4:53 pm, May 30, 2015

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  • Note to Tom
    Tom: Heard you this a.m. talking about the VA investigation into conferences, and your awkward comment about the $1M paid to an Event Planner for some kind of Retired Miltary celebration in Hawaii...You stated that "$1M was surprising since Event Planning doesn't require a special skill set." I was offended by that remark, because as a public relations professional in the Federal Government, it is hard enough to be respected for this task, which among a host of others I am TRAINED to do. I can tell you for sure, Event Planning on the scale that you were alluding to, would take an enormous skill set and project management talents. I am not defending $1M being given to a consultant to set up and execute an event, but you also have no idea what was included in the bill. Being that this event was in Hawaii, and there would no doubt be several staff members involved in executing it, researching retiree contact info, assembling lists of invitees, developing registration materials and perhaps a retrospective video, scheduling speakers, coordinating calendars to arrange for VIP travel to the event, orchestrating a formal dinner perhaps, a trip or two back and forth from the mainland to Hawaii to work out logistics with the facility, shipping everything there for the event in advance, and staff on hand to deliver namebadges, etc. perhaps the $1M can be explained. For you to ignorantly brush off Event Planners as having no specific skills is an insult. If everyone could do it well, there wouldn't be a thriving business in Event Planning. You and your sidekick need to choose your words more carefully. I really miss your previous co-anchor...SHE was a great reporter!
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