Minutes – Jan. 25, 2018

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance: Justina Sharp (Student Representative), P. Kim Bui, Eric Carvin, Charo Henriquez, Imaeyen Ibanga, Mandy Jenkins, Celeste LeCompte,  Nathalie Malinarich, Shazna Nessa, Versha Sharma, David Smydra, Elite Truong, Benét Wilson, Jose Zamora.

Board members not present: Josh Hatch, Greg Linch.

Also present: Alison Schary, Davis, Wright Tremaine, General Counsel.

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 9:05 a.m.

Old Business

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


  • VP Mandy Jenkins reviews board responsibilities

Finances, Development and Partnerships

  • ONA had a good year; most of our categories were over budget
  • Conference and sponsorships surpassed projections
  • Successful rebranding of OJAs
  • Project overall growth in 2018 budget
  • Record sponsorships for ONA17
  • eNewsletter is sold out
  • Good revenue from Career Center


  • Develop better speaker resources
  • New speaker/attendee tools
  • Boost data collection efforts
  • New logo, color pallet for the OJAs and why they are important; more international submission
  • ONA international events (London & Dublin) is now called ONA Insights, evergreen brand
  • Toronto – Revenue & Engagement is May 11


  • WLA – separated program from ONA and created new program
  • Stats on successes from the cohorts, including new jobs, promotions and grant funding
  • Challenge Fund projects between newsrooms and universities.  Awarded 10 projects in 2017
  • Journalism 360 – in 2017 focused on starting this program in partnership with Google and Knight Foundation; in 2018 we’re strengthening our ties
  • Journalism Mentorship Collaborative has been launched; helping newsrooms develop mentors.  Applications are open until Feb. 2, 2018.
  • ONA Local events almost doubled between 2016 and 2017
  • Looking at more capacity building for ONA Locals
  • Launched ONA Speakers Bureau for Locals to use
  • Comms – showcase all ONA programs; build on past success
  • Website/Design – establish cohesive branding styles including guides
  • Launch refined ONA branding

Strategic Assessment – Mission, Vision, Brand and Audience

  • Strategic leadership plan has six frameworks
  • Certain that this plan will be first step in charting the future of ONA

2018 Executive Board Election Results

  • President – Mandy Jenkins
  • Vice President – Benét Wilson
  • Secretary – Kim Bui
  • Treasurer – David Smydra

What’s Next

  • Taking a look at ONA committees versus advisors
  • New board call schedule
  • New monthly reports, plus three longer reports a year
  • ONA in-person board meeting June 22 in Austin, Texas

The meeting ended at 4:55 p.m. ET.

The next call will be on March 16, 2018.

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Benét J. Wilson