NFBF Board Meeting

March 26, 2017

Meeting called to order at 8:05 PM

Present:  President - Denise Valkema, 1st Vice President - Paul Martinez, 2nd Vice President - Miranda Kilby, Secretary - Sylvia Young, Treasurer - Gloria Mills-Hicks, board members: 2 Jorge Hernandez, 3 Tekesha Saffold and 4 Rafael Fernandez

President report:  In March so far, I spoke at a senior luncheon, joined events committee meeting, NFB 411 call, agenda meeting, two parents calls, Uber opportunity affiliate presidents call, Florida Bell call, and more student interviews. I posted to Facebook, twitter, and lists including legislative call to action opposition to H.B. 620. I sent recipes submitted by our members to Gary Wonder. This week I will be attending agenda call and traveling to Jacksonville to attend chapter meeting Saturday.  We recommended that Peter continue to work with the Daytona Beach Chapter instead of establishing a new West End Volusia Chapter at this time.  Chapters are encouraged to use standard wording and branding when setting up any public page or websites, i.e. Facebook and I asked the communication committee to work on this concern.  I will be visiting the Jacksonville and Tallahassee chapters next month during their meetings.  The Suncoast Coast chapter has asked to modify their constitution.  We will request that the changes be sent in writing and we will vote via email.

Secretary Report:  A motion was made by Martinez to accept the February 26th minutes as sent via email; second by Saffold.  Motion approved by all and passed.

Treasurer Report:  The end of February bank balances:  Newsline -  $47,256.84; Operations -  $9,178.78 A motion was made by Kilby to accept treasurer’s report; second by Hernandez.  Motion approved by all and passed.

Division/committee/chapter reports:

Fernandez reported the Gainesville Chapter held their elections on March 11th and as its new board for 2017 is Judy Hamilton, President, Kathy Roskos, Vice President, Max Daugherty, Treasurer, Debra Whitt, Secretary, Board Members: David Roskos, Board Seat 1, Marion Debusk, Board Seat 2, Betty Mack, Board Seat 3.   Judy also brought to my attention that it would be great if a representative from the state board could possibly attend one of their meetings.  Their next meeting is scheduled for the second Saturday in May depending on the venue availability.  Florida Association of blind students is working diligently on providing a workshop on how to use the IPhone. This workshop is geared more towards seniors, but everyone's encouraged to attend. President Martinez reminded and encouraged everyone to apply for the National Federation of the Blind scholarship, deadline is March 31 and the state scholarship deadline is April 17th.  Next meeting will be Monday April 17th due to the Easter holiday.

Saffold reported the Suncoast Chapter has been going through some rough patches with busy schedules and living in a rural area so arranging the meetings so everyone can attend. They are holding a 2nd annual pancake breakfast on April 29. They are very excited.  They are currently looking at changing 2 things in their constitution. 1. Their constitution says they will meet every 3rd Saturday of the month, and they would like it to read meet once a month. 2. Their constitution covers Hernando and Pasco counties. They would like to cover the greater Hernando County Area.  The Palm Beach Chapter Last meeting, we went around the room and made goals for the chapter to have more member participation.  We are currently selling tickets for our Mother’s Day Basket Raffle.  Last meeting, we had a presenter to demonstrate the Ora-cam.  We sent the membership dues to Gloria and a list of our members. We are thinking of organizing a Resource Fair for Meet the Blind Month.  Currently, we have 6 members who plan to attend the state convention. The Empowerment Committee April 3rd at 8pm.  I spoke with Marilyn Baldwin and she told me that she will follow up with Martinez and Hernandez to discuss Hispanic culture.

Hernandez reported the Miami Dade Chapter is making preparations to send 8 – 11 members to our State Convention.  We just finalized the fundraiser World’s Finest Chocolate sale and we raised around $500.00 in one month.  We also followed suit in regards to the March membership that Nationals suggested to do for the month.  We got 4 new members and will probably gain a few more for our next meeting.

Fundraising Committee:  The committee met in March 15, 2017.  A total of 14 members called to participate and bring a new idea to the table.  A raffle called Lucky 777’s is to be start promptly and continue through our National Convention in July.  The winner will receive $777 travel Boucher or the cash value will be awarded.  Tickets are one for $5.00 or three for $10.00.

 Also, the top three chapters will receive a “trophy” that will be passed on the next winning chapter for our 2018 National Convention.  A fourth place “trophy” will be awarded to the chapter that makes the most improvement in selling tickets.

1.         A Sun – Shining Brite – is the first trophy

2.         An orange – Sweet – is the second trophy

3.         A Palm Tree – Climbing to the Top – is the third trophy

4.         A Manatee – Slowly getting their – will be awarded to the chapter that will make the biggest improvement in selling tickets

The Lapel Pins are on sale and the PayPal link has been posted on the leaders’ listserv and the members listserv.  The selling prize is $8.00.  Pledges from chapters, divisions, or members will be once again be inquired during our State Convention Banquet.  Donations can be done to our State Treasury by sending check/money order or using the PayPal link and including on the memo/note that the funds are being donated to the affiliate. The Space Coast Chapter, President Naulty and its board had a presentation from the local Talking Book Library on the last chapter meeting.  They are also having representation in a Vision Fair in April. I have not been able to speak to President Edwards of the Treasure Coast.  Although elections were held and I congratulated them.  I have not had a chance to travel to the chapter meetings as promised.

