Chair Denise Colley called the meeting to order. Board members present:
Denise Colley Chair, Sharon Lovering, Tom Mitchell, Doug Powell and Judy Wilkinson; Ron Brooks was absent.
Ex Officio members Kim Charlson, Carla Ruschival and Bob Hachey were present; Nolan Crabb was absent.
Contractor Annette Carter was present; Larry Turnbull was absent.
Guests: Sue Ammeter, Rob Hill and Ken Stewart
Tom moved and Judy seconded a motion to accept the agenda. Unanimous.
Doug moved and Judy seconded a motion to adopt the corrected minutes from the meeting of November 9, 2015. Unanimous.
Judy asked for clarification of what to do with approved minutes. Generally Annette will make the corrections since she posts the minutes. She should send a copy to Sharon for her files.
Comments from Guests
Ken once again commended the BOP for making its meetings open and wondered what it could do to get other groups to do the same. Perhaps have a BOP member write a brief Form article; or have the BOP board representative bring the issue to the attention of the board.
Denise (working backwards) suggested since we have open meetings at the board’s suggestion we should report back that we are doing so. We could put something in an E-forum reporting we’re doing so but we can’t go further than that since we can’t tell others what to do.
Doug suggested the point would be stronger coming from a general member. Tom agreed but strongly stated a BOP member should not write such an article.
We strongly urged Ken to “go for it.” Bob added Ken would be perfect as a former BOP member. Sue urged our rep to report that we have an open meeting policy at midyear.
Rob Hill reported that BPI has open meetings, which has worked very well.
In response to Bob’s question to Kim and Carla as to appropriateness of reporting back to the board, Kim felt it was appropriate; Carla agreed.
Ken further suggested something on the Leadership list. Carla urged care in stating a number which holds open meetings as we can’t speak for all affiliates.
Discussion of Candidates Forum
Denise summarized we’ve been exploring changing date and time especially considering the move toward condensing the convention. Tuesday seems likely given the Nominating Committee report occurs on that day; we want to encourage candidates to declare as early in the week as possible. The time slot 4:15-5:30 has been suggested leaving that FIA Showcase time to set up.
Judy thought this time slot is the best we can do under the circumstances.
Bob asked and Denise confirmed the Convention Committee has okayed this proposal, but he is concerned that a number of business meetings are still going on. Doug agreed and proposed the 5:45 slot had fewer events (more recreational).
Carla reminded us that changes often involve other unforeseen consequences or other possible changes. She suggested FIA needs the space as early as possible. Denise said Janet Dickelman said we might use a different venue but we’d need internet access for streaming. Carla said that we stream some committee meetings and that we might block something.
Tom’s suggestion to move FIA to Thursday met with general disagreement; Denise said everyone may need to give something but there seems no need to suggest such a drastic change. Kim floated the idea of Wednesday, before the auction at 7. Carla reiterated that changing our slot will meet with a lot of pushback. Sue wondered why change at all? Maybe those who attend are the ones who want to be. Kim affirmed that in recent years more have listened in than were in the room. Carla pointed out that we don’t have nearly the number of events on Thursday as Monday or Tuesday. Judy asked what’s in the 4:15 slot, making her point again that it would be good not to have to go to all the caucuses but have people come to a single event where the candidates are. Bob suggested people could listen later, but Denise stated we want people to be able to ask live questions.
Carla stated more people came when the event wasn’t so much like a national candidates’ debate. Last year was better since not everyone had the same questions or all had to answer, but still the she feels attendance declined when this format was adopted. Denise suggested this was why we changed some things last year having questions in case we didn’t have audience questions immediately. Tom thought it was a mistake to begin with a BOP question not even seeking one from the audience first.
Doug brought us back to considering the 5:45 slot either Tuesday or Wednesday. Denise is concerned this comes up against dinner. Carla added that also this is a time slot for Tech sessions. She added committee streaming would be over making more internet-connected sites available. Give candidates a chance to make opening statements then have questions; who knows we might not need so many caucuses.
Judy suggested the Tuesday 5:45 slot is really best though not in the ballroom FIA needs. Kim suggested Wednesday before the auction might attract people as well as Tuesday people heading for FIA. Carla pointed out people go at 6 on Wednesday to check out auction items and eat dinner as well. Tuesday has other events in the evening. We all laughed when we realized Monday the 5:45 slot is Nominating Committee. Carla says given all she knows and having been convention coordinator, she’d go for the Tuesday 5:45 slot.
Doug moved and Judy seconded the motion to hold the candidates forum this year as an experiment for Tuesday in the 5:45 slot. Unanimous.
Denise asked that once we get this confirmed, what is the best way to advertise since California for one holds its caucus in that slot. Tom: [ACB] Braille Forum article; Doug: leadership list and ask Janet to let people know as well.
Doug commented on Kim’s comment that more people listen than are in the room; that in this age, people even listen from their hotel rooms so perhaps the numbers aren’t as embarrassing as might first appear. The viable question is are people getting the necessary information in order to vote. Kim thought perhaps a smaller room might make things look better since it wouldn’t be so obvious how many might be there.
*[Link to Sharon's Nutshell Report for November 2015 is at the end of these Minutes.]
No questions of Sharon. The only thing Sharon added to her report was that her birthday is Thursday (Jan 8) which led to Judy’s on Jan 21, Denise on Jan 24, and Kim’s and Brian’s back-to-back Brian same as Denise and Kim on Jan 25. We needed this important topic covered for light relief!
The lists have been quiet. His “black female” joke (with hints like likes to ride in trucks; and will be eating dinner out of your hand, not a lady of the evening but from The Humane Society) but some people just can’t take a joke! (More light relief!)
He mentioned working with Larry about some email lists and server issues: just the usual.
Working on Midyear, Audio Description Institute and scholarships, Annette asked Kim about Web Taskforce meeting. Kim answered lots of things are going on especially around website issues and this is not the venue.
Carla Social Networking
Numbers look great and continue to grow. Twitter page has 1,231 followers; FaceBook has 1,715 followers. Kelly continues to post things in a timely manner which get lots of interest.
Tom PR Committee
There is an article for the Forum urging affiliates to view and use the Blind Ability film; Sharon says it’s in the January issue. Tom commented he thought the auction went very well: especially some of the bidding wars.
Carla described the hurried work-arounds necessitated by the fact that because of illness, Larry in the end couldn’t attend. They didn’t lose signals so much because they didn’t broadcast on the Live Events (ironic given this was such an event) using only five channels.
Judy suggested before worrying about scheduling we determine who is attending and she added we had established last year we’d do the February meeting by phone. Denise and Doug are going, but we will hold our usual February meeting.
Denise asked if we have anything we need to bring before the Presidents’ meeting. Judy suggested we update about our transitioning to the cartridge. Doug wondered if people know we have an Editorial Policy Manual. Denise thought most wouldn’t be interested but will mention it as information. Doug thought we wouldn’t need much time but should mention a couple of things such as our inclusion of better diversity language. Carla thought perhaps a 15-minute slot to talk about policy manual, the candidates’ forum and the roll-over to the cartridge. All enthusiastically agreed.
Judy suggested we put off this discussion yet one more time so as to include Ron who has valuable input and missed a meeting where we discussed key issues such as the Preamble (especially given that once again, it is growing late.) The group agreed, and Doug indicated we probably have few remaining changes. Denise has three items which she feels can be dealt with quickly. Doug pointed out we’ve all had numerous chances to communicate by email. Denise still wants to add something about how do you announce you’re running for a position which may become open given other elections. We also no longer select our Board representative at conventions. Denise gave another plea for people to look at the latest proposed version.
Sharon asked we move the February meeting to the 8th because of the office move the last weekend in January; all agreed. Denise and Judy decided this would be a good excuse to get off the BRL call! Doug will be traveling but hopes to make it.
Tom moved and Doug seconded the motion to adjourn at 10:18 PM ET.
Judy Wilkinson, Secretary
Nutshell Report for November 2015