Meeting Minutes: March 5, 2018

SPJ/LA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Monday, March 5, 2018
7 p.m.
Louise’s Trattoria
10645 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Bluestein called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

Present: Joel Bellman, Stephanie Bluestein, Tom Bray, Roberta Wax, Frank Mottek, Richard Hendrickson, Lori Streifler, Kathryn Mora, Alice Walton, Natalie Windsor.

Guests: Monica Rodriguez, Cal State Northridge, co-president of CSUN SPJ chapter
Michaela Haas, Solutions Journalism Network

I. Approval of minutes from the Feb. 5 meeting
Wax moved to approve the minutes. Hendrickson seconded. Approved by voice vote.

II. President’s report – Bluestein
Bluestein congratulated Walton on awards dinner, regional conference website.
Encouraged board members to help promote regional conference; will send suggested wording for social media and other promotion. Has reached out to more than 40 schools.
Shared prospective board members to replace departing Sandy Mazza, Richard Hendrickson and America Arias. Bios shared for three journalists under consideration to be new board members. Bluestein urged board members to identify additional candidates, to be submitted via email and reviewed at next meeting. Bluestein will contact prospective members after additional names are received; board will vote in April.

III. Treasurer’s report – Hendrickson
Hard copy of treasurer’s reported shared; balances detailed; expenses for awards banquet detailed
Requested information check to hotel; Walton said the cost is not known yet, but will follow up.
Missing check noted at previous meeting was found.
Final deposit to Universal City Hilton, $700, sent.
Walton requested that check to Omni be deleted; will follow up with revision.
Bellman moved to approve amended report; Windsor seconded; approved on voice vote.

IV. Standing/Ad Hoc Committees
a. Awards –Streifler and Marcellino; no report
b. Banquet – Walton
Walton thanked everyone who attended, described recipients as strong. Waiting to hear from venue on final numbers, likely between 106 and 110. Ten students were in attendance. Waiting for the final bill from the Omni. Almost all payments are in; waiting on ABC and LA Times. All tickets are in. Encouraged board members to share feedback.
Wax asked what difficulties occurred. Walton said it was relatively seamless; small hiccup with the program.
Mottek congratulated Walton on the event. Was congratulated on his role as master of ceremonies. Wax said Mottek set the right, collegial tone.
c. Courts – Marcellino; no report
d. Diversity – no report
e. Ethics – Bellman;
Bellman: UCLA made a retroactive decision to not post video of appearance Steve Mnuchin at UCLA event who was heckled by members of the audience. Audio was posted but the Treasury Department withdrew its consent to post the video. Bellman said he may be forced to file Public Records Act request to get information and suggested preparing a possible statement on the incident.
Walton suggested a notice demanding UCLA post the video. The statement would be reviewed by our pro bono attorney. Bluestein suggested engaging the national ethics chair.
f. FOI – Zahniser; no report
g. Generation J – Bluestein; no report
h. Membership – Nonahal
Elizabeth: Online membership signup should be up and running by next week which adds a layer to join the local chapter when paying for national membership.
i. Nominations – Bray; no report
j. Regional Conference– Hendrickson and Favot;
NBC will pay to have its logo on event lanyard. $750 which will largely pay for lanyards. Bluestein encouraged board to please reach out to encourage
k. Scholarships – Saxton
In Saxton’s absence, Bluestein gave a report. We will promote scholarships online in mid-April and during the regional conference, with follow-ups to the early June deadline. Saxton will gather the committee in June for an early July announcement, per Tammy Audi’s advice.
Mega mixer: July 10 or 11; likely at Molly Malone’s location of last year’s event
Student guest suggested Golden Road Brewery, San Fernando

V. Old Business
Mixer on March 14 – Zahniser
SoCal Newsmageddon will be at The Association with panelists: Larry Altman, Dennis Romero and Darren Carrol with Julia Wick as moderator.

VI. New Business
a. Presentation about Solutions Journalism Network L.A. made by Michaela Haas. Board discussed possible risks/rewards of partnering with group. Board agreed to research/vet their efforts before committing. If training is scheduled in May, board members should attend to experience the program.
b. Diversity event for May – Bluestein In light of not having a Diversity committee chair at the moment, this event is available to anyone who wants to plan it. However at the moment, most of the board’s efforts are focused on the regional conference.

VII. Adjournment
Windsor moved to adjourn at 9:10 p.m.; Mazza seconded; passed on voice vote.

Next board meeting: Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at Louise’s Trattoria

Respectfully submitted,
Tom Bray

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