"PRESSing MATTERS" | By Chad Ferguson
It hardly seems possible a year has come and gone since I was elected by you, the members, to serve as Texas Press Association’s 134th president.
What an honor and privilege it was to represent the finest press association in the nation.
I know there were some of you who thought I was not the perfect choice to represent you and serve in that capacity.
It goes without saying I like to have fun and enjoy life. I have a great time among family and friends. And the ones who know me best have witnessed that side of me firsthand … many, many times!
But I think it didn’t take you long to realize I took my elected position as TPA president serious and did my darndest to represent TPA on a professional level. It was a good year and one in which the board of directors was able to accomplish a lot.
And I must have earned your faith and trust somewhere along the way because I did not become the first president to get impeached.
During my tenure on the executive board, I had the opportunity to visit every regional press association in the state and also had the pleasure of representing TPA at three National Press Association functions — two in Washington, D.C., (Government Affairs Conference) and another in Albuquerque, N.M. (125th Annual Convention & Trade Show).
What a thrill! Bebo and I were able to travel parts of Texas, as well as the nation, that we would have not otherwise had the opportunity to do so.
For that, we thank you!
It also provided me with the opportunity to meet many new friends … and renew old acquaintances. Again, that is something we will never forget in our lifetime.
Obviously, there are many people to thank for what the past year has meant to Bebo and me. First and foremost, is Phil Major, publisher of the Wise County Messenger in Decatur.
It was Phil, who had the vision to recommend me as the newest member of the TPA executive board and future president to the Nominating Committee.
It was that committee, chaired by Larry Jackson, publisher of The Fayette County Record in La Grange, who backed Phil’s recommendation and nominated me to fill that trusted position.
So, I want to personally thank Phil and Larry, along with the rest of that Nominating Committee, for their belief in me. And you, the TPA members, for following their recommendation to vote me into that position.
I had the privilege to serve on the executive board with some of the finest leaders in our profession. Beginning with Phil, there was Roy Robinson of The Graham Leader, Terry Collier of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post, Bob Brincefield of the Brownwood Bulletin, Russel Skiles of the Lamesa Press-Reporter, Greg Shrader of The Lufkin Daily News and Randy Mankin of The Eldorado Success.
And I welcome the addition of our newest executive board member, Glenn Rea of The Cuero Record, as treasurer.
Ironically, the previous three presidents — Roy, Terry and Bob — before me have retired. I will not follow in their footsteps in retirement.
I also want to express my thanks to two former presidents, Mary Judson of the Port Aransas South Jetty and Marshall Day of The Gatesville Messenger for accepting my appointment of them to the board of directors.
Their knowledge and support is something I will never forget.
I do want to offer a special thanks to Marshall. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up on the sports side of our industry. And although I still enjoy covering the sports scene in my tri-county area, it was Marshall who taught me so much more about our profession when I worked for him at the Seminole Sentinel.
The most important … the true meaning of dollars and cents.
Marshall, thank you for that and your wisdom every time I needed it … but most of all your friendship through the years.
Let me not forget the TPA staff for their support. From our executive director, Mike Hodges, to everyone in the central office, they made my job as president such an easy task and one that I am extremely grateful.
I want to close by thanking staff for the extra workload they carried while I represented the state as president.
And last, but not least, my entire family, especially my wife, Bebo, for being by my side in this respected endeavor. Without them, it would not have been near the fun.
Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve as your president … now let’s have some fun and enjoy life!
See you soon!