Double Tree by Hilton, Orlando, Fla.
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022

President Gary Potosky calls the meeting to order at 11:09 a.m. and introduces first vice president Jorge Rojas, second vice president Naila Meyers, third vice president Ed Reed, executive director Bill Eichenbeger and conference coordinator Glen Crevier.

Past presidents

  • Lisa Wilson, The Athletic (2020-21)
  • Bill Eichenberger, now Las Vegas Review-Journal then Newsday (2003-04)
  • Glen Crevier, then The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005-06)
  • John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (2018-19)

Region representatives

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. (Lisa Wilson)

Atlantic Coast: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, West Virginia (Justin Pelletier)

Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virgin Islands (Erik Hall)

Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. (Naila Meyers)

Great Plains: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma. (–)

Southwest: New Mexico, Texas. (Maria McIlwain)

Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming.  (Paul Barrett)

West: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah.  (Christopher Boan)

Representing the Associated Press: Barry Bedlan

Finances and budget update (Bill Eichenberger)

No financial update. Bill will not be at the summer convention. He’ll be hiking the Appalachian Trail in May-June. Bill will be passing on financial responsibilities during that time to Glen Crevier (also name tag duties). 

Conference update (Glen Crevier)

Registration for summer conference will begin April 1. We will probably have an early sign-up discount, with late fee starting in mid- to late May. Had about 40 people in Orlando for judging. 

President’s Comments

– Words of thanks for another successful judging conference. Almost every category completed at the time of this meeting. Lisa Wilson led the quality control effort – “the best I’ve ever seen.”

Diversity Fellows

– We encourage all member organizations who have job openings to take the APSE Diversity Pledge and post the openings on our website.

Em Poertner, Mauro Diaz, JT Keith, Sarah Kelly, Maria McIlwain

Membership Committee (Jason Murray)

We have four outgoing Region chairs (Northeast, Northwest, Great Plains and Great Lakes), and one currently vacant vice chair (Great Plains). We will try to name an interim Vice Chair in the Great Plains in the coming weeks to finish out this term, which ends at June’s summer conference. Vice chairs will ascend to chair in Northeast, Northwest and Great Lakes, and Great Plains will have elections for chair and vice chair simultaneously. 

I will work with Regions chair Mike Kates in facilitating the completion of elections for all five positions by April 24. We are looking for candidates, so if you are interested or you know of someone who is, please make yourself heard. I have a Region leadership explainer doc to share with anyone who might find it useful. Just email me.

Winners will be announced on April 27 via email, website, social channels and in May’s newsletter.

All of those elected will begin serving their two-year terms after the close of the summer conference.

Career advancement Committee (Lisa Wilson)

– Reminder: If you are interested in the mentorship program, let me know

Student contest due date is April 9. Let Erik Hall know if you are interested in being a judge. 

Red Smith (Rachel Crader)

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 Red Smith Award. The award, which is given annually by APSE to a writer or editor who has made major contributions to sports journalism, is regarded as the highest sports journalism honor in the country. Red Smith was the first winner in 1981.  

The nomination and voting process is open to Red Smith Award winners, APSE past presidents, APSE national officers, 10-year APSE members and alumni members who belonged to APSE for at least 15 years. We are looking at these voting and nominating qualifications given the severe changes in sports journalism in recent years, and the challenge of tracking memberships from year to year.

Our current list of voters has incomplete information. If you believe you are eligible to vote please contact Red Smith Award chair Rachel Crader at with your name and preferred email address to assure your name and correct address is on the list to receive a ballot. If you know of anyone else, or suspect anyone else, is in the same situation, please alert Rachel with that person’s credentials and updated email address.

Sally Jenkins was last year’s winner, and the next five finishers in last year’s voting automatically are nominated for this year’s award – Leon Carter, Tom Boswell, Bill Plaschke, Bill Lyon and Mark Whicker.

To those who nominated these five, please re-freshen their biographical and other information if you wish by contacting Rachel. New nominations should be submitted via this form by March 12.

Ballots will be emailed to eligible voters March 16. Biographical information will be included in that ballot for both the automatic nominees and new nominees. The deadline to vote will be March 31.

The timeline:

March 12 — Nominations due  

March 16  — Ballots go out  

March 31 — Voting deadline  

April 7 – Winner announced

Revenue (Tommy Deas)

There are some encouraging opportunities for sponsorship at the 2022 Summer Conference, including some potential new sponsors who we are already having early discussions with. Tommy Deas will be working with Glen Crevier to ramp up outreach to past sponsors and to explore these new potential sponsors in the coming days and weeks.

