Doing the kind of “work” we do, it doesn’t take much to find real inspiration. On the morning of our fun and spirited annual meeting last Friday, as I mulled what I might say later on, I pulled up the latest Local Fix — the weekly massive from our friends Josh Stearns and Theresa Widmer of the Democracy Fund.
It always includes “One Good Idea.” Here’s the snippet:
“One Good Idea:  Exceptionally talented and exceptionally kind
This week over on Twitter, Texas Tribune’s editor-in-chief Emily Ramshaw asked her followers to share and tag the names of journalists who are both exceptionally talented and exceptionally kind. The result is a long and fantastic list of journalists who deserve to be recognized for all they do. We know that the news can be non-stop, and many local journalists have fewer resources than ever to do the important work they’re doing. Follow Ramshaw’s example and take a moment to thank a fellow journalist for what they do, even if that someone is yourself.”
What better definition of the work of our research and reporting partnership with The Rappahannock News than to point out the presence among us of “Journalists who are both exceptionally talented and exceptionally kind.”
We have ’em by the boatload.
Just to name a few: Andy Alexander, Randy Rieland, Tim Carrington, Sara Schonhardt (who trekked back from DC to join us in the country), Dennis Brack, John McCaslin, Roger Piantadosi. Laura Stanton. Luke Christopher. Christopher Connell. Not a mean bone among ‘em (not that that such anatomy is required elsewhere in journalism). 


 And with that observation as we started the “welcome & short speeches” part of Friday night, we were off! It was our best annual meeting yet. 




I loved how what we meant to be a  SHORT program morphed into a chance to hear encouragement and questions from the (happily) large crowd. FF Director Jenks Hobson gave a shoutout as a member of our Nominating Committee saying we’re looking for new members for our board. Vice Chair Bev Jones detailed how the “partnership” has grown and evolved. She later made a timely pitch in behalf of our Fundraising/Development Committee as we prepare to send out end-of-year letters.



The food was pretty good (rumor has it Bud Meyer smoked that ham, sourced from Larry and Kathy Grove’s Belle Ridge Farm). The wines were served with smiles and classic warmth by Bill and Aleta Gadino. (talk about talented and kind!). The room buzzed with energized conversations among people who care deeply about Rappahannock’s future.


Just look at the pictures by multitasker Kaitlyn Haney, who backstopped us all night long.