Off the Record PCD News

President’s Message: Happy New Year and Stay Tuned

January 4, 2015

Greetings and best wishes for a bountiful 2015.

2014 brought many changes to our Club; new board members, new direction, new leadership. Shortly after the new board members were elected we had a planning session to review the Club’s mission, its present strengths and future opportunities.

Press Club Board members
Board members from l to r: Hugh Aynesworth, Cary Broussard, Michael Grant, Niki McCuistion, Frank Librio, Deborah Fleck, Shawn Woods, Jon ‘Doc’ Strange.
Photo by Stephen Duffy

We very proactively explored the value the Press Club presently offers and some key areas that must be addressed in membership, programs, outreach and communication if we are to stay relevant and meet our members and prospective member’s needs. Media and delivery systems are changing and for us to attract and retain new members in the “new” world of journalism and communication we realize we need to be more strategic and diligent in several areas. We will be presenting some new and exciting concepts to you shortly after the New Year.

Recent programs and events included the very successful Tribute to Dallas Summer Musical‘s Michael Jenkins as the Press Club Headliner of the Year. Throughout 2014 several key board members and volunteers worked diligently on this project- its purpose to provide future scholarships to journalism students and to build financial reserves for the Club. Special thanks to a great team, past President Tony Pederson, Pat Porter, Liz Oliphant, Joanne Holt, Phyllis Hammond and numerous Club and Dallas Summer Musical volunteers. You’ll be hearing more about our results and outcomes early this year.

Tony Pederson, Pat Porter, Michael Jenkins, Niki McCuistion, Charles Gummer Photo by John 'Doc' Strange
Tony Pederson, Pat Porter, Michael Jenkins, Niki McCuistion, Charles Gummer
Photo by John ‘Doc’ Strange
Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins
Photo by John ‘Doc’ Strange
Tony Pederson and Michael Jenkins
Tony Pederson, Michael Jenkins
Photo by John ‘Doc’ Strange

The Holiday festivity December 18th, at Le Meridien, Stoneleigh Hotel was a great success. It prompted our reviving the Mixers that were so popular a couple of years ago. Paul Wahlstrom, Delissa Day and J.B. Edwards will be coordinating these. Anticipated dates, January, March and June.

We also continued our collaboration with the World Affairs Council DFW in a couple of ways…

In late October, Hugh Aynesworth and I met with a visiting delegation of journalists who were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Part of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, they were fascinated by Hugh’s stories of the JFK assassination and other stories he had been a part of. The visitors were tasked with certain responsibilities, one of which is to examine the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy. Our U.S. free press and first amendment responsibilities inspired a great deal of conversation and contrast to their own experiences.

Hugh Aynewsorth and visiting journalists
Hugh Aynesworth with visiting delegation of European journalists.
A collaboration with The World Affairs Council
Photo provided by Chelsea Marshall

We joined with the WACDFW and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, to welcome Gil Hoffman, the chief political correspondent and analyst for the Jerusalem Post. Called “the most optimistic man in Israel” by Israel Television, Hoffman gave us some unique insights into the current Israeli Palestinian situation.

Killing the Messenger Image
From left to right: Tammie Smith, Niki McCuistion, Michael Grant, David Leeson: Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, Cary Broussard.
Video Fest Dallas:
The Press Club joined in a sponsorship with the Video Fest of Dallas, in a documentary on the safety of journalists worldwide. “Killing the Messenger” is a powerful film- that we hope to screen for our members sometime this coming year.

Upcoming events:

February/ March- New Beginnings
TBA: We’ve been busy behind the scenes working on several areas that will bring a new spark to the Club. This event will rollout roll out our new communication strategy, goals, and other very exciting activities, forums and direction. This is one meeting you don’t want to miss so stay tuned.

April: Cyber- Civics Journalism Workshop

May: Living Legends honoring Dallas’ esteemed journalists

July: Off the Record, a Roast of one of our cities most honored leaders.

And we may have some other surprises in between. You’ll be seeing some interesting changes we’ll all be designing together.

Let’s hear from you- what are your thoughts on how we can build a more robust chapter that truly meets your needs? Call me – 214-750-5157 or email me:

Thank you for being involved.
Below are photos from this past season.
Happy New Year – may it be one of our best so far!

Niki Nicastro McCuistion

The Year in Review Through Pictures
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