2016 SDBA Leadership Conference, Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Sioux Falls, SD

The SDBA Leadership Conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown in Sioux Falls July 21-23, with the main events taking place Friday, July 22nd. There is a welcome mixer Thursday and we have first come first served passes to the Sioux Falls Air Show on Saturday. Friday is the work day.


We have a sensational group of speakers this year…

Dennis Wharton of NAB will provide the Washington update to the GMs/Owners/ and Management Friday morning after breakfast and the Business Meeting. As the longtime chief spokesperson for NAB, he has loads of insight and history about Washington and the Broadcasters. Following that David Rich will present Contagious Leadership for the GMs.

Friday afternoon, Rich will be presenting a 4 hour seminar, Contagious Selling, which is open to Account Executives. They are all welcome and encouraged to attend.

Also on Friday, we are bringing back Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute who will be providing separate broadcast journalism seminars allowing you to rotate staff thru the sessions of yours or their choice. Tompkins will present How to be a Social Media Superstar Friday morning (concurrent to Contagious Leadership); and will do two separate sessions in the afternoon: Let’s Get Critical –  the power of critical thinking, how to detect spins, deception and bad information by asking different questions; and Write Tight:  Aim for the Heart.

Your staff may attend any or all of the seminars at no cost, but registration is required.

The Annual Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Friday evening at 6:00pm capping an event-filled very productive day. Then we’ll relax and enjoy the Sioux Falls Air Show on Saturday!

Here is more about each of the speakers …You don’t want to miss this educational opportunity for you and your staff!  See you in July!

Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute

Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. For almost 10 years, thousands of people a day read his online journalism story idea column “Al’s Morning Meeting” on

Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters,” which has been adopted by more than 75 universities as their main broadcast writing textbook.

He co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn. For 24 years, he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer and news director.

Tompkins has trained thousands of television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his One-Day Storytelling Workshops in 45 states, Canada, Denmark, Iceland and South Africa. He has taught and coached print newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad how to build interactive news websites, how to use video more effectively online and how to manage ethical issues that arise online.

Awards: Tompkins was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and in 2008 was awarded The Governor’s Award, the highest honor given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. During his two and a half decades as a journalist, Tompkins has won the National Emmy, the Peabody Award (group award), the Japan Prize, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel for Court Reporting, seven National Headliner Awards, two Iris Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

He is a co-producer of the hour-long documentary, “Saving Stefani,” featured as a special “Dateline NBC” and was awarded the 1999 Clarion Award. The 10-year documentary project tells the story of a young girl that Tompkins and a medical team found dying in a Guatemala hospital.

Tompkins also serves as a final juror on the duPont-Columbia Awards, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards and is a national screener for the Investigative Reporter and Editor awards.

David Rich, Rich Ideas

David Rich’s style, message and legacy can be described with a single word: CONTAGIOUS!

David is founder and President of Rich Ideas, a communications and marketing company dedicated to helping people and companies become “contagious.” He has been speaking to association and corporate audiences since 1986.

David has been called, “The Most Personable Speaker in America!” He is one of the nation’s leading experts on persuasion, marketing, and motivation and He is one of less than 750 Certified Speaking Professionals in the world, the highest earned designation of the speaking profession. He has spoken to well over a million people in 48 states and 4 countries.

David has presented to groups ranging in size from small local churches to the Fortune 100. His corporate clients include, AT&T, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Sears, Gillette, Kellogg’s, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. His association clients include, Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Catering Executives, National Association of Broadcasters, American Staffing Association, and the International Customer Service Association.

David will be presenting from his most popular keynote and seminar presentations, “Contagious Talks”. Contagious Leadership will inspire leaders to be the kind of person that others will want to follow. For sales professionals, Contagious Selling examines the state of the market place and how to sell to today’s less loyal yet more demanding consumer. He also does Contagious Service, his program on customer service that includes how to connect over the telephone & The 10 Worst Things to Say to a Customer!  And Contagious Peace, which is a program he delivers to Christian groups and churches, inspiring attendees to rest in God’s grace and sovereignty.

David’s writings have appeared in numerous national and trade magazines, including Personal Selling Power and Inc. magazine. His books include: How to Stay Motivated on a Daily Basis!” (Kendall-Hunt, 1995) and How to Click with Everyone Every Time!” (McGraw-Hill, 2004), which has been called the modern day version of How to Win Friends & Influence People. In 2006, David released 7 Biblical Truths You Won’t Hear in Church, But Might Change Your Life!” (Harvest House, 2006), which has become an international best seller. His follow-up book, You Mean That Isn’t in the Bible: 10 Popular Beliefs That Simply Aren’t True!” (Harvest House, 2008) was released in spring 2008. His latest book, “Contagious Selling,” also published by McGraw-Hill, hit book shelves in 2013.

Dennis Wharton, NAB

As Executive Vice President of Communications, Dennis Wharton oversees NAB’s Media Relations, Research and Information and Public Service Initiatives departments.

He is the association’s chief spokesperson, responsible for outreach and public policy advocacy to the national news media and trade press and serves as strategic adviser on media relations issues to NAB leadership, the NAB Board of Directors and NAB member stations.

In addition to cultivating positive earned media for NAB and its member stations, Dennis is responsible for NAB’s social media advocacy outreach and messaging. Working with NAB’s External Affairs department, Dennis engages third-party advocacy organizations and beneficiaries of broadcasters’ charitable outreach to better position NAB’s image on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and with the public. During the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Dennis oversees the convention newsroom, which annually draws more than 1,700 reporters.

Dennis joined NAB in 1996 after a 16-year journalism career that included reporting for The Times Leader in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and The Associated Press in Columbus. In 1983, Dennis became a Washington reporter for Variety and Daily Variety covering legislative and regulatory issues related to broadcasting, cable and the Hollywood studios. In 1987, Dennis left Variety to become managing editor of Financial Product News, a magazine for investment advisers. He returned to Variety/Daily Variety in 1989 as Washington bureau chief, and remained there until joining NAB as vice president of Media Relations. Dennis was promoted to senior vice president in 1997 and executive vice president in 2006.

A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Dennis received his B.A. degree in journalism from Ohio State University. Dennis and his wife Lisa live in Ashburn, Va., with their children Isaac, Sierra and Henry.