September 20 & 21, 2003, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Fall Board Meeting
September 20 & 21, 2003

The meeting began at 9:10am on Saturday, September 20, 2003 at the Holiday Inn Central in Washington, DC.

President Gray stated that Ms. Christensen requested a speakerphone be made available for her to be able to participate in the meeting. He went on to say that if Mr. Annunzio didn’t arrive or could not be contacted, then there would be no conference call per a decision made by a previous Board.

Motion 1: Mr. Charlson moved to reconsider the previous board decision to not conference in members who were absent. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 2: Mr. Charlson moved that on this one occasion as a result of weather conditions, we permit any and all individuals who are not able to attend who are voting members of this Board to do so by conference call. The motion carried by voice vote.

Item 4 Approval of Agenda - Motion 3: Mr. Charlson moved to adopt the agenda as read and amended. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 2 Roll Call - President Gray asked the secretary to call the roll. All officers and directors were present except Mr. Annunzio and Ms. Christensen. Mr. Crawford and Ms. Reeder were present. Mr. Olsen was en route.

Item 3 Self-Introductions – A number of guests were present and introduced themselves to the Board.

Mr. Crawford asked permission for his wife, to be allowed to remain in the room during the announced executive session.

Motion 4: Mr. Charlson moved to allow Mrs. Sue Crawford to remain in the room during the executive session. The motion failed on a roll call vote of four in favor, nine against and two absent. Those voting in favor were: Mr. Beatty, Ms. Keith, Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Speicher. Those opposed were: Ms. Bazyn, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Ms. Ruschival, Ms. Schmitt and Ms. Seliger. Those absent were: Mr. Annunzio and Ms. Christensen.

The board meeting recessed at 9:50am to convene the executive session.

The ACB fall board meeting reconvened at 2:20pm with First Vice President Steve Speicher presiding in the absence of the President.

Motion 5: Mr. Edwards moved to reconvene the open board meeting. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 5 Minutes - Motion 6: Ms. Bazyn moved to approve the pre-convention board meeting minutes as distributed. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 7: Ms. Bazyn moved to approve the post-convention board meeting minutes as distributed. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 6 National Office Reports - Ms. Penny Reeder, Braille Forum Editor, reported that e-mail subscriptions are increasing every month.

Motion 8: Mr. Charlson moved acceptance of the Editor’s report. The motion carried.

Mr. Mike Duke distributed Board Of Publications reports to the ACB board. He announced that President Gray had re-appointed Mr. Charlie Hodge as chair of the BOP and that Mr. Adrian DeBlaey will also serve on the committee.

Several recommendations were brought to the Board from the BOP in relation to next year’s convention:

1. Place the list of important telephone numbers in the first two issues of the convention newspaper.

2. This list shall include the numbers of the convention office, the communications center, and any overflow hotel.

3. The convention program should once again include a page of hotel phone numbers.

4. The BOP urges the ACB Board and the Convention Committee to realize the necessity of ensuring a minimum of four phone lines for the Convention Ear.

Motion 9: Dr Bradley moved to approve the report from the Board Of Publications. The motion carried on a voice vote.

President Gray reported to the membership that the Board had held three executive sessions pertaining to discussion of personnel matters. He went on to state that the session today was to revisit elements of previous discussions and there will be some resulting activities based on the discussion. Specific announcements will not be made, however, those may occur within seven days of this day.

Ms. Melanie Brunson, Governmental Affairs and Advocacy Director, reported the priority one resolutions had been worked on. Several legislative issues were reported on including the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Act and Transportation Equity Act are all under congressional consideration. The Randolph-Sheppard Act, the Help America Vote Act and Video Description are all issues ACB is very interested in following.

In addition, there are some more problems with free matter mailings and the Department Of Justice wants to have the currency case dismissed. ACB will follow all these issues closely.

Motion 10: Mr. Edwards moved to ask Ms. Brunson to keep an eye on the issue of the Carl Perkins Funding and make such efforts as seem appropriate to assure the survival of Carl Perkins Funding. The motion carried by voice vote.

Motion 11: Mr. Charlson moved to accept Ms. Brunson’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Crawford reported on the transportation appropriations bill. He also said ACB was successful with the Visudyne therapy issue. ACB is working with the coalition to get a national coverage policy.

He reported that the first draft of the 2004 ACB budget is in the hands of the President and CFO for their review.

Motion 12: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the report from the Executive Director. The motion carried by voice vote.

Ms. Terry Pacheco reported on the ACB store. She is working with Ms. Pat Shreck and the committee. Ms. Pacheco is currently handling the items for sale from her office.

Ms. Pacheco and Mr. Dodge Fielding are planning a “friend raising” reception that is scheduled to be held on October 23rd in Washington, DC.

She went on to promote the ACB scholarship raffle drawing which will be held on December 22, 2003. Each ticket will sell for $100.

After a great deal of discussion about the ACB California Cane, the following motion was made.

Motion 13: Mr. Miller moved that we instruct California Canes that we want 80 per cent of canes with the permanently affixed label and 20 per cent without the logo. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 14: Mr. Charlson moved acceptance of Ms. Pacheco’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Charlie Hodge reported from the History Committee. The press release on “People of Vision” should be out in the next couple weeks. The cassette version of the book (RC56115) will be available through NLS by the end of September.

