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Murphy’s Law — Your MDDC Update from Executive Director Jack Murphy for Sept. 19

New successor, funding solution for foundation sought
By Jack Murphy

The MDDC board of directors decided at its Sept. 12 meeting on the direction it will take in seeking a new director for the association. The board agreed that the association needs to hire a person with skills in identifying and creating new revenue streams to assure the future of the group.

I have notified the board that I intend to retire at the end of the year. The association’s finances, which were badly hurt by the precipitous decline in classified advertising revenues, have stabilized over the past three years, primarily through severe budget-cutting. But the association is still heavily dependent on revenue from our classified ad networks, and those networks have continued to decline every year.

MDDC President Paul Milton and Vice President Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, who is scheduled to become president in November, will co-chair the search committee. Milton is in the process of appointing other committee members. The search committee will develop a job description, but the board made clear that the successful candidate will need to be someone with a record of raising revenue.

The committee will likely hire a search firm to assist with the process.

Also at the meeting, held at the Crofton Country Club, the board also offered suggestions for helping with the sale of an ad to raise money for the MDDC Press Foundation. The foundation has asked member newspapers to donate space for an ad that could be sold to generate money to support the foundation’s annual internship program and other programs. Many members have agreed but no sale has been made.

Several board members offered to ask their ad departments for ideas and leads for such a sale. They also suggested creating new promotion materials. Both of those are now being pursued.

The board also got its first look at a 2014 operating budget. The plan presented was predicated on the same spending levels for the association, but with changes in the leadership, the numbers will change as well.

The draft budget calls for spending $575,996 and just about breaking even. The actual budget with new numbers will be approved at the last board meeting of the year, Nov. 14, at the Crofton Country Club. The board meeting is followed by the annual meeting and luncheon, at which new board members and officers are elected.

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