Once again, I had a fantastic time at the Christian Women in Media Association (CWIMA) Dallas Regional Connection Dinner. This is a professional enrichment evening and dinner organized by CWIMA for all Christian women who impact culture in media and leadership. The Regional Connection Dinner is one of five regional meetings held simultaneously around the country, including Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and Chicago.
The speakers were fantastic. The bonus media seminar was led by Mary Hollingsworth, a bestselling author who has published over a hundred books. A media veteran, Mary is the managing director of the writing and publishing services group, Creative Enterprises Studio. I was late but got there in time to hear her talk about self-publishing, e-books, the new QR codes, and social media. It was very informative. I knew Mary back in the days when I worked for Howard Publishing, now Howard Books with Simon & Schuster. She was one of the authors of the publishing house’s popular Hugs Series. It was great to catch up with her again. Mary is a very warm and personable lady. And with all of her years in the industry, I felt smarter just by being in the same room as her! I was particularly interested to learn about her new resource website: ChristianPublishingUniversity.com. This is a website with thousands of Christian publishing resources in one place. I will be writing a review of this site in an upcoming blog so be on the lookout for this coming soon!
My seat was assigned since I was on the media panel but it turned out to be a wonderful assignment. I had a very fun table and made lots of new friends, including the worship leader for the evening, Benita Arterberry, my fellow media panel expert Karia Bunting, as well as Rosemary Green, whom I had met at the Christian Media Association a few months ago. I remember Rosemary as the “hat lady” since she always dons a sharp looking hat… I think she may even have a bigger hat collection than me!
Karia Bunting and I gave our best wisdom as we were asked questions by CWIMA Southwest/Dallas Regional Connection director Tracey Mitchell about our respective careers in television and film. Karia is an expository Bible teacher and founder of Focused Forward Ministries. I answered questions about the most important element of a movie (the script) and ways to increase the production value on a film via volunteers and donations. I was so focused on answering my own questions and was so relieved after it was over that I could barely remember what Karia talked about! (Sorry Karia, I know it was great though.) Award-winning vocal artist Benita Arterberry’s music was beautiful as always. She is an extremely passionate singer and we got totally lost in worship. Many women were on their feet praising God…it was a beautiful sight.
The keynote speaker was radio and TV personality, author, speaker and actress Starlene Stringer, the 94.9fm KLTY Morning Show co-host and its news and public affairs director. She spoke about how her life was changed when she survived a serious helicopter accident earlier in her career as a television traffic reporter, causing her to make major changes in her life and begin to trust God. She shared how God also used other major difficulties in her life, including her parents’ divorce, racism, a stalker and a bad relationship, to make her the person she is today. Starlene is such a beautiful, dynamic lady. It’s no wonder she is the morning host of the #1 Christian radio station in America.
I attended this month’s meeting with Linda Townsend of Monroe, a friend of regional director Tracey Mitchell, who was attending CWIMA for her first time. There’s nothing like striking out on a road trip with someone you’ve never met, but Linda is lots of fun and a very sweet lady. I couldn’t help but give her a bit of a hard time for her very cute Loretta Lynn accent though!
With this regional meeting such a huge success, I can’t wait to attend the next one on Jan. 12, 2012 and the one after that on Apr. 19, 2012. Be sure to keep tuning in here for more updates. Of course, one of the major CWIMA events I am looking forward to is the National Conference to be held in Nashville from Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2012. I hope you can join me there!
If you want to learn more about the CWIMA regional meetings and how to become a member, visit www.cwima.org.