CALLED TO ORDER: 7:30 PM
Board Members: Julie Asher, Bob Becker, Paul Byers, Haley Crum, Amy Fickling, Sue Kopen Katcef, Bill McCloskey, Andy Schotz, Steve Taylor
Chapter Members: Jessica Coscia, Stephenie Overman
Dateline Contest Organizer: Joel Whitaker.
President Asher welcomed the visiting chapter members who are interested in helping with program.
MINUTES OF JANUARY MEETING:
Becker moved to approve January 8 minutes. McCloskey seconded. Eight members voted to approve—Amy Fickling abstained.
President Asher initially focused on the following concerns and issues:
- Dan Kubiske has agreed to chair the nominating committed from afar and Hanna Winston will assist him in DC.
- Steve Geimann along with Ann Augherton and Chris Gunty have agreed to serve on the audit committee.
- Maggi Mulvihill has agreed to track the membership roster month- by-month and advise Asher when renewal letters are needed. Mulvihill will also help with the Dateline newsletter.
- Asher noted that the appeal for assistance and involvement made over Facebook has been very successful in generating volunteers.
- Asher then turned to pending program topics:
- A mixer will be held on February 22 in Clarendon at LaTasca (2900 Wilson Blvd.) The event will be co-hosted with the new Georgetown University Chapter. Notices going out this week.
- March 13 the DC Open Government Committee will be addressed by DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson in a 6:30 p.m. gathering at the Press Club. Bob Becker has suggested that the board consider helping defray the costs of the event which is open to the public and is expected to draw between 80 and 100 people. The sense of the board was to provide up to $2,000 for the event but asked Becker to provide a more detailed cost breakdown.
- Brandon Benavides of the Hispanic Journalists Association has asked SPJ to cosponsor a Job Fair he’s putting together in April, hopefully at the Press Club. We’ve partnered with him on successful events the last two years. There will be a $10 charge to cover the cost of hors d’oeuvres.
- Jessica Coscia is going to work with Alesha Green to finalize plans for a program with the Sunlight Foundation –Green, who works for the organization, is taking the lead in organizing this event which would be structured around the various tools that the foundation makes available to help journalists.
- There was discussion about a possible program based in part on ‘Homicide Watch.’ This is an exercise in entrepreneurial journalism that could be the basis of an interesting program. It was noted that one of the co-founders is currently on a Nieman grant at Harvard, and it might be best to wait until she’s available to lead the presentation. Green will check on her schedule and advise.
- Haley Crum has been working on putting together a program for High School Journalists & Advisors. She advised that it will be best to plan for a September event. She is prepared to secure a conference room at The Washington Post. The board, after hearing a report from Andy Schotz on the financial status of the Bethesda Chevy Chase High newspaper, agreed to redirect $350 to support a Boot Camp for High School journalists that might grow out of the session at the Post.
- Stephenie Overman advised that the Freelance group which she co-chairs is holding a workshop at the Press Club in the first week of April. The topic will be technology and the social media.
- There was discussion of holding more happy hours at venues like the Monocle, the Black Rooster and The Front Page. It was suggested that combining with other groups such as the Hispanic Journalists Association and RTDNA might improve the turnout for such events.
- It was noted that the Region 2 spring conference will be held on April 19 in Norfolk. The Virginia Press Association is again co-sponsoring this year.
- McCloskey moved to accept the report.
- Becker seconded.
- Motion passed following lengthy discussion.
Treasurer Amy Fickling shared with the board three months of bank statements and her check register as requested by the board. She circulated a sheet asking each member to verify that they had had the opportunity to review the documents presented and were satisfied. It was noted the Region 2 funds are held in the chapter accounts but tracked independently. There was discussion of how the intensified oversight suggested by national is being implemented. It was also suggested that Quicken might be helpful in tracking both revenue and expenses.
Coordinator Joel Whitaker said he has received his first entries. He sent out multiple mailing to various lists, resulting in some duplication. He’ll work to correct that in the future. He also advised that swapping entries for judging with Ohio’s three chapters will work out fine, even though they are using electronic submission in their own contests this year.
Dinner Chair Andy Schotz advised that all is moving forward—saying this was his “slow period.” Steve Taylor reported on his progress with Hall of Fame nominees and candidates for the Distinguished Service Award.
President Asher suggested that we move to quarterly editions. There was general agreement. A number of stories were assigned for the next issue with a deadline of February 11th. It was agreed that Asher would contact former recording secretary Sherell Williams to get old minutes for the archives.
There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM. Next meeting March 4 at 7:30 p.m.