Jan. 7, 2009  

Minutes of January 5, 2009

The meeting was called to order by President Julie Kay at 7 p.m. at the offices of the Daily Review. Members present; Ron Levitt, Bill Hirschman, Sylvia Gurinsky, Sergy Odiduro, John Hopkins, Merwin Sigale, Martha Sternberg and Student Affairs Chair Michael Koretzky and Administrsator Tim Dodson.

The minutes of the previous board meeting (posted online) were approved.

Treasurers Report: Treasurer Hirschman reported that the Chapter had 426,769 in its checking account, $12,134 in its savings account and $32, 117 in a CD.

Dodson reminded the Board that the Chapter is currently on a calendar year for its fiscal responsibility while national By-Laws mandated all chapters be on the same fiscal year as National – July 31, This will need a bylaw change. It was suggested that all by-laws should be looked at to see if there is a need to update or correct any items. Dodson reported our current tax return (which had been on an extension) will be filed immediately.

The Board discussed the Sunshine State Awards and agreed to spend time at this meeting to go over “Categories” including possibly combining or eliminating some and considering recommendations in the Broadcast and Web categories, (The updated version will be posted on our Web page within the next few days. Dodson took the notes regarding suggested changes and additions).

Hopkins suggested that, when possible, entries might be linked to our chapter Web site. Suggestion approved, when feasible.

It was suggested and a preliminary discussion/poll of members was held on the “event” site (possibility of a museum) and type of event (banquet, lunch or cocktail reception). Preisdent Kay appointed a committee to come up with details the event. The committee will inclue Kay, Levitt, Hirschman, Gurinsky and Odiduro.

It was determined to keep pricing for the Sunshine State Awards the same as 2008.

Dodson presented the Board with a calendar, including a distribution of materials on Jan. 9, an entry deadline of Feb, 20, sorting entries on Feb, 21 and then shipping entries by Feb, 23. Other key dates include April 6 for “judging deadline,” April 15 for announcing the finalists and the actual event on May 16. The timeline was approved.

Alana Roberts was elected as the 12th member of the Board.

Regional Conference: Koretzky deferred discussion of the event until the February meeting (information on the April 3-4 event is on the Web ). www.spjchapters.org/southflorida and in the right hand column of our site (spjsofla.net) as posted by Jaime George Danielson, our web administrator.

A discussion was held on future programming, Among possible progarms are Blogging, A workshop on interviewing grieving individuals, one on part-time public relations/journalism conflicts, one on freelancing.

Hopkins briefed the Board on National’s request for our feelings on a proposal to contribute to National for dues of unemployed / laid off employees in 2008 and 2009, A discussion was held on the growing reduction in journalism work forces and how possibly a reduction in dues might be done on both national and chapter levels, The Board was in general agreement to help with the economic situation but wanted more specific numbers and how other Chapters would be participating, (Hopkins reminded the Board that the problem was nationwide and that some 15 States do not have SPJ chapters), The consensus of the Board is that “we want to help..and favor supporting this effort in principle.”

Outreach to international journalists. Hopkins proposed the Chapter seek ways to work with non-American journalists. President Kay will designate someone to look into how we can accomplish such an effort and Dodson said he would help in this undertaking. President Kay appointed Sergy Odiduro as membership chair to work on this project.

Gurinsky reminded the Board that 2009 is the 100th anniversary of SPJ, The regional conference and Sunshine State Awards will reflect that milestone event.

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