Board Meeting

February 25, 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 January 22, 2018 minutes be accepted as sent via email; second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.

President report:  Prior to the president’s retreat, I met with President Riccobono, Valerie Yingling, and the host committee. I attended Washington seminar and our delegation did a great job. I attended the FRCB meeting this time as a newly appointed member representing the NFB. I tweeted, sent emails, and made calls during our legislative call to action on HR 620. I attended our Washington seminar debrief, legislative meeting, some of Deaf/Blind division meeting, Florida BELL call, and a host committee meeting. Our motion by email to order membership cards was approved. I have been working on state convention items, too.

Treasurer Report:  Bank balances for January:
              Operations Account January 1, 2017:               $10,420.37
              Operations Account January 31, 2017:             $3,604.91  

              NFB-Newsline® Account January 1, 2017         $31,282.14
              NFB-Newsline® Account January 31, 2017       $28,967.10

Division/Committee/Chapter reports:
Valkema reported:  Broward Chapter:  I will be attending March meeting for elections.

Martinez reported: Daytona Beach Chapter: The chapter received the news that Peter Casullo past away, and services will be Wednesday.  Peter served as vice president of the chapter. Please keep the family, friends, and the chapter in your thoughts.
State Wide Chapter: The chapter held elections and now has a complete board.  I look forward in working with the new additions to the board and appreciate the previous board.
Scholarship Committee: The 2018 student scholarship is now available. We have sent this to the list serve, posted on Facebook and Twitter, and is on Please share with everyone who qualifies.

Fundraising Committee: Since our last meeting the tickets have been ordered and sent out to all the presidents. We discussed the fundraiser on the president’s call earlier this month. I look forward to seeing the end results.

Kilby reported:  Tampa Chapter: The chapter will be holding elections on this upcoming Saturday.
NFB 411:  We will be holding a special NFB411 call on NAC with Gary Wunder. Details are still in process.
Communications Committee: The committee will be meeting on this upcoming Tuesday and will start strategizing how to advertise our state convention, Bell, and all the other things we have approaching.
State Convention: The hosting chapters are working hard on making this the best convention ever. We, as a board need to decide if we are assisting with breakfast or lunch, so we can advertise to help with registration.

Young reported:  The Tallahassee Chapter is busy planning out Yard Sale in April to assist our members to State and National conventions.   We expect to have 6-8 members attend the state convention this year. 

The Jacksonville Chapter had a special election to fill the two vacant Board positions.  The had a successful bowling tournament with a total of 8 teams and a sponsor that paid for all trophies, ribbons with medals attached for all participants, and the cost of the bowling fees.  They are planning 3 fundraisers this year including a yard sale, pancake breakfast and Mother’s Day flower bouquet.  They have established several working committees including transportation, fundraising, events, and senior concerns.
The next Breaking Newsletter when out February 2nd and was received very well.  Our next Newsletter will be ready to publish April 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: Polk Chapter:   Joe and Kitty are doing well and so is the Polk Chapter. The chapter’s Pancake Breakfast fundraiser is scheduled for next month.
FLAGDU:  They are working with the national division regarding the issue of emotional support animals which have no training and may not have proper vaccinations.
Event Committee:  Regarding this year’s convention, please call in Wednesday at 8:00 PM for the Events Committee meeting for more details and to contribute ideas.
Senior Committee:  Our next meeting will be Thursday, March 1st, at 8:00 PM.

Saffold reported: Palm Beach Chapter: After our elections last month, we are ready to rock and roll! This month we had a guest speaker from Care Plus. A few members including myself, attended our Transportation Disadvantage Legislative Awareness day in Tallahassee. Next month one of our guest speakers will be Avita Morgan who will provide more information on fitness and health. On March 24th, we will be having our chapter engagement activity at Tropicana Bowling Lanes to build membership. As we prepare for both conventions, we will be selling tickets for our spaghetti dinner.
Empowerment Committee: We will have a meeting Monday February and 26th at 8 pm to discuss Black History Month and to plan for state convention.

Hernandez reported:  Miami-Dade Chapter: The Chapter has started the “Worlds Famous Chocolate” fundraiser and will have a “Walk in the Park” event.  The county has proclaimed that June 6th is “Miami-Dade Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, Walk in the Park” Day.
The park is to be announced as we work with Parks and Recreation officials to locate a park in the southern part of the county.  We have started preparations for our State Convention and 15 members have stated that they are traveling to Tampa.  Other members are not sure if they will participate but will let the chapter know by the next meeting.  We are anticipating at least 20 members to travel to State Convention.  The chapter is looking for fundraising ideas to have more participation for the National Convention.  We are growing steadily, and meeting are well attended.
Treasure Coast Chapter:  The chapter is going through some changes and I will be traveling to their chapter meeting in March.  Elections will be held on the March meeting.

Tate reported: Melbourne Chapter: Arlene Naulty was elected to fill the open board position; four members signed up to attend state convention; five members signed up for National Convention, of which 3 are first timers; still trying to find a new meeting place.
Deaf/Blind Division: Held elections on Feb. 13th: Brian Norton-1st VP; Brooke Evans-2nd VP: Joe Naulty-Treasurer; Julia Savage-Board member. Working on DB Seminar and speakers. Next meeting: Tuesday, March 13th.

Legislation Committee: Working on plan of action with Senate and passage of H. R. 620 in House, considering NAC and all its implications. Discussed Washington Seminar and performance of all teams attending; made suggestions on how to improve on vetting and selection process. Discussed pre-Seminar workshops for more practice, especially for first timers. Will meet on Tuesday, March 20th.
Book Club: Lively discussion on February speech, The Parliament of Man. Smaller turn-out for second meeting, but all attending enjoy the discussion and selection of speeches. Hope to expand interest across affiliate. Speech selection will be around March 14th. Next meeting: Thursday, March 22nd.

Fernandez reported: FABS - The student committee will hopefully come up with an idea for a workshop at state convention this upcoming week.
Gainesville Chapter is going through an issue with membership participation. Judy has invited me to join in a conference call with the board before elections, so we can try to figure out how to better motivate and bring more participants to the chapter.

Action items:
State convention:
1. Assistance for members Martinez motion to award one room for the state convention to all chapters; second by Tate.  Approved by all and passed.

2. We discussed if we would provide any meals; breakfast or lunch during the convention.  We will get more information from the hotel on pricing before we decide.

3. We discussed if we will have a scholarship breakfast, secretary/treasurer luncheon, presidents breakfast and/or nomination committee breakfast?  Martinez motioned that we have a breakfast for the scholarship winners; second by Mills-Hicks.   Approved by all and passed.  We will finalize plans for the other events next month.

National is asking us to connect contact data on all members to add to our data base.  We will need chapters to send member information when they send in their dues the Gloria.

We are one of the National Convention host chapters.  The Host committee has created several committees and we Hospitality and information table. Camille volunteered for special events.

We discussed the quote for 2019 State Convention at Embassy Suites Boca Raton.  Denise will get items clarified.  Gloria moved that we investigate questionable items and vote via email allowing 24 hours for members to respond; second by Paul.  Approved by all and passed.

The National office has developed a Code of conduct for all leaders to agree to and sign.  Kilby motioned that we accept the Code of Conduct; second by Martinez.  Approved by all and passed.

Old business
We discussed transferring monies from the investment account to the operations account to cover convention expenses.  Sylvia moved that we find out about the $15,000 donation before we vote on monies to be transfer from investment account to operations account to cover state convention expenses and vote at the next meeting; second by Tate.  Approved and passed.

New business
Hernandez registered the affiliate for the Publix Cooperate donations account.  We are hoping to use these monies to provide the student scholarships.  We will ask for $5000.  Sylvia and Jorge will work together to complete.

Kimberley Banks would like to present the Bell Program to the board and answer any questions.  The program is scheduled for July 9-20th, 2018.  Meeting set for Wednesday, March 7th at 7pm.

Our next board meeting will be 3/25/18.
Paul made a motion that the meeting be adjourned; second by Jorge.  Approved by all and passed.

Respectfully submitted by Sylvia Young, NFBF Secretary