February 15 & 16, 2004, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Mid-Year Board Meeting
February 15-16, 2004

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Gray in the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel at 1:40pm Central Standard Time.

President Gray asked all guests to introduce themselves.

The secretary was asked to take roll call of the Board. All Officers and Directors were present with the exception of Ms. Christensen and Mr. Speicher, both of whom had resigned prior to the meeting.

Item 4: President Gray reviewed the agenda and added three items.

Motion 1: Mr. Annunzio moved to adopt agenda as amended. The motion carried on a voice vote.

A brief report was given by President Gray. He praised Ms. Laura Oftedahl for the work on fund raising and grants she is writing for ACB.

Mr. Dave Williams has recently been appointed as Executive Director of ACB Radio. He is working to get everything up and running again and to make Spanish available on the radio.

Item 5: Fill vacancies of board members who have resigned.

Motion 2: Mr. Edwards moved to elect Mr. Pomerantz by acclimation to the position of second Vice President. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 3: Ms. Cynthia Towers and Ms. Cindy Burgett were nominated to fill the seat vacated by Ms. Christensen. On a roll call vote, Ms. Towers was elected by nine to four. Those voting in favor of Ms. Towers were: Mr. Annunzio, Dr. Bradley, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger and Mr. Sheehan. Those voting for Ms. Burgett were: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson and Mr. Edwards.

Ms. Seliger nominated Mr. David Trott and Mr. Edwards nominated Ms. Becky Floyd to fill the remaining position. On a roll call vote, Mr. Trott received eight votes and Ms. Floyd received seven. Those voting for Mr. Trott were: Mr. Annunzio, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Towers and Mr. Gray. Those voting for Ms. Floyd were: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller and Mr. Sheehan.

Motion 4: Mr. Pomerantz moved to approve the fall Board meeting minutes. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 5: Mr. Beatty moved to approve the November 25, 2003 minutes. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 7: A Discussion concerning disbursement of minutes to the membership. Motion 6: Ms. Ruschival moved that complete sets of minutes of open meetings of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind shall be distributed to members upon written request to the secretary in the preferred format of the individual making the request. A fair and reasonable fee may be set to cover the cost of such distribution. The motion carried on a voice vote.

A further discussion concerning the reporting of “actions” taken by the Board was held as to whether in open meetings or executive sessions.

Ms. Seliger will write an article for the Braille Forum pertaining to distribution of minutes including the above motion.

Item 8: Membership report, Ms. M. J. Schmitt reported in the absence of Ms. Sue Ammeter. The committee members divided the country and each member will call affiliate presidents to see how they are doing. She reported that the Four Corners Conference will meet in Salt Lake City September 10-12, 2004.

Motion 7: Mr. Annunzio moved to accept the membership committee report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The meeting was recessed at 3:30 pm so that the Board could conduct an executive session.

Upon returning to the open business meeting at 5:00pm, President Gray reported that the executive session was held to discuss the results of the Search Committee. An Executive Director was chosen and we can now enter into negotiations with the candidate, however, he was not able to disclose the name yet.

Item 10: RSVA Issue. Ms. Brunson. Senators Kennedy, Ensign and Gregg have gotten into the military food service contract issue on Federal properties. Two thirds of those facilities are now held by NISH contractors. Lindsay Lovelien.

Ms. Brunson asked the Board for assistance with the issue. She asked the Board to entertain a motion that the President write a letter expressing the intention of the Board’s support for the Randolph-Sheppard program and its continued support for the priority and its application specifically to military dining and its opposition to any effort to erode that priority in any manner.

Motion 8: Mr. Annunzio moved the above motion worded by Ms. Brunson. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 9: ACBES report by Mr. Paul Edwards, chair.

Motion 9: Mr. Edwards moved that the ACB Board of Directors go into recess to convene the ACBES membership meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Edwards asked for a nomination to replace Ms. Christensen on the ACBES Board for a one year term.

Mr. Miller placed the name of Ms. Carla Ruschival into nomination.

Ms. Bazyn nominated Mr. Brian Charlson.

Motion 1: Ms. M. J. Schmitt moved to close nominations. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

On a roll call vote, Ms. Ruschival received twelve votes and Mr. Charlson received three votes. Those voting for Ms. Ruschival were: Mr. Annunzio, Mr. Beatty, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Gray, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Towers and Mr. Trott. Those voting for Mr. Charlson were: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Charlson and Mr. Sheehan.

Motion 2: Mr. Pomerantz moved to adjourn the ACBES meeting and return to ACB Board of Directors meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 11: Treasurer’s report Ardis Bazyn

Ms. Bazyn reported the following:
Revenues $ 938,436
Expenditures $1,235,267
Expenditures over revenue $ (296,831)

Motion 10: Ms. Bazyn moved that Mr. Jim Olsen, CFO be authorized to approach Price Waterhouse for the 2003 audit. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 11: Mr. Charlson moved to authorize the CFO to expend up to an additional $90,000 from the board reserves to close out the books on the 2003 budget. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 12: Mr. Edwards moved the acceptance of the treasurer’s report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 12: budget committee report, Brian Charlson, Chair.

Mr. Charlson reviewed the proposed budget for 2004 with the Board of Directors.

Revenues for 2003 were $938,436
Proposed revenues for 2004 are $937,000
Expenses for 2003 were $1,235,267
Proposed budget for 2004 $1,000,037

Motion 13: Mr. Edwards moved to reconsider motion seven of the November 25, 2003 conference call board meeting. The motion carried with one dissenting vote.

Motion 7 of November 25, 2003, “Mr. Edwards moved that the Board instruct the Budget Committee to prepare a budget on the assumption that we will produce ten issues of the Braille Forum next year. On a voice vote, the motion carried.” The motion failed on a roll call vote of 6 in favor and 9 opposed. Those voting in favor were: Mr. Beatty, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Keith, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Schmitt and Ms. Towers. Those opposed were: Mr. Annunzio, Ms. Bazyn, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Miller, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Seliger, Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Trott.

Motion 14: Mr. Pomerantz moved to amend staff travel to the amount of $8,000. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 15: Mr. Edwards moved the adoption of the expense side of the budget.

Motion 16: Ms. Ruschival moved to table the motion until tomorrow morning, Monday, February 16. On a roll call vote, the motion carried with eight in favor and seven opposed. Those voting in favor were: Dr. Bradley, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Towers and Mr. Trott. Those opposed were: Mr. Annunzio, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Sheehan.

Motion 17: President Gray entertained a motion to recess until 8:00am on Monday. The motion carried on a voice vote. Meeting ended at 7:20pm.

Monday, February 16, 2004

President Chris Gray reconvened the ACB Board of Directors board meeting at 8:07am.

All guests were asked to introduction themselves.

The secretary was asked to take roll call of board. All officers and directors were present as well as Ms. Brunson, Mr. Olsen and Ms. Pacheco.

Motion 18: Mr. Pomerantz moved to rescind the previous motion to delete $1,665 from the expense side of the budget for staff travel. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Next, Mr. Charlson, chair of the Budget Committee, reviewed the revenue side of the budget.

The line item which now reads “board fundraising” will be changed to “board sponsored fundraising”.

The total Revenues anticipated for 2004 are $915.500.

Motion 19: Mr. Edwards moved that for next year’s budget that the ACB store income become a separate line item. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 20: Mr. Charlson moved to take the motion off the table from yesterday, February 15, 2004. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 21: Mr. Charlson moved to adopt the revenue side of the budget. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 22: Mr. Charlson moved to adopt the budget in aggregate. The motion carried on a roll call vote of ten in favor, four opposed and one absent. Mr. Trott asked to go on record as opposed to the deficit budget. Those voting in favor were: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Towers. Those opposed were: Dr. Bradley, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Seliger and Mr. Trott.

Motion 23: Mr. Miller moved that the Acting Executive Director to prepare a plan that would involve the dedication of a significant amount of additional staff time to work specifically on fund raising matters and fund raising. The plan is to be prepared within a month. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 24: Ms. Schmitt moved to use AIG Insurance Annuities for investment of matured CD’s. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 13: Office review committee report from President Gray. The committee has not done much in the past few months because the committee members have been working on other projects including the Executive Director search.

Mr. Pomerantz recommended that the Office Review Committee meet within the next thirty days to begin its work.

Item 15: Convention coordinator report from Ms. Cynthia towers. The General Sessions, exhibits and ACB café will be in close proximity to one another. Also, it is anticipated the Registration Office will be in the same area.

The room rate is $85 with tax. There is a 28 percent tax and gratuity charge for meal functions.

Motion 25: Mr. Charlson moved to accept the report from Ms. Towers. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 14: National Office Report, Ms. Melanie Brunson. Ms. Sharon Lovering is now the Acting Editor of the Braille forum.

The California Council of the Blind has contacted Ms. Lainey Feingold to help with negotiations on the point of sale credit card machines to make them accessible.

Motion 26: Mr. Charlson moved that ACB sign a retainer with Ms. Feingold and Ms. Dardarian’s law firm for the purpose of making accessible point of sale machines. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The topic of moving the National Office to another location was discussed due to the building undergoing major renovation which has inconvenienced the ACB staff substantially. Ms. Brunson will check the lease for the ending date which she believes is 2007, and other information and report back to the Board in July.

Copies of the ACB history, “People of Vision”, are now available in Braille and on cassette.

Ms. Brunson asked for consensus from the Board for ACB to enter into a contract with Ms. Terry Susan Hartman who plans to bring corporations to the ACB convention to conduct focus groups on household items that are not now accessible.

Ms. Terry Pacheco announced that the Fellowship Committee has received applications sent electronically. Six hard copies have been returned.

Ms. Pacheco reported that the Sight and Sound committee listserv is very positive and has seen a lot of growth.

Motion 27: Ms. Towers moved to accept the National Office Report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 28: Mr. Pomerantz moved to accept the fundraising update. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 16: Board Of Publications report, Mr. Mike Duke. He reported that the BOP will meet on March 1, 2004 via conference call.

Motion 29: Ms. Keith moved to accept the BOP report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 18: RSVA donation. The Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America donated $5,000 to ACB to be used to offset expenses of the Legislative Seminar. A discussion was held as to how best to spend the money.

Motion 30: Ms. Bazyn moved to offset the cost of printing materials and then room charges if it appears that there are sufficient funds. The motion carried on a voice vote.

President Gray will write a brief report on the transportation survey and post it to the board list in seven to ten days.

Motion 31: Mr. Pomerantz moved to adjourn. The motion carried and the meeting ended at 12:05pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary