The annual meeting of the Chess Journalists of America was held in Dallas, Texas during the U. S. Open Championship. Following are the minutes of that meeting, held on August 8, 2008.

Minutes of 2008 Annual Meeting of CJA
August 8, 2008

ANNUAL MEETING, August 8, 2008, Dallas, Texas

Meeting was called to order at 3:07. Members present included Roger Gotschall, Jerry Hanken, Jonathan Hilton, Randy Hough, Tim Just, Roz Katz, Elliot Landaw, Rachel Lieberman, and Daniel Lucas. They were joined by Gary Fine (a sociology professor at Northwestern) and new members Quayle Johnson and Peter Spizzirri.

2007 minutes were approved. Hough announced the results of two votes taken by the Executive Board during the prior year: unanimous selection of Jonathan Hilton as Chief Awards Judge, and defeat (1-3-1, with Riddle voting yes and Hough abstaining) of the following motion: “Resolved: That the Treasurer of the Chess Journalists of America to be instructed to comply with the law, and bring ALL financial records of which he is the custodian of during his terms of office; to the August 2009 By-law required meeting of the CJA Executive Board, so as to be available to a verification inspection of any officer present. And to also bring the same to the annual CJA membership meeting, to have available to turn over to a possible new CJA Treasurer.” The majority felt it unnecessary.

Secretary/Treasurer Hough reported a record current balance of $5956. The financial statement and budget as approved at the meeting are included in this magazine. There were no questions or requests for examination of the documentation. Hough expressed regret over cheap shots sometimes taken at volunteers, and announced that he will not be running for reelection in 2009, when he completes 13 years of service.

President’s Report: Hanken expressed his regret that the decoupling of the meeting from the USCF Publications Workshop, which normally precedes it, had (together with the scheduling opposite the Finance workshop, which was in “overtime”) hurt attendance. There was discussion of the magazine, with some members feeling that a bit of our revenues should be invested to further improve the product. En passant, it was noted that the Illinois Chess Bulletin has reverted to partial hard copy.

Hilton presented the list of award winners (published elsewhere in this issue) and outlined his ideas for fine-tuning the awards process:

  1. Increase Competitiveness
    • Combine or eliminate categories with under 5 entries
    • Focus on categories that are the most contested
    • Have only categories that will produce role-model articles of interest to the bulk of American chess journalists
  2. Add Prestige
    • Profile winners in The Chess Journalist
    • Arrange a group photo
    • Add a “Grand Prix” event for state and other chess magazines—combine the scores of a magazine’s top article in each category for a total GP score
  3. Reverse Negative Perceptions
    • Make the judging process as transparent as possible
    • Ensure that the Awards process is explained in our annual Awards Announcement
    • Be consistent in following our judging procedures
  4. Encourage Participation
    • Create a $49 Package Deal to smaller publications, which includes 3 CJA memberships (one for editor, two for writers), 5 entries to the competition, and entry into Best State Magazine and Best State Website (if applicable)
    • Send out a flier to remind CJA members to nominate articles

The proposals were approved in principle, though it was noted the judging will be a bit more complicated. Hilton was warmly complemented on his work on this year’s awards.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00

Randy Hough
CJA Secretary/Treasurer

Posted 3-April-2009

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