August 11, September 1, October 6 & October 12, 2004, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Fall Board Meeting Conference Call(s)
August 11, September 1, October 6 and October 12, 2004

President Gray brought the meeting to order at 8:10pm Central Daylight Time via conference call.

Roll call was taken by Secretary Donna Seliger. All officers and directors were present except Mr. Pomerantz. Ms. Brunson and Mr. Olsen were also on the call.

President Gray stated we should discuss the salary raises for staff, future meeting dates and other items.

Mr. Charlson, chair of the Budget Committee, discussed the recommendations presented to the Board. Pursuant to a resolution passed at the 2004 ACB convention mandating a 3.1 increase in salary for the staff in the Washington National Office he reviewed the Budget Committee’s recommendations for the staff salary increase.

1. Provide all members of the ACB Washington D.C. staff with the exception of the Executive Director with a 3.1% Cost Of Living Adjustment retroactive to January 1, 2004. In addition, authorize the Executive Director to expend up to $4,000.00 in additional funds to staff who, in the Executive Director’s professional judgment, have and continue to take on work loads beyond what should be expected of them. The disbursement of these additional funds shall be in the form of bonuses rather then an increase in base salary. Total Cost: $10,372.85

2. Provide all members of the ACB Washington D.C. staff with the exception of the Executive Director with a 3.1% Cost Of Living Adjustment retroactive to January 1, 2004. Total Cost: $6,372.85

3. Provide all members of the ACB Washington D.C. staff with the exception of the Executive Director with a 3.1% Cost Of Living Adjustment retroactive to July 1, 2004. In addition, authorize the Executive Director to expend up to $2,000.00 in additional funds to staff who, in the Executive Director’s professional judgment, have and continue to take on work loads beyond what should be expected of them. The disbursement of these additional funds shall be in the form of bonuses rather then an increase in base salary. Total Cost: $5,226.25

Motion 1: Mr. Charlson moved to accept the Budget Committee report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 2: Dr. Bradley moved that we accept the recommendation of the retroactive to July 1 with 3.1 percent and the full $4,000 to be at the discretion of Executive Director in terms of delivering as one-time bonuses which would bring the total to $7,226.25 amending original budget item three with $2,000 to $4,000 and $5,26.25 to $7,226.25. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously.

President Gray stated he would like to have additional meetings on September 1, October 6 and October 12th. The Board agreed by consensus.

A discussion was held as to who might replace Ms. Wilson as RSA Commissioner if Senator Kerry becomes President.

Motion 3: Mr. Charlson moved that the President appoint a committee a majority of which to be members of the ACB Board of Directors to be a search committee for state and federal appointees. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 4: Mr. Charlson moved that this board authorize the Resource Development Committee to acquire the thermometer key chains at the time at which they have a firm written commitment for 1,500 units and to purchase at that time the 2,500 minimum order. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

President Gray offered a provisional invitation to the board to meet in San Francisco for a retreat, the date to be decided later.

Motion 5: Ms. Schmitt moved to recess. The motion carried and the meeting ended at 10:10pm Central Daylight Time.

President Gray reconvened the meeting at 8:05pm Central Daylight Time on September 1, 2004 via conference call. He reviewed the agenda for the call.

Roll call was taken by secretary, Donna Seliger. All members were present except Ms. Bazyn and Mr. Beatty. Ms. Melanie Brunson and Ms. Terry Pacheco were also in attendance.

Ms. Brunson spoke first about the disability awards reception held in New York City she had attended that day. ACB presented an award to Mr. Bill Young from Florida. All the presentations will be on the AAPD website. She reported that 17 disability groups were represented. Mr. Wayne Evans will be presented with an award in Washington, DC perhaps around White Cane Safety Day.

Ms. Brunson further reported that a Mr. John Kelly will be employed at RFB&D to replace the current director.

Thirdly, she stated she had submitted a grant application that looks promising. This grant would help rewrite the pedestrian handbook and other projects.

Ms. Schmitt discussed a replacement nominee on the Committee for Purchase who currently works at the Lighthouse in Chicago. His name is Mr. Dan Lee. It was then learned that Mr. LeRoy Saunders may be interested in serving another term.

President Gray discussed a memo he had written concerning the budget tracking system. He also mentioned that the programs used in the Minneapolis Office are outdated and need to be updated. A version six of the current program would cost approximately $3,500.

