Minutes of the Fall General Membership Meeting

Fall General Membership Meeting Minutes
Plaza Resort and Hotel. Daytona Beach
October 22, 2016, 9:00AM

Meeting was called to order at 9:00AM by President Joe Cavanaugh.

All Officers were present along with members from Live Poets Society, Miami Poets, Members at Large, New River Poets, Orlando Area Poets,Sunshine Poets and Tomoka Poets. Big Bend Poets, Poetry Ocala, and Poetry for the Love Of It had had no representative there.

Minutes of the last meeting were read by Mary-Ann Westbrook and unanimously approved.

The Financial Report was given by Judith Krum. Our balance is $8,369 with contest prizes and final convention expenses still to be paid. FSPA poetry contest made a profit of $1,137.92 this year. This report was unanimously approved.

The budget for 2017 was distributed to everyone. It shows a budget for the coming year of $11,935. Judy discussed some of the items including the cost of printing and mailing the OPAP newsletter. This will be discussed later in the program. The budget for 2017 was unanimously accepted.

The Audit Committee appointed by Pres. Joe Cavanaugh consisted of Chair Terry Hagans, Janet Watson and Cheri Herald. Terry announced that no discrepancies were found and everything is in good order.

Gary Broughman gave the Anthology Report. Patricia Stevenson-Gingrich is stepping down and Gary is the new Anthology Chair. His editing committee will consist of Elaine Person and JC Kato. He announced that, because of Hurricane Matthew, this year’s anthologies were not received in time for the Convention. All anthologies that were preordered and paid for will be mailed gratis to members. To order here at the convention the $10.00 discount price will be honored but a $3.00 mailing fee will be necessary. To order after the Convention the price is $12.00 plus $3.00 for mailing.

FSPA Contest Chair Mary Rogers-Grantham reported that all judges for the 24 contests were in place by March 31st. Entries this year have increased to a total of 1,103. First place winners are published in Anthology 34. For the 2017 contest we have increased to 27 contests.

Membership Chair Mary Marcelle reported a total membership of 230 with two new chapters in the process of forming.

Of Poets And Poetry report was read by Joe Cavanaugh. Our newsletter is published four times a year. Length is limited to eight printed pages plus inserts that may be required such as ballots. At this time it is mailed to all members and includes Strophes, the NFSPS newsletter. Both are also published on our website. During the past year Adobe Acrobat software was acquired to update and expand our capabilities.

Youth Contest Chair Janet Watson reported this project is well underway. Lib O’Brian of Santa Fe, NM and Marilyn Downing of Hershey, PA will be the judges. This year first place winners will receive the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, monetary prize generously donated by Mr. Hopkins. They will also receive a student membership in FSPA, publication in our anthology and a gift of that anthology.

Web Master Randy Krum’s report was also read by Joe Cavanaugh. In December of 2015 the website was damaged by a virus attack on the hosting server. The site was reconstructed and is now protected by the anti-virus software SiteLock. Members Books and Bios is being redesigned as “The Book Room”. Our domain name, floridastatepoetsassociation.org, has been renewed to Jan 2017 at a cost of $64.00. In the past year our website has received 584,043 hits.

Social Media Chair Linda Eve Diamond reported that we have 355 friends on Facebook and 85 on Twitter. The sites have been very active. Last year we had our first annual Holiday Poems project. Watch for more of this to come. Anyone can post. If you can’t, send info to Linda and she will put it on. If you have not already…please Like us.

All of these reports are on file with the minutes for anyone to see in the secretary’s notebook.

Under Old Business Mary-Ann Westbrook asked for volunteers to host Spring Fling 2017. New River Poets and Sunshine Poets offered to work together. It will probably be in the Tampa area.

Also under old business Nominating Chair Alice Friedman announced that a total of 64 ballots were sent to President Joe Cavanaugh since she also was running for office. Of the 64 ballots only one was a no vote. The ballots were counted and certified by Vice President Walter Mims, Mary Marcelle and Randy Krum. Elected officers are President Mary-Ann Westbrook, Vice President Al Rocheleau, Secretary Alice Friedman and Treasurer Kevin Campbell.

Under new business 12 Chairs Poetry Program graduated 7 students and were awarded certificates by President Joe Cavanaugh.

Also an informational document was distributed to everyone regarding the costs of printing and mailing the OPAP newsletter. A discussion led by Judy Krum ensued. Everyone agreed that the savings warranted change to a mostly electronic copy. Members who do not have a computer or need a paper copy would still receive a mailed copy. The switch to an electronic version, which is already on the website, would save us about $1500. A committee is being formed to contact every member to see how many mailed paper copies we would need. For those with computers, if you want a paper copy you could print it.

There being no further business, at 10:05Am Pres. Joe Cavanaugh called for adjournment. Approval was unanimous.

Respectfully submitted
Mary-Ann Westbrook, Secretary