“Star Turn for March 2015 Meeting”
by Maria Lenhart
A bit of Hollywood came to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf when BATW met at the Pier 2620 Hotel on March 21. Sponsored by Starline Tours, which gave an engaging presentation of its Los Angeles-based sightseeing options, the meeting was kicked off by important announcements from Co-Presidents Suzie Rodriguez and Laurie McAndish King.
In reporting the outcome of a recent BATW board meeting, the co-presidents said that a redesign of the organization’s website is currently in the planning stages. It was also revealed that the board is considering a possible name change for the organization. Options include incorporating “San Francisco” into the name, given its strong brand recognition and the fact that the term “Bay Area” is also used in other parts of the country. Other possibilities include using the term “Media” or “Journalists” in place of “Writers.”
Calling for more volunteers to help with the running of BATW, Suzie announced that Executive Director Ginny Prior is now coordinating the organization’s volunteer efforts. According to Ginny, pressing tasks currently needing volunteers include managing the June meeting, writing press releases and developing a topic and panel discussion for BATW’s participation in San Francisco Lit Crawl, a literary event in October.
Other announcements included:
- BATW’s new RSVP policy, which requires members to pay a $10 fine if they sign up for a meeting and don’t cancel within 48 hours of the event.
- Due to popular demand, a basic version of the BATW membership directory will be created.
- Entries are now being sought for inclusion in BATW’s 2015 Clips & Pics, which this year will have a California’s National Parks theme.
The meeting also included a new feature called Ten-Minute Tips in which members are invited to ask a question on a given theme and solicit feedback from the rest of the audience. With Twitter as the theme of the day, members discussed the best practices for this social media platform, including the importance of re-tweeting messages to ensure the widest possible exposure.
The podium was then turned over to Susan Wilson and Philip Ferentinos of Starline Tours, who presented highlights from the company’s 80-year history and an overview of its products. These include themed Hop-On, Hop-Off itineraries that enable visitors to explore many of Los Angeles’ signature attractions without navigating the freeways. The company also offers new movie location and celebrity-themed tours developed in partnership with Turner Classic Movies and TMZ.
Winding up the meeting, Starline provided a drawing for a number of prizes as well as a lunch of deli sandwiches.
Many thanks go to Suzie Rodriguez for coordinating this fun, informative meeting.