We are going to attend the first quarterly state board meeting of the year tomorrow at 8:30. It’s a full five-hour driveto get here from Southwest Florida, particularly when rush hour in Orlando strikes just as we’re driving through the area. We arrived safe and sound at the Hampton Inn right around 6 p.m. on Friday night in Palm Coast in Flagler County. The Volusia/Flagler Chapter graciously hosted a welcome reception at the nearby Emergency Operations Center for members who arrived a little earlier. Ginny and I stopped by hoping to catch up with crowd, but we missed it by minutes. Famished from our journey and eager to check out a new city (neither of us has visited this area before), we decided to grab a bite to eat at a local dig. Where better to get local than at a restaurant that proclaims “Locals Welcome,” we thought. Right next to a nearby airport tarmac sits a great sports bar named…”High-Jackers.” You can even eat outside on the patio and watch the planes take off. So, in the spirit of the November luncheon meeting: turkey or triumph? Either way, the food was great and atmosphere was very laid back and friendly.

On another note, Ginny and I brainstormed some ideas about the coming year. Because there are Image Awards benchmark deadlines are already creeping up, we decided to make it official. Ginny and I will be chairing the Southwest Florida Chapter Image Awards and Gala with the help of several Leadership team members who have enthusiastically volunteered to pitch in. Plenty of committee members added to the mix will really make this a team-earned success! With that determined, she and I were up to our knees in the brainstorm that followed. Image ideas we floated included ways to carry out the theme “SuperPoweRed PR” and new ways to generate buzz to increase the number of entries for this year’s awards. How does City Pier turned Gotham City with a PR symbol projected into the sky sound? Also, we tossed around the idea of offering a discount to the event based on prior event attendance and participation. Not to mention, this blog will be a great place to post ongoing progress by the soon-to-be-formed committee.

Although no specifics have been decided yet on Image, two things are for certain: 1. Ginny and I are amped up about the events to come this year, and 2. Long drives go by in a heartbeat when you have so many exciting things to talk about on the way!

Kathleen Taylor