NPPA Board Meets Until 4 A.M. In San Antonio

Alicia Wagner Calzada

SAN ANTONIO, TX  – The National Press Photographers Association's annual two-day board of directors meeting ran long and ended in the early hours of Saturday morning with the passing of a new annual budget for the coming fiscal year and electing new national officers.

Alicia Wagner Calzada, a staff photojournalist for Rumbo in San Antonio, TX, was elected president, and photojournalistTony Overman, Region 11's director from Olympia, WA, was elected vice president. Jim Sulley, vice president for the Americas for Newscast in New York, NY, who was once Region 2's director and associate director and who has served six years on the NPPA board, was elected treasurer.

Jim SulleyPhotojournalist Sean Elliot of The Day in Norwich, CT, remains as the organization's national secretary, andMatt McColl, Region 10's director from KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, NV, was elected as the Executive Committee board representative. (This year candidates for the E.C. board representative could come only from even numbered Regions). Outgoing president Bob Gould of WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, MI, becomes the immediate past president, a post that also serves as a member of the Executive Committee.

Two board members were elected to the Judiciary Committee: Harry DiOrio, Region 2 director from New York, NY, and Sarah Orr, Region 10 associate director from Napa, CA. Lalo Garcia of News 8 Austin has been re-appointed chairperson for the Judiciary Committee by incoming president Calzada for another term.

The board went way past the hour it was scheduled to adjourn on Friday night, meeting until after 4 a.m. on Saturday morning performing a meticulous line-by-line examination of the proposed 2005-2006 fiscal year budget, conducting evaluations, and electing new officers. The board made adjustments and changes on almost every line item of the budget to bring programs and costs into line with the organization’s revenues and forecasts. By a unanimous vote, the board adopted NPPA's 2005-2006 budget of $1.352 million dollars at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

After adopting the budget, the remaining time in the meeting was spent doing the executive editor's annual review, hearing a presentation on News Photographer magazine, electing national officers, and appointing Judiciary Committee members. At one point around 2 a.m. Saturday morning a hotel security guard informed the board that they had to leave the meeting room, it was past the time meetings were allowed to continue and that cleaning crews were waiting to set up the room for the next day's meeting. Minutes later, the guard came back to say the the meeting could continue after all, the hotel employees had stopped waiting and gone home for the night.

During the meeting that officially started Thursday morning, the board heard reports on several annual events including the Flying Short Course, the Women in Photojournalism Conference, the Northern Short Course, and the NPPA's upcoming 60th anniversary event. Other topics the board discussed include the location of the national office, national office staffing levels, NPPA membership cards, funding for promotional and marketing initiatives, and other budgetary issues.

NPPA past president Clyde Mueller gave the board a report on the Best Of Photojournalism still photography contest, and Merry Murray-Rogers and Mike Harrity reported on the Best Of Photojournalism television photography and editing contest.

A number of resolutions were voted on by the board during the two-day meeting.

The treasurer’s term of office resolution modifying the national treasurer's length of term from a four-year term to a two-year term passed.

A resolution proposed by NPPA outgoing president Gould established the Cutting Edge Workshop as a standing committee in the NPPA bylaws was passed.

A resolution to change the chairperson of the Executive Committee on Nominations making the NPPA's past president the Chair of the EC Committee on Nominations instead of the post being filled by the Executive Committee Board Member Representative was amended and passed so that the president appoints the nominations committee chair.

A resolution to de-limit the terms for Executive Committee members and allow for the re-election of the president, with the past president serving another term on the Executive Committee, passed.

A resolution lowering NPPA membership dues for those serving in the military was amended to create a separate military division in the membership categories, with no reduction in dues, and then passed.

A resolution establishing that the Finance Committee be chaired by the national treasurer and be populated by the vice president and two other members, any one of which shall be a member of the previous year's Finance Committee (excluding the past president, president, and secretary), and that they be appointed by the board of directors at the annual business meeting, was amended. An amended resolution establishing that the vice president shall sit on the Finance Committee along with two committee members appointed by the treasurer was passed.

The resolution that establishes the treasurer as a non-voting member of the Executive committee was rejected.

A resolution to impose a time limit for approving the Executive Committee's meeting minutes failed.

A resolution to return to the previous practice of proposed resolutions being provided to the NPPA board of directors 90 days before a meeting, and the resolution must contain the exact language of the affected section of the Bylaws so that there is no potential for misunderstanding was postponed indefinitely.

A resolution calling for chairmen of NPPA educational programs and workshops be appointed by the NPPA president at least one year prior to the planned date of the event (so that educational programs can be planned well in advance and save money) was postponed indefinitely.