Leadership conference a success

By Henry Davis

Guild President

The Buffalo Newspaper Guild in association with The Newspaper Guild and The Great Lakes District Council hosted the Re-Imagining Leadership training program in East Aurora the last weekend in June.

The three-day event was a huge success.

Nineteen participants from The Newspaper Guild’s Great Lakes District Council locals, including two representatives of the national union and the president of a Canadian Guild local, attended the first-ever training program aimed at developing new leaders within our organizations.

Barbara Saxberg, an experienced trainer from the Canadian Media Guild and SEC vice president, led the program, which focused on exploring different styles of leadership, as well as how to identify and maintain effective leaders in Guild locals, and how to solve the common problems all newspaper locals face today, such as improving participation in Guild activities and strengthening mobilization efforts.
This was that rare conference at which participants walked away with realistic solutions they could take home and put to use.

“I consider this three-day session to be the best training I’ve had in, well, anything,” Lou Greco, president of the Dayton Newspaper Guild in Ohio and Great Lakes District Council president, said in an email he shared with national Newspaper Guild leaders.

“Before I arrived, I was concerned that it might be too academic, or it might be some wretched form of self-help motivational-speaking pabulum,” he said. “Instead, I learned leadership concepts that I can apply to the problems my local faces. The training was called ‘Re-imagining Leadership,’” and that’s what I’m doing right now, and will be for some time, I suspect. I believe these concepts will help me for the rest of my life.”

In addition to Dayton, representatives from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Northeast Ohio; Erie, Pa.; Toledo, Ohio; and Regina, Saskatchewan, attended the training sessions. The Buffalo Newspaper Guild was well represented with five participants: President Henry Davis, Vice President/Mobilization Sandra Tan, executive committee members Aaron Besecker and Renee Mikler, and local service representative Tammy Turnbull.

“The course challenged us to reconsider how we think about leadership, and gave us solutions we can use. It exceeded all our expectations,” said Davis.

We received a lot of feedback similar to Greco’s, with participants going home impressed with the Buffalo Newspaper Guild and the Buffalo area. Tammy Turnbull deserves huge thanks for the enormous amount of planning and work she did to prepare for the training program and to make our visitors feel welcome.