Matt Sullivan is Chief Operations Officer of Larchmont Mamaroneck Community Television (LMCTV), north of New York City. He was ACMNY’s pick for a scholarship to the November 2017 Northeast Regional conference in Falmouth, MA. He writes enthusiastically of his experience:
The conference kick-off was wonderful, as participants were invited to tour Falmouth Community Television’s beautiful facility. Conference participants were welcomed by Falmouth Community Television’s warm staff and given an overview of the station’s operations, including their mobile broadcast truck.
After our tour of the facility we checked in to our beautiful beachfront hotel, which also housed the entire conference. On Thursday, we participated in the conference’s excellent trade show. Exhibitors from Tightrope Media Systems to COMREX to Barbizon Lighting held live demonstrations of their equipment and software. In the morning, there was a van rodeo in the parking lot in which all conference participants could sit in the mobile units of several different Northeast stations. Thursday’s workshops were wonderful, with two different sessions. The evening’s activity was an entertaining, inspiring, and delicious mix: during a wonderful BBQ dinner, Sue Schardt delivered an inside look at her Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) and afterwards guests were treated to a live performance by The James Montgomery Blues Band.
Friday’s events kicked-off with an excellent keynote speech from Anthony Riddle, Director of Community Media at BRIC. Mr. Riddle used examples he obtained from colleagues around the country in which he asked the simple question of, “What’s ‘GOOD?’” It is evident that throughout our field, there are many people and organizations making a real difference in the lives of their community. Three more sessions followed in the day including topics such as fundraising, virtual reality, marketing, and the building or updating of our community media centers, as well as many others.
During another excellent meal, ACM President Mike Wassenaar, along with Sue Buske (The Buske Group) and Greg Sutton (MNN) discussed the developing trends impacting the future of community media. The panel discussion wrapped up with a Q&A in which conference participants created thought provoking dialog.
The three-day long event wrapped up with an evening reception and the annual ACM Northeast Region Video Festival. Congratulations to all the winners and individuals recognized for their outstanding achievements in our field.
Upon my return to NY, a colleague asked me what aspect of the conference I enjoyed the most. I didn’t have to think long to come up with my answer: comaraderie. The feeling I was left with from the conference was one of being a member of a larger team. I think that tumultuous times can bring us closer together. We realize that life is a journey, sometimes walked in light, sometimes walked in shadow. To be around our peers and those who see the good and necessity in what we collectively do, is an uplifting exercise. In fact, it is essential for our evolvement and our ability to learn from each other. To sum up Anthony Riddle’s Keynote Speech on Friday, “We did GOOD.”
The scholarship from ACM Nertheast allowed LMCTV to budget for an additional staff member, studio production manager Dena Schomacher, to join the conference. Their Board of Directors Vice President, Michael Witsch, also attended the conference.