National Federation of the Blind of Florida, Inc.

Board of Directors’ Meeting

February 5, 2006


The meeting of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida Board of Directors was called to order by President Kathy Davis at 8:08 PM.


Roll Call  conducted by  Merry Schoch

President, Kathy Davis

First Vice President, Dwight Sayer

Second Vice President, Dan Hicks

Treasurer, Tom Hartig

Secretary, Merry Schoch

Board Members:  Betty McNally, Gloria Mills Hicks, Joe Minichiello,

and JD Townsend


Acceptance of Board Minutes:

 Tom Hartig made a motion the minutes of December 11, 2005 be accepted, JD seconded, motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report – Tom Hartig

Tom stated he sent reports to the Board on the 20th of January.  He reported that $30,000 was reinvested for a bank CD which matured @ 4.65% for 12 months.  A deposit of $1,500 was given to Saw Grass Tours which is providing the transportation for the Tallahassee event from Miami. 

Dwight made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.  Dan seconded.  Motion carried.


Washington Seminar Report - Gloria Mills Hicks

Gloria reported there were 12 individuals that attended the Washington seminar.  She stated they visited all the legislators they were slated to see, and felt that all participants conveyed the issues to the legislators well.   The issues were accessible textbooks for students, the Louis Braille commemorative coin and the Randolph Shepherd Act.

The Board discussed a problem with the

legislators receiving the language of the issues that NFB participants bring before them.  Betty explained the procedure that is implemented by the National office.

          Another issue that was brought up was the lack of information given to the participants in regards to the Randolph Shepard Act.   Kathy will address these issues at the National Presidents’ meeting.


Tallahassee Seminar Report – Gloria Hicks

Gloria reported that she, Dwight and Kathy toured the Quality Inn, at which time Kathy signed the contract with the hotel for this event.  The event is scheduled for March 21 through March 23, 2006 

The Board discussed the issues that would be presented such as the reduction of the Transportation Disadvantaged Commission, the acceptance of the Florida Identification card, and education and the IDEA for the blind students. 

After a discussion regarding the Independent Commission, Gloria proposed that we give the legislators a statement that stated the National Federation of the Blind of Florida does not want to be in the Department of Disabilities, and if this should happen then we want an Independent Commission.  Tom moved that Gloria’s statement will become our position. Betty seconded.  Gloria agreed with the motion, but she felt it should be brought to the legislative committee before voting on it. 


 Transportation Report – Dwight Sayer

Dwight stated the bill to reorganize the TD Commission went to the Transportation Committee last week.  To date, he has not heard any reports and he stated he would assume that it is moving forward unless he hears otherwise.  He explained that the bill will reduce the Commission from 27 to 7, and the participants will have a security screening (similar to the one para-transit drivers undergo).   Participants will receive no financial gains and must not have any other affiliation to transportation.


Tallahassee Seminar Transportation – Dwight Sayer

Dwight remarked due to the rise of fuel prices it may be impossible to stay within budget for transportation.  He stated he needs to know by March 1st who will be going so he can make arrangements for the pickup points.  Kathy said she will send a note to all the chapter presidents to get the information to both Dwight and Gloria so the hotel arrangements can be made as well.


Scholarship Update – Tom Hartig

Tom reported because of the availability of Newsline funds he is asking the board to authorize 8 scholarships.   The Greater Miami-Dade chapter and Newsline will fund a scholarship in honor of the addition of Spanish to Newsline.  Kathy instructed Tom to advise Rick Brown of the increase of scholarship awards for this year.


Parental Concerns Seminar Report – Betty McNally

Betty reported that over 400 news letters with the announcement of the Parents Seminar went out last week.  She stated that Debby would like Eric to speak with the parents on Friday and do a reading with the kids on Saturday.  Betty said Debby is going to work with the Events Committee to handle child care. 

Kathy entertained that a motion be made for the Parental Concerns Committee to become a Division, and to be part of the National Division.  .  Jd made the motion.  Dan seconded.  Motion carried.


Website and NFBF List Report – Dan Hicks

Dan reported that the Website Committee met on January 22nd.  The committee decided there is a need to expand the website.    Dan is looking into changing the host company so the website can make mp3 files available for downloading.  David Anspach will contact chapter presidents to update their web pages. 

The committee recommended the NFBF list serve be replaced with NFB-Net.  Dan does not see any negatives in making this change.  He said he will contact David Andrews to assist in the transition.  Dan reported there are currently 128 participants on the list serve.


Newsline Report – Tom Hartig

Tom reported he has filed Form 1099 for Sabrina Deaton and Marion Gwizdala since they were each paid $600 or more for the year 2005 for Newsline work.  Tom’s reimbursement for the year was $45.   Currently, there is a shortage of Newsline funds, but Newsline will be the recipient of funds allocated from DBS for approximately $25,000. 

Tom stated he would like a NFB Newsline cassette in each folder that is presented to the legislators in Tallahassee.  Newsline has funds to contribute to the Tallahassee seminar. 

Tom stated there has been several additional papers added to

Newsline.  The additions are the Jacksonville paper, the Sun Sentinel from Ft.  Lauderdale, and the Stuart News.  The Newsline committee has approved to move forward by reaching out to Ft. Myers.

          Betty asked tom if there is any literature for Newsline in Spanish.  

Tom stated once brochures are produced in Spanish, Mike Gundy from the

Talking Book Library will distribute them to all the Spanish speaking


`        Tom reported that Florida has taken a lead role by being the first state to initiate the automatic registration of Newsline to those who are registering for Talking Books.  This initiative will add approximately 8,000 subscribers to Newsline which will give us a total of approximately 15,000 Newsline subscribers. 


Fundraising/Grants Report – Tom Hartig

Tom reported that 9,900 tickets for the state fund raiser, Tickets to Paradise Raffle, were mailed to Allen Bornstein this week.  Allen will distribute the tickets to the chapter presidents within the next few months Tom kept 100 tickets to sell at the Washington seminar.


Legislative and Events Report – Gloria Hicks

          Gloria stated she would be happy to coordinate the seminars for this year’s state convention.  There was a brief discussion on who was willing to present seminars.

JD: stated he would like to see the NFBF engage the Vision Instructors, at the University level, by inviting them to our state convention.

Gloria will write a letter to Dr. Lewis to inquire if we can offer any seminars at convention which might offer Continuing Education Units to these instructors.


Senior Concerns Committee Report – Joe Minichiello

Joe is planning on having a Senior Concerns Committee meeting within the next couple of weeks.  They will be discussing seminar plans for the state convention.


Radio Show Report - Joe Minichiello

          Joe reported there is no statistical data to present to the Board in regards to the impact the show is having on the blind community.  He provided examples to the board how the show is influencing the lives of some of its listners.  Joe believes they are providing positive information about the blind community.

          He stated the Jacksonville chapter has fulfilled its six month contractual obligation with the radio station, and is now paying for the show on a week by week basis which costs the chapter $1,000.  Joe stated the radio show does not only promote the local chapter, but it promotes the state affiliate as well.


Resolutions Report – JD Townsend

          JD reported that he will put a message out to the list serve for a call for resolutions.


Accessible Voting Update – Kathy Davis & JD Townsend

Kathy reported that the NFB National office spent approximately $100,000 in attorney’s fees to achieve the goal of accessible voting machines. This goal was met and there will be accessible voting by the next election.   

          There is some concern among the Board as to other counties that do not have accessible voting machines.  Dan will contact the Tallahassee chapter president to see if they are willing to take on the challenge of getting accessible voting in their county.


National Center Presidents Seminar – Kathy Davis

Kathy reported she will be attending the National Center Presidents’ Seminar from the 17th to the 19th of February at the National office.  She stated Joanne Wilson is the facilitator of this event, and she is looking forward to positive outcomes.




Eyes on You Radio Program – Carol Feazell’s Request for $1,000

Tom:  stated that Carol Feazell has asked the Board to underwrite the radio show for $1000.  He believes the show is beneficial, but feels if the affiliate supports this endeavor than it will open the door for more such requests across the state from other chapters.

Tom made a motion that Newsline purchase $1,000 in advertisement from the show.  Dwight seconded.  Motion carried.


State Convention:   


National Representative – Kathy Davis

Kathy stated that Dr Maurer called her on Friday, but she wasn’t able to reach him in time to announce to the Board, at this meeting, who the national Representative will be at the state convention.


Exhibitors – Dan Hicks & Dwight Sayer

Dan stated he  has received the necessary information to send the exhibitors’ letter out very soon.



11:20 p.m.