Board Minutes – 11/2009

Board Minutes

November 6, 2009


Board members present: Brian Pitt, Kristen Schorsch, Susan Stevens, Howard Dubin, Beth Konrad, Micah Maidenberg, Tony Noce, Dawn Reiss, Hilary Fosdal, Kathy Catrambone, Ken Davis, Stephen Franklin, Flynn McRoberts, Kristen McQueary, Abdon Pallasch


Dawn requested that the May minutes not include her amendments as an added narrative but that the May minutes be rewritten in full. Dawn also stated the she saw no reason to include information about a board member withdrawing from participation in a committee in the board minutes and requested the record of her requesting to be removed from the Lisagor Committee be stricken from the board minutes. Beth informed Dawn that in her absence at the past meeting the board decided to no longer table the May minutes and if Dawn wished to continue the conversation about correcting board minutes that she would be willing to open the discussion at a later board meeting.


September minutes were approved.


Wes Bleed, Bonnie McGrath and Kathy Catrambone have all accepted jobs with a political candidate. Beth Konrad will reach out to Casey Burko for guidance on the ethics of keeping each individual in their current positions (i.e., board members and executive director).


The Lisa Madigan event on FOI was well attended. Video and audio recording were taken and will be uploaded to the CHC website.


The CHC has taken a position and published a statement to all CHC members on the Medill Innocence Project. Further hearings are scheduled to take place on November 10th at 8:30am. It is the CHC’s position that the students are afforded the protection of the Illinois Reporters Privilege Act. Several board members were displeased by not being consulted on the creation of the CHC statement. In the future a minimum of a four hour window will be granted whereby all board members will be able to submit comments via e-mail and a revised statement will be drafted for approval prior to publishing.


A request will be made to Heather Porter, in charge of organizing the regional conference in Chicago, to convene a panel to discuss the Medill Innocence Project issue.


Beth Konrad has visited AP, WBBM and WTTW to encourage applications for the upcoming Lisagor Awards.


Phil Ponce and Felicia Middlebrook have agreed to be the MC’s for the upcoming Lisagor Award banquet again.


Bernie Judge has agreed to chair the Lifetime Committee 2010.


All e-blasts will be vetted by Beth Konrad. Once Beth has approved an e-blast she will forward the message to Kathy Catrambone who will send out the e-blast. This will avoid duplication of messages being sent and too many e-blasts being sent out in a short period of time.


SPJ has enacted a new policy whereby the Regional Director will hold a phone conversation every three months to account for the activities of each chapter. This will facilitate better communication with regional chapters and national.


156 membership mailings/recruitment letters have been sent out. Micah Maidenberg and Howard Dubin are waiting on Kathy Catrambone for an updated address list to send more out.


16 people are signed up for the DMTI course on learning how to shoot and edit video. A cap of 20 attendees has been placed on the December 5th blogging DMTI course.


More than 20 journalists attended the Lisa Madigan 1st Amendment Forum. Over 90 e-mails were collected from attendees. There was prominent branding of the CHC at the event. Working with Kent IT requires no financial burden from the CHC and interest has been expressed to work jointly on more programs with them in the future.


Stephen Franklin’s Burger Night has a full house. 19 people showed up.


The Community Workshop will be putting on a Latino Media Program, presented in Spanish, on November 17th from 3-6pm and the CHC has been invited to co-sponsor the event.


Brian Pitts has taken over the Chicago Headline Club Twitter account. He will be the main lead on and will tweet links and write content promoting our content.


Howard Dubin reported that the check from SPJ National for membership dues between April 1st and June 30th arrived in the mail in November. The total amount of the check was $912.


Shoshi Mabina has been officially elected to replace Stephen Gray. Board member replacements will take place in order of who resigned and term lengths should correspond with the length of the given term assigned to the person being replaced. Stress was placed on the importance of diversifying the board. Andrew Huff was suggested as a possible board member.


The Lisagor Award revised nomination forms were presented to the board. It was noted that this was the earliest the applications have ever been available.


Tony Noce is the Watchdog Committee chair. Connie Fletcher, of Loyola University, has joined the Watchdog Committee as has David Protess, of Northwestern University.


Abdon Pallasch is the Ethics Award Committee chair. Casey Burko will be asked to join this committee.


Inquires into the $5,000 that the CHC provided as a grant to the Chi-Town news have generated no responses.


Interest in having a program for the Chicago News Cooperative with WTTW in January was expressed.


It was suggested that Tran Ha’s tour of Red Eye take place during the Regional Conference in the spring in order for more individuals to attend.


December’s Burger Night will be led by Beth Konrad.


Micah Maidenberg has a large mailing planned. 5,000 recruitment letters along with the Lisagor forms will be mailed out and expensed to SPJ national. A suggestion was made to increase membership by direct mailing parents of journalism students and inviting them to purchase a holiday SPJ and CHC membership for their son(s) or daughter(s).


The next board meeting is planned for December 4th. All board members agreed that Friday mornings work with their schedules and all 2010 board meetings will continue to be held on Friday mornings.