OWAA Board of Directors Meeting • June 17, 2009
Amway Grand Hotel • Grand Rapids, Michigan
President Phil Bloom called the meeting to order at 1:20 p.m.
Secretary John McCoy called the roll. Present: Phil Bloom, John Beath, Tony Dolle, Mike Walker, John McCoy, Jim Foster, Mark Freeman, Jim Smith, Pat Stockdill, Lisa Densmore, Bill Hilts Jr., Mark Taylor, Ty Stockton, Katie McKalip and Matt Miller. Absent: Kris Thoemke. Moved Dolle/Taylor to excuse the absence. Motion carries.
Moved Dolle/Foster to nominate Beath for OWAA President and have Beath elected by acclimation. Motion carries.
Moved Walker/Foster to nominate Dolle for OWAA President-Elect and have Dolle elected by acclimation. Motion carries.
Moved Taylor/Dolle to nominate Walker for OWAA Second Vice-President and have Walker elected by acclimation. Motion carries.
Moved Beath/Dolle to nominate Bloom for life membership in OWAA. Motion carries. Bloom then thanked the Board for its work during his year as President.
Beath asked Board members to give brief synopses of their lives over the past year. The process took several minutes.
Outdoors Unlimited — Foster proposed for the Board to reconsider the publication of Outdoors Unlimited with the idea of returning to at least a partial paper publication.
Taylor suggested a quarterly mailer to the membership that would provide a “best of OU” to them.
Foster suggested publishing the magazine in PDF format instead of as a Web site, so members could download and print it as desired.
Smith suggested that OWAA’s Webmaster create an instruction panel to walk people through the Web site so they could more easily access OU Online.
Rhoades said he had done some research on a 16-page quarterly issue. He said it would cost approximately $3,500 a year for a two-color publication and $2,600 a year for one color.
Several board members voiced their opinions on the pros and cons of Foster’s proposal, and made additional suggestions.
Moved Taylor/Smith to authorize Rhoades and the OWAA staff to proceed with publication of a quarterly OU digest beginning Sept. 1, and hold costs to less than $4,000 annually. Motion carries.
Endowment Trustee — Moved McCoy/Foster to appoint Tony Dolle to replace outgoing endowment trustee Bill Hilts Sr. Motion passes.
Absence — At that point in the meeting, it was discovered that new Board member Jason McGarvey would not be able to attend. Moved Foster/Hilts to excuse McGarvey. Motion carries.
Contest Review — Moved Densmore/Foster to add a Photo Essay/Package contest to the list approved at the June 12 Board meeting. Motion carries.
The Board then made minor alterations to some of the categories and definitions in the revised Excellence in Craft Contest list. None of the alterations required further Board action.
2012 Annual Conference — Robin Giner gave a synopsis of potential sites for OWAA’s 2012 Annual Conference. She said the early contenders were Bend, Ore.; Lake Tahoe, Calif.; and Lincoln, Neb. She added that bids had also been received from Mobile, Ala.; Niagara, N.Y.; St. Charles, Mo.; Des Moines, Iowa; South Shore, Ind.; and Fayetteville, Ark. She also reported that Fairbanks, Alaska, had put in a bid.
Rhoades pointed out that Alaska room rates could be in the $80-per-night range, and that additional lodging might be available in walled tents equipped with stoves. He said 125 active members would need to attend to make it worth the local committee’s time.
Foster suggested that OWAA try to partner with an airline to help bring down transportation costs.
The consensus of the Board appeared to be that HQ staff should conduct further research to determine the feasibility of an Alaskan conference.
President Beath called for a break at 3:03 p.m.
Beath called the meeting back to order at 3:24 p.m.
Conference Template — Dolle reported that 33 percent of active members consider writing their primary discipline. Other percentages included photography, 30 percent; and broadcasting, 16 percent. Electronic media make up the remainder.
Moved Foster/Stockton to approve the Conference Template Committee’s future annual conference goals as 25 percent writing, 10 percent photography, 20 percent electronic/technology, 20 percent business and 25 percent broadcasting (movies, radio, television, video and Internet). Motion carries.
OWAA Writers’ Workshop — Stockdill reported on progress toward development of the first OWAA Goldenrod Workshop. She said the registration fee had been set at $1,000 — first come, first served. She said it would be a good marketing tool for the organization.
Committees — Beath went over the list of members he had proposed for OWAA committees during his presidency. After discussion, several names were added to the proposed list.
Moved McCoy/Stockton to adopt the committee appointments as presented and amended. Motion carries.
Magazine Section — Freeman reported that more than 30 members had signed a petition to create an OWAA Magazine Section. He said the supporters were enthusiastic about the idea and saw it as a way to increase magazine editors’ participation in the organization and in the Annual Conference.
Moved Freeman/Foster to accept Magazine Section’s creation. Motion carries.
Digital Associate — Dolle suggested creation of a “digital associate” membership category to potentially pick up some members involved in the new media. Several board members chimed in with ideas. Powell pointed out that much of the means to accomplish that had already been achieved in prior actions by the board.
Medical News — Freeman updated the board on the health of new Newspaper Section Chairman Terry Tomalin, who had recently undergone cornea transplant surgery.
Annual Conference — Walker urged the Board to take more care with companies that sponsor conference lunches, and to be careful that to prevent other organizations from piggybacking on the proceedings without specific permission from the sponsor.
Membership Audits — Freeman suggested a three-year moratorium on membership audits until the current economic downturn reverses. A long discussion ensued on the idea’s merits and demerits. Powell pointed out that suggested changes to membership criteria must be suggested in writing 30 days prior to a board meeting.
Moved Walker/Foster that for three calendar years, OWAA’s criteria for membership be interpreted to prevent headquarters from conducting membership audits. Motion fails.
Beath set the Board’s winter meeting to coincide with the North American Nature Photographers Association meeting Feb. 16-19 in Reno, Nev.
Good of the Order
Rhoades thanked Board members for making new member referrals, and recognized Craig Springer’s referral of 25 potential members.
Beath suggested welcoming new members during OWAA’s annual business meeting, in addition to recognizing those members who have passed away.
Moved Foster/Hilts to adjourn. Motion carries. Meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
In the days immediately following the June 17 board meeting …
1) Jason McGarvey informed OWAA headquarters he would not be able to serve on the board at this time. According to OWAA bylaws, a director vacancy is filled by the person who received the next highest number of votes at the last board election. Mary Nickum, a board candidate in last May’s election, replaces McGarvey.
2) President John Beath changed the winter board meeting from Reno, Nev., which was initially proposed to coincide with the North American Nature Photographers Association meeting. The 2010 winter board meeting will now be held in conjunction with the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Board members will attend the SHOT Show on January 22. The board OWAA winter board meeting will be held the next day. ◊