CHC Board Meeting: April 3, 2020

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. April 3, 2020

President Rob Elder called the meeting to order. Also present: Greg Karp, Flynn McRoberts, Amanda Vinicky, Jason Martin, Mike Ewing, Susan S. Stevens, Suzanne McBride, Stan Zoller, Christine Wolf, Madhu Krishmarthy, Maria Zamudio, Alejandra Cancino and Ben Meyerson. All of us were on a phone conference call.

President’s report: Rob requests us:
— recruit members
–re-tweet three major messages:
1 Casey’s history of the SPJ Code of Ethics
2 Christine’s Covid-19 test (no results yet)
3 Noon Wednesday Zoom program on coronavirus reporting. Can accommodate 100 people.

No movement on our push for SPJ to limit sponsorships. The D.C. chapter is with us; Rob will ask other chapters.

Lisagor Awards banquet cancelled
Region 5 Conference cancelled
No decision yet on EIJ Conference Sept. 10-13
Bitcoin and Blockchain programs are postponed

Rob needs help on a letter regarding Poynter’s Koch partnership. He has a draft, needs more.

Nominating committee hopes to finalize the 2020-21 slate shortly. Ben, Stan and Mike Schmiedler are leaving the board. Board members expressed great thanks to Ben and Stan. Rob will call for an email vote on the slate.

For the annual report, if you have done any outreach such as speaking to student groups, send Rob two sentences and a URL for his annual report.

Treasurer’s report: Greg said we have $105,000 in the bank. A few bills are outstanding, the largest one from Loyola for FOIAFest catering. Lisagor plaques will cost about $8,000. He advises spending down our treasury.

Membership: Rob is training Amanda, who will take over next year. He’s emailing lapsing members.

Programming: Mike said Rob’s list was thorough. We can start to consider some summer events and for next year. A Zoom happy hour was suggested, possibly in connection with


Branding: Rob said he has a bunch of photos in the can to push out in May for our membership drive.

Lisagor: Madhu said all the judging is in, and Kathy is working on the lists. Finalists and winners will be posted online.

Rob wants to make a virtual announcement of winners May 15. He’ll try to get film May 5 of a few big winners and the Lifetime videos. Hopes to have a setting other than his home office.
Membership vote on next year’s slate will be by Google form, Rob said.

New business: Susan asked for ideas about how to spend a lot of our treasury to benefit journalists and journalism during this crisis, She said we should spend $50,000 to $75,000. We will still have a healthy rainy-day fund.
–Rob would like to use our upcoming 100th anniversary to offer free memberships
–Alejandra suggests giving journalists $100 for rent or healthcare
–Susan suggests $2,000-$5,000 in unrestricted grants
–Rob asks about tax implications. Greg will research. Alejandra says ask our accountant.
–Amanda suggests we offer news operations funds to pay new freelancers
–Rob said he wants to do the greatest good fast. He will ask SPJ about free memberships for Lisagor winners
–Greg will report back by email

Meeting adjourned at 10 a.m. Next meeting on May 1 will be virtual.

Respectfully submitted
Susan S. Stevens, secretary