Board Minutes – 10/2011

Chicago Headline Club

Board meeting

Oct. 21, 2011

President ex-officio Susan S. Stevens called the meeting to order at 9:20 a.m. President-Elect Alden Loury presided later.

Present: Aimee DeBatt, Rob Elder, Howard Dubin, Alden Loury, Susan S. Stevens, and by phone Randi Belisomo, Suzanne McBride, Beth Konrad and Abdon Pallasch. (Both Amy Lee and Anna Tarkov have new babies and took the day off. We congratulate them and hope they are back with us soon!)

Fabiola Pomareda and Lolly Bowean were approved as new board members, per President Steve Franklin’s nominations. They replace Rafer Weigel, who resigned, and Aimee DeBat, who resigned upon becoming executive director in replacing Kathy Catrambone. Fabiola and Lolly must join SPJ and CHC soon. Contact info:

 HYPERLINK “ 773-716-4166

 HYPERLINK “ (need phone number)

CHC Treasurer’s report (from Flynn McRoberts via Aimee)

Balance as of 9/30/11: $102.587.59

CHC Foundation treasurer’s report from Howard Dubin:

(Calendar year ends 12/31/11)

Expenditures totaling $16,510.50

Starla Muhammad scribe aid $300

Dave Glowacz scribe aid 456

Chicago Talks watchdog grant 1,500

Alex Katz scholarship 2,500

Lark Turner internship 2,500

Kayla Stoner internship 2,500

SPJ donated memberships 3,384

Secy of State filing fee 10

Sam Roe watchdog award 750

Jared Hopkins watchdog award 750

Illinois Charity Bureau fee 15

UIC access survey payment 750

Beth Konrad access PR release 100

Loyola U access food 497

Rambler Productions access 320

Kristen Thometz access help 100

Jessica Ciella access help 100

Beth Konrad access posters

Contributions totaling $8,464.00

Dubin Foundation memberships $3,384

CHC scholarships 2,500

Beth Konrad scholarships 1,000

Les Brownlee event scholarship 1,580

Assets as of Oct. 20, $58,791

Includes these restricted funds:

$13,199.50, balance of McCormick survey grant

$5.932.00, balance of Driehaus Foundation Watchdog grant

$6,250.00 restricted to Les Brownee scholarships

Leaving us with a total of about $25,000 in unrestricted funds.

We need to get busy and find some investigative journalists who need funding for projects and spend down the Driehaus money, Howard said. More is available from Driehaus as needed. Board members need to market this. Alden will help.

Executive Director’s report:

Aimee said she spent probably more than 30 hours being briefed by Kathy about the intricacies of CHC. Copies of Kathy’s timeline, which is for all of us and not just Aimee, were circulated recently. (SSS note: As Kathy did, Aimee will need a lot of us doing a lot of work. She is a part-time employee, and cannot do everything herself. As a board member, you should be willing to spend five hours a week on CHC. For some of you who become involved in Lisagor, you will rack up the hours from January through May. Please, everyone, do your duty and don’t try to depend on the executive director for everything.)

            Further contact info for Aimee and our new CHC mailing address:

1349 E. Washington St. #408

Des Plaines, IL 60016

Work/office: 847-299-3899

The CHC phone number is now on a mobile that Aimee has.


–Program Committee needs help. We hope the two new board members will pitch in there.

            Rummana has commitments from the Sun-Times Putlitzer winners to do a program.

–Membership Committee: Howard and Susan offered to help Rummana.

            Other committee matters, including firming up chairpersons, was deferred to Steve. Also, we need a secretary to replace Aimee.

            Jon Seidel will meet with Steve Oct. 29 to discuss changes on the website. Send your ideas to Jon in the next week.


            Aimee went through a lengthy orientation with Better BNC from SmallTown Papers, which handles many other contests including a number of SPJ chapters. She is confident we can take the Lisagor Awards online through them efficiently.

Cost: $1,120 startup plus $2,875 annual fee for a $3,995 total this year. Small additional fees for data sorting, scanning and uploading of tearsheets. We spent $2,847 this year, half for postage and half for entry forms. Howard and Susan insist that we do need to snail-mail contest notices at least this year to make sure all potential entrants are aware of the contest, categories, deadline, etc. We can eventually do away with the snail mail. SPJ owes us one mailing this year because we are a four-star chapter (which won’t be offered next year), and we can use that. Board approved the expenditure for online.

            Dinner will be May 4 at Union League Club.

            Aimee will schedule another training session with the company, hopefully in an evening, in the near future so that more of us can be acquainted with the process. Rob will help Aimee input categories, etc. work she expects to take 10 hours at least.

Meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m

Respectfully submitted,

Susan S. Stevens

President ex-officio

Acting secretary


Next meeting: 9 a.m. Fri. Nov. 18 at Bloomberg