September 22, 2010, Board Meeting Minutes

ACB Board of Directors Teleconference Meeting
September 22, 2010

The teleconference meeting of the ACB Board of Directors was called to order by President Mitch Pomerantz at 5:09 PM PDT. Board members present were Pomerantz, Charlson, Dillon, Campbell, Colley, Dickelman, Farrow, Garrett, Holliday, Keith, Peterson, Thom, Trott and Stanley. Board members not present were Lieberg, Godino and Gray. Staff present were Brunson and Waters.

Pomerantz welcomed new board members.

The agenda was reviewed; a motion by Berl Colley and seconded by Kim Charlson to approve the agenda carried. Approval of July 10, 2010 Pre-Convention and July 17, 2010 Post-Convention Board Meeting Minutes. A motion was made by Charlson seconded by Allan Peterson to accept both sets of minutes in total. That motion carried.

President's Report: Mitch Pomerantz. ACB contribution to relief efforts to assist blind people in Haiti. ACB earmarked $4,000 for Haitian relief; Charlson will give the necessary information to Lane Waters and this check will be sent. Pomerantz will send a draft of the Fall Fundraising letter to the ACB office by Wednesday 9/29. There was a discussion of the mailing list used for this letter. In the past, this letter was sent using the Braille Forum readers list. This list, however, does not include e-mail readers. Melanie Brunson will discuss this with the editor with a possible eye toward using the ACB database. Joel Snyder has applied for two department of education grants dealing with audio description. The notification date for the grants is September 30th. There is a third grant in which Joel may have a part; we will not know for sure about that grant until December. ACB has partnered with the Burton Blatt institute. ACB was approached by eve hill and asked to assist in cutting edge research on employment of the blind. Thanks to Pat Sheehan, who met with Preety Khumar, CEO of DeQue Systems. DeQue will be updating the ACB Store website at no cost. DeQue also plans to provide some sponsorship for next year’s conference and convention.

Pomerantz will soon be a guest of HumanWare in Canada. The goal is to establish a better and stronger partnership between HumanWare and ACB. Ray Campbell moved acceptance of this report, Michael Garrett seconded and that motion carried.

Staff Reports: Melanie Brunson. Patricia Castillo left the ACB National Office in June. Dione Matthews has replaced her. She has previous work experience with non profits. Currently, Matthews is learning more about the office and its system, and we will soon hear her answering phones. In addition, Matthews will be looking at other grant sources. The Combined Federal Campaign has begun; Brunson will post our CFC number on the website.

Work is ongoing regarding the COAT Bill. Eric Bridges hopes to have news soon. Comments on cell phone access have been filed with the FCC. These were forwarded to the Leadership list. Pomerantz will have our webmaster post them to the Washington Connection page of the website. Thanks were expressed to Pratik Patel for all his work on crafting these comments.

Brunson is meeting with the attorney from Sprint, and will give him a copy of the relevant resolution passed at the 2010 ACB Conference and Convention.

Bridges will be meeting with staff from an agency for the blind in Korea. They want to learn about advocacy in the United States. Pomerantz thanked George Holliday for hosting a group of blind persons from France during their visit to Philadelphia.

Mid-Year Meeting information will be distributed in mid October. Brunson requested that affiliates be encouraged to designate attendees early, and submit information as soon as possible. At the Board Meeting in Reno, November 6, Pomerantz will solicit and discuss ideas for topics for the Mid-Year meeting. All resolutions addressed at this year’s conference and convention have been received, and will soon be posted to the website. Bridges, Patel and others will be meeting with Microsoft this fall to discuss lack of access to the current version of Windows CE. This has an impact on the use of the most current Windows mobile cellular phones and other CE devices.

Brooklyn Center, MN Office, Lane Waters. Two positions have become vacant. One has been filled with a very productive worker. At this time, it is not anticipated that the second position will be filled.

All reports will be completed and disseminated by the end of the month. Waters will post the financial statement to the Board list. Charlson asked if notification to committees for budget requests has been sent. Brunson plans to do this before end September. There was discussion regarding the necessity for affiliates to complete relevant paperwork to retain 501C-3 status. Though several training sessions have been held on this issue, Brunson will likely send a reminder to affiliate presidents. Colley mentioned a new IRS form which may be relevant, IRS Form 509A; Waters will investigate this.

The Board of Directors Handbook. The Handbook is completed and will be mailed by the end of this week. It is on CD, and will be updated yearly. It contains the following: minutes from last years meetings, current financial statement, current ACB Constitution and Bylaws, a list of current presidents, Board Policies, the employees handbook, letter from the ACB President regarding expectation of Board members, conflict of interest statement and the confidentiality agreement. The 2010-11 Committee list is not yet complete, but will be added to the Handbook as an update. Pomerantz and Brunson thanked Charlson and Brenda Dillon for their help on this project. A motion by Colley Seconded by Holliday, to accept this report carried.

Treasurer’s Report, Mike Godino. No report was given, as the Treasurer was not in attendance.

Expenditure for 2011 raffle. A motion made by Campbell and seconded by Janet Dickelman to hold a drawing either during the 2011 Conference and Convention or after at the National Office (depending on applicable Gaming Commission regulations), whose proceeds would benefit the Braille Forum carried.

2014 Conference and Convention bids, Carla Ruschival. The bid for Atlanta has been withdrawn by the hotel, due to the growth of a previously scheduled convention. A motion made by Colley and seconded by Peterson that ACB begin negotiations with the Riviera Hotel in Los Vegas, Nevada for the 2014 Conference and Convention carried by role call vote. