February 16, 2003, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Mid-Year Board Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Gray at 1:55PM at the Westin Hotel on February 16, 2003.

Roll call was taken by Secretary Donna Seliger. All Officers and Directors were present, as well as, Mr. Charlie Crawford, Mr. Jim Olsen, Ms. Terry Pacheco, Ms. Penny Reeder and Ms. Cynthia Towers.

A number of guests were present who introduced themselves.

Item 4 - Motion 1: Mr. Edwards moved to adopt the agenda for the board meeting. The motion carried.

Item 5 - Motion 2: Ms. Schmitt moved to adopt the fall board meeting minutes. The motion carried.

Item 6 - Ms. Ruschival presented an overview of convention bids for future years. During the past year, she has had contacts from 26 different cities.

Site inspections completed without bid presentation at this time: St. Louis, Missouri; Rochester, New York and Fort Worth, Texas. Kansas City has not been inspected, but has sent a bid for the 2011 convention. Bids will be presented for 2005 from Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. For the 2007 bid Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana and Minneapolis, Minnesota are in competition. Orlando, Florida will present a bid for the 2008 convention.

Motion 3: Ms. Ruschival moved that bids be selected provisionally based on the following: That each bid selected be site inspected by both the Site Selection Coordinator and the Convention Coordinator and That it be clearly understood that should ACB and the facilities involved be unable to reach agreement on remaining issues pertinent to the bid, the site in question will receive no further consideration and next bid in order will be accepted. The motion carried.

Item 7 - ACBES Report presented by Mr. Edwards, chair. $361,000 in profit was received in 2002. The amount ACB is expected to receive in 2003 will be $500,000, which is $100,000 less than previously anticipated.

Motion 4: Ms. Christensen moved to accept the ACBES report. The motion carried.

Item 8 - Treasurer’s Report by Ms. Bazyn who reported the following estimated figures for the year ending 2002:

Total Revenue $ 919,298
Expenses $1,365,650
Net negative $ (446,352).

An audit is needed and Price Waterhouse has submitted a bid of $10,700 for ACB and 24,000 for ACBES. Mr. Edwards stated that the ACBES board agreed to Price Waterhouse at the current cost.

Motion 5: Ms. Bazyn moved to accept the audit bid from Price Waterhouse. The motion carried.

Motion 6: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the treasurer’s report. The motion carried.

Item 9 - Budget Committee Report: Mr. Charlson and Mr. Crawford.

At the request of Ms. Ruschival, President Gray read the Budget Notes in brief mainly for the benefit of the audience.

Mr. Charlson, chair of the Budget Committee, explained the composition of the proposed budget. First, he reviewed the revenue side of the proposed budget.

Motion 7: Ms. Ruschival moved to reduce the expected convention revenue from $10,000 to zero. The motion carried.

Motion 8: Mr. Edwards moved to reflect the anticipated $60,000 in grants on the revenue side and correspond it on the expense side. The motion failed.

Motion 9: Mr. Miller moved that the legacies and bequests be increased from $18,000 to $28,000 on the revenue side. The motion carried.

2002 budgeted Revenue $1,460,900
Actual Receipts (11 months) $ 787,796.50
Difference $ 673,103.50
Proposed Revenue $1,329,683.33

Motion 10: Ms. Christensen moved to adopt the revenue side of the budget. The motion carried with one dissenting vote.

Next Mr. Charlson reviewed the expense side of the proposed budget.

When reviewing the insurance, Mr. Edwards read a letter concerning additional insurance coverage.

Motion 11: Mr. Edwards moved to have ACBES cover the expense of the violence in work place coverage and ACB to cover the expense of the internet insurance coverage. ACB’s cost would be $5,693 and ACBES would pay $5,103. The total for both coverages would be $10,796 with an increase of $193. On a roll call vote the vote was nine to six in favor. Those voting for were: Those voting in favor were: Mr. Beatty, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Keith, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger and Mr. Sheehan. Those opposed were: Mr. Annunzio, Ms. Bazyn, Ms. Christensen, Mr. Gray, Mr. Miller and Mr. Speicher.

Motion 12: Mr. Gray moved to purchase the two additional insurance coverages. The motion carried.

