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



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