Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 2017 Press Club board minutes

Meeting via teleconference, Feb. 9, 2017, at 6 p.m.  

Present: Antonia Ehlers, Ed Remitz, Dave Price, Jim Watson, Carla Worfolk, Jim Henderson and Jane Northrop.

Greater Bay Area Journalism Contest debrief: Website needs to be updated to fix incorrect information. (That was done Feb. 10.)  

Finances: Antonia had a conversation with the IRS and learned that the club's main operational account is in good standing, and that only the 2015 returns are due. However, she learned that no returns had been filed for the scholarship account since 2007. That needs to be remedied in order to receive tax-deductible contributions. Antonia applied for reinstatement of this account on Dec. 16. Jane said she'd contact her bookkeeper and Antonia suggested a tax professional. The board will confer to ensure the right person is hired. A motion and a second was made to approve this idea, and it was passed unanimously.

The main account, a 501(c)(6), has a balance of approximately $7,000. The scholarship account, a 501(c)(3), holds about $3,500.

Executive Director: The board voted to hire Terry Williams, the executive director of the San Diego Press Club and a contest coordinator for other clubs. She will run our professional and high school contests for a fee of $2,000 a year.  

Statement on Press Club Values: Ed suggested the Press Club issue a statement about our values in light of allegations by the White House that the news media deliberately disseminate “fake news” and withhold facts. Carla said that the statement should wait until the club gets its "ducks in a row" regarding the club’s overall organization with the pending hire of an executive director. She said such a statement could come before our contest, which will celebrate the club's 40th anniversary. She said that the anniversary would be a good time for a "rebranding" of the club. The rest of the board agreed with her idea.  

High school boot camp: Antonia said Saturday, May 13, would be the best date for this year's camp based on the school calendars she's seen. She said it's important to pick a day that doesn't conflict with SAT tests or high school proms. City College of San Francisco, which hosted last year's boot camp, is again willing to provide space for the event.  

Contest judging: Directors were advised that they would be asked to judge the Milwaukee Press Club's contest in the next few days. Milwaukee has judged our contest in the past, so this is simply returning a favor.  

Insurance: At a previous meeting, Carla said she felt the club's directors should have insurance like people who serve on other nonprofit boards. Other directors agreed including Ed who spoke about the importance of such insurance. At the Feb. 9 meeting, both Jim and Dave reported that they have spoken to agents who sell Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance. A $1 million policy will run the club somewhere between $500 and $700 a year, an agent told Dave. Dave said he would get an exact price quote and relay the information to the board.

The meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

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