April 20 2015 board meeting minutes

Board meeting minutes

Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Pro Chapter

April 20, 2015 Board of Directors Meeting

Submitted by Julanne Hohbach

Attendance:  Bruce Cadwallader, Sarah Mills Bacha, Doug Buchanan, Mary Ann Edwards, Beth Gianforcaro, Julanne Hohbach, Karen Kasler, Joe Meyer, Kevin Smith

Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 12:05 p.m. by Sarah Mills Bacha with a quorum present.

Minutes:  The minutes of the March 16, 2015, meeting were approved unanimously.

Financial Report: Treasurer Doug Buchanan presented the financial report with current account balances. Founders Day revenue was $2,157, with expenses of $3,490.65. The silent auction raised $804, with $30 still pending.

Doug will move $4,000 from the Vanguard account to checking to cover the two, $2,000 scholarship checks (Dohn and Meckstroth) written at Founders Day.

The board revisited the idea of starting a separate bank account for scholarships and agreed to bring it up again in the new program year. This would simplify bookkeeping and might also allow donations to be tax-deductible for donors, which they currently are not.

Bruce Cadwallader suggested asking National for a $500 grant for programming, which the chapter applied for and received for the Regional Conference we hosted last year. Doug said he handled this and would look into it.

Bruce made a motion, with Beth Gianforcaro offering a second, to apply to National for a $500 programming grant. The motion passed unanimously.

Membership: Bruce suggested adding Lifetime Achievement to the chapter’s annual awards given at Founders Day.

Beth suggested the chapter should consider a retreat over the summer to talk about big-picture issues.

Bruce suggested the chapter conduct a survey via SurveyMonkey to ask members what programming they want. Sarah Mills Bacha said she could put such a survey together and send it in late spring.


Programming: Sarah and Kevin Smith went to the ethics discussion at Otterbein University. They said attendance was good and the program was standing room only.

Hillary Warren of Otterbein suggested the chapter hold another movie night for True Story, about New York Times reporter Michael Finkel and accused killer Christian Longo, in theaters now.

Sarah expressed concern that the current Founders Day model doesn’t work anymore, as evidenced by declining attendance, and the board should consider a format change. Board members suggested recognizing the winners of the Ohio’s Best Journalism contest, conducted by the three Ohio SPJ pro chapters, at Founders Day. Beth suggested for the program, perhaps the winning photographers could talk about their work, or a behind-the-scenes tour could be offered somewhere.

Sarah is working on the annual report, which is due to National by May 1. As part of this, three members need to review the financials of the chapter. Sarah, Joe Meyer and Julanne Hohbach will do this.

Our chapter has concluded judging of the Sunshine State SPJ awards.

On The Martys, Joe brought in copies of a story on the winners that ran in ThisWeek Community News and will ask board members Thomas Bradley and Chelsea Castle to post it on the chapter website.

Kevin reported on the spring SPJ meeting, which he attended over the weekend. Editing is underway on an SDX history book. There is a movement to get a bylaws change on the floor at the fall National Convention. Right now, when an executive director is hired or reviewed, someone from the Foundation is involved but that process is not formal. The proposed change would stipulate that someone from SDX would be appointed to do evaluations.

The National Convention will be held in Orlando this year, followed by New Orleans and Anaheim. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists in on board again this year.  In a shift, right now SDX is giving money to SPJ for all educational programming. SDX is now assuming the mantle of education for SPJ. SPJ will now focus on advocacy, so that’s a big shift. SPJ also is creating a contact person for journalists who need legal input, crisis management help, etc. In terms of membership trends, Kevin reported that research shows members who don’t renew either aren’t in journalism anymore or don’t have a connection to their local chapter.

At 1:20 p.m., Bruce made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mary Ann Edwards. The motion passed unanimously.

The next board meeting will be held at noon May 18 at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill.

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