Michael Borland Elected NPPA President, Board Passes $1.46M Budget

Michael Borland of WHO-TV (left) was given the NPPA gavel by outgoing president Sean D. Elliot
Michael Borland of WHO-TV (left) was given the NPPA gavel by outgoing president Sean D. Elliot

DURHAM, NC (January 13, 2013) – Sean D. Elliot, who has served as president of the National Press Photographers Association since 2011, officially passed the gavel Sunday to the new incoming president, Michael Borland. Elected by the board of directors during its annual two-day business meeting at NPPA's national office, Borland took the oath of office to begin his one-year term. With a knock of the gavel, Borland adjourned the two-day meeting where a $1.46 million annual budget and three resolutions were passed.

Borland is the chief photojournalist for WHO-TV in Des Moines, and is the first television photojournalist to serve as NPPA's president since Bob Gould held the office in 2004.

“This association has had such a history of good leaders and I hope to carry on that tradition,” Borland said. He has served most recently as the organization’s vice president. Before that he served on the board of directors and as a regional officer for several years.

Elected as vice president (also a one-year term) was board member Todd Maisel. Jim Michalowski, also a board member, was elected treasurer and will serve a two-year term. Michael P. King remains national secretary as he is halfway through a two-year term; his post was not part of this year’s election process.

Because board members Maisel and Michalowski have vacated their board seats to serve as national officers, and because a tie exists between the runners-up in the most recent election, a second election will need to be held soon to determine their replacements.

NPPA's proposed $1.46 million budget was passed Saturday with minor amendments and by a unanimous vote. During the budget proposal, NPPA executive director Mindy Hutchison noted to the board that many of NPPA’s initiatives are possible in large part due to distributions NPPA receives as reprographic royalties through the Authors Coalition of America (ACA). According to the terms of use of funding, distributions must be spent on projects that will benefit published, professional still photographers.

General counsel Mickey Osterreicher and Alicia Calzada Wagner, chair of NPPA’s Advocacy Committee, presented a thick report on the organization’s involvement in First Amendment and copyright issues over the past 12 months. Calls from photographers who have been harassed or arrested by law enforcement officers, or those whose copyright has been infringed, have not ceased. 

Osterreicher and Wagner have been able to assist some directly in defense or advocacy, and others they have helped connect with other counsel. Osterreicher was heavily involved in working with police agencies preparing for the politically-charged RNC, DNC, and NATO events. A significant pleasure for Osterreicher was an opportunity to address the International Association of Chiefs of Police at a convention. He and Calzada also gave input at public hearings regarding the feasibility of “copyright small claims courts,” and have been proactively trying to guide the debate on Orphan Works legislation. 

ABOVE: NPPA board member Bethany Swain discussed diversity during the panel's annual two-day business meeting this weekend in Durham. Photograph by Sean D. Elliot

Also Saturday, two newly-elected board members were sworn in – Joe Cavaretta and Scott Mc Kiernan.

The board considered and voted on three resolutions Sunday.

They unanimously approved striking a requirement in NPPA’s governing documents that candidates for national offices, regional offices, and the board of directors be members at least one year prior to their candidacy. Candidates, however, will still need to be members in good standing.

“Far too often over the years we have passed-over nominating individuals who are new to NPPA despite a long and respected career in the field, or passed-over those who have had their membership momentarily lapse within the past year, despite long-standing membership,” said Elliot, the resolution’s author.

Elliot also authored a resolution establishing the “NPPA Alicia Calzada First Amendment Award.” Its creation was unanimously approved. Recognizing advocacy work, the award will be one of several NPPA honors and recognitions bestowed annually. Calzada is an NPPA attorney, a longtime chair of the Advocacy Committee, and an NPPA past president.

“For many years, NPPA was too timid on issues affecting our industry. Alicia came onto the board of directors and introduced a series of resolutions that helped transform our organization into one unafraid to take a stand,” said Elliot. “It’s only fitting that this award honor her and her efforts.”

The board also approved a resolution from former board member Greg Smith asking that NPPA’s Advocacy Committee work on a statement to comment on economic factors in the news industry. The board obliged, 13 members voting yes and one abstaining, and will issue a public statement no later than January 25.

The NPPA Board of Directors is comprised of both appointed and elected board members. Kainaz Amaria, Yunghi Kim, and Melissa Lyttle are currently the three appointed board members, serving at the pleasure of NPPA's president for terms of an undetermined length. NPPA's other board members are elected by the membership and serve for staggered three-year terms. And the new Student Representative to the board is Dorothy Edwards of Western Kentucky University.

Also, NPPA goes into 2013 with two new employees in the Durham office. Martin Cassady is NPPA's new Business Development and Sales Manager responsible for advertising sales, sponsorships, and grant writing. And Christy Straight is NPPA's new Communications and Marketing Director.

Below: Todd Maisel (left), Jim Michalowski, and Michael Borland take the oath of office from outgoing NPPA president Sean D. Elliot