CHC Board Meeting: March 4, 2022


Board of Directors meeting

Fri. March. 4, 2022

President Amanda Vinicky called the Zoom meeting to order at 9 a.m. Also present: Greg Karp, Howard Dubin, Blair Chavez, Nader Issa, Maya Duksamova, Jason Martin, Matt Kiefer, Molly McDonough, Mike Ewing, Tahman Bradley, Catherine Larkin, Nona Tepper, Olivia Obineme, Rob Elder, Michael Limon, Suzanne McBride, and Susan S. Stevens.

Minutes from the February meeting were approved as sent by Susan.

President’s report: Amanda noted SPJ HQs has moved and uses a post office box.
  April 9 is the SPJ Region 5 conference (others in the region are Indiana and Kentucky). We should have delegates. Susan said the regional will be virtual. She will attend, as usual, and encourages others to do. Good pro development sessions.
   Fill out Olivia’s profiles form. Social media push soon.
    Promote applications for our scholarship, internship and watchdog grants.
   Thanks to Matt, Olivia and all the others for a successful FOIAFest.

Treasurer’s report: Greg said Lisagor entry funds are way up, to $32,000. FOIA ticket sales were $3,400.

Membership: Mike said he is finally getting information from SPJ HQs. It reports we have 233 active members.
   Website has been cleaned up. We have a proposal from Brent Wildmann Enterprises, which did the emergency work, for a longer term relationship. Board approved $900 for a six-month tryout for Wildmann’s maintenance. We will evaluate it and check other companies.
   Slating committee for 2022-23 board and officers: Mike and Amanda will serve. Anyone else who would like to participate should contact one of them.

Programs: Nona said the online FOIAFest keynote speech drew 10 people. (This does not count people who watched the video later, such as your secretary, and thought it was excellent.) The freelance networking event afterward drew 40-50 people.
   Nona asks for help at events and in marketing events.

FOIAFest: Matt said thanks to Olivia and about 30 other people who helped. He said 346 tickets were sold, 218 to professionals, 63 students. 69 free. A 93 percent turnout.
   He has suggestions for 2023. It’s too big for all to be handled by volunteers. He’d like to develop sponsors for program support, such as newsrooms assigning a staffer for a few hours a week. It would be more collaborative and dynamic. Maybe a combination of in-person and virtual, which will be even more work. He will have more formal suggestions later.

Boot Camp: Maya said it’s a big job. She and Nader are bowing out, so think about stepping up for next year. They will leave detailed instructions.

Lisagor: Cathy said some new categories, such as race and diversity and the pandemic, were popular. For the dinner, she is looking for one or two MCs and a photographer. She’d like to do a photo wall, display memorabilia, and in general celebrate our 100 years. She’s still working to get last year’s plaques to everyone.

Special awards: Board approved giving service awards to Casey Bukro (currently Ethics AdviceLine) and Bob Roberts (JobFile) for their decades of work. KEEP THIS QUIET.

Watchdog: Emailed report from Jason:
1. Judging is underway for the Watchdog Award. Another strong year with 14 entries. We’ll know the 3 finalists by March 12 to release with Lisagor finalist list. Winner will be announced at the Lisagors in May.
2. Jason submitted a grant proposal to Driehaus for $30,000 covering two years to fund the Watchdog Award and FOIA Fest. This is an increase off the last 2-year, $20,000 cycle. Special thanks to Greg for financial documents and Amanda for documentation help. After a conversation with Driehaus, Amanda and Jason, there was clear interest in expanding FOIA Fest funding, including rolling the $2500 per year for the Watchdog Fund/grant into FOIA Fest operations and mentorship program. We’ll hear back more in summer.
3. Please share word of March 31 deadline for the Watchdog Fund/Investigative Reporting Grant $2500 to fund an investigative reporting project – we currently have no applications. Submitters can send directly to as I’m not currently receiving my own test emails for and we continue to experience email issues.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Stevens, secretary