July 24, 2020
The 2020 summer board meeting was held on July 19, 2020, via video conference. The NPPA Board of Directors elected a new member and adopted several resolutions.
Board member Brett Akagi, who was elected in 2020, announced his resignation during the meeting and effective at its conclusion. Akagi, news operations manager at KCTV5 News, will continue working deeply with the NPPA as a volunteer. He recently joined an effort by the Honors and Awards committee to explore the renaming of the association’s annual awards.
"My time on the board has been eye-opening. There's no better way to understand an organization than to be part of the leadership,” Akagi said. "Like all of us this past year, I've been pulled in many directions, professionally and personally. I need to step back from some of my commitments and be more present in others."
"Stepping down from the board won't diminish my commitment to the NPPA or its members,” Agaki added. “I've already been planning new town hall meetings, BOP instructional videos with the winners, still leading the BOP Video contest, and continuing to teach at the News Video Workshop. This is all in an effort to help the NPPA and our valuable still, digital and video members," Akagi said.
Per NPPA’s bylaws, the board of directors fills a vacancy created by an elected director who resigns or is removed. (The process differs from vacancies created when an elected director gives up their seat to become a national officer. In those cases, the runner-up from the previous board election fills the vacancy.)
Josh Davis and Oliver Janney were nominated by board members for Akagi’s seat. Davis has been serving the remainder of a term vacated by Katie Schoolov when she was elected vice president during the February 2020 winter board meeting. Oliver Janney is a senior manager for field production at CNN.
After debate, Davis, an assistant professor at San Francisco State University, was elected by the board to fulfill the remaining two and a half years of Akagi’s term. Janney was then elected to fulfill the remainder of Davis’ term, which ends in November. President Andrew Stanfill swore-in Janney at the conclusion of the meeting.
"I'm excited to kick off the new term by serving on a newly formed website committee and by continuing to bring together our video and photo members, as well as providing new opportunities for our student chapters,” Davis said.
“As a broadcast professional for the past 20 years, I’ve worked as a freelancer, staffer, stringer and manager,” Janney said. “My experiences in both local and network broadcast operations gives me a unique perspective and uniquely equips me to serve NPPA’s diverse membership as a member of the board. I have directly benefited from NPPA’s educational and advocacy work. I’m grateful and want to give back.”
Executive Director Akili Ramsess provided an update on membership. A surge in membership related to NPPA efforts in health, safety and legal advocacy helped stabilize numbers in an era marked by unrest due to the pandemic, and the board sees room to grow in the second half of the year.
The board passed a resolution to formalize and streamline the process of proposing ad-hoc events, and an additional repair resolution to bring the policies and procedures into agreement with the bylaws pertaining to the composition of the judiciary committee. A resolution to end involvement with the Photo Bill of Rights was referred by the board to the executive committee as discussions continue among the authors. A resolution to discontinue the job bank on the website was tabled as the organization explores a website overhaul.
To further discuss the association’s financial health and its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the board will meet in August via videoconference, continuing a series of special meetings that have commenced since the pandemic disrupted America in the springtime. A separate meeting notice will be posted as soon as a date is decided upon.