I, Joey Allard, had the opportunity to be a leader and a learner while serving WPAA-TV as President until June 2019. My three-year term on the board is up in a few months but I have never been more proud to be a part of WPAA-TV. Looking back at the challenges we faced we have come a long way.
Discover Us: As a board and an organization, we have worked hard to get people in the doors. We have done everything from handing out candy on Halloween while filming a live Halloween special to running a film festival for the town to participate in. As a board, we evaluate what works and try to execute it better the next time. Being a part of an organization that runs primarily from volunteers is not easy. We have had board members disappear with days’ notice, members and crew of productions stop showing up and struggled to get new volunteers in the door.
Our primary goal was to connect to our town and show them the importance of Public Access. This has not been easy due to the lack of support from town officials who don’t see a value in Public Access. As a board, we have found this came out of not understanding what we are and what we do.
Social Media: Over the years, we have really made strides to put ourselves out there to our community through the use of social media. Through the day to day interactions with our social media account members of the community have become friends with our organization and began to view our content as well as participate in discussing involving current events happening at the station, programs, things happening in our town, and most importantly free speech.
Leadership is with a Team: All these factors forced our board to grow together and strengthen as we were the foundation of the organization and its key support system. Being a part of an organization that helps provide a voice and support free speech to our community has been a true honor. As our community relationships have grown and people have seen the impact we can have with one another.
Support New Leadership: My term as President ended but #wpaatv still has a long road and challenges ahead. As I look back I see the mountains we have already climbed and had no worries about our success. As I move forward I will continue to support and fight for public access on all levels throughout our community.