CHC Board Meeting: February 5, 2021

Board of Directors meeting
Fri. Feb. 5, 2021

Vice President Amanda Vinicky called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Also present via Zoom: Howard Dubin, Rob Elder, Greg Karp, Flynn McRoberts, Jason Martin, Alejandra Cancino, Suzanne McBride, Mike Ewing, Maria Zamudio, Ash-har Quraishi, Michael Limon, Nader Issa, Blair Chavis, Christine Wolf, Susan S. Stevens and Foundation President Molly McDonough.

Minutes of the January meeting were approved as submitted by Susan.

Amanda substituted for Madhu Krishnamurthy, who had surgery recently. Madhu emailed that she expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow, then spend six weeks convalescing. We are signing an e-card. Rob will pursue a $100 gift card for food.

Board approved a motion to support CHC leadership in continuing discussions with Judy Royko and Gary Cole over their offer of $25,000 from the sale of Mike Royko’s memoirs, due out in September. Kickoff events are planned in the fall, including readings by Rick Kogan.

Board gave its OK to partner with the Northern Illinois Press Association in a Reporting on Race program.

Treasurer’s report: Greg said Lisagor entry fees totaled around $26,000, down from $29,000 last year – understandable because of the pandemic. Board voted to extend the entry deadline to one week from today, charging a $10 late fee. Greg said Lisagor expenses will be down because we won’t have an in-person awards banquet again this year. Kathy Catrambone negotiated with the Union League Club to forward our 2020 $3,750 deposit to 2022. Lisagor Banquet date set for May 13, 2022.
Greg expanded the number of ways people can pay us for various ways. See his report on Googledocs.
CHC’s Feb. 5 bank balance was $90,440. CHCF’s balance was $96,684, half earmarked.

Membership: Amanda said SPJ HQs computer overhaul is still in the test stage. Several on our board expressed disgruntlement over the lack of membership information coming from HQs.
Amanda opened a Twitter account for our members to promote their work.

Programs: applause to board member Taylor Moore for her trauma and mental health program, which drew 261 people.

Lisagor: Flynn had to leave the meeting early. He has had Kathy working on Lisagor, as she has done for several years. We have not passed a board vote authorizing her pay, as we did in December 2019. Suzanne suggested we open a call for applicants. Susan said it is too late. Board will ask Flynn for more information about Kathy’s duties.

FOIAFest: Nader said 120 tickets sold in three days. He’ll make more available next week. CHC is partnering with City Bureau to offer free tickets, and is giving tickets to other journalism groups. He’ll have a cap of 450 people, including panelists. Kelly Garcia is coordinating.

Boot Camp: Alejandra said it will have 15 mentors and 15 mentees, with two mentors as back-ups. They will get free tickets to FOIAFest. Details are being finalized.
Molly said the Foundation will probably subsidize SPJ and CHC memberships for those.

Watchdog: Jason said we received 12 Watchdog Award entries and 6 investigative reporting grant entries, similar numbers to last year and very respectable for the pandemic. Judging is underway and he will bring the three award finalists and the grant winner to the board for the March meeting so we can publicize the finalists and vote to approve the funds for the grant winner.

Foundation: Molly said she will email us the forms for the Brownlee Scholarship and intern grants. She also has prepared items for social media, for us to share.

Meeting adjourned at 10:24 a.m. Next meeting: Fri. March 5.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens, secretary