Ball State University Club of Greater Chicago

Board of Directors Meeting


Monday, December 15, 2014
Rock Bottom Brewery, 1 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL


Members & Staff Present: Joann Davis, Jim Fields, Matt Kelly, Carol Kosisko, Shawn Malayter, Ashley Robbins, Keith Robinson, Stephen Smith, and Nicole Voges

1. Introductions

New members Matt Kelly, ’10, and Ashley Robbins ’06 were introduced and welcomed to the board.

2. Recap of Fall Events

Cardinal Networking Forum: Jim reported that the event was successful with 46 alumni attending, and 12 event sponsors. This year’s location, The Gage, worked well providing a private space that allowed for a reception period after the roundtable sessions. There were some issues with attendees not receiving the Directory, so Carol will resend it individually. Carol will also make sure the sponsor invoices are mailed this week so they may be paid before the end of the year.

Theatre Showcase: Shawn reported that the 2014 Chicago Showcase was a huge success. The 7:00 p.m. performance was packed. The Club would like to work with Theatre and Dance to find a larger space so that more Chicago area general alumni could be included in the event.

Holiday Reception: Shawn reported that he felt tonight’s Holiday Reception was a great success. Approximately 100 attended, with approximately 70 no-shows. The complimentary event was nice and appreciated, but putting a charge on the event helps to ensure that those who register will show up.

3. Spring/Summer Event Planning

Cubs Outing: The Club has had past success with the Cubs Outing and wishes to continue it. Yak-Zies worked very well for the pre-game reception and will be pursued again for the 2015 event.

Sox Outing: A Sox outing will be pursued for the 2015 season. It was decided that a different group of alumni would be drawn to a Sox outing than would be to the Cubs outing. There are a couple of BSU alums working for the Sox that are anxious to have an alumni outing.

Beach Event: The options for a free gathering at one of the beach areas was discussed. Montrose Beach was suggested, especially during one of their concert nights. Members of the board will pursue options for summer 2015.

Music Fest: Hosting an event at one of the many music fests was discussed, perhaps at Jazz Fest or Ravinia. Members of the board will pursue options for summer 2015.

Suburban Events: Shawn suggested that we are missing a large number of alumni who live in the suburbs who would not travel into the city for an event. The board discussed investigating small “pay on your own” event options in a few of the suburbs that might yield 10-20 guests each and connect alumni who otherwise would not get connected with the club. Some suggestions were a winery event, Ravinia, Polo at Oak Brook, an event at Arlington Park, or a baseball game outing since many of the suburbs have a team.

Honors College Reception: Jim proposed a reception for Honors College grads hosted by Tony and Joanne Edmonds. He believes with the proper marketing, this could be a very successful and well attended event. Jim will discuss the reception further with the Edmonds and submit a proposal to the board via email.

4. 2015 Student Admissions Reception:
Shawn reported on the 2014 reception in Oak Brook and encouraged all club members to attend the 2015 reception. He felt that having alumni for the students and their parents to ask questions was a positive factor for many of the students, and it makes them aware of the club’s existence with they graduate and return to the Chicago area. Carol will obtain the date and location of the 2015 reception and let the board know.

5. Industry-focused Meetups/Small Group Networking Events:
Shawn suggested organizing monthly “pay on your own” dinners for specific industry alums (such as PR, CAP, Journalism). Each month’s meeting could be held at a different restaurant to keep it interesting and fresh.

6. Chicago Club T-shirt Update:
Shawn reported that Eileen can have 144 shirts printed for approximately $1,100. The shirts could be sold to raise money for a scholarship fund or to support an annual event.

7. Volunteer Events:
Interest in holding an annual service event was discussed and board members expressed interest. Opportunities will be sought and shared with the board.

8. Fundraising Ideas for BSU Chicago Scholarship:
T-shirt sales profits and having a 50/50 drawing at events were ideas discussed.

9. Monthly E-newsletter to Chicago area Alumni:
The board was not confident that there would be enough news to publish a monthly e-newsletter, but felt favorably about a quarterly e-newsletter to market upcoming events and opportunities, keep alumni updated on what is happening on campus, and possibly spotlight a Chicago area alum.

10. Brainstorm for Next Fall:
Shawn suggested a Ball State Chicago Weekend or Ted Talk.

11. New Business:
Nicole suggested having board member nametags made so they may be more easily identified at events. This was received as a good idea. Carol will come up with some options and pass them by the board to select from.

12. Next Meeting:
The board will try to schedule a spring meeting around the date of the Student Admissions Reception.