November 22, 2005, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Board of Directors Meeting
November 22, 2005

President Gray called the meeting to order at 8:06pm Central Standard Time.

Roll call was taken by the secretary Donna Seliger. All members were present except Mr. Edwards. Ms. Brunson, Mr. Michael Garrett and Mr. Don Gardner as well as three representatives from Maxi-Aids were present.

Motion 1: Ms. M. J. Schmitt moved to adopt the agenda as posted to the board listserv. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

President Gray read his letter to Mr. Zaretsky that he wrote following the ACB Board of Directors fall board meeting at which a motion had been presented and passed by a majority of the Board to bar Maxi-Aids from exhibiting at the ACB convention for the next three years.

Mr. Zaretsky from Maxi-Aids spoke with President Gray on the phone at which time he asked to speak with the Board on behalf of Maxi-Aids. Arrangements were made for a representative(s) from Maxi-Aids to be present on the conference call November 22, 2005.

Mr. Elliot Zaretsky spoke first giving an overview of Maxi-Aids products. He stated in his business there are competitors for blindness products.

Questions were asked of Mr. Zaretsky from the Board. He responded to each question asked of him. After 45 minutes, President Gray thanked Mr. Zaretsky and his associates for their willingness to speak to the ACB Board of Directors.

Motion 2: Mr. Godino moved to rescind the motion made during the October board meeting pertaining to the Maxi-Aids issue. On a roll call vote, eight were in favor and seven opposed. Those voting in the affirmative were: Mr. Beatty, Mr. Godino, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Towers and Mr. Trott. Those opposed were: Dr. Bradley, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Soule. President Gray broke the tie by voting in the affirmative.

Motion 3: Mr. Miller moved to bar Maxi-Aids from exhibiting at the ACB National Convention for one year. A roll call vote was taken with seven in favor and eight opposed. Those in favor were: Dr. Bradley, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Keith, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Sheehan and Ms. Soule. Those opposed were: Mr. Beatty, Mr. Godino, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Towers and Mr. Trott. President Gray broke the tie by voting on the opposing side.

Motion 4: Mr. Pomerantz moved it might be feasible for the Convention Committee to include a disclaimer in the convention program pertaining to exhibitors relationships to ACB. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Ruschival reviewed the sponsorships proposal created by a small committee for Board approval. The recommended levels of sponsorship are Bronze at $25; Silver at $50; Gold at $100 and Platinum at $500. In 2005 over $11,000 was contributed through the sponsorship program. The corporate sponsorships are Pearl at $1,000 up to Diamond at $20,000.

Motion 5: Mr. Charlson moved that the ACB Board of Directors adopt the recommendations with respect to sponsorship of Convention activities Including additional language that indicates that all revenues will first be expended in support of the Convention and any excess will revert to the ACB general fund and be incorporated into the convention coordination guidelines. The motion carried on a voice vote.

President Gray stated the auditors had written a draft letter with recommendations for ACB. One of the recommendations was the creation of an audit committee. President Gray stated the draft letter will be shared with the Board prior to the mid-year board meeting.

Ms. Brunson reported to the Board as Executive Director. She introduced Mr. Don Gardner, ACB’s new interim comptroller, to the Board.

Mr. Gardner gave a bit of background on what has occurred since his arrival in the Minneapolis office.

Mr. Pomerantz brought forth the topic of NIDRR, the National Institute for the Development of Research and Rehabilitation as Mr. Elton Moore of Mississippi State University brought the subject to Mr. Pomerantz’s attention.

Motion 6: Ms. Seliger moved the executive committee and Ms. Brunson explore the NIDRR issue and decide whether or not to write a letter of support and report to the Board their decision. The motion carried on a voice vote.

President Gray reported the guide dog relief areas in 2006 in Jacksonville will be handled by an ACB representative who will be chosen closer to the time of convention.

Ms. Brunson spoke about the Louis Braille Commemorative Coin bill, which was presented to Congress by the National Federation of the Blind. Several affiliates have sent resolutions to the ACB National Office with concerns about who should benefit from such a Bill.

Motion 7: Mr. Charlson moved to refer the commemorative coin issue to the executive committee, Ms. Brunson and Ms. Al-Mohamed. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

President Gray reported that the direct mail program is moving along very well.

The mid-year board meeting and Affiliate Presidents’ meeting will be held over Presidents’ Day weekend, February 16 – 20, 2006.

Mr. Garret, chair of ACBES, announced that Mr. Michael Keoghan has resigned as executive director of ACBES.

Motion 8: Mr. Charlson moved to hold the presidents meeting beginning on Friday evening at 7:00pm and all day Saturday with start and stop times to be determined and hold the ACB board meeting all day Sunday and Monday morning. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 9: Mr. Charlson moved to adjourn. The motion carried and the meeting ended at 10:55pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary