July 11, 2009, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Post Convention Board of Directors Meeting
July 11, 2009

The Post Convention meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the blind held on July 11, 2009 at the Rosen Center Hotel in Orlando, Florida, began at 10:00 a.m.

Present at the call of the roll were Pomerantz, Charlson, Dillon, Lieberg, Godino, Campbell, Colley, Farrow, Garrett, Keith, Sheehan, Trott, and Vloedman. Not present at the call of the roll were Gray, Thom, Edwards and Brunson. Pomerantz indicated some not present might be working on resolution prioritization. After going around the room where approximately fifteen people introduced themselves, Lieberg called the names of Board members not present at the initial call of the roll. All answered.

Edwards announced that Marcia dresser will be the representative from the Board of Publications to the ACB Board of Directors for the upcoming year.

Pomerantz reviewed the agenda; Lieberg moved acceptance, Godino seconded and the motion carried.

Convention Report, Carla Ruschival. After Ruschival thanked the hotel staff in general for the outstanding job they did for our convention, Kyla Moore, who served as our hotel contact, briefly addressed the Board. She indicated that she hoped we would return at some point in the future. Ruschival stressed the need for an interactive registration database to be in place by next year. Along with many other logistics of convention registration, such a database would solve the issue of ensuring the records are up-to-date with respect to lifetime memberships. During discussion, Edwards suggested that more copies of braille menus should be provided in the future. Ruschival agreed to look at this for future conventions. Godino indicated there were several instances when the braille on tickets was incorrect, and as a result, people arrived too late or too early for the ticketed event. Pomerantz indicated this was an issue of proofreading; Waters indicated he would look into this. Campbell asked if there is a method in place which would preclude online registrants from receiving the pre registration packet in the mail. Ruschival expressed a need to take a hard look at what sort of print we send out for pre-registration rather than sending 24 pages of print to everyone. This would require sufficient notice of any change to the membership, and an article in the Braille Forum might be the first step in that process. Pomerantz proposed that such article be written as soon as possible, once a new system has been identified by himself, Ruschival, Brunson and others. This article should be published no later than November, 2009. Gray expressed his disappointment in the way in which the matter regarding the United States Treasury representative was handled. He recommended that there be an overflow person whose responsibility would be to tie up loose ends. He requested that such a person or system be considered. Ruschival indicated that she gave specific deadlines for information and space designation, and in some cases, she received nothing in response. Edwards suggested that the Board of Publications might be able to assist those who wish to participate in the convention but express that desire after the program deadline; he suggested that the Convention Committee or staff could make the BOP aware of the presence of any such individuals, and the BOP could follow-up by publishing relevant information in the convention newspaper. Charlson reported that the NUBS Evaluation groups were extremely well attended, as were all focus groups related to NUBS. Charlson also indicated that she heard from some attendees that the convention is too long, and suggested we look at ways to cut back in the future. Campbell expressed appreciation for the amount of downloadable materials for use by attendees, and Edwards expressed appreciation to Marcia Dresser and her team for getting the Convention Ear up and running. Dillon suggested that space be made available on our registration forms for emergency contact information. Ruschival agreed and will take this recommendation to her committee. Edwards moved and Dillon seconded acceptance of this report and the motion carried.

Membership Committee, Ardis Bayzin. . The Committee established a sub committee to work on developing the Idaho affiliate. However, it has not been possible to identify any individuals interested in taking a leadership role in Idaho. After discussion, Pomerantz asked that Colley work with the Membership Committee, perhaps involving others interested in developing an Idaho affiliate, to focus on growth in Idaho. Pomerantz requested that Colley be prepared to give a progress report at the Fall Board Meeting. Edwards moved acceptance of this report, Thom seconded and the motion carried.

Budget Committee, 2010. Godino, Colley and Garrett were elected to serve on the 2010 Budget Committee. The Committee will have a proposed budget for Board review by or just after Thanksgiving.

Resolutions Prioritization, Judy Jackson. Resolutions considered by the convention were prioritized as follows:

0901, Quiet cars, priority 1;

0904, iPhones, priority 1;

0905, insulin pumps, priority 2;

0906, healthcare reform, priority 1;

0907, vehicle donation, priority 1;

0908, shared spaces, priority 2;

0909, video accessibility, priority 1;

0911, native instruments, priority 3;

0913, national parks, priority 2;

0914, distance learning, priority 2;

0915, DOJ, priority 2;

0916, Kindle II, priority 1;

0918, mopix, priority 1;

0919, schools for the blind, priority 1;

0920, talking books, priority 1;

0921, teacher prep programs, priority 2;

0922, 23 and 24, expressions of appreciation, each is a priority 1.

Jackson indicated she would get the schools for the blind resolution to national office staff in the coming week, and would have all resolutions to staff within ten to fifteen days of this date. Gray moved adoption, Edwards seconded and the motion carried.

Life membership fund. In 2007, a resolution was passed stating that the money received from lifetime memberships was to be put into a fund until it exceeded $50,000 at which time a fund to support the Braille Forum would be established. Godino moved and Garrett seconded that $50,000 from the lifetime membership fund be designated to establish an endowment for the Braille Forum, and that the remainder be transferred from restricted to unrestricted funds. Gray requested that Brunson send a copy of the 2007 resolution to the Board. After discussion, the Board agreed by consensus that more information was needed before any decision could be made regarding these funds. Lieberg, Ruschival Dresser and Brunson were asked to form a working group to formulate 2 proposals for the fall board meeting, the first dealing with the disposition of 2009-2010 lifetime membership funds, and then a long range plan beyond 2010 for such disposition. It is hoped that an over-all model for use of these funds will be developed which will be flexible enough to meet the needs as they change. Pomerantz asked Lieberg to convene this working group before the Fall meeting.

Leadership Training. Campbell raised the idea of conducting leadership training at future conventions. Godino reported that the Northeastern Leadership Training Conference is now being planned. Ruschival suggested that all leadership training be open to ACB members. More discussion will be held at the Fall Board meeting.

Board Training at the Fall meeting. There will be an afternoon training session at the Fall Board meeting. Topics could include obligations of a 501C3, what is fiduciary responsibility, portrayal on charitable web sites, etc. Also there should be training on the upcoming Board packet and its use. Training will be done on September 11, 2 to 5 PM. The Board will then meet Saturday into Sunday to conduct its business.

Transition of youth from nabs to other affiliates. Godino will discuss with the NABS President and others. Ruschival requested we look seriously at ways to bring high school students into NABS. She felt that activities of the YAC and Recreation Zone could be useful in bringing younger members along. Any Board members interested in working on this issue should contact Brunson; she and Eric Bridges will coordinate discussions to determine the best way to proceed.

Raffle Report, David Trott. 283 tickets were sold, for a total of $14,150.00. This represents the highest sales figures to date for this raffle. Trott suggested that more effort should be expended on pre convention sales. Pomerantz thanked Trott for his hard work on the Resource Development Committee, and the Board showed its appreciation by applause. Gray moved acceptance and Campbell seconded; the motion carried.

Officer Liaison Reports. Each officer reported that their committees are working well, and many committees played a substantial role in this year’s convention program.

Otis Stevens, chare of the Bylaws Committee, will be facilitating a work group to determine which committees can be removed from Bylaw 6. Campbell and Thom expressed an interest to work on this issue; Pomerantz will communicate this to Stevens.

Lieberg moved and Godino seconded adjournment. Edwards thanked the Board for its cooperation over the past year, and expressed his confidence in Dresser as the BOP liaison to the Board of Directors.

The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Marlaina Lieberg
Submitted August 18, 2009
Approved September 12, 2009