Sep. 15, 2017  

Minutes From Aug. 23, 2017

SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting

7 p.m. | Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Buzz Agency | Delray Beach



Christiana Lilly, President

Abbi, Executive Vice President

Ryan (via chat), VP for membership

Emily Bloch, Vice President of Programming

Brendon Lies, Secretary

Chris Persaud, Treasurer

Dori Zinn, Immediate Past President

Brandon Ballenger, director

Michele Boyet, director

Chris Delboni (via chat), director

Aurora Dominguez (via chat), director

Richard Gaspar (via chat), director

John McDonald, director

Kerri-Marie Covington, student board member


Jason Parsley, National SPJ Board Candidate

Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director


QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes each

Approve last meeting’s minutes

Christiana makes a motion to approve last week’s minutes. Emily seconds. Passes.


Website (Ryan)

– Doing some refreshers for the SPJ page, just beefing the website up with some more links and updated info. It’s still in draft, but shaping up. Ideas are still being kicked around, but it looks good. Any ideas, lop them at me!


Scholarship Winners (Chris Delboni)

– The scholarship winners have gotten their checks and are excited to start school! We might cut back on scholarships, since there was a low turnout this year.

–Chris D. and Koretzky hosted a student outreach network meeting with region 3 assistant director Sharon Dunton and Koretzky. We’re working on a presentation table at the EIJ17 conference to build a network of student chapter members, leaders and advisers.

– We’ll be developing awards for best advisers and best student leader in the region. We’d like everyone’s ideas on how to get the chapters moving! is a hotwire for any questions for advisers.



New Voices (Jason)

– I had a meeting with Sen. Jeff Clemens, from Lake Worth, and have since contacted his office about drafting legislation. His staff would come up with legislation on what to support.

– Three components of those highest in need of support: high school students, colleges, and private colleges. Easiest would be high school.

– The New Voices law means high school students have full amendment rights, this would (for example) protect from principals censoring school newspapers
– Due to limits of one Republican, we would ideally need to find someone else for support, possibly through Frank LoMonte (now at the University of Florida) or in Tallahassee. If anyone hears anything, let Christiana know.

Sunshine State Awards (Jason)
– The award ceremony was amazing. We had 120 people, the most ever. We found cash sponsors this year, Pilar from NAJ got one. We were able to pull our weight this year.
– Excited to announce we made a profit, around $620/$630. I recommend splitting that profit with NAHJ, they really put in more than 50% of the work.
– On that note: our awards is how we make money. If you don’t share and retweet, you should feel guilty!
– Next year, looking at ways to promote categories that had less entries. If anyone has questions on sunshine state awards, there’s Christiana or Jason.

Drone (Brandon)

– Brandon would like other people to get involved, especially with video editing. I’m trying to get better at it. That could be an opportunity for students with video editing. If you want to learn to fly too, talk to Brandon. You can look at the drone channel for updates at

– We still have enough money left over from SDX’s grant last year for a smaller drone tour. If anyone’s interested in helping out, reach out to Brandon.

Bank Numbers (Chris P.)
– Chapter Checking: $28,684.35; Savings: $50,224.58.
– We’re investing up to 30k.

Fake News Game Show (Emily)
– On the next Fake News Game Show, which we’re hosting in The Burrow at FAU on Sept. 20, they have a cool setup. They’re also helping us out with food budget.
– We’ll try to invite April Ryan (she is speaking the day before) and we’re working on getting prizes.

College Media Association Conference (Emily)
– On October 29, Emily, Michele and Kerri are heading to Dallas and each presenting two sessions, plus midnight snack, zombie stories, and a fake news game show.
– Request to allocate $500 for travel; $250 for flights and $125 a night.

– Abbi makes a motion to approve $500 for Emily and Michele to travel to CMA in Dallas; Dori seconds. The motion passes.

Southern Comfort Conference (Brendon)

– Discussing an educational panel that would be hosted on transgender representation, to be hosted at a conference for trans people in Fort Lauderdale.
– So far on board, Brendon and Christiana; suggestions to reach out to are GLCC, Pride Center, TransSocial, Steve Rothaus, SunServe.
– Craft it more towards trans people as a session on how journalists work; explain why journalists can only lead the way so much.

Journalists and Guns (Michael)
– Would like to hold an event to train journalists to fire guns; after Pulse, a lot of journalists messed up weapon types.
– They can go to a gun range, have NRA present, talk about issues, and if the worst happens, we’ll know how to write about it. Would be about $500; $35-ish to get into a gun range, but would ask guests for $25.

Zombie Stories (Emily)

– Zombie stories is a college media event; it teaches students how to ask good questions by interviewing the undead, and if they ask a stupid question they get splattered with blood. The winner is the one with the least blood.
– We’d like to host this again, and are requesting up to $500 to be reimbursed. We’re looking for makeup artists, maybe a student for money saving costs as well as past shirts.
– Dori makes a motion to approve up to $500, Brandon seconds, and the motion passes.



SPJ Chapter of the Year (Christiana)

– We are finalists this year; if we win this year, it will be the fourth time since 2010

Newsletter (Christiana)
– Christiana is looking for help on the newsletter. If anyone wants to beef up social media skills, or learn wordpress back end, just let her know.

Scholastic Press Association
– Coming up in November, we’re district 7
– Some people have already signed up, please contact Koretzky if interested. If you’re remote, we can look up if your district is hosting a conference.
SPJ National Convention
–  We have five people going across the country, and we’re under budget!
Endorsements for National Office
– We’ve endorsed Michele and Jason, so remember to vote for them.


– Discussion to cut things to fix a $3,200 deficit

  • Saw that we save because the Open Water account is a two-year program that we paid for in full last year.
  • Decreased programming budget to $3,000, which is normalyl how much we end up spending anyway
  • Molly Turner scholarship should be paid for by the family, if they decide not to, we are going to convert to high school newsroom grant. 

–  Voting to approve the proposed budget. Dori makes a motion to approve the new budget, Abbi seconds the motion, and the motion passes.



FIU Lawsuit Support (Koretzky)
– New lawsuit against Central Florida University; the school refused to turn public records over to student news, who is suing the school. UFC lost, but same thing happening with Joe Pye, who is seeking $500 for reimbursements of legal fees to fight back. If he wins, he would reimburse the SPJ fees. The only way funds would disappear is if the lawsuit was lost, or goes back to court.
– Emily makes a motion to approve use of SPJ’s legal defense fund. Brandon seconds, and the motion passes.

SPJ Code of Ethics Cards (Koretzky)

– Last year, SPJ approved $300 to reprint cards; faces of cards have codes of ethics, and played like Texas hold ‘em for chips. However, the Code of Ethics has been updated. It would be $577 ($600 with shipping) to print 100 decks, would last two years, they go around the country and they have the SPJ Florida logo.
– Can include a slip that says “must take your picture with it and send to us!”

– Cards would last two years

– Chris P. makes a motion to pass for the Texas hold ‘em decks, Emily seconds. The motion passes.

SPJ national update (Koretzky)

Both the executive director and associate executive director are leaving – and Emily is one of nine people helping to hire a new person.

Dori makes a motion to end the meeting, Abbi seconds. The meeting is officially over.

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