Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Extremely cold weather managed to shut down much of Wisconsin this week, but it failed to shut down the WBA Winter Conference.

The conference was held on Wednesday at the Madison Concourse Hotel as wind chills outside reached -50 degrees.

The WBA Foundation Board and WBA Board of Directors met on Tuesday ahead of the conference and hosted Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes at their joint reception that evening. Barnes spoke to the board members and spent time speaking with individual members as well.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes

Also on Tuesday, Seth Resler from Jacobs Media hosted a session about podcasting. The session was geared toward stations interested in starting podcasting and then on how stations can grow their podcast following.

Seth Resler talks about podcasting

Seth Resler talks about podcasting

Seth Resler talks about podcasting

Seth Resler talks about podcasting

After that, WBA members visited the State Capitol for a WBA Young Professionals session about state government. The group heard from Michelle Kussow from The Capitol Group about what it’s like to lobby at the Capitol and from WISC-TV Assistant News Director Jessica Arp about being a political reporter in the Capitol.

The group then heard from Sen. Patrick Testin who is one of the younger members of the State Legislature. He talked about the process of passing legislation and working with other lawmakers.

Young Professionals meet with Wisconsin State Senator Patrick Testin

Young Professionals meet with Wisconsin State Senator Patrick Testin

The group then took a tour of the Capitol led by Kussow and Arp. The group visited the Governor’s office, the State Supreme Court, the State Assembly, and the State Senate.

Wisconsin State Assembly

Wisconsin State Assembly

Young Professionals tour the State Senate

Young Professionals tour the State Senate

Tour of the State Supreme Court

Tour of the State Supreme Court

Tour of the State Assembly

Tour of the State Assembly

Jessica Arp providing a tour of the State Assembly Parlor

Jessica Arp providing a tour of the State Assembly Parlor

Jessica Arp providing a tour of the State Assembly

Jessica Arp providing a tour of the State Assembly

This badger at the Governor's office provides good luk to all who rub his nose.

This badger at the Governor’s office provides good luk to all who rub his nose.

The day ended across the street from the Capitol at Cooper’s Tavern where the group enjoyed drinks and appetizers.

WBA Young Professionals social

WBA Young Professionals social

Wednesday started with the WBA Job Fair where, despite the cold, a small group of people showed up to learn about careers in broadcasting. The broadcasters at the fair were excited to talk to the brave souls who came to the job fair while much of the state was shut down.

 
WBA Job Fair

WBA Job Fair

Attendees then heard a brief presentation from DC Attorney David Oxenford about radio ownership rules before the annual EEO session. Rufino Gaytan and Rebeca Lopez from Godfrey and Kahn talked to attendees about preventing discrimination in the workplace.

The agenda for the WBA Business Luncheon was full. It kicked off with an address from Wisconsin Adjutant General Major General Donald Dunbar who talked about the important role the Guard plays in protecting Wisconsin and the United States. He praised the men and women who serve in the Guard, and thanked the WBA for its long relationship with the Guard.

Major General Donald Dunbar

Major General Donald Dunbar

After lunch, the first ever WBA Distinguished Service Award was presented to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. The award was presented by Roger Utnehmer with remarks from former WBA President John Laabs. Thompson spoke about his support for broadcasters and praised them for their service to their communities.

Gov. Tommy Thompson, Michelle Vetterkind, and Major General Donald Dunbar

Gov. Tommy Thompson, Michelle Vetterkind, and Major General Donald Dunbar

Members then received a legislative briefing. Because of the cold, nearly all of the legislative calls scheduled for the afternoon were cancelled. A few broadcasters were able to visit lawmakers who decided to stay in Madison.

A Legislative Reception was held that evening and, despite the extreme weather, a couple lawmakers made the trip to the Concourse Hotel to talk with Wisconsin’s radio and TV station representatives.

WBA members with State Senator Tom Tiffany

WBA members with State Senator Tom Tiffany (second from left)

Barb Van De Hei and Michelle Vetterkind with Rep/. Gary Tauchen

Barb Van De Hei and Michelle Vetterkind with Rep. Gary Tauchen

Michelle Vetterkind  with former Rep. and current DOR Secretary Peter Barca

Michelle Vetterkind with former Rep. and current DOR Secretary Peter Barca

Your WBA thanks everyone who attended the Winter Conference and we look forward to seeing you at any of our many upcoming events.

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