After 18 years of participation in various leadership roles on behalf of the Orange County/LA Chapter of MCAI, I finally decided it was my turn to take on the position that will one day place me among the chapter's illustrious group of "Past Presidents." Of course, I have an entire year ahead of me as Chapter President, so I can't claim that role just yet!
Even before I officially joined MCAI (back then it was the ITVA) I was actively participating in local chapter meetings. Then, as now, I saw the value in being among my peers. Whether it was bouncing ideas off other members, learning tricks of the trade, familiarizing myself with the latest technologies, better understanding the business side of the business or simply spending time talking with people who spoke the same "video" language. Every meeting I went to had value for me. So, on July 1st, 1991, I officially joined the chapter. A few years later, I became a Lifetime Member. Both decisions have paid off handsomely. I know my upcoming year as President will also be a valuable experience for me, and I look forward to being part of this chapter's continued growth.
Through the years, the chapter, and the national organization, have undergone various challenges. Our business has always been in a state of evolution; though the last decade has, in many ways, pushed past evolution to revolution. Our local chapter has willingly jumped into the fray, breaking free of old habits and old ways, and learning to embrace the Brave New World of "Visual Communication." The past year has seen us generate new opportunities for learning and networking, and has seen a whole new group of individuals hungry for those opportunities taking part in our programs.
A great example is our recent MediaProCamp, the first of its kind in the U.S., which started out as a vague idea, and within a few months became an amazing reality. Our chapter was prepared to push forward with it, and absorb all the costs, even if our own members were the only ones who participated. As it turned out, over 100 media professionals from Los Angeles to San Diego registered for the event and spent an entire Saturday together. It was a great day of professional information and collaboration.
We were able to offer the event for free to all participants, fed everyone at no charge to them and walked away with no out of pocket costs to the chapter, thanks to a group of generous sponsors. This coming year,we'll be looking for new opportunities, including ways to use our new 501c3 non-profit status to the advantage of our members and the Southern California media community at large. Exciting times are ahead. I look forward to being a part of it all! Why don't you join us?
*MCAI 2009-2010 OC/LA Chapter President, Bill Ennis, has been a writer, producer and director for more than 25 years. He founded Media Magic, an independent video production company specializing in visual communications for business, in 1984.