Dec. 10, 2017  

Minutes from Dec. 6, 2017

Minutes from Dec. 6, 2017

SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting

7 p.m. | Wednesday, December 6, 2017

South Florida Gay News | Fort Lauderdale



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, director (ABSENT)

Aurora Dominguez, director (ABSENT)

Richard Gaspar, director

John McDonald, director

Kerri-Marie Covington, student board member (ABSENT)


Brittany Ferrendi, Kunkel Director

QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes each

Approve last meeting’s minutes

Motion to pass? Abbi makes a motion, Dori seconds, all in favor? Motion passes.

Committee updates

Two minutes
Memberships (Ryan)

– Chapter directory showing 123; I believe that’s about the same.

– All emails have gone out, a few responses so far


Past Programming

Two minutes each

Zombie Stories and CMA (Emily)

– Was a huge hit; at capacity with 30+ participants. Used shirts already printed; we’re going to have a wrap-up video in the next few weeks, a student is doing it

Transgender Panel (Brendon)

– This event was on November 30th at the Stonewall Gallery in Wilton Manors; The panel went really well, and we got a lot of participation and great response. We definitely learned a lot though; There were way more trans people than expected, so a similar event would need to be catered more to the trans community.

Fake News Game Show at FCSPA (Emily, Abbi and Rick)

– Was in Orlando, set up by Ryan; we learned a lot from it

FSPA (Christiana)

– Had a great turnout

NOVA Southeastern panel

– Drone (Brendon) 45 to 50 people showed up in November 4 at NOVA Southeastern panel for the drone; people took selfies, weather held up the entire time fortunately

– (Brittany) Presentation at the NOVA Southeastern panel about transitioning to a college newsroom; started out a little easier with the morning session, but the kids were really into it

– (Christiana) Something we talked about a lot was students getting their stories axed at the last minute

Freelancer Lunch (Chris)

– Small turnout; people said they didn’t hear about it through email, even though we did send out an email. We’ll be sending out an email soon to stop that next time.

Future Programming

Two minutes each

December 13 Freelancer Lunch (Chris and John)

– Will be held at Warsaw Coffee at 1 p.m.

December 15 Holiday Mixer (Christiana)

– At Drinkhouse Fire & Ice in Miami Beach

– Collecting donations for Puerto Rico

– (Christiana) NAHJ pretty much set it up; we might not get a lot of SPJ turnout that far down, but it’s a great venue; we’re chipping in $100, for food and drinks, which we give every year; also a swag bag for auction

December 16 Covering disasters symposium (Christiana)

– Cosponsored with SFBJA and NAHJ at Bubble Wynwood

– John Morales will be speaking

– Have two speakers and a panel of journalists who have covered disasters locally and abroad

– Collecting donations for Puerto Rico

– (Christiana) SFBJA has pretty much gotten the whole thing put together, they put together makeshift plastic homes that you can make in a disaster, among other things.

January 20 Under Fire (Koretzky)

– (Christiana) Koretzky is not here, he told me though, “I texted Lance [at Sunrise Tactical] and have hit up two other leads for Under Fire, which I’ve tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 20. Hope to nail down details within a week.”

FNGS Tally (Emily and Ryan)

– February 15 is shored up, official day; venue is free, only expense is to dip into grant for food

– (Ryan) we have a large meeting space at the Democrat newsroom, which we’ve been using a lot more; we have sufficient hookups for sound, easily converts to an all-around meeting space. It would just be a matter of setting it all up.

– (Christiana) Can you round up three people to help out?

– (Ryan) I have some friends at work who I’ll be getting to help out with cleanup and set-up. I’ll have people to help out.

– (Dori) As long as you have a host and a slide-changer, and a point-keeper, you’ll have it a lot easier than the last couple.

– (Ryan) We have a smart board that we can use

Spring Training: Pitch an All-Star Story (Emily)

– Ideally, I’d like to do this in March; a twist on the free-lance fest, we’re gonna have a list of hiring editors in attendance who can pitch stories to those attending; we’ll prob bring in a few people to give tips for freelancers, for hiring… we’re still brainstorming. We do still need a venue, and while a stadium would be good, might go with a sports bar instead.

– (Brittany) I can check with Duffy’s in Boca Raton, I’ve hosted gaming events there.

– (Emily) Our first point is how many editors we can get, then go around that

– (Dori) How do you feel like this is going with editors, how do you envision this?
– (Emily) I’m thinking one-on-one

– (Christiana) There’s a number of ways to do it, like speed dating, or stations, resume critique station, etc.

– (Dori) Let’s just be careful not to tag too much onto the event. Talk to Koretzky, he has experience with events like this

CMA Spring Convention (Emily)

10 Minutes

– (Emily) Kerri and I have been invited to CMA in Manhattan, March 8-10; SPJ Florida can secure its own meeting room; would be the same format as fall $500 that me and Kerri can split. Fake news game show went really seamless in Dallas, in Manhattan we would get new eyes; we’re getting a lot of exposure, professors asking me to share the presentation with them

– I’ve had student chapters that have asked about it and want to do the game show on their campus; it’s just a good demographic for this

– (Rick) The fall conference is quite different

– (Emily) Because we’ve been under-budget due to grants but also venues have been donated for free; food and gas have been the biggest expenses. We could split the costs for tally from the fake news game show grant and from program budgeting; we have only spent $40 from Fake News Game Show’s total grant of $500… Could $50 for tally; the rest go to New York, so that $150 comes out of programs instead of $500? Would save our programming budget.

