Minutes – July 21, 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, Mandy Jenkins, Celeste LeCompte, Greg Linch, David Skok, David Smydra, Elite Truong, Benét Wilson, Jose Zamora.

Also Present: Carolyn Skinner, Accountant

Staff in attendance: Irving Washington, Executive Director; Trevor Knoblich, Head of Programs and Events; Adam Nekola, Senior Digital Manager; Meghan Murphy, Community Manager.

Staff not present: Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships; Jen Mizgata, Director of Programs

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

Old Business: None

New Business: Board unanimously approves the Form 990

Organizational Updates

Finances, Development and Partnerships
Carolyn Skinner reviewed 990 Form. We will file the form in September.


  • #ONA17 is the biggest yet so far. 1000 signed up for early bird registration.
  • There will be a new format called Under The Hood, which will be deep dives into specific themes, including: revenue, legacy newsrooms and cool projects.
  • The conference schedule is done and online.
  • For the fourth year in a row, the first-time time orientation is being revamped.
  • 50 percent of attendees are new and the orientation is the first touchpoint they have to ONA.; The orientation will be more interactive to show what ONA is. Attendees will get a small care package with talking prompts and first-time survival guide.
  • We’re looking at every detail of the OJA banquet, from lighting to creating slide deck that matches new branding.
  • Saturday keynote speakers have been selected and will be announced at a later date.

Online Journalism Awards (David Smydra, Chair)

  • Had the initial screening.
  • There were more entries and screeners than any previous year.
  • Found a great list of semifinalists.
  • There are 29 judges, the most ever, and they are the most diverse ever; Judges come from four continents.
  • Rich Jaroslovsky award: the executive committee recommended a candidate for the award and we will forward that.
  • Eric Carvin – Foley award: Judges forwarded 12 candidates. The winner is Tara Todras-Whitehill for her work in the Middle East.

ONA Local (Meghan Murphy)

  • Hosted day-long digital workshop in Reno last week.
  • 75 attendees and University of Nevada-Reno
  • Board member Kim Bui, along with Robert Hernandez and Victor Hernandez spoke at the event.
  • Opened up scholarship program to fund local leaders to come to ONA 17.
  • 40 people from 22 communities will be there. More than half are new leaders.
  • Hosting half-day local leadership summit at NAB headquarters in DC on Oct. 4


  • Ready for the next phase of ONA’s strategic plan.
  • Finalizing details on ideas.
  • Will do membership survey.
  • Comprehensive plan with strategic framework and operational parts to make it happen.
  • It will also include complete financial review and analysis to remain viable.
  • Just completed first round of interviews for communications manager, but are still looking.

The meeting ended at 1:54 p.m. ET.

These minutes are submitted by Secretary Benét J. Wilson