National Federation of the Blind ofFlorida
Board Meeting Minutes December 14, 2008
The meeting was called to order
at 8:18 PM. Present were Kathy Davis, Dan Hicks, Dwight Sayer, Sherri Brun,
Gloria Hicks, Sabrina Deaton, Gina Minichiello, Sherrill OíBrien, and Betty
McNally. Marion Gwizdala participated in a portion of the meeting to discuss the
The minutes were just sent out
and will be approved by e-mail by this coming Wednesday. December 17.
The treasurerís report was given.
Gloria sent an Excell report. The operations account has $25,453.80, which does
not reflect the checks just sent out. The newsline account is $21,715.92. There
is no report for the Jenny Montgomery account. NFB is holding off the
Imagination Grant until all outstanding bills are sent in for Newsline. Newsline
may not have Gloriaís new address. Carlos and Kathy still need to receive their
checks. Carlos called Gloria and left a voice mail message. Gina Minichiello had
a question about a check written to IREscue. Gloria said that this check was for
expenses of the last four months. The report was approved.
The presidentís report was given.
Kathy talked with David Evans, who sincerely wants to step down as Palm Beach chapter
president. He wanted to meet on January 7, but this cannot be prepared in time.
In February he is going to get a guide dog. He has no job at this time. The
meeting must be in early March. The location of the present chapter meeting has
been moved to a more centralized place. Dwight did call Mike Stern, the person
who was interested in being involved in the NFBF and possibly becoming chapter
treasurer in order to discuss his
background and experience. He just heard from him this last week and Dwight has
not gotten back with him. Dr. Maurer has called a state presidentís seminar at
the end of February. Kathy will also be attending Marti Gras. If we have
particular agenda items for the state presidentís seminar, Dr. Maurer would like
to know them and we should e-mail items to Kathy. Dwight asked if they have
given any thought to the dramatic changes in the newspaper business and how will
this effect the operation of Newsline? Kathy talked briefly about the Louis
Braille initiative and encouraged all chapter presidents to do something in
January to promote the use of Braille and to celebrate Louis Brailleís birthday.
Sherrill mentioned that we need to send ideas to the NFBF Leaders list. The list
Everyone needs to know how to get
on the NFBF listserve. Betty McNally said 3/4 of her chapter members are not on
the listserve. Kathy asked Dan to send out instructions as to how to subscribe.
Dan will send out instructions.
Kathy asked Marion to give his report
for fund-raising. They will have a meeting with Creative loafing on Wednesday
for that show. A meeting took place yesterday, but only four people
participated, though several others were notified about the call. Creative Loafing will help find a place
City that will accommodate
between 300 and 500 people. There first choice was The Castle. The advertising
manager says he can think of at least twelve places to approach and that
businesses will be open to advertise the show including retail establishments
that would be willing to provide products for door prizes. The cover charge
should be a suggested donation of $20-$25. The show will be depending upon what
the venue is like. If people are seated, it will be a two-hour show with an
intermission. There will be a total of 5 entertainers. There will be 10 songs
with an intermission and then 10 more songs. If it is not a seated venue, there
will be a one-hour show with each of the entertainers doing two songs with a
total of 10 songs. We will let Creative Loafing know our preferences. The seated
venue will of course be preferred, because it is a longer show. Kathy said that
people might talk during the show, especially if it is a venue where guests are
assured us that these are truly professional entertainers and that there will
probably not be much talking during the performance. People from different
departments of the Creative Loafing magazine will take part in the meeting on
Wednesday and our preferences will be specified. The teleconference yesterday
was done in order to develop a plan to present on Wednesday. Marion wants to be sure
that everyone is on the same page and wants to move forward. The call consisted
of Sherrill OíBrien, Merry Schoch, David Bearden and Marion Gwizdala. The best
title we have for the program now is Alexis Collins and the Hollywood Dolls.
Total expenses for entertainers are $500, which includes transportation. The entertainers, who
generally work for $500 dollars have agreed to work for $125. This will come out
of the revenue of the project. The goal is to raise $10,000 after expenses.
