Meeting Minutes: May 2, 2016

­­­SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Louise’s Trattoria                                                            ­­

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Khalil Garriott, Richard Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Navid Nonahal, Julia Seifert, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor.

I.               Approval of minutes from April 4 board meeting

a.     Bellman moved to approve the minutes, Windsor seconded. The motion carried.

II.             President’s report – Nonahal

a.     SPJ Region 11 conference recap – Nonahal said the national board is planning to decrease the number of regions from 12 to nine. If that happens, Utah will join us in Region 11. Nonahal said the online experience for new members joining is being improved. By next month, people should be able to join a chapter in one click when they try to join national, as per national president elect, Lynn Walsh. Sheriff Joe Arpaio was the keynote speaker. Other programs discussed included freelancer sessions, resume writing and mock interviews for students, and how to brand yourself.

b.     SPJ national conference, Sept. 18-20, 2016 in New Orleans – Nonahal unable to attend, but Bluestein and Hendrickson will try to attend. Delegate/attendee decisions will be voted at the next board meeting.

I.               Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson (via email)

a.     Bank of America account balance as of 4/1/16 – $27.493.44. As of 5/1/16 – $25,425.80. Money still incoming from banquet.

b.     Morgan Stanley as of 4/30/16 – $70,549.14

c.     Approval of treasurer’s report incoming via email or next board meeting per PayPal possible discrepancy and banquet funds.

d.     Windsor moved that chapter pays $24 to pay for replacement check stamp, Walton seconded. The motion carried.

II.             Standing Committees

a.     Awards – Marcellino

i.     No report

b.     Banquet – Walton

i.     2016 Banquet recap – Preliminary report is that banquet income is around $10,000.  This year we sold ads in our program in place of holding a silent auction, which generated more money compared to the auctions held in the last few years. This year, we had three sponsors and four paid ads. We spent about $12,000 on the banquet, and we took in about $23,000 in revenue. However, these figures could change depending on the final bill from the venue. This year’s banquet made almost double the profit of last year’s banquet.

ii.     Walton is following up with those who have outstanding payments.

iii.     Due to the time taken up by speeches of honorees and those introducing them, Marcellino suggested reevaluating the number of honorees. The board discussed better streamlining the flow of people on stage for time purposes.

c.      Courts – Marcellino

i.     No report

d.     Diversity – Flores/Hendrickson

i.     No report

e.     Ethics – Bluestein/Hendrickson

i.     No report

f.      FOI –Zahniser

i.     No report

g.     Generation J – Bowen

i.     No report

h.     Membership – Marcellino

i.     Ad hoc membership committee – Marcellino/Nonahal

1.     Committee hopes to tie down numbers of members that we have and increase that number. Zahniser is working to identify what medium members are working in to see if there is a trend for membership.

2.     Committee will be targeting members who attended our banquet with a “Thank You” email, followed by another email suggesting membership.

3.     Committee will look at national members and past honorees who are not local chapter members. Also looking into student members.

4.     Committee is also hoping to find tools to make it easier to sign up online, which Nonahal said national is working to make that easier from national’s end.

5.     Chapter hopes to track whose memberships are expiring soon so that we can keep them from leaving the chapter.

6.     Windsor looking at benefits of national membership for members paying that fee.

7.     Target of new membership goal is upcoming.

i.       Nominations – Bellman

i.     No report

j.       Scholarships – Audi

i.     Nonahal said Audi has release to go out about scholarships with some alterations to the dates for the deadlines and votes.

III.           Old Business

IV.            New Business

a.     May 4 karaoke mixer, Redwood – Peschiutta/Walton

i.     Nonahal encouraged board members to attend this upcoming event.

b.     Video editing workshop, June 11 – Fleeman/Bluestein

i.     Rescheduled from earlier date to June 11 final date.

V.              Next board meeting: June 6 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.

VI.              Adjournment

a.     Bellman moves to adjourn, Windsor seconded. The motion carried and meeting was adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca

Meeting Minutes: April 4, 2016

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, April 4, 2016

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Richard Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Jeff Wald, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.

I.               Approval of minutes from March meeting

a.     Wax moves to approve the March minutes. Wald seconded, Zahniser abstained. The motion carried.

II.             President’s report – Nonahal

a.     Annual report – Cocca, Nonahal and Hendrickson will work on the annual report due in May.

b.     Regional Conference in Phoenix April 29 to 30: Nonahal has not yet received requests from any board members to attend the conference with her. Wax moves that the chapter pays expenses for one attendee to the conference, either Nonahal or split between Nonahal and another board member. Mottek seconded, and the motion carried.

III.           Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson

a.     Hendrickson said he accidentally copied a January figure when listing the February balance, so he fixed and sent out a corrected version. The account has more money than was originally listed in error.  There is a pending transfer from Paypal of $2,700 and more money is anticipated to come in from the banquet tickets.

b.     The board noticed a small typo in report where one Morgan Stanley account balance was listed as April, but it was from March.

c.      Morgan Stanley account balance as of 3/1 is $70,465.63, an increase of $966.41. Outstanding checks listed as “None” should be “Upcoming Banquet Expenses” and “Upcoming Banquet Income.”

d.     Bank of America balance as of 3/1 is $30,315.46, as of 4/1 $27.492.44, a decrease of $2,822.02.

e.     Windsor moves to receive the treasurer’s report, Bellman seconded. The motion carried and the report was received.

IV.            Standing Committees

a.     Awards – Marcellino

i.     No report

b.     Banquet – Walton

i.     Walton said the current headcount is 123, but this includes comps and honorees. Walton is unclear how many may be at a sponsored table so this may lessen the total. The number will likely fluctuate. People can RSVP until Friday. Three sponsors as of now: Platinum sponsor is Gibson Dunn. Time Warner is gold sponsor, and Citi National Bank is a silver sponsor. Total sponsorship income as of now is $9,000.

ii.     The board has taken in $1,300 in program ads so far, including from CBS Radio, ABC7 and Harvard Westlake.

iii.     Favot is helping with programs and Julia Seifer will help with scripts. Board members who are attending will need to pay in advance to make check-ins faster. Paying at the banquet is an option for attendees.

iv.     Streifler advised the board to be aware there is a PR event at USC the same night as the banquet.

c.      Courts – Marcellino (and Walton)

i.     Walton said an LA Times reporter told her the Riverside County court was going to hand out tickets for the FBI/Apple/San Bernardino hearing for general public and the media, with no guarantees that anyone would make it into the courtroom.

ii.     The reporter asked Walton/SPJLA to write a letter to the court to allow journalists in, but the hearing ended up being canceled and was then a moot issue. However, LA Times has asked SPJLA to help facilitate a new system in the future where a clerk can make sure journalists have access to the courtroom. This case was one of the highest profile cases to be at this particular courthouse so they might have no had to deal with this in the past.

iii.     Streifler suggested reaching out to Thom Mrozek of the US Attorney’s Office to see if he has experienced a similar issue in the past.

d.     Diversity – Flores/Nonahal

i.     Diversity event at USC recap: Hendrickson said the event was highly attended with good concessions. But finding the actual venue inside the campus was a challenge. A map and more signage would be helpful if we do another event there. USC’s diversity officer who attended thanked us and expressed interest in doing more events with SPJLA. Hendrickson said doing more events at journalism schools would be good for the board. About 60 attended.

ii.     Adolfo Flores told Nonahal there was a discussion after the event that was spirited. Nonahal thanks Flores for planning this event even though he left the board, since he committed to it last year.

e.     Ethics – Bluestein/Hendrickson

i.     No report

f.      FOI –Zahniser

i.     No report

g.     Generation J – Bowen/Bluestein

i.     The Journalism Education Association is holding its national conference in downtown LA with several thousand students to talk to professionals. Bluestein encouraged board members to consider attending one of the “Break With A Pro” sessions, where a professional will talk to students interested in their area of the field. The event is April 14 to 17.

h.     Membership – Saxton

i.     No report

i.       Nominations – Bellman

i.     No report

j.       Scholarships – Audi/Fleeman

i.     No report

V.              Old Business

a.     Sunshine ordinance: Nonahal said research pitch letters will go out this week.