Motion 13: Mr. Gray moved to increase the History Committee budgeted funding from $6,500 to $9,000 in order to meet the request of the History Committee to handle the situation as it has developed; and reflect that those costs that were obligated and incurred prior to December 31, 2003 are to be recognized on the books of 2002. The motion carried.

Mr. Hodge reported the estimated cost per copy would be $43.95 for hard cover and $25 for paperback if ordered through the ACB web site. The History Committee is attempting to have Braille and cassette versions available as soon as possible.

Motion 14: Mr. Edwards moved to reduce the Floyd Qualls Scholarships from eight to four. This would reduce the cost from $20,000 to $10,000. The motion carried with one dissenting vote from Mr. Speicher.

Mr. Charlson reported the Total expenses to be: 2002 budgeted $1,429,147.00 2003 budgeted (prior to adjustments) $1,324,322.00 Proposed spending $1,344,902.61 Planned receipts $1,344,673.33 Balance ($ 219.28)

Motion 15: Dr. Bradley moved to eliminate the Board per diem for the remainder of the year. On a roll call vote, the vote was eight in favor and seven against. Those in favor were: Mr. Beatty, Dr. Bradley, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Speicher. Those opposed were: Mr. Annunzio, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Pomerantz and Ms. Ruschival.

Motion 16: Mr. Edwards moved that an item be added to the expenditure side of the budget in the amount of $5,000 called Board designated reserve. The motion failed with seven in favor, seven against and one abstention. Mr. Charlson, acting as chair, broke the tie by voting no. Those voting in favor were: Mr. Beatty, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Miller, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Speicher. Those opposed were: Mr. Annunzio, Ms. Bazyn, Dr. Bradley, Ms. Christensen, Mr. Gray, Ms. Keith, and Mr. Pomerantz. Ms. Seliger abstained.

Motion 17: Mr. Edwards moved that the expense side of the budget be adopted with the exception of personnel items to be discussed during executive session. The motion carried with one dissenting vote by Mr. Speicher.

Motion 18: Dr. Bradley moved to suspend the prior motion which established a $75,000 ceiling and that any additional bequests over $28,000 be placed in the Board designated reserves in 2003. The motion failed.

Item 10 - Ms. Sue Ammeter, chair of the Membership Committee, reported to the Board. She said the committee will compile the ideas suggested during the Presidents’ Meeting.

Motion 19: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the Membership Committee report. The motion carried.

Motion 20: Ms. Bazyn moved to recess. The motion carried and the meeting recessed at 7:15PM.

In the absence of President Gray, First Vice President Speicher called the meeting to order at 8:20am on Monday, February 17, 2003.

Roll call was taken by the secretary and all Officers and Directors were present except President Gray.

Item 11 - Ms. Cynthia Towers reported to the Board from the Reasonable Guideline Committee.

Motion 21: Mr. Charlson moved the Board suspend consideration of this document until a Board conference call can be arranged prior to March 15th. The motion carried.

Ms. Bazyn agreed make arrangements for the Board conference call to discuss the Reasonable Accommodations Guidelines.

Motion 22: Mr. Charlson moved to enter into executive session. The motion carried and the meeting began at 8:20am.

President Gray resumed the Board meeting at 9:10am. He then reported the results of the executive session, which pertained to personnel matters.

Motion 23: Ms. Bazyn moved to adopt the budget as presented to the board. The motion carried.

Item 15 – Ms. Ruschival presented the convention site bids for the years 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Reno, Nevada bid. Ms. Mary Kay Altenberg. Reno Hilton Hotel. Everything would be under one roof. There are 2,000 guest rooms and 250,000 square feet of meeting space. Free airport shuttle. Ten restaurants in the hotel. The confirmed rate of $83 for 2005. In-house A/V equipment. A confirmed rate of $92 for triples and quads. Just installed TVs with internet access.

Ms. Ellen Casey of the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. The overflow would be The Crown Plaza next door. The dates would be July 2 through 9, 2005. A $75 room rate quoted. They are working to waive meeting room costs. The airport is ten minutes away. There is no guest laundry. The hotel has 775 rooms. There are several restaurants within walking distance.

