Minutes – Oct. 23, 2018

Online News Association Board of Directors Special Meeting

Board members in attendance: Kim Bui, Eric Carvin, Josh Hatch, Charo Henriquez, Imaeyen Ibanga, Mandy Jenkins, Celeste LeCompte,Greg Linch, Nathalie Malinarich, Elite Truong, Benét Wilson, Jose Zamora.

Board members not present: Shazna Nessa, Versha Sharma, Justina Sharp (Student Representative), David Smydra.

Staff in attendance: Irving Washington, Executive Director; Trevor Knoblich, Head of Programs and Events; Jessica Strelitz, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Jen Mizgata, Director of Programs; Adam Nekola, Senior Digital Manager; Meghan Murphy, Senior Manager, Communities and Local Journalism Initiatives; Karolle Rabarison, Communications Manager; Diana Lopez, Administrative Assistant.

The meeting was called to order at 12:05 p.m.

Old Business

The board unanimously approved the minutes for the July and August board call.

Strategic Planning (Irving)

There is a 4-hour committee call next week.

Staff have done interviews with individuals and groups, though there was a pause around the conference. The committee will review the research and offer feedback to that part of the process and iterate on that. There will be another discussion on the plan at the January board meeting.

ONA18 Update (Trevor, Jess)

Trevor: This week ends the feedback period – the member survey, board feedback, staff and consultant feedback. The deeper analysis of the feedback will start next week. Overall it seems things went smoothly.

  • We had more the 2,600 attendees. We tend to score very high on the “would you recommend this conference to friends” question. We continued that this year.
  • We exceeded our revenue goals for the conference, at first glance. We’ll have more firm numbers at the end of the month.

Jess: Our total support for ONA18 was nearly $950,000, exceeding our goals and continuing growth from last year. Many sponsors continue to come back year-over-year.

  • There were more events this year (breakfasts, etc) and were very successful. We’ve also gotten good anecdotal feedback on sponsored sessions.
  • Both Midway participants and others indicates that it was less successful to have the Midway space separate from the exhibit hall. People continue to struggle with the two and how they’re different.
  • Celeste noted the Midway programming was excellent. Eric noted that part of the (good) issue may be that many exhibitors were learning from Midway events.

ONA Local leadership (Meghan)

  • Irving: With surveys of the local leaders, we have heard they need more leadership training, which have helped prompt some changes to the program.
  • Meghan: As we wrapped up the 2.5 year Knight grant on growing the ONA Local network, one thing we found was there were many requests for leadership training. Some leadership training was invested in (the ONA Local summits) and we’re planning a refocusing the program now into leadership development as opposed to growth.
    • The idea is to make a leadership path for ONA Local leaders.
    • Starting 2019, there will be a leadership curriculum, designed similarly to how the summits were designed. Things like managing diverse teams, horizontal loyalty, leadership styles, recruitment.
    • Structurally, the groups may change, with more defined roles. Local leaders will be brought on in cohorts.
    • The curriculum is being planned now, and new group applications are being taken through the new year.

Board appointments (Mandy)

Irving: Diana has pulled together comments.

Mandy: The board was given a survey on board appointments and priorities.

  • Most people said non-coastal representation was important, as was executive and educator representation.
  • Bios and background on suggested candidates are being compiled. There are two slots open, for two year terms.
  • The governance committee will meet Oct 24 to determine the process going forward and three candidates will be put forth. In November, the full board will vote on filling the two seats.

The meeting ended at 12:34 p.m. ET.

The next in person meeting will be in January.

These minutes are submitted by Secretary P. Kim Bui