Aug. 16, 2015  

Minutes from July 21, 2015


SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting
7:00 pm | Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Panera Bread | Boca Raton




Brandon Ballenger, president  PRESENT

Dori Zinn, executive vice president PRESENT

Christopher Persaud, treasurer PRESENT

Christiana Lilly, secretary  PRESENT

Michele Boyet, membership vice president PRESENT

Dina Weinstein, programs vice presidentABSENT

John Sotomayor, director PRESENT

Jason Parsley, past president PRESENT

Betty Wells, director PRESENT

Kristyn Caddell, director ABSENT

Andrea Richard, director PRESENT

John McDonald, director ABSENT

Megan Fitzgerald, director PRESENT

Connor Spielmaker, student member ABSENT



Michael Koretzky, SPJ region 3 director PRESENT



QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes per speaker


  1. Approve last meeting’s minutes — Christiana —> Dori/Michele PASSES
  2. Recap of 2 votes since last meeting — Brandon

How to give away registration to EIJ?

– Dori suggested a haiku on Twitter, must tag us

– Will just cover registration, they must get there themselves.

– Buy at early bird and then we will move it over to their

– Passed 8-1

GamerGate funding

– $950 for video, travel, etc.

– Passes unanimously

Current financials — Chris

Checking: $28,643.66

Savings: $32,465.41

Paypal: $24,075.36

Committee updates — Jason/Michele/Christiana/Dina

Scholarship (Christiana)

– Moved to online application

– 15 students (nine from UF, one from UWF, one from Eckerd, one from Stetson, one from UCF, one from Nova)

– Winner is Rachel Wang, attending University of Florida in the Fall

Membership (Michele)

– Many joined so they could run for the board

– Need to do a better job of reminding people to renew, maybe we can email people a month before their membership lapses? Right now national sends an email six months in advance, people forget.

Awards Committee (Jason)

– After Forging the Future, cocktail hour (open bar with Ron Barcelo, thanks to NAHJ)

– Last year, the awards went by really quickly, might want to make it a little longer for a better length (all three James Batten Award winners to speak)

– Hope to include photos, design for those winners on PowerPoint so there’s more visual

– Need volunteers to read category winners (Michele will do)

Neda Ulaby arts journalism event — Andrea

– Broward Journalists Alliance invited Ulaby from NPR, spoke about how NPR has changed over the years, podcasting is getting more popular,

– About 80 guests, mostly Broward County arts community

– Spoke about what SPJ did and told the group they might not be journalists but is still beneficial to learn more about storytelling and pitching

– Had some inquiries about people wanting to join

– Broward Cultural Division wants to do the program again next year,  will collaborate

Spotlight newspaper — Koretzky

– Muscatine Community College was censored, students wanted to start their own newspaper, only looking for $500 and they got more than $5,000 from around the country

– They will send us a copy of the newspaper

WWFF – Koretzky

– Still Labor Day weekend

– $2,175 allotted, not expecting to need all of it

– 21 alumni this year, no new students; some professionals, some still enrolled in school.

Retired And Wired – Koretzky/Brandon/Megan

– Training with two retired journalists from the Palm Beach Post (7/20), pilot program, would like to expand

– Walked them through a program called CartoDB remotely for about 1.5 hours, built a map for Florida Bulldog, building a map for South Florida Gay News

– $5,000 grant from Knight Foundation

National Scholastic Press Association – Dori

– Still looking for professionals to volunteer to speak at the event to students in Orlando Nov. 13 to 15

– Resumes, job hunting, etc.

– Anyone interested? Megan is going and is on the planning committee

Forging the Future/AirPlay – Jason/Christiana/Koretzky

– Michael went to review the space, projectors, etc. need to have a separate meeting to discuss more details

– Need day-of support to help with coordinating the event

– FAU’s Owl TV is doing live streaming throughout the day


NEW BUSINESS (2 minutes for overview, 10 minutes for discussion)

J Team — Koretzky

After the success of the crowdfunding effort for MCC’s student newspaper, some SPJers started talking about creating a “J Team” of professional journalists who could swoop in and help beleaguered students and advisers. Koretzky submitted an SDX grant request to make it happen and isn’t asking us for money at this point, but it’s something we should be involved with.

– Need volunteers to go over social media, reporting, interviewing, be a cheerleader and get them excited

Jobs page — Chris

Chris maintains our jobs page on the SPJ Florida website and has talked about writing some code to make it easier for the community to submit its own listings. He’s just created and can do something similar for us, which could broaden our reach and provide a more useful service to members.

– Make a form for them to fill out, keep it standardized and we would just approve

Stickers — Brandon

I want to print a small run of SPJ Florida stickers with our logo on them, which we can slap on SPJ property (like the drone) and hand out at events or to members. $100 should be enough for 250 of a small round (2.5″ diameter) or rectangle (2″x3″) design.

– Jason motion to approve, Michele seconds

Drone demo — Brandon

Weather and light permitting, we’ll take our drone for a spin.


Adjourn: Dori motions; Christiana seconds. All in favor.

Minutes were approved at the Oct. 8 SPJ Florida Board meeting.

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