CHICAGO HEADLINE CLUB
Board of Directors meeting
July 8, 2006
President Jason Jedlinski called the annual planning meeting to order at 11:10 a.m.
Present: Jason, Molly McDonough, Howard Dubin, Fuzz Hogan, Brian Wellner, Kristen McQueary, Meg Tebo, Deb Cohen, Jon Seidel, Jackie Fitzgerald, Sandy Jones, Bonnie McGrath, Suzanne McBride and Susan S. Stevens.
President’s report: Jason thanked Meg for all she did while president. He said Karen Cullotta, though she could not be at the board meeting, has already started work as membership vice president by visiting newsrooms with coffee, donuts and convention brochures.
Jason said he wants to reach out to the public during his term. He also wants to find ways to further involve people who cannot get to our meetings.
Meg suggested letters to high schools and small colleges, offering speakers.
Board members discussed better outreach among our members. Molly noted SPJ’s web site has a Region 5 discussion board. Check it out. We’d like to do something like a blog or list-serve here, but board attorney Jon Duncan has repeatedly expressed concern about the legalities and does not want us to be sued.
Fuzz suggested CHC sponsor political debates, which we tried without success to break into in the past. He said the main thing was to set a date, and tell candidates their opponents would get all the publicity if they don’t show up. Board discussed starting small, with perhaps collar county races.
Mentorships: Jon said 15 people have contacted him to seek help and half have been hooked up with mentors. He needs sports mentors and maybe more metro people.
Newsletter: An e-letter was discussed and informally approved to replace the hardcopy Chicago Journalist.
SPJ convention: note that early registration ends at the end of July. There will never be a better time to join or renew a membership in financial terms. Jason offered everyone a stack of brochures to distribute in newsrooms.
We voted unanimously to spend $2,500 on convention-related activities, such as a night at Billy Goat’s, Mirage Tavern, Second City, VIP guests to the Opening Night Reception. Jason has refined planning since then.
We ruled out spending $4,500 to host a Meet and Mingle in the Journalism Expo.
Jason asked board members to “look for what you want to take ownership of.” He distributed a list of what we do, and said keep thinking and keep him informed. Membership recruitment and retention, in particular, need everyone’s help.
He is asking board members to be SPJ convention delegates. We will have seven or eight votes. He will ask for votes at the next board meeting on candidates for national office, recommending Clint Brewer for president-elect and Joe Wessels for secretary-treasurer. Jason said he believes Brewer would improve chapter-national relations.
Jason said it was a good “getting to know you” session that will prove its value in the coming year!
Next meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 17, most likely at Tribune Tower, Lower Level, one week before the convention. We will have to decide how CHC will vote on issues before the convention.
Susan S. Stevens