Covering the Capitol Journalist Panel & Breakfast

  • Location: Florida Health Care Association
  • Address: 307 W. Park Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32301
  • RSVP Deadline: Wednesday, January 8

Join us for a panel of distinguished journalists Gary Fineout (POLITICO Florida), Lynn Hatter (WFSU) and Jeff Schweers (USA Today), moderated by Rick Oppenheim, APR, CPRC. The panel members will discuss their experiences covering state government, the changing landscape of the industry, tips working with the media and more. We are excited to welcome this year’s statewide LeadershipFPRA class for this program. Breakfast will be catered by Canopy Road Cafe. Limited parking will be available in the paved lot and grass lot behind FHCA, and there is also parking along Park Ave. and in the Kleman Plaza garage.

About the Moderator
Rick Oppenheim, APR, CPRC
is President/CEO and Senior Counselor of RB Oppenheim Associates. He has an extensive background in developing marketing communications programs for corporations, associations, healthcare facilities, cultural institutions, financial institutions, real estate developers, golf and country clubs, hotels, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and professional service firms. A former journalist, Rick has worked variously as a reporter, correspondent and editor for the Tallahassee Democrat, the St. Petersburg Times, Southern Publications, Inc., and Stamps Publishing. He has served as an entertainment/feature writer, film and theatre critic and columnist for two North Florida daily newspapers and two regional metro/feature magazines. Rick’s background also includes a four-year stint as press aide to former Secretary of State George Firestone and the Florida Department of State and as information director for the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

Rick served as state president of the Florida Public Relations Association in 1999-2000. He is a past president (1988) of the Capital Chapter of FPRA (which was bestowed “Chapter of the Year” honors at the conclusion of his term). He has served as state certification chairman and as FPRA’s 1994-95 state vice president for accreditation. He also is a founder of FPRA’s statewide Counselors’ Network, has served as its secretary/treasurer and was its chairman in 2003-04. He was twice presented with the Capital Chapter’s Stan Tait Award (1991 and 2000) and is a recipient of the state association’s Dillin Award (2005), Past Presidents Award (2010) and Member of the Year (2012).

About the Panelists
Gary Fineout came to POLITICO Florida in February 2019 after spending more than two decades covering Florida politics and government. He spent the previous seven and a half years working in the Tallahassee bureau of The Associated Press. Prior to that, he has worked for The Miami Herald, The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Tallahassee Democrat. Fineout grew up in Florida and is a graduate of Florida State University.

Lynn Hatter is the News Director at WFSU. She is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has been a member of the WFSU news team since 2007 focusing on education and health care. She’s an an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiatives.

Jeff Schweers is the Capital Correspondent for the USA TODAY NETWORK – Florida. He previously served as the Tallahassee Democrat’s watchdog reporter and has worked in journalism for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of Florida.

The RSVP deadline is Wednesday, January 8. Please RSVP by the deadline for the following rates:

Member – $25
“Future Member” (Non-Member) – $45
Students – $20.50
Members who RSVP after January 8 will be charged $35.

Thank you to our Host Sponsor, the Florida Health Care Association, our Breakfast Sponsors, RB Oppenheim Associates and Digital Opps, and our Printing Sponsor, Gandy Printers!

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