March 8, 2010 board meeting minutes
Attendance: Barbara James, Katy Waters, Beth Gianforcaro, Mike Lorz, Phil Rudell, Kevin Kemper, Robin Hepler, Sarah Bacha and former board member Brian Ball. A quorum was present.
The meeting was called to order by President Kevin Kemper at 12:24 p.m.
The minutes from the Jan. 11 and Feb. 8, 2010 meetings were approved. There was no quorum at the February meeting. The financial reports from those months also were approved.
Ethics Training: James updated board members on the spring ethics event. She said she had been in contact with the Worthington Inn about an April 22 date. The topic is pay-to-play publications. James said she had commitments from the presidents of the local Public Relations Society of America and AdFed to participate in a panel discussion probing the three groups’ views and ethical considerations regarding allowing clients to pay for editorial content. James said she thought this would work better than inviting local publishers of such publications to be grilled by SPJ members, although the chapter does plan to invite those publishers to the event, just not as panelists. Kemper asked whether the chapter can realistically accomplish such a program in such a short time. Board members decided to move forward with the event planning. It was casually agreed the chapter would pay for snacks and there would be a cash bar, and members of PRSA and AdFed would be invited. It was suggested the chapter use EventBrite to track attendance, though the event will be free.
Newsroom Training: Kemper said he talked with Joe Meyer and Meyer indicated a national SPJ newsroom training program on social media will take place May 1. The chapter is scouting locations, including Otterbein and the Dispatch. The event will be free to the chapter, but national requests that attendees be charged $25.
Founders Day: It was noted that with Founders Day planning for May 13, the chapter will be having three events within three weeks this spring. Gianforcaro said people are in the process of gathering donations for the Founders Day silent auction. Kemper said he had commitments from Business First for Clippers tickets and a quarter-page ad. He also secured tickets to Thurber House’s lunches with authors event. Gianforcaro said she would keep a master list of things for the auction.
Water said pricing for the Ohio Union location was looking too expensive at $47 a person. Usually, Founders Day costs attendees $25-$30. It was agreed that unless the Union comes down on the prices, the event will be moved to the Fawcett Center as in years past. The date cannot change because that is when Ohio Supreme Court Justice Tom Moyer will be available to speak.
Ohio SPJ Awards: Kemper asked Lorz to describe the scope of his firm’s work on the annual Ohio SPJ awards contest. Lorz said he collects and organizes entries, sends them to judges and keeps a list of winners. He also designs, prints and mails programs. Someone else is paid on commission to sell ads in the programs. Brian Ball and Lorz related the tale of how Lorz came to be responsible for the tasks in the wake of the breakdown of financial and records accountability by a former Cincinnati chapter member who ran the contest five years ago. Board members commended Lorz’ work and said they wanted it to continue.
James said she is new to the board and unfamiliar with the situation. From an outsider’s perspective, she said there seemed to be inherent conflict of interest in paying a board member to do the work. She also said she would feel more comfortable if the work was competitively bid. She also would like to know how other chapters and states handle their contests.
Waters asked whether the board could take a vote on paying Lorz’ firm the fee it requested for the work because the vote had already begun over e-mail. Kemper said the in-person vote would void the electronic vote. All present voted in favor of the motion made by James and seconded by Waters, except Lorz who abstained.
Board members agreed that the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus chapters should talk this summer about how to handle awards work in the future.
Old Business: Board member Phil Rudell was welcomed back after an 11-year hiatus.
The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
E-Mail Votes: Since the Columbus chapter is required to send a representative to the upcoming regional conference, Waters has agreed to attend. Kemper moved that the chapter cover her expenses of $310 plus travel. Giaforcaro seconded and James voted yes. That meant three board members were in favor. The motion passed.
Confluence Park was selected as the Founders Day site.