On February 26th, I went back to the Charleston, SC JUG
to fill in for a speaker that dropped out at the last minute. JUG leader Jason McDonald requested that I talk about Spring's support for JPA (material we cover in the last chapter of EJB 3 in Action - "EJB 3 and Spring"; the talk updates the content to cover Spring 2.5). The code for the very hands-on presentation should be posted on the JUG's website soon.
Jason let me know that the JUG needs more people involved in a leadership role since he is really being strained to manage the JUG on top of his already hectic schedule. If you live near the Charleston area, please consider getting in touch with Jason. The Charleston JUG is actually very well funded and organized thanks to Jason's efforts and can fully sponsor speakers from across the country. It also has a great host in BenefitFocus
(a major tech vendor for one of my Philadelphia based clients). Given the small number of JUGs in the South, it would be a shame to not see this one reach its full potential. I certainly enjoyed speaking there and would go back there again.
I also encourage you to become a member of the JUG and help it grow if you are a local Java developer. JUGs are a great vehicle for developing grassroots Java communities, not to mention for keeping up-to-date in a fast-paced industry and for developing life-long friendships with fellow developers.