VI.            New Business

a.     Mottek told the board about an RTNA event focusing on millennials, which is on Wednesday, April 27.

b.     Nonahal said she is hesitant about sending out releases about non-SPJ/LA events that are around the same time as SPJ/LA events, as well as sending releases about our events back to back. This may have hurt attendance with split focus and too many emails. Bellman suggested we continue to help other journalism organizations but consider the promotion and scheduling conflicts on a case-by-case basis. We can also promote on social media and our website without sending email releases to our subscribers.

VII.          Next board meeting is May 2 at Louise’s at 7 p.m.

VIII.          Adjournment

a.     Windsor moved to adjourn the meeting. Bluestein seconded, and the motion passed. The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca

 

 

Meeting Minutes: March 7, 2016

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, March 7, 2016

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Tammy Audi, Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Michael Fleeman, Richard Hendrickson, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, Richard Saxton, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Jeff Wald, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor

I.               Approval of minutes from Feb. 8 board meeting

a.     Wax moves to approve the minutes, Bluestein seconded. The motion carried.

II.             President’s report – Nonahal

a.     Board attendance to events and mixers – Nonahal suggested more board members attend events planned by the board to show support. Traffic and work schedules when planning/choosing the dates were discussed.

b.     Nonahal mentioned the SPJ Region 11 conference in Phoenix, April 29 – 30 and suggested board members to consider going.

III.           Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson

a.     Wald moves to approve, Bellman seconded. The motion carried.

b.     Bank of America balance on March 1 is $30,170.67. Balance on books is expected to be $27,838.47 after an Omni hotel deposit for the banquet of $2,332.20 clears.

c.      Morgan Stanley balance as of March 1 is $69,499.22, which is a loss of $62.39 from February. No outstanding debts.

IV.            Standing Committees

a.     Awards – Marcellino

·      No report.

b.     Banquet – Walton

·    2016 Banquet update: The board discussed potential candidates to emcee to event. Favot volunteered to help with the program. Wax suggested reaching out to the Rams for sponsorship. Mottek has reached out to TWC and suggested AEG.

·    The banquet will be held on Thursday, April 14 at the Omni. Cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 for members and $140 for non-members. Board members suggested we contact Sandy Banks to ask if she would be the MC. Alice asked board members to contact their newsrooms and PR relations to sell tickets.

c.      Courts – Marcellino

·      No report.

d.     Diversity – Flores/Nonahal

·      Nonahal reported that Flores is organizing the March 24 diversity event, #JournalismSoWhite, at USC. Panelists are set and Flores will moderate.

e.     Ethics – Bluestein/Hendrickson

·      Ethics event recap – Hendrickson said event went well even though we had three panelists instead of four. The board got a sizeable list of new people joining the SPJLA mailing list, and the event had many more attendees than expected from the RSVPs.

f.      FOI –Zahniser

·      No report.

g.     Generation J – Bowen

·      No report.

h.     Membership – Saxton

·      Saxton is putting together a list of bureaus and media offices in LA to recruit for memberships. He emailed national inquiring about promotions or group deals. Hendrickson spoke to Linda Hall, who mentioned the St. Louis chapter getting rid of chapter dues. Hendrickson suggested a possible 50% discount on initial local chapter dues, making them $10 instead of $20. The board initially suggested this topic at the retreat in January. Wax said it might be tough logistically with how national charges people on the sign up. Bellman said it would end up being a net loss in our overall budget. Windsor inquired as to the results by the local chapters that decreased or nixed the local dues.

i.       Nominations – Bellman

·      No report.

j.       Scholarships – Audi/Fleeman

·      Audi said we can announce scholarships at the banquet and proposed a deadline of June 13. Winners potentially announced June 27. Scholarships combined will award a total of $4,000.

V.              Old Business

a.     SPJ/LA’s March karaoke mixer recap – Peschiutta/Walton – Attendance not as high as last karaoke mixer, construction near the venue may have been an issue with commuting, and two mixers with the same theme were back-to-back. Walton proposed partnering with other journalism groups to cross promote, and choosing different themes monthly.

VI.            New Business

a.     The board revisited the discussion about if there is a need for a local sunshine ordinance. Bellman will draft a proposal for professors to possibly get students to help research.

b.     Fleeman said there is an event on May 14 being held by ONA, the same day as a computer workshop for SPJ/LA. The board will keep the date but will let ONA know that the chapter cannot co-sponsor their event.

