May. 4, 2018  

Minutes from April 26, 2018

Minutes from April 26, 2018

SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting

7 p.m. | Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Grind Coffee Shop | Fort Lauderdale


Christiana Lilly, President

Abbi Perry, Executive Vice President

Ryan Dailey (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

Brittany Ferrendi, Director 

Aurora Dominguez, Director

Richard Gaspar, Director

John McDonald, Director

Kerri-Marie Covington, Student Representative


Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director

Jason Parsley, Sunshine State Awards chair

QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes each

Approve last meeting’s minutes
– Brandon makes motion to approve last minutes… Emily seconds. Pass.

Membership (Ryan)
– 105 Members. Towards the end of 2017, hovering around 115. One quick takeaway is the majority of people joined in the early months of the year, so lots of lapsed memberships. I can pull the roster of last memberships and see if I can send out to those whose memberships have lapsed, come up with a roster and reach out to people.

Programs (Emily) Two minutes each

CMA Spring Convention (Emily)
Spring convention went wonderfully, me and Michelle got lots of great reception. Fake News game show went awesome, winners got Starbucks gift cards.

Fake News Game Shows (Emily and Ryan)
The game show happened in tally, we talked about it in the last meeting. Ryan couldn’t make this one because of Stoneman… lots of inquiries about other places holding.

Ryan: In the mid-30s of people on the sign up sheet, plus a few new, plus volunteers… so at any time, close to 50 people in that conference room. It worked fantastically, was one of the last things I did there before I left. I got a pretty great deal on pizzas. The only problem was the projector was wonky. A few people asked if we would do something similar again, and if the opportunity arises, since I was over at the radio station up here, they host some events if we ever need a place. Could be a bridge if I talked to some people… on that note, I was at tallahassee for 6 years, then the opportunity arose to work as a production journalist.

Christiana: We might lack a stepping stone with radio

Region 3 Conference (Christiana)
Koretzky: We didn’t go… was in Charleston. They had about 70 people, which was good for what they were projecting… SPJ got away where it wasn’t a good deal, because we assisted regional directors, but was just too difficult to get to. Next year it’s supposed to be in Savannah, if you make it great but if not it’s not a big deal.

Panel with Press Forward (Christiana)
Abuse and bullying in newsroom: went well, trying to figure out how to get it onto Youtube. We had the exec. eirector of SPJ and she is a firecracker, and we had the co-founder of Press Forward, who we donated to, and that’s a newsroom initiative. Finally, someone from the Purple Campaign, it was amazing. We had our moderator from SFBJA, former president. She’ll be at our event on Saturday. We didn’t get as many people as we would have liked, there were 14 people but 35 signed up. They’ll all get emails when we put it online. It was a long time though, and people were engaged through the whole thing, saying they walked away with a great discussion. National sent out a tweet an hour before saying there would be a discussion, but didn’t retweet or discuss anything. SPJ Sharon did a great job. Press Forward said they’d love to keep working with us, and would like a formal partnership with SPJ; hopefully since the exec. Director is involved, they would be willing.


Spring Training: Pitch an All-Star Story (Emily)
At Burger-fi in Ft. Lauderdale; all welcome! As far as what we need, it’s gonna be streamlined… we’ve worked with burger-fi, editors know what they need to do, come get 10% off your drink, but you’d be there for emotional support. We have about 11 editors confirmed. We have 20 rsvp freelancers, and 20 interested freelancers… we’ll play it by ear, and if there’s a lot of people there we’ll time it but otherwise we’ll play by ear.

Parkland Shooting panel feat. Lulu
SFBJA; I’ll be speaking there at Broward College Miramar campus about parkland. Major places will be there locally. Side note, Lulu broke a major story in West Palm Beach… congrats!

