National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Board Meeting Minutes

May 9, 2007




The meeting was called to order at approximately 8 P.M. Present were Kathy Davis, Dwight Sayer, Dan Hicks, Gloria Hicks, Sherrill O'Brien, Betty McNally. Sherri Brun was late due to company from out of town. Marion Gwizdala and Merry Schoch were also present. It was announced that Debby Brackett would join the conversation later. Kathy asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes. There being none, Joe Minichiello moved that we accept the minutes as mailed. Betty McNally seconded the motion and the minutes were approved as mailed.


Gloria gave the treasurer's report. We have made $4000 since March 30 on our investment account. Newsline account according to bank statement is $25,861.88. Operations account is $40,407.60. Gloria says she has been keeping funds separate from convention expenses and parents' expenses separate. Last time, we had $51,000 in newsline and in the general fund, we had $46,000. The Jenney investment fund shows a growth of $4000 in the last quarter. Gloria said that Newsline funds were spent to pay phone bills and marketers. It was decided to give a concise but precise treasurer's report at the convention. Dan remarked that when National hands out the treasurer's report, they give one copy per affiliate. Tom did a very good job handling our treasury. He was excellent at managing our funds. There have been times when the board has had to scrape by, because we have had funds mis-spent. Gloria remarked that the treasury is a lot of work. Dwight wondered how much money we have left to be drawn down from this year's fiscal budget from DBS Newsline? We just got a check, but it went to the National Office by mistake. They will take out the money owed for phone bills. We will get of the $40,000 $29,000 back. There is another $29,006 that needs to be drawn down by June 10-11 so we can get money by June 30. We have two papers to pay for. Scott White will take out the money we owe him. The $29,000 will take care of the entire amount for this year. Have we paid our pledges from last year's convention that Kathy committed to on the floor? It appears that Tom paid the commitment we made, but Gloria will check. *We somehow misplaced the check from East Hillsborough. Gloria will make sure pledges were paid. Tom tried to pay when there were not lots of bills. The accounts were discussed at length and Gloria will look through accounts from last year and make sure that things continue to be done correctly this year.


Gloria then gave the banquet report. With chapters and parents' division, we have 170 pre-registrations. Banquet choices are chicken 79, fish 50, vegetarian 4, unknown 14. Total banquets 147. Gloria thinks 30 at the door will probably register. Since we have outside person giving invocation at banquet, we will pay for their meal. The musician is being paid for his work at the dance, so his meal will not be comped. It was suggested by Kathy that Gloria talk to Rick about scholarship winners and the money they may need for food and other things. Dan mentioned that National gives the scholarship winners a certain amount of money and they are expected to buy their own banquet and registration; however, we pay for our scholarship winners' banquet. Gloria will discuss details with Rick Brown. Gloria has some extra rooms reserved. Kathy was asking about certain guests who are planning to attend. Some guests need to get roommates. Gloria remarked that the students who had planned to attend St. Augustine return their funds. Various checks are still being collected.


Kevan Worley the chairman of the Imagination fund joined our meeting. Those in attendance introduced themselves. Kevan wished us a great state convention. He mentioned that the deadline for this year's imagination fund campaign. He said we could have an historic Imagination fund campaign. If we can do $60,000 in three weeks, we can break half a million dollars. If everyone over the next three weeks will go out and get $25, register and get any amount of money. Website is or call Kevan's office to register a person directly. He urged us to give it another try to reach our goal. Kathy urged us not to be intimidated by the website. Any dollars before May 31 will be credited to this year's imagination . campaign. After May 31st, it will go to next year's imagination fund campaign. Call Kevan's office at 866-543-6808. Ask for Shaundra. March will be at 6:30 on July 3. People will be picked up if they cannot walk the whole march. There will also be water stations. Kathy suggested doggy water stations. Kevan said there will be doggy water stations. Kathy asked if states get money back depending on how much money they put in? Half of the money raised goes to NFB Jernigan institute. 25% of the total will be divided equally among all affiliates. The other 25% goes in a kitty from which states can apply for grants. Kevan is the chairperson. Kathy's captivity was discussed and what chapters would give. Can send WAV file with imagination tone if we e-mail him. Andrew Young will be attending the rally at the march.


We went through the events committee checklist. The file is in for Brailling. The print is ready, working on ads. The tape edition and Braille are being produced. Dan said if Carolyn Wolff will get ad in, it will go in the tape and print edition. Hotel transportation seems to be not available. The Sheraton is willing to shuttle people back and forth. Wyndham will help get people back.


The pre-convention walk-through and in-service training will be at 10 A.M. on Friday May 25th. the board is welcome to attend. The Braille agendas will be sent to Dan. Exhibitors have been invited. Dan Hicks and Joe Minichiello are managing opening and closing the exhibit hall. Ads have been taken care of. Exhibitor's ads have been taken care of by Dan. Auction items will go to East Hillsborough chapter information table. Dwight and Patty will take care of auction items and door prizes. Katie Hicks and others will attend. Sherrill pointed out that we need to get a list of the auction items ahead of time. It is good that some are out on the East Hillsborough website. Sherrill wondered if a list with braille descriptions of the auction items could be written ahead of time. We could have a copy at the information table for people to look at. Sherrill will make Braille copy. A copy can be kept in the presidential suite. Merry said that program will be computerized for drawing door prizes. They are still trying to work on the program to randomize it. Merry asked Dwight to possibly send link again. Dan will send Dwight list of names. He will give it to him Saturday after close of registration on flash drive. Gloria mentioned that we need runners for door prizes. Marion's sister will send chart of available childcare times and people volunteering.


