Minutes of the PROBE meetings In NashvilleWritten by Grant Carson (with corrections by Grady Kerr)
The meeting convened at 9:40 a.m., July 5, 2001, at the headquarters hotel in Nashville.
President Grady Kerr invited Rich Taylor to lead "The Old Songs." President Kerr asked for a motion to make Grant Carson recording secretary. Motion by Stan Wardwell, second by Bob Fisher, passed. President Kerr introduced those at the head table: Recording Secretary Grant Carson, VP-BE Bruce Anderson, IPP Waldo Redekop, Webmaster Arnie Wade, VP-PR John Sugg.
Society PR Manager Reed Sampson was invited to address the group. Reed introduced his assistant, Julie Seipler, and the meeting sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Reed thanked the officers of PROBE for recent activities and events, and said the next step is to enlist the support and action of marketing and public relations DVPs. If DVPs get behind it, PROBE can be put into the Society work plan. Chapter PROs should insist on budget extending beyond the annual show. For bulletins, the emphasis should be on content, content, content. Bulletins should be used for information on recruiting, among other things, and are no place for soapbox editorials. Each BE should take a pledge to take his bulletin to the next higher level. PROs should be involved in every aspect of chapter activity, particularly helping the membership VP. If the Society can be of help, please call.
While he was still available President Kerr conferred upon Reed Sampson his PROBE outstanding achievement award.
President Kerr invited Lorin May, editor of The Harmonizer to speak. He made these points. The BE should have an editorial calendar and a vision of the next edition weeks ahead of time. The PRO should fit into the calendar and be a part of the solution for the BE. The BE should tell contributors at what to aim. The PRO should get the BE's vision of what he wants before an article is started. There are anchors in bulletins. Some articles are weightier than others and should go first, regardless of the ranks of the contributors. The PRO should be ready to convince the BE that his article is worth being the anchor. Too many times headlines don't tell what's in the article. For each article there should be multiple entry points, such as sidebars, as well as headlines. Contributors should think like an editor - find out what it's like to build pages, and be a part of the solution. At the conclusion of his remarks, May took questions. A question was did May, as Harmonizer editor, want more bulletins and photographs? May answered that bulletins are welcome, but before submitting photographs talk to him. Digital cameras are a bane because people don't know how to use them.
President Kerr called attention to the minutes of the last meeting, which were provided in a packet given to each member and additionally posted on the PROBE web page, and he asked for a motion of adoption. Moved by Bruce Anderson, seconded by Dick Stuart, and passed.
Those in attendance were asked to introduce themselves individually. Surprise entertainment was provided by Acoustix, 1990 International Quartet Champions, who sang "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Mr. Grinch." Tony LaRosa substituted for Jason January at baritone, since Jason, an attorney, was closing a case in Dallas.
President Kerr discussed the background for the proposed change of by-laws. A significant event was the promotion of Brian Lynch and his resignation from the secretary/treasurer position of PROBE, necessitating PROBE taking control of itself. Grady discussed the tortuous way the membership list and treasury had been handled. There was confusion about the actual amount in the treasury, but there wasn't enough to publish PROBEmoter, and two issues were published only on line. Another significant event was the volunteering of Dick Girvin to become secretary/treasurer, enabling PROBE to take control of itself. Now there are 500 members, whereas there used to be 1,500. PROBE doesn't know who went away or why they went. Many had dues paid by the chapter and didn't even know they were members, thus didn't buy into the commitment of membership. After that background, Grady summarized each proposed change of the by-laws but did not yet call for a vote, allowing those present to think about the proposed changes.
The Secretary/Treasurer report by Dick Girvin was provided by President Kerr. There are 509 members. The balance sheet has about $650, enough to publish one PROBEmoter.
VP-BE Bruce Anderson made available the printed report for the year and invited those present to pick it up. There were also available two VP-BE bulletins, one concerning L&R category guidelines, and one concerning the proposed by-laws changes. Bruce also made some remarks. The biggest problem of the VP-BE is having enough judges. Currently, there are 14 candidates, but they have been very slow in qualifying. There were 78 bulletins from all districts entered into the BETY. Awards for judging 15 years were announced: L&R Harry Squires, L&R Steve Jackson, and G&S Dick Pierard. Bruce appealed for volunteers to be COTS BE instructors.
VP-PR John Sugg made available the printed report for the year and invited those present to pick it up. A special achievement award for a youth program, including a manual on working with youth, was announced for John Kirby, Ontario District. Waldo Redekop accepted for John Kirby.
