Board Minutes – 05/2010

Board Meeting Minutes May 7, 2010


Beth Konrad, Susan Steven, Howard Dubin, Brian Pitts, Kristen Schorsch, Tony Noce, Micah Maidenberg, Ken Davis, George Garties, Steven Edwards, Kathy Catrambone, Jon Seidel, Hilary Fosdal, Aimee Bat, Adrienne Samuels

Kathy reported that Lisagors earned $2,028 more than last year.  This was an increase of 18% over the previous year. She provided a detailed print out for the board that included figures for expenses, income, profit and extraneous figures i.e., contest entries.

Sue Stevens said the awards dinner was “Amazingly good.”

Beth Konrad made it clear that running this dinner is very challenging and time-consuming. The executive director did an exhausting job. We cut costs by getting AV services for free and favorable costs from the Union League Club. Konrad suggests that in the coming years fundamental changes in the event planning take place and that there needs to be more marketing of the dinner. There was a great deal of last-minute pleading stations and organizations into attending.

Board members discussed the need to market to all areas of journalism particularly online. 

The McCormick Foundation accepted the Headline Club’s letter of intent regarding the Reporters Access/Rights Survey. They have agreed to fund our chapter with $40,000 to pursue this project. This is less than the $50,000 originally proposed, but a great deal more than their initial offer of $25,000 following the board’s first funding request for the project.

The board expressed its confidence in having Beth Konrad take on the role of project director, pro bono. The board discussed the merits of the grant but noted two concerns: there must be a sufficient response to the survey and Chicago city and other government officials must attend the forum to effectively discuss reporters’ access and transparency. 

The board voted to take the next step and accept the McCormick Foundation’s $40,000. More votes will be required by the board before the project will be either accepted or rejected by the chapter.

Micah Maidenberg is handing over the position of membership to Hilary Fosdal. He has committed to staying active in membership administrative duties although he is leaving the board.

Howard Dubin’s treasurer’s report did not match Kathy’s figures on the profitability of this year’s Lisagor Awards banquet. It was determined that Kathy and Howard had not squared up all the financial items and they will provide a revised version. 

After consulting with our legal counsel our chapter, Howard said the chapter has been advised to keep its insurance policy. The Merchant Bank card expenses allow Kathy Catrambone to accept payment for tickets to chapter events over the phone.

The website was hacked into and Hilary Fosdal provided a detailed report on how the hacks happened, how she and her husband Steve Fosdal secured the site and what steps are needed to prevent hacks from occurring in the future. The board agreed, following Hilary’s advice, to seek out and hire a professional IT person to maintain and upgrade the chapter website on a quarterly basis. A digital media committee was also formed, it currently includes: Aimee DeBat, Brian Pitts, Kristen Schorch, Jon Seidel and Hilary Fosdal.

Beth Konrad strongly recommended that the chapter form a standing digital media committee and a standing chair for that committee.

Susan Stevens has heard no additional information regarding the police department credentialing of reporters. Medill is still in court, but there was no additional information on the case.

The summer planning session has been scheduled for Saturday, June 26 at 9 a.m. at Manny’s Deli.

Kristen Schorsch handed over the position of programming committee chair to Ken Davis.

Howard Dubin reported that during the national SPJ board of directors meeting he learned that the finances for the national organization are not strong. With eleven employees and only approximately 8,000 members, 4,000 of which are students, the national organization has been asking the SDX Foundation for more money.


Submitted by

Hilary Fosdal