Minutes – Aug. 12, 2011

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

In attendance:

  • Christine Montgomery
  • Josh Hatch
  • Cory Haik
  • Meredith Artley
  • Katharine Fong
  • Jody Brannon
  • Will Sullivan
  • Amy Webb
  • Ken Sands
  • Anthony Moor
  • Jim Brady
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Liz Lufkin
  • Jon Hart (General Counsel, ONA)
  • Jane McDonnell (Executive Director, ONA)
  • Sean Connelly (Editor, ONA)
  • Jeanne Brooks (Community Engagement manager, ONA)

Not in attendance:

  • Rob King
  • Katie King

Old Business

July minutes were approved.

Finances and Development

Strategy update (Christine Montgomery and Strategy Committee):

We have had several meetings about the business strategy of ONA. Chris Shaw is our new consultant for strategy and biz dev. He will be talking with board members and will solidify the plan, with Jane and the strategy committee, over the next three months. The strategy team will meet at the conference and the board is invited to attend. As it relates to the Website, we will need to infuse the build with another round of fundraising. We can do this based on the new business plan.

A question was raised on the call about board members role in ONA.

Christine: Your role is to provide strategic advice based on your expertise, to the board. We are going to attempt to communicate this to our new board.

Jane: The board has started as one thing but has become another. A lot of the board day-to-day has shifted. And some of this is still needed.

A question was raised on how are we investing the revenue that we are bringing in. Jane says she will work on idea around a campaign or messaging to let membership know how we are investing in members.

MJ Bear Fund investment (Jim Brady and Jody Brannon)

We have finalized how to proceed with this. We are considering reaching out for pro bono management of this fund.

Board Nominations & Elections

Nominee applications and timeline (Jane McDonnell, Executive Director). Teresa will be finalizing vetting of the slate on the 19th. Jane ran down list of nominations. All incumbents submitted nominations.

Scholarships, Fellowships

MJ Bear Fellows update by Jane McDonnell

Google-AP Scholarship (Jane McDonnell) — Irving Washington gave this update. ONA will announce this on the coming Monday at noon. We are giving out six awards for 20K each. Irving welcomes contacts with educators and he is developing a running list. The scholars will be doing a presentation at the board meeting.


OJA judging update (Anthony Moor, Chair, and Sean Connolly, Web Editor) — We are working up toward final judging in Miami in two weeks. We’ve had a few glitches but are moving along. We are going to revisit the general excellence award next year. 24 folks are all working on this very hard.


Board itinerary update by Jane McDonnell.

Programming, keynote, registration update (Jane McDonnell) — Registration and sponsorship update. Sean Connolly has estimated how many attendees we expect. We are not quite sold out yet. We are at 984 — we have less than 200 to sell out. We announce full programming on the coming Friday. One of Chris Shaw’s strategy job is to look at modeling if we raise the number of attendees. Sponsorships on on track and over projections. Keynotes to date: Arab Spring, Jennifer Preston and Andy Carvin along with two bloggers from Egypt.


Website redevelopment update from Sean Connolly

Events update from Jeanne Brooks

The call ended at 2p.