November 1 marks the 23rd year of the Indiana Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner and my 15th year of involvement. BizVoice magazine profiles of the winners, planning and compiling videos for the event; scripting some of the proceedings and working with the media interested in talking with the guest speakers are among some of my responsibilities.
It’s a great deal of work, but it’s also very enjoyable. Getting to know the award winners and helping tell their stories is about as good as it gets in the world of journalism. And interacting with the keynote presenters is something special.
Here are some of the names from the past 14 years: Steve Forbes, Alvin Toffler, the late Tim Russert, Bob Costas, Mary Matlin and James Carville, Martin Luther King III, Newt Gingrich, Tom Brokaw and Terry Bradshaw. On the entertainment side, the satirical group The Capitol Steps has appeared twice and there was another Washington favorite in Mark Russell.
There are a few stories regarding those speakers that I can’t share. But it is fair to say most (nearly all) have been interesting and accommodating in brief one-on-one discussions and in their interactions with the media.
Speaking of media, we’re hearing from more than a few journalists who are especially excited about this year’s speakers — the Watergate duo of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Although a youngster at the time of Richard Nixon’s escapades and their investigative reporting, I have to admit I’m looking forward to meeting them and hearing their stories about the lessons learned in the ensuing 40 years.
Yeah, it’s work, but I’m not complaining.