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Board of directors January 11, 2018 meeting minutes

Board of Directors: Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, a regular board meeting was called to order via phone conference call by President Vanessa Palange at 1:05 p.m.


In Attendance: In addition to Ms. Palange and Executive Director Phil Kincade, the following board members were in attendance: Howard Altschiller, David Brooks,  Matt Burdette (filling in for Heather Henline), Carol Robidoux, David Saad, Trent Spiner and David Tirrell-Wysocki participating for portions or all of the call, as individual schedules permitted.


Absent: Chuck Douglas and Heather Henline


A quorum of membership was present.


Executive Director’s Report by Phil Kincade: Mr. Kincade discussed the following agenda items:

  • Phil created a legislative watch page on the Press Association website. He took a list of provided bills and utilized Right to Know New Hampshire’s website and combined them into a single source. The status of bills can be checked from this site.
  • All invoices for membership has been completed. There are 23. A link has been sent out to the Board. Included is how much will be charged. Also, Mr. Kincade will send out a membership update next week. Invoices will go out after that.
  • Mr. Kincade, Mr. Tirrell-Wysocki and Ms. Tracy Caruso with the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters with BAO Communications. They are looking to partner with the Press Association for a workshop involving the opioid crisis. It was decided that this would be discussed during the new business portion of the meeting.
  • Mr. Kincade will be meeting again with Ms. Caruso. The Broadcasters Association has been very cooperative with what the Press Association is doing and Mr. Kincade will explore ways the two groups can work together. This may help get more broadcasters to become members of the Association.
  • Mr. Kincade has gone through old emails and has found nothing useful, other than lists of previous contest winners.


Membership Discussion: Board members discussed the pricing structure for membership and how fees would be assessed for companies with multiple newspapers/radio stations/websites, etc. Information and the dues structure is on the website. Mr. Brooks made a motion that when questions arise about whether a separate fee should be charged to a publication that’s associated with another  member publication that the executive director can make the call. Mr. Altschiller seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Mr. Kincade will reach out to each publication. If Mr. Kincade is unclear about any particular situation, he will bring it to the Board’s attention.


Approval of Minutes: The previous meeting’s minutes were submitted for approval by Mr. Burdette, pending any corrections from the board. Mr. Brooks made a motion to approve, and it was seconded by Mr. Altschiller. The motion carried unanimously.


Treasurer’s Report: None.


Committee Reports:

Legislative — Trent Spiner, chair: Mr. Spiner sent a copy of SB555 to board members and asked for input. The bill would create an ombudsman system for Right to Know Requests and appeals. Mr. Altschiller made a motion that the board endorse SB 555. Mr. Brooks seconded the motion. Upon further discussion, Mr. Spiner weighed in with concerns on it slowing down the process because of a 30-day period allowed to the ombudsman to render a decision. Mr. Spiner said his newspaper may abstain from the vote because of those concerns. After additional discussion, Mr. Altschiller amended his motion to endorse the bill to “as currently written.” Mr. Brooks seconded the motion. Role call vote – For: Mr. Altschiller, yes; Mr. Burdette, in place of Ms. Henline, yes; Mr. Brooks, yes; Mr. Spiner, abstains; Ms. Palange, yes. Motion passes: Yes: 4, Abstain 1.

  • Mr. Kincade will issue a press release on the Association’s endorsement of SB555, and newspapers, if desired, will weigh in editorially. Mr. Altschiller will send Mr. Kincade bullet points on the issue, which Mr. Kincade will use to craft the press release, then send out to the Board.
  • Mr. Spiner discussed other pieces of legislation up for consideration in late January, many coming out of the Judiciary Committee.
  • A Legislative Committee meeting was scheduled for Jan. 18. Mr. Spiner will email an invitation for the meeting. Following that meeting, notes will be sent out via email.  

Content Sharing — Vanessa Palange, chair: No updates.


Contest — Matt Burdette for Heather Henline, chair: Ms. Henline will send out information to members on the two contest groups. She will set up a committee meeting to discuss contest for the end of January or February, possibly a lunch meeting at a central location.


Old Business:

  • Facebook — Mr. Kincade will create a new Facebook page. Nothing was found in old emails about the password for the old account or who to contact to get access.


  • Contacts — Mr. Kincade asked for a list of contacts from Board members of staff members from their organization that want to be members of the Association, This is so he can add them to the email list to help get them involved.


New Business:

  • Account sharing — Mr. Kincade noted that the Association has shared Google accounts and other website accounts. Anyone who would like access can let Mr. Kincade know.


  • Committees  — Mr. Kincade requested a list of those who are on each of the committee.


  • Judging request  — Ms. Palange talked about the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and their request for judges. Those interested in assisting can get in touch with Ms. Palange for details.


  • BAO  — Two staff members of BAO Communications were in contact with Mr. Kincade. BAO Communications bills themselves as addiction recovery innovators. BAO originally contact Mr. Tirrell-Wysocki about sponsoring or promoting a workshop on the issues involved with covering the heroin/opioid epidemic, and the pair met with them. It was ultimately decided that the Press Association would not participate or endorse, because of the cost ($1,200) and the fact that BAO is a for-profit venture that is pushing their own agenda. It seemed the event would be much more of a lecture than a workshop.


The meeting ended without a motion to adjourn.


Next meeting: Feb. 8.


Respectfully submitted,

Heather Henline

New Hampshire Press Association


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