Throughout the week the media coverage of the CNFR has been outstanding. Each year, and for the past 17 years, there has been several people to thank for this. Susan Kanode, the media guru, has been promoting the sport of rodeo both professional and college level for many years. She can be found behind the scenes at some of the largest PRCA rodeos, the Denver Stock Show included! She is a strong advocate for the western way of life and she shows it in her commitment and dedication to the student athletes and the CNFR.

Susan takes head shots of all of the contestants each year. This year that was 400 shots. How many of those do you think had to be re-done because their eyes were shut? She does not do this job alone- every year she brings a couple of her nieces and nephews. Who, by the way, make me feel older each year they are here. I remember when they were just little and coming with her. Now, they are all nearly college graduates and have become some of the best media helpers around and truly friends of mine. Susan also has the opportunity to offer an internship during the week of the finals. Wait a second... you mean to tell me that all those years that I volunteered I could have gotten college credits!? Man, I missed the boat on that.

This year, the intern is Sami Jo Heitsch, from the University of Wyoming. If you check out the CNFR facebook page you will see what she has been working on. Videos of pretty funny things = questions that she asks the coaches and contestants. The most recent one, which celebrity would you like to see do your event? Is pretty funny!

One of the amazing aspects of this event, and probably why it is so cool that it is held in our great little city, is that it is a National event. There is really only media onsite from local papers, tv and some rodeo/western publications. But if you sit in there long enough, you can hear Susan field calls from all across the country. She is sending out press release after press release to everyone's local paper.... YES, everyone. I think it is even a question on the application. She sends out results and standings every night. I am convinced that she has a key to the Event Center during this week because typically she is the first one there and the last to leave.

One thing about being in this position is that you work so hard to get publicity where it is deserved, whether it is a good story or a great run, you never get recognized yourself. So, I tip my hat to you, Ms. Susan Kanode, my mentor. You are great at what you do and I still have lots to learn.