Board Meeting

September 24, 2017


Meeting called to order at 8:03 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:  Motion to accept the August regular and special called meeting minutes by Miranda; it was second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.

President report:  I had a conversation with President Riccobono about some topics unrelated to Irma, was contacted by him and other affiliate presidents during the month wanting to know how our Florida federation family is and offering support. We held our special called board meeting.

I learned what NFB of Texas is doing for Harvey relief. I spent time researching and sharing information on disaster assistance, as well as, reaching out to chapter presidents and some members to see how our members are doing after Irma. I want to thank you for how you reached out to our federation family!

Treasurer Report:  August:  Operations balance beginning balance $12,130.13 end $10,414.39.  Newsline balance – Beginning balance $34,903.67; ending balance $34,256.48.  We have not received any grants from Newsline this year.  Investment account balance - $181,505.25.  A motion was made by Martinez to accept the August treasurer’s report as sent via email; It was second by Hernandez.  Approved by all and passed.

Division/committee/chapter reports:

Fernandez reported: FABS - the students rescheduled their regular Sunday meeting to Monday to accommodate those who may have needed some time to recover from the storm.  However, there weren’t enough of the board that date to hold the meeting. The meeting has been rescheduled once again for Wednesday, September 27th.  Gainesville Chapter - Judy reported that all of her members are ok after the storm although some have lost food due to the power outages.  They had a small chapter meeting about a week ago where only four members were present.  She is planning another meeting on October 14th if the venue is available and if the University of Florida football team’s home game does not hamper it.

Tate reported: Melbourne Space Coast Chapter - Most members weathered Irma, survived and are doing well. Some have damage, but can remain in their homes. MSCC's Vision Fair has been rescheduled to Tuesday, November 7th. Most vendors have committed to the new date. Chapter Car and Bike show will continue as planned on October 14th, for Meet the Blind Month and White Cane Day. Expecting approximately 100 cars this year.  MSCC is looking for a new place to hold chapter meetings; hope to be out of The Fountains early next year.  Deaf Blind Division - September meeting cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. Next meeting will be on October 10th.

President Crow advised that she survived the storm, as well as several others who have checked in with her.  She will try to implement reading of the minutes by board members prior to monthly meetings, in order to shorten length of meetings. Legislation - Committee met on Wednesday, September 20th. There are several action items for board meeting.  The legislative committee would like to get a parental rights bill passed in the state of Florida and she is asking for any input.  Merry Schoch is asking for a membership list to create a data base to know which members have contact their representatives about specific concerns.  HR620 has 52 sponsors.  Kilby motioned that we combine our membership list with the Washington seminar applicants and send them to the legislative committee to establish a data base to better organize our organization by Kilby; second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.  Hernandez motioned that the legislative committee go forward with perusing the Florida Parental Bill of Rights.  It was second by Kilby.  Approved by all and passed.

Hernandez reported: Miami-Dade Chapter –  The chapter faired the storm pretty well.  All of our members lost power for a significant time and their food spoiled because of lack of electricity.  We are blessed that the storm did not have a direct impact as forecasted; however, we did have very strong winds and rain from Hurricane Irma.  A few of our members took advantage of the Lift coupons to travel to the store and purchase materials.  On a positive note:

Preparations for the event “Sparkles in the Dark” are ongoing, and we have already distributed flyers during our last meeting Thursday, September 21, 2017.  We have a sponsor for the event, and we are seeking other sponsors.  White Cane events are still being worked on and we will participate with the Miami-Light House at their event.  Treasure Coast Chapter - I have been in contact with President Edwards before and after the storm.  The meeting in September was cancelled because of Hurricane Irma.  I was to travel to the chapter meeting in September but will attend their October’s meeting.  The storm did not cause too much damage in the area.  He thanked President Valkema for all her support to the Miami area during hurricane Irma.

Saffold reported: Palm Beach Chapter - Most members who I spoke to only experienced power outage and other connections during hurricane Irma and are currently doing well. We are going

to work collectively with the Florida Outreach Center on a White Cane Safety Day event scheduled for Wednesday, October 18th and we are scheduled for a tabling event at Palm Beach State College on Monday, October 16th to give out resource information to students. Also, at our next chapter meeting scheduled for Saturday, October 14th, we will have a guest speaker from Palm Tran Connection to give us updates and the opportunity for new members to ask questions and possibly get involved. We are currently having a fundraiser, which is our Holiday Starbucks Basket Raffle to help plan a nice Holiday party for the members. We are looking forward to meeting at our new location, which is still at Duffy's in Royal Palm Beach.

