Everyone says that you have the most fun at the AAEC convention immediately following the one you put on. Having been heavily involved with two, I can tell you that I am already looking forward to next year in St. Petersburg and I’m reminded of how after hosting Sacramento back in 2005, I was harassed by nominating committees until I finally relented and agreed to be Prez for 2010. Jack, are you paying attention? My editor at the time, David Holwerk signaled his approval by advising, “you might as well just bend over.”
As I noted in Portland,
about the time I was assuming the position of AAEC president, I had a pretty
major shoulder injury and earlier this year went in for rotator cuff surgery.
Through much of my term I was saddled in a sling, firing off nasty emails and
letters with one hand – all the while nursing a persistent nagging pain in the
Although it was tempting to view this as an apt metaphor for the AAEC presidency, I preferred to look at my subsequent rehab, with its slow, sometimes torturous, but ultimately positive forward progress as the best illustration of not only how I felt my year as president went, but also the AAEC as an organization, and perhaps the profession itself, methodically plodded along.
As a result, this year as your president has been a surprisingly rewarding one for me. Possibly due to my fear of the amount of work involved, I just figured it would be a thankless task, but slowly began to realize that it was indeed a labor of love. It has truly been a privilege and an honor to serve in this organization that has given me so much.
I wish to thank my wife and son, of course; The Sacramento Bee; a very solid and professional AAEC board, with a special mention to Secretary/Treasurer (supposedly for life) Cullum Rogers, who is stepping down (he knew better than to step down a year earlier, because I would have killed him); Minister of Information, JP Trostle; Melinda and Teresa at PNA; The Herb Block Foundation; and Jack Ohman, who was a pleasure to work with on the Portland Convention.
about that convention? As you’ll see in the following pages, we adapted. Just
as we’re adjusting to the changing landscape in our profession, we demonstrated
in Portland that we can forgo the swanky four-star hotels we had become accustomed
to and still have the substantive discussions and, more importantly, the good
times we always have when we gather together.
Who cares if the hotel bar went out of business just weeks before? Hell, we’ll just take it over and, by golly, that suits us even better. Come to think of it, taking over a hotel bar may be the metaphor I’m searching for. Because if we don’t take charge of our own destiny, bartender is just about the only other job we’re qualified for.