julia Fabris McBride

Sue Novak sitting, looking at the camera.

Dr. Sue Novak

Jenni Latzke looking at the camera.

Jenni Latzke

Scarlet Hagins looking at the camera.

Scarlett Hagins

Perhaps it's retirement or layoffs and you face creating a next chapter with familiar skills. Your new frontier might include becoming an independent contractor and needing to create a business plan and answer vital questions like "how do I find new clients?".

Perhaps it's a promotion that has moved you from staff member to boss. Some days your frontier may seem like a minefield as you adjust to new relationships in the workplace because you know are supervising your co-workers.

Perhaps you are about to graduate college—or just graduated—and your frontier seems vast while you wonder which path to follow.

Whatever path you are on—whatever path you move to, we hope our Kansas Frontier sessions will reinforce decisions you've already made, help you make decisions with which you're wrestling and help you meet like-minded colleagues who can help you set personal goals and hold you accountable.

On our Kansas Frontier, we believe strongly in leadership and how it shapes all of us in all facets of our lives — as parent, spouse, friend, staff member, boss or volunteer. We have partnered with the Kansas Leadership Center to share these new beliefs in leadership that are sweeping across Kansas.

KLC’s program is built on the simple idea that leadership is an activity not a position you hold. Julia Fabris McBride, KLC vice president, presents our keynote at breakfast on Friday, Sept. 9, followed by Dr. Mary Shivley with a double-session for hands-on training in the KLC methods.

Mary is a KLC faculty-in-residence at Emporia State University, which has embedded KLC learning outcomes into general education courses as well as the Honors College program. Here’s a look at how Emporia State describes KLC’s principle of “adaptive leadership”: http://bit.ly/1UaHRYU

Closer to home, working with NFPW leader-officers will be available during an officer round-up — a 45-minute session during which national officers, both elected and appointed, will have tables in the banquet hall and their state counterparts or anyone interested in these roles can spend time asking questions, sharing ideas and working together. These sessions include presidents, membership, contest coordinators and others.

Our Kansas Frontier also includes skills you can take home and put to work immediately in your work. Skyler Lovelace and Carolyn Erickson of PixelTime in Wichita will present Using WordPress, designed to help those already using WordPress get even more out of it. Skyler and Carolyn will share insights and tips to help writers, photographers and others in the communications field create top-notch WordPress sites to highlight work, appeal to prospective clients, and best market your services. They'll also share insights on issues such as hosting and ideas for keeping your page fresh. 

Dr. Sue Novak of State University of New York — Potsdam will present her hands-on, entertaining grammar workshop. Sue is a former president of Kansas Professional Communicators and her grammar sessions are always entertaining. Even “old-timers” will learn something new.

Another former KPC president, Jenni Latzke of the High Plains Journal, will moderate a panel with trade association professionals. Scarlett Hagins of the Kansas Livestock Association, Marsha Boswell of Kansas Wheat Council and Kelli Hilliard of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, will share how they can help reporters and writers find sources, provide multimedia for articles or packages and other assistance. Although the panel is leans toward agri-journalism, they insight can apply to all kinds of associations.

The First Amendment remains strong in our Kansas Frontier. Doug Anstaett, president of the Kansas Press Association, will share with us progress made on sunshine issues in Kansas, including opening affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants. You may find issues addressed in Kansas that you can take back to your own states.

Sue Novak presents a second session based on her dissertation about a Russian journalist. Sue’s research clearly shows the differences for journalists who work under a First Amendment and those who don’t.

Keep an eye on this page for additions to our program. And, we'll continue to share information on our Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/2016NFPWKS.

Want a sneak peak at plans for the 2016 NFPW Communications Conference in Wichita? It's in the Winter 2016 issue of Agenda.