Face to Face Board Meeting

October 28, 2017

Hilton Conference room


Meeting called to order at 4:11 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 September 24th meeting minutes as sent via email; it was second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.

 President report:  I attended the Jacksonville chapter meeting, white cane day event with Miami chapter, our teleconference with Pinellas, and the following calls: the presidents committee, seniors, grant, legislation, communications, convention planning, and teleconference with FPOBC. I participated in cardtronics testing and promoted our chapters events and educational meet the blind month posts on our Facebook page.

 Treasurer Report:  Bank balances for September: Operations Account September 1, 2017:            $10,414.29, Operations Account September 30, 2017-  $9,287.98, NFB-Newsline® Account September 1, 2017 - $34,256.48, NFB-Newsline® Account September 30, 2017 - $33,416.48, Wells Fargo Balance for September 30, 2017 - $172,557.31.  A motion was made by Young to accept the July treasurer’s report as sent via email; It was second by Fernandez.  Approved by all and passed.

 Division/committee/chapter reports:

Valkema reported:  Broward Chapter – Held a successful white cane day event, elections in January, and will resume meeting this month after not meeting due to Irma and white cane day event.  Suncoast Chapter - held elections this month and had other activities for meet the blind month. They gained seven new members in October.

 Martinez reported: State Wide Chapter - The chapter is working hard on the Holiday Calendar Raffle to support the state affiliate. Almost every chapter member sold tickets.   Daytona Beach - On October 28th the chapter will be holding a walk with several others within the community. The chapter is doing well and will mail their tickets soon.  Central Florida Chapter - Had a successful event a 5 Guys at the beginning of the month and have submitted their tickets.  Fundraising Committee - The tumbler has been purchased and delivered. We are working on creating a YouTube channel that will be marked as a non-profit account. Tickets are starting to come in, and I will be submitting a spreadsheet with all the results.  Newsline - Held a meeting to discuss goals and upcoming challenges. I am currently in the process in arranging a meeting with Division of Blind Services to discuss our grant.

 Kilby reported:  Tampa Chapter - They are extremely busy during the month of October. They held 3 different events throughout the community. They purchased custom pens to bring awareness to the chapter and met with the Suncoast Chapter to discuss more about the convention, and created a list serve with the two different chapters to keep things organized.  Communications Committee - The committee has been slightly busy during the month of October. We kicked the month off with our Newsletter, a social media campaign, and at the current time we are in the middle of a Newsline campaign. The grant team met and discussed looking for different types of grants and will have something soon. Camille will be working on a book club project in the near future.  NFB411- Call will be on November 12th; topic and time to be announced.

 Young reported:  The Tallahassee Chapter raised over $1000 with our Applebee’s Flapjack Breakfast in spite storm.  We have been hard at work selling the Holiday raffle tickets. We have our White Cane walk scheduled for October 28th and received proclamations from the city of Tallahassee for Meet the Blind month and White Cane Awareness.   The Jacksonville Chapter is very busy with activities for 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 December 1st.  Please send in your event and meeting dates, along with any chapter news you and your liaison chapters might want to submit.

 Mills-Hicks reported:  FLAGDU:  They are embarking on a fight with the Tampa and Hillsborough County cab companies. It seems that especially the HART contracted cabs are not wanting to allow patrons with service dogs to ride in their cabs. Service animals are allowed to go where their owners go, so this is more than an inconvenience, and needs to be stopped.  Polk Chapter - I provided them with a current Florida Sales Tax exemption form, for them to be able to sell candy bars for their chapter. I felt good to be able help them with their chapter endeavors. Seniors Concerns Committee – Denise was on our last call. We discussed inviting new seniors, who are not members of the NFBF, to participate in a weekend retreat, with training and other activities.

 Saffold reported: Palm Beach Chapter - The chapter has been very busy with Meet the Blind activities with the Florida Outreach Center; it was a huge success and lots of fun. We recently started our Holiday Starbucks Raffle basket that will be held during our holiday party. We are loving our new location, which is at another Duffy’s in Royal Palm Beach. We have a new member from Baltimore who is ready to get involved with the transportation in our county. We both attended a Palm Tran subcommittee meeting followed by lunch. We are looking forward to elections, which will be held in January.  Empowerment Committee - On October 30th the committee will be holding a conference call on transportation and to review the fact sheet for the committee.

