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March 2014 Press Club board minutes

March 12, 2014, San Mateo Daily Journal Offices

PRESENT: Kristy Blackburn, Peter Cleaveland, Darryl Compton, Laura Dudnick, Antonia Ehlers, Jon Mays, Melissa McRobbie, Dave Price, Ed Remitz, Marshall Wilson, Special Guest Jim Watson

OPEN BOARD SEAT: Jim Watson from the Foster City Islander is our special guest
Board members met Jim Watson, who bought the Foster City Islander in January 2013 and is interested in becoming a board member. Board members explained purpose of club is to promote a sense of press community, as well as help with the transition into the online arena while recognizing the value of print. Board also outlined the major Press Club undertakings (awards contest/h.s. boot camp/h.s. awards contest/scholarships).

Jim told the board about his journey from studying engineering and going into sales, to working for The Boulder Shopper in Nev and then moving to CA and taking over the Foster City Islander. Plans for the Islander include expanding it to 12 pages (if not more) and making it more profitable than it currently has become.
The board approved the motion to regretfully accept Melissa McRobbie’s resignation because she is moving to Grant’s Pass, Ore. (Jon Mays motioned, Peter Cleaveland seconded). The board also approved the motion to move Dave Price from Director to Secretary (Peter Cleaveland motioned, Melissa McRobbie seconded). The board currently has two director positions open, and discussed various people to approach.

FINANCE/MEMBERSHIP: Darryl Compton provided an update on the state of the club’s finances. We had a large drop in entries for the awards contest, mostly because the Mercury News pulled out and did not pay for their reporters to enter the contest. Many categories had a decrease in the number of entries, except for the Broadband/Web category. The idea of offering a free entry was good marketing, but did not really net us that many new members. Even though we have $12,000 in savings account, we need to figure out a more sustainable model for the contest for next year.
Darryl also reminded board members to pay their dues as well.

AWARDS BANQUET: We have a hold on the Crowne Plaza for Saturday, May 31. Keynote speaker?
The board approved a motion to reserve the Crowne Plaza for Saturday, May 31 (Marshall Wilson moved, Laura Dudnick seconded). Darryl informed the board that due to the open call option for the contest, some independent reporters submitted entries to categories that may not have existed for a certain medium (for example, putting a sports column in broadband even though it should have been in writing). Board agreed to leave the entries as is for the judging.

The board discussed Ideas for a keynote speaker and if the lifetime achievement award was a one-off or an annual presentation. Possibilities for keynote speakers: Jon Mays suggested some of the Wall Street Journal/All Things D reporters who are in the Bay Area: Reed Albergotti, who wrote a book about the Armstrong doping scandal and has the Facebook beat; Scott Thurm; and Jonathan Krim. Laura suggested Marcia Parker, who is currently working with Slate, as well as her husband Bob Porterfield who’s won a Pulitzer. Melissa McRobbie suggested Vic Lee as a possible Lifetime Achievement Award winner in the future. Jon Mays offers to follow up with Reed Albergotti to see if he is interested/available.

The board also thinks that having someone from YouTube or Facebook present at the next Boot Camp would be worth following up on at a future meeting.
High School Journalism Contest: Entry Deadline is 3/14 (Judges needed)
Darryl Compton reported that we currently have entries from Carlmont, Aragon, Gunn and Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco (Tracy Sena).

He asked for board members to help judge the contest once all the entries have been submitted. Depending on the number of features entries, they may be split among different judges to faciitate the judging.
The board also set a date for the High School Awards Ceremony — Marshall will contact the Old Courthouse in Redwood City to see if May 1st or May 22nd are available for the awards ceremony.

Darryl Compton asked for assistance in getting the scholarship info out to the college students. Ed Remitz offered to send him some contact info for local advisers at the college level.
Ed Remitz suggested that the board make it clearer in the scholarship application that students should submit a variety of articles, including news articles. Darryl Compton recommended that Ed Remitz revise the language and send it to the board for approval so that the new requirements could be instituted this year. The board agreed this was a good course of action.

HAYWARD HIGH GRANT/KARSTEN BARNES: The board revisited the grant from Karsten Barnes submitted in the fall of 2013. Marshall Wilson will follow up with Karsten about what the money will be used for. Darryl Compton suggested that we limit the grant to $500. Marshall Wilson will report back to the board via email with the information that he gets from Karsten Barnes.

JUDGING: Milwaukee Press Club Judging Due This Friday. Ed Remitz reported that he had issues accessing the system but that they got resolved. Marshall Wilson reported that he followed up with the contest organizer because of the inconsistent entries in his category.

NEWSLETTER: Laura Dudnick requested materials ASAP for the newsletter so that she can send out another newsletter soon.

OTHER BUSINESS: Ed Remitz brought up the student intern issue and whether we would be able to offer a stipend to a student who could help with the website. The board agreed to return to this issue in September.

The meeting was adjourned at 8 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Kristy Blackburn

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