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OWAA Board of Directors Meeting

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President Tony Dolle called the meeting to order at 2:18 p.m.
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Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, Utah
July 11, 2011
President Tony Dolle called the meeting to order at 2:18 p.m.
Secretary Katie McKalip called the roll. Present were Dolle, Mike Walker, Mark Taylor, Bill Graham, McKalip, Paul Hansen, Jason Jenkins, Matt Miller, Ty Stockton, Mark Freeman, Brett Prettyman, Paul Queneau, Bruce Cochran, Mary Nickum, Randy Zellers, Bill Powell and Robin Giner. Chris Hunt, Glenn Sapir, Bill Brassard, Jim Low, Peter Schroeder, Howard Meyerson and Tim Zink attended as observers.
Dolle welcomed the new board members and treasurer.
Moved (Taylor/Jenkins) to nominate Walker as president, to cease nominations and to elect Walker by acclamation; motion carried.
Moved (Graham/Jenkins) to nominate Taylor as first vice president, to cease nominations and to elect Taylor by acclamation; motion carried.
Moved (Hansen/Jenkins) to nominate Graham as second vice president, to cease nominations and to elect Graham by acclamation; motion carried.
Moved (Walker/Jenkins) to offer Dolle life membership; motion carried.
Dolle expressed his appreciation to the board and officers for their support. The board applauded Dolle’s commitment to the organization.
OLD BUSINESS
Legal Counsel Powell submitted language he prepared regarding a proposed amendment to the bylaws requirement for a quorum at the annual membership meeting; the board reviewed this notice. The board may vote to approve or reject it after Aug. 8, 2011. Before becoming effective, it must be approved by the membership.
Paragraph 5.1 shall be amended by replacing the word “fifty” with the word “twenty-five.”
Treasurer Hansen asked the board to provide him with a brief history of OWAA’s financial situation. McKalip summarized the board’s financial discussion from the July 8 meeting.
Graham asked about the possibility of increasing ad space in the Directory as a means of raising funds. Walker inquired about materials available for use in promoting ad sales in the Directory; Giner replied that sell sheets are available for this purpose and invited the board to offer suggestions on how to sell additional ads. Freeman suggested involving OU Publications Editor Ashley Schroeder in ad sales; Giner responded that Jessica Pollett and herself pursued these opportunities in the past.
Taylor stated that the pricing structure and other materials should be reexamined to ensure that ads are fairly and attractively priced. He also suggested that commission be offered for anyone (staff or members) who sells ads. Stockton seconded Taylor’s idea of offering commissions and suggested that an ad hoc committee be convened to examine how revenues can be expanded; Walker advised that a 20-percent commission represents the “going rate.” Taylor, Stockton and McKalip volunteered to serve on the ad hoc committee.
Hansen asked about measures being taken to reinstate lapsed members and supporters. Stockton replied that board members are reaching out to former members and supporters and that efforts are being redoubled on this front.
Graham mentioned the draft OWAA strategic plan submitted by the Strategic Planning Committee and said that further efforts to refine and finalize this plan will address ways to increase member/supporter numbers. Giner added that members who live in the Intermountain West are planning to meet in person later this year to undertake revision of the draft plan.
Zellers inquired about the procedure by which a potential member or supporter submits member applications and is considered for membership. Giner responded that Pollett works with potential members and supporters to guide them through the application process. Zeller highlighted the requirement in the application for a sponsor and wondered if lack of a sponsor might deter potential members/supporters from joining. Giner replied that headquarters works to match sponsors with new members/supporters and application materials note that help in this area is available.
Taylor said that increasing member/supporter numbers is currently OWAA’s greatest challenge and that personal contact is a proven means of reinstating lapsed members/supporters and recruiting new members/supporters. In the past, a contest for members to encourage member/supporter recruitment attracted little interest.
Hansen asked about merger opportunities with other writers’ groups. McKalip summarized discussion on this topic that occurred at the recent executive committee and board meetings.
Miller volunteered to chair an ad hoc committee exploring recruitment of online/blogger/vlogger communicators and monitoring new members in this category to ensure the member criteria is met. Prettyman offered to co-chair this committee. Walker approved the formation of this committee.
Queneau recommended that members be encouraged to participate in member/supporter recruitment efforts. Giner said that she informed Schroeder and Pollett of the group’s difficult financial situation and the need to institute temporary staff salary cuts.
