MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SIGMA DELTA CHI FOUNDATION
Oct. 4, 2010
PLANET HOLLYWOOD, LAS VEGAS
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Steve Geimann presiding, the meeting of the board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation was called to order at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010 at Planet Hollywood hotel in Las Vegas.
In addition to Geimann, the following board members were present: Vice-President Robert Leger; Secretary Irwin Gratz; Treasurer Howard Dubin; Directors Dave Aeikens, Sonny Albarado, Fred Brown, David Carlson, Al Cross, John Ensslin, Jay Evensen, Todd Gillman, Liz Hansen, Bill Ketter, Jane Kirtley, Sue Kopen Katcef, Al Leeds, Sally Lehrman, Hagit Limor, Darcie Lunsford, Dori Maynard, Mac McKerral, Sue Porter, Neil Ralston, Kevin Smith, and Jeremy Steele.
Staff members present included Executive Director Joe Skeel; Assistant Executive Director Chris Vachon; and Director of Development Amy Posavac.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Geimann requested a few typographical corrections to the minutes of the April 18, 2010 board meeting. Also, SPJ appointees Steele, Albarado, Hansen and Ensslin were left out of the roll call.
Upon proper motion and second by Dubin and Limor, respectively, the board approved the amended minutes of the April 18, 2010 board of directors meeting.
SDX FOUNDATION PRESIDENTS REPORT
SDX President Geimann reports the Foundation has returned to awarding the Pulliam Editorial Fellowship. Twenty-one applications we received, in part due to the expansion of the criteria allowing columnists to apply. This years recipient was a columnist.
Geimann reports the Foundation will be seeing a more active Finance Committee, as it takes a hands-on role in approving the Foundations annual budget.
SPJ PRESIDENTS REPORT
SPJ President Smith reported on the Shield bill. Legal counsel advised that if the bill isnt passed now, it could likely be five more years. The main obstacle continues to be the definition of a journalist. The current bill has the backing of the House, Executive Branch, the Attorney General as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee. Smith said he feels it has the votes to pass if the bill is brought to the Senate floor. However, it is being held up by one Senator.
SPJ is enjoying a slight increase in members. Membership rolls include 8,250 people to date, which is up 750 from January.
SPJ is also enjoying a budget surplus, thanks to Joe Skeels hard work and support from the SDX Foundation.
Smith also reports that SPJ has started its first official international chapter in Qatar, at an extension campus of Northwestern. The chapter boasts 36 members.
SPJ has begun awarding Diversity Fellowships again.
SPJ extends its thanks to Dave Cuillier for his summer FOI tour Access Across America.
Smith reports that the Bylaws Committee has been busy, and chapters can now download a template of model bylaws for their use.
Gratz inquired as to how our international chapter will adhere to SPJs Code of Ethics. Smith states that we likely wont change what WE do, but these talks are still early.
Dubin reports that we are no longer paying any management fees for our investments.
The Foundation Finance Committee will become more involved in the annual budget process, much like SPJ. The Committee will have a conference call in February to approve the budget.
Skeel has been tasked with simplifying the Foundations list of funds so that the committee can work to clean up the accounts.
GRANTS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE REPORT
Committee Chair Leger reports that the Grants and Awards Committee will meet tomorrow to review who received funds from the Foundation, and be sure it was spent as indicated.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS REPORT
Skeel reports that membership is on par with 2009; we are gaining ground and trending up.
SPJ ended the year with a $35,000 budget surplus.
There are 750 attendees at Convention this week, 200 more paid attendees than budgeted.
Skeel reminds the board to sign and return the Conflict of Interest Policy, so that we may have it on file.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENTS REPORT
Posavac reports that the Development Committee met yesterday, and came up with a laundry list of things for the Foundation to work on. One item of special note: it seems we need to get our foot in the door with regards to grants from other Foundations. We will add some money for travel into our budget for fiscal year 2012 so that we may visit with these groups face to face.
Development efforts since our last meeting included a new phone campaign. Posavac reports the results were good enough to try another campaign in the future. We will continue to develop the appeals that work, and move forward to find new revenue possibilities.
Kirtley brought up the issue of members privacy with regards to our phone campaign. Posavac explained that the Foundations vendor is quite reputable, and by law, has to remove any phone number per a members request.
Carlson would like the Foundation to create and provide a list of the relationships were developing.
Vachon reports that SPJ used 140 percent of its room block at the hotel for this Convention. The number of sponsors has increased, as has the number of exhibitors.
The web site and the call for programs for the 2011 Convention is already up and running. In teaming up with RTDNA the name for next year will be Excellence in Journalism 2011. Vachon made it clear that even with our partnership with RTDNA, 2011 will be ONE convention, not two separate groups sharing space.
Next year SPJ has budgeted for 1,000 attendees, 750 of them being paid attendees.
Staff shared the location decision for the 2012 Convention.
OFFICER AND DIRECTOR ELECTIONS
Governance Committee Chair Gratz asked the board to approve the following slate of SDX-nominated directors for three-year terms, ending in 2013:
Upon proper motion and second by Gratz and Limor, respectively, the board passed the slate of directors.
The Committee asked the board to approve the slate of Officers:
Steve Geimann, President
Robert Leger, Vice President
Howard Dubin, Treasurer
Irwin Gratz, Secretary
Upon proper motion and second by Brown and Carlson, respectively, the board passed the slate of officers.
Kirtley suggested that the Foundation refrain from having all former SPJ presidents as SDX officers. Geimann notes that Limor will appoint 11 SPJ members to the Foundations board.
Ethics book update: Brown reports the new ethics book is ready to be printed, and should be available after January 1. Still adding some updated case studies.
History Book: Leger has discovered an association of historians, and will meet with them to rustle up some writers. He will probably look to SDX for funding to pay authors. Marion Street Press came back with the best quote, as well as some options for distribution and marketing. The most attractive option being: Marion Street would fulfill all orders, with SPJ receiving 10 percent royalty. Members could buy the book at a discount, and there would be no cost to SPJ.
Access Across America recap: Geimann reports on the success of Dave Cuilliers FOI trip across the country this summer, and is pleased that the Foundation was able to support the effort.
Upon proper motion and second, the board adjourned the meeting at 10:40 a.m., Oct. 4, 2010.