Jan. 25, 2013  

Minutes From Nov. 14, 2012


SPJ Board of Directors Meeting

7:30 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012

Panera Bread | Fort Lauderdale

The Board

Michele Boyet, president                                  Devin Desjarlais, director

Jason Parsley, executive vice president            Rebekah Monson, director

Brandon Ballenger, treasurer                          Cassie Morien, director

Rachael Joyner, secretary                                Lucy Reed, director

Dori Zinn, membership vice president             Gabriel Tyner, director

Lynn Walsh, programs vice president              Sergy Odiduro, director

Michael Koretzky, past president                    Gideon Grudo, student member

Excused: Gabriel Tyner, Dori Zinn

Board Members Present: Michele, Jason, Brandon, Rachael, Michael, Gideon, Cassie


ACTION: Michele made a motion for Gideon, our student member, to become a full member. Cassie seconded. All approved (Rebekah voted by phone).

1. Nominating Slate to be finalized this Friday 11/16, Announce slate online/eblast Monday, 11/19
2. Dori wants to create a membership sub-committee
– We are getting a lot of members, but we aren’t retaining them. Dori wants to find out why.
3. Judging the Mark of Excellence Awards – Brandon
– He is looking for volunteers to judge. He needs a list of judges next month. Koretzky, Cassie, Michele, and Rachael said they wanted to help.
4. SPJ National High School Essay Contest – Michele
– Gabriel judged this contest last year. Michele asked if anyone else is interested to let her know.
5. Fort Lauderdale Court Case – Jason
– Norm, owner of South Florida Gay News, was offered a settlement of $3,000 by the City of Fort Lauderdale. He agreed to give our chapter 25% of the settlement, roughly $750.
6. Voting for a student member – Michele
– Michele suggested that we allow the membership to vote for the non-voting student member in the upcoming election instead of having the board appoint one. The board discussed the pros and cons.

ACTION: Michele made a motion to appoint the student board member on the day of the elections. Seconded by Rachael. All approved.


1. Election / End of Year Celebration — Michele

ACTION: Michele made a motion to spend up to $300 on the SPJ election event. Seconded by Koretzky. All approved.

2. Sunshine State Awards Committee Update – Jason
– Jason discussed ways to get more entries for each category so the awards are more valuable. He suggested buy one get one free, and buy two get one free for non-members.
– Jason wants to start planning in January. He thinks we also need to market directly to organizations not individuals. We need to remember that the Sunshine State Awards is our money-making event. It needs to be a priority.
– We need to market that our award price is the same and it is much less than most awards. We need to personalize our marketing.
– The committee also created several more all-media awards: Journalist of the Year, Freedom of Information, Public Corruption, Outstanding Journalist of Color. The awards will be judged by various groups/professionals, who will also help us market the awards.
– The board will vote by email to renew the BetterBNC contract after Koretzky, Jason and Tim finalize a few details.

3. SPJ SoFla & NAHJ Joint Conference — Koretzky
WHERE: University of Miami
WHEN: 9am-5pm Saturday, Aug. 3
WHAT: Three meeting rooms with AV, boxed lunch for 200 attendees, TV studio for a funky awards presentation venue
COST: $5,000
– We will partner with National Association of Hispanic Journalists to host a training event. NAHJ will split the cost with us. They will have a room with Spanish-language only programming. SPJ will have a room, and the third room could be a joint room.
– Koretzky suggested marketing this as an event for people who cannot afford to go to the SPJ National Convention in Anaheim. We can use our successful past training events.
– Koretzky will have a final proposal at our last meeting after the election.

4. MediAtlanta Regional Conference — Koretzky
– Every year we must hold a regional conference. Koretzky wants to make it into a “super-regional convention.” Two other regions have already agreed to partner with us if our first one is successful.
– We will market this as a discount convention – suites for $120. Everything is free, no extra costs. We will have a free lunch on Saturday. Sunday will be the Green Eye Shade and Mark of Excellence awards.
– There will be sessions for pros and students. The sessions will be more hands-on because there will be less people in each session.
– Koretzky thinks that our chapter should sponsor the convention. He asked the board to let him know if they had sessions they wanted to do.

5. New Programming Ideas – Koretzky

Death Race
– He wants to stage a funeral to teach journalists about obituary writing, called Death Race. He wants to have three caskets and have the participants write obits. Then we vote for the best obit.
– We will have a short obit writing workshop before the funeral.
– He wants the whole event to happen in a day.

– A former FAU student who works at Bankrate.com wants to do a training session on databases. But he wants to use weird topics to create databases about. The event will be called Degenerate Database D-day.
– Koretzky solicited ideas from the board.

6. December or January programming? Future meet-up events?
– Coming Out Party – Michele – We have done this for the last two years. Do we want to do this in January? Mariam wants to be in charge of meet-ups.

ACTION: Rachael made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Brandon. All approved.


Minutes approved: Jan. 16, 2013 board meeting.

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