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First-Timers Receive Royal Treatment

First time conference attendees pose for photo
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First-time conference attendees are welcomed at a reception at Maxim's in Chicago.

As a newbie, it didn't take me long to find out that the very accomplished members of NFPW regularly network and learn from each other throughout the year. But equally important, they genuinely care about each other, like to stay in touch, enjoy seeing one another succeed and celebrate accomplishments. Oh, and did I mention that they love to welcome newbies into the organization?

My journey with NFPW began several months ago when I was approved for membership. I attended my first Virginia Press Women Conference in the spring, which was held in Roanoke. Everyone attending the conference made me feel welcome.

NFPW President Cynthia Price and I were seated at the same table. She seemed genuinely interested in me as a new member and encouraged me to attend the annual NFPW Communications Conference to be held August 26-28 in Chicago. Following the VPW Conference, I received notes of welcome from some of the members.

By now, I was beginning to feel a strong connection to this organization and its members. Chicago had always been on my list of places to visit and so I reasoned, "Why not take advantage of the opportunity to make new friends, network, build on my knowledge and skills and sightsee?"

Hosted by the Illinois Woman's Press Association, Meeting 'Face2Face' Communications Conference 2010 in Chicago was a magnificent conference.

It was apparent to me that the NFPW wanted to ensure that the newbies were made to feel welcome. During registration, each newbie received a 'first timer' ribbon attached to their nametag so that they would be easily recognizable as new members.

The conference kicked off the evening of Aug. 26 with an opening reception and IWPA's 125th Birthday Celebration at Maxim's. The newbies were welcomed and presented with leis by IWPA President Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas.

Throughout the conference there were numerous speakers and workshops on "Reinvention, Innovation" topics.

I left the conference having made new friends and being equipped with additional knowledge and skills that I can begin utilizing within a relatively short period of time.