Mills-Hicks reported the next Events committee meeting will be April 12th at 8pm.

Young reported the Tallahassee Chapter working on a membership drive to build our numbers and participate in the Spring Time Tallahassee parade April 1, 2017.  The Jacksonville

Chapter is planning an Applebee’s Pancake breakfast May 6th.  I sent out a notice on the leader’s list about how to send nominations for chapter and division recognitions and will sent another out at the beginning of April.  I have confirmed members for the Awards committee from Jada Christie, Dan Hicks, Cathy Roskos and Marita Winston.   I sent out a reminder the first of March for newsletter submissions.  So far, I have only received a few.  I also sent the board a draft for their review, please send corrections ASAP.  Young moved that the Awards Committee be given $100 budget to purchase awards for the 2017 convention ceremony, and amended by Hernandez for $200; second by Martinez.  Motion approved by all and passed.

Kilby reported the Deaf Blind Division is working very hard on gaining new members, and they are working diligently on their workshop for state convention.  The Tampa Chapter is growing new members and will be assisting those to go to state convention. At the current time, we are looking for a location that is more centralized in the Hillsboro County area. This would be to serve the whole county equally. And our last chapter meeting we had envision America join us who has signed up as well to be a vendor at our state convention.  The Agenda committee is working hard to produce the finalized agenda by May 1st. We would definitely like to have this agenda translated into Spanish, and we are still in need of some guest speakers. The Presidents and Vice Presidents committee next meeting will be on April 9th at 7 PM.  The Communications committee is our newest committee and will be meeting on Tuesday, March 28th to discuss how we will be moving forward in communication across the state of Florida. Those who are in this committee already participate somehow in communication in Florida; for example, Newsline

We are up to 550 likes on Facebook, please keep encouraging those two like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Parents committee would like a 4-hour IEP workshop Sunday at the convention with Carlton Walker facilitating.  Mills-Hicks motioned that we pay for Carlton’s flight and 3 days per diem; second by Martinez.  Motion approved by all and passed.  We discussed the receiving 2 proposals for hotels for the 2018 State convention in Jacksonville and Tampa.  Martinez moved that we have the 2018 convention at the Hilton in Tampa and continue to look in to 2019 or 2020 later; second by Mills-Hicks.  Motion approved by all and passed.

Martinez reported the Florida State Wide Chapter finalized the fundraiser for a gift card to one 800 flowers, which was a great success!  The Greater Daytona Beach chapter has decided to award a scholarship at our 2017 state convention and the chapter will be having elections in April. I'm excited to announce that the Central Florida chapter will be awarding a scholarship for our 2017 state convention.  Please send Russ Davis updates for chapter pages on News Line. Scholarship committee reminds us that the national Federation of the blind scholarship deadline is March 31st and the national Federation of the blind of Florida state scholarship deadline is April 17th. The application is online, please share with all.

Valkema reported the Broward chapter’s membership is up from last year. Members are given opportunities to participate, not just the board. One member is connecting with other guide dog users in the chapter and another is giving a diabetes report. Not many members have the Internet so, Debbie tries to give a report of what has been on the lists. They are working on state and national. Great to hear our federation family is growing in Broward!  The TIME Act has been revised and they will be launching something to get the states involved and will be getting more information later.  The national office is asking for a person from Florida to send in 2 reports on Uber rides a month for one year and the affiliate with get compensation for it.  The senate bill 608 will eliminate the penalty from a person carrying a white cane if you are not blind.  We discussed possible action to be taken to oppose the bill.  President Valkema will get more information and send out something on the list with contact information to have NFB voice heard.

Our convention announcement was for sent out to all except 5,000 talking book members due the library’s printer going down.  We had post cards sent out instead.

The Agenda Committee is still looking for guest speaker suggestions.  We hope to have it out by May 1st.  And it will be translated in Spanish and braille.

We discussed the Board expenses for the state convention.  Millis-Hicks made motion that room, travel and per diem expenses be covered for the state all board member for 2017 state convention; second by Kilby.  Motion approved by all and passed.

Mills-Hicks will confirm the banquet meal selections soon.

We decided that we will register for a National convention exhibit table.

We discussed member assistance to the National convention.  Young moved that we give 10 members $300 to assist with expenses to the National convention.  It was 2nd by Hernandez. Motion approved by all and passed.  Martinez with chair this effort.

The Central Florida, Tampa, Greater Daytona Beach and Miami chapters will donate scholarships for the 2017 State convention.  Mills-Hicks encouraged us to remind chapters to send in their dues as soon as possible.

The Florida Bell Academy is now official and parents can apply for the academy which will run for 3 weeks, June 10-22nd Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  It’s also on the web.

Next board meeting 4/23/17 at 8pm.

We decided to continue to send in written reports for the board meetings to make it easier and more time efficient.

Hernandez made a motion that the meeting be adjourned; second by Martinez.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 9:54pm.

Respectfully submitted by Sylvia Young, NFBF Secretary



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