David Bearden has done this for other organizations and has raised this amount
of money. 50-50 drawing and door prizes will also be awarded. Raffle items will
also be available. The entertainers will be available after the show to take
pictures of people with the entertainers in their costumes and charge $10 per
picture. David is performing at no charge. Once the proceeds come in, it was
suggested that we help David with a token of our appreciation. We hope to have
this on an off day from 9 to 11 or 9 to 11:30. The last week of February or
first week of March would be the window they are looking at. We will definitely
have a contract with Creative Loafing. We are also working out security with
Merry Schoch. We also will get volunteers to help.
Marion also discussed being part of
grant-writing for the chapter and being allowed to have membership paid for
grant-writing informational list. He is willing to write for our chapter. He
explained the Foundation Center, which is an organization in New
York, which has
collections of information and does grant-writing workshops throughout the
country. They have a website where you can access 25,000 different grantors. It
is a large data base of people who give money for specific causes. The cost of
membership is $195 per year for one person. David Evans can be included in the
distribution of information if he wishes to assist in writing a grant. We should
focus on Tallahassee Seminar and also subsidize our state convention. This would
be in preparation for 2010. Will want report as to how money has been used and
how it has benefited us. A motion was made to approve $195.00 for a one-year
membership to the Foundation Center for a grant data base for Marion
Gwizdala. The motion carried.
Dwight suggested we have Davidís
fund-raiser quarterly in four
Tampa , and
Gloria said that if there is a contract signed with Creating Loafing, it should
be signed by the NFBF state president rather than a chapter president.
Kathy resumed her report with the
discussion of the Vision Summit. It
was suggested that Debby Brackett be our representative and talk about the
Parents of blind children. The Vision Summit is February 10. Dan Hicks pointed
out that the members of the summit might disagree with the choice of Debby
Bracket, as they already have a parents of blind children representative
attending. It was suggested that Sabrina could go to the Vision Summit and at
the same time, she could contact the Public Services Commission. Dan asked if
Sabrina had a success story about her interaction with DBS and how they have
helped her. Sherri added that Sabrina can also discuss the NFBF Newsline program
and how it has benefited the blind and print-disabled citizens of
. Betty suggested
that chapter members from
sit in the audience at the summit.
The next phone call involving the organization of the Vision Summit will be on
January 22. Dan asked Sabrina to send a resume that he can present to the Vision
Caucus organizers. Kathy said she had written to us about giving $500 to sponsor
the Vision Caucus. Gloria Hicks proposed we pay the $500 for sponsorship as well
as expenses for whoever attends representing the NFBF. The authorization will be
done this coming week. Kathy mentioned we always have contributed and that it
would look bad if we did not. Kathy will make certain that Robert Kelly knows we
will be a sponsor. We have to make sure that they will allow two of our
representatives to speak. The motion to send Sabrina Deaton and/or Debbie
Brackett and to pay their expenses for attending, as well as to be a $500
sponsor of the Vision Caucus carried.
The Washington Seminar was
discussed. Tom Ryan would like to go. Mark Tardif and Judie Hamilton are not
able to go. Patty Sayer cannot go, as she has a previous commitment. Sherri and
Dwight and Kathy and Joe will work together. Betty will ask Tom if he would like
to go. We have 11 going. Kathy requested that extra money be proposed for her.
Dwight has arranged transportation. Those attending include Gloria and Dan, Joe
and Dwight, Kathy and Sherrill, Sherri, Betty and Denise, Carlos and Tom Ryan.
Tom commented that he did not get the notice of the Presidentís meeting until
after it had taken place.
The legislative report was given
and a legislative meeting will take place January 4.
Gloria gave the events committee
report. The only event we have coming up is David Beardenís show reported on by
For the fundraising report,
Sherrill added that Dwight is now head of planned giving and
is head of grants.
Gina is involved with planned giving as well. Sabrina got an estimate from
Sorals printing for $1533 for 3500. They also want a 50% deposit. This is not
necessary with PDQ. They will also charge $95 per hour for any graphic design or
lay-out. PDQ is the best so far. There is still a bid out for another printer.
