New Hampshire Press Association Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes — Oct. 31, 2017
Board of Directors: Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, a special board meeting was called to order by Executive Director Phil Kincade after a noon assembly time at the Nackey Loeb School of Journalism, 749 E. Industrial Park Dr. Manchester, N.H. The purpose of the special meeting was to accomplish three key objectives: approving the association’s new bylaws; electing new officers and board members; and establishing objectives for 2018.
In Attendance: The remaining board of directors members who attended were: Trent Spiner, president; David Brooks, treasurer; Jonathan Van Fleet; Tony Schinella; and Phil Kincade, executive director.
Absent: Not applicable for this reorganizational meeting.
A quorum of membership was present.
Welcome: Executive Director Phil Kincade welcomed those in attendance to the special meeting. He outlined the three key objectives and indicated he had made visits in the preceding weeks to media outlets within the association’s membership to discuss the future of the association as well as his stepping into the executive director role. It is a challenge he has taken on as a volunteer and without receiving compensation.
Mr. Kincade then introduced the board members who remained after the association had become inactive for a period of time and asked President Trent Spiner to provide a status report.
President Trent Spiner: Mr. Spiner explained the association’s previous role with regard to the representation of its media membership. He indicated over time the association lost participation from its membership and board of directors, culminating in the failure to complete the 2016 contest.
Though entries were submitted, winners never were selected and awards were not distributed, because of a lack of manpower, participation and leadership within the association. He and Board Member Tony Schinella thanked Mr. Kincade for his work to revive the association and his willingness to take on the executive director position.
• Approving the association’s new bylaws — There were two bylaw changes presented to the membership by Mr. Kincade. The first reduced the types of membership from five different designations to only two: regular members and associate members. Anyone or an organization producing journalistic content on a regular basis would be considered a regular member. Those who had a vested interest in or association with media — such as a school of journalism — would be considered associate members.
The second proposed change was in regard to the number of board members elected, and it also addressed the length of their terms. Previously, terms were two years for board members and one year for executive officers. The number of board members could fluctuate, a problem exacerbated by the requirement that some executive officers remain on the board for an extended period of time after their terms expired.
The change would limit the board to a total of seven voting members: 4 executive officers and three at-large members, all with one-year terms. There also would be the option to have up to three non-voting ex officio members, who could provide insight and input that could be of value to the board. The outgoing president would become an ex officio member at the end of his or her term, to maintain continuity within the association’s leadership.
The proposed changes were put to a vote. A motion to approve all changes as presented was made by Chuck Douglas. It was seconded by Dan Barrick. The motion was unanimously approved.
Electing new officers — With the new bylaws regarding board positions and terms in effect, Mr. Kincade presented a slate of board members based upon volunteers from within the media membership. He asked for any additional nominees and explained Mr. Van Fleet had a ballot box with him, should two or more candidates be put forth for any position. No additional nominations were made from the floor. Hearing none, Mr. Kincade proceeded with the volunteer slate, outlined as follows.
President: Vanessa Palange, Assignment Editor, NH1 News.
Vice President: Chuck Douglas, Publisher/Editor, The Bow Times.
Secretary: Heather Henline, Publisher, Nashua Telegraph.
Treasurer: David Brooks, Concord Monitor.
Three board positions:
Trent Spiner, Executive Editor, Manchester Union Leader.
Howard Altschiller, Executive Editor, Seacoast Media.
Carol Robidoux, Publisher/Editor Manchester Ink Link.
Mr. Kincade provided a brief bio about each candidate, discussing his or her strengths as applicable to the association. Then, each candidate was afforded an opportunity to address the membership prior to individual votes taking place for each position. One by one, each of the executive officers and board members were unanimously approved by the membership in attendance.
A floor nomination was put forth from the membership for an ex officio non-voting member of the board. Chuck Douglas made a motion to elect Bill Chapman to this post. The motion was seconded by Howard Altschiller. It carried unanimously.
Establishing objectives for 2018 — Mr. Kincade led the membership in discussion to define objectives on which the association should focus in 2018. The membership determined the following:
• Develop a legislative oversight committee: Trent Spiner, committee chairman, with members Chuck Douglas, Howard Altschiller and Duane Desaulniers.
The committee will monitor the state Legislature for issues of importance to the membership and their readership. This also could include advocacy, lobbying and coordination of editorial efforts to weigh in on issues affecting journalists and our access to or dissemination of content.
• Develop a committee to explore content sharing among association membership: Vanessa Palange, committee chairwoman, with other members to be recruited.
The committee will explore ways to fairly share and utilize content, with an emphasis to include digital. Several member media outlets were unable to have representation at the Oct. 31 meeting, and they will be contacted to see about participation to help create a structure for sharing content, to include usage guidelines.
• Develop a committee to assess the current contest structure: Heather Henline, chairwoman, with members Tony Schinella, Duane Desaulniers and Jack O’Brien.
The committee will review previous contest models and determine how to move forward with some type of recognition program among the membership. This will include determining more efficient and cost-effective models for the entry as well as judging process.
Each committee will determine its own meeting schedule and agenda, with update reports to the board.
Other Business: The following items were discussed.
• Mr. Kincade will work to maintain communication with the membership. This includes starting a newsletter as well as updating the association’s website and social media. A group Facebook page has been inactive for some time and the administrator cannot be identified. Ms. Palange will help with this matter.
• Other topics for potential exploration were: internships, job fairs or a job bank, access to public information, pool-type coverage for routine events to address the limited staff sizes most media outlets now have, grant opportunities for association funding and creating a statewide directory.
• Mr. Brooks will work to collect dues, gather mailing addresses, determine to where dues should be mailed and look at a PayPal option for payment remittance. He also planned to go with Mr. Kincade, Ms. Palange and Mr. Spiner to TD Bank immediately after the meeting to make both Mr. Kincade and Ms. Palange co-signers on the association’s checking account. It was agreed Mr. Spiner would remain on the account, as he will continue in an ex officio capacity with the new board.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at approximately 1:40 p.m. on a motion by Chuck Douglas. It was seconded by Matt Burdette.
Next meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for a conference call at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at which time the newly elected board will be in effect and the members’ office terms will begin.
New Hampshire Press Association