Empowerment Committee -  The September meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Next meeting will be in October. During the last meeting, we discussed the Committee's goals

and purpose, and transportation.

Mills-Hicks reported: Polk Chapter - First, I spoke to Joe and Kitty. I learned that, even though their area was hit hard by Hurricane Irma, they did fine. No broken trees or damage to their house. However, because of the storm, the Polk Chapter did not meet in September.  FLAGDU -

FLAGDU is also not meeting this month, and I am waiting to be contacted by Sherrill O’Brien, so that I can take part in their next meeting.  Senior Concerns Committee - Senior Concerns will meet at 8:00 PM on Thursday, October 5th.

Young reported:  The Tallahassee Chapter is continuing to grow and all survived the hurricane with little to no damage.  We did have our Applebee’s Flapjack Breakfast in spite of the impending storm and it was a great success even though the Kohl’s volunteers backed out due to Irma.  We are planning activities for White Cane and Blindness awareness month but are delayed due to the storm and couldn’t meet in September.  Ticket sales for the Holiday Raffle are going very well.  The Jacksonville Chapter also survive the hurricane with minimal damage and has a very busy October planned with their monthly movie night, two weddings, Spirit Day at the Jacksonville Zoo, a bowling tournament between NFB and NJCB, a White Cane Safety Day Walk at St. Johns Town Center and “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk”.  The next Breaking Newsletter will go out October 1st.  Please send in your event and meeting dates, along with any chapter news you and your liaison chapters might want to submit.

Kilby reported:  Tampa Chapter - The Chapter is doing well and everyone weathered the hurricane with little to no damages.  The Chapter invited a guest speaker from Career Source Tampa Bay to discuss the work forces with SSI and SSDI. Overall the speaker was very informative and the members enjoyed the presentation. The Chapter will be holding a spirit night on October 6th at Beef O Brady’s and a Pancake breakfast on October 21st from 8 AM to 10 AM. We are still working on a few details for other events in October.  Pinellas Chapter – The meeting was canceled due to hurricane Irma. NFB411 – The call was canceled for September and will resume in November.  Communications Committee – We are pleased to announce that we reached our goal of 600 likes on Facebook. We thank everyone who liked and shared. As far as our Twitter account, we are slowly gaining new followers, and encourage everyone to follow us. The committee will be meeting soon and will be discussing upcoming goals.  The Pinellas Chapter’s membership is significantly declining due to members moving away.  We discussed ways to help them rebuild.  We will schedule a time the board can meet with the chapter’s president.  Martinez motioned that we speak with President Riccobono before we set up the meeting with the Pinellas Chapter.  It was second by Hernandez.  Approved and passed by all.

 Martinez reported: Daytona Beach Chapter – I spoke with President Joshua on September 23rd regarding a situation that happened at their monthly meeting.  Central Florida Chapter – Their meeting was canceled due to hurricane Irma.  State Wide Chapter – They met briefly to check on everyone after the storm, and is pleased to announce that everyone is well. The chapter is doing well on the state raffle, and is still in need of a vice president.

 Valkema reported:  President Riccobono is asking for a copy of all our division and chapter constitutions for review for agreement with the national constitution.  Broward Chapter members are doing okay after Irma. White cane safety day event will be October 13th with help from the library.

Action items:

We discussed what we will do to help those is Florida who had losses during Irma.  Kilby motioned that the State Affiliate give $500 to the Miami Chapter to help replenish their treasury due to giving assistance to members for their losses and send $250 to Texas and Puerto Rico.  It was second by Fernandez.  Approved and passed.

 We discussed the upcoming face to face board meeting in Tampa.  Kilby motioned that the State Affiliate pays for transportation, breakfast for 2 days and the rooms for the board members attending the meeting.  It was second by Tate.  Approved and passed by all.  Kilby motioned that the we have the plated lunch for the $25.  It was second by Gloria.  Approved and passed by all.

 Board meeting dates:  Our next board meeting will be October 28, 2017 in Tampa, FL.

 Paul made a motion that the meeting be adjourned; second by Hernandez.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 10:18 pm.

 Respectfully submitted by Sylvia Young, NFBF Secretary