Minutes from August 7, 2013

SPJ South Florida Pro Board Meeting
Aug. 7, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.
Panera Bread 1461 Southeast 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale

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Present: Jason Parsley, Brandon Ballenger, Dori Zinn, Lynn Walsh, Chris Persaud, Michele Boyet, Andrea Richard, Gabriel Tyner, Gideon Grudo, Dina Weinstein

Not here: Caity Kauffman, Sergio Nahuel (both excused), Jenn Stone

Special Guest: Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director

Michele makes motion to approve minutes from last meeting, Gideon seconds.  All approve.

SPJSoFla Expansion Jason: Expand chapter to include all of Florida excluding Mid Florida and North Central Pro. Intended to cover all of Florida. Koretzky: Hope to bring together all of Florida in hopes of “SPJ Florida.” Lynn: I like the idea, but what I’m concerned about is meetings and events. Is it our group that’s going to do it or do we appoint people? Jason: I hope to appoint people in certain geographical areas. Gideon: The ‘capital’ (of the chapter) is still technically here in South Florida. Gabe: As someone who searched for a chapter in Orlando, I couldn’t find anything related to SPJ. Jason: It could increase our membership which could increase our delegates for National Convention. Gideon: It’s definitely a starting point. Jason: Motion to expand our coverage to all of Florida and change our name to SPJ Florida. Chris second. All in favor.

Region 3 conference Koretzky: 12 regions, supposed to have a regional conference every spring but they usually suck and we keep doing them. We’re going to move our regional conference to New Orleans in October. Gabe: Makes motion to up amount to $1,500 and send people to region 3. Chris seconds. All in favor.

Student rep Jason: Since we’re already amending our bylaws to adjust voting to coincide with nation SPJ, I want to make this position a little more valuable as a voting member. Dylan: Can you clarify the difference between student rep, student liason, student director. Jason: Student liaison is a position I created to keep us in contact with campuses in South Florida. Student rep doesn’t vote but I would like to be. Gideon: I think this is a great idea since I was a student rep and couldn’t vote. It’s cool as long as student reps abstain from votes when their respective university chapters are involved. Michele: Then if they are a voting member they should be elected. Jason: Make a motion to amend bylaws to make student rep a voting member and elected official. Gabe seconds.  All in favor.

New Orleans Chapter – (Gideon) New Orleans sister chapter designation. No money approval.

Election – Appoint a student rep now and once bylaws approved that position will becoming a voting member. Jason: Motion to table student rep appointment. Lynn seconds. All in favor.

Elections were held at Forging the Future. Jason elected President, Brandon elected Executive VP, Dori: VP of Memberships, Lynn: VP of Programming, Caity: Secretary, Chris: Treasurer. Board now includes Jason, Brandon,  Dori, Lynn, Caity, Chris and director positions (6) Dina, Andrea, Sergio, Jenn, Gabe, Gideon and Immediate Past President Michele. Elections to be held in August; next election to include student representative as a voting member and therefore able to be elected. Terms last from August-July.

Treasure’s Report – Brandon has rough budget. Because Tim hasn’t send final budget nothing can be approved.  Possible $2,000 deficit from awards and other spending. Balance: Checking $42,047.83; Savings $32,449.12. Tim would like us to pursue an investment strategy. To discuss at later date. Expenses since last meeting: Cassie Morien’s flight to Forging the Future as a speaker; Hollywood Vine meetup; Mailchimp newsletter; Gideon/Brandon to Scripps; Pay Tim, Alex Pena event; Projector; Student scholarship of $2,500.

Membership – Dori: 118 total members as of August 7.

National conference – Jason: Sending Lynn Walsh as chapter representative to Anaheim in September for the SPJ National Conference.

Student liasons – Jason: Appointed two student liaisons since last meeting. UM chapter president and FGCU student.

One Night Stand-Gideon: no updates.

Meetups – no meetups scheduled for the rest of the year so if you’d like to host one, contact Jason.

Projector – Jason – Bought new one for Forging the Future event and I have it at my house.

Awards/Ceremony – Jason: ceremony went well, someone said it was the best one they’ve ever went to. Koretzky, Tim and I met to discuss next year’s awards to bundle with Green Eye Shades, and possibly NAHJ to include awards about Spanish journalism. Our chapter is taking over Florida College Press Association’s college entries and revenue since the organization is now defunct. Also plan to change software used to submit entries. Sunshine State Awards chair position is open. See Jason on how to participate. Doesn’t look like we’ll be teaming up with NAHJ next year.

One Wild Weekend – Dylan: event moved to Dec. Parks offer free stuff from Dec.-April. Still researching people who don’t want to protect the environment to be apart of event. Also seeking new advisors. Looking to go on Friday instead of Saturday to make it a 36-hour crash course on environmental journalism, similar to the Will Write For Food Program that does homeless reporting in 36 hours.

Q&As – Jason: we launched series in spring where we did series with SoFla journalists. Took off July but haven’t launched yet since August. Plan to launch again in September. Now can expand to all of Florida.

SPJ SoFla FOIA Awards – Lynn: Spoke with First Amendment Foundation to do quarterly awards to people who are doing best/worst of using Sunshine State laws. FAF has criteria on judging. We would take nominations from anywhere in Florida. First one could launch in January when winner is announced, possibly quarterly. Looking to have help on a name of awards and help with logo design.

South Florida Media Jobs – Brandon: no updates.

Scholarship Committee – Bill is in charge, not here, no updates.

Scripps Leadership Institute – Brandon: Gideon and I went to Scripps leadership institute in Memphis. Was for smaller, less organized chapters on how to build memberships and other problems we don’t really deal with. DiSC – how different leadership styles can work together. Insightful in some ways. Gave us a lot of resources on how national works.

Diversity Mixer – Jason: More than 50 people attended. Approached NAHJ and Black Journalists about sponsoring students to attend WWFF next year in their respective groups and both are on board.

Helping Children – Gabe: Propose a multimedia program for high school students who are in need of role models. Gabe currently volunteers with a group called “PROPEL.” Right now the group holds meetings every Sunday at 12:30 at a Church near Mizner Park in Boca Raton. Asking for $2,274 + shipping but content with $1,327.96. Michele – how many students are involved? Gabe: so far 9. Lynn: are there other grants available to help groups such as disadvantaged kids? Dina: gets an email from foundations about grants and scholarships that could be useful to get money. Group together to help Gabe find grants and money from other groups to donate and we could help match. Dylan: he’s helping to high school AND college journalists on technology and journalists. No money approved, but will table until later date TBA.

Dina: proposing 3 events can be in collaboration with other entities/events out there. May host an event at Miami-Dade College since I’m student newspaper advisor there. Want to bring cartoonist from Gainesville to Miami to show an artistic view on the news and how journalism and cartoons collide. Going to research how to get her here in Miami. Want to host a “WordPress for journalists” – custom blog or how to be on it. Michele: it’s best to have a criteria for what people can come with. Possibly do a workshop all day for beginner, intermediate and advanced. Radio Boot Camp – proposing to invite an entity for people to acquire new skills or co-sponsor event. Looking for locations, dates.

Dori makes motion to close the meeting, Lynn seconds. All in favor.

These minutes were approved at the Oct. 10, 2013 SPJ Florida board meeting.

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