Convention Sessions & Speakers

Convention Sessions & Speakers



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Kevin-Slimp_MugKEVIN SLIMP | Friday

A Backpack Full of Tools for Newspaper Designers
During this session, Kevin will share tools often overlooked by users of InDesign, Bridge, Acrobat and more. Good for users of any version of these apps. You will need two notepads for this session!

Tips for Improving Page and Ad Design
Kevin has been teaching classes in design since back in the 90s and he and his buddy, Ed Henninger, have even joined forces to critique newspapers for groups over the past few years. Join Kevin as he discusses some of the basic and not-so-basic tips that can improve the design quality of your publications.

More Than You Ever Thought You’d Know About Color Correction and Photo Editing
Over a two-month period, Kevin visited with newspaper printers from California to Rhode Island to test new methods for improving color and photos on pages. What he learned surprised him and will probably surprise you. Papers, inks and processes have changed so much in recent years that the way we edit photos needs to change, as well. Bring two pens for notes. You’ll need them.

Jill-Geisler_MugJILL GEISLER | Thursday

Feedback with Impact: From the Delightful to the Difficult
Jill Geisler hears it wherever she teaches: employees are hungry for more feedback – positive and negative. They want to know where they stand. In this session, Jill will demonstrate how to improve your feedback. She’ll show you how keep from undercutting your positive messages with what she calls “praise erasers.” Then, she’ll focus on the all-important but difficult conversations that managers often avoid or execute poorly.  In a series of real-time, improv exercises, she’ll outline a process that leads to a better outcome for all parties.

Managing Your Multi-generational Team
One generation feels blessed to have a steady job. Another generation has a free-lance mentality.  A generation in between feels overlooked. And it’s your job to manage them all.

In this session, Jill Geisler will look at the forces that shaped the people in your workplace, how they see the world of work, what motivates them and what you as a leader can do to hold them accountable and them succeed. This goal of this session isn’t to stereotype people. Instead, we’ll see how history, technology and culture influences people and how to strategically reach across difference to strengthen your team’s performance.

Jim Pumarlo

JIM PUMARLO | Thursday

Developing Community Beats & Covering Sensitive Issues
Confrontations are unavoidable if newspapers are doing their jobs reporting both good and bad news. Relationships don’t always have to be rocky; however, connecting with sources is a two-way street. This session offers practical tips on how to develop community beats, and how to foster an understanding so traditional and nontraditional sources will be equally forthcoming with all the news. This session also will share some examples of developing and implementing policies for coverage of sensitive issues.

Diane-Ciotta_MugDIANE CIOTTA | Friday

A bit against the norm and quite outside the box, Diane Ciotta has been successfully presenting captivating skills refinement seminars exclusively to print advertising sales consultants and sales managers for 25 years.

Sessions include:
“Good-bye Salesperson”…”Hello Consultant” (objection-proof approach)
This One’s For You! (focus on prospect’s specific business needs)
Show Me The Money! (professional budget calculations for long-term commitments)
Confidence is The Cure for the Common “No!” (handling rejection with conviction)
Consistently Closing With Consistency (increasing close ratios & improving client retention)

Michael-Osterholm_MugDR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM | Thursday Lunch

Dr. Michael Osterholm, a prominent public health scientist and a nationally-recognized bio security expert,  is a former MN State Epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences and the Council of Foreign Relations. In June 2005 Dr. Osterholm was appointed by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to the newly established National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity. Dr. Osterholm has been an international leader on the critical concern regarding our preparedness for an influenza pandemic. He has also been an international leader on the growing concern regarding the use of biological agents as catastrophic weapons targeting civilian populations. In that role, he served as a personal advisor to the late King Hussein of Jordan. Dr. Osterholm provides a comprehensive and pointed review of America’s current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack in his New York Times best-selling book, Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe.

Norwood-Teague_SqNORWOOD TEAGUE | Friday Lunch

Norwood Teague, the director of athletics for the University of Minnesota will be on-hand Friday to give an overview of Gopher programs, facilities update and campaign update. Teague was introduced as Minnesota’s director of athletics on April 23, 2012. In his short time in the Twin Cities, Teague is already dramatically changing the landscape of Golden Gopher Athletics. Recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative administrators prior to his hiring at the University of Minnesota, Teague is continually assessing and improving Gopher Athletics efforts across the board. With a big picture mentality and dedication that encompasses all student-athletes and programs, he brings his energy to every aspect of running an innovative and trailblazing department.

Brad-Hill_MugBRAD HILL | Thursday

Brad Hill is the president at Interlink, a Michigan-based independent software company focused on meeting the needs of community newspapers in the areas of circulation, delivery and ad management. Initially hired as a network engineer, Brad’s 13 years with the company have seen him in a number of roles including project management, product development, customer service and sales.

