Board Meeting

July 23, 2017

Meeting called to order at 7:59 PM


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

Secretary Report:  A motion was made by Saffold to accept the June 25, 2017 minutes as sent via email; second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.  A motion was made by Kilby to accept the July 12, 2017 Caucus minutes as sent via email; second by Hernandez.  Approved by all and passed. 


President report:  We had a successful 2017 National Convention with 195 registered. Thank you to all that went to various meetings and helped out. I volunteered two hours Sunday at the information table.  I spent three hours in the presidential suite and spoke with a member about Texas Silver Bells program on Monday. Paul, Miranda, and I had breakfast with Virginia president to see about leadership development, I had a meeting with Carlton about a pilot Bell in Miami, was at the presidents/treasurers meeting, and presidents meet & greet on Tuesday. Jorge and I met with Pam Allen, and we held our Florida caucus with around 80 in attendance on Wednesday. We had our board breakfast, had lunch with Suncoast Chapter, and nomination committee meeting on Thursday. I had breakfast with a Polk member that received state sponsorship to national and met with Broward during lunch on Friday, and had lunch with Jacksonville on Saturday.  I enjoyed having dinner with two members that moved from New Jersey to Florida.  This week, Camille has been added to legislative directors list and will be working with Merry Schoch.  I spoke briefly to TVI about Miami pilot Bell Academy.



Treasurer Report:  The financial report was tabled until the next meeting.


Division/committee/chapter reports:

Valkema reported the Broward chapter had good attendance at the National convention.  I met with the chapter during the convention.  Also looking forward to meeting with the chapter soon.  The Virginia president suggested that we start training future leaders for positions in our chapters.  We are having a pilot Bell Academy in Miami July 31st to August 4th.  We established a committee to develop what “Active participation” means for our state.  Martinez, Young, Fernandez, Hernandez and Saffold volunteered to work on this committee.


Martinez reported–I have reach out to President Joshua of the Daytona Beach, but no answer.  I will continue to try.  I plan to attend the Central Florida chapter meeting in September. The chapter won 4th place with our fundraising efforts. The State-Wide chapter gained 6 new members at our National convention. The chapter was successful on selling Omaha Steaks raffle and the Lucky 7’s raffle tickets and were excited to win second prize in the state’s fundraising challenge. Our Newsline committee helped with the Newsline table in the exhibit hall. Will be holding a meeting in September. The Sponsorship winners will be submitting reports on their experience on attending a National convention. Once they are submitted, I will combine all and submit to the board. The next President’s committee meeting will be August 13th. If you have anything you would like added to the agenda, please let me know.  The Lucky 7 raffle was a great success.  Tampa 1st, Tallahassee 2nd, Central Florida 3rd place. Martinez thanked Hernandez for all his hard work at past fundraising chair.


Kilby reported the Tampa Chapter is excited that they won the orange, and had a great time at our National convention. The chapter is working on activities for meet the blind month, and attending some transportation meetings to learn more about changes that are happening.  The

Pinellas Chapter President Snow has requested that Paul Martinez and Miranda Kilby attend there meeting in August. The chapter is trying to grow the chapter in all areas, especially the younger generation.  NFB411 will have our next call September 10th. The topic has not been chosen.  The Communication committee did not meet in July due to time constrictions. Will resume in August with ideas we learned from National convention. The Parents Committee discussed constitution, input given. The parents will make corrections and modifications and resubmit it to the board for vote. The Tampa chapter is dealing with the possibility of losing some of their bus stops and will be meeting with the city to keep the bill from passing.  Suncoast wants to co-host the next State convention along with Tampa and Tampa agreed.


Young reported the Tallahassee Chapter continues to work on their Applebee's flapjack fundraiser.  We were pleased to have had 1 Kenneth Jernigan scholarship winner and 2 State sponsorships attend the National Convention. We were excited to win third prize in the state’s fundraising challenge and plan to take 1st place next year.  I was able to meet with Marita Winston, president of the Jacksonville Chapter while at the National Convention and we had a very successful meeting. They are working diligently on fundraising.  The Newsletter is in progress and should go out August 1st. I am still looking for submissions and would like for each chapter liaison, division and committee chairs to send me their August meeting dates for the newsletter calendar.


Mills-Hicks reported We had a good turnout for the Lucky 7 fundraiser, but still have a few outstanding checks from members. I have deposited $770.00 in checks and $967.00 in cash, after awarding the $777.00 to Mr. James Johnson.  I checked on Joe and Kitty, of the Polk Chapter, who did not attend our recent national convention due to a schedule conflict. They did have a new couple attend their most recent chapter meeting. No updates regarding FLAGDU. However, many FLAGDU members did attend our National Convention.  I will be sending out your expense checks tomorrow.


Saffold reported the Palm Beach Chapter is still looking for a new location for the chapter to meet. Their next meeting is August 12th from 11 am until 1 pm. We will have a guest speaker, Michael Vinegar, to share with us about his online website designed for blind individuals. We will meet to make plans for our resource fair in October.  The Empowerment committee next meeting is scheduled for August 28th to discuss ideas for fundraisers. We are currently working on a fact sheet for our committee.


Hernandez reported the Miami-Dade Chapter is growing and we have gained 7 new members since the June meeting. White cane event is starting to pick up momentum and a committee will be formed in the upcoming weeks.  Several fundraiser events have been brought up to the members and the Sparkles in the Dark will once again take place in late October or early November, and the World’s finest chocolates will be once again revisited.  I will be visiting the Treasure Coast Chapter at their September meeting.  The chapter is in “summer recess” and has not met since their meeting in June.  We as a board will need to speak about this in more   details.  The chapter did not participate in the Lucky 7’s raffle. 


Tate reported the Melbourne Space Coast Chapter are working on a Vision Fair and Car/Bike Show, to be held over the next few months; will be at American Muscle Car Museum on July 25th for a Non-Profit event with Chamber of Commerce; will attend a transportation meeting in Cocoa on August 2nd to make sure blind travelers are included in plans for next 10 years; will be holding elections August 12th.  The Florida Deaf-Blind’s next meeting is August 15th. I submitted an article to Sylvia for the Newsletter.  I am now part of the list for Legislative Directors; several resolutions passed at National and there are also bills either introduced or opposed by NFB.


Fernandez reported that FABS had a successful fundraiser selling out of all the blankets that they brought up. Members from around the country are still inquiring about them.  They are planning to work with the colleges to increase their membership.  The Gainesville

Chapter has yet to meet, and they are still working on a location for their August meeting. Judy and the rest of the board are currently also working on putting together a couple of fundraisers and are continuing to work on building membership.  The Florida table at nationals worked out just great. Everyone was there when they were scheduled and had no issues. What I'd like to see is more participation from other chapters and or divisions. It seems that when we offer these slots I'm seeing inquiries from the same chapters and divisions. We are all one family here to help each other out and even if it’s just one member from that chapter or division who's to say that someone from another chapter or division can't reach out and support?


Our next board meeting will be August 27, 2017.


Martinez made a motion that the meeting be adjourned; second by Fernandez.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 9:06 pm.


Respectfully submitted by Sylvia Young, NFBF Secretary