April 9 2007 board meeting minutes

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April 9, 2007, board meeting minutes

Attendance: Bacha, Ball, Beathard, Davis, Jasper, Kiefer, Kostyu, Lorz, Meyer, Monnin, Richards, Richter Guest: Kevin Kemper of Business First

President Brian Ball called the meeting to order at 12:10 p.m.

Minutes: The board approved a motion by Joe Meyer, seconded by David Richter, to accept the minutes from the March meeting that secretary Kirk D. Richards prepared.

Financial report:
Checking account at Fifth Third Bank has $3,569.46 as of March 19, 2007

$50 as return of workshop fee to WBNS (3/31/07)
$327 to SPJ national office for new member dues (3/31/07)
$225 to SPJ national office for airfare (4/3/07)
$2,190 to SPJ national office for workshop receipts (4/6/07)

Money received:
$210 in newsroom training workshop fees (3/30/07)
$2,297 in newsroom training workshop fees, dues from the national SPJ office and new member dues (4/2/07)
$100 in newsroom training workshop fees (4/6/07)

Total value of Vanguard Funds is $33,720.88

The report does not account for roughly $800 that the chapter owes the Radisson Hotel in Worthington for the diversity program, David said. The chapter is questioning the amount that is owed, David said.

The check that our chapter sent for regional director Kevin Smith’s travel fund still has not been cashed. This was brought up at the previous meeting. Brian said that he left a message for Kevin but did not get a response.

Newsroom training program: Mike Lorz said that 51 attended the morning sessions and more than 30 stayed for the afternoon training. WBNS had 16 representatives and WCMH had six.

Annual report: Brian noted that our chapter is due to submit one by June 1st. An audit is due by June 30th when our fiscal year ends.

The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Joe, to appoint Sarah Mills Bacha and Jennifer Monnin to an audit committee to handle the job. Both Sarah and Jennifer volunteered prior to the appointment vote.

Pay Pal transactions: The board approved a motion by Brian, seconded by Mike, to use PayPal for online transactions to enable people to pay with their credit cards at future events.

However, people may use credit cards only in advance of the event. The chapter doesn’t plan to have a mechanism to allow people to do so on site. David said that likely would require the chapter to obtain a regular merchant account, which is much more expensive, he said.

Sarah questioned whether it is possible to take a laptop computer to an event site. That way, people could use the computer to register with their credit cards. That likely would require a venue to have wireless service there. Brian said that’s something that can be explored in the future. Paying with credit cards in advance is a good first step, he said.

Ethics program: It’s to be held at 6 p.m. on April 19 at the Radisson Hotel in Worthington. The cost per person is $25.

Dominic Cappa of Business First, Danny Goodwin of The Columbus Dispatch and board member Joe Meyer of Suburban News Publications are the decision-makers scheduled to serve on the panel to discuss how those publications handle ethics issues. Kevin Smith is to serve as the moderator.

Founders Day: Gov. Ted Strickland, the keynote speaker, will have to pay his own way for dinner, per his own administration policy, members noted. The event is to be held at 6 p.m. on May 24 at the Ohio State University Golf Course.

Silent Auction: Sarah has started the process for seeking donations. She said that wine, coffee, toys and sports items are popular. Sarah said she has asked former board member Marty Rozenman to help secure some sports memorabilia.

Jane Beathard and Jennifer Davis volunteered to help with set up and take down.

Scholarships: Bill Reader of Ohio University and Sharon West of Ohio State University are helping the chapter identify candidates for the scholarship money to be presented to students at Founders Day.

Minority Scholarship:
Kirk, president of the Columbus Association of Black Journalists, said he received strong support when he told CABJ members about the possibility of SPJ contributing money toward a minority scholarship.

Paul suggested a presidents’ challenge that would help CABJ reach the $10,000 threshold for the Columbus Foundation to administrate the scholarship, which board members said they would like to hand out annually in partnership with CABJ. Kirk said that CABJ has more than $8,500 in scholarship money.

Mike, who proposed the idea of a minority scholarship in February, said he would like to work with Kirk to make it happen.

Student rate established: The board approved a motion by Joe, seconded by Jane, to establish a student rate that is 50 percent of the regular rate for professional members.

David said this could be an excellent way to pick up members of student chapters who don’t currently pay local dues. Brian suggested that we get this news out to members of student chapters as soon as possible.

Board positions: Jennifer Davis and Gary Kiefer are being forced off the board by term limits. The terms are up for Jane, Mike and Robin Hepler, but those three have not reached the limit of three terms and can run for a new term of three years.

The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Jennifer Monnin, to place five names on the ballot: Jane Beathard; Robin Hepler; Mike Lorz; and newcomers Hillary Warren and Sharon West.

Debra Jasper announced in an e-mail prior to the meeting that she is resigning from her seat on the board, effective at Founders Day. Business First reporter Kevin Kemper, in attendance at the meeting as Brian’s guest, confirmed that he is willing to serve the remaining two years of Debra’s term.

Kirk also is resigning, effective at the end of Founders Day. Gary is asking Jon Schwantes of The Dispatch to consider replacing Kirk on the board. The board did not determine who will assume Kirk’s current duties as secretary.

Brick Wall Award:
The board approved a motion by David, seconded by Debra, to nominate the Ohio Supreme Court this dishonorable award for the second straight year. Joe voted nay, saying he doesn’t like giving a brick to the same institution two years in a row. Mike abstained. The issue is to be placed on the ballot.

Paul said he’s been watching closely to see who’s been doing the most to block access to public records and meetings, and he couldn’t think of any other institution or individual to give the brick to. Although the board is not under the obligation to give out a brick, Paul and Debra argued that the court should be publicly criticized for two split opinions closing records of private entities that are largely funded through public dollars.

First Amendment Award:
The board approved a motion by David, seconded by Joe, to nominate Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann for the award. Dann has taken numerous stands since taking office office: He extended the schedule for retaining government e-mails, giving the public more time to look at them. Dann pushed for three members of the Public Utilities Commission to resign, saying they were nominated and selected in secret, a violation of Ohio’s Sunshine Laws.

Distinguished Service Award: The board approved a motion by Joe, seconded by Jane, to nominate Jennifer Davis and Kirk D. Richards for this honor for their years of service to the chapter.

Appreciation Award: The board approved a motion by Mike, seconded by Jennifer Davis, to nominate former president Joe McKnight for the honor. Mike called McKnight’s career “exemplary.”

Brian thanked Paul, Robin, Sherri Williams, Mike, Kathy Hoke and former board member Chuck Nelson for helping to judge a contest for a Florida chapter.

Ohio SPJ: Our chapter is hosting the statewide awards this time.

Brian said he has concerns about the future of Ohio SPJ and what that means for fund-raising efforts for the organization. Brian suggested that comments on the subject be made off the record; Brian then agreed with Paul that his opinions uttered at the board meeting should remain on the record.

Adjournment: The board approved a motion by Paul, seconded by Joe, to adjourn at 1:17 p.m.

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