All Good Things: Graduating with the National Association of Broadcasters

“All good things must come to an end.”

“Don’t cry because it is over.  Smile because it happened.”

“The only thing constant is change.”

“Can miles truly separate you from friends? If you want to be with someone you love, are not you already there?”

All of these are true.  My brain understands it; I get it.  But, my heart is having a hard time catching up.  All endings are bitter sweet, but this one was especially more sweet than bitter because my classmates selected me to give the remarks on behalf of our class during our graduation ceremony.  What an honor!

This past week saw the closing of a chapter for me when I graduated the Broadcast Leadership Training program with the National Association of Broadcasters.  The Broadcast Leadership Training program is an exclusive 10-month executive style MBA program for tenured broadcast and media executives who have shown a track record of success.  The Broadcast Leadership Training program is the nation’s most recognized program for aspiring television and radio executives.

See also, Mrs. Saucier Goes to Washington and A Love Letter to the National Association of Broadcasters

Jacque' Freeman

With the lovely and always professional Jacque’ Freeman

My blog post this week is a copy of my speech because I wanted a place where each could return to when they need a little inspiration.  As The Hubs stated, “I’ve never met a nicer, funnier or dynamic group of people.” They are each individually and collectively so special. I hope this post also serves to encourage other readers to support the NAB and the education efforts they conduct for media and broadcast professionals.  BLT 2015, until we are together again, this is for you …

Photos are used courtesy of classmates Skip Dillard and Erica Pefferman.

Graduation Photo

As a transactional attorney who practices in the field of intellectual property and entertainment law, I write a lot of contracts. Which is great, because I am fascinated by words.

When I thought about how I would attempt to sum up my experience in this program I knew I needed my team to help me. I asked each to answer two questions. I wanted them to share with me what is the one thing they will remember 20 years from now and I wanted them to provide me one single word to describe our BLT experience.

Powerful

Gratifying

Enlightening

Catalyst

Life-changing

Inspirational

And Finally, Delicious – you know because it made him think of a tasty sandwich. Get, it “B.L.T.”

While “delicious” is funny, it is also very accurate. We each came to this program hungry. Hungry for knowledge. Hungry for new experiences and hungry to grow in our knowledge of broadcasting.  We each were craving something more, even if we couldn’t yet describe what the “more” was. Like Dorothy set out to the Emerald City in search of Oz, last September we each set out for the modern day Emerald city where the powerful people live and change occurs.

I am a proud 2nd generation broadcaster. Before my parents even took me home from the hospital, my father took me on a tour of his radio station explaining what a production room was an engineering rack and a control room. I saw first-hand the difference broadcasting can make in a community. That magical place is what my thoughts return to when I think about “home.”

From about the age of five, I have known my purpose on this earth. I am supposed to entertain the world by helping to make radio, television, movies and music. I’ve known it as sure and as strong as I have known my hair is brown. Everything I have done has been very purposeful in making sure I fulfill those dreams put in my heart at a young age.

But, as happened with Dorothy, sometimes when you pursue your dreams – you get disappointments.  You run into flying monkeys or wicked witches who attempt to take you off of your own personal yellow brick road. You find yourself questioning, saying “Did I get this wrong?”

That’s where I was this time last year. Lost, broken and completely unsure about my chosen path surrounded by flying monkeys and desperate to find my way back to my purpose – my home. Perhaps I had misunderstood it all.

Deb, Dustin and I

With friends and classmates Deborah Salons and Dustin Hall

And, then I started attending BLT. I did not meet a brainless scarecrow or a heartless tin man, but I did meet my broadcasting soul mates – people who thought and reasoned in ways I wanted to learn and with hearts just as big.  We learned how to read financials. We learned how to make stations profitable. We learned what red flags to look for, what pitfalls to avoid and how to do so with our own style. As one of my classmates told me, he entered this class as merely a salesperson and he is walking out as a broadcaster. There is no doubt each of my fellow classmates share similar feelings.

We even met a good witch by way of Michelle Duke who was always there to encourage us and point us along the way to our own emerald city.  Before attending, little did we know we each needed the Wizard. While teaching us wonderful new ways to approach problems and concepts, what Diane Sutter showed each of us is that the power to grow in this industry and make positive change has really been inside each of us all along.

What I want you to know about the BLT Class of 2015 is that they are each a force. They will change media and broadcasting. They are lightening in a bottle. In a world full of mediocre people simply hoping to receive some spark of inspiration, they are a blazing fire of inspiration to their teams back home, and to their classmates over the past 10 months.

Class photo with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

Class photo with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

A song on the radio, a television show or a movie cannot change the world, but I believe each has the power to change the way a person sees the world. My classmates will be those helping to make sure creative content is shared and helping to create inspiration for generations to come.

 I know my classmates join me in sincerely thanking every sponsor, our teachers each weekend, the NAB and NAB Education Foundation and the staffs of both of these organizations who made this year possible. A sincere thank you also goes out to The Wizard – Diane. Please consider financially supporting this life-changing program. We are not the same people we were when we arrived. I know my classmates also join me in thanking each of our families, friends and co-workers who so graciously allowed us time to take part in this transformative class. We are able to celebrate tonight because of your unwavering love and encouragement. 

This past year I have realized, just like Dorothy, success and achieving your home and purpose is ONLY possible with a great network of friends and coworkers, a little bit of knowledge and refusing to accept no. Oh, and for the ladies in the room – a great pair of ruby slippers doesn’t hurt either. Stay Tuned In! – the Class of 2015 is just getting started.

Don’t believe me, just watch.

Me, Erica Pefferman, Deborah Salons, Sarah Miles, Mary Rogers and Kelly Landeen

Me, Erica Pefferman, Deborah Salons, Sarah Miles, Mary Rogers and Kelly Landeen

What is my next challenge/project?  That is the question I have been getting a lot of since finishing.  I am not sure, but I know I am better for knowing and learning from this group of people.  Stay Tuned In!

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4 thoughts on “All Good Things: Graduating with the National Association of Broadcasters

  1. RyAnne

    Congratulations on the graduation honor.

    You make us all proud.

    Warm regards.

    Jim Rosenblatt Dean *Emeritus* and Professor of Law Mississippi College School of Law (MC Law) “Let Justice Roll”

  2. Congratulations on the wonderful honor and for writing such an amazing speech! Your classmates certainly chose the right person to give the remarks!

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