Minutes - Teleconference - Nov. 6, 2013

NJCA Executive Board Phone Conference
Wednesday, November 6,  2013 – 9:00am

In attendance: Chris Caldiero, Laura Farrall, Shawn Kildea, Todd Kelshaw, Christine Lemesianou, Chris Lynch, Sheila McAllister, Anita O’Malley, Evelyn Plummer,

  1. Association Matters:

a. Non profit status. In light of continued uncertainty about the past filing of NJCA tax returns and subsequent effects on NJCA’s nonprofit status, several means of investigation are in progress. Chris Caldiero will contact Corey Liberman, current president of the NY State Communication Association (which is going through a similar situation).   Shawn Kildea will research past treasurer’s records, since the past NJCA treasurer is unavailable.  Resolution of this situation is a high priority item.

b. Participation and commitment. Discussion continued about ways to encourage more widespread & more consistent involvement in the organization. Among the ideas offered were:

- emailing conference information directly to Department chairs (currently in progress by Christopher Lynch)

- instituting a mid-year event (e.g. a speaker + a business meeting)

- increasing association’s visibility by giving an award to a communication professional

- increasing the dollar amounts for the  awards given to the top papers.

- Laura Farrall volunteered to reach out to Vera Towle to assist on increasing the association’s consistent use of Twitter, our Facebook page,  and other social media.

c. Membership categories. Christopher Lynch inquired if the institutional membership category was really beneficial to either the association or to the institutional members. The sense of the discussion was that there is a slight financial benefit. Current conference registration fees are:  Student = $20   /   Individual = $90.  /  Institutional $275.

d. Chris Lynch proposed an informal get together at NCA later this month. He will be sending out an email invitation.

  1. Conference Planning updates:

Location: Kean University on Saturday, April 12, 2014

Theme: From Classroom to Careers

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Betsy Bach

a. Honorarium . Chris Lynch sought input on appropriate procedures  (current and going forward) for handling payments/reimbursements to invited guests. After some discussion, the sense of the board members was to support the practice of the past few years (e.g. Maureen Taylor & Larry Frey). Once again this year the goal is to provide $500.00 as an honorarium to the guest keynote speaker plus to cover travel expenses. Christopher L. expressed concern about the adequacy of this amount. Several participants asserted that the key speaker should be considered as a collegial collaborator and the monies given are meant to be an acknowledgement of thanks, not a fee, per, se. Although the reimbursement for travel can vary widely depending upon the guest’s distance from the conference locale, current practice was supported—at least for this year. Going forward, it may be helpful to set a range for the fee. These reimbursements can be funded from the association’s treasury. However, Anita O’Malley mentioned the possibility of soliciting corporate underwriting. Although this idea received support from several people, it was noted that finding such support is generally a difficult and time consuming task and adding that to the conference planner’s responsibilities would be ill advised.  An alternate suggestion involved assigning other members of the executive board with the future goal of soliciting funds and participation from corporate sponsors and/or from campus departments of business. Chris Lynch has already solicited $450.00 in support from McGraw Hill. It was agreed that those funds could go to reimburse the various professionals who are being engaged to participate as Career Fair resources . In addition, everyone should be exploring ideas for expanding our funding sources—in addition to any support which might be  received from the administration of the hosting institution.

b. Career Fair. Two table sessions will be conducted during the concurrent session slots adjacent to the lunch break.  Chris L will be sending out the list of proposed career fair interest areas tables  and the volunteer representatives. All members of the board are invited to review and suggest any additional names and/or career areas.

c. Registration. The registration link on the NJCA webpage is currently deactivated-- in order to avoid problems with our online databases --most membership cycles begin in January), and will resume functionality by January 2. As per past practices, there will be no formal deadline for registering, but registrants will be encouraged to pay in advance online no later than 2 days  prior to the conference. . In order to assist the membership chair on conference day, it was suggested that, in some way,  attendees’ name tags should  indicate whether the person is paid up.

The next phone conference will occur in approximately 2 weeks: prior to Thanksgiving (Chris C. suggested surveying the board for the optimum day & time)

Respectfully submitted by Evelyn Plummer, Recording Secretary, 11/11/13