VPW’s Power Is in Friendships

I always leave VPW and NFPW conferences in a melancholy mood. How can that be after spending time with wonderful friends, networking and learning?

It took me a few years to realize that was exactly why I was melancholy – I was leaving friends behind until the next meetings. My melancholy is not as bad today, though, thanks to social networking.

The VPW conference in Roanoke was at a fabulous location – the Taubman Museum of Art . Cara Modisett and her team put together a stellar line-up of speakers. I filled an entire notebook with blog topics and professional tips. 

We also helped raise money for student scholarships through the live and silent auctions organized by Louise Seals, Martha Steger, Linda Evans, Mary Martin, Sande Snead and Norma Pierce. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out because it was fabulous. The best part is that making a donation is so painless because those of us who bid get a tangible item. In my case, I’ll be having brunch at Keswick Hall with Linda. I can’t wait.

I caught up with old friends and new ones. I met Shawna Poole, daughter of Tammy Poole. Tammy and I were editorial assistants at the Roanoke Times (it was just yesterday, honest!) and I feel as if know Shawna through Tammy’s Facebook posts.

Peggy Weston shared some great travel stories and gave me an idea for a national speaker – Peggy! Did you know she’s a voice coach? Marge Swayne filled me in on her life and outbid me on the jewelry!

I got to know new member Susan Ayers, who is a fellow diva. And I saw Pauline Mitchell, a long-time member and a Virginia Communications Hall of Fame inductee.

After the conference I headed to the “Campbell Hilton” courtesy of Julie Campbell. Pam Stallsmith and I treated Julie to dinner to celebrate her recently published book.

The conferences are great because we network and learn new skills, and we also renew friendships. That’s truly the power of VPW and NFPW.

(Note: I’ll blog the conference topics in my upcoming posts.)