Minutes - June 5, 2002

Minutes of the Summer 2002 Executive Board Meeting of the New Jersey Communication Association

This meeting of the New Jersey Communication Association Executive Board took place on June 5, 2002, 12:00-2:00pm, at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey


C. DellAt-Large, Monmouth University
J. GermanCPA, German, Vreeland & Associates, LLP
J. LehrPresident, FDU
J. MillenTreasurer, Rider University
E. NovekAt-Large, Monmouth University
J. PollockNJCA 1st VP, The College of New Jersey
A. SimsPast-Treasurer, The College of New Jersey
S. WienMembership Director, Monmouth University

I. The meeting was called to order at 12:15pm. Introductions were made and thanks extended to Anntarie Sims for arranging the room and the lunch.

II. The first order of business was the NJCA 501(c)(3) application for nonprofit status as a charitable organization. A presentation was made by Jeffrey German of German, Vreeland & Associates, the accounting firm retained to see NJCA through the process of 501(c)(3)status (Note: this was the same accounting firm retained by the SCILS Alumni Association for the same purpose).

Thus far, Mr. German's firm has completed all of the forms necessary to seek 501(c)(3) (charitable organization) status. The remaining step is the cutting of a check for $150 to be issued to the Internal Revenue Service. Jonathan Millen has already requested the check which will be cut next Tuesday, June 11th, and mailed, with all of the relevant and signed paperwork, immediately thereafter.

Several other noteworthy comments were made regarding NJCA's 501(c)(3) (charitable organization) application and several threads of discussion ensued.

1. Once the paperwork is submitted, it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months for the IRS to process the paperwork. However, the accountant is optimistic that not only will we be granted 501(c)(3) status, but that our request that this be granted from the inception of the organization (April 1997), will also be approved.

2. Once we receive approval from the IRS then additional paperwork must be filed with the New Jersey Division of Taxation (to complete a charitable registration form that will allow NJCA to receive charitable donations), the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (which will allow NJCA to use their not-for-profit status in the purchase of goods and services), and lastly, submit application for sales tax exemption.

3. Jeffrey German also noted that a separate application and license is available for Bingo and Raffles if we so choose.

4. With 501(c)(3) status we must also develop a budget. This budget should reflect our 3 primary expenditures: the conference and the journal. Mr. German noted that it is wise to keep enough money in the bank to cover one year's worth of expenses. Thus far, prior year's expenses have been: $4165 for 1999, $5617 for 2000 and $8241 for 2001. Expenses for 2002 have not yet been finalized.

5. Given the fact that NJCA will have an annual budget against which expenses and income will be weighed, it will be necessary to file an annual tax return.

6. To the surprise of some in attendance, NJCA already has a Federal Identification Number (22-3666357) that will allow us to create a checking account for the association. All in attendance unanimously agreed (the accountant included) that Jonathan Millen should take immediate steps to open a checking account for NJCA.

7. To begin the process of setting up a checking account, current president, Jennifer Lehr will write a letter to Jonathan Millen formally requesting that all monies be removed from the Rider account and placed in this new, stand-alone account.

8. Chad Dell raised the issue of selling advertising in NJJC (one of the products of the organization). It was explained to the accountant that these "ads" are often purchased by member institutions and serve primarily to promote our own programs. German felt that this would be OK, but still cautioned us about advertising in general, which he thought would be taxable income.

9. Mr. German also recommended that the Treasurer position become a multi-year position or NJCA add the position of Assistant Treasurer to the slate of officers (please note: Review of the Constitution following the meeting did in fact reveal that the position of Treasurer is a 3-year position). Since this would require an amendment to the constitution, this is a matter that should be brought forth to the full board for discussion so that an appropriate course of action can be taken at next year's annual business meeting.

10. Finally, it was clarified that to date, the association has spent approximately $2000 with German, Vreeland, & Associates. Although no invoice has been issued as yet, some clarification needs to be settled with regard to which members of the Executive board approved this spending. Mr. German also stated that to retain his firm's services to handle the association's yearly business (including handling of tax returns) would fall in the range of $1500-3000.

III. Given the breadth and depth of the discussion surrounding the 501(c)(3) status, the President's Report on the 6th Annual Conference was brief. A total of 137 individuals were in attendance at this year's conference held at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Saturday, April 13th. This number includes 8 guests (individuals who did not pay full registration fees; this included the keynote speaker, the Becton College Dean of Arts & Science, Assistant Provost, etc.), 54 paid pre- or on-site registrants (54 x $65 = $3510), 32 students from outside of FDU ($640), 32 FDU students ($640), plus 8 others whose payment and/or registration status is still unclear. Three others selected Membership only (3 x $40 = $120). Including the $1000 student subsidy that we receive from the SCILS Alumni Association, the incoming funds from the conference totaled approximately $5910 (this does not take into account the 8 questionable registrants, which may yield additional funds). Although very few evaluation forms were completed, general responses were favorable.

