Minutes – Dec. 15, 2017

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance: Meredith Artley, Michelle Baruchman (Student Representative), P. Kim Bui, Eric Carvin, David Cohn, Josh Hatch, Steve Hermann, Imaeyen Ibanga, Celeste LeCompte, Greg Linch, David Smydra, Elite Truong, Benét Wilson, Jose Zamora.

Board members not present: Mandy Jenkins, David Skok

Staff in attendance: Irving Washington, Executive  Director; Trevor Knoblich, Digital Director; Jessica Strelitz, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships; Jen Mizgata, Senior Communications Manager; Adam Nekola, Digital Manager; Meghan Murphy, Community Manager; Karolle Rabarison, Communications Manager.

The meeting was called to order at 1:03 p.m.

Old Business

The board unanimously approved the minutes for the November board call.


  • Congratulations to Michelle Baruchman and Greg Linch on their new jobs.
  • Thanks to outgoing board members Meredith Artley, Dave Cohn, David Skok, Michelle Baruchman and Steve Hermann.

Finances, Development and Partnerships

  • The larger expenses for 2017 are done
  • There will be slight variances in January


  • Launched the new Journalism Mentorship Collaborative program, led by Doug Mitchell
  • Created to address the lack of diversity in newsrooms
  • Will help newsrooms start or expand mentorship programs
  • Create a forum and share best practices
  • ONA Local is creating a Speaker’s Bureau to bring outside training and speakers
  • Applications for the 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator are closed; 425 applications, a 30 percent increase from last year
  • Diverse pool, with more freelancers and international participants

Strategic Plan

  • Smaller subcommittees are working with the consultant on plan details
  • The team has done data collection, membership survey and focus groups at the conference
  • Will present initial details of the strategic plan at January board meeting

Student Representative

  • Received six applications, compared with 10 last year
  • Applicants brought different backgrounds and skills
  • After looking at two finalists, Justina Sharp of American River College was chosen and unanimously approved by the board.

The meeting ended at 1:49 p.m. ET.

The board meeting will be on Friday, January 26, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Benét J. Wilson