Cast Your Vision: A PAR Story

Dear Christian Radio,

Are you looking for a way to get everyone in your organization on the same page? Try creating your own “Vision Week,” a time to bring your team together in one place at one time to sharpen your focus and celebrate your accomplishments.

Let me share our story with you and how Positive Alternative Radio went from broken…to better…to winning with Vision Week.

PAR had existed for years as a disconnected group of station brands with dispirited interests and a divisive culture. In 2010, after years of confusion and infighting, we finally came together to confront the fact that we were a broken, failing organization. There was open hostility, bickering and blame shifting at a level so intense a facilitator we had hired to run the meeting lost his temper. He slammed his fist on the table and said, “It stops now!”

None of us in the room will ever forget that day.  It was the seminal moment when things began to change. The road from there to here was paved with hard work and no small amount of frustration, but the point is, the PAR of that past is not the PAR of today. We have changed and we are now a vibrant, thriving organization growing market share, income and a winning team.

Around the first of every year, we celebrate this story and our recent wins with “PAR Vision Week.” It’s also a time to cast vision for the coming year. The entire team comes together at the Inn at Virginia Tech, a world class facility near our home office in Blacksburg, Virginia. Every single PAR team member is invited to attend, and we pay for everything, including transportation, lodging and meals. Vision Week is that important!

For 2019, highlights included:

  • Christian comedian Bone Hampton as our emcee. He was the glue that held our whole program together.
  • Themed around Abraham Lincoln’s quote “Whatever you are, be a good one,” we put together training sessions and presentations to inform, inspire and improve our team.
  • Author, speaker and trainer Tim Miles also joined us for the second straight year. For 2019, he addressed specific issues PAR employees had raised in a pre-Vision Week survey.
  • Breakout sessions featured experts such as Paul Goldsmith, programming consultant, to help our on-air teams and The High Road Agency’s Rob Bunch, who focused on sales and video training.
  • Awards Night was a huge hit with Joy FM General Manager and VP of Culture, Daniel Britt taking home the Vernon H. Baker Award for his leadership in 2018 and Jessica Thomas, morning co-host at Spirit FM winning the Pa Jack Sanders Award for her tenacity and grit during the year.
  • The team celebrated the fact that for the third straight year, PAR has almost a perfect score in the Best Christian Workplace survey.

Dear Christian Radio, make the commitment to your own Vision Week:

  1. Bring your team together in one spot once a year to cast vision. It can be a retreat center, hotel or conference facility.
  2. Celebrate the wins, recognize personal growth and achievement.
  3. Invest in your team with on-point training, inspiration and even some small gifts to help them feel appreciated.
  4. Build your culture by reinforcing what makes your organization unique and important.

The video below is filled with highlights from this year’s gathering. If you’d like to know more about PAR Vision Week, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].


Brian Sanders
Executive Vice President
Positive Alternative Radio



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