01-25-2020 Valley of the Sun SPJ meeting minutes




Meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists, Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter

Jan. 25, 2020, 10 a.m., Wildflower Bread Co., 4290 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Started: 10:22 a.m.

Attendees: Tim Eigo, Mark Scarp, and Robert Leger …  Absent: Debra Krol. Teri Carnicelli


  • Secretary’s report and approval of minutes from Nov. 16, 2019 – unanimously approved
  • Treasurer’s report
  • on November motion to move $2,000 from checking account into the chapter’s Northwestern Update Mutual investment account – Teri had brought up that the chapter will be hosting the 2021 regional and might need more money to put down on renting a venue. The board agreed that, were it to be needed for the regional, it would be better that that money is earning better interest in the investment account for the next year than in the checking account, which pays next to nothing. Also, hotels/venues no longer take checks for deposits, but credit cards.
  • Mark’s Mighty Minute! – Mark reported that his offer to waive local dues to any journalist who volunteered at the 2019 Publicity Summit who joined SPJ had no takers. The board discussed a few membership-building ideas, including, for example, focusing more on suburban and rural media who might benefit more from First Amendment Coalition free legal advice (larger urban media have their own lawyers).

Old Business

  • Annual chapter holiday mixer, Bliss | ReBAR, Tuesday. Dec. 3 – Board members agreed the turnout was satisfactory (about 35) and about the same as 2018. While it might provide more variety to seek a different venue in 2020, Tim mentioned that many downtown locations have many rules about per-person rates, minimum expenses, etc., that Bliss doesn’t charge, being much more open and flexible. Location is a good central one, and people like being outside (with heaters). Tim said a thank-you email was received from our scholarship recipient, Amaris Encinas.
  • Tim said he would be meeting with Paula Pedene about producing two leadership workshops. It was suggested that one be for TV/radio journalists and the other for print/digital.

New Business

  • Publicity Summit update – Mark reported with regret that Paula and Bill Pedene and Christia Gibbons have retired from the Summit Committee, which is now seeking replacement members. Remaining committee members are mulling over inviting PR and journalism people they know. Mark is thinking about sending invitations to select PR and media attendees from the 2019 and 2018 Summits, with a few personal invites to some very sought-after people.
  • First Amendment Coalition of Arizona 2019 annual report – FAC President Morgan Loew sent out an attractive, informative report of the organization’s activities last year. It was forwarded by the chapter to its e-blast list in early January. Report is a good way to inform Arizona journalists of the free services the coalition provides, particularly regarding legal advice about public records and open meetings, although the number of calls Perkins Coie (the coalition’s law firm) have been receiving has been declining in recent years.
  • SPJ Region 11 Conference, Honolulu, March 20-21, 2020 – Debra will be representing the chapter and in her capacity as regional coordinator. Tim is still considering attending and is exploring airfares and hotel rates. Mark and Robert will not be attending.
  • Possible Sunshine Week programming (March 15-21, 2020) – Chapter might consider partnering with another media group.
  • Update from Region 11 and National – Deb Krol filed an in absentia report– ASU student chapter is on list of chapters to be deactivated; Tim will contact faculty adviser Heather Dunn
  • Networking/event ideas – none discussed
  • 2020 goals – Board members discussed some ways to grow board with other organizations’ successes as guide. Tim and Mark are meeting in February with representatives of the local NATAS (Emmy) chapter, which expressed interest in joint projects. Tim will contact Cronkite School’s Heather Dunn to see about securing on-campus venues.

PROPOSED NEXT MEETING: Saturday, March 7, 2020

Adjourned: 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark J. Scarp, Chapter Secretary