Jun. 22, 2010  

Minutes of May 26, 2010


May 2010 Board of Directors Meeting

SPJ South Florida Pro Chapter

Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

South Florida Business Journal

1. Roll Call

Roll called. All members present, except Sam Terilli (teaching a class) and Paola Iuspa-Abbott. Meeting started at 7:15 p.m.

2. Approval of April 6 Minutes

ACTION: Lisa made a motion to approve the last meeting’s minutes. Dori seconded the motion. A vote was taken by voice. Motion carried unanimously.

3. Committee Updates

(Darcie Lunsford) Going forward we will only have committee updates from people who tell Darcie before the meeting that they want time to speak. This will allow more time for agenda items.

Bylaws. (Darcie) She plans to email a draft of the new bylaws to the board next month for review, and then have a vote for final approval at the next board meeting. The committee is very close to completing the revision.

Membership. (Dori Zinn)

– Dori has been talking to the folks at national about making it easier to join our chapter on the SPJ website. They just revamped the site, but didn’t do anything to fix the membership page. (Koretzky) They actually haven’t automated the membership part of the website, so someone has to enter all the new members by hand. This makes it difficult to know if we have new members in a timely fashion. He is going to see if we can get an extension on the cutoff for new members, so we can get an extra delegate for the Vegas convention in October. Right now we are just a few away from the 150 needed to have three delegates.

Student Affairs/Scholarship. (Michael Koretzky)

– Scholarship ideas for next year: We should give out scholarships at events – clips and resume would be reviewed on-site by judges after the event. They would hand out scholarships of smaller denominations ($500 instead of $1,000). This would tie scholarships to membership and events.

– Discussion with Bill Hirshman on how this would work. He thinks we should hand out scholarships with higher dollar values because students won’t be motivated to apply otherwise. (Koretzky) We tried this plan at the unconventional and it worked out well. It also gave an opportunity for students to get their clips and resumes critiqued. (Darcie) This new plan would make it an interactive process, instead of people just sending in clips.

ACTION: The board supports the idea and Koretzky will come back with a more concrete plan.

The FOI program held at FAU on May 20 was a success – golf claps all around for the event. (Darcie) It was a really good program with a good turnout – about 20 people, mostly students.

Awards. (Tim Dodson/Julie Kay – Sunshine State Awards update)

– They’re working on getting the room fee waved. We’ll only be paying for the food. We still have to create programs and a PowerPoint presentation. We also need volunteers to stuff bags. They have to come two hours early.

– Discussion on what to do about the first place awards. We have a $500 grant from the Palm Beach Post that we could use towards getting something more substantial than just a certificate. (Tim) He’s concerned that we can’t do more in such a short amount of time. It was decided to just stick with what we have.

– (Julie) Discussion on whether we then spend the money from the Post on dessert and coffee? Tim read through the menu, which is really nice. Discussion on whether to do just coffee for $50 or go with coffee and desserts for $500. ACTION: Six voted for the dessert and coffee and three voted for just coffee (Jake, Dori, Rachael), so the motion to have coffee and dessert passed on a majority.

– Sergy and Rachael agreed to staff the registration table.

– (Lucy) Wants to know what the future holds for this event. (Rachael) We should put this discussion and a review of what we can do better as an agenda item for the next meeting.

Diversity. (Arlene Satchel)

The chair emailed her committee update, and it was part of the board’s meeting packet.

4.  Proposed 2010-2011 chapter budget (Tim, Darcie)

– (Darcie) Review of the proposed budget that was passed out to the board. We need to come up with an additional fundraiser because the Sunshine State Awards aren’t bringing in as much money as in years past and we are running into a deficit-spending situation. Let’s look at what other chapters do to fundraise that has been successful: a high-brow FOI dinner (Sacramento does it), National Writers Workshop, Lisa’s high school journalism camp.

– (Lucy) Will we get money from membership? We should start collecting our dues. (Jason) We need to give people incentives to be part of our chapter. Otherwise, what would be their motivation for paying dues. (Darcie) Michele needs to create a marketing flyer. We could have discounts on events. (Koretzky) If we start charging dues then our membership count will go down when people do not renew. Right now anyone in Florida who signs up nationally who doesn’t pick a chapter is allocated to us. (Darcie) We need to make a decision going forward. The membership committee needs to sit down and weigh the pros and cons. They need to bring back a proposal for the July board meting.

ACTION: Darcie asked for a vote to adopt the new budget. Lisa made a motion to approve, which was seconded by Jason. All voted by voice, and the motion carried unanimously.

5.  Minority Scholarship proposal (Julie Kay, Lourdes Martinez)

– (Julie) Lourdes, a former editor at the Miami Herald, wants to give our chapter $500 for five years to start a scholarship for a graduating high school student or first-year college student. This person needs to be either a minority or the first person in their family to go to college. (Koretzky) There could be an issue for picking someone who is the first person in their family to go to college because how can you really verify it?

– After a bit of discussion from the board, Koretzky asked if Lourdes would be willing to let us partner with other minority associations for marketing purposes. Lisa knows a man from Miami who runs a three-week journalism camp for minorities who could help us. (Darcie) The board is in agreement that this is a good idea. Now we need a more detailed proposal that Julie will work up for the next meeting.

6. Lip Service program proposal (Jake Cline, Sergy Odiduro)

– (Jake) He participated in a literary event recently at Books & Books in Miami that he thinks would be an interesting event for our chapter to do with a journalism twist. The program is run quarterly by two women. People get up and read first person stories (of 8 minutes or less) about themselves. About 200+ people show up. It’s an interesting exercise to edit your stuff to be read aloud. He was the only journalist there. He was thinking that we should do a journalism version. It would be a good promotional and membership opportunity for us.

– He’s already spoken to the organizers about it. They partnered with a Jewish organization last year to put on a similar event. They sent him a budget of what the event would cost: $1,438. He broke down what each cost would be. He thinks he can get them to cut it in half: $600. This would fall under a professional development program.

– (Julie) It would be good to have an event in Miami. (Koretzky) It would be neat for the journalists to be edited by non-journalists – that is quickly what is happening in their real world. (Jake) Our event would be held on Nov. 13 (a Saturday evening) at the Books & Books right off Lincoln Road in Miami. We do a lot of insular events with journalists and journalists. It would be a good way to actually meet with readers. (Jason) This sounds completely different from anything our chapter has done. This is the type of programming we need to do more of. (Jake) If this is successful, this is something we could replicate in Palm Beach or Broward county. We should start promoting ASAP.

ACTION: Rachael made a motion to approve up to $600 for the event. Lucy seconded. All voted by voice. The motion passed by a majority with Lisa Lucas voting no.

7. National Writers Workshop discussion/steering committee creation (Lucy Reed)

– (Lucy) She didn’t make it to the UF event to see how they did it because she broke her arm, but she spoke with some of the folks at the journalism school. We need to put together a steering committee.

– (Darcie) We need to get some heavy-hitters on the steering committee. Brainstorming from the  board: We need a super publicist; need to talk to Books & Books about finding authors who will be down here on tour. UM and FIU can also probably help with that. The Florida publishing association may be able to help us get a book publisher.

ACTION: Darcie asked for a vote to create a steering committee. Jason made a motion, which Jake seconded. All voted by voice and approved. Jake, Koretzky, and Rachael agreed to be part of her committee.

8. New Business

(Darcie) Please look at annual report and see if anything is missing. Comments are due Tuesday.

– (Lucy) She went to the national journalism awards in Tampa of behalf of our chapter. It was amazing and motivating.

– (Rachael) A brief update on the Will Write for Food program. We have nearly all the applicants we need. We were getting a lot of applicants from outside of Region 3. We’ve decided to admit some, but will give people from our region the priority. We will pick the winners by June 30. (Jake) We should get one of the writers from the event to participate in the Lip Service event.

– (Lucy) When can we get a regional convention again? We need more programming for pros . We should look at holding some more one-day training events.

ACTION: Jason made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Rachael. All approved.

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