Board Minutes – 03/2007

Executive board and foundation board meeting
March 5, 2007

Present: Ilyce Glink, Howard Dubin, Jason Jedlinski, Karen Cullotta, Kristen McQueary (by phone) and Susan S. Stevens

Meeting was called to order at 6 p.m.

Those present agreed unanimously to hire Kathy Catrambone as executive director at a rate of roughly $30 an hour, $20-25,000 a year for part-time.

Howard noted Ritz Fisher, a retired newspaperman, was paid for similar duties 20-plus years ago. Ilyce said a national real estate group that hired an executive director not long ago is now making money. That exec dir does such things as solicit ads and events schedule for its membership directory.

Group agreed the No. 1 priority is for Kathy to reach out to members. She should get board members who have time working on projects or enlist other volunteers for help. Survey members for what they would like for us to do, what they would like to volunteer to do. E-mail, snail-mail or phone (best way) contact. Jason said 30 percent open each of our e-mails. All but about 20 members have e-mail but Ilyce noted many people are inundated with e-mail and don’t read all of it.

Kathy will head the nominating committee which needs to present to the board in April a CHC slate of officers and board members for the year beginning July 1. A membership vote must be taken at a meeting in May, according to the bylaws.

Further discussion of how to connect members included rss feeds from the web site to e-mail, a weekly e-letter welcoming new members, linking to all members’ blogs, calendar of journalism events for all groups, make us an online resource for Chicago journalists. Our own things such as Rob Hess’s full videos of Lifetime winner interviews also should be on the web. Karen said she will look for students who can do the web technical things. Kathy can look for people to do those things in the interim.

Discussion of meaningful programs: networking (including Christmas season party, Brown Bag lunches), Lisagor (our top draw with about 350 attending), Lifetime Awards (2nd draw with about 130 this year). Freedom of Information and Ethics are of major importance. We should have some suburban programs. Quick and easy programs are fine. Maybe on job skills, stress reduction. Arrange plenty of time for networking at those events.

Membership recruitment: Ilyce says don’t forget former journalists such as Sally Gaines and Dick Kay who can be associate members. Jason said 35-40 people have joined since Xmas, mainly from small shops, and we should take them into consideration when planning events.

Grants: work with Driehaus Foundation and other providers for watchdog grants for CHC foundation.

Scholarship-internship program: need to replace Paula Brien. High school journalism contest is fading this year because Art Menke moved.

Ilyce drafted a tentative calendar we could use annually:
Jan. – event/meeting
Feb. – event/meeting
April – Lisagor
May – elections
Also May — This year again, Andrew Lecky will present his business reporting workshop
June – trip to Lincoln Museum in Springfield? Vicky Katz in Springfield brought it up
July – annual president’s breakfast and annual planning meeting
Sept. event
Oct – Lifetime Achievement
Nov – event
Dec – Xmas networking event

Note that bylaws say we need to have an event for members every other month except July and August, so the above is a little more than necessary but is certainly what we’d like to accomplish.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens
CHC secretary, CHCF board member