Jun. 15, 2016  

Minutes from June 12, 2016


SPJ Florida Board of Directors Meeting
7 p.m. | Monday, June 12, 2016
Florida Atlantic University | Boca Raton


Dori Zinn, president PRESENT

Christiana Lilly, executive vice president PRESENT

Jason Parsley, membership vice president PRESENT

Michele Boyet, programs vice president EXCUSED

Christopher Persaud, treasurer PRESENT

Abbi Perry, secretary PRESENT

Brandon Ballenger, immediate past president PRESENT

Megan Fitzgerald, director EXCUSED

Andrea Richard, director EXCUSED

Michael Schottey, director EXCUSED

John Sotomayor, director PRESENT

Dina Weinstein, director PRESENT

Betty Wells, director ABSENT

Rachel Wang, student member ABSENT


Michael Koretzky, Region 3 Director | Emily Bloch, FAU

QUICK UPDATES // REVIEWS 2 minutes each

  1. Committee updates
  2. Approve last meeting’s minutes — Brandon makes a motion, Christiana seconds, PASSES
  3. Membership
    No update
  4. Student Affairs
    No update.
  5. Scholarships (Christiana)
    Deadline was June 1 with a great turnout! Last year we had 16 applicants, this year we had 24 – most from UF and Florida A&M. Winner will be announced on June 30th.
  6. Programs
    Christiana: Dave Barry event didn’t go as well as expected. Only 8 people showed up even though the event was well publicized.
  7. Sunshine State Awards (Jason)
    1. Ceremony is on July 9 at the Firefighters Memorial Building in Miami.
    2. Will make an “in memory of” the NAHJ member who was a victim in the Orlando shooting.
    3. Raffle: Dina received gift certificates to her salon so she will mail them to Dori. Got other things to give away at the raffle? Contact Jason.
  8. Drone (Brandon)

Three drone sessions will be presented at EIJ – ethics, legal and practicality; Brandon is presenting on practicality.

Drone tour is set for October. Going to make 9 stops in 10 days! First stop is in Gainesville.  

Drone homepage update is almost done and is looking GOOD! Stay tuned!

Finance/Current financials (Chris)

  • Checking: $28, 097.67
  • Savings: $32,471.36
  • PayPal balance: $25, 582.96


EIJ16 — Dori (5 minutes)

  • People who are running:
    • Jason is running for Director at Large
    • Emily (Bloch) is running for Student Rep
  • People who are presenting:
    • Christiana and Dori are presenting a session on “How Well Does the Media Cover Mass Murders?”
      • Moderator: Casey Ferrand, reporter and anchor, WDSU
      • Speakers include: Emily Lane, reporter, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune; Andrew M. Seaman, Senior Medical Journalist, Reuters Health and SPJ Ethics Chair; Tom Teves, co-founder, No Notoriety.
    • Brandon is presenting a session on drone practicality.
    • Jason is presenting “Covering the Trans Community”
  • The chapter traditionally tries to defray some of the costs to those running for office at EIJ. Once we find out who gets award money — Emily and Christiana both applied for scholarships to EIJ16 — we’ll vote on who gets funded and how much.

2016-2017 Elections — Dori/Brandon (2 minutes)

  • Our elections will be held immediately after the Sunshine State Awards: July 9 in Miami. If you can’t make it, please provide Brandon with speech/materials for the position you’re running for.
    • VP of Programs position is still open; those interested in running have until June 25 to get on the nominating slate.



Larry Peterson Memorial Award sponsorship — Dori/Koretzky (5 minutes)

  • SPJ Region 3 Assistant Director, Sharon Dunten, is putting together the entire ceremony and awards presentation. She’s requesting a sponsorship from our chapter, but didn’t specify amount. Should we sponsor? Low as $99, high as $5,000.
    • Jason makes a motion to give them $99. Christiana seconds it. PASSES.

Koretzky Time (15 minutes)

Zombie Stories: Request for $750 for 100 Zombie Stories shirts and event

  • This year’s Region 3 conference is sharing space with the CMA college media convention. SPJ has been asked to host a Zombie Stories event for college journalists, just as it did at last year’s convention. Emily Bloch, president of the newly revived SPJ FAU, successfully ran the 2015 event and has offered to do so again. Money will be split evenly between shirts and makeup artists. ($250 will be matched from Region 3)
    • Jason makes a motion to approve $750. Chris seconds it. PASSES.
  • First Amendment Free Food Festival: Request for $750 for 50 First Amendment Free Food Festival shirts and event
    • Jason makes a motion to approve $750; John seconds it. PASSES.  
    • Shirts are sent, half-dozen at a time, to colleges hosting this award-winning event featured on, of all places, FOX and Friends. We also might host an FAFFF at the aforementioned college media convention, so some shirts would be needed there. If so, Emily will host that, too. (She previously hosted an FAFFF at FAU.)

Spotlight Screening: Request for a maximum of $500 for venue

  • We’re currently trying to set up a Spotlight screening with the Miami chapter of SNAP. The purpose would be: Watch the movie in the context of how journalists interviewed the victims of priest abuse, then discuss afterward how journalist and victims of all crimes should interact.
    • Due to the MANY stipulations and hurdles of the movie license, we are having a hard time finding a venue. Motion doesn’t get requested.

Chris made a motion to end the meeting, Jason seconds it. PASSES.

Minutes were approved at the Aug. 17 SPJ Florida board meeting.

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