– (Dori) No need to approve tally because that’s approved; but meanwhile, it’s a matter of if we really want to put that grant towards another state (New York).

– (Christiana) Are we good to vote?

– (John) Emily, first, have you seen any benefits as far as membership and joining SPJ as a result of your fake news game show?

– (Emily) I’ve definitely seeing more interest; it’s exposure, but I don’t have membership numbers.

– (Christiana) I have to calculate what was spent on tolls; we’ll do a vote online.


Ten minutes (Christiana)
– Launched a new high school newsroom grant, got 15 applicants.

– One of them decided to ignore that it was highschool, and it was a middle school applicant

– We have a grant to give to whoever they want; not everyone asked for the entire grant; we have until the end of the year to decide, and they have to write an essay on how they would use the funds.

Student Affairs

One minute each

Student Chapters Network (Chris D. and Ryan)

– Ryan will be meeting with students at FAMU

– (Ryan) I got in touch with the dean, and the ethics committee chair; it’s gonna wind up being in the first weeks of the next semester; it’ll be during one of their colloquium classes; either January or at latest the first week of February; could go hand-in-hand with recruitments. Chris said she wants to get connected with the dean

New Voices (Ryan and Christiana)

– (Christiana) Jeff Clemens resigned, and he was our senate sponsor; luckily Ryan is a reporter in tallahassee and our contact

– (Ryan) After you cc’d us what you sent to the Staff directors at the senate, I sent another email reiterating the email; sent SPJ’s endorsement of New Voices; I’ll find a way to weasel that onto his desk.

– (Christiana) Frank was gonna be in Tallahassee this week, but he’s a lobbyist and preferred we emailed the staff and name drop him. Ryan you’re doing great, thanks so much for this.

Sunshine State Awards

One minute

– (Christiana) Jason is absent, I think his update is ‘help me.’

– (Dori) He did mention some info on slack, we don’t get a lot of entries for radio and TV, so he provided a lot of feedback; before the end of the year, go on slack and update slack so we can improve the categories for next year.


Five minutes

– I talked to my contact at state and she’s out; because she’s out, we’re possibly gonna have to wait to next semester. We can find another location

– Loan-a-drone: needs more brainstorming by next meeting


Seven minutes


– Our checking has $16,085.48

– Region 3 Checking has $3,021.43

– Chapter savings has $50,229.62

– We have $12,742.12 left in our budget to spend

New Business

Two minutes each

Announcements (Christiana)
– Kerri-Marie is not here because she’s being sworn in as editor-in-chief of the UP at FAU!

– (Christiana) A quick refresh: Frank reached out to us; journalists were beig forced to give up their emails; started with some fluffy email, but the publication got a comment and they took the profile down. The CEO then decided it was defamation, sued, and the court ruled that the journalists had to give up their emails… Anyway, they included us in the amicus brief, and another judge decided that the journalists’ testimonies are not needed as third-party witnesses, but still doesn’t resolve the fact that it’s already printed and was therefore ruled defamation instead of news-gathering since it was already printed.


Five minutes each

– (Christiana) We have a couple options on different ways to raise money for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; not Facebook; one of the panelists at the disaster panel was in Puerto Rico, so he might be able to write some of what he saw, and would be able to help with putting together a fundraiser. If we put forth a donation, it might come out of miscellaneous or savings… probably miscellaneous. I’ll put together an email and we can decide more later.

Bank of America (Christiana)
– (Chris P.) Bank of America is insisting that Vanguard doesn’t need a signature, and Vanguard isn’t allowing it to go through; also, back in April, a hacker got through Bank of America and took out $1000’s from that old account; unbeknownst from that, the bank then took money from region 3, and when asked, they said “We only reimbursed your old checking account out of courtesy,” and when a new account was opened they took money from that. In the meantime we’re trying to get region 3’s money back

– (Christiana) Whenever we ask for a signature needed, they keep saying they had emailed it, it’s not needed, or should be sent by today. As of today, we still haven’t received anything.

– (Dori) To clarify, Region 3 is Koretzky’s account, which they took from; we have checking and savings, which are our umbrella accounts

– (Chris) Let’s go to another bank.

– (Christiana) Every time I’ve gone there, they go to the bank and no one ever knows what they’re doing. If we want to switch, we need to see if we’re in agreement.

– (Betsy) I would take it to Charles Suave, which offers online banking; they have the lowest fees, work for salary rather than commission

– (Dori) That works, we haven’t signed anything with Vanguard because they won’t take without a signature anyway. When are we doing this?

– (Christiana) I just have a bad feeling that once it gets switched they’re gonna make it more difficult; for the next meeting, if you could just research different banks, hopefully by the next meeting our money will be back where it’s supposed to be and we can decide how to move forward.

Joe Biden Contest

– (Christiana) We didn’t have a lot of entries because people didn’t want to put political memes on their facebook; we did get a winner, and we emailed them the ticket info; we only had five entries, but only like three followed instructions.

Abbi makes a motion to end; Brendon seconds. All in favor, the motion passes.

The meeting is officially over.


Minutes approved at Feb. 21 meeting.

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