IV. Preliminary Discussion of the 7th Annual Conference was lead by 1st VP, John Pollock. A date has not yet been selected as we are still trying to verify the dates for the 2003 ECA conference. Nonetheless, preliminary plans were discussed for using TCNJ's new Social Sciences Building for the main reception area and for the day's concurrent sessions. The Student Center will be the location for lunch and the keynote speaker.

Given TCNJ's proximity to Trenton, there are several thematic possibilities including connections to social action, public communication, and community. Also, given the recent discussion between NJJC's Editor Gary Radford and NCA 2nd VP Elect, Larry Frey, it was proposed that Larry Frey be asked to serve as keynote speaker. This lead to a discussion of some of the problems that can arise when making use of a keynote during the lunchtime/business meeting block. One suggestion might be the inclusion of a midmorning plenary session during which time the keynote speaker delivers his or her address. This would, in turn, allow for a more creative and interactive lunchtime break (as Jonathan Millen noted, "doing the kinds of things we do in our classes").

Much discussion also centered on finding better ways to involve Lambda Pi Eta students in the annual conference. One possibility might be through the creation of a state conference (which the NJ Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta currently does not do) that it held "in conjunction with" the annual NJCA meeting. This would foster additional student involvement and perhaps even provide a pool of student workers for the conference.

John Pollock also noted that we still do not have a 2nd VP in place. No final answer has been received from Casey Lum as to whether or not he has support of his Dean. Both Jennifer Lehr and John Pollock will attempt to contact Casey over the next few weeks. All in attendance agreed that the issue of the 2nd VP needs to be resolved before summer's end (Follow-up note: J. Lehr, in an e-mail exchange with Casey Lum on June 12th, discovered that it will be early Fall before Casey is able to broach the issue with his Dean and as such, will be unable to offer a final answer until that time).

Chad Dell also raised the issue of future conferences. Specifically, his proposal that the 10th Annual Conference return to Montclair. He also strongly urged that we find ways to further involve Rutgers in the association and others noted that Gus Friedrich (a strong supporter of NJCA) might be the person to go through. That would lead to the following rotation over the next 4 years: TCNJ for 2003, WPU for 2004, RU for 2005, and back to MSU for 2006 (the association's 10th Anniversary).

John Pollock and Jennifer Lehr will continue discussion of "lessons learned" from the 2002 conference and any other suggestions and comments for the 2003 conference should be sent directly to 1st VP, John Pollock.

V. Membership Issues. Jennifer Lehr raised the matter of membership and specifically, the problem that NJCA has been having in moving the membership list forward each year and also, in providing Gary Radford, NJJC Editor, with the information he needs to mail the journal out to our members (especially since they are paying for it!). To keep us from reinventing the wheel with each year's cycle of mailings and registrations, the Membership Director needs to be the keeper of the Membership List (Note: this is no different from what is already specified in the constitution, "The Membership Director shall serve a one year term, maintain an accurate record of members, coordinate the membership process and coordinate the registration process for the Annual Conference").

In short, Jennifer Lehr will "clean up" this year's list (which is formatted as an Excel Spreadsheet) and forward it to the current Membership Director, Sherry Wien. When it comes time to mail the fall or spring issues of the Journal, the Membership Director will provide the NJJC Editor with a set of labels. Also, when it comes time for the 1st VP to mail the call for papers and later on, the conference registration, once again the Membership Director will provide a printed set of mailing labels. The Membership Director will also provide the 1st VP a copy of the Membership Excel Spreadsheet for use in managing the Registration Process.

Since there is now some question of having "lost" some members over the last few cycles, Jennifer Lehr will ask Don Swanson to provide the Membership director with a hard copy of last year's membership list for cross-checking. Jonathan Millen will provide such a list as well for the prior year. This is being done in order to avoid mishaps such as those that have occurred on several occasions when a member skips a year of attending the conference and as such, no longer receives any information regarding the upcoming conference.

Given the level of involvement and revolving responsibility of the Membership Director, it may be worth proposing that this position (like that of Historian and Treasurer(be extended to a multi-year position. Granted, this would require an amendment to the constitution, but may be worth it in order to build some continuity into the membership process.

VI. Meeting adjourned at 2:15pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jennifer Lehr
President, New Jersey Communication Association