CHC Board Minutes: July 20, 2019

Board of Directors meeting
Sat. July 20, 2019

President Robert K. Elder called the meeting to order at 9:20 a.m. Also present: Claire Bushey, Christine Wolf, Derrick Clifton, Ben Meyerson, Matt Kiefer, Mike Ewing, Madhu Krishnamurthy, Stan Zoller, Michael Limon, Maya Dukmasova, Suzanne McBride, Howard Dubin, Alex Rodriguez and Susan S. Stevens.

Members introduced themselves.

Treasurer’s reports: Greg Karp submitted them by email since he is on vacation. The fiscal year 2018 annual report and the July report were approved with one correction. Howard said he paid a deposit to the Union League Club for the Lisagor dinner from the CHC Foundation account that Greg was unaware of. You can read Financial reports re: FY 2018, closed 6/30/2019 July treasurer report. Bottom line: we had $85,570 in savings and $4,246 in checking on June 30, 2019.
Further from Greg: Closing the loop on this charge for web hosting: We were indeed refunded $366.31 to our checking account, making the charge about $500, instead of > $800.

Board approved minutes for the May 3 and May 10 meetings and e-votes June 5 and June 24 as submitted with Susan with one change. Stipends for the SPJ conference are for registration, travel (not limited to airfare) and lodging.

Rob noted two delegate slots are still open for the SPJ conference. Howard, Rob, Ben, Alex and Christine are going. Howard is paying his own expenses.

Rob said Alejandra Cancino did an amazing job as president. Board concurred.

Rob’s goals:
1) More programming and outreach focusing on diversity, equity & inclusion
2) More members. SPJ HQs reports 244. Somehow it lost @70. Screwups at HQs are commonplace, and Rob is working with HQ to grasp real numbers, and will pass the baton to Alex. Still, we need more members. This year, Rob asks each board member to recruit two people. He will set up a Google doc. Christine and Claire will help Alex recruit.
3) Better branding for our events, so people know that we put on the FOIAFest and other linked events
4) More exposure. More awareness of the Chicago Headline Club brand. He suggests:
a) A #WeAretheHeadlineClub social media campaign
b) A monthly newsletter that highlights member stories, jobs and events
c) Better translating our value propositions to potential members

Rob (email later): I mis-remembered our membership numbers. From June, the number is 232 — but SPJ HQ reported 294 in its note to Alejandra (which decided our delegates). That’s a difference of 62 members and no small thing. Right now, the July file reports 241 members. (See attached) I’m still hounding HQ about this.

Maya discussed her survey of journalists. About 100 participated, the largest group in the 25-34 age range, largely with 15 years in journalism. Most are not members. Of those who belong, professional development and networking were the main reasons. Most popular events: training. Main reasons people don’t attend programs: times of day and locations.
Reasons people didn’t join: they didn’t understand the value or think SPJ and CHC are stodgy groups of white people (mostly newspaper men). We need to change the perspective, establish better connections

Derrick recommended we do more with media literacy. Board agreed.

Rob would like to do a membership campaign on social media with “We are the Headline Club” and//or “I’m a journalist because …” with photos of members.

Madhu suggested pairing new members with mentors.

Rob would like a monthly newsletter celebrating journalists’ work, such as promotions. He also would like a monthly e-newsletter touting programs, the job file, etc. Alex volunteered. Send him what you have!

Lisagor banquet will be May 15, which does not conflict with Silver Circle. This year, we had 240 attend.

Our meetings will be mostly on the first Fridays of the month at Bloomberg. (September is an exception because of the SPJ conference.

Our Lisagor coordinator the last several years, Kathy Catrambone, did great post-event

analyses which we should heed for next year. Susan said Kathy underwent heart surgery May 15 and spent seven weeks hospitalized. She is recovering physically and is in great shape mentally. At Rob’s suggestion, board will send her $100 in lieu of flowers. Susan will handle. Too soon to talk about a Lisagor coordinator for next year.

Rob said he also wants us to raise more money and spend more money and apply for more grants for programs.

Foundation: Susan is the new president and Greg is the new treasurer. All: please attend our annual Les Brownlee party Sun. Aug. 18 at his wife Priscilla Ruth MacDougall’s home, 537 Judson in Evanston. $20 for lots of food and drink. Recruit members, have fun. Susan proposes that CHCF organize a holiday fundraiser, all the details as-yet undecided.

Programs: Mike noted we are co-sponsoring two events this month. He’d like more skills-focused events on weekends. Here is the calendar he and Madhu propose:
Aug- no event (actually, there is the CHCF Brownlee party Aug. 18)
Sept- excel training
Oct- portfolio review
Nov- how to best use sources
Dec- holiday party
Jan- how to further monetize your journalism, such as turning it into a book
Feb- FOIAFest
Mar- non-traditional media
Apr- data hygiene
May- Lisagor

Committees: Rob had some volunteers already and asked for more. Here’s the line-up:
SPJ conference- those above attending
FOIAFest- Maria Zamundio, Madhu, Michael, Stan, variety of others (need lots more help day-of)
Membership- Alex, Rob, Howard
Programs- Mike, Madhu
Lifetime Achievement Awards- Rob, Flynn McRoberts, Ben, Suzanne
Treasurer- Greg, Howard, Ben, Derrick
Web & social media- Derrick, Alex, Rob, Ben, Mike
Watchdog grants and awards- Jason Martin, Stan
Email from Jason: I’m glad to run the Watchdog award and fund again in the coming year as my focus on the board. If we can identify somebody to succeed me along the way, I’m glad to provide training and info for the coming years.
Judging- Rob, Ben, Madhu
Lisagor- Madhu, Rob, Maya (all hands on deck the afternoon and night-of)
Bylaws update- Howard, Rob, Ben
Scholarship & intern grants- Susan & CHCF
Student/youth outreach- Claire, Suzanne, Alex, Rob
Ethics- Casey Bukro

Next meeting: Fri. Sept. 13 at Bloomberg (a week later than most months because of the SPJ conference). For those of you unable to attend in person, you will be able to phone in. Flynn will arrange a conference call number before meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens, secretary


PLEASE come to the Brownlee party Sun. Aug. 18. Priscilla has a great yard and makes sure the weather is pleasant! It was bad only once in @20 years.