High School Journalism Awards (Emily)
We participated; our first time co-sponsoring, and we’re hoping to improve it… organizers were a bit scattered, and I got a physical box of entries to go through; so I want to help streamline and get it on a google forum. But our foot’s in the door, and we started the HS journalist of the year. Now that that category exists and our name is on it, we also picked a number. You can come to us privately if you want to know who it is. If anyone is at 6:30 but if anyone wants to come early, come as early as 4 o’ clock to help out. It won’t be a lot of effort, but will be good to show our faces. We can write up or take a picture of the winner and just share the award online, say we love HS journalism, stay in school etc. April 30th, let Emily know if you can come.

Facebook Tools for Journalists
Coming up, Lynn Walsh reached out to us; immediate past president of national, partnered with Facebook and SPJ national for a big event; we’re teaming up though to bring it to a larger audience. So it’ll be at the FAU newsroom, up to $100 was approved for the event to get drinks and stuff. While we’re there, make sure to take pictures to be tweeted.

Jumping back to Fake News Game Show quickly (Emily); Ted X might work with us on the fake news partnership, so that’s exciting. We’ve completed all the game shows that were going to go under the chapter grant; we got reimbursed, we came in under our budget. We did four; Orlando with rick, one in NY, one in Tallahassee, and Dallas. Dallas wasn’t under the grant, however. Hoping to get a chapter grant for press forward, but only came out to $56, so if not, it’s ok. Got delayed again though since there were not enough qualified applicants.

Under Fire (Koretzky)
Austin Erblat hooked me up with an attorney for a gun range; seemed down, everything was explained, and then we never heard back from the guy. $500 is enough to cover expenses, but not enough for the gun people to make out. But we’re not making any progress with gun ranges. No one ever got back to me. Someone from the NRA also never contacted us back. Maybe this summer, will take what was granted, match it with my own money, and just go to gun ranges and ask for just regular business, even though it will cost double what it should. Funny that all these tough guys keep backing out.

Scholarships (Christiana)
10 minutes

– The Molly Turner Scholarship is 1 applicant; general is 5. We still have a month though until the end; so we need this to be a big push; tweets, retweet, pit these at the HS journalism award, make flyers so the seniors can apply. Rick, if you can continue telling your students, it’s free money and not a difficult application. You compile papers and write a paragraph. They don’t need to specifically study journalism, but if they’re in mass comm, telecom, working towards journalism etc, it counts.

Student Affairs
5 minutes

Ryan will be meeting with students at FAMU:
Ryan: I was contacted by someone on the SPJ student committee, Adam Maxwell; emailed me about a teacher, you know the research schools attached to universities, there’s one here called Florida-i, one of the teachers k-12 teaches journalism, they want someone through SPJ’s press for education program; they’re looking for someone in the Orlando area to speak to students. If he reaches out to me, the closest person that had already filled out an app asked if I (Ryan) would be interested, and I said yes. So I can pitch the Hs journalism award to them too and speak.
Christiana: And you’re going to be doing a game show while you’re there. Also, in Orlando they wanted to do the game show but we couldn’t make it; they ran it themselves and used their phones, and did an excellent job.

Sunshine State Awards (Jason)
10 minutes

Updates on NAHJ partnership
So our official final entry count is 935; two weeks after the contest closed, Tim got a frantic call from Fusion in Miami, they were supposed to enter Sunshine Awards but accidentally entered it into the Green Eyeshade Awards. Tim made the decision to open the contest back up to allow those 7 entries to come into the correct contest. The total entry fees is $25,960; could change, since tim says some pay by check, some might still be coming through. We ended up judging 847 entries.

Christiana: Ours get judged by people around the country; if anyone can help those areas around with judging, since they help us so much; there’s still many to be judged, we’re doing this not just to be nice, but we have probably the largest contest in the country; it’s only fair that they take on their contests in return for them taking on ours. This year Tim did seem frantic too looking for judges.

Jason: Our partnership with NAHJ, they’re going to find judges for the Spanish categories since our judges don’t speak Spanish….If you know anyone out of state who is comfortable judging Spanish journalism, that would be great.

Koretzky: If you’re making half of revenue on the contest, then maybe consider paying that to judges in order to get more judges… since it’s not cannibalizing our revenue. (Christiana: Let’s suggest that to Esther.)

