Minutes from April 7, 2011
SPJ South Florida Pro Chapter
Thursday, April 7, 2011, 7-8 p.m.
Members present: Michael Koretzky, Michele Boyet, Rebekah Monson, Dori Zinn, Lucy Reed, Karla Bowsher, Jake Cline, Rachael Joyner, Jason Parsley, Lisa Lucas, Bill Whiting, Sergy Odiduro, Tim Dodson (chapter administrator).
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Lucy pointed out one quick spelling change. Rachael said she would make the change before posting the minutes to the website.
ACTION: Rebekah motioned to approve the minutes from the February meeting. Jason seconded. All in favor.
Tim: We cashed out the CD because it reached maturity. The money went into our savings account. Our total cash is about $55,000. We will shortly have additional income from the awards, about $17,000.
Jason asked Lucy if she thinks we’ll need part of the money for a deposit on the National Writer’s Workshop locale. Koretzky thinks that we’ll have enough without dipping into the CD.
Jason suggested two options for our CD renewal – stay with Bank of America at .55 percent interest or switch to Bank United for .70. If we go with the higher rate at Bank United, should we switch just the CD or all of our accounts? Jason, Tim and Koretzky will discuss the pros and cons more outside of the meeting.
Rebekah was curious as to why we only looked at two banks. Jason said he looked at many banks, and these were the best interest rates.
ACTION: Rachael made a motion to roll over the CD to the bank with the best interest rate. Dori seconded. All in favor.
2. Meetups / Scholarships
Dori gave a brief overview of the first meet up held last month. The event went well. It was a panel discussion. The next event will be on April 21. Koretzky will be doing his presentation on weird careers in the media. Dori tried to find a place in Palm Beach County to hold the event but ran into trouble. So, it’s going to be at the Sun Sentinel again.
Koretzky: Our on-site scholarships have been successful with college students in the past. If we do it again for this event, it could attract a lot of college students. We could do a tour of the Sun Sentinel and have Sun Sentinel people judge the scholarship contest.
Rebekah: The next two meetups will be in May and June. The first will be on how to build your on website, held in Miami. The second will be writing for the web/search engine optimization, held in Palm Beach County. If you know anyone who would be a good panelist for the second one, email Rebekah.
Bill: Do we have a specific budget for college scholarships?
Koretzky: There is nothing defined in our bylaws. Koretzky suggested doing more on-site event scholarships. He asked Bill to get involved in setting up a more formal system for our scholarships if he’s interested.
Tim: The board approved the 2010/2011 budget that had scholarships (and student affairs chair) listed as $2,000.
Rachael: Maybe we could do a combination of on-site scholarships and a larger scholarships. Lucy wondered if we were committed to handing out a certain number of scholarships at an event even if we believe we don’t have enough qualified entries. Koretzky said no.
ACTION: Rebekah made a motion to approve $100 for food and a $250 scholarship for our next meetup. Dori seconded. All in favor.
3. Sunshine State Awards Results
Tim: 732 total entries, 620 of those were pro entries. That is less than the 700 pro entries we got last year. But he thinks we are starting to stabilize because it is less loss than last year. Seeing a trend of fewer bulk organization entries and more individual entries. Tim said we should market more to individuals. We won’t make our budget because we had planned to net $18,000. Koretzky said we are saving on shipping costs by going online.
Lucy: How many of those entries are free? Tim said he did just some rough math to guess how much we would net this year, about $17,000. But most people who enter aren’t chapter members, so we shouldn’t have very many free entries in our total.
Rebekah: She helped a lot of Sun Sentinel people with their entries. They have suggestions for improving the online system. 1) Can we accept payment online? 2) Having one account per newspaper was problematic because there was one password and people kept forgetting it. Tim said that by next year we should have Paypal capabilities. He also talked with rep about creating individual accounts for each entrant.
4. Sunshine State Awards Reception
Tim: The event will be on Saturday, June 11 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. He needs volunteers. No one has stepped forward to be chair of the event. Koretzky said he will help. Lisa would be willing to help chair. Rachael volunteered to help the day of.
5. Website Revamp Update
Dori: Our chapter’s new website went up Tuesday night (April 5). It is a template with a lot of flexibility. Right now it has events listed. There is a rotating image on the front page. We are still having link issues right now. Joey is the web developer who volunteered his time to revamp the site.
6. Unethical Press
Koretzky: The event is happening at 11:30 a.m. this Saturday (April 9) in the University Press newsroom at FAU. We need volunteers to be advisers during the event. We need professional journalists in the room to offer advice on why something isn’t ethical. It’s not a lot of work. He explained the details.
Koretzky will be sending a doodle out for a meeting on May in person. He wants to do it in Fort Lauderdale.
ACTION: Jake made a motion to adjourn. Dori seconded. All in favor.
UPDATE: MINUTES APPROVED FOR THIS MEETING BY BOARD ON MAY 25, 2011.