SPJ Detroit Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

July, 11, 2019 at Wayne State University


In Attendance/Conference: Board Members: Beth Konrad, Max White, Kat Stafford, Dan Stocking, Kelley Root, Walter Middlebrook, Marty Fischhoff and Chastity Pratt Dawsey. Executive director: Marcia Hart.

Call to order  

  • Max made a motion to approve the minutes of the June meeting.  Kelley seconded the motion and the minutes were approved by all.
  • Beth noted that going forward the chapter will be publishing our meeting minutes on our website.
  • The board was advised to begin sending notices of monthly meetings to all chapter members.

Agenda Items/Committee Reports:

  • Board Membership/By-laws 
    • A search is underway to find someone to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff Gilbert. 
    • Beth received bio info for nominee Dana Afana of MLive.  Beth reviewed the bio to the board and made a motion that Afana be selected to complete the term, which ends in 2019. If approved by the board, Afana would be then be listed for election at the next chapter elections. Dan seconded the motion. It was approved by all.
    • Walter was tasked to look at the succession protocol in the by-laws. Walter noted that there are other by-law issues that need to be addressed.
  • President’s Report
    • FOIA forum update.
      • Beth distributed proposed program for FOIA forum scheduled for Oct. 12 at Wayne State University.
      • A number of changes were discussed.  Dan will prepare updated program outline and forward to Beth and Walter for review/updates.
      • Beth and Walter will meet July 16 to review.
  • Programming
    • Max will post information about the FOIA forum on Facebook and web page. Beth will also prepare a president’s letter to be posted on web page and Facebook.
    • Max announced that we’re planning a “Happy Hour” membership event for August 14 or 21 at the Anchor Bar.  Max is checking on availability for final date.
  • Treasurer’s Report (as of 6-30-19)
    • Dan updated the board on the current status of the organization’s various financial accounts. (Numbers are being intentionally withheld for security reasons.) 
  • National Conference, San Antonio, Texas – Sept. 5-7
    • Beth plans to attend.
    • The chapter is entitled to two delegates. Beth asked if any board members were interested in attending. The chapter will reimburse expenses, up to $1000 for attendees.


  • Website
    • The chapter has entered into a contract with Jeff Mackey of Oxford-based Refine Your Website to update and maintain our web presences. 
    • Marcia is forwarding a link to board members to examine the early work.
    • The early layout of the new web site will allow for monthly guest op-ed/commentary pieces and the About Us section will include photos of all current board members.  
  • Next Meeting
    • The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 11 or 12, upon confirmation of the availability of a conference room at the Detroit office of Weber Shandwick in the Ally Bank building.
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