Board Meeting

January 22, 2018


Meeting called to order at 8.02 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:  Martinez made a motion the December 18, 2017 minutes be accepted as sent via email; second by Hernandez.  Approved by all and passed.

President report:  Motion by email to cover Jennifer’s airfare to attend PLP passed. Our FPOBC constitution is now archived. I attended the following meetings: budget, convention planning, NFB411, and Washington seminar delegates. We had a call about our Florida BELL program and a few calls concerning chapters.  I attended the memorial service of Tom Ryan.

Treasurer Report:  Bank balances for December:

              Operations Account December 1, 2017:                $9,332.02

              Operations Account December 31, 2017:             $10,420.37  

              NFB-Newsline® Account December 1, 2017          $32,497.17

              NFB-Newsline® Account December 31, 2017       $31,282.14

Miranda made a motion that the operations account be reimbursed from the Newsline for all phone services which we paid from the operations account; second by Hernandez.  Approved by all and passed.

 Miranda made a motion to transfer $4000 immediately back to Newsline, which was used to assist with the cost of the 2017 convention; second by Martinez.  Approved by all and passed.

Division/committee/chapter reports:

Valkema reported:  Broward Chapter did not have elections this month but will in February instead.  Suncoast is planning a pancake breakfast on 4/14/18, trying to have a spaghetti dinner, and other activities to fundraise for sending members to state and national.

Martinez reported: State Wide: The chapter is collecting membership dues, and will hold elections in February for the following positions: president, treasurer, and board positions 1 and 3. Each of those positions will be for 2 years. There will also be an election for vice president with a 1-year term.  Fundraising Committee: There is a meeting at 7 PM this date, and we will Kilby reported:  Tampa: The chapter is working well with the Suncoast Chapter on the state convention. We are in the process of raising funds for the state and national conventions, and already have four spirit nights planned out with Beef O Brady’s. The chapter will be holding elections for the complete board in February.

Parents Division: The division will be opening their bank account on Wednesday. They are also working to organize a B.E.L.L. in Orlando for 2018.

Communications Committee: The committee is excited to plan and strategize for new and creative ideas. We are working on meeting goals by state convention with Newsline, Face Book, and Twitter.

NFB411: Our last topic was on Networking and building relationships with Kathrine Webster, President, National Association of Blind Students. The recording will be released at a later date. The next call is in the planning process and all ideas are welcomed.

 Young reported:  The Tallahassee Chapter is excited about a new year of hope.  We held elections for 3 officers this month and we congratulate our pass board for doing such a great job that they we re-elected.  Hence our board stands as is.  We are making plans for a Yard Sale in April to assist our members to State and National conventions.   The Jacksonville Chapter is holding their very 1st Blindfolded Bowling Tournament this month.  They have sponsors and T-shirts and are joined by the Jacksonville Council of the Blind.  The next Breaking Newsletter will go out February 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:  On January 15th, I was privileged to be invited by Sherrill O’Brien, President to attend the FLAGDU meeting. They are requesting that their meeting at the convention be Saturday, May 27th. The rest of the meeting concerned ideas for the program at this meeting. Most of the ideas had to do with hurricanes and how people take their dogs to their shelters.  The next meeting of the Senior Concerns Committee will be Thursday, February 1st, at 8:00 PM. In January, we had ten persons attending, which is the most we have had at one of our teleconference meetings.  I am working on getting speakers for our Events Committee Meeting, Wednesday, January 24, at 8:00 PM.

 Saffold reported: The Palm Beach Chapter is excited for the new year since we conducted our elections this month, which I was reelected as President to serve for my 4th term. Nicole Fincham-Shehan was elected as Vice President. We plan to meet as a new board before our next chapter meeting to organize for the year.  We will possibly have a spaghetti lunch or dinner sale to raise funds for the upcoming conventions to provide assistance for registration and possible banquet ticket. I am also suggesting that we have a spring yard sale. For February, we will have a guest speaker from Care Plus to discuss health insurance options. Furthermore, a few of the chapter members will be attending Transportation Disadvantage Day February 14th in our state capital to advocate on keeping funding in our county for transportation.

 Hernandez reported:  Miami-Dade Chapter: The chapter continues to recruit new members and is beginning the “Worlds Famous Chocolate” fundraising.  A committee for fundraising will be suggested by the President to see how the chapter can obtain more monetary funds.  The chapter is looking to charter a small bus for state convention to take a larger number of members.

Treasure Coast Chapter: The chapter is going through some restructuring. The Current President is moving out of the state. I will visit the chapter with President Valkima in March.

 Tate reported: Melbourne-Space Coast: The Chapter will hold special election February 10th. We gained three new members in December and January.  FLDB Division: The Division will hold special elections February 13th for 1st VP, 2nd VP, Secretary and Treasurer positions. Division is continuing to plan for DB seminar at state convention.  Legislation: The legislative committee is working on Washington Seminar. The committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 23rd to advise the committee members what they can do to assist the delegates while they are in Washington DC. There will be an early presentation and practice session of the delegates on Tuesday, January 23rd, at 6:30 P. M.

 Fernandez reported: The Gainesville Chapter had a holiday gathering at Kathy Rocco’s home.

Last week the chapter met with an attendance of 6 members.  Started talking about fundraising ideas for the chapter.  They are looking at taking a few members next month to the villages area for a VA meeting for some networking opportunities.

FABS: The Florida association of blind students met on Sunday January 14th after a two month break to allow the board the opportunity to get things together and hopefully meet and be prepared this year with great ideas and excited to support and help build the federation. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a full board present and Rafael Fernandez took charge of the meeting and revisited the idea of transitioning FABS from a division towards a committee. Because the call wasn’t recorded we had to go through and email vote and the result were to transition from division to committee.

 Action items:

BELL Program:  Miranda reported that the Parents Division will use the facility in Orlando for the Bell Program.  Possible training will be at the end of March or beginning of April.  We will move forward on Bell program training.

 Registration & banquet: Tekesha motioned that we charge the same fees as last year for convention registration and banquet; it was 2nd Martinez.   Approved by all and passed.

 We discussed using PayPal & Credit card fees for online registration.  We will research for the best deal.

 Exhibitors tables fees charged last year were $200 for-profit 1st table; $150 for 2nd table and $50 for non-profit.  Martinez motioned that we keep the same fees this year; second by Hernandez. Approved by all and passed. We also discussed getting corporate sponsors to assist with the cost of the convention. 

Scholarships: Martinez reported that we are ready to send out scholarship announcement.  Kilby motioned that we have 3 scholarships for $1500 each; second by Mills-Hicks. Approved by all and passed.  

 NFB Lapel pins:  Tate motioned that we lower the price of the lapel pins from $8 to $5; second by Hernandez.  Approved by all and passed. 

 We discussed what type of membership cards we would get this year.  Paul will check into National cards availability.

 We discussed Newsline funds, which we haven’t received some time.  We will consider having a face to face with Robert Doyle.

 New business

The Fundraising Committee met and are suggesting a raffle with 3 prizes.  1st prize I-pad pro or $800 cash. 2nd Uber/Lyft gift card or $500 and 3rd a Travel Voucher for $200 or cash.  The tickets to be sold for $5.  Total of $1500 in prizes.  Sylvia motioned that we move forward with this fundraiser; second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed. 

 Our next board meeting will be February 25th.

Jorge made a motion that the meeting be adjourned; second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.

 Respectfully submitted by Sylvia Young, NFBF Secretary