VII.          Next board meeting: April 4 at Louise’s, 7 p.m.

VIII.          Adjournment

a.     Hendrickson moved to adjourn, Windsor seconded. The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca

Meeting Minutes: Feb. 5, 2016

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Monday, Feb. 5, 2016

Louise’s Trattoria

10645 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Khalil Garriott, Elizabeth Marcellino, Navid Nonahal, John Schwada, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.

I.               Approval of minutes

a.     Bellman moved to approve with fix of small typo on retreat minutes. Bluestein seconded. The motion carried.

II.             President’s Report

a.     No report

III.           Treasurer’s Report

a.     No report. Bellman moved to accept the report. Favot seconded. The motion passed. Marcellino later noted an error in the gain/loss, which is $646.11, instead of $46.11.

IV.           Standing Committees

a.     Awards

i.     No report

b.     Banquet

i.     Walton spoke with the Omni for a potential date of April 14. The cost of dinner has increased so Walton is negotiating on the price. The Universal Hilton is another option. The group reviewed some of the event’s past speakers. Wax suggested two speaking candidates.

c.     Courts

i.     No report

d.     Diversity

i.     Upcoming program: Nonahal spoke with Adolfo Flores about planning this year’s diversity event, March 24, 6 to 8 p.m., at USC Annenberg. The topic will be #JournalismSoWhite. Flores is planning to moderate himself and is reaching out to journalists for the panel.

e.     Ethics

i.     Event update: Bluestein has four panelists confirmed for the event, “Is Objectivity Overrated?” The panel is Thursday, March 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at KPCC. Panelists will be Pilar Marrero, senior political reporter for Impremedia; Robert Scheer, founder and editor of Truthdig; Karen Ocamb, news editor for Frontiers Magazine and FrontiersMedia.co, and Marc Cooper, retired USC Annenberg School journalism professor. The group discussed the search to find journalists who would stand behind traditional journalism objectivity. Bluestein will moderate. Garriott suggested reaching out to SPJ National to get coverage of the event in Quill magazine.

f.      FOI

i.     Zahniser said he is working to get the authors of BuzzFeed’s award-winning H-2 investigation to speak at an event in July.

g.     Generation J

i.     No report

h.     Membership

i.     Nonahal is planning to get new ad hoc membership committee together for an update at the next meeting.

i.      Nominations

i.     No report

j.      Scholarships

i.     No report

V.             Old Business

a.     Karaoke mixer recap: Walton said another karaoke mixer is being planned for March 2. The event drew many non-members so Walton is hoping to make the next event more journalism-focused and SPJ/LA-branded to improve networking and membership growth.

VI.           New Business

a.     Local sunshine ordinance: The group discussed looking into a local sunshine ordinance.

b.     March 2 karaoke mixer.

c.     iMovie workshop at CSUN on May 14. Journalists will create a one-minute clip on iMovie. The group discussed whether the workshop would be open to the public or for working journalists only, and whether it would be free.

VII.         Next board meeting: March 7 at Louise’s at 7 p.m.

VIII.       Adjournment: Zahniser moved to adjourn, Nonahal seconded. Meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Christina Cocca

SPJ/LA Minutes, Board of Directors Retreat: Jan. 23, 2016

SPJ/LA Minutes, Board of Directors retreat

Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, 10 a.m.

9430 Wish Ave., Northridge, CA

Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Christina Cocca, Sarah Favot, Michael Fleeman, Dick Hendrickson, Elizabeth Marcellino, Frank Mottek, Navid Nonahal, John Schwada, Julia Seifer, Lori Streifler, Alice Walton, Jeff Wald, Roberta Wax, Natalie Windsor, David Zahniser.

I.               MINUTES. Windsor moves to approve the December 2015 board minutes, Bellman and Hendrickson second. Motion carried.

II.             PRESIDENT’S REPORT.

·      Nonahal welcomed the board’s newest member, Sarah Favot of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

·      Bellman made a motion for the approval of the board’s officers for 2016: president Navid Nonahal, vice president Elizabeth Marcellino, secretary Christina Cocca, treasurer Dick Hendrickson. Mottek seconded. The motion carried.

