CHC Board Meeting: November 1, 2019

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. Nov. 1, 2019

President Rob Elder called the meeting to order at 9 a.m.
Also present: Greg Karp, Flynn McRoberts, Jeff Black, Susan S. Stevens, and on the phone Howard Dubin, Suzanne McBride, Stan Zoller, Mike Ewing, Christine Wolf, Maya Dukmasova, Ben Meyerson, Madhu Krishnamurthy, Alejandra Cancino and Michael Limon.

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

President’s report:
Rob motioned and the board approved that we contribute $100 to the late Dan and Shirley Friedlander’s temple. Susan will handle. Dan served on the board and edited our monthly newsletter for years. Shirley handled our office work. They were great assets and wonderful people. Susan will write an obit for Alex Hernandez to eblast with his other news items.

Rob will be on SPJ’s national sponsorship committee, formed in the wake of the Koch controversy. Rob’s position: “We should not be aligned.”

Alex Veeneman, a CHC member and long-time national committee activist, is on the verge of homeless since his freelance work has dried up. Rob donated to a GoFundMe page Alex’s mother set up, and suggests others do the same.
Rob also donated $100 to the CHC Foundation because he will be out of town during the Dec. 9 benefit. Susan passed out photocopied invitations. If you would like some, please ask and I’ll mail them. The Daily Herald, Crain’s and Sun-Times are all $500 sponsors. If you work there, thank your bosses! Bill Kurtis and Felicia Midlebrooks are the main hosts.
Rob asked for help on newsroom recruitment visits. Several board members agreed. We voted to allow spending $40 for coffee and donuts for each visit. Rob wants the visits done by the end of the year.

Treasurer’s report: Greg said on Oct. 31 we had $9,697 in checking and $73,979 in savings. We’ll have to pay city and county taxes on ticketed events beyond two a year.

Membership: Rob continued urging us to recruit new members. Susan emailed about 850 people whose memberships have lapsed since Jan. 1, 2001. She heard from three (correct), one dropped by mistake by HQs, one who didn’t realize he’d lapsed and a third who promptly renewed. She hopes many more will go directly to to renew. Bounce rate was 18%, which MailChimp said is extremely high. Mike, however, noted a 33% open rate which he said is huge.

Programs: Mike said 16 students attended the portfolio review program. He thanked members who helped.
Nov. 16 – Excel training. Jan. 1 – Build your brand.

Bowling league: Board approved up to $350 to sponsor again.

FOIAFest: Maria Zamudio missed the meeting but emailed this report:
I’ve reached out to Ron Nixon, Jane Mayer and Corey Johnson to see if they are available to be keynote speakers. Waiting to hear back.
I’ve reached out to NAHJ, NABJ, City Bureau and Borderless (formerly 90 days, 90 voices) to co-sponsor a workshop. Waiting to hear back.
I met with Andres Torres from McCormick and told him about my vision for FOIA Fest 2020. He is supportive of my vision to diversify FOIA fest. I’ve submitted a budget to him and I’m waiting to hear back. Torres committed to helping me with diversity efforts. (Rob said he had not been that encouraged by McCormick.)
(Rob applied for a $500 SPJ chapter grant for FOIAfest.)
Maria concluded: We still need to get funding for the rest of the conference. I’m swamped at work and it will likely be this way for the rest of the year. I need help. If you can, please let me know.

Branding: off to a great start with a spot featuring Brandis Friedman. More to come month. Thanks to all who pitched in.

Lisagor: Madhu said the committee has met to revise categories. Ben is developing the entry form. Madhu will connect with Kathy Catrambone.

Welcome: to Jeff Black, our new board member replacing Derrick Clifford. Jeff is a photographer now freelancing – most recently at Ebony and Jet.

Social media: could use a new chairman to replace Derrick, though Rob said he, Mike and Ben have it pretty well covered.

Student outreach: Rob said Clair Bushey is doing a fabulous job with monthly meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 9:58 a.m.

Next meeting: Fri. Dec. 6.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens