April 10 2006 board meeting minutes

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April 10, 2006, Board Meeting Minutes

Attendance: Bacha, Ball, Beathard, Davis, Hoke, Kiefer, Kostyu, Lorz, Meyer, Monnin, Nelson, Richter, Richards

Also in attendance: Columbus Dispatch reporters Charlie Roduta and Sherri Williams, who appears on the ballot for a board opening

President Joe Meyer called the meeting to order at 12:09 p.m.

The board approved a motion by Paul Kostyu, seconded by David Richter, to approve the minutes from the March meeting that secretary Kirk D. Richards prepared.

Brian Ball abstained because he did not attend that meeting.

Financial report: David, the treasurer, submitted the following:
The balance in the checking account at Fifth-Third Bank is $1,657.14. The total value of the Vanguard Funds is $37,673.91. The chapter spent $17.95 for a check reorder fee. Joe was paid $390.27 as reimbursement for fliers to promote a design seminar that Tim Harrower is to lead. The chapter received $427.50 from SPJ national for dues.

Web site: Chuck Nelson said he will continue to maintain the site as a volunteer after his service on the board ends next month. Chuck is being forced off the board because of term limits. Brian, who is to be president next term, said he favors Chuck’s continued involvement.

SPJ Thursdays: This is the monthly event that used to be Thursdays at Thurber. The Thurber Bar turned out to be a less-than-ideal location because of limited parking, expensive food and beverages and an interior design that did not make it easy for people to sit and talk.

As a result, the board has decided to hold the event at various locations while retaining the same time frame the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

Jennifer Monnin reported that the event this week is to be held at Patrick J’s. Instead of appetizers being provided, the first 20 to arrive will receive a drink ticket. The appetizers often went to others not in our group and there usually were a bunch of leftovers.

Newspaper Designer’s Workshop: Tim Harrower is to lead this workshop at Otterbein College’s Towers Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22.

A flier is in PDF so more copies can be printed and distributed. The information is posted on the Region 4 Web site. It’s been in a Cleveland chapter newsletter. One-third of the 27 registrants are college students. Half the registrants have paid so far.

Joe noted that the target number of participants is 40 and reminded the board that applicants usually wait until shortly before a deadline. We also could make out with a number of walk-ins.

Religion program: Brian reminded the board that Deb Mason wants our chapter to co-sponsor a June 19th seminar with a group of Episcopalians who are to discuss some controversial issues. The convention is to be held at the Crowne Plaza.

The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Jane Beathard, to increase the price of the Founders Day ticket from $25 to $27. Each dinner costs about $20, and the increased price is intended to help cover costs of the free dinners that some in attendance will receive.

Policy on compensating dinners: The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Jennifer Monnin, to limit free Founders Day dinners to speakers, scholarship recipients, award winners and honored guests. That leaves it open for the chapter to cover lunches for SPJ directors.

Harrower lunches: The board approved a motion by David, seconded by Sarah Mills Bacha, to pay for $8 lunches for the event. The cost could reach the $400 range, Joe said.

Chapter awards: The board decided to hold off on making final decisions because the board just sent out a solicitation for input from members, who received it this past weekend. Members agreed that fairness dictates that those members be given some time to offer ideas.

As for a 1st Amendment award nominee, Paul suggested attorney Fred Gittes, a strong advocate for open government who has represented numerous clients seeking access to records he considers public under the law.

On Brick Wall, Paul still likes his idea of Bill Seitz. He also noted that J. Kenneth Blackwell is not only deferring to his campaign schedule, he’s also now refusing to talk to The Dispatch, as noted in a Sunday column by the paper’s editor Ben Marrison.

Paul explained that the service award should be for service to the profession, not to the public directly. He cautioned against giving an award based on a story or series because that could usurp the contests. He also noted that a number of journalists do good work throughout Ohio and that it would be best not to use this award to make that kind of decision.

Gary Kiefer noted that long-time Dispatch reporter Bob Ruth is going to retire pretty soon and that he should be considered for the award.

Scholarships: The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Mike, to approve the $2,000 Norman H. Dohn Scholarship for Brittany Hughes of Ohio University. Prof. Bill Reader made the recommendation.

Lantern faculty adviser Sonya Humes has recommended that Ryan Merrill receive the $2,000 Jacob A. Meckstroth Scholarship. But at Paul’s recommendation, the board decided to hold off on that vote, pending additional information about Merrill’s background. This scholarship goes to a student of Ohio State University. (An e-mail vote after the meeting supported the recommendation of Merrill.)

Faulker scholarship: The board agreed to decide on the recipients of this scholarship at the next meeting. Gary noted that the chapter does not have to give an award. The chapter could choose to give one instead of two. There’s an expectation that the board will seek qualified candidates, Gary said. This scholarship may go to any college student in Ohio has an interest in political affairs and is not a senior.

Auction: Sarah asked that board members who have anything to offer to the auction to let her know and she’ll arrange for pickup. She noted that board member Marty Rozenman is leading the effort to collect sports memorabilia.

Judging: When the Mark of Excellence awards come in, Joe said, he’ll need help with judging the categories of breaking news photography and feature photography.

Adjournment: The board approved a motion by David to adjourn at 1:05 p.m.

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