National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Board Meeting Minutes

August 26, 2007


The meeting was called to order at 8:15 PM.


Present were:

Kathy Davis - President

Dwight Sayer - First Vice President

Dan Hicks - Second Vice President

Sherri Brun - Secretary

Gloria Hicks - Treasurer

Sabrina Deaton - Board Member

Joe Minichiello - Board Member

Sherrill O'Brien - Board Member.

Betty McNally board member.


Dan Hicks was instructed to send out the grants pending minor gramatical changes. Joann Wilson is also willing to put in the good word for us for the grants. Dan needs to cc copies of grants to Kristi Bowman and Kevan Worley. Gloria Hicks mentioned that Debbie Bracket heard that you could only get a grant for the same purpose twice. Debbie is desperate for help with parents' division. The national organization is having a Leadership training seminar for parents from West Virginia and Florida.


Gloria Hicks read the contract for the 2008 NFBF state convention and the details were discussed. On Thursday night, can go up from 10 rooms to 25 rooms if need be. Change 50 to 100 room-nights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Change to 320 room-nights instead of 270. Negotiate to change cut-off date to May 8. Need to encourage members to get their reservations in well before the cut-off date. Six comped rooms; two free rooms for three nights. Possibly get extra suite for hospitality. Make sure that reservations can be made via all three methods, online or toll-free or with local hotel. We are also requested to provide insurance. We need to check if that is standard operating procedure requested from all groups. They do not have a problem with late checkout. Complementary meeting rooms with $8,000 for food. Boxed lunches $19. The price needs to be negotiated. Restaurant prices a little high, but there are many restaurants around the hotel. We need to learn how late the shuttle runs. We need to check on ordering in food. We need to check on transportation from the airport. Joe Minichiello says perhaps the chapter can work out transportation needs from the airport.


Could we possibly get a multiple year contract with the hotel for a reduced price? Originally, their bid was $109. Then when they were thanked for the bid, they offered $94 with the Internet. To forgo the Internet, they lowered the price down to $89. Joe Minichiello will let his chapter know that pending negotiations, we are going to sign the contract with Embassy Suites.


As East Hillsborough chapter did last year, we should try to get corporate sponsors for the convention. We should check on exhibit hall and storage. Last convention, we used 25 tables. Make sure exhibitors get their payments in on time. Breakout rooms will be two sections of the ballroom. Childcare and parents activities will take up three rooms. Board room for locking up door prizes and auction items. On P.A. system, we need to make sure that sound is adequate for the entire room. Check on assistive hearing devices from David. Check on interpreters for deaf-blind people. In the president's meeting, we even talked about having a sergeant-at-arms. Most problem with excess talking and noise comes with people moving in and out of the main room for the general session and/or the banquet. Sabrina says we may have difficulty getting publicity with the Jacksonville newspaper.


Have Joe Minichiello's chapter put out information RE local restaurants and other shopping areas around the hotel. Could coordinate vans to take people to dinner particularly on Saturday night.


Kathy asked what we thought about FAASB. We asked since they have a lobbyist, are they arguing for issues that NFBF IS opposed to? Need growing core of legislators. We also need to get a list of members of the Vision Caucus. Gloria states that FAASB is not willing to communicate the issues they are working on. The NFBF was very quiet during the conference call. Gloria and Kathy spoke up. Dwight spoke about Lighthouse meeting with Lee Nassahee and commented that at the private meeting, she said the same things she said on the phone conversation. Where can we go to get support for our issues? We need to check with Dennis Baxley. We have issues with Goodwill and how do they genuinely feel about how FAASB feels about Goodwill? We need to respond to the article about Goodwill. Carolyn in the last year has gotten 10 cases from DBS according to an independent report by Terry King. The other group had gotten 52. What Carolyn is saying about not getting the business is true. Michael Elliott just said that Terry Donnelly and Carolyn do not get along and Michael has been trying to mediate the situation. We need to know how interested Carolyn Lapp is in being a Federationist. Sherri Brun asked about FAASB and the Sunshine law. Dwight suggested we should not make it an issue with Florida, but possibly let National take a look at it. It seemed to be the consensus of the group to leave well enough alone. We also discussed the unavailability of a representative from NFB to advocate with us on the conference call. Joann Wilson was not available, because she had a late plane flight.


The status of the fundraising committee was discussed. Sherrill O'Brien is having computer problems as a result of her lightning strike. Sherrill spoke with Ralph Ingram. He said that he would talk with Carnival rep tomorrow RE sending out more fliers. Ralph said we only have 7.5 cabins sold. Joe Minichiello said that a retirement community in his area has a clause that they do not send out cruise fliers unless it comes from a member of that community. He should have the person from that community join the Jacksonville chapter. Some of the chapter presidents ar reluctant to participate in any fundraising efforts of NFBF. We should send out a Monitor Miniature article about the fundraiser.


Dwight says that the national board meeting has been changed from Labor Day to December, so he must wait until December to get constitution approved for National Association of Blind Veterans. Dwight wants to start a state division.


Doctor Maurer will check into Sherrill and Sabrina attending a National Leadership Seminar, possibly in the spring.


Sherri Brun will send list of committee members to committee chairs.


Betty McNally is having trouble getting e-mail.


The meeting adjourned at 10:42 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Sherri Brun, Secretary

National Federation of the Blind of Florida


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