Dec. 26, 2014  

Minutes from Dec. 9, 2014

SPJ Board of Directors Meeting
7:00 p.m. | Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Panera Bread | Boca Raton


Brandon Ballenger, president        HERE

Dori Zinn, executive vice president   HERE

Christopher Persaud, treasurer        HERE

Christiana Lilly, secretary               HERE

Michele Boyet, membership vice president  HERE

Dina Weinstein, programs vice president REMOTE

Jason Parsley, past president      ABSENT*

Connor Spielmaker, student member ABSENT

Kristyn Caddell, director ABSENT

Megan Fitzgerald, directorABSENT*

John McDonald, directorABSENT*

Andrea Richard, director         HERE

John Sotomayor, director  REMOTE

Betty Wells, director HERE


Michael Koretzky, SPJ region 3 director HERE

Kathleen Devaney, FIU chapter president HERE
* Excused:  Jason Parsley, Megan Fitzgerald, John McDonald



Approve last meeting’s minutes — Christiana

APPROVE (Dori/Michele)

Current financials — Chris

Checking:   $39,602.55

Savings:   $32,461.65

Paypal: $0

Spent $67.57 for food at meeting

Current membership — Michele

102, four have not renewed

Committee updates — Jason/Michele/Dina

Dina (Programming)

– Met with person who wants to be the future Miami chapter National Association of Black Journalists president, wants to collaborate on a freelancer panel.

– Met Jacksonville-based journalist, Charlie Cobb, veteran of civil rights movement

and author of “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed.” Possible speaker?

Jason (Diversity and Awards)

– Hoping for Diversity mixer in April (October didn’t pan out)

Michele (Membership)

– Want to reach out to people whose membership is closing to encourage them to

renew, if anyone wants to help with that, contact Michele.

FCSPA — Brandon/Dori/Koretzky

Helped judge (community) college yearbooks, newspapers, and websites. Koretzky also had a couple sessions, reached out to some students, but haven’t heard from them. The publications conference is held annually, but very little info about the event.


FSPA — Dori/Koretzky


Dori: Held a session about getting newspapers and yearbooks on social media and engaging students through social media. The format is different this year since a new director is in charge, but the setup is more efficient. We should continue to be involved with FSPA, which is held at Deerfield Beach High School every year.

Koretzky: In the future, we should look to get college students to present. They were there so recently and they can connect with them. They have a bit more insight on what kids need once they graduate high school.

Kathleen: I think we would have interested members from FIU chapter who would like

to participate next year.

JournCamp — Michele, Dori, Christiana, Dina, Koretzky

Michele: Opening session was horrible, Knight Foundation, talking about the

foundation and their website, the level of people who were there varied. Video seminar

was great and interactive. Met NFL writer and chapter member who our chapter awarded with a paid spot to come. He helped with engagement and he tweeted the whole time about the event and our chapter.

Dori: Book publishing session was all about herself and not beneficial, left early to go to video seminar.

Christiana: Photo seminar, drones for photography and wearable cameras, again different levels was a detriment.

Koretzky: We can remarket to the people who came for future events

Dina: Agree with comments that there were very inexperienced

Death Race — Brandon

Brandon: FIU ran event, “killed” Miami Herald photographer (Patrick Farrell), 5-6 FIU students and 5-6 FAU students. Different tone because Farrell’s wife is also a journalist and had a sense of humor, storytelling. Hoping to get some photos published in Quill.

Kathleen: Everybody really liked it. Some people said they felt more pressure than Koretzky was there previously.

Sunrise Travel Guide — Christiana

Sunrise Leadership Academy students working with elementary school students to make a Sunrise travel guide that will be published and available throughout the city. Meeting with high school students tomorrow to give tips about writing travel guide and thinking about their audience. Book launch party is in May with elementary school students.

BAJA — Andrea

Aimed at arts journalists. October turnout was 40, goal was 50. Panel was not successful, not going to continue.

Lunch is included, as well as coffee. Speakers are coming back. January and February seminars, event is $25, students and SPJ members is $20.

Dori — raffle off tickets to attend?

MOTION: Giving two to FIU, giving two to FAU, raffling off two for professionals $120 PASSES

NewsTrain — Brandon

Associated Press Media Editors, tor professionals, will keep updated. We are coming on as a sponsor, don’t have to give money.



1. Scripps — Brandon

SPJ leadership training Feb. 27-March 1 in Atlanta. They cover hotel and food, we pay registration and flight — about $250 per person. Michele, Dori, and Christiana would like to go.

Motion to approve up to $800 to send them?

Betty/Brandon PASSES


1. Research help — Dori/Jason

Dori and Jason are building a list of journalism groups throughout Florida for potential partnerships, sponsorships, and recruitment. They could use your help.

Dori: Jason helped us win Chapter of the Year because of all our partnerships and events. We should continue doing that as much as possible. Email me your groups you know of!

Brandon: NewsTrain has a list that can help.

2. Fundraising — Jason/Brandon

Jason suggested a crowdfunding approach for big events like WWFF. Would like to explore platform options and how this might work. Form a committee to look at Kickstarter. Email Jason or Brandon if you want in.

3. Koretzky time — Koretzky

“How to Put the Me in Social Media” Georgia State University did it, how to promote yourself on LinkedIn and social media, get head shots at the event too.

Do Zombie Stories on Valentine’s Day? At FAT Village?

Make journalists better interviewers, do an event completely in the dark?

Partner with a fake crisis (police, fire, etc) for on-the-scene reporting.

4. MOE contest — Brandon

Need volunteers to help judge the best in student journalism; we will be judging another region’s student journalists. If you want to help, contact Brandon.

5. Programming for Jan.-April? Meet-up events? — All

We used to do events every month. Not so much lately. Ideas? Planners?


– Met with person who wants to be the future Miami chapter National Association of Black Journalists president, wants to collaborate on a freelancer panel

– Met Jacksonville-based journalist, Charlie Cobb, veteran of civil rights movement

and author of “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed.” Possible speaker?


– Seminar on how to publish when you’re in journalism, possible speakers Ted Spiker at UF, Kristin Harmel in Orlando, Joanie Cox in Boca Raton

– Dina: MD College Center for Literature and Theatre could be a good resource


– Social Media Club South Florida, host a joint networking event, perhaps find people who live further north who would like to meet. Offer to sponsor the event,

MOTION: Ask for up to $300, will reach out to club

Dori/Betty PASSES

– Social media speed dating

– Learning online tools (WordPress boot camp, SEO, coding etc)


– Rebecca Monson’s coding workshop, or replicate it


– Do we want to do One Night Stand Again? $500, where do we want to do it? Did it at Hollywood Beach last time.


– Steven Sotloff?

– Dori: Can turn it into a scholarship fund for photojournalists or students who want to be political/ foreign reporters

6. Meet adjourned


These minutes were approved at the April 28 SPJ Florida Board Meeting.

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