President’s Message: January 2024 New Year …. New JAG …. Let’s Get Started!!!

by Bob Duthaler

I am happy to report that the JAG Board of Trustees had their annual meeting on Wednesday, January 9th, setting the course not only for this year but for the future of the organization.  This is made possible by the great input we receive over the course of the year from our members.  Some of these comments are brought up at monthly meetings, during our annual conference or in emails.  It is only through input and feedback from our members that the board can fully understand what is on the minds of our members and help this organization move forward.  I encourage all members to continue to be involved, provide feedback and support the organization.

One of the first things I would like to report out on is the JAG Elections:

            Bob Duthaler – Three Year Term

            Linda Besink – Three Year Term

            George Fairfield – Three Year Term

            Mark Albala – One Year Term

Board of Trustee Elections and Appointments at the annual Meeting:

            Executive Board

            President                     Bob Duthaler

            Vice-President             Doug Seidel

            Treasurer                    Linda Besink

            Recording Sec.            Rick Gearhart

            Corresponding Sec.     Stephanie Gibbons

            Production Chair         Rick Gearhart

            External Relations       Geoffrey Belinfante


            Don Smith

            Dave Garb

            Mark Albala

            Managing Director

            Rich Desimone

During our Reorganization meeting, membership was our focus: Ways to engage our current members, get more members involved in JAG and locate new potential members.  Our presence at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference, both through our booth and sessions we coordinated, produced several new leads.  Our membership committee is currently reaching out to these potential members, alerting them to the benefits of JAG and meeting with them on an individual basis as needed.

JAG is also creating special incentives to bring in additional individual members.  There are a lot of great content producers in the community and we are looking for ways to get them noticed, have their content available to our member stations and allow them to compete for recognition in the JAG Awards.  COVID kept producers away from JAG and some of the stations they were involved with, so now is the time to get them back.  I encourage you to reach out to any producers you know and let them see for themselves that now is a great time to join JAG and take advantage of the special offers we have for them in content sharing, JAG Awards and Conference Attendance.

Our board also explored ways to bring in more resources for our members as well.  Currently most of our monthly meetings (the last Wednesday of the Month – see schedule in newsletter as well) will include vendor presentations to keep us updated on some of the latest gear, technology and operations techniques.  JAG will also be hosting several online webinars and managers round table discussions on certain topics of interest and importance to our members.  Look for upcoming information on these events in emails blasts.  These events will be FREE to JAG members.

Lastly, the JAG Executive Board and Committees are working hard on bringing new life into some of our ongoing annual events, such as the JAG Awards and Conference.  These committees are committed to breathing new life into these events and making them attractive to all members, as they are a staple of our organization.  The JAG Awards committee has narrowed down the categories, created a way for all JAG members to get their first entry for free and arranged for the awards presentation at our annual banquet during the annual conference.  Please look to this newsletter for more information and the JAG website as well for the rules and registration link.  Good Luck to all those who enter!  The conference committee has already been working to plan what looks to be a great conference.  We are back again at the Crowne Plaza in Edison, NJ.  Plans are already under way to create great sessions of importance to our members, find ways to make the most out of these sessions for our members, and provide a unique opportunity to network with others.  The conference will feature a tradeshow floor with vendors who understand how we operate and what our budget constraints are.  In addition, the conference will be offering a Keynote lunch with guests who are there to entertain and inform, plus our banquet and JAG Awards Dinner.  Mark your calendar for this year’s event on Thursday, May 16th.  You can also visit the conference website at which will continue to be updated on a regular basis as more details are finalized.