Brad will be reviewing USPS changes that have happened recently and those on the horizon.  He’ll also be sharing money saving tips for submitting your periodical postage forms.  If you’d like him to review your current form, bring it along!

MarkAnfinsonMARK ANFINSON | Thursday & Friday

Thursday, join Mark Anfinson and Sandy Neren for a session focused on public notice. You’ll leave this session with tools to talk to legislators and local government leaders about the importance of public notice, and you’ll get a complete update on the current status of public notice in the state.

Friday, join Mark Anfinson for the popular 2015 Legal Update. Mark will provide a broad report on the current status of FOI issues, important legal cases, and a preview of 2015. Bring your questions for Mark to this session.

JoeSpearJ.Ed. Committee Session | Friday

Business and Economic Reporting Nuts & Bolts
Business/economy/jobs reporting is one of the most important areas of coverage for community newspapers. The economy and business impacts every reader. Yet there are nuances and challenges that make it difficult to get business news. Hear from a panel of working journalists from news organizations big and small on what works, Get story ideas, tips for getting good business stories and resources for navigating the business landscape.

Panel session moderated by Joe Spear, Editor, Mankato Free Press.

Tim-Smith_MugTIM SMITH | Thursday

On Thursday, Tim will offer advertising sales training sessions focusing on classified and display ad sales, prospecting. Tim has been in the Training and Development field for over 28 years and has worked in the newspaper and print industry for over 10 years.  He started out in Circulation and was promoted to a supervisory role in the Production Department due to his work ethic and his results.  He has also worked on the sales side of the business again being promoted to Sales Manager due to his results, especially in revenue, repeat business and his ability in new business development.

Joe-Suttner_MugJOE SUTTNER | Thursday

Consumer Sales
The session will focus on the various circulation sales sources available to both small and large papers; examining their effectiveness and cost-per-order.  Joe will provide examples of what has/hasn’t worked at Gannett’s Wisconsin dailies and also examine what does/doesn’t work for the newspapers in attendance. Attendees will walk away with ideas to take back and use at your newspaper.

Lisa-Schwarz_MugTech Tools Session | Thursday

This session, lead by Lisa Schwarz of the St. Cloud Times, will give attendees a new digital and social media toolbox to take back to the newsroom. A panel of experts from Minnesota newspapers – large and small, daily and weekly – will share their favorite tech tools, what’s working (and what’s not working) in their newsrooms, and answer your questions. This session will be helpful for the beginner just getting started, to the more advanced user.

Panel session moderated by Lisa Schwarz, Content Strategist/Audience Analyst, St. Cloud Times

Ben Garvin - photo by Mette MørkBEN GARVIN | Friday

Take Better Photos & Video with your Mobile Device
Reporters and photographers alike often find themselves on the scene of news with just a smart phone camera in their pocket. In this session, learn how to stop taking crappy photos and video with your phone!

In April 2014, Ben used his iPhone exclusively to shoot the Twins’ home opener (it was harder than he thought it would be). He also put down his DSLR at Twins Training Camp last year to shoot for a day exclusively with his iPhone. During this session, Ben will share his top 10 tips and tricks for using your smartphone to improve your visual reporting skills (and maybe even get inspired). Bring your phone and your questions to this session.

Brian-Basham_MugBRIAN BASHAM | Friday

Tips and Tools for Better Photos
Award-winning photographer Brian Basham will share his most useful tips and tricks for better photography at your newspaper. Whether you are a seasoned photographer or a multi-tasking multimedia reporter, you will take away something useful from this session. There will be plenty of time for you to ask Brian your questions, and hear from other attendees as well. Bring your camera if you’d like and your questions.

Matthew-Wolcanski_MugMATTHEW WOLCANSKI | Thursday

Carrier Recruitment/Route Profitability
Matthew will discuss various carrier recruiting methods through your own product, special events and subscriber incentive ideas.  In addition, he will discuss ways of looking at route profitability and ways you can improve carrier profits. Matthew joined the Green Bay Press-Gazette in 1998 and has held a number of positions in the group, most recently being promoted to Distribution Supervisor for Manitowoc in the fall of 2013.

Jaci-Smith_MugJACI SMITH | Thursday

Native Content on a Shoe String
Wonder how to tap into this new revenue source when your resources are slim? Jaci Smith, managing editor of the Faribault (Minn.) Daily News and Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, will show you how. She’ll provide a step-by-step method for a community newspaper to implement a native advertising program. Bring your questions!



Small Newspaper Session
Back by popular demand! Julie will lead a session focused on issues important to small newspapers.

Tara-Brandl_MugTARA BRANDL | Thursday

A *new twist* on the advertising idea exchange of years’ past.