05-21-2023 Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter board meeting minutes


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

March 12, 2023, 10 a.m.

Started: 10:05 a.m.

Attendees: Tim Eigo, Mark Scarp, Teri Carnicelli, Nicole Greason. Absent: None. Late: Deb Krol arrived 10:18. Visitor: Claire Regan, national SPJ president.


  • Introductions: Board members introduced themselves with brief biographical statements to SPJ President Claire Regan.
  • Secretary’s report/approval of minutes from Jan. 8, 2023 – Board action: Moved (Deb) and seconded (Teri) — unanimously approved.
  • Treasurer’s report – Teri reports our investments with Russell Life Points/Northwestern Mutual as of March 12 gained $128.91 in the past quarter, to $17,811.80. Our checking account as of the same date contained $4,011.87, compared to $4,397.67 on Jan. 5, 2023.
  • Mark’s Mighty Minute! – Nothing for this meeting.

Old Business

  • Past event: Presentation by Chris Kline, CEO of the Arizona Broadcasters Association, on March 8, 2023 – We had 15 visitors attend out of 39 signups for “The State of Arizona Media.” Chris gave a thorough presentation that was generally well-liked. Many good takeaways on Arizona media consumption habits. Chris said he will have more fresh information later this year and would be happy to return to us to share his findings.

New Business

  • Update on status of the First Amendment Coalition – Mark gave a report on how the coalition president, Morgan Loew, met in late February with Gregg Leslie of the ASU First Amendment Law Center about a possible joint future of the coalition and the center. Morgan hasn’t yet replied to Mark. ABA CEO Chris Kline is merging his organization with the Arizona Newspapers Association into the Arizona Media Association, to include print, broadcast and online.
  • Ethics Week/Sunshine Week programming for spring – Tim and Mark met with six people about programming ideas for a program. No clear idea emerged. Tim said he must be mindful of the board’s bandwidth to present such an event. Claire suggested the chapter reach out to a member of the national Ethics Committee, Eric Wishart (he lives in Hong Kong; ericwishart8@gmail.com) and committee chair Fred Brown of Denver (ethicalfred@aol.com), for advice. Deb Krol was asked to think about and suggest possible panelists who can say what works and what doesn’t from a journalist perspective.
  • Seeking experts for skill-building webinars – Board asked to come up with topics for such presentations. One example: How AP style conflicts with popular regional uses
  • Reviving recurring mixers, with or without brief programming – Nicole says mixers build fellowship and opportunity for non-members to learn more about SPJ. Tim said there are limited topics that would dovetail well with a mixer, like a local author presenting on their new book. Claire said Deadline Club has many mixers at hotels, often in concert with other j-groups.
  • Scholarship essays – Topic, amount, timing: Teri suggests fall, with announcement at annual holiday party to allow winner to attend and be recognized; spring means winners often graduate before we hold our annual June member mixer. Usually, we award $500. Some years we have awarded two at that amount. Tim will follow up by email with board members and others to solicit a topic.
  • SPJ annual report – Due: July 13, 2023, covers period from May 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023
  • Visiting with Claire Regan, SPJ President – Claire reported the next national convention is in Las Vegas at the end of September (just SPJ is sponsor this year). National board is working hard on a budget. In the budget, hopefully to stay, is a new membership database. Claire recognized difficulties many members had with the current database. New one will be chosen by the staff. Claire is doing “Office Hours with the President” on Friday mornings and Sunday evenings for chapter leaders to have access to her to discuss concerns. She’s been getting many reservations and has been able to meet with many new people. Board members then spent several minutes discussing SPJ matters with Claire and thanked her sincerely for taking the time to join them at this meeting.

PROPOSED NEXT MEETING: Sunday, May 14, 2023, 10 a.m.

Adjourned: 12:09 p.m. (124 minutes)

Respectfully submitted,

Mark J. Scarp, Chapter Secretary