October 29, 2007, Board Meeting Minutes

Teleconference Board Meeting, October 29, 2007

The teleconference Board Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the blind began at 6:23 PM Pacific time. At the call of the roll, the following Board members were not present: Mr. Campbell, Ms. Soule, Mr. Trott, and Ms. Vloedman. Mr. Campbell and Ms. Soule joined the meeting after the call of the roll. MELANIE Brunson was also present.

The minutes of the Fall Board Meeting were not ready for approval. Ms. Lieberg apologized, and said that she would have them ready as soon as possible.

President's Report

Mr. Pomerantz announced that he and Ms. Brunson, pursuant to the October 13th Board Meeting, reviewed the figures for an 11th issue of the Braille Forum, and that even with the printing of that issue, we would still be under budget. The Board unanimously agreed to proceed with the printing of an 11th issue for this year.

Public Relations Committee Request. Dr. Milliman has provided information detailing what that Committee believes it will need between now and the end of the year for funding. The Committee is requesting $500 to reissue PSA's; this includes duplication costs, art work, mailing costs and printing of envelopes. The Board agreed by consensus to approve this request.

Recent bequest. ACB recently received a bequest of $100,000 with no restrictions of designation. Mr. Miller moved that $75,000 be placed in reserves. Mr. Miller asked about the origin of the bequest; Mr. Pomerantz responded that the donor's last name is Dichaut, and he believes the donor lived in Indiana. Ms. Ruschival clarified the Board policy stating that any bequest amount over and above $75,000 is to be placed in Board designated reserves. Ms. Dillon suggested that having the Board handbook would be useful for discussions of this nature; Mr. Pomerantz responded that he and Ms. Brunson are aware of the need for the handbook and are working on organizing it. Mr. Godino suggested that the full $100,000 be placed in reserves to help those reserves grow. After some further discussion, the motion to place $75,000 into Board designated reserves carried. Mr. Bradley moved that the remaining $25,000 be designated toward the ACB Scholarship Fund. During discussion, the question was raised as to which fund or funds should receive this money; Mr. Bradley amended his motion to stipulate the Floyd Qualls Scholarship Fund. Mr. Godino reminded the Board that the Cannon Fund is owned by ACB, and it should really begin to grow. Mr. Gray suggested that a formula should be developed to determine how monies should be distributed among our scholarship funds. Ms. Brunson suggested that the Controller and the Chair of the Scholarship Committee, along with the Executive Director, be involved with disbursement of monies. Mr. Bradley removed the stipulation of the Qualls fund, and agreed to add "and that the decision regarding disposition of those funds be determined jointly among the Controller, Executive Director and Chair of the ACB Scholarship Committee and reported back to the Board at the February Board Meeting. The motion carried.

Pursuant to Mr. Gray's suggestion that a formula be developed to disburse monies to the various scholarship funds, Ms. Charlson requested that the appropriate committees or persons be tasked. Mr. Campbell suggested that the Chair of the Scholarship Committee, the Controller, and the Executive Director should work on this issue. Mr. Miller suggested that the Investment Committee should be involved as well, and Ms. Charlson added that perhaps the Treasurer should participate. It was determined that the Scholarship Chair, Executive Director, Controller and Treasurer would meet about this and report back to the Board at its February meeting.

Increasing Affiliate host stipends. The Convention Committee has requested consideration by the Budget Committee of increasing the amount rebated to affiliates hosting national conventions from $2,000 to $4,000. The policy now states that such affiliates receive $2,000 or 50% of the proceeds, whichever is greater. This proposal would remove the 50% and provide a $4,000 rebate to affiliates retroactive to the Minnesota convention. Mr. Bradley moved to provide a stipend of $4,000 to any national convention host affiliate for its effort on behalf of the national convention, and that this be made retroactive to the 20007 convention. The motion carried.

Ms. Ruschival moved that due to rising costs related to the convention exhibit area the affiliate booth cost be increased from $115 to $150; that motion carried.

Children's activities for the YAC. The Committee would like to establish a Baby YAC for children 3 to 6 years old. Additionally, the Committee is looking at other options for providing programs to youth during convention. Mr. Miller requested that we take steps to address liability issues when working with the youth, and Ms. Ruschival indicated she and Ms. Brunson are working on that issue.

Wearing of Badges. Ms. Ruschival reported that the Committee recommends the badge policy be continued as it is presented in the convention program. The Committee felt that it would be difficult for volunteers to enforce this, but perhaps emphasizing to special interest groups, committees, etc. more strongly the importance of having someone on the door and encouraging everyone to wear badges and maybe creating incentives to wear badges. The Committee will continue to work on this issue.

The committee also proposes that the convention program have a new special section in it that would serve as an ACB Honor Roll and/or a memorial section. If an affiliate wanted to honor one of its members, the honor roll might be a place where that could happen. These pages would stand out, as they would be in color and of a nicer quality paper. Ms. Ruschival said the cost for this could be about $500. Mr. Thom requested consideration of an insert for these pages, and Ms. Ruschival agreed. Ms. Brunson asked if the number of pages per program would be capped; Ms. Ruschival responded that might not be a problem initially, but would consider this for the future.

The meeting adjourned at 7:38 PM.

Marlaina Lieberg