Feb 11 2008 board meeting minutes

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Feb. 11, 2008, board meeting minutes

Attendance: Brain Ball, Sarah Bacha, Robin Hepler, Paul Kostyu, Mike Lorz, Joe Meyer, Jennifer Monnin, Trace Regan, David Richter, Hillary Warren and Sherri Williams

President Mike Lorz called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.

The board accepted a motion by David Richter, seconded by Jennifer Monnin, to accept the minutes from the Nov. 12, 2007, meeting prepared by Secretary Joe Meyer – delayed by Meyer’s December absence and January illness – with no changes. All voted yes except Kostyu, who was not in attendance at that meeting and abstained.

The board also accepted a motion by Richter, seconded by Monnin, to accept the minutes from the Jan. 14, 2008 meeting prepared by board member Paul Kostyu. All voted yes except Meyer, who was not in attendance at that meeting and abstained.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Sarah Bacha provided the treasurer’s report with breakdowns on Fifth Third checking account, PayPal account and Vanguard investment accounts.

She said after a committee meeting with Mike Lorz, David Richter and she, it was decided to reallocate balances in the Vanguard accounts. The Long Term Treasury and Short Term Federal Funds have been underperforming for some time and the money in them will be equally split between the Chapter’s Prime Money market and 500 Index Fund accounts, as will a recent $1,000 from our PayPal account. The new allocation should still provide sufficient diversification to protect the balances.

Meyer produced a $337.50 check from National for Chapter member local dues, from June 2006, which was received after his term as president and misfiled in his personal membership SPJ files.

The Chapter’s National SPJ grant for our planned Ethics Panel was received ($550).

Lorz reported he would be presenting a $492 bill for mailing the Ohio SPJ Awards contest booklet.

Jennifer Monnin provided an update on programming. The Jan. 23 Meet the Kiplingers event at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café went well but attendance at 18 people, including eight Kiplinger Fellows, was rather low. Meyer noted this program has been offered for free in the past and suggested at least one Chapter program be offered for free each year, to draw potential new members.

Registration for the Feb. 16 Multimedia Workshop featuring online producers from the Columbus Dispatch is being accepted through a new online service, EventBrite. Richter said 14 had registered so far but others had contacted him to say more would be registering. He noted registrations would be accepted online through Feb. 15.

Kevin Kemper was unable to attend due to covering a trial, but Lorz presented his e-mail on the topic of reviving monthly Chapter happy hour socials, starting if possible with Feb. 14 at Dick’s Den. Members present came to a consensus of not wanting to do the event that soon, and most were in opposition to reviving the socials altogether. Richter noted they had lost money and not been well attended in the past. Bacha and Meyer also agreed the socials had been tried without sufficient success for a few years.

Monnin said the March 26 luncheon event at the Glenn School would be offered for free, including pizza and soda. She said members all should have received an e-mail on the pending Feb. 25 Thurber event featuring Lee Woodruff. Lorz asked that the Woodruff event and all upcoming events be e-mailed to all Chapter members and posted on the Chapter Web site.

Founders Day: Lorz reported he was trying to confirm a date with planned speaker Connie Schultz.

No report.

State and Regional SPJ
Ohio SPJ
Lorz reported that 1,200 entry booklets were mailed. Due to disputes with Cincinnati chapter members who previously were involved with the contest, all contest category descriptions were rewritten by a committee involving Cincinnati, Cleveland and Central Ohio chapter members. Lorz rewrote the first section narrative. New college awards were added.

Lorz said he was contacted by WBNS Channel 10 representatives who were confused by an awards program call for entries they received that looked the same as the Ohio SPJ contest. Lorz said the mailer was identical to the former Ohio SPJ entry booklet, except that all mentions of SPJ were removed. The Cincinnati Chapter members responsible told their chapter leadership they believed the joint contest by the three chapters was not going forward this year, he reported. The current Cincinnati president was livid over what she saw as a misrepresentation and two Cincinnati board members resigned over the unsanctioned, competing contest, Lorz said.

The Ohio SPJ committee representing all three chapters has filed with the Ohio Secretary of State for ownership of the Ohio SPJ Awards name, which had lapsed.

Lorz also discussed a separate scholarship deal involving the Cincinnati chapter for money received from Time Warner. Time Warner gave $2,500 annually to the contest when it was being administered by Cincinnati members for college scholarships, believing some of the money would be earmarked for Cincinnati students. The current three-chapter Ohio SPJ committee had agreed to make four of the scholarships for Ohio students and one specifically for a Cincinnati student – all at $500.

Brian Ball made a motion, seconded by Meyer, for the Central Ohio SPJ to officially back that plan. The motion passed with yes votes from all in attendance except Kostyu, who abstained.

New Ohio River SPJ chapter
Ball circulated an e-mail from SPJ Region 4 Representative Jeremy Steele about the proposed new chapter. The organizers need to pull together 20 SPJ members from their proposed area to formally apply to become a full chapter. It is possible ZIP codes now assigned to Central Ohio could be involved. Steele said it is his intent, if that comes to pass, to convene a discussion of affected chapters to reach a consensus agreement on any territory overlaps.

Old Business
Paul Kostyu brought up two current/recent FOIA-Open Records developments:

  • A bill on foster parent records has gone to the governor; it restricts access to all sorts of records and “is terrible for us,” Kostyu said.


  • Also, Kostyu attended a recent talk with journalists hosted by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, about new court record rules. Moyer said the new system would be better. Kostyu reported he asked, “For who?” and Moyer replied, “For everyone.”

New Business
Hillary Warren brought up recent “confidentiality agreements” student journalists at Otterbein College were requested to sign by the college administration, received by the students Feb. 8. The agreement was sent to paid staff on the college paper and in offices across campus. Students contacted the Student Press Law Center and were refusing to sign. Warren also discussed an Otterbein student and former Dispatch intern recently returned from covering the elections in Kenya. Board members were interested in having the student speak at an upcoming program.

Lorz commented that the Ohio SPJ banquet would be held the second or third week in August or on one of two weeks in October (the event traditionally has been on a Saturday). Board members expressed a preference for August, and Lorz said he would vote that way on the joint chapters contest committee.

The board approved a motion by Kostyu, seconded by Monnin, to adjourn at 1:07 p.m.

Minutes prepared by Joe Meyer, Chapter secretary

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