Mid Year Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind

Mid Year Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind
February 25, 2011

The February 25, 2011 meeting of the ACB Board of Directors, held at the Holiday Inn National Airport, Arlington, VA Began at 9:10 AM. Board members present were Mitch Pomerantz, Kim Charlson, Brenda Dillon, Marlaina Lieberg, Mike Godino, Christopher Gray, Ray Campbell, Berl Colley, Janet Dickelman, Marsha Farrow, Michael Garrett, George Holliday, Billie Jean Keith, Alan Peterson, David Trott and Jenine Stanley. Jeff Thom was excused due to a family emergency. Staff present were Melanie Brunson, Lane Waters, Eric Bridges and Dione Matthews.

Pomerantz reviewed the agenda for the meeting.
• Campbell moved and Charlson seconded a motion to approve the agenda and that motion carried.

• Dickelman moved and Trott seconded approval of the minutes of the January 11, 2011 teleconference Board Meeting as distributed, and that motion carried.

President's Report, Mitch Pomerantz.
Pomerantz shared that the new acting director of NLS is Ruth Scovill; this is unexpected news, and though she has been involved with the digital transition, she is new to many. Pomerantz will meet with her on March 1 to discuss building a fruitful relationship between ACB and NLS.

ACB Conference and Convention. The theme for the 2011 Conference and Convention is ACB in the Silver State, Golden Past Diamond Future. Each weekday session will begin with a 5 minute presentation from all living presidents. MJ Schmitt, Phyllis Burson and Michael Byington will present a panel on ACB's past; if Cathie Skivers is able to come, she will participate. Another panel on Tuesday will deal with our present, and on Wednesday, a panel discussing our future. Our banquet entertainment will be a fun ACB History trivia contest.
• Campbell moved and Farrow seconded approval of the President's Report and that motion carried.

Staff Reports.
Brooklyn Center Office, Lane Waters. The winter weather has been hard on our stores, causing several days where stores were shut down. This has a serious impact on profits.
In the Brooklyn Center office, all employees, including our newest employee, are up to speed and working as a team. Convention preparations are ongoing, and staff are working with DeQue to get convention information online.

Arlington, VA Office, Melanie Brunson. Vanda Pharmaceutical is providing sponsorship for the mid year meeting. Brunson gave details regarding events for the upcoming weekend.

Our contract with the Holiday Inn National Airport is up for renewal, and Brunson is interested in having comments regarding whether folks have other ideas or issues to be considered for future contracts.
The job description for the Development Director position is nearly complete, and she is hopeful that dissemination will begin soon.

The American Cancer Society has agreed after working with structured negotiations, to make its website more accessible and to provide many of its most requested pamphlets in alternative media.
Brunson is working to correct issues encountered by those who contribute to ACB via its website.
Brunson is still working on improving the database to ensure that more members receive communications including fundraising letters.
Brunson and Eric Bridges participated in a meeting with the Department of the Treasury regarding accessible currency. Treasury is proceeding with implementing regulations they proposed in the Federal Register. Treasury recognizes the need for a tactile feature, because new bills are being issued very soon, a decision must be made.

The Social Security Administration has asked ACB to partner with them to share positive feedback regarding receipt of notices in alternate formats. SSA is beginning to look at making its website more accessible, including legacy documents. They may reach out to the development community to develop a pdf to text converter. Board members expressed concerns about not receiving information in alternative formats. She encouraged us to contact Charlotte Lanvers, clanvers@dredf.org who is the attorney working on this issue. Brunson met with staff at the US Department of Education to discuss reasons why ACB's grant application regarding audio description was not accepted. ACB is filing a Freedom of Information request to review copies of applications that were funded.

Brunson handed out copies of the Editor's Report from Sharon Lovering

•Godino moved acceptance and garrett seconded, with the proviso that Bridges gives a report when he arrives. That motion carried.

Director of Advocacy, Eric Bridges. Bridges reported on the signing into law of the 21st Century Communications Accessibility Act, and the Pedestrian Safety act. ACB has been working with Sprint, Google and Microsoft regarding issues as set forth in Convention 2010 resolutions.

• Trott moved to ratify the 2011 budget in aggregate as presented by the ACB Controller; the motion carried with many seconds.

Treasurer's Report, Mike Godino.
Revenue: $60,249
Expenses: $91,283
Deficit -$29,234

•Lieberg moved and Holliday seconded acceptance of the Treasurer's Report and that motion carried.

Investment Committee, Mike Godino.
The Committee is meeting regularly and has a meeting scheduled in early March to bring recommendations to the Board at its next meeting. •Lieberg moved and Dillon seconded acceptance of this report and that motion carried.

