I have incredible news but I’m going to bury the lede.
First I want to thank those of you who voted in the recent election, and recognize the outgoing and incoming Officers.
To Ben Fowlkes and Ariel Helwani for stepping up to run for President in 2018.
To Marc Raimondi for overseeing the task of securing MMAJA’s 501(c)(6) non-profit status (more on why that matters below).
To Jeff Wagenheim, Mike Chiapetta and Dave Doyle for their input as At Large officers.
And another nod to Mike for his lead in organizing the first election.
The new Board is a mix of media working for major sports outlets, stalwart independent sites and as freelancers.
I’m glad to continue collaborating with Marc in his second term as treasurer and Vice President Doyle. Ben Duffy (senior editor – Sherdog) takes the role of Secretary. Mike Fridley (executive editor – Sherdog) joins Jay Pettry (Sherdog associate editor) and Josh Nason (Wrestling Observer editor and podcaster) as At-Large officers.
This group cares about MMA media and is well suited to address issues as they arise. We also are eager to push MMAJA forward and will count on you to help build a sustainable and relevant association.
One more thanks to Trent Reinsmith for running opposite Dave for Vice President. I wish every spot in the election had been contested and that’s something to shoot for two years from now. Trent will continue as the chairperson of the Grievance Committee.
Dann Stupp has agreed to chair the Membership Committee. That leaves the Awards Committee and the Election Committee unfilled.
Anyone volunteering for the Awards Committee should look at how the BWAA handles their awards because they do it right and that’s where I’d like to see us head within the next two years. We can do some great things as a group and I think initiative in this area could make a big impact.
Please let me know if you have interest in serving as chairperson. To chair a committee or serve as a member of a committee email email@example.com.
I mentioned that MMAJA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit, which means we must do a few things, like “receive meaningful membership support,” to retain our status. According to the MMAJA Constitution, dues need to be paid by the annual meeting, which is supposed to occur within the first two weeks of July. Therefore we will schedule an annual meeting for the week of UFC 263 in Las Vegas. The $50 dues must be paid by the day of the annual meeting to maintain your membership status. Please send your dues to our PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will follow up with information regarding the date, time and place for the annual meeting.
Finally, the buried lede …
On Monday, MMAJA was gifted $5,000 by a donor who wished to remain anonymous. This incredibly generous donation came out of nowhere and should be considered jet fuel for the association. That’s how it felt when I first heard the offer. If we make good use of the money there is the potential for a recurring donation.
The Board plans to meet within the next two weeks to determine how this money can best serve MMAJA. We are considering creating a scholarship. There are examples of other sports writer associations doing something similar and supporting aspiring sports journalists. We could explore creating a fund for retired fighters. We can do whatever we want, really.
If you have ideas, causes that are important to you, or just want to chime in then please reach out.