Feb. 12, 2007, board meeting minutes
Attendance: Bacha, Ball, Beathard, Davis, Hepler, Kostyu, Lorz, Meyer, Monnin, Richards, Richter
President Brian Ball called the meeting to order at 12:07 p.m.
Minutes accepted: The board approved a motion by Paul Kostyu, seconded by David Richter, to accept the minutes from the January meeting that secretary Kirk D. Richards prepared.
Treasurer’s report: David reported the following
- Chuck Nelson was paid $105.24 for Web site fee
- David made a $200 deposit with the Ohio State University Golf Course, where the Founders Day event will be held.
- The chapter spent $922.10 on WOSU luncheon
- The chapter received $450 in local dues from the national SPJ office
- The chapter received $150 in luncheon fees
- The chapter received a $1,240 ethics grant
- The chapter received $120 in luncheon fees
The balance in the checking account at Fifth Third Bank is $3,936.80. The Vanguard Funds have $33,388.97 ($9,088.95 in Prime Money Market; $6,664.03 in Long Term Treasury; $5,110.32 in Short Term Federal; and $12,525 in 500 Index Fund)
Programming: Mike Lorz announced that a diversity event is to be held Thursday, Feb. 22, in the evening. Information is being mailed out. Board member Sherri Williams, who is on assignment in Cuba, helped with the planning of the event, Mike said.
A newsroom training program formerly known as Bloomberg is being handled by the national SPJ office. This event is to be held Saturday, March 10, at the Radisson Hotel in Worthington. It has been suggested that members be charged $25 and nonmembers be charged $50.
Because Bloomberg is no longer providing the funding, the costs must be covered by the national SPJ office, which means that the chapter will not be able to retain any profits from the event, Mike said.
It costs $72 to become a national member of SPJ. David noted that our chapter has gained members in the past as the result of the event.
Quill: Soon, professionals will be able to get only the print version or the electronic version, not both. Student members receive only the electronic version.
On the evening of Thursday, April 19, our chapter will host an event on minimizing harm. The panel will include the top editors of The Columbus Dispatch, Suburban News Publications and Business First. Those editors will be asked to give examples in which they were confronted with the challenge of telling the news while trying to minimize the harm. The editors also will be asked to explain the consequences of those decisions. Others might be tapped to join the panel.
Getting the word out: Robin Hepler suggested that the mailings contain all the events we know about to demonstrate that we’re doing a lot.
Jennifer Monnin said the e-mail announcements should include a link that will enable people to become chapter members.
Mentoring: Jennifer Monnin suggested that the board consider a mentoring program given all the students and young professionals who could be teamed with all the retirees in the chapter. David noted that his experience with students suggests that they’re busy with their coursework and they prefer to speak with professionals who are active in the business.
Brian said he will contact former chapter president Joe McKnight to determine why he decided not to renew his membership.
Board nominations: David said he is ready to step down from his position as treasurer.
Sarah Mills Bacha said she would be willing to handle that job for a year.
For 2nd VP, Brian said he approached Sherri Williams, who told him that she didn’t think she was ready to take on that role.
Paul said that Sherri might not be the best choice for that given that she has missed some meetings.
“Nothing against Sherri,” Paul said. “I think she’d be fine. Her work schedule puts her at a disadvantage.”
Paul said the board needs to keep track of attendance, noting that the bylaws require regular attendance for members to retain their seats. Paul noted that Debra Jasper also has missed some meetings.
Joe Meyer said his understanding is that three straight absences would subject a member to removal, although that removal is based on a vote of board members and is not automatic.
This affected former board members Bob Cunningham and Bill Estep, who both stepped down voluntarily when they realized that they would not be able to attend board meetings on a regular basis.
Sarah said the board struggles to find committed people. David said he foresees our chapter having a problem filling the slots. Brian said this chapter needs to find at least two new board members this year. Joe noted that the decision must be made before Founders Day.
Brian said he would consider taking on the role of membership chair given that he wasn’t required to do that before ascending to the presidency.
Brick Wall award: Paul said that Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeiffer might be a good candidate for this dishonor given his ruling that the public doesn’t have a right to access records from a mental-health facility that is supported by public funding. Pfeiffer was the swing vote in the 4-3 decision, Paul said.
Buyouts at The Columbus Dispatch: Brian suggested that the chapter explore ways that those who accept the buyout offer for early retirement can be helped in efforts to continue to do their work elsewhere. The newspaper is offering veteran members of the newsroom the opportunity to accept a voluntary buyout to trim the ranks, saving money on payroll.
Can we do a minority-focused scholarship?: Mike posed the question.
Kirk, president of the Columbus Association of Black Journalists, noted that CABJ has considered using the Columbus Foundation to manage the fund. CABJ first wants to invite someone from the foundation to speak to the organization. Paul suggested that SPJ contribute more to CABJ so its foundation money can reach $10,000, which would enable CABJ to use the Columbus Foundation.
Adjournment: The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Jane Beathard, to adjourn at 1:07 p.m.