MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SIGMA DELTA CHI FOUNDATION
SEPTEMBER 21, 2012
MARRIOTT HARBOR BEACH RESORT
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
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 9:10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale.
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, Dave Cuillier, John Ensslin, Jay Evensen, Todd Gillman, Bill Ketter, Al Leeds, Sally Lehrman, Hagit Limor, Gordon Mac McKerral, Sue Porter, Neil Ralston, Kevin Smith and Kelsey Volkmann.
Staff members present included Executive Director Joe Skeel and Associate Executive Director Chris Vachon.
SDX FOUNDATION PRESIDENTS REPORT
SDX Foundation President Geimann reports the endowment remained in excess of $10 million. The Foundation provided $327,666 in grants to SPJ as well as grants to the Student Press Law Center and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Jean Ottos estate donated $25,000 to the Foundation.
Geimann also reports that Sandra Shea, from the Philadelphia Daily News, is receiving the Pulliam Editorial Fellowship. She will create a collaborative, multimedia program of pictures, videos and stories through her research of poverty and the toll it takes on Americans.
Finally, the Pulliam First Amendment Award goes to Carol Marbin Miller of the Miami Herald, for three decades of reporting on the Florida social services system.
Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Limor, respectively, the board approved the meeting minutes from April 29, 2012 and July 18, 2012.
SPJ PRESIDENTS REPORT
Ensslin shared an update from SPJs board of directors meeting, which took place the previous day.
The board supports the expense necessary to implement a monthly dues billing process.
An institutional membership program has been created. The goal is to get SPJs culture into newsrooms around the country.
Dubin indicated that some new language is going to be drafted for the investment policy via the finance committee in order to be more flexible with the current interest rate environment.
FOUNDATION STAFF REPORT
Vachon shared that Fiscal Year 2012 produced contributions totaling $45,175 from 273 gifts, averaging $165.50 per gift. This was a 30 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.
SPJ STAFF REPORT
Skeel shared that bookkeeper Rhonda Harris is leaving the staff after four years. He will be working to fill the position.
The membership database upgrade is complete and after convention it will be launched.
As far as the SPJ budget goes, revenue projections exceeded actual income, as did expenses. This was mainly a result of two SDX Awards Banquets in one fiscal year and the database upgrade. At the close of FY2012 SPJ had about $355,000 in unrestricted cash.
Committee chair Todd Gillman reported that he has done some preliminary work on a few ideas that have been floated by him. He is looking for something that has broad reach and that is an ongoing project.
BOARD MEMBER ELECTIONS
The following slate of board members are being offered to the board:
The following slate of officers are being offered for the boards review:
President - Robert Leger
Vice President - Irwin Gratz
Secretary - Jane Kirtley
Treasurer - Howard Dubin
Upon proper motion and second by Albarado and Limor, respectively, the board elected the slate of board members and officers.
GIFT ACCEPTANCE POLICY
Skeel presented a gift acceptance policy. The Foundations independent audit firm recommended that such a policy be adopted. However, there is no requirement to have one.
The board reviewed the lengthy draft from Skeel and came to the conclusion that they dont need such an involved policy.
Upon proper motion and second by Brown and Carlson, respectively, the staff is instructed to prepare a draft of the policy that will only include the list of types of gifts accepted from page 29 of the currently proposed policy and to present it to the Foundations governance committee.
As Steve Geimann steps down as president of the Foundation board, he was recognized and praised for his many years of service and dedication. He was presented with a gift of wines from the board.
Upon proper motion and second by Cross and Brown, respectively, the board voted to recognize Steve Geimann for his great work as the SDX Foundation president.
Upon proper motion and second by Carlson and Ralston, respectively, the board voted to adjourn the meeting at 10:50 a.m.