CHC Board Minutes: April 5, 2019

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. April 5, 2019

President Alejandra Cancino called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Also present: Tahman Bradley, Rob Elder, Jason Martin, Ben Meyerson, Greg Karp, Flynn McRoberts, Suzanne McBride, Stan Zoller, Mike Ewing, Susan S. Stevens; by phone Maya Dukmasova, Madhu Krishnamurthy, Matt Kiefer, Howard Dubin, Alex Hernandez and Brandis Friedman.

March minutes were approved as submitted by Susan.

President’s report: Alejandra announced an April 19 deadline for board nominations. We need vice presidents of FOIA, Membership and Programming. Rob will move up to president. Greg and Susan will stay on as treasurer and secretary. Rob asks for suggestions for new board members. We want to get them in the Lisagor program so members can vote that night on the slate.

Alejandra said SPJ’s updated sponsorship policy weakens it further. She wants to warn EIJ conference-goers that some speakers may be partisan. Rob said it is not our job to rehab the Koch brand. She will write an op-ed for us to participate in editing.

Watchdog: Jason said judges were complementary about all eight entries before choosing three finalists. He has invited the new interim executive director of the Watchdog-funding Dreihaus Foundation, Anne Lazar, to attend the award presentation at Lisagor. We have another year on the Dreihaus grant cycle.

Membership: Rob said it is down a bit. Ben will do a membership signup leaflet for Lisagor. Board approved spending up to $150 for it.

Programs: Maya said the Lisagor Reveal event drew few people. Ben said maybe do more PR next year.
Upcoming and please attend:
Thurs. April 11 – digital security
Mon. April 29 – ethical reporting
She still wants to do a questionnaire regarding membership. Will mail around proposed questions.

Regional conference: Ben will be the only one going this weekend. He will talk about the EIJ sponsorship issue. He also will do a Facebook training.

Treasurer’s report: Jason said we have $3,000 in checking and $99,000 in savings. More details online. Board approved the report.
He went to the SPJ mandatory training and found we are ahead of many chapters in adopting new rules.
He got two more credit card readers for a total of three.
And he succeeded in closing the AT&T account for the Ethics AdviceLine.

FOIA: Ben said we need more space to accommodate more people at FOIAFest. accommodate more people at FOIAFest. Suzanne agreed, adding that she knows several people who couldn’t attend the event because we sold out so quickly. We’ll talk to Loyola about larger rooms, especially for lunch. Loyola has been a great host for years. Board member and Loyola professor Richelle Rogers proposed several dates for 2020, and the board likes Feb. 22. Richelle said later in an email: Michael Limon is checking into this but I’m sure we can accommodate a larger crowd for next year. Facilities is busy with graduation and will let us know by the end of next week. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Alejandra noted we need funding for FOIAFest next year. The Dubin Foundation has supported it the last two years. Ben said we have enough money we could fund it ourselves. Mike suggested raising prices, which would in turn reduce demand. He suggested $50.

Lisagor: 27 tickets sold as of the meeting. Always starts slowly, but last year’s final attendance figure was low. Promote! Ben said Kathy Catrambone ordered 117 plaques already and is ordering the other awards soon. She is ordering 300 tumblers to fill with “desserts.” We need a strong turnout of volunteers who can start around 4 p.m. the day of the May 10 dinner. Remember that we don’t make a profit on this event.

Website: Mike thanked Matt for sending the Lisagor finalists eblast during a blackout at Mike’s home. Anyone else want admin authorization for the site? Still working to convert to

Scholarship: Stan said we had 10 qualified applicants. It’s a diverse group from many schools. The foundation will meet Tuesday to decide.

Next meeting: Fri. May 3 at Bloomberg.

Meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens, secretary