CHC Board Minutes — Feb. 2, 2018

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. Feb. 2, 2018

President Ben Meyerson called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m. Also present: Stan Zoller, Alejandra Cancino, Flynn McRoberts, Jason Martin, Susan S. Stevens, and by phone Howard Dubin, Kristen Schorsch, Brandis Friedman, Rob Elder and Suzanne McBride.

January minutes were approved as Susan submitted them.

Treasurer’s report: Patrick Boylan emailed that our total assets on Feb. 1 were $112,842.17. With additional revenues from the Lisagor entry fees arriving late the previous day, he planned to issue a revised report shortly. Ben noted our finances continued to be strong.

Membership VP: Brandis said we gained six, with five free ones given at the job-hunting program. Another member signed up via SPJ HQs. She suggested free memberships at FOIAFest.

NICAR: Kristen said the group running the national conference here March 8-11, attended by several thousand, needed to know if we wanted to do any kind of sponsorship. Howard wanted to know if SPJ had been approached. Discussion of $1,000 for a table or $2,500 for fuller acknowledgement of our part and a free registration. Board voted for $2,500, with Kristen as our point person. We might raffle off the registration at FOIAFest.

Programs: Alejandra said the Finding a Job program drew our biggest crowd of the year, 27. Next: FOIAFest Feb. 24, then SPJ Regional April 6-7, a Lisagor finalist announcement in April, and the awards banquet May 11.

FOIAFest: Stan said the schedule is finished. All but one of the Illinois attorneys general candidates agreed to participate in a morning panel discussion. The day will run from the keynote at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Loyola. Next: we need to promote. FOIAFest is funded this year by the Howard and Ursula Dubin Foundation. Stan said we need to look for a funder for next year. Discussion of free admission for new members. Stan said Loyola has been again outstanding.

Lisagor: Ben said entries are closed, with 784 which is fewer than last year. A larger percentage than in years past came in after the initial deadline. His theory is that people put off entering and then decided it was too expensive. He recommends shifting deadlines a little. BetterBNC had some problems. A switched got flipped that stopped payments from going through.

Lifetime Achievement Awards: board agreed to honor the Sun-Times Mirage Tavern team. Susan to contact Pam Zekman. (She did, and Pam accepted.) Flynn contacting the others.

Watchdog Award: Jason said he had 10 nominees which his judges will choose from.

MC: Chaz Ebert turned us down – she will be in Cannes. Board agreed to ask Teri Arvesu of Univision, a former board member. (She accepted.)

Watchdog Fund: Jason said progress has been made on a documentary we helped fund.

Scholarship: Dann has four applications for the $5,000 Brownlee Scholarship, and expects a sharp uptick before the April 1 deadline. Open to all Illinois college students.

Regional Conference: Susan asked that CHC contribute $3,500. Ben wanted to see more budget details, and said we will be a bottom-line funder. Conference will be April 6 and 7 at Northwestern and DePaul downtown campuses.

Meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m. Next meeting Fri. March 2 at Bloomberg.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens, secretary