Hernandez reported:  Miami Chapter - The Chapter has finalized the planning for the Sparkles in the Dark Extravaganza for October 27, 2017 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.  The program consists of NFBF Miami-Dade members performing on stage.  Also, a large number of the members participated in the White Cane Awareness event held at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind held on October 16, 2017.  Chapter elections will be held during November's meeting.  All positions will be up for elections.  The chapter has gained six new members and our membership is growing steadily.  We had 37 members participate in the October meeting.  Treasure Coast Chapter - I visited the chapter on October 14, 2017.  The chapter had five new first timer and they were glad that they attended.  A total of 25 members were present.  I spoke briefly about the Federation Philosophy and what it meant to participate actively.  The topic at hand was fundraising and how the chapter can use their resources in the community to achieve their goals. I am requesting to have a meeting with their current board via teleconference to have a better dialog with the chapter.

Tate reported: Melbourne Space Coast Chapter - MSCC had a successful car show for White Cane Day; profited $453, plus a $500 donation.  Re-scheduled Vision Fair on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Continuing to work on alternate meeting place for early next year.  Gained 2 new members in October.  FL Deaf Blind Division - Will meet November 14th and asked for specialized hearing device for State Convention to be discussed at face to face board meeting.  They are interested in opening a PayPal account to receive donations (will confirm procedure with Gloria at board meeting).  Legislation Committee - Will meet on Nov. 15th at 7 p.m.; moving forward on Parental Rights Bill; working on database of chapter and division members.

Fernandez reported: Gainesville Chapter - I was unable to reach Judy before this meeting.  FABS - FABS met in September. The board met to discuss lack of participation and decided to put FABS on hold until January to come up with ideas of interest calls and ideas for future meetings.

Action items:

National is asking that each state send a parent to the PLP (Parent Learning Program) at Washington seminar.

 Miranda visited the Pinellas Chapter and there were only 5 members present including 2 officers.  They decided that dissolving the chapter would be best at this time due to low membership and insufficient officers.  Mills-Hicks motioned that we help the Pinellas Chapter to cease to operate as a chapter, close their bank accounts, send funds to the state affiliate for up to 2 years; with plans to begin reorganization of the chapter after the holidays; it was second by Saffold.  Approved and passed by all.  BELL Program – Kimberley Banks’ son’s private school will donate space in the facility to hold the BELL program.  Anil Lewis wants to meet with the president and coordinator to discuss the program.  Kimberley is willing to be the coordinator for the program in Orlando but not for multiple sites.

 Senior Concerns Committee – Gloria discussed the need for NFB to assist the seniors in Florida by possibly having a retreat to teach seniors about technology, O & M and/or Newsline accessibility.   We could reach out to DBS about funding.  We want to make it open to both NFB members and non-members.  We may also consider adding it to our State Convention.

 Leadership development – President Valkema discussed need for developing stronger leadership in our chapters.  We discussed what we can do to develop our current leaders and potential leaders.   May contact chapter presidents to get names of members that would benefit with leadership training.

 Washington Seminar - The “Gathering in” will be January 28th.  We recommended Merry Schoch and Camille Tate attend without need for application.  A motion was made by Mills-Hicks to send 9 members the Washington Seminar, require them to participate in the legislative and get the application out by November 1st and close by 30th; it was second by Saffold.  Approved by all and passed.

Our next board meeting will be an open meeting December 3rd.

The Deafblind Division requested the CART system to assist them with being able to hear and understand what is going on during the convention.  The board decided to encourage the division search for grant monies to purchase this equipment due to its restrictive cost.

 Young made a motion that the meeting be adjourned; second by Hernandez.  Approved by all and passed.  Meeting adjourned at 6:14 pm.

 Respectfully submitted by Sylvia Young, NFBF Secretary