National Federation of the Blind of Florida

Board Meeting Minutes

January 2, 2011


President Dan Hicks called the meeting to order at 8:09 PM.

Present were:

Dan Hicks - President

Joe Minichiello - Second Vice President

Gloria Hicks - Treasurer

Kathy Davis - Board Member

Carlos Montas - Board Member

Sherrill O'Brien - Board Member

Denise Valkema - Board Member

Dwight Sayer - First Vice President said he may join the meeting later, as he has just returned from a cruise. Sherri Brun – Secretary was not in attendance, as she was out of town.


Minutes were not yet sent out from the meeting of December 5, 2010.


Gloria gave an abbreviated treasurer’s report. It was a quiet month. A $100 donation came to their house, but is not on the P&L statement. The Wachovia statement is not in yet, but the income for the year for that fund, which is our emergency fund and fund for possible future operations of NFBF shows that for 2010, we made a total of $5,423.05. The donation came from Elizabeth Ullitch who lives in Dowling Park, Florida. The biggest expense we had was Newsline®. We will wind up with a $7,000 loss for the entire year, which is much less of a loss than the budget committee figured. Most of the checks for those attending Washington Seminar have been sent out.


Gloria received a call from Joe Naulty who said that he spoke with Charlie Brown, NFB treasurer and NFB president Marc Maurer who said that the Cars division, which is a national division, could be run through the NFBF treasury using our 501(C)3. This will make much more work for Gloria as NFBF treasurer. They feel they will make more money than expected this year. Gloria would like to help the Cars division obtain their own 501(c)3. Now that National learned it involves a fund-raiser, they rescinded there offer. NFBF will not be involved. The treasurer’s report was accepted as read.


Dan gave the president’s report and is working on an article about fun things to do in Florida at the time of the NFB convention.


The Student division had its drawing for their New Years raffle and Alan Bournstein won the raffle.


Regarding the Blind Driver Challenge, we have been offered a grant from National to run buses to bring people to the event. Dan felt that once expenses were calculated, this would come to approximately $11,000. This is because it is a last-minute arrangement. Gloria will talk with Dwight about arranging transportation. People will be attending from Daytona, Orlando and Jacksonville with Denise attending from Miami. Joe said that the Jacksonville chapter will make a day trip to the event. Transportation is being worked out. Details will be forth-coming, but there will be a gathering in meeting Friday night and a celebratory gathering afterward. The hotel stay will be covered from the national grant.  


The Florida Vision Summit was discussed. It will take place February 8, 2011. Kathy made a motion that NFBF donate $500 dollars to assist with the expenses of the Florida Vision Summit. Gloria seconded the motion and it carried. Joe and Dwight will be there, because they are members of the Rehab Council. The governor may also be attending. We should pull in some of the Tallahassee chapter members. Denise could go, though it will be a long trip for her. Dan will talk to the Tallahassee chapter president about having his chapter members attend. Gloria will send out the check for $500 to the chair Robert Kelly.


Scott White has still not responded with Newsline® accountability issues. The time for signing the new contract is drawing near.


Dan discussed the conference call with the consumer groups regarding the possible reorganization of DBS into another agency. We are working on getting items together to oppose this in case it happens.


Washington Seminar was discussed. The facts sheets have not been sent out yet. Gloria would like to plan for a phone call. Wednesday January 19 was first suggested. The meeting will take place at 8 P.M. Joe said he could not make it that night, but will probably be able to make it Tuesday evening. It was decided that more people would be available on Tuesday January 18. Gloria will discuss the rooming list with Denise. Joe is the leader for the Jacksonville-Panhandle team. Denise will lead the South Florida team. The west coast Florida team will be lead by Dan and Dwight will lead the Central Florida team. Central Florida will make appointments for the senators. All appointments will be sent to Denise who will create a master list.


Gina Minichiello and the Fund-raising committee will be having a meeting on Wednesday January 6. She will discuss having a nation-wide fund-raiser regarding a cruise raffle. She will announce the meeting on the leader’s list.


Kathy Davis gave the scholarship committee report. She has sent out the cover letter and application from last year to all the board members. What Kathy needs is to have the new information plugged in about the hotel, dates, etc.. Kathy will then have a meeting of the scholarship committee. Each of the members will cover different universities. Kathy would like to know how many chapters are sponsoring scholarships. At present, we only have the two scholarships from Daytona. It will be discussed further at the Presidents meeting.


Carlos Montas says that the Youth Slam applications have been posted. He will work with Lenora Marten to help spread the word and recruit applicants from Florida.


Joe Minichiello gave the Parents’ division report. The division received a $4,000 grant from the Imagination Fund from NFB. This is for the continuation of the Adventures in Optimism program which involves Saturday activities. We received our 25% portion of about $1800.


Joe gave the final report on the diabetic awareness issue with Jacksonville chapter member Patricia Tuck. Patricia was getting her face very close to the samples potentially contaminating the samples. There are devices she can use to test the blood properly, but with the devices she was using and with he her limited vision and the lack of having alternative techniques and devices, she could not be certified. This decision was accepted by the Board.


Dan has not heard any updates from the Manasota chapter. He has not heard from Reagan either. He has not heard from David Bearden’s chapter either. We need to find the contact person at the library to send out mailings. It is hard to reach library staff. David Bearden represented NFBF in a Thanksgiving Day parade. Gloria has a list of about 30 people, but she does not have complete information. All we need to furnish the library is zip codes. 


Rick Brown is still in favor of revitalizing East Hillsborough, but we want to complete the Hernando-East Pasco chapter first.


Denise said that Miami-Dade County chapter members had asked about the availability of membership cards. Since National no longer produces membership cards, it is up to NFBF to produce our own. Dwight Sayer has come up with a design, but Gloria will ask him to send that to her once again. Once these membership cards are printed and made available, each chapter should appoint someone to fill out chapter names of chapter members on each card. Dan assured Denise that NFBF is working on this issue. Denise is currently giving her chapter members a receipt saying they have joined the chapter.


The meeting adjourned at 9:19 P.M.


Submitted by:


Sherri Brun, Secretary

National Federation of the Blind of Florida  


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