This afternoon Frank Peterman strolled into the D.C convention center for the first full day of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference. It took all of about two minutes for attendees to latch on to him.
The first woman clutched his arm and told him how much the book he and his wife Audrey wrote meant to her. Their book, "Legacy on the Land", tells the story of their journey across America's public lands -- a trip on which they discovered as much about their cultural connections to public lands as they did all the beautiful sights that came with the sojourn.
Another woman came by The Wilderness Society's information booth a few minutes later. She took a look at a U.S. map we have on display and took us up on our offer for her to place a pin on her favorite outdoor destination. She put it by Lake Michigan in Illinois. Then she told us she's getting ready to fulfill her life-long dream of traveling the country. She said her goal is to visit as many national parks as she can in the next few years on the road.
We also met a lot of exceptionally talented people looking for jobs in a variety of fields -- public policy, communications and more. The good news? The Wilderness Society is hiring. We handed them a globe-themed stress ball with our Web site printed on it. All of our jobs are listed on our site. Some candidates handed us resumes. I'm handing one straight to our vice president of public policy as soon as I get back to the office.
A gentleman with several grown children stopped by. He told us his son spent three years in college but didn't finish because he didn't know what he wanted to do. The man asked us if the nonprofit sector and the outdoors represented career opportunities. Absolutely. We spent 20 minutes talking to him about careers in conservation and encouraged him to have his son call us. We'll be happy to brainstorm with him.
Meanwhile, in the hallways, people are still buzzing about Michelle Obama's appearance yesterday. I wanted to meet her myself but I was not able to make it through security in time. I could have asked her about her organic garden. Green tips for my own garden from the First Lady ... that would have been fantastic.