Aug. 15, 2010  

Minutes of July 28, 2010


July 2010 Board of Directors Meeting

SPJ South Florida Pro Chapter

Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

South Florida Business Journal

1. Roll Call

All members were present, except Jake and Paola. Sam was phone conferenced in. Julie left early. The meeting started at 7:15 p.m.

2. Approval of Minutes

ACTION: Motion to approved the minutes made by Lisa; it was seconded by Jason. A vote All approved.

3. Committee Updates

Bylaws. (Darcie Lunsford)

– A review of the latest draft of the bylaws: Darcie wants to wait on an approval vote because SPJ National just came out with template bylaws. Once we get a final draft she wants the SPJ National bylaws committee to look at it. Darcie thinks we may not need a constitution, and we can just pass the bylaws instead. Sam agreed, saying we don’t need them because we have articles of incorporation.

– Darcie gave a brief overview of the key changes.

– Some discussion about Article III, Section II of the revision. Bill Hirschman wondered if it was right to allow the board to amend the bylaws with a majority vote and without membership approval. Sam said that we must remember that the board members are the ones legally responsible for the bylaws. The board’s thoughts were mixed on the idea. The committee will look at possible revisions.

– Brief discussion about Article V: Elections. One of the additions would allow members to vote by email. Michael Koretzky asked what would happen if a board violated its own election rules. What would be the recourse of the membership? Jason suggested a repeal clause that would allow a certain percentage of the membership to sign a petition to overturn the decisions of the board. Sam said that really the only recourse is a lawsuit. Michael said that if we change the bylaws to give the board more power we have to have a check. Darcie liked the idea of having a repeal clause. She is going to check into the details, such as a reasonable percentage of chapter member signatures needed to have a revote.

– Brief discussion about adding a non-voting student member to the board.

– Darcie asked anyone who has questions/suggestions on the bylaws to send them to her within five to seven days.

Finance. (Tim Dodson)

Budget update and overview of account balances:

– $25,454.50 – checking

– $12,152.48 – savings

– $33,121.97 – CD

– (Tim) At the September meeting he will have a statement of the whole year’s expenses.

Programs. (Sergy Odiduro)

Proposed increase of FSPA funding from $50 to $600 – Dori Zinn

– Dori gave an overview of the past success of the First Amendment Free Food Festival (FAFFF). This year we want to hold the event at Deerfield Beach High School as part of the FSPA workshop. $600 is needed to provide food for 1,000 students and pay for props for the FAFFF event.

– Darcie reminded the board that we have to balance the events we do to cater to our membership. We are the professional chapter. This does fall into educating the community, but we must remember that high school students cannot be full members.

– Dori went to FSPA when she was in high school and wished they had had something like this when she attended. Michele Boyet said that our local chapter will get national attention for this event because it would be the first time the FAFFF is held at a high school.

ACTION: Darcie asked for a motion. Lisa made a motion to approve the funding; Jason seconded. Tim asked where in the budget we should put it. Michele suggested taking it out of the marketing budget. Darcie called for a vote. The motion carried unanimously.

Membership. (Dori Zinn)

Recommendation re: resumption of dues collection for chapter membership

– Dori talked to chapter presidents (about seven) around the country about this issue, and after looking at the website usability she suggests that we should not start collecting dues until we make it easier to sign up as a member of our chapter on the website. None of the chapters in region 10 collect dues.

– Lucy suggested that we make a date to revisit this topic again. Dori said she would keep track of it and bring it up when the website is fixed.

Student Affairs/Scholarship. (Michael Koretzky) No update

Awards. (Tim Dodson/Julie Kay)

Financial results – 2010 Sunshine State Awards: We actually netted $2,000 more than we did last year. We spent less on the event (largely because we did not do plaques for the winners).

– Darcie got a lot of good feedback about the locale we chose (Hard Rock) and the event overall.

– Darcie wanted to set a workshop date to go over the event and talk about how to improve the awards process. Meeting was set for Saturday, Aug. 7, 2-4 p.m. Tim will come up with an agenda for the meeting.

– Tim made a request to approve tentative agreement for online contest administration. He explained how the pro chapter in Western Washington used a judging system called The Better Newspaper Contest that puts the judging all online. It’s quick and easy. It eliminates hard copy entries – saving us a lot of money. He spoke with the rep for the company today, and he proposed bundling our membership with other chapters with small contests so we could split the cost of set up and the software. The board discussed what the cost would be. Tim said it would be some portion of $3,500 (including $1,000 for set up that will be a one-time cost). Tim said he cannot commit to doing the same system that we have been using. It is a real headache. This will all be considered and discussed at the Sunshine State workshop.

ACTION: Lisa made a motion to approve signing a tentative agreement with the online judging company to lock in the lower price. Tim noted that the agreement is not binding. Jason seconded the motion. All approved.

Professional Education. (Paola Iuspa-Abbott) No update

Marketing. (Michele Boyet) No update

Fundraising. (Lisa Lucas) No update

Ethics. (Oscar Musibay)

Public and the Press Panel – $650 funding request to host ethics-oriented panel discussion with WPBT – Darcie Lunsford

– Darcie is getting funding ($650) from SPJ regional and other places. She believes strongly about this program.

– PBS will air our panel discussion over and over. Live chats will also be incorporated into the event.

ACTION: Lisa made a motion to approve the funding; Jason seconded. All approved. The finance committee will come up with the best way to allocate the funds.

FOI. (Bill Hirschman/Darcie Lunsford)

Federal shield law update: The House passed the positive revision of the FOI bill. It is now with the leadership of the Senate, thanks in part to SPJ National. We need to get this passed before Congress goes into recess. Bill suggested writing a letter to send to Florida’s two senators. Everyone agreed on the idea.

Diversity. (Arlene Satchell) No update

4. Website Maintenance – Rachael Joyner

– Jaime Danielson, our chapter’s current web editor, is relocating. She offered a proposal to continue service to the chapter for fee. She had previously been volunteering her time.

– After a short discussion, the board decided not to pay Jamie to continue updating the site. We will instead find a student or recent grad to do it for free. It will be a Web internship of sorts. Rachael will oversee the process.

5. Delegate selection for SPJ National Convention

(Darcie) We can send three delegates and one alternate. Michele won the student award and is willing to share her room to cut our chapter’s costs. Darcie, Rachael, and Dori will be the voting delegates. Sergy will be the alternate. And our chapter will also pay for Michele’s extra costs not covered by the award and defray some of Lucy’s costs to attend. Darcie thinks we will have enough money to send everyone who wants to go. Michele was put in charge of figuring out how to divide the $3,000 budgeted for the National Convention.

ACTION: Dori made a motion to approve the delegates and Jason seconded it. All approved.

6. New Business

– (Michael) Our chapter has been nominated for chapter of the year. He told the board about the requirements and how we meet them. We are in the running against other chapters who are much larger than us. Michael, a SPJ National board member, put in his pitch for our chapter with the man making the award recommendation.

ACTION: Lisa made a motion to adjourn the meeting. It was seconded by Dori. All approved.

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