Also, there is a bid out for a printer in Daytona. Many places want to send the
work out to a bigger printer. Sabrina will also send details to Sabrina. Dwight
discussed getting a single userís license for
ís to access their data base and Dwight
sent Gina information. Dwight and Betty will send appropriate contact info to
obtain list of attorneys to Gina RE planned giving before the end of this coming
Sabrina gave the Newsline report.
Currently we have 9340 Newsline subscribers. She has no update as to what
happened this month. We have 484 active subscribers. This is down from last
month. Calls have been somewhat sporadic. Sabrina spoke with Anil Lewis about
getting TDD funding. He told her it took about 6 months. They had to find a
legislator who was willing to change the language. Because our legislation is
exclusive, it must be changed. Sabrina would like to talk with Public Services
Commission as a courtesy. She is not sure how long ago
legislation enacted. It sounded like if there is an excess,
does not levy the
tax. Betty will work on finding out the proper legislator to approach. We need
to get with someone very quickly. Andy Gardiner has Senator Websterís seat.
Dwight said that we must contact a legislator ASAP or will lose our chance for
help for Newsline until next year. Anyone who has a good connection should
contact a legislator. We must present this idea generically. Sabrina said that
if everyone agrees, she will call the president of the PSC and make an
appointment, hopefully coordinated with the Vision Summit. She can present the
idea in a positive light, since continuing Newsline is really not costing the
any more money. Betty will help
Sabrina find the appropriate legislators to contact. Dwight commented that
various county legislative members are meeting to determine bills for this
session. Betty will present the
legislation to legislators to
see if we can work that in with our legislation. The act is called The Audible
Universal Information Access Service. This way, blind and print-disabled
citizens are included. Sabrina suggested this could be added to the
legislation as an
amendment. Sabrina will call Mr. Atwater tomorrow to find out information and
she will 3-way with Dwight and Betty to let her know the results. She can either
talk before 2:30 or after 2:30. Betty will manage the call.
The reason we have had difficulty
getting correct phone number is that the Talking Books library sends info to
National and the phone numbers do not transfer. Sabrina will contact the library
to see if they can send her a report of the new Newsline subscribers.
The possible contracts with
Holiday Inn in Orlando and Rosen were discussed. Sheri met with the sales
manager of the Holiday Inn International Drive and she is very interested in us
holding our convention there in 2010. She is willing to honor the contract that
we presented at our prior convention there, but the room rate will be increased
to $82 per night. There is a #20 per table charge for exhibit tables. Sherri
also looked at the facilities, which have been renovated and they are very nice.
We will finalize this decision at our next board meeting.
Dwight talked about
misunderstanding from BVA RE NFBís involvement in
discussion. It was mis-reported by
a member of the BVA that we were appropriated 4 million dollars for a pilot
program to compare our training center with them. Because we were ignored by the
V.A., we went to the Department of Defense and applied for a 4 million dollar
grant appropriation to run a pilot program comparing our training centers with
the V.Aís training centers and comparing the results after the training is done,
rather than the merit of the training in the beginning or the instructors. When
the bill got signed, the appropriation never went through, so we did not receive
any money to conduct this program.
Kathy mentioned that Rick Brown
has landed the position of VIST coordinator for the Tampa V.A.
Gina Minichiello has revamped the
corporate sponsorís form and needs contact information for perspective
Gina also mentioned that the
minutes on the web site are very much behind. Sherri will send all minutes to
Dan. Gina also suggested modernizing the website. Dan is working on improving
Betty McNally stated that they
are having a parade which occurs between Christmas and New Years and the Sierra
Club will be going into this parade as ďDumb Blind People.Ē Betty will write in
protest stating that we do not approve of this. The parade is supposed to be a
humorous parade, but Betty will see if the
chapter can give out
positive information during the parade.
Sherrill discussed Louis Braille
discussion meeting and possible participation for Sabrina tomorrow night.
and the library working with NFB to
read Braille for story time at public library.
The meeting adjourned at 11:18
Sherri Brun, Secretary
National Federation of the Blind