Hansen asked whether OWAA had approached charitable foundations for grant monies. Giner responded that special projects have a greater likelihood of attracting funding than do requests for general operation funds.
EIC Contest Rules Revision
Giner distributed materials outlining the latest revision to the EIC contests and rules, reflecting the addition of contest criteria for the online communicator membership category.
Suggestions were made concerning ways to increase participation in the EIC contests. Graham reminded the board that one of the goals of the EIC contest revision was to streamline the contest’s categories and breadth. He is not in favor of allowing non-members to enter the contests.
Zellers asked if non-members paid extra to enter the EIC contests in 2010; they did. He asked if the increased revenue resulting from non-members entering contests might offset members’ displeasure in having non-members participate.
Moved (Taylor/seconded Freeman) to amend EIC contest rules to remove the word “series” in the “column/series” contest. Motion carried.
Moved (Taylor/seconded Zellers) to amend the EIC contest rules to remove the requirement in the column contest that the samples be consecutive. Motion carries; three oppose.
Discussion continued regarding revisions to the EIC contest rules. The necessity of requiring that submissions be formatted as PDFs was covered briefly, as was whether blog entries should include reader comments. The consensus was that comments should not be included and the entry should consist only of the initial blog entry.
Moved (Graham/seconded Jenkins) to amend the EIC contest rules to remove any references to newspaper, magazine, timeframes and frequency in the blog category. Motion carried.
Moved (Jenkins/seconded Miller) to approve the EIC contest rules as amended in the previous motions. Motion carried.
Digital Media/Journalist Membership Category
Miller reported that the committee prepared criteria for the new proposed membership category.
Peter Schroeder addressed the board regarding the impetus for development of the new membership category. He submitted language outlining the new criteria, as follows:
“Digital Media Journalist: To qualify under this category, applicants must meet four of the following:
“1. Maintained a digital media site on outdoor-related activities in any format that allows response feedback for a minimum of one year;
“2. Proof of income from communicating about outdoor-related subjects;
“3. Average at least two editorial postings per month over a 12-month period; redistribution of press releases does not qualify;
“4. Proof of at least 500 average unique views per month over a 12-month period;
“5. Must reveal source for all outside support contributing to content of postings.”
Miller clarified that this language would replace the “blogger/vlogger/online communicator” language already approved by the board. Powell stated that the above language would constitute a new paragraph in the membership requirements criteria list, as published in the Directory.
Freeman expressed concern that criteria No. 4 is not required. He feels strongly that a minimum number of page views be required. Other questions regarding the advertising criteria were raised.
Taylor asked Sapir and Brassard to relate their experiences in defining criteria for online communicators interested in attending the SHOT Show as media attendees. Brassard replied that the NSSF has a generally inclusive attitude toward allowing bloggers and other online communicators to attend SHOT.
Moved (Miller/seconded Freeman) to change the criteria for the blogger/vlogger/online journalist category to the citizen journalist category and amend the language as follows:
“Digital Media Journalist: To qualify under this category, applicants must show proof of at least 500 average unique views per month over a 12-month period and meet three of the following:
“1. Maintained a digital media site on outdoor-related activities in any format that allows for feedback for a minimum of one year;
“2. Proof of income from communicating about outdoor-related subjects;
“3. Average at least two editorial postings per month over a 12-month period; redistribution of press releases does not qualify;
“4. Must reveal source for all outside support contributing to content of postings.”
Motion carried; one opposed. Walker called a brief recess at 3:50 p.m. Meeting reconvened at 4:09 p.m.
NEW BUSINESS
Approval of Committee Members

Walker nominated McKalip to chair the Board Nominating Committee and Low, Miller, Queneau, Pat Stockdill and Tracy Watt to serve as committee members.
Moved (Taylor/seconded Stockton) to approve the nomination. Motion carried.
GOOD OF THE ORDER
Queneau inquired about the establishment of committee chairs; Walker responded that he would be designating chairs and following up with these individuals shortly.
Jenkins expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome extended to the student members at conference.
Queneau reiterated the need for board members to consider member benefits and how to expand and improve these benefits. Stockton mentioned that the needs of supporters — particularly at conference — should be considered, as well.
Miller thanked Taylor and Prettyman for their hard work in planning and executing a successful conference. Other board members loudly seconded.
Adjournment: Moved (Taylor/seconded Prettyman) to adjourn. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 4:18 p.m.
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