11-16-2019 Valley of the Sun SPJ meeting minutes


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

Nov 16, 2019, 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


  • Secretary’s report and approval of minutes from Sept. 14, 2019 – approved
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Mark’s Mighty Minute! – Mark moved to instruct Teri (or whomever) to take $2,000 from the checking account and invest it with Northwestern Mutual for the chapter’s future. Board approved unanimously. Rationale: Chapter earned about $2,000 more from the Publicity Summit this year and most major expenses for the year have been paid. With checking account holding approximately $6,600, only one major expense is left, around $600 for the Holiday Mixer. After the Mixer and the transfer, that account would have around $4,000 in it.

Old Business

  • Publicity Summit follow-up –
    • Mark reported a $5,200 net result from the 2019 Summit, the most made in years.
    • 82 PR people were there, compared to 48 in 2018, a near-record.
    • The buy-two-get-one-free deal offered this year was taken up by several agencies, getting 21 total registrations (seven we gave away free as part of the deal, but among the 14 were several newcomers).
    • Mark said plans were to continue the same deal in 2020 as the best way to engage agencies as sponsorships never took hold with them. (Fingerpaint Marketing got out of PR on Nov. 1, 2019, and will no longer be sponsoring the event.)

New Business

  • Scholarship essay review (award to be given at annual chapter holiday party) – Board voted 2-1 to award scholarship to Amaris Encinas of the University of Arizona. Mark voted no. He said he felt we could spend the $500 on helping the journalism programs at Arizona colleges and universities.
  • Holiday mixer (Tuesday 12/3 at Bliss | Rebar) details: door prizes etc. Mark has three bottles of wine from the Jerome Winery and one leftover gift bag from Visit Phoenix from the Summit to donate. Other prizes welcome. Board members will wear their SPJ “Freedom of the Press” hats to the party to encourage sales (at $10 each) as we have about 10 or 12 hats left. As of Nov. 16 we have 116 saying on Facebook they are either going or interested, meaning approximately 30 or so will attend. Mark will put out two more e-blasts just before Thanksgiving and on the day before the event to our list. Right now we spent $50 on Facebook boosting to people who like our SPJ Phoenix FB page and their friends. This expenditure was approved by the board via email vote in October.
  • Membership dues rebate offer to Publicity Summit journalists: In early November board members approved offering any journalist who participated in the 2019 Publicity Summit a $20 rebate of their local dues if they joined as a national/local member before Dec. 31. Mark is sending out the offer Nov. 17. (Those who are already members can have a rebate based on their last dues payment or next dues payment.)
  • Coalition to protect student press freedoms – Tim was approached about this from a journalism instructor at Paradise Valley Community College. He said he would research it further and get back to this instructor and the board.
  • Leads on possible new Treasurer — No update
  • Update from Region 11 and National – Deb Krol – no update other than a new national SPJ executive director has been chosen; several chapters have voiced concerns about the selection process while having no qualms with the candidate chosen.
  • Tim will approach Paula Pedene about joining the board
  • Networking/event ideas were discussed briefly
  • Regional conference in Hawaii in March 20-21, 2020 – Deb will likely go, Robert will not, Tim is interested and Mark is interested; board members should decide if they are interested as soon as possible

PROPOSED NEXT MEETING: Saturday, January 18, 2020

Adjourned: 11:31 a.m.