Aug 17 2015 board meeting minutes

Board meeting minutes

Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Pro Chapter

August 17, 2015 Board of Directors Meeting

Submitted by Julanne Hohbach

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

Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 12:07 p.m. by President Joe Meyer with a quorum present.

Minutes:  The minutes of the April 20 and May 18, 2015, meetings were approved unanimously.

Financial Report: Treasurer Doug Buchanan presented the financial report with current account balances.  Doug has a check to deposit from National for Chapter membership dues.

Membership: Mary Ann Edwards suggested holding a recruitment/professional development event aimed at journalists with Dispatch Media Group, given the recent acquisition by GateHouse Media and impending buyouts and possible layoffs that have been reported. She suggested having a speaker talk about marketing your skills. Other suggestions from board members included résumé advice, life coaching and financial planning, if the latter would not be viewed as a sales pitch. Joe suggested a Chapter membership discount might be appropriate since the target audience is displaced journalists. Possible venues are Ohio State University or Otterbein University, on a Saturday in mid-November.


Programming: The annual Main Street Free Press Museum event our Chapter sponsors with John Long in conjunction with the Fredericktown Tomato Show is Sept. 10. The topic for this year is “What happens when a town loses its newspaper,” in light of the shuttering of The Knox County Citizen in February by Civitas Media. We will send an email to members and put the information on our website and Facebook page. The museum website is

Joe will attend the National Convention in Orlando Sept. 18-20 and act as our delegate. Kevin Smith also is attending.

We again will sponsor the OSBA Law & Media Conference, which will be held Oct. 16, 2015. Sarah Mills Bacha and Beth Gianforcaro are attending and will display the Chapter banner and take promotional materials for SPJ. Last year, we paid $204.39 for breakfast and underwrote up to 15 OSU students attending. After discussion, the board decided to include other schools this year.

Joe made a motion, with a second from Sarah, to approve spending up to $250 to sponsor breakfast at the conference and allocate up to a total of $225 to sponsor up to 15 students (five from Ohio State, five from Ohio University and five from other schools) to attend. The motion was approved unanimously. Sarah will reach out to SPJ student advisers and coordinate the effort.


Web/social media: No report


Ohio SPJ Awards: A conference call between the three Ohio pro chapter presidents, Mike Lorz and Tom Moore is set for this afternoon. Topics of discussion include Mike’s retirement as contest coordinator, the need to update categories and the fact that the banquet has slipped into fall. This year’s banquet will be held Oct. 28 in Cincinnati. Sarah has said she would take on the task of contest coordinator. The expected disbursement from the contest this year is down significantly, as entries were down and last year’s banquet in Cleveland lost money. Joe will report back to the board next month on the outcome of the call.


GateHouse Media purchase of Dispatch Media Group: This acquisition is a major change on the local media landscape. Ramifications are not yet known. How should the chapter respond? Programming for those affected by any buyouts/layoffs was discussed earlier in the meeting. Alan Miller, who was recently named the new editor of The Columbus Dispatch, could be invited to speak at Founders Day. Other considerations include whether GateHouse will be willing to underwrite The Martys high school journalism contest, as The Dispatch Printing Co. and Columbus Media Enterprises previously had done.

Bylaws update: Kevin, Sarah and Julanne Hohbach will meet to begin work to revise the bylaws. They will report back to the board at the next meeting.

Programming: Sarah said the programs the Chapter hosted last year with Ohio State University and Otterbein University were successful and we should continue efforts to engage those students.

Next meeting:   The next board meeting is noon Friday, Sept. 25, at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill.


Adjournment: At 1:10 p.m., Sarah made a motion to adjourn, with a second from Julanne. The motion passed unanimously.