The Public Relations Officer of the Year was announced as Lee Roth, Hunterdon Chapter. The awared was accepted on his behalf by M-AD DCC Terry Jordan and Hunterdon Chapter President Rich Taylor.
President Kerr invited Rich Taylor, one of the announcers of the Web cast of the convention to speak. Rich said 6,900 folks visited the Web cast, and he had 430 e-mail messages yesterday.
Bulletin Editor Mentor Committee Chairman Grant Carson and Web Site Mentor Committee Chairman David Wagner were invited to give reports, but deferred to the written reports given in the hand out.
PROBE Webmaster Arnie Wade submitted a written report to the Recording Secretary. The report is summarized here. In operation two and a half years. Eight people per day connect to the front page, with a daily average of 14 hits on all pages. Forty-three percent go to "Aids for BEs," compared with 25 percent a year ago, by far the most popular area. 3,197 visits through 236 Web site referrers. 330 people view each on-line PROBEmoter. Primary changes since last year have been reorganization of the "Aids for BEs" page; addition of "Other Resources" links (contest scores, mailing lists, etc.); and addition of "Join PROBE on line." The greatest needs are for a submenu for the front page, new contributions, additional clip art and PR materials.
President Kerr named the remaining Outstanding Achievement Awards. They were Fran Seibert, 50 years a bulletin editor (accepted for Fran by Dave Meyer, president of the chapter); Ken Kespohl, organizer of the Nebraska Super Chorus (accepted by Bruce Anderson); Great American Chorus, Gas House Gang, Fremont, Nebraska, Chapter and Greg Lyne for promoting barbershop in Russia; Phil Ricks of the Rexburg, Idaho, Chapter for a week-long youth festival with 700 singers; The Hawkeye Four, Blake Hammond, Jack Doyle, John Sloman and Michael-Leon Wooley for appearing in the Broadway revival of "The Music Man;" Doug Ellis, Don Pyper, Fred Beattie, Peter Firth, Bev Petch and Dave Aiken for effective PR to net 20 times the usual donations for Ontario food banks (accepted by Waldo Redekop); Robben and Steve Morin for creating the "Barbershop Junkie Book;" Dick Campbell for 25 years of radio broadcast of barbershop (accepted by Jim Styer); Scott Hoge for the Web cast of the 2000 convention; The Checkered Flag Four, Dick Davies, Maurice Radford, Greg Emelski, Bob Kelchner for singing the national anthem for 14 years at NASCAR races; Jessika Diamond for the Collegiate A Cappella East Coast Summit, and Millenium, college champs; Jerry and Kim Orloff for the Alaska Millenium Barbershop Cruise; Freestyle, Travis Maslin, Rich Brunner, Andy Wallace and Bruce Morgan for National Champions of Harmony Sweepstakes; and Tim Hanrahan, Roger Lewis, Robb Ollett, John Miller, Todd Anderson, Jim Bagby and Bob Morrissey for the SING! event. IBC Chairman Sam Tweedy presented IBC awards. Most Improved Bulletin went to Ebert Ford, Traverse City, Michigan, Pioneer District, accepted by Jim Styer. "The Chorister" improved from 22nd to fifth. Third was "Harmony Gazette," Northbrook, Rich Nelson, editor, accepted by Ken Krancher. Second was "Ambassador's Dispatch," Guelph, Ontario, Waldo Redekop editor, accepted by Waldo. First was "The Charivari," Dundalk, Tom Wheatley editor, accepted by M-AD DCC Terry Jordan.
President Kerr announced it was time to vote on the proposed by-laws changes. A motion was made by Waldo Redekop not to eliminate the position of DCC, since some districts, in particular Ontario, still had that position. The motion was seconded by Bob Fisher and passed. A motion was made by Waldo Redekop that instead of having membership renewals throughout the year, memberships would be renewed as of January 1 of the year renewed, with those renewing after July 1st having to pay only $5 instead of $10 as the membership fee. The motion was seconded by George Trigg and passed. Bruce Anderson made a motion to accept the by-laws as proposed and amended. The motion was seconded by Stan Wardwell and passed.
President Kerr called for the election of new officers as selected by the nomination committee, with further nominations from the floor if any. George Trigg moved that the nominations be closed and the secretary be instructed to cast a single vote for those nominated by the nomination committee. The motion was seconded by Bob Fisher and passed. The secretary duly cast the one vote as directed.
At 11:40 a.m. a motion was made by Bob Fisher to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Bill Rohlin and passed. The meeting was closed.