TAMPA BAY, FL – The NPPA’s annual two-day business meeting of the board of directors concluded today at the 60th Anniversary Photojournalism Summit with the election of new national officers, after passage of a $1,531,339 (USD) budget for the fiscal year 2006-2007 that includes a $20 annual dues increase. The board also did away with entry fees for the television categories in the annual Best Of Photojournalism competition, heard committee and event reports, and considered and passed several resolutions. Board members discussed the board’s goals as they pertain to the role of the organization’s executive director, as the search begins for a new director to replace Greg Garneau, who retires next month.
At the end of the two-day meeting, Tony Overman of The Olympian in Olympia, WA, was elected president in an uncontested race, and Scott Utterback of WAVE-TV in Louisville, KY, was elected vice president in an uncontested race. Alicia Wagner Calzada of Rumbo in San Antonio, TX, becomes the immediate past president, whose duties for the coming year include chairing NPPA’s Honors & Recognition committee.
Sean D. Elliot of The Day in New London, CT, was re-elected as the organization’s national secretary over candidate Matt Snider, and Region 11 director Russ Kendall of The Bellingham Herald in Bellingham, WA, elected as the Executive Committee board representative over candidates Peter Soby and Tom Costello.
Outgoing NPPA president Calzada today wrote an open letter to NPPA members about the dues increase. In it she said: “Building on the successes and the financial stability that we have worked to put in place, the board approved an increase in dues to support this year’s budget. This increase will help support the many new programs that have been created over the past few years. You will also see many new exciting benefits and changes in the near future. Our main focus is preparing the organization and the members for the future and this change is a part of that with realistic revenue streams. The dues increase is a part of that preparation.
“The NPPA stands as one of the largest journalism organizations in the country,” Calzada said. “During a recent evaluation of other national journalism groups, the board came to the conclusion that the NPPA provides more services for less money than nearly any other comparable group. We remain one of the most affordable photography organizations in the country.”
Read Calzada’s entire letter to the membership here.
The board approved the following new annual dues: $110 (USD) for professional membership in the United States and Canada; $65 for student membership; $170 for a family membership, for households with more than one working photojournalist; $125 for international membership with surface mail; and $180 for international membership with air mail.
NPPA national treasurer Jim Sulley and the Finance Committee (members Overman, Ron Stover, and Brendan McDermid) prepared this year's budget. “It continues to be a tough economic situation, which forced us to include a membership dues increase this year to maintain and grow the level of services NPPA provides to its members,” Sulley said today.
The adopted budget is an increase of $181,000 over last year’s.
“This new budget returns to the budget – for the first time in several years - monies to the Regions that are based on membership at the rate of $3 per member per region. The national budget also includes a $30,000 marketing and public relations budget that will help NPPA attract new members through outside sources.”
Joe Elbert of The Washington Post is the chairman of the committee assigned to search for a new executive director. Today he reported to the board about the search process, and the board agreed to find and hire an outside executive search firm to work with the NPPA’s search committee to produce candidates for the committee to interview and consider.
Switching roles, Elbert also reported to the board on the Best Of Photojournalism still photography contest and the competition’s committee, of which he is also a member. Merry Murray reported on the television portion of the Best Of Photojournalism contest, and the board voted to eliminate entry fees for the television competition, hoping the new “free entry” policy will stimulate participation to levels similar to those achieved by the still competition (which is also free).
The board meeting opened Wednesday in the Tampa Tribune’s building with the president’s annual report. Calzada talked about the past year, NPPA’s advocacy efforts, and the organization’s Hurricane Katrina relief fund. She was followed by executive director Garneau’s annual report and a period of questions and answers.
The board approved a resolution to give affiliate chapters a one-year grace period to maintain their affiliate standing, as well as dropping the 10-member minimum number of people needed to start a chapter. And the board decided that a chapter must have at least 50 percent NPPA membership to maintain affiliate status.
Also on Wednesday the board approved a resolution cleaning up the procedures for amending the NPPA's governing documents, and newly elected Chapters board representative Seth Gitner gave reports to the board. The board approved a pair of resolutions creating a permanent standing committee on mentoring to oversee the NPPA's mentoring program.
Attorney and photojournalist Mickey H. Osterreicher gave the board a report from the Media/Government Relations Committee that he chairs, which was followed by a report from Business Practices Committee chairman Greg Smith. The board voted to approve the Buiness Practices Committee to move forward to develop a model freelance contract, and continued involvment in Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS) and the Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG).
Overman made a presentation to the board suggesting that the regional Monthly Newsphoto Clip Contests make the switch to a digital competition. The board voted to direct the contest to make the switch to digital by January 2007.
In the closing hours of the meeting the board approved a resolution clarifying the term limits of board members, so that it is clear that board members may serve two full terms even if they were previously appointed to complete another board member's term.
The board finished business on Wednesday by approving a policy guideline on granting hardship membership extensions to members who may be experiencing financial challenges. Utterback was sworn in as vice president before the board meeting adjourned because he cannot attend Saturday's formal oath ceremony during the awards dinner.