Drone (Brandon)
2 minutes

The future of the drone program:
Asked for feedback on prices; any other prices or feedback, about using the grant for a Florida only tour. If we could do this Florida tour, start in Orlando and end in Tallahassee, end with Ryan, who could play with the drone; good to go to places where we already have people. That’d be great opportunity for building SPJ presence in other areas. If anyone wants to learn or get a commercial license, contact Brandon.

Finance/Current financials (Chris Persaud)
5 minutes

Current balance:
Our BOA checking had $9,647.18 and savings $50,185 before they closed.

Update on fraud:
The 48,000 that was stolen from us is back, we were emailing two lawyers and scared but it showed up… it’s over. We closed the savings account, Koretzky’s is the only one still open at Bank of America. (Koretzky) Bottom line is they’re willing to waive some of the fees, and I do regular banking. I’ll have statements sent to SPJ though.

Christiana: Just extremely subpar service from Bank of America; someone called and said there’s nothing they could do. It had to do with a Pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania. But the bank swears they don’t know.

Update on closing out BOA and opening Chase
We’re going to cut down on the number of debit cards. Now we have money to put into Vanguard.

Abbi: A note from Dori: It’s not on the agenda, but I just want to say, our president has closed bank accounts, she’s opened a new account on her lunch break, ran a seminar on sexual abuse, all before the week was over… she’s the hardest worker I know. We’ve done so much work this year, and our leadership is the reason we are where we are. So here’s a shoutout to Christiana. (All applause)

2 minutes each

– If you are interested in running next year, please let Dori know. At the beginning of the year, (Christiana) I asked all of you to write down three or more goals you had on your time on the board. I’m going to send it back and I want you to evaluate your goals and to see if you did or didn’t meet them, or whether you’re happy or if you created new goals; this should help you decide if you want to continue to be on the board, or whether you feel you make yourself beneficial. We do good by changing out our leadership, so we’ll see what we do.

Jason: I would advocate against shrinking the board; better than making the few who remain do more.

– If you are interested in going to EIJ18, please let Christiana know; consider applying for two fellowships available for SPJ members. It’s in Baltimore in late September; in the past we had a lot of people who wanted to go, so write a thing about why you want to go, or why you deserve to go. It’s a really good experience; we got to meet SPJ Georgia friends, meeting other leadership; when you go, you get a better understanding of how national works; let me know why you deserve or want to go. Another thing, one fellowship is for diversity (they don’t ask you how you’re diverse)… I’ll send you the links if you’re interested.

– Student Newsrooms was yesterday: Koretzky wrote a nice little piece why he didn’t like it. I (Christiana) wrote a nice little something about student newsrooms about how we support newsrooms; scholarships for high school and college, different conferences; how we’re actively supporting news rooms, calling people to action. Since we wrote that piece, Koretzky got great feedback.

10 minutes

College Media Business Managers
Koretzky: College Media Business Managers is out there basically a group for selling; we talked to their past president about working with SPJ, however much you want to kick in, could be $500; but they would become a member, we could do Skype one-on-one and visit these schools; the Alligator newsroom for example… They’re all students, required to do their own sales. So we could bring them professional training, help the Alligator’s bottom line in teaching them how to sell. All I’m looking for is a little as $185 for one membership just so we can say we started something; Walsh, the past president, has yet to respond to email. Even if this effort fails, you have your names on it as trying and these students see we tried. I want to try beta testing any program; we’d pick three schools and try three different techniques, then have student newsrooms.
Emily: I make a motion to approve no more than $185 to approve the sinbad beta trial, and we’ll see if we need more. Brandon seconds. All in favor, motion passes.

Christiana: Oh yes, how much for sunshine state awards ceremony?

Jason: Last year we had 35,000; revenue neutral. We made money. Sponsors, free food; last year looked at what we spent, and adhered to that, plus cash sponsors.

Chris: A little under $4000 for last year’s ceremony.

Christiana makes a motion to end the meeting, Brandon seconds it. All in favor, and the meeting is officially over.


Minutes approved at June 20 meeting.

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