Chicago Headline Club board minutes for Sept. 1, 2017

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. Sept. 1, 2017

President Ben Meyerson called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Also present: Brandis Friedman, Rob Elder, Stan Zoller, Ellen Kobe and Susan S. Stevens, and by phone Alejandra Cancino, Kristen Schorsch, Howard Dubin, Dann Gire, Richelle Rogers, Flynn McRoberts, Patrick Boylan, Adriana Cardona, Britt Julious and Suzanne McBride.

Minutes from the July meeting were approved as submitted by Susan.

President’s report: Ben said the FOIA Fest videos are done and online. Howard, Brandis, Ben and former board member Sheila Solomon will attend EIJ17. Ben wants a post office box key; Susan and Patrick have them.

No membership report.

Programs: Alejandra said the first event for the fall will be a writing workshop Sept. 28 at Columbia College, a room that holds about 40. Maybe a networking night in October at Billy Goat’s. (She had a wedding since we last met – congratulations and best wishes!)

Lisagor: awards dinner was moved to May 11 because of conflicts Ben and Brandis have. A category-discussion meeting will be in late-September. Give Ben your ideas. (After the meeting, Flynn said he’d be happy to chair the committee again.)

Watchdog: email report from new Chairman Jason Martin:
Alejandra and Jason held a very productive introductory meeting in August to hand over the files for the Watchdog Fund and Award.

Plans are proceeding to increase promotion for submission for both across the year via social media and other means.

There have been two applications for the Watchdog Fund in the past month that will be reviewed shortly. Jason has begun the process of creating materials for expanded promotion seeking further applicants.

Jason will be reviewing the procedures and materials and will have more on any revisions to the review processes next month.

Website: Ben is working with Mike Ewing to bring him up to speed on the site. Four videos from FOIA Fest 2016 are now on either or We will publicize these via Facebook, Twitter, eblasts, etc.

Treasurer’s report email from Patrick:

Account 09/01/17 08/01/17 Change % Change 07/01/17
JP Morgan $19,424.00 $19,574.74 -$150.74 -0.18% $21,385.48
Savings $45,024.07 $45,022.55 $1.52 #DIV/0! $45,021.03
Cash $90.00 $90.00 $0.00 #DIV/0! $90.00
EventBrite (gross) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 0.00% $0.00
PayPal $29,568.47 $29,568.47 $0.00 0.00% $29,568.47
Undeposited $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 #DIV/0! $0.00
Liabilities $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 #DIV/0! $0.00
Accounts Receivable $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Prepaid Liabilities $353.75 $353.75 $0.00 #DIV/0! $353.75
TOTAL ASSETS $94,460.29 $94,609.51 -$149.22 -0.16% $96,418.73

EIJ17: Ben said CHC and the Chicago Tribune donated a dozen bottles of wine for the silent auction for the SPJ Legal Defense Fund. (Thank you Tribune!)

Discussion of SPJ proposal to restructure the SPJ board ended with CHC’s board in agreement. Also, if the SPJ name-change issue comes up again, it’s OK with us.

Chicago Journalists Association: Susan reports no vote from their board yet on merging with us. She re-stated that their president, Allen Rafalson, said he made a mistake in the number of associate board members. It’s 12, not 132. CJA’s annual banquet is set for Nov. 10, the last activity Allen plans. We can waive local dues but not SPJ dues to convert those members; CJA associate members now pay no dues.

CHC Foundation: Susan said about 40 people attended the summer Brownlee party. It brought in about $1,000. Ben said it was a fun event and he wants to see it continue.

Scholarship and internships: Stan proposed raising them from $3,000 to $5,000 at Susan’s suggestion because of the extremely high college tuitions. We discussed limiting the –ships to upper class and graduate students. Stan said the CHCF board will discuss. Ben moved for CHC to give CHCF $6,000 a year for the additional amounts. Discussion followed, with Rob asking if the interns get a larger salary. CHCF will investigate. Meanwhile, Padraig will do a budget analysis. Ben withdrew the motion.

Board vacancies: Ben said we have two new ones. Ellen is moving to New York to work for CNN. Darryl Holliday said he lacked the time. Ben asks for ideas about new board members. Ellen said she has some good ideas.