You are here

PMBA Annual Conference Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Each year, this event has continued to expand, bringing the best in finance and HR education to the public media system.

The event began on Tuesday, with the pre-conference workshops sponsored by CPB, followed by the Newcomer’s Reception, where first-timers and veteran attendees were able to connect. This year we welcomed almost two dozen new attendees to the conference! 

As the day began on Wednesday, PMBA held its membership meeting where our 2019-20 Board Chair, Vince Petronzio, officially took the helm. Also installed was the new PMBA Vice Chair, Rita Echeverria. Rita was this year’s conference committee chair and she will automatically ascend to the role of Chair in the 20-21 year. Presentations to our scholarship award winners were also made.

Once the membership meeting was over, the official program began! Since we were in Orlando, PMBA presented an event that brought together the best of local public media as well as a little bit of Mickey. This year’s opening keynote was Matt Beiler, a show producer at Walt Disney Imagineering. In this session, attendees got a behind-the-scenes look at how some of Disney’s greatest attractions are made, including Pandora, the world of Avatar.

The day continued with a solid offering of content for both finance and HR professionals, ending with the CPB Town Hall. However, the day wasn’t over yet. As part of this year’s registration, attendees were treated to an evening at Epcot, that included a networking reception as well as a viewing of the Illuminations show.

Thursday’s sessions continued to provide stellar content for attendees and included a lunch keynote address by Beth Jacobs, Vice President, Digital Strategies Corporation for Public Broadcasting. An unexpected highlight of the afternoon was the donut wall that made its appearance during the afternoon break. PMBA meeting planners are already trying to think of how to top the donut wall at next year’s event.

This year, we also had the good fortune to welcome local talent:

  • Jennifer Cook, Senior Director of Content & Engagement at WUCF

  • Jeff Huffman, Director & Chief Meteorologist, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, South Carolina Emergency Information Network, University of Florida WUFT-TV/FM, WRUF-TV/FM, GHQ-FM

  • Sheriff John W. Mina, Orange Co. Police Department

You could hear a pin drop in this session, moderated by Immediate Past PMBA Chair, Ron Hetrick. Here we had the opportunity to learn more about how to keep your station safe in a number of disaster scenarios. Everything from what to do in a severe weather event, to what to do if there is a shooting in your station. Sheriff Mina was present on scene the day of the Pulse Nightclub shooting and recounted the events that can serve as lessons in the future. 

Thursday ended with a relaxing networking reception by the Omni pool with our exhibitors, followed by dine arounds in the local area. 

Friday brought the conference to an end with closing keynote speaker Peter A. McGrath, Director, Global Sales & Marketing, Space Exploration Space and Launch. In this session, we were able to look into the literal great beyond for what is next in space exploration as well as current development projects, and the impact of public media when it comes to stirring the public appetite for knowledge. 

PMBA would like to thank everyone who came out for this event. If you were not able to join us this year, we hope to see you at our 2020 Annual Conference at the MGM Grand in National Harbor (Washington D.C.). It may not have Mickey, but next year’s special event has been booked for Mount Vernon, so we will be pleased to bring you some rich American history along with private PMBA tours of George Washington’s home. 

See you in D.C.!