Budget Committee Report, Mike Godino
The Committee is looking at options to establish an adequate means for managing cash flow. The budget Committee recommends that the Board of Directors establish a line of credit of $160,000 to $200,000 from Board Reserves; this money would be borrowed and paid back through our reserves account, or a line of credit could be established . This money would be controlled by the officers and the ACB Controller.
•Gray moved that the Board of Directors of ACB establish as a policy the creation of a fund taken from internal investments and savings and that this fund be designated for use in managing the cash flow of ACB to handle day-to-day operations; Lieberg seconded, and the motion carried.

•Lieberg moved to recess and convene Executive Session; Godino seconded this motion and at 11:55 AM., the board moved to executive session.

• At 1:40 PM, a motion was made, seconded and carried to reconvene the Board meeting in open session.

Pomerantz announced that during executive session, the board did the following:

• passed a motion to allocate a credit line of $100,000 to ACBES. During the first year, ACBES will repay ACB at an interest rate of 2.5%. Any moneys owed after one year will be paid to ACB at an interest rate of 5%. At the Pre Convention Board Meeting of the American Council of the Blind, ACBES will present a written plan detailing expansion plans for profit and revenue.

• Held a detailed discussion of the ACB investment policy including how funds are handled and how the day-to-day operating expenses are handled. No board action was taken on this point.

• Gray moved that the ACB Board of Directors adopt the policy governing the transfer of funds to or from ACB Investment Accounts, with suggested changes from the Board of Directors. Holiday seconded the motion and the motion carried.

• Dillon moved acceptance of the Budget Committee report; Campbell seconded and that motion carried.

Plan for disposition of lifetime membership funds, Marlaina Lieberg.
The task force recommended that these funds go toward development and enhancement of ACB's over-all web presence.
• Lieberg moved and Campbell seconded that funds from Life Memberships be designated for the over-all enhancement and development of web presence of the ACB subject to a review every two years by the ACB Board of Directors in consultation with the ACB Board of Publications, and the motion carried. The task force will be chaired by Lieberg, with Stanley, Holliday and Brunson serving as members.

Proposed policy on scholarship reimbursements and attendance requirements, Kim Charlson.
The Committee plans to update the manual used to do its work; this will begin after convention. The Committee recommends a reimbursement of upto $100 for roundtrip ground transportation expenses and/or mileage. If persons wish to drive, the cost of this would be reimbursed not to exceed the cost of airfare.

• Charlson moved and Garrett seconded a motion that the Board recommend that the scholarship committee adopt a policy that will address roundtrip ground transportation expenses to and from the airport of a maximum of $100, or mileage reimbursement at current federal rates not to exceed $100. This motion carried.

The Committee asked the Board for guidance regarding attendance of recipients at convention; the Board felt that given very few exceptions and all with proper documentation, recipients must attend convention to receive their scholarships.

The Committee asked for guidance on whether to give money to an alternate if the committee cannot locate the original winner for the second payment of the scholarship; the Board felt that in this case, the money should remain in the scholarship account and not be given to the alternate.
• Holliday moved with many seconds to accept this report, and that motion carried.

board of Publications Report, Jenine Stanley
Members are beginning to switch their subscriptions to email; approximately 60 have done so thus far. Based on recent actions taken by the ACB Board of Directors, the Braille Forum will be published Issues of the Braille Forum will be published as follows: February 2011, March 2011, April 2011, May 2011, June 2011, July/August 2011, September 2011, October/November "Convention Issue" 2011, December 2011 and January 2012. The BOP will meet this weekend, and all are invited.
They are continuing to work on the website.

• Charlson moved and Campbell seconded acceptance of this report, and that motion carried.

Status of Compilation of History CD's for sale at 2011 convention, berl Colley.
Colley asked for guidance from the Board regarding format of the CD, daisy or audio. Board members recommended that the CD could be produced in volumes, and sold over the years. Other ideas included providing both an audio and daisy CD.
Stanley will bring this issue to the Board of Publication for its recommendations. Charlson will check on price points for media such as CDs, etc. Lieberg will get digital files to Colley which contain the voices of Past President Reese Robrahn and former National Representative Durward McDaniel.

• Lieberg moved acceptance of this report, the motion was seconded by many and carried.

ACB Corporate Relationship Strategy, Michael Garrett.
The Board requested clarification on the endorsements section and other sections of this report.
• Godino moved acceptance, Farrow seconded and the motion carried.

Idaho Affiliate, Berl Colley.
There will be an organizing meeting in Boise, ID on March 25-26. There is an outreach plan in place which should give good exposure to ACB.
• Campbell moved and dillon seconded a motion to accept this report and that motion carried.

2011 Fall Board Meeting, Mitch Pomerantz.
Three dates are possible: September 17, 24 or October 1.

Officer Liaison reports.

All Committees are meeting and working to meet their goals. Most are working on convention activities and developing their programs.
• Campbell moved with a number of seconds that an award known as the ACB Legislative Champion be established, and that the Awards Committee discuss and review the final date for submission of candidates with input from Brunson and Bridges.

• A motion to adjourn carried at 5:25 PM.

Marlaina Lieberg

Submitted: March 24, 2011