Ms. Christensen agreed, after some discussion, to contact affiliates to encourage each one to purchase a copy of the ACB History Book.

President Gray stated that when the History Committee finalizes the press release, etc., Mr. Otis Stephens, chair of the History Committee, would like to sunset the committee.

Motion 15: Ms. Christensen moved that we sunset the current History Committee when the book issues discussed are completed and then work on creating a different committee with a different charge for issues of data collection and possible future versions of the book. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 16: Dr. Bradley moved to accept the History Committee report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Item 11 - ACBES report from Mr. Paul Edwards. The thrift stores are just barely making the target contribution for ACB. He reported the stores have been doing well overall. Mr. Edwards remains positively optimistic about ACBES.

Motion 17: Ms. Bazyn moved the acceptance of the ACBES Report from Mr. Edwards. The motion carried by voice vote.

Item 10 - Treasurer’s report from Ms. Bazyn. Mr. Jim Olsen, CFO, was asked to give the following report:

Revenue $603,384

Expenses $746,202

Deficit $143.000

Deficit ($ 73,913.)

Motion 18: Mr. Edwards moved that the President, Treasurer, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer be allowed to spend up to $70,000 from the Board designated reserve in the next 30 days. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 19: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the Treasurer’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 12 – Budget Committee report from Mr. Brian Charlson, who stated the 2004 budget prepared by the Executive Director has been received and will be reviewed soon.

Motion 20: Mr. Charlson moved to continue current spending levels for the first quarter of 2004. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 21: Dr. Bradley moved to accept Budget Committee report. The motion carried by voice vote.

Item 13 – Convention Site report. Ms Carla Ruschival reported on the convention site update. The contract for the 2005 Las Vegas convention has been signed. The 2007 contract is being worked on as well as the 2009 Orlando bid. She stated the years 2010 and 2011 are open for convention bids. Ms. Ruschival feels that if we can work with hotel chains and obtain multiple year bids for conventions and the Legislative Seminar that maybe we could acquire lower rates.

Motion 22: Dr Bradley moved to accept convention site update. The motion carried by voice vote.

Item 15 - Budget Committee Elections: Three positions are up for election, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Charlson and Mr. Sheehan.

Motion 23: Ms. Christensen moved that nominations close and those three be elected by acclimation. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 14 - Executive Committee Elections. The Directors elected Mr. Beatty and Ms. Ruschival. The Officers elected Ms. Schmitt and Ms. Seliger.

President Gray recessed the meeting until 8:30am on Sunday, September 21, 2003.

The meeting reconvened at 8:40am on Sunday morning, September 21, 2003.

President Gray asked the secretary to call the roll. All Board members were present except Mr. Annunzio. Ms. Brunson, Mr. Olsen, Ms. Pacheco and Ms. Reeder were all present, as well as other guests.

Item 8 – President’s Report. President Gray reported that the All In Play poker tournament went well for ACB. There were 225 participants. The first place winner was from Singapore; second place winner from the United States and third place from Scotland.

He discussed the possibility of creating a second publication to showcase successful blind people and other ideas associated with blind people. President Gray is working with the President of the Canadian Council of the Blind with the possibility of publishing the magazine in Canada.

Next he announced that the interim director of ACB Radio is Mr. Dave Williams from the United Kingdom. Applications are now being accepted for the position of Director of ACB Radio.

Motion 24: Ms. Christensen moved to accept the President’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Item 9 – Board Activities and Focus on 2004. Ms. Christensen discussed possible goals for the board. Several options and ideas were offered by Board members to enlist more involvement. President Gray asked Ms. Christensen to take notes and bring the goals discussed to the fall board meeting in 2004. President Gray would like the Board to take a look at what we have done.

Following the lengthy discussion about goals for ACB, President Gray offered to take 25 MGM forms and make it his project to get people signed up.

Next the discussion turned to membership. Several suggestions were offered to the Membership Committee to recruit new members.

The general session recessed at 10:15am so the Board could enter into executive session.

President Gray brought the Board meeting back to order at 10:45am.

President Gray reported on the executive session stating that no specific action had been taken during that meeting.

Several suggestions were made regarding the MGM form. The suggestion was made to send a copy of the form out in the Braille Forum or in the pre-convention packet. Ms. Christensen stated her wish for the MGM form to be on the ACB website.

Dr. Bradley suggested Ms. Oftedahl do a segment on ACB Radio to promote the MGM Program.

Ms. Christensen suggested a lapel pen or some other item be sent as incentive for donations of specific amounts to ACB.

Motion 25: Ms. Bazyn moved to ask the Resource Development Committee to prepare a plan for implementation regarding incentives for joining the MGM Program within ten days. The motion carried on a voice vote.

A question was raised concerning the ACB MGM being in conflict with the trademark of the MGM giant company. Ms. Brunson volunteered to make a contact to ascertain a determination of whether we can use the initials or not.

Motion 26: Ms. Ruschival moved that at the close of business today that this Board recess and reconvene subject to the call of the President. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Ms. Reeder suggested that any affiliate presidents who have business cards, send a few to the National Office to be distributed to potential members.

Ms. Keith inquired about the dates of the ACB mid-year meeting and was told it will be held February 13 through 16, 2004 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Motion 27: Ms. Christensen moved to recess the ACB fall Board meeting. The motion carried and the meeting recessed at 11:35am Eastern Daylight Time.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary