Minutes – Oct. 14, 2016

Online News Association Board of Directors Meeting

Board members in attendance:

  • Meredith Artley
  • Michelle Baruchman (Student Representative)
  • Jody Brannon
  • P. Kim Bui
  • Eric Carvin
  • David Cohn
  • Josh Hatch
  • Steve Herrmann
  • Robert Hernandez
  • Mandy Jenkins
  • Greg Linch
  • Jim Roberts
  • David Smydra
  • Benét Wilson

Board members not present:

  • David Skok
  • Jose Zamora

Staff in attendance:

  • Jane McDonnell, Executive Director
  • Irving Washington, Deputy Director
  • Jessica Strelitz, Director, Strategic Partnerships
  • Jen Mizgata, Senior Communications Manager
  • Meghan Murphy, Community Manager

Staff not present:

  • Trevor Knoblich, Digital Director

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Old Business

The board unanimously approved the minutes for the July 2016 Board call. (There were no calls in August (vacations) and September (annual conference))

Finances, Development and Partnerships

Meghan gave an update on new and revived ONA Local communities and the events held for the 40 ONA Local leaders who were provided assistance to be at the annual conference in Denver, Sept. 15-17. Three new groups and two new student groups launched in August and September and ONA New Orleans will launch in November.


  • Irving reported that there are two finalists for the Digital Manager job and plans are to make the hire by the end of the month.
  • The staff reported on the 2016 ONA conference: Sponsorships and programming were an unqualified success; registration and sponsorship revenues came in over budget.
  • Irving said the first in-person board meeting for 2017 will be Jan. 27 in Washington, D.C. and Irving, Jane and Joshua will hold an orientation for our two new incoming Board members.


  • ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, funded by Dow Jones, will be held in Los Angeles with partner USC-Annenberg the week of Feb. 5. Applications have opened and will close Nov. 18.
  • ONA is working with the Knight Foundation and Google News Lab on the J360 project, which is in planning stages, and will focus on training, education and issues around immersive journalism.


International (Steve Hermann, Chair): Jess reported that the third ONA international conference is scheduled for May 2017 at a venue in Dublin, which will be announced shortly.

Board Business

The Board discussed criteria for an appointment for a 15th Board member now that four incumbents have been re-elected and two new Board members were elected.

The next Board call will be on Nov. 11, 2016.

The meeting ended at 1:57 p.m. E.T.

– Minutes submitted by ONA Board Secretary Benét J. Wilson