Jan. 15, 2017  

Minutes from Jan. 11, 2017


SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting
7:30 p.m. | Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017
Panera Bread | Boca Raton


Dori Zinn, president

Christiana Lilly, executive vice president

Jason Parsley, membership vice president

Kathleen Devaney, programs vice president

Christopher Persaud, treasurer

Abbi Perry, secretary

Brandon Ballenger, immediate past president 

Michele Boyet, director 

Chris Delboni

Aurora Dominguez, director

Brendon Lies, director absent

Dina Weinstein, director

Emily Bloch, student member


Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director; Erik Petersen, Fort Lauderdale Magazine


  • Approve last meeting’s minutes — Brandon motions to approve minutes. Emily seconds. All in favor. Motion passes.
  • Committee updates
    Membership (Jason)
    Michael Koretzky notes that the national board voted to dissolve Mid-Florida. Their budget, $12,000, will go to national and be given out in the form of chapter grants across the country. Former chapter president Bobbie O’Brien, specifically requested that the money does not go to Region 3 or SPJ Florida.
    Programs (Kathleen)
    Had a programming meeting in December – lots of ideas including: Fidel Castro Coverage, Cocktails for Humanity at Fat Village, Fake News Game Show (possibly March?)
  • Upcoming event: Freelance Fair on Feb. 18 at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors. A lot of great outlets have confirmed including: SFGN, Rise News, Debt.com, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Palm Beach Post, Miami.com and more!
  • Bull Market (a restaurant) contacted Jason and wants to throw SPJ a mixer on their dime! Maybe pair this with a programming idea?
  • Kathleen submitted her resignation to the board, effective Feb. 18 following the Freelance Fair. The board voted on this via an electronic vote on Jan. 15, following this meeting. The vote passed: 8 yes’s, 1 no, 1 absention.
    Scholarships (Christiana)
    Will launch in February. Contact Christiana if you want to join committee.
    Student Affairs (Emily)
    We have an updated contact list with school advisor emails from across the state, along with editors if applicable. This helps tremendously for Sunshine State Awards and Scholarship promotion to reach out to students/universities to enter.
    Sunshine State Awards (Jason)
  • Launches Friday, Jan. 13.
  • Please utilize social media to promote! Retweet, share on Facebook, etc.
  • Added in Election categories (every two years, local and national)
  • Emily to market to colleges/student publications for student category
    Put Scholarships and Sunshine State Awards together when targeting students? Knock both out at once when promoting.
    Drone (Brandon)
  • Drone is repaired! And Brandon got his official pilot license!
  • Brandon will do individual videos from his tour and when he took the test and will put them online. Trying to promote our loan-a-drone program to train journalists on how to use a drone in journalism.
    Finance/Current financials (Chris)
  • Money from PayPal has been transferred to our Checking Account
  • Chapter Checking: $32,946.81; Region 3 Checking: $8,881.41; Chapter Savings: $32,475.15
    Muslimedia (Dori, Christiana, Emily)
  • Last month we voted to expand Muslimedia. We currently have seven applicants from across the country (D.C., NY, Iowa, to name a few!), in the process of vetting.
  • We approved $1,000 total – $200 for five different groups around the country.
  • Dori, Christiana, and Emily will choose the five and present to the board later this month, then promote winners.


Broward College Speaker Series (Christiana)

We received tickets to all three speakers that we can raffle off: Ana Navarro (political commentator), Ted Koppel (broadcast journalist) and Angela Duckworth (author). How should we give them away?

  • We can raffle off the Ana event on social media; Ted and Angela can be raffled off at Bull Market? Maybe pair with the fake news game show and winners get tickets to speakers?


Emily goes to NYC (Emily)

Student rep Emily Bloch will be representing SPJ Florida at an upcoming convention (March 11-14). Requesting up to $350. Will cover travel only.

  • Will do two sessions and will represent SPJ Florida and FAU Region 3. One will be about music journalism and the other will be women leaders dealing with men in the industry. So far three NYC lady journalists will join!
    • If successful, she will bring this to Florida and possibly EIJ17.
    • Dori calls a vote to allot up to $350 for travel; Christiana seconds. Emily abstains. Everyone else in favor. Motion passes.

Region 3 Taxing (Dori)

Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky is taxing SPJ Florida and all pro Region 3 chapters. Because the amount we must pay is $500, we as a board need to vote on this tax. Not paying this tax could result in the revoking of our chapter charter, meaning we are no longer in good standing within SPJ.

More information on the Regional Service Fee (the tax): In 2005, the national board approved implementation of a Regional Service Fee that may be imposed by regional directors and is based on the number of members within each chapter. In the past, some regions have solicited voluntary contributions to the RD fund from professional chapters. As in that case, funds still would be used for: planning the regional conference; Mark of Excellence expenses; and regional-related projects and programs.

Our regional director (Koretzky) has decided to implement this fee. See Dori’s notes she read to the board before the vote.

  • Question asked: What is an Oversight Committee? Answer: The committee decides if you are spending your money within the “rules.”
  • The $500 would be spent anyway Michael chooses. He says he will spend it on a way that will benefit SPJ Florida.
  • Dori makes a motion to approve the $500 tax. Brandon seconds. All in favor. Passes.

Dori makes a motion to end the meeting. Brandon seconds it. All in favor. Motion passes.

Minutes were approved at the March 9 SPJ Florida board meeting.

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