Board Minutes – 01/2009 (Special)

Chicago Headline Club
Board of Directors meeting
Jan. 29, 2009

President Dawn Reiss called the meeting to order at 9 a.m.

Present: Dawn, Beth Konrad, Howard Dubin, Kristen McQueary, Tim Inklebarger, Kathy Catrambone, Steve Walsh and Susan S. Stevens. By phone: Suzanne McBride, Abdon Pallasch and Kristen Schorsch.

Purpose of meeting: to discuss club finances and Web site.

Dawn reported that Jane Hirt gave a good industry speech at the AWJ annual meeting the previous night, echoing predictions of a three-year recession. Dawn said CHC doesn’t have to do things it always did. She wants to do a three-year plan for CHC, asking all of us to brainstorm how to make the club more financially viable. We need to think creatively.

Lisagor entries: About 400 this year, compared to 600 in 2008 and 700 in 2007, Kathy reported. Board voted to extend the entry deadline to 5 p.m. Feb. 4, due then at Kathy’s home.

Lisagor banquet: We’ve guaranteed the Union League Club $15,000. Kathy will see if she can negotiate downward on anything. Final dinner count due noon April 22. Last year, 227 people attended.

CHC Foundation: Howard said we have $38,812 in assets. We are not doing fundraising. CHC Foundation is our non-profit arm.

Beth offered to take CHC financial statements if turned into balance sheets to a commercial foundation expert who will assess it pro-bono.

Suzanne said we must decide financial goals and our mission: Scholarships, investigative journalism, citizen journalism, professional development, etc. Dawn said “to serve and protect journalists.” Howard said students. Kristen McQ said between programs, awards, etc. “We do everything already.”

Beth said she’d rather have 400 members and be broke than 200 members and $75,000 in reserve.

Kristen McQ said maybe Dreihaus can pay administrative costs.

Beth said the foundation might be used for research into the future as journalism as well as fundraising – a think-tank with foundation funding.

Kathy said we need a dog and pony show to go to newsrooms to increase membership and find out what they want. The two big draws for members are programs about jobs and awards.

No votes were taken.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens
Acting secretary