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December 2003 Press Club board minutes

Minutes of the Dec. 17, 2003 PPC board meeting held at the San Mateo Daily News

Attendees: Micki Carter, Darryl Compton, John F. Kane, Jon Mays, Justin Nyberg, Ed Remitz, Jack Russell, Dave Price, Paul Sakuma

Absent: Aimee Lewis, Bill Workman

Meeting was called to order by President Carter at 6:17 p.m.

1. Minutes of Nov. 12 meeting were approved.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Carter reported that signature cards at Bank of the West will be updated so that Compton and Workman can sign PPC checks, in addition to Carter. Carter also reported that the club has assets of $22,474.64 as of Dec. 17 and another $6,904.60 in the scholarship fund.

In response to a question, Compton said that he will keep the books at home on a computer and Workman will serve as the ex-officio treasurer.

Carter distributed copies of the balance sheet and the income/expense summary. Kane moved to accept report, Russell seconded, approved unanimously.

3. Christmas Party. Carter reported that party was more expensive than expected. PPC was charged $30 per person, and 30 attended. With tax and tip, bill came to $1,149. PPC took in $240. She said we took in significantly more last year.

4. Insurance. Compton received a couple of quotes, and the one he recommended was from Zurich American Insurance Co., which offered $2 million in general aggregate insurance, $1 million in tenants liability and $1 million in personal injury for a cost of $765.00 per year.

Directors were pleased by the amount because it was far less than the $2,000 or so quoted by another agent previously.

Compton distributed a copy of the quotes he received.

In response to a question, Compton said the policy will cover the club if somebody gets drunk at a PPC event and causes a car accident later, and the victims sue the PPC or its directors.

Carter said the policy provides the coverage John Horgan said the club needed when he resigned from the board due to a lack of insurance.

Compton said, “This is money well spent. I think it is a very good policy.”

Russell moved to accept Compton’s recommendation to purchase the policy, Mays seconded and it was approved unanimously.

Mays asked that the club send a note to Horgan informing him of the vote, and others agreed. It was the sense of the directors that they wanted Horgan to return.

5. Awards Competition, procedure and rules. Directors discussed several changes and approved them as they went along.

Acting on a suggestion by Sakuma, the board decided to change the name of the contest to the “Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Competition.” The contest’s new name would emphasize that the contest is an event for journalists throughout the Bay Area, not just San Mateo County or the Peninsula. Directors discussed whether to use the word “greater,” and it was thought that since media in 11 counties are eligible, and some of those counties don’t touch San Francisco Bay, the word “greater” was necessary.

Compton suggested, and the board agreed, to change the deadline to Friday, Feb. 27, 2004.

Sakuma suggested, and the board agreed, to change the storage media for photo entries to CDs, eliminating the option of zip discs or floppy discs.

Sakuma suggested, and the board agreed, to strike category D7 “Best Photo — non dailies.”

Carter said that last year’s change in fees to $15 for members and $55 for non-members resulted in the biggest influx of new members in the club’s history. That’s because a membership of $35 and a $15 entry is cheaper than entering even once as a non-member.

The only problem was that the Chronicle and Mercury News, which apparently aren’t concerned about whether their reporters are members, didn’t want to pay $55 for each entry. The club last year offered to reduce the entry fee to $30 per entry for any company with more than 40 entries. The Mercury News still objected, and therefore its participation was limited last year, Carter said. To answer the Mercury’s concerns, the board agreed to reduce the threshold to 25 entries instead of 40.

Nyberg suggested, and the board agreed, to add the words “news services” to the A category. Sakuma was asked to talk about the competition to the AP staff and Lewis will be asked to the same at Bay City News in order to get more participation from the wires.

Nyberg said that it would be helpful if the call for entries included a mission statement of the club.

Compton said that to reduce costs, he would like to send out a call for entry on post cards, which would direct participants to the PPC Web site.

6. Awards Dinner. Directors discussed awards banquet date, and it was tentatively set for May 28, 2004, pending a confirmation of the location.

Directors said they liked having the event at the Crown Plaza Foster City, and they decided to investigate whether it could be hosted there again in 2004.

Mays said that the scholarships should be mentioned in the call for entries, too.

7. Scholarships. Kane said the deadline for scholarship applications is Feb. 27, the same as the contest. Kane said the scholarship committee consists of himself, Charlotte Glasser, Sam Goldman, Dee Fastenau, Ed Remitz and Jack Russell. Two scholarships are available.

8. Web site. Price reported the Web site has been repaired and contains new information.

9. New Business. Carter said the board needed a new secretary. Mays volunteered. Directors voted unanimously to appoint Mays as secretary.

Nyberg suggested that the board distribute copies of the winning entries to attendees at the 2004 banquet. Compton said the copying cost would be high and that it might be difficult to copy entries of broadsheet pages. It was decided that the entry form will include a blank where an entrant can list a URL link to a story. Printing stories from the Web would be easier than copying entries submitted to contest. No vote was taken on this suggestion.

Meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

Next meeting is set for Wednesday, Jan. 14, 6:15 p.m. at the San Mateo Daily News.

Minutes prepared by Dave Price.

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