APSE Foundation (John Bednarowski)

– No update

Commissioners (Hank Winnicki)

– No update

Legal affairs and ethics (Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa)

– No update

Olympics (Roxanna Scott)

– No update 

Website/social (Naila Meyers)

– No update

Old business: 

– No update

New business:


In a moment, we will be taking nominations for APSE Second Vice President and APSE Third Vice President.

Second VP is a three-year commitment where the winner of the election would serve as Second VP for one year, ascend to First Vice President after that year, and then President after the following year. 

Third VP is a two-year commitment, where that person would automatically be nominated for Second VP after their term.

Newly elected Second and Third VP terms begin at the close of this summer’s national conference in Indianapolis.

It is an expectation of APSE national officers that they attend all in-person winter and summer conferences, and that they are available for regular communication and specific volunteer duties that accompany each position they hold during their years in national office. 

At the close of this summer’s national conference in Indianapolis, Jorge Rojas will ascend to APSE President, and Naila Meyers will ascend to APSE First Vice President.

Outgoing region chairs are automatically eligible to be nominated for Second VP and need only accept. This year they are – Rachel Crader (Great Lakes), Jeff Patterson (Great Plains), Josh Barnett (Northeast), and Ralph Walter (Northwest).

Jeff, Rachel and Ralph have declined. Josh has accepted. 

Call for nominations for APSE Second Vice President: 

Erik Hall: Asked the executive committee to reconsider bylaws to make clear the third VP can run for re-election. He proposed eliminating the word “new” from bylaw 3E. He motioned to remove the word “new.” Seconded by Jorge Rojas. 

He proposed this change in the bylaw language:

In the third vice president’s final year in office, the third Vice President may choose to withdraw from candidacy for second Vice President in order to seek election to an additional term as the third Vice President. 

The third Vice President must declare  intention to seek election to an additional term prior to nominations being accepted for second Vice President or third Vice President during the winter workshop.

No person shall be elected to the office of the third vice President more than three times, and no person who has held the office of third vice President for more than one year of a term to which some other person was elected third vice President shall be elected to the office of third vice President more than twice.

Gary Potosky: It is certainly worth reviewing bylaws on officers, nominations, requirements for membership. Will talk to Bill Eichenberger and the officers about how to proceed.

John Bednarowski: Whatever you do with bylaws, check with Greg Brownell, who knows the bylaws better than anyone.

Nominations for second VP:

  • Erik Hall: nominates Dan Spears, Steve Hemphill, Julie Jag
  • Glen Crevier: nominates Justin Pelletier
  • There is a limit of four nominees excluding the eligible Region Chairs
  • Justin Pelletier will decide next week whether to accept. Gary Potosky will reach out to other nominees. 

Other nominations must be put forward by members of APSE’s Executive Committee by March 15. 

– Ed Reed’s term as Third VP, which began last year when he was named to replace his predecessor Steve Hemphill who had to step down, concludes at the close of this year’s summer conference.

Members eligible to run for Third VP should come from APSE’s smaller organizations. Nominations can come from members of small organizations or the Executive Committee.

Call for nominations for APSE Third Vice President: 

Jorge Rojas: Nominates Ed Reed

Erik Hall: Nominates Chris Kwiesinski

Other nominations must be put forward by members of APSE’s Executive Committee or members from small organizations by March 15.

  • Nominee bios for the Second and Third VP elections must be emailed to Bill Eichenberger by March 28.
  • Nominee bios for both elections will be emailed to members by April 1
  • Each member organization gets one vote for each election. Only small organizations are eligible to vote for Third VP.
    • Erik Hall: What is a small paper? 
    • Gary: Officers will discuss that. It will probably will be C/D divisions from contest
  • Voting begins April 1 and concludes April 11
  • Announcement of the winners will be made via email and website April 14

Contest (Jorge Rojas)

Was it perfect? No, it’s never perfect. I would like to thank all the judges, remote and on site. Everything but the action/feature photos are posted. AP’s judges for photos are returning from Beijing today and will do our contest next week. 

We had excellent variety of entries and results. I wanted to point out some judges that took on some extremely heavy loads: Joe Battaglia, Kevin Manahan, Peter Barzilai, John Bednarowski, Todd Adams, JT Keith. 

I want to thank my fellow officers who worked tirelessly. Gary, when I was afraid to make assignments, fired off the emails anyway. We have 3-5 little things to do on re-ranks. The sheets are all going to be off the wall. One I am taking with me: B Projects we were unable to turn around more quickly. We’ll add the scores this weekend.