Mr. Bill Tobin from the Las Vegas Riviera presented the third bid. The Riviera has 2,100 rooms and 187 suites, six showrooms and seven restaurants. The dates offered are June 27 through July 11, 2005. There is a 150,000 square foot convention center. Special commitments: Two one-bedroom presidential suites, Twelve one-bedroom suites on an upgraded status at the convention room rate and twenty additional one-bedroom suites for $158 per night, ten staff rooms at the rate of $65 per night. Also, two complimentary limo transfers to and from the airport. The Riviera has offered to provide door prizes to ACB. They will waive exhibit hall rental fees. The Convention rates will go from June 24 to July 13, 2005 for a rate of $77 and eliminate the $3 energy charge. Cash participation, allotted $2 per room per night and estimated the total to be in the range of $10,000.

Motion 24: Ms. Bazyn moved to accept the Las Vegas Riviera bid first. The motion carried.

Motion 25: Ms. Bazyn moved that we accept Reno as number two bid. On a roll call vote, those for was seven and five against with two abstaining. Those voting for were: Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen, Mr. Miller, Ms. Schmitt and Mr. Sheehan. Those opposed were: Mr. Annunzio, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Gray, Ms. Keith and Mr. Pomerantz. Those who abstained were: Ms. Seliger and Mr. Speicher.

2007 Minneapolis Hyatt Regency and Millenium Hotels. Ms. Julie Witted from the Hyatt presented the bid. The Hyatt has a large meeting area and will commit up to 500 guest rooms. Room rate will be $86 per night and if the contract is signed within 45 days, the rate will be reduced to $81. The Hyatt Regency will rebate $2.00 per room back to ACB. The Millenium Is offering $84 per night.

Mia from The Hilton in New Orleans discussed the 2007 bid next. The hotel has a total of 1600 rooms and 72 suites. There is one restaurant and two lounges on site. The room rate offered is $85 commissionable for single or double, $95 for triple and $105 for quad. The Cab ride from the airport is $30 one way.

Ms. Jennifer Faller presented the bid from the Galthouse Hotel in Louisville for 2007. Room rates would be $79 per night for single or double and $89 for triple or quad. The hotel is currently under renovation. The bid includes one two-bedroom suite, two two-bedroom suites and four parlor suites at a reduced rate plus fifty rooms in the East Tower for pre-convention meetings and cite visits. If 5,000 room nights are booked the hotel will award to ACB an amount of $10,000.

The 2008 bid was presented by Ms. Linda Camp of the Rosen Center Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The hotel has over 1,300 guest rooms. There are three restaurants on site. The I-Ride costs $2 per day and it goes up and down International Drive. Complimentary transportation to Sea World and Universal Studios will be available. The room rate would be $85 per night. The shuttle from the airport is $25 round trip and cab is $35 one way.

Motion 26: Dr. Bradley moved that Minneapolis be the first choice for 2007. The Motion carried.

Motion 27: Dr. Bradley moved for New Orleans to be second choice. The motion failed.

Motion 28: Ms. Bazyn moved that the Galthouse in Louisville be the second choice. The motion carried.

Ms. Ruschival reported that she has a bid from the Kansas City Marriott for a room rate of $89 per night for 2011. She has not cite inspected the property.

President Gray stated that due to time constraint, the National Office will be asked to submit written reports to the Board. Mr. Hodge, as chair of the BOP, was asked to submit a written report also. Items omitted on the agenda will be discussed during a conference call in the next two weeks.

Item 16 – Fund Raising Report: Mr. Dodge Fielding. There are four donation sources which he outlines: A corporate program in the Washington, DC area with ten to twelve major companies. A reception would be held with invitations going out to around 300 companies. Product branding with three products. Pooled income program. Affiliate survey. Ideas for affiliate fund raising will hopefully come from the survey.

Copies of the affiliate survey will be sent via e-mail with hard copies going out later in the week.

Mr. Annunzio announced he will post the Resource Development Committee report to Board list.

President Gray stated that the budget centers issue will also be discussed on the conference call. Motio

n 29: Ms. Bazyn moved to adjourn the mid-year board meeting. The motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 12:10PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger