Board Minutes – 05/2012

Chicago Headline Club

Board of Directors meeting

May 11, 2012

President Stephen Franklin called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.

Present: Steve, Rob Elder, Kristen Schorsch, Odette Yousef, Alden Loury, Lolly Bowean, Aimee DeBat, Susan S. Stevens, Abdon Pallasch (by phone and then in person), and by phone, Howard Dubin, Fabiola Pomareda Garcia and Beth Konrad.

President’s report: Steve is getting better each day from his surgery. He said Lisagor was a stupendous event and Alden gave a great speech that really brought us together. About 339 people attended. Videos were great, making a speaker unnecessary. For next year, Rob suggests we just name the winners and put the finalists on the screen. 

May 25 at the Siskel Center, we will co-sponsor a documentary about attacks on Mexican journalists. More information will be in an eblast.

National high school journalism contest has asked us to judge. We will ask Anna Tarkov to handle.

Amy Lee will take over the JobFile from Fabiola, who is departing for Costa Rica.

Steve wants the website to include other journalism groups. Beth said she and Suzanne McBride can have two students.

Programs: Aimee has 16 RSVPs for the NATO session tomorrow. Odette has room for 40. She asks for a last-minute push on publicity. Students will be admitted free if they show IDs.

Membership: Susan for Rummana Hussain (at the Balfour trial) said CHC membership as of this morning totaled 330. That’s way down. The 48 who accepted free memberships at Lisagor last year are off the list. But we’ve lost more than them. Roughly a year ago, we had 401 members. The good news, and there is some, that we’ll grow by 32 when SPJ adds this year’s free Lisagor memberships.

However, we will still be down considerably. We all need to pitch in on winning new members and retaining old ones. It is not something the Membership VP can do all by herself. If any of you need more brochures, ask Aimee or me for them. I suggest that Rummana divide up the lapsed-member CHC list from SPJ among CHC board members, giving each of us two letters two letters of the alphabet to phone to urge people to renew. A one-minute pitch is good for all the voice-mails we’ll have to deal with. A similar pitch should go via email to those whose phone numbers are out of date. But always personal contact is best, Phones are second, emails third in retention and recruitment. Also, we need to pitch non-members who won Lisagors or were finalists if they didn’t sign up for free memberships at the banquet. This is an annual task, a big one. Aimee will help sort them out.

Kristen said the membership form should go online. Can Howard’s graphics guy redesign it so it looks nice on the Web. Then can Jon Seidel or Gary Kopycinski load it?

Further Lisagor: Aimee said entries brought in $21,490 and dinner tickets $20,331 for a total of $41,811. (Dinners cost $47 a plate.) She does not have all the bills yet, and will have a fuller report at the next meeting.

Susan made a motion to appropriate $200 to Kathy Catrambone, our former executive director, for all the help she provided Aimee in preparing for Lisagor. Board increased the amount to $300. And we give Kathy our continued sincere thanks.

CHC Foundation: Susan said it brought in $262 at the Lisagor book and bag sale. Thanks to Rob Hess for his salesmanship, Howard Dubin and Rob Elder for their donations. Rob Elder would like to have a silent auction next year (as would Susan). It was a straight sale this year because of uncertain logicstics. Steve said he still plans a second Scribe Aid. Board discussed raising money for CHCF by staging or participating in a run next fall. Odette will investigate.

Minutes: approved as submitted.

FOI: Alden said he is working with the web developer to get the FOI site up. The blogger and researcher are on board, with three initial posts for the developer to put in a mock-up. He will send the mock-up to the board to take a look.

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

Next meeting: 9 a.m. Fri. June 8 at Bloomberg.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan S. Stevens

President ex-officio and interim secretary