·      Hendrickson moved the 2016 slate of associate board members: Linda Bowen, Michael Fleeman, Khalil Garriott, Claudia Peschiutta, John Schwada, Julia Seifer, Lori Streifler, Natalie Windsor. Bellman seconded. Motion carried.III.           INTRODUCTIONS.
Board members introduced themselves, describing their professional backgrounds and their reasons for getting involved in SPJ/LA: building a sense of community with fellow journalists, support for the chapter’s work on ethics and First Amendment rights, enjoyment of the group’s activities, feeling a sense of obligation to the profession.

IV.            SPJ/LA COMMITTEES/BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES.

·      Committees.
Nonahal distributed the list of 2016 committee assignments for SPJ/LA board members.

·      Associate board members.

Nonahal explained the differences between board members and associate board members: Board members are elected by the membership for three-year terms. Associate board members are selected by the president for one-year terms. Board members can be asked to step down if they miss three or more meetings. That requirement is not imposed on associate board members. The votes of associate board members also become more important if there is not a quorum of board members.

Nonahal  also noted that she had reduced the number of associate board members for 2016, contacting those who have not been active to let them know.

V.              MEMBERSHIP OUTREACH/DUES

Nonahal brought up the issue of declining membership in the SPJ/LA chapter. She asked whether it makes sense to eliminate the $20 chapter fee that is added to the $75 cost of national membership. Some chapters have done this and succeeded in improving membership.

Nonahal noted that local dues provided around $2,000 last year.

Zahniser said the chapter needs more information on the decrease. The board does not seem to be clear on whether this a one-time blip that resulted from SPJ national readjusting its membership numbers, or whether it’s part of a steady decline. He recommended a monthly update on membership numbers from the membership committee, similar to that provided by the treasurer. Zahniser also said membership is only important as it relates to other goals: For example, if the chapter has quality programs that draw a high turnout, how important is membership at that point?

Wax said the reason for charging local dues is that some of SPJ/LA’s programs cost the chapter money – the use of a room, snacks, etc. Mixers are great, of course, because there’s not a cost. But there’s also other expenditures, like web hosting, the PayPal account, which rely on dues.

Bellman said membership is a key part of having a strong, robust chapter.  The chapter has more influence if it has more members, and creates a momentum for its programs and advocacy. Bellman said the chapter should not simply be about people going out to hang out and drink.

Hendrickson questioned the wisdom of having local students pay additional SPJ/LA dues on top of the $35 national dues and the $10 campus dues that are charged to students.

Board members also discussed the tension between wanting to have events that are free to the public, versus those that cost money but can have a higher quality of food or programming. Cocca noted that last year’s ethics panel was made possible in part because NBC Los Angeles defrayed the cost of catering.

Schwada made a motion to establish a goal for 2016 membership, but others said the board doesn’t have enough information to diagnose the program or determine how realistic that goal should be. The motion was tabled.

Schwada made a motion to make it the board’s policy that students in the Los Angeles area should not be charged dues from SPJ/LA. If they are already paying national and campus dues, they should automatically become SPJ/LA members as well. Marcellino seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Hedrickson issued the treasurer’s report, noting that the loss for the year in the Morgan Stanley account is $388. The report initiated another discussion of the nature of the investments made by the Morgan Stanley account. Wald moved the report and Cocca seconded. Motion carried.
VI.            LUNCH.

Lasagna, salad and a great number of desserts.

VII.          PROGRAMMING IDEAS.

Board members proposed an array of panels, workshops and the annual banquet. Among the ideas were a video editing workshop, a panel on efforts to diversify newsrooms, programs on the 2016 presidential campaign and, later in the year, the process of fact-checking during an election campaign; and a Q&A on a series of stories about immigrant work visas that was nominated for a national magazine award.

The board’s proposals will be incorporated into the SPJ/LA calendar for 2016, which will be formalized by Nonahal for the next board meeting.

VIII.        OTHER BUSINESS.
·      Banquet update. Discussed earlier, as part of the 2016 calendar preparation.

·      Nonahal reminded the board of the karaoke mixer, set for Wednesday, Jan. 27 at The Redwood.
IX.            NEXT BOARD MEETING. Monday, Feb. 8 at Louise’s Trattoria, 7 p.m.

X.              ADJOURNMENT.  Walton moved and Windsor seconded. Meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

David Zahniser