My main takeaway from the whole contest is the password/paywall and the entry process is the big problem. It could be that time solves it. Judges were very patient and found work-arounds. We should go back to our newsrooms and managers and tell them this applies to all competitions. We need contest accounts/passwords. If we can’t work around paywall problems, do we have to go back to copy and pasting?

Naila is going to be able to clean up a lot of changes we made this year. We’ve talked about a print portfolio. We have talked about refining special section entries. Reaction to the new Event Coverage category was positive. Making Long Feature/Projects a Triple Crown/Grand Slam category made it a higher bar. We blew it up this year. We may blow it up more next year. Beat Writing was brought up as a Triple Crown/Grand Slam category. If I had to do it over again, I would have chosen Beat Writing instead of Projects, where there were not enough entries. I wouldn’t backtrack on Long Features. But writing categories could be rotated as Triple Crown/Grand Slam. 

The smartest thing I did was bring in Lisa Wilson as the quality control specialist. She published a lot of what you are reading online. 

Erik Hall: Are there considerations being made to reduce the print categories? Judging on PDFs is miserable. 

Jorge Rojas: It’s double-edged sword: having actual sections, and getting better at judging pdfs. I can see a day five years from now, we are judging e-editions once we have access to them. That’s where the best section content is going. Maybe C/D didn’t enter because they couldn’t find PDF archives. 

Glen Crevier: I love the idea of print portfolio. It would help judging if there are fewer total sections.

Jorge Rojas: A lot of our membership is going double duty in print and digital. We aren’t going to abandon our core mission.

Glen: We need some clearer language on judging guidelines to reflect early deadlines, with no results and breaking news. 

Jorge: The judging of the digital had a point system, and it wasn’t the easiest thing to work their way through. Don’t want to put that onto print.

Jeff Perkins: Would there be a way on the entry form to note what the deadlines are? 

Jorge: I am going to turn this over to Naila, who will run the contest next year. 

Naila Meyers: Print’s not going away in my contest. Maybe there will be some reorganizing in how we divide sections. There’s been talk about consolidation of daily/sunday, submitting portfolios, having an open division for special sections. But we also have to consider the workload for judges and rewarding people who have a very strong print portfolio.

Possibly next year, not in the second year of a pandemic, judging numbers may be stronger. Judging sections in-person is better.

Print sections will continue, but this many categories for print may not continue. Print is still in the contest and a leg for the triple crown for at least 1 more year.

Judging for print will have to evolve as print sections have evolved. There may be an evolution in how important the print is to contest in scale.

Jorge took a big step to move toward digital as a mission of this year’s contest. He said he didn’t blow it up but he did blow it up in good ways. We swung way more into a digital contest in one year.

A big thing that has come up is judging instructions and rules. Jorge admits being disappointed in entries to the digital contest and some of the rules for entry. We will work on that and judging guidelines for print.

First judging groups should calibrate standards for the print sections as they do for writing categories. Judges can look at paper and know early deadlines. Do you judge on circumstances or hold it against a paper with late deadlines and 16 pages? How print sections are evaluated will evolve because they are evolving.

The questions we are facing ahead: what to do with special sections and whether daily and Sunday continue to be separate in all divisions. I have to figure out special sections. Might make it an open division so A and B can enter again. I need to determine whether daily and Sunday in all divisions are strong enough to be separate in all categories or do a portfolio instead. Is the portfolio daily/sunday/special sections, or just daily/Sunday.  A portfolio certainly will have more than four sections in there. Is the right number six?

The grand slam will be print and digital and two others. 

A half dozen, dozen people told me they liked new event coverage category, but said the rules need to be refined. They didn’t have suggestions on how to refine them. 

If you have any suggestions about that or any other possible changes to the contest, email me at

Motion to adjourn: John Bednarowski

Second: Jeff Perkins

Meeting ends at 12:16 p.m.


Gary Potosky, APSE president

Jorge Rojas, APSE first Vice President

Naila-Jean Meyers, APSE second Vice President

Ed Reed, APSE third Vice President

Bill Eichenberger, APSE executive director

Glen Crevier, APSE conference coordinator

Jim Pignatiello, MassLive

Christopher Boan,

John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal

Lisa Wilson, The Athletic

Justin Pelletier, Raleigh News and Observer

Maria McIlwain, Houston Chronicle

Jeffrey Perkins,

Em Poertner, USA Today Network

Erik Hall, USA Today Network

Barry Bedlan, The Associated Press

Paul Barrett, The Seattle Times

Nick Pugliese, Gannett Florida

Shelly Darby, Gainesville Sun

Jason Murray, Washington Post

Lydia Craver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Joe Battaglia, FloSports

Perryn Keys, The Advocate/Times-Picayune

Andre Fernandez, Miami Herald