It was especially gratifying to have three generations of my immediate family on hand to witness the love and affection shower on all five of us who were fortunate enough to be given the honor from the almost one thousand radio people and one thousand music business people gathered for the annual Country Radio Seminar at the Nashville Convention Center.
Now, as I walk the halls of the annual meeting, everyone is asking "How did it feel?" and of course the answer is "Reinforcing, wonderful. "
For a couple hours the other night I was given the opportunity to listen as folks said very kind things about me, my career and it was an amazing personal reminder of what a great people business this is in spite of all the negatives that seem to surround us in the daily blog posts.
Radio still reaches more than nine out of ten people over the age of 12 every single week and my fellow honorees Bob Robbins, Bill Cody, Mike Owens, Bobby Kraig, the CRS promotion and humanitarian award winners are a great reminder of the difference we make every day in the lives of our local communities.
I am lucky to have attended some 35 of the 39 Country Radio Seminars and even luckier to have had an employer either pay my way or at least give me the time off without having to take vacation time to do so for more than half of them. But, the other half have been at my own expense, sometimes even using personal vacation days, so I have little patience with people who tell me they can't come to CRS to better themselves personally just because their employer won't pay for it.
As a result of attending this "annual class reunion" of the best and the smartest in the country radio and music business, I have received considerably more back from the cost in money and time than I put in. This is a wonderful community, as I discovered again this week.
If your company doesn't have the budget for a CRS registration, pay for it yourself (the 2009 meeting is only 51 weeks away). You'll learn, you'll meet artists and you'll build great relationships with an extended family that will remain a part of your life for decades. It's a wonderful, supportive community, and it's constantly inviting you to join it. Do it, even if you have to pay for it yourself and take time off to attend annually. I am living proof of what happens when you do that.