Motion 6: Mr. Edwards moved that the President of ACB and the Chair of ACBES consult and develop a joint proposal that we can bring back to the Board at our next meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The Election of the three Budget Committee members for the 2005 year occurred next.

Motion 7: Ms. Ruschival nominated Mr. Charlson who was elected by acclimation.

Motion 8: Mr. Pomerantz nominated Ms. Ruschival.

Motion 9: Mr. Charlson nominated Ms. Bazyn. On a roll call vote Ms. Ruschival received nine votes and Ms. Bazyn received four votes with two members absent. Those voting for Ms. Bazyn were: Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Soule. Those voting for Ms. Ruschival were: Dr. Bradley, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Towers and Mr. Trott.

Motion 10: Mr. Miller nominated Ms. Bazyn.

Motion 11: Mr. Edwards nominated Mr. Sheehan. On a roll call vote, Ms. Bazyn received eight votes and Mr. Sheehan received five votes with two members absent. Those voting for Ms. Bazyn were: Dr. Bradley, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Soule and Towers. Those voting for Mr. Sheehan were: Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Trott.

The next election was of the Executive Committee. Election of the officers was followed by the directors’ selections.

Motion 12: Mr. Pomerantz nominated Ms. Schmitt who accepted the nomination and was elected by consensus of the officers.

Motion 13: Mr. Edwards nominated Ms. Seliger.

Motion 14: Ms. Seliger nominated Mr. Edwards. On a roll call of the officers, Mr. Edwards received three votes and Ms. Seliger two. Those voting for Mr. Edwards were: Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Schmitt and Ms. Seliger. Those voting for Ms. Seliger were: Mr. Edwards and Mr. Gray.

Motion 15: Dr. Bradley nominated Ms. Ruschival who declined.

Motion 16: Ms. Ruschival nominated Mr. Miller who was elected by acclamation.

Motion 17: Ms. Towers nominated Mr. Trott.

Motion 18: Mr. Charlson nominated Ms. Soule. On a roll call vote, the results were four votes for Ms. Soule and five votes for Mr. Trott. Those voting for Ms. Soule were: Mr. Charlson, Ms. Keith, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Soule. Those voting for Mr. Trott were: Dr. Bradley, Mr. Miller, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Towers and Mr. Trott.

Ms. Soule reported information she had researched concerning a retreat for the board. She is looking into a place in the St. Louis area that would be agreeable to the group.

President Gray and Ms. Seliger reported on the possibility of meeting with people in Des Moines pertaining to a board retreat.

Motion 19: Ms. Ruschival moved we have a day of training on Friday prior to the Board meeting in Las Vegas. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Brunson stated she had begun implementing suggestions made by the Office Review Committee. She also stated the staff was very appreciative of the salary increase mandated by resolution at the 2004 national convention.

President Gray will be out of the country for several days. During his absence, Ms. Schmitt, second vice president, will be in charge.

Motion 20: Ms. Seliger moved to recess. The motion carried and the meeting ended at 9:53pm Central Daylight Time.

President Gray convened the third conference call meeting on October 6, 2004 at 8:06pm Central Daylight Time.

Roll call was taken by the secretary. All members were present except Ms. Soule. Also on the call were Ms. Brunson, Mr. Olsen and Mr. Ralph Sanders.

President Gray began the meeting by discussing the direct mail project proposal. Mr. Wayne Modica from A.K.A. Direct spoke to the Board along with Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Sanders, who has been working on the direct mail project, spoke to the Board. He indicated he was impressed with the work A. K. A. Direct has done for other non-profit organizations.

President Gray stated that the original proposal sent to the Board from A. K. A. has been modified inasmuch as the list of names they were going to use is not possible.

Mr. Modica spoke to the group about his background and A. K. A. Direct. Several members asked questions of Mr. Modica. He then reviewed the proposal step by step.

At 9:40pm Central Daylight Time Mr. Modica and Mr. Sanders left the call.

Motion 21: Mr. Charlson moved that we enter into executive session with Mr. Olsen and Ms. Brunson present. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The board resumed open session at 10:20pm Central Daylight Time.

President Gray stated there were two motions passed during the executive session and they are as follows:

Motion 1: Mr. Charlson moved that we amend the current ACB budget to reflect an expenditure of approximately $23,000 to fund a test mailing through the contract we have been discussing with A.K.A. Direct and also to amend the budget to reflect an anticipated revenue equal to that expenditure. Also review it at the time we adopt next year’s budget. On a roll call vote all members voted in the affirmative with two members absent.

Motion 2: Mr. Edwards moved that this board choose three individuals to act as liaisons to this fund raising project who will jointly make recommendations to the board after the initial mailing. On a roll call vote, the motion carried seven to five and one abstention. Those voting in favor were: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Towers. Those opposed were: Dr. Bradley, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival and Mr. Trott. Ms. Seliger abstained.

The board decided to hold the final session of the fall board meeting on Tuesday, October 12th.

Motion 22: Mr. Pomerantz moved to recess. The motion carried and the meeting ended at 10:30pm Central Daylight Time.

President Gray called the final session to order via conference call on October 12, 2004 at 8:15pm Central Daylight Time.

Secretary Donna Seliger called the roll. All members were present except Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty and Ms. Towers. Also on the call were Ms. Brunson and Mr. Olsen.

President Gray reviewed the remaining items on the agenda.

The key chain thermometers ACB ordered have not been received from the company in China. Several affiliates are awaiting their arrival.

Ms. Schmitt discussed a raffle she is conducting. It will be the called the “12 days to St. Patrick’s Day Raffle” for ACB. It should net $2,900. The drawing will be held from March 6 through the 16, 2005.

Ms. Schmitt went on to talk about meeting Mr. Dan Lee who is a candidate for a position on Committee for Purchase. She also said Mr. Saunders has decided not to run for the Committee for Purchase.

The next item on the agenda, affiliates and media coverage was discussed. There was an unfortunate incident during the 2004 convention and the particular affiliate involved will follow guidelines set forth by the convention in the future.

Motion 23: Mr. Pomerantz moved that the Convention Committee in consultation with the Public Relations Committee develop a guideline regarding convention related publicity to be presented to the Board of Directors at the mid-year board meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Olsen reported to the board concerning the time share which ACB has acquired through a donation. ACB has the time share from 2004 until 2025. The consensus of the board was to ask someone to look into the time share to find out about the surrounding area, transportation, etc.

Motion 24: Mr. Charlson moved that we accept the gift of the time share. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 25: Ms. Schmitt moved that in essence we accept the plan of having a scholarship raffle similar to the ones in the past in 2005 and assign it to the Resource Development Committee with the ticket price set at $50. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 26: Dr. Bradley moved to recess the board and enter the ACBES board meeting.

Mr. Edwards, Chair of ACBES, brought the meeting to order. He said we need to elect three members in even years. Expired terms are Mr. Miller, Ms. Schmitt and Mr. Saunders. The remaining members are Mr. Edwards, Ms. Ruschival and Mr. Michael Garrett.

Ms. Ruschival nominated the slate of expired members.

Motion 1: Mr. Charlson moved that nominations be closed and elect the slate unanimously. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Edwards reported that ACBES is slightly ahead of last year in revenue.

Motion 2: Dr. Bradley moved to accept the audits of the last two years. The motion carried.

Motion 3: Mr. Pomerantz moved to use PriceWaterhouseCoopers again this year to do the audit with the amendment that Mr. Olsen will pursue with PriceWaterhouse to provide audits in accessible format. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 4: Mr. Pomerantz moved to adjourn the ACBES meeting and return to the ACB board meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Brunson reported the dates for the Legislative Seminar and Presidents’ Meeting: February 19, 20, 21, 22, 2005.

Dr. Bradley announced that he has been chosen as the Houston, Texas Disability Advocate of the year and will be honored by the City Council on October 19th.

Ms. Brunson discussed the pre-convention program that Mr. Elton Moore Of Mississippi State University wants to do. This would involve some training of rehabilitation counselors. A committee from ACB will work on the project.

Mr. Edwards announced that the National Accreditation Council wants to have representatives at the convention to train some of our people to be on-sight reviewers.

Mr. Pomerantz said he wanted a letter on ACB letterhead to the Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas to invite him to speak at the 2005 ACB convention.

Ms. Soule reported that the Missouri Council of the Blind has filed suit against the Family Services Division because they are allegedly taking money from the blind pension fund.

Motion 27: Dr. Bradley moved to adjourn. The motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 10:00pm Central Daylight Time.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary