Minutes – August 9, 2019

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting


Board members in attendance: Kim Bui, Eric Carvin, Charo Henriquez, Celeste LeCompte, Nathalie Malinarich, Shazna Nessa, Versha Sharma, Ebony Reed, Niketa Patel, Rodney Gibbs, Rubina Madan Fillion, Imaeyen Ibanga, Justina Sharp (Student Representative.)

Board members not present: Mandy Jenkins, David Smydra, Benet Wilson.

Staff in attendance: Irving Washington, Executive Director; Jen Mizgata, Director of Programs; Adam Nekola, Senior Digital Manager; Karolle Rabarison, Communications Manager; Bill Brady, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator; Diana Lopez, Administrative Assistant; Trevor Knoblich, Head of Programs and Events; Meghan Murphy, Community Manager.

Staff not present: Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships; Adam Martin, Meetings Manager.


The meeting was called to order at 12:03 p.m. ET

Old Business:  The board unanimously approved the minutes for the June meeting.

20th Anniversary Recap (Irving)

  • Thanks to all of the board members for participating in our NYC 20th anniversary celebration.
  • Overview of events that took place that week; Journalism 360 unconference at Columbia University, Women’s Leadership Accelerator breakfast at AP, the ONA local event in partnership with Reuters and an invite-only event in which we were able to share our strategic plan with our supporters.

Board Elections (Benet/Karolle)

  • The Governance Committee has added rigor to the application process to ensure applicants meet the required criteria. Please refer to the Board Election section of our website to learn more.
  • The Governance Committee will meet on August 26th to select the candidates.
  • Board members finishing their second board term will need a nomination letter.
  • This does not include the Student Representative position which will be appointed by the board.

Rich Jaroslowsky Award (Kim)

  • This year, we will not award The Rich Jaroslowsky Award. We will direct our focus to honoring our founders on our 20th anniversary.

Online Journalism Award (Committee)

  • We had more judges and more entries than ever. Calls were held on Tuesday. Thank you to those who served as judges and to the rest of the committee who helped moderate calls.
  • The community award is the only one that is still in discussion.
  • The James Foley Award winner has been selected: Honduran Photojournalist, Tomas Ayuso.

ONA19 Updates (Trevor)

  • An overview of what’s coming up at ONA19.
  • Irving has a request: as people are registering for ONA19 on Wednesday and Thursday, we would like to have the board there welcoming people. Diana will reach out asking for volunteers.
  • A general agenda will be sent to the Board of Directors two weeks prior to the conference. It will highlight events where we need the most support from the board.
  • During the conference this year, we will present our strategic focus areas.
  • Building off of our experience in Austin last year, we have a weather contingency plan in place for New Orleans. We are using the same insurance we used last year, we will monitor the weather as we get closer to the conference date, and we have an emergency communications plan in place.

The next Board call is on Friday, October 11, 2019, 12:00 p.m. ET.

Meeting adjourned at 12:38 p.m. ET

These minutes are submitted by Administrative Assistant Diana Lopez and Board Secretary, Shazna Nessa.