National Federation of the Blind of Florida Board Meeting Minutes

June 1, 2008


Kathy Davis called the meeting to order at 8:19 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

Betty McNally - Board Member

Gina Minichiello - Board Member

Sherrill O'Brien - Board Member.


The minutes from March 31, 2008 were approved as mailed.  The May 23 minutes were sent this afternoon and will be approved soon. Board members will send corrections to Sherri so the minutes can be approved as mailed.


Gloria Hicks gave the Treasurer's report. Operations account:  $65,972. This is the balance with several outstanding checks. The NewslineŽ account is $5,125.09. On May 3, Gloria invoiced DBS for a check, which has not been received. Gloria is working on procuring this check. Dwight commented that we should draw down all our appropriations from DBS for the last year by June 30. There are two papers and telecommunications fee for National. This will be approximately $18,000. 


DBS grant for convention is $3500. This brings the grant money to near $12,000. Scholarships for parents, $4,500 given. The auction income was $1,965. One auction participant did not pay her $36 bill. We do not have an address for her. Exhibitor income was $1260. Registration and banquet was $43,050. Total:  $23,876 for convention. Gloria said that Dwight did a terrific job with the auction.


For expenses, we have hotel rooms for $5,790. Banquet and catering was $11,600. We had to end up renting extra sound equipment. Childcare was $500. Gloria has the breakdown of hours for childcare expenses. Lisamaria Martinez's  expenses were $904.00. The plane ticket was $604.50. Allen Bornstein was asked to take supplies for parents group to Jacksonville to Dennis David's from Debby Brackett's and Gloria wrote a check to Allen for his expenses. Gloria would like permission from President Davis to write checks for convention. For scholarships, we only used $4,750. Two scholarship winners were not there. Gloria proposed that the $1500 be kept in an account specifically for Scholarships. Polk and Tampa have their scholarships that were not used. Kathy paid Brandon Thomasello for the trivia. It was $150. Total expenses thus far are $28,249.50. The income is $23,876.00. The money from DBS, which was $3500 was spent. Debby has not sent Gloria the figures for how much the parents spent. Betty moved and Sherrill seconded to accept the treasurer's report as read. The motion carried.


We then had our debriefing of the convention. We should make sure that more is said about the scholarship that is sponsored with particular mention of the person for whom the scholarship is named.  We should also mention where the scholarship recipient is from and what school the recipient attends. Dan made a recommendation for next time to give fewer scholarships and more money.


The hotel accommodations were very satisfactory. Registration went better, because those who were pre-registered were separated from those who were registered. We still have inadequate information from parents as to expenditures. Dwight suggested we should take care of the registration and payments and the dues for the division should be paid before the parents meeting. We need to have a cut-off date for room availability. Sherri suggested that parents should register for NFBF convention and banquet at the same time and in the same manner the rest of the members register. Sherrill added that would make them realize the Parents' division is an integral part of NFBF. National has a separate form for parents' seminar. Debby Brackett may be trying to emulate national. Gina said that it is good that Lenore Martin from Jacksonville is on the board. They have a blind son. Sherrill said that Debby conveyed her excitement that there are 5 families who want to go to Dallas. Many families stayed through sessions. Steve Ritacco and Michael Elliott are trying to see what they can do to procure funding for parents to attend the national convention. Sherrill also remarked that this will help us get another Imagination grant. The two Jody's have not registered with us. It was suggested that Kathy and Gloria should meet with Debby. Kathy said that several parents told her what a wonderful convention we had.


Seminars were discussed. Only one person showed up for the legislative seminar that Betty McNally facilitated. Four or five people attended Sabrina's Public Relations seminar. Gina said that Joe had a good turnout for both his seminars. David Aanspach is secretary of merchant's division. Sherrill mentioned that FLAGDU was very successful and we had representation from four guide dog schools. The officers consist of Sherrill O'Brien president, Mary Schoch vice-president, Laurel Brown secretary, David Aanspach treasurer Carlos Montas board member, David Bearden board member and Betty McNally newly elected board member.


Rita Princivalli's seminar was very successful. Gerry Trout and Linda Lasseter worked hard for registration and for Rita's seminar. Gloria said that we should keep someone in the exhibit hall to monitor who has paid. Gloria suggested we have volunteers in the exhibit hall in two-hour time slots. The hospitality room number was not listed in the agenda. It needs to be advertised more especially since we had to pay for the room. We also need to have assigned exhibit tables. We need to be stricter with deadlines for exhibitors. We need to have a definite cut-off date. Dan does not want to manage exhibits next year. Freedom Scientific did not donate to the auction.


Door prizes went very well. We generally have $1,000 or more in cash, but only got about $800 this year.


Many people mentioned how much they loved having Fred Schroeder as a national rep. He was very approachable.


The banquet went well. Martha Harmon-Pardee's presentation was very good.


Several people were offended by David Bearden's  show. Kathy feels uncomfortable about it being a state fund-raiser for NFBF. We need to have the blessings from national. Dan thought it was a great success. Dan, Sherri and Sabrina all thought David did a tasteful job. Sabrina mentioned that we are asking for acceptance of us, so  why would we discriminate? David told Sherrill O'Brien to inform us that his performances have nothing to do with lifestyle choices, but that he is an actor and works hard at what he does. He has done shows for Hospice and various other organizations. Gina said that it wasn't what she thought it would be, but was glad she saw it. Gloria said we should get the blessing of NFB. We should be up front about what it is. Sherrill says he has a proposal for us. Sherrill mentioned that the dates for the show are proposed to be October 3, 10 and 17. There will be five performers and we will need to pay to of them. The total spent would be $375. We were not set up to do Karaoke, but there was a communication breakdown and Katie Hicks got the sound equipment set up in time for David's performance.


Transportation was discussed. The bus was $1,750. The affiliate paid for it, but one chapter still owes money.


Kathy commended the board and Jacksonville for their participation.


Kathy is very concerned and upset that for the second year in a row, we have not won a scholarship from NFB for Florida. We had stellar scholarship candidates. Kathy did not serve on the committee, because of time constraints, so she asked that Dan Hicks serve, but he was not asked.


The NFBF cruise was discussed. We need to promote the cruise. Ten cabins need to be sold by June 6. Another possible source of funds involves Suntrust Bank.  Kathy explained that if you open an account with a minimum of $100, you can designate a charity. $100 will be designated to the charity of your choice. Suntrust said it would be possible to send a representative to chapter meetings to explain the process. It might also be possible to open individual accounts at a chapter meeting. Sherrill will get the announcement out to the leadership list. The deadline for setting up these accounts is now June 30.


We also need to resurrect the planned giving program. Sabrina has the brochure. Sherrill will head up the fund-raising committee.


Dwight is the delegate  for the nominating committee at the National convention and Dan is the alternate. Dan, Dwight, Gloria, Betty, Sherrill and Sherri will be attending the national convention. The motion was made and carried to give each participant who is attending from the state board $1,000 for national convention expenses. Dwight will get his expenses paid by National, but will return the $1,000 check to the state when he is paid.


Dan will set up a caucus for Florida with Mrs. Jernigan. The suggestion was made for 5:30 on Tuesday.


Distribution for the amounts for the various NFB funds was discussed. It was decided to give  $6,000 for imagination, $2,500 for tenBroek, $2,500 for White Cane, $1,000 for Jernigan, $150 for sun shares and increase pack incrementally to $100 a month.


The NFBF convention for 2009 was discussed. The hotel in St. Pete is not really willing to work with us. Chuck Graham is also working with the finance person from Embassy Suites. It was suggested that we open up bidding once again. The idea was given that we could possibly negotiate an exclusive deal with Embassy Suites. Betty will check out South Florida.


Committee appointments were discussed. Keep them mainly the same. Kathy and Sherri will talk about committee assignments.


It was suggested to have the chapter presidents work with their monitor list. Gloria will handle the membership roster. Membership cards will be distributed by the state since NFB is no longer distributing them. Dwight will send the template to Gloria.


Kathy brought up planning a new chapter in Sarasota, because Rachel Shepard is very excited about it. Rachel has met with DBS to find out about potential members. She has sent Kathy a list of restaurants at which to hold the planning meeting. We are looking at around August 1. The NFBF convention really changed Rachel's life.


Betty McNally will be attending the governor's commission on disabilities. Dwight mentioned the final report does not have much about issues dealing with the blind. They also did not get to Miami until after the report was completed. We are disappointed that the issues facing the blind of Florida were not even included in the report.


Kathy said we need to equalize responsibilities on the board. Betty still wants to chair the legislative committee. Dwight does not want to chair chapter building. Sabrina will help Gloria with roster in case she gets behind.


Betty brought up that her chapter vice-president, John Johnson  would like us to vote for him to win the all-American Father award, which is being given by his church. 

Dan asked about the Braille agendas. They were done very well by the library.


Fund-raising committee organization was discussed. It was suggested the committee be divided into three parts:  grants, fund-raising and planned giving. Writing of reports for the National Office as to how Imagination grants were spent was discussed. Gloria will find out the exact amount of the Imagination grants for last year.


Kathy thanked Gina for serving on the board. The meeting adjourned at 11:20 PM.


Submitted by:


Sherri Brun, Secretary

National Federation of the Blind of Florida





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