2016 Annual Convention

June 10-11, 2016

Location: Sheraton Hotel at One North Broadway
in downtown Oklahoma City

All convention sessions and events will be held
on the 2nd floor of the downtown Sheraton Hotel.

Register online to attend:

Register by May 31 for the Early-Bird rates!
Registrations received after May 31 will be assessed a $20 late fee.

» Order your Convention T-Shirts! Only $10 each. «

CANCELLATION POLICY: Notice of cancellation must be received in writing. A full registration fee refund is authorized when cancellation notice is received by May 31, 2016. No-shows forfeit registration fee.



Our room block is now full. To get OPA's group rate of $110, call Leah McIntyre at the Sheraton, 405-815-6032 and she will make your reservation.

1 North Broadway Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK  73102  (405) 235-2780
$110 for 1 king or 2 double beds

Directions & Parking Info: www.sheratonokc.com/directions


QUESTIONS? Call (405) 499-0026, 1-888-815-2672 (toll-free in Okla.) or e-mail Lsutliff@okpress.com.

Distribution of campaign materials during the OPA Convention is strictly forbidden.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Gold Level


Silver Level




Bronze Level 



To request information about convention sponsorships, call Member Services Director Lisa Sutliff at (405) 499-0026, or 1-888-815-2672 (toll-free in Okla.), or e-mail lsutliff@okpress.com.

Educational sessions sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.



10:00 a.m.  OPA/OPS Board Meeting

1:30 p.m.  ONF Board Meeting

3:00 p.m.  Hotel Check-In Available

3:00 p.m.  OPA Business Meeting & Legislative Update

Election of 2016-2017 OPA Officers and Directors, treasurer’s report, necrology report, followed by a legislative update from OPA executive vice president Mark Thomas

4:15 p.m.  News Flash

This fast-paced session covers a range of topics presented by multiple OPA members with a format that keeps it fun and interesting. This is a great opportunity to pick up some new ideas that could work at your own paper.

5:30 p.m.  Break

6:30 p.m.  Welcome Dinner & Game Night!

Don’t miss this fun night of games, visiting and networking.  
Sponsored by Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association


9:00 – 9:50 a.m.  Blooper Breakfast

Great laughs and continental breakfast to get your morning started!
Sponsored by OERB
(Full breakfast buffet available at Sheraton Hotel restaurant from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.)

10:00 a.m.  One-on-One with Governor Mary Fallin

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is invited to join OPA members for her annual question-and-answer session.

11:00 a.m. Congressional Conversations

Your opportunity to question Oklahoma's congressmen. Confirmed to attend: Rep. Frank Lucas, Rep. Tom Cole, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Rep. MarkWayne Mullin and Rep. Steve Russell.
(NOTE: Distribution of Campaign Materials is strictly forbidden.)

12:00 p.m.  Awards Luncheon

Presentation of: ONG Column and Editorial Sweepstakes Awards, OGE Photo of the Year Awards, OPA Digital Media Awards, OPA Print Quality Awards, ONF Joseph H. Edwards Outdoor Writer of the Year Award

1:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

  • Basics of Journalism in the Digital Age
    Whether you use an iPhone or an old-fashioned notebook, incorporate the basics of journalism to improve your reporting and writing. Tips will include finding useful background information, interviewing and writing leads and "nut graphs." The goal is for you to become better at communicating what is news and what is important to your audience, whether in print or online.
    Kathleen McElroy is an assistant professor at the School of Media & Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University. She had been an editor at The New York Times for 20 years before receiving her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. Her duties included page 1, sports, the national desk, the web newsroom and blogs, dining and news administration.   In addition, she has worked for large and small publications in New York and Texas.

  • Leveraging Events, Contests and Promotions for Revenue Growth
    Looking for a way to diversify your revenue and offset print losses?  Events are one of the hottest areas of opportunity right now and local media companies are in the best position to leverage their strong local brands for incremental revenue growth. This session will review best practices and case studies for successfully event/contest and promotion execution.
    Amie Stein is a 20-year veteran of the media industry. As Director of Training & Development for the Local Media Association she develops and implements custom sales and digital training programs for media executives across the country. She previously served in leadership positions with multiple media organizations including E.W. Scripps, Lee Enterprises, Pulitzer and Journal Register Company. She has led the advertising operations in virtually every revenue category including local, real estate, automotive, major/national and recruitment with both large community groups and a major metro daily.

2:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

  • Covering Traumatic Events
    Journalists often find themselves on the front line of witnessing human suffering while covering auto accidents, fires, murders and disasters. A panel of current and former journalists will discuss how to deal with the difficult aspects of storytelling in these scenarios.

  • Digital Best Practices for 2016
    Presented by Amie Stein
    We’ve all heard it “Big Data”….it still seems like “Big Word”.  This session will look at ways in which local media companies can start to harness the power of existing data for growing and retaining both advertisers and audience.  The session will also cover capabilities and opportunities of using other digital media platforms such as social, video and native.

3:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

  • Shooting & Editing Video
    Whether it’s from the scene of a fire or a big game, you want that video for your website. This session will help you learn to shoot and edit quality video quickly. There will be tips on best practices and suggestions for apps that can help you.
    Mike Strain is managing editor of the Tulsa World. He has worked as a reporter, an editor and a page designer during a newspaper career that started in 1989. Among his roles today at the World, he trains staff members on how to use their phones to shoot and edit video.

  • Advertising Roundtable
    What are your most pressing challenges?  What keeps you up at night?  Most likely you are not alone.  These roundtables are an opportunity to have an open conversation with your peers. Hear what others are having success with and leave with actionable ideas you can bring back to your organization.

4:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

  • Politics: Focusing on the Issues
    Political consultants are frustrated with trying to reach potential voters. The old methods are just not working. This has opened the door for newspaper editors and publishers to focus the voting audience on our political news content and the real issues affecting our communities. Phillip Reid, CEO of Reid Newspapers, shares the step-by-step process of taking back politics.

  • Growing Active Accounts with Non-Traditional Ads
    Presented by Amie Stein
    Growing (and RETAINING) your active advertisers takes a little bit more than selling “boxes on a page” these days.  This session will look at creative ways to open more doors by leveraging non-traditional advertising ideas available right inside your print product.

5:30 p.m.  Break

6:00 p.m.  Awards Reception

7:00 p.m.  Awards Banquet

Presentation of:
Better Newspaper Contest Awards
Milt Phillips Award to Dr. Terry M. Clark
ONF Beachy Musselman Award to Andy Rieger
Quarter Century Club Inductions of Gina Cato, Mike Gifford, Dawnyal Hill, Dagmar Perry

9:30 p.m.  President's Hospitality Suite

All attendees are invited to the President’s Hospitality Suite following the Awards Banquet.

Convention Adjourns


Contact Information

3601 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

(405) 499-0020
(888) 815-2672

Toll-Free in OK