Merry asked if we could have kids dance at opening of banquet? Kathy suggested we keep it adult. If Merry is comfortable with putting it together and working it out, then Merry will teach the kids and it will take three minutes. Possibly at beginning of banquet. If it is ready, we should do it; if not, we won't.


We will be honoring Jeannie with a 27 x 32 frame with Tom's pictures and beach scene with eulogy on it. There will also be a 27 x 24 picture of Tom. It will be on stage during convention. Dwight will present the award at the banquet.


Kathy suggested we do something for Craig. He said that he and Melanie will be at convention. Kathy asked what kind of recognition we want to give Craig. We said we would send someone to national convention in Gail Kiser's name. We decided to honor Gail that we should send a person to national convention in her name. Dan suggested we have chapter presidents nominate people who want to go to national. It does not have to be made by convention. Kathy suggested we offer this to scholarship winners. Use scholarship winners to help start new chapters. The chapter presidents should make nomination. Cannot be someone who already has funding to go. The chapter presidents do not know the scholarship winners.


Gloria got nametags from Jeannie. We should let people put their own rubber bands on their nametags. Banquet tickets are done and will fit inside name badges. Banquet tickets will have name of person, blue for fish, yellow for chicken and green for veggie. May need to purchase more badges.


Guide dog relief was discussed. Marion needs to appoint someone in charge of guide dog relief area. There are people who have volunteered to clean up. People will make sure area stays clean.


Arrange seminars and facilitators. Merry and Rick facilitating employment seminar.


Ronnie Hudson has not responded to Joe Minichiello RE seminar for senior concerns. Kathy suggested that Joe call Ronnie at 386-253-8879. May have backup from Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind. Joe has been talking with Cheryl Brown. Marion said that the Lighthouse focuses upon using residual vision rather than introducing people to non-visual methods. Merry again suggested April Stanley from DBS at  813-871-7190, senior concerns. April and Ronnie could work together. Need to be more cognizant of senior concerns. Marion suggested that Sabrina write a press release focusing on senior concerns. There is a new pamphlet out called Questions about Blindness. There is also a senior booklet. Gloria recommended Tom Ryan to talk about social security questions. April is also a very independent person. IN the NFBF, we need to focus more on senior concerns. The senior concerns meeting is scheduled at noon.


Make sure facilitators are greeted and assisted if need be. Have Linda watch for facilitators.


Banquet arrangements and meal arrangements are completed. Can attend student luncheon. Sherrill and Sherri can attend student luncheon. We have at least six scholarship winners. It was mentioned Alicia can take on vice-president when Ashley is not a student any more. Lunches are $16.95. Dwight will attend treasurer's luncheon. Sherri Brun and Sherrill O'Brien will attend student luncheon representing the board. Meal is planned for student lunches, boxed lunches.


Seminars are covered for sound. Wondered if parent's seminar is covered. Marion will check with Debby.

Cards for election will be taken care of.


Need to give late checkout list to hotel. John Johnson and his wife Lenore will be put on nominating committee from Miami chapter.


Marion says he and Merry will go visit with color guard to listen to the band and make sure things are coordinated for Memorial Day. Working on opening ceremony.


need to have chapters give to imagination fund to get Kathy out of jail. Let Dr. Maurer take it over. Make the amount safe so we can go over. Incorporate Dr. Maurer into this. Marion will contact chapter presidents by telephone about imagination fund. Pirate skit will be done at auction at beginning. Will probably cost $20 a bottle. Betty will donate $75 for the punch. Joe will donate $25. Marion and Merry will make sure punch is made. Make sure we have cups. Betty said she is called "Mamma Bear" so we should call it "Mamma Bears Punch." Hotel will provide cups. Reception, fruit, chips, sour cream dip, Mexican theme. No hot food. At future conventions, we need to get decent food prices and hot food for reception. $750 for banquet for bar tender. Marion and Charlie will buy liquor at Sam's. Austin has gotten sound effects for our convention.


The food for the reception is pathetic considering the money we are spending. There will be no hot food. We should make sure at future conventions that there is hot food at the convention for the reception. For chips and dip and fruit, we are paying $2000 plus the bartender and the banquet night for $750. Marion has not heard from Magnifying Solutions for sponsoring bar at banquet.


Dan will manage the gift for Craig. Should give him a plaque of appreciation. Check at things remembered up to $100. Kathy will present the plaque to Craig. Joe made the motion and Dan seconded that we authorize approximately $100 for a keepsake gift for Craig Kiser. Patty and Dwight can decide.


Sherri informed group that the thank you notes for Tom are out. Kathy wondered how will we work with Jeannie at the convention? Jeannie is bringing her mother with her. We will have them sit at the head table. Tom will be mentioned throughout the convention.


We are supposed to e-mail Kathy and let her know what seminars we have attended for her presentation.


The problem with FSDB and background checks was discussed. Ashley and Carlos were unable to attend. Dan said that having speakers to have background checks is over-kill. will call Ashley and let her know the money has to be returned. Then money can be reissued in the fall. Kathy will contact Ashley.


Meeting adjourned at 10:45 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Sherri Brun


National Federation of the Blind of Florida







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