Monday, January 31, 2011


Every year I try to make time to watch the Academy Awards. I love films. I studied them in college and have watched more than my fair share in my life. I always wondered why you never see a category for Best Producer? I guess that just defaults to the best picture winner. I also think being a good producer means recognizing good talent, giving them an opportunity to perform and basically getting the heck out of their way.
It's funny that in my job I've done a fair amount of producing (and Mom said my film degree was useless). I look for others with talent, enlist them in a task and then stand back and enjoy their work. Talent is a gift. Recognizing it in others is a skill. Seeing others develop their talent is a blessing.
One of the first "discoveries" I made as CVB director was to happen upon the Flickr photostreams of James Bruntz(sicklittlemonkey) and Jessi Bruntz (jessi). I loved their individual style but I loved even more how once these two got together their collective work improved. James and Jessi feed off each other and it's cool they're also madly in love. I'm in love with their work and if you look at any of the downtown photos James shot, you'll see his talent. James, Jessi and I judged last year's photo contest and it was one of the funnest half hours of my life.
Another photography talent I've been blessed to befriend is Jim Griggs, the winner of last year's photo contest. I can't claim to have given Jim a leg up when he really did me a HUGE favor in submitting to our contest last year. Jim's been published in National Geographic and his photos of wildlife at Maxwell Wildlife Refuge are, in a word, breathtaking. To see more of his work, go here:
My most recent project is to put together a McPherson DVD and I was lucky enough to come across Keith Cantrell. Actually, Keith first came to me wanting to show the movie he'd made "Listening" as one of our Movies in the Park. I was happy to do it, mainly because I'd heard good things about Keith but also because he didn't charge any royalties ;). Keith has since shot some great videos of families in McPherson that you can find on our YouTube channel
I'd be lost without the enormous talent and organizational skills of our mural artist Naomi Ullum. Naomi has been decorative painting and creating murals for years. She teaches art classes at Central Christian College of Kansas. Naomi and three of her students spent weeks putting together our Globe Refiners mural last year based on a drawing Naomi created herself. She's amazing. Stop by the Wesley Black Fine Arts Center at CCCK to see what Naomi and her students are working on. Even better, volunteer to work on one of our upcoming murals and learn from Naomi first-hand.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of talent I get to work with. I hope you enjoy the products of our combined efforts.

A slow time of year

The bad thing about January is that it’s cold and no one is traveling north of Florida, or at least not to places without a ski lift. The nice thing is you get a clean slate – a fresh budget to work with and a brand new calendar to fill with dates and appointments.
I’ve already booked several travel shows and conferences to attend in 2011, including the Great Escapes Expo at Fort Riley, the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson and a conference in Topeka where we get to hear about all the issues before the legislature that affect tourism.
I am also planning several events right here in McPherson. Traditionally, CVBs are meant to assist organizations and attractions promote their events, not to stage events on our own. Last year I got my feet wet with the Scottish Evening at the McPherson Opera House. This year we’re looking at several activities to promote the 75th anniversary of the 1936 Olympic victory in August. We might also have a large number of guests pouring in June for another event but I’ll go into that more another time.
Planning events is a large amount of work but also a fun way to work with volunteers and meet visitors that come to town.
If you’re thinking of planning an event, why not stop by the CVB office and find out how we can help? The CVB has grants, promotional information, welcome bags and will help publicize your event.
Please contact Pam or myself at the CVB for all of your tourism questions – (620) 241-3340 or follow the CVB on Facebook: