Board Minutes – 02/2003


Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors Meeting

February 12, 2003

President Molly McDonough called the meeting to order at 8 a.m.

Present: Molly, John Camden, Steve Rynkiewicz, Paula Brien, Ed Cooper, Diane Monk McClelland, Lucio Guerrero, Christine Tatum, Susan S. Stevens and Jessica Diehl of Columbia College.

Minutes from the January meeting were approved with one correction: it is Ulie.

Ethics: nominations were to close Feb. 14. Molly has proposed three. No nominations from the floor at the Feb. 12 meeting. None will be taken at the next board meeting.

FOIA: Molly reported on Phil Kadner’s behalf his disappointment that Lisa Madigan put a public access counselor’s office on hold. The new Illinois attorney general said she doesn’t have the money. “We really need to keep the pressure on,” Molly said.

Membership: John Camden reported nine new members volunteered for his committee. He distributed a list of about 100 who supposedly had not renewed.

Programs: The May board meeting will be in the evening before a membership vote on new officers and board members. Molly distributed a new calendar. Some of the closest events are:
-Feb. 28 — noon to 1 p.m. — Brown Bag Lunch. Featuring Anthony Hatch, author of a new book on the most terrible disaster in American theater history, “Tinder Box: The Iroquois Theatre Disaster 1903. Tribune Tower. RSVP at 312-409-7997
-March 7 — 6-8 p.m. Burger Night at the Billy Goat. This is the Goat’s on Lower Michigan Avenue, north of the Chicago River. Strictly networking, eating and drinking. Just show up if you can. Ask for the Headline Club tables. Elbow your way through. Bring friends.
-March 18 – Meet and Greet evening with Doug Underwood at Pallagi’s.
– March 28 — Brown Bag Lunch. Bureau reporters for national publications dissect their coverage of a major local story. Noon, Tribune Tower.
– Lisagor: Steve Rynkiewicz reported 740 entries, about 20 percent more than last year. Trades to judge from other chapters are coming in. Feelers are out to possible speakers, not it’s not definite we will have one. The banquet will be at the InterContinental Hotel, cost maybe $75 possibly with a member discount.

PRN: Molly said PRNewswire Feb. 11 began its 7 a.m. series to teach public relations people to better communicate with journalists. Twenty people attended, and several of them paid for the entire series. $972 was collected, paying for setups throughout the series and putting $147 into our scholarship fund. The only publicity was through an e-mail invitation. PRN’s John McWilliams expects the next session to be full. The rest of the money will go directly to scholarships. They want to do the same type of series at least the next two years.

The regional convention with IRE attracted 120 people the first day and 31 the second day. It probably cost us $200-300. That is much less than joining the Cleveland regional would have cost the Headline Club. We made $250 on book sales for the SPJ Legal Defense Fund, some more money made in the silent auction. Programming was great. Molly asked the Headline Club board to pass a resolution to send to SPJ in support of our collaboration with IRE for another year. Christine seconded the motion. It passed by voice vote.

Molly met with the University of Chicago legal clinic, which agreed to represent us in developing a 501(c)(3) or nonprofit status for a Headline Club unit that will be separate from SPJ and will pursue fundraising.

We will make two new “webhires,” a graduate student and an undergraduate who will provide continuity for several years.

Molly and Steve are meeting with Robert Morris College faculty, who agreed to do a Lisagor database of previous winners.

Treasurer’s Report: We took in $29,155 in Lisagor entries. We still have $3,000 from the Brownlee Series outstanding.

Scholarship/Internship program: Paula Brien said we need to have people decide at what point we can resume offering them and put in a more formal form of how to offer it. She will head a committee.

Jessica Diehl: Columbia College journalism students were surveyed, and would like to start a satellite chapter and perhaps co-sponsor some events. The students decided that creating a satellite chapter would take less involvement than a student chapter under SPJ guidelines. The board agreed this should be discussed with National.

New Business: Molly said at the next meeting she will follow up on Treasurer Rob Hess’s suggestion of two years ago, and will present a detailed proposal to hire an executive director. That person would work about 16 hours a week and be paid about $21,000. She noted that she spends about 16 hours a week on the Headline Club, with other things suffering.

Meeting adjourned at 9 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens