March 21, March 30 2016 board meeting minutes

Board meeting minutes

Society of Professional Journalists, Central Ohio Pro Chapter
March 21, 2016 Board of Directors Meeting

Minutes submitted by Doug Buchanan

Attendance: Thomas Bradley, Doug Buchanan, Chelsea Castle, Mary Ann Edwards, Beth Gianforcaro, Joe Meyer, Kevin Smith

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

Minutes:  The minutes of the February 15, 2016, meeting were approved unanimously. Motion was made by Smith with a second by Edwards.

Financial Report: Treasurer Doug Buchanan presented the financial report with current account balances.  Gianforcaro made a motion to approve the financial report, with a second by Bradley. Motion was approved unanimously.

There was a discussion about posting the financial reports online but no final decision was made.

Membership: Edwards reported that an email had been sent to all members under the subject line “Central Ohio SPJ misses you” to encourage participation and membership renewals. She also said she is considering calling relapsed members but will email them with another appeal first.  There was a discussion about the best way to recruit new members, with Thomas suggesting quality programming was best.


Programming: Meyer presented the two finalists for caterer for Founders’ Day, A Catered Event and Steven’s Catering. Following a discussion of food choices and bar service, Edwards made a motion to choose A Catered Event, Castle seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Meyer suggested we hold a conference call at a later date to finalize pricing for the event.

There was a discussion of board members for next year and several candidates were presented to fill an upcoming vacancy, with Meyer indicating he’d contact several of them to gauge their interest. Gianforcaro is term-limited according to the chapter’s bylaws, but indicated she was willing to continue to serve should the majority of the board approve a continuation of her service. Meyer made a motion to approve, Bradley seconded and the motion passed unanimously, with Gianforcaro abstaining.

Several awards to be presented at Founders Day were also discussed, with a finalized roster postponed until a later conference call.

Nominees for the Mechstroth Scholarship and Dohn Scholarship were discussed, with Meyer making a motion to approve Ohio State student Taylor Ferrell for the Meckstroth and Danielle Young for the Dohn. Bradley seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Nominees for the Faulkner Scholarship were discussed, with Meyer making a motion to approve Michael Huson and James Steinbauer. Edwards seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.


We had a long discussion about the proposed bylaw changes, touching on topics such as student dues, associate eligibility for board seats, the meaning of ‘associate’ members, electronic meetings, board makeup, the board’s meeting schedule, meeting frequency, board members’ minimum participation requirements, audit committee makeup, travel expenses for board members going to conferences and other issues.

Bradley made a motion to approve the changes, seconded by Edwards. The five members still present voted for approval, with votes pending by Gianforcaro and Castle, who had left by that point.

Next meeting:  The next regularly scheduled meeting is April 18th. Meyer scheduled a conference call for March 30 to follow up on outstanding issues.


Adjournment:  Buchanan made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Bradley, all approved.


March 30, 2016 Board of Directors Meeting Conference Call

Attendance: Sarah Mills Bacha, Thomas Bradley, Doug Buchanan, Bruce Cadwallader, Chelsea Castle, Mary Ann Edwards, Beth Gianforcaro, Joe Meyer, Kevin Smith

Programming: Bacha laid out the costs for Founders’ Day for the venue and catering, followed by a discussion of how much we should charge for tickets, specifically if we should try to make some money from the event, break even, or be willing to take a loss to keep costs down and encourage attendance.

Meyer said a $40 ticket should mean the chapter would break even on the event, pointing out the banquet and Ohio SPJ contest award ceremony used to be held in conjunction, with the SPJ ceremony subsidizing Founders’ Day, which it can do again should the event lose money.

Bacha made a motion to charge $40 for tickets Gianforcaro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Bylaws: Smith presented all the edits and changes to the proposed bylaws that were made at the March 21 meeting. He made a motion to approve, pending membership approval, seconded by Edwards and the motion was passed unanimously. The changes will be sent to the full chapter membership for approval.

Board members: Smith and Buchanan said they would serve another term, and Gianforcaro indicated her willingness to serve another term, pending board approval an exception to the bylaw restriction on term limits. Meyer was still working to fill the vacant board seat, but indicated we have until April 6 to meet the 14-day deadline for soliciting votes from the full membership ahead of Founders’ Day.

The officers for 2016-17 will be:

Doug Buchanan, president

Sarah Mills Bacha, 1st vice president

Mary Ann Edwards, 2nd vice president

Joe Meyer, treasurer

Bruce Cadwallader, secretary

Cadwallader made a motion to approve, Gianforcaro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Founders’ Day awards: Several nominees for chapter and national awards at Founders’ Day were discussed, with the following line-up proposed:

Chapter awards

  • First Amendment Award: Lucas Sullivan, Columbus Dispatch, for coverage of the Redflex lobbying scandal.
  • Appreciation Award: Ben Marrison, former editor, Columbus Dispatch
  • Distinguished Service Award: Doug Buchanan, SPJ Central Ohio treasurer
  • Brick Wall Award: none
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Cabot Rea, long-time anchor at NBC4; Tom Borgerding, long-time reporter for WOSU.

Bacha made a motion to approve the award lineup, seconded by Cadwallader. The motion passed unanimously.

 Adjournment: Cadwallader made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Bacha, all approved.


In an email discussion started by Kevin Smith March 30, after the conference call, the board considered adding a Lifetime Achievement Award for Doral Chenoweth, the long-time reporter and restaurant reviewer for the Columbus Dispatch and currently, the oldest member of SPJ in the country (not a chapter member)

Cadwallader made a motion and Smith seconded, to add Chenoweth to our LA list: Vote passed March 31 with seven ayes: Bacha, Buchanan, Cadwallader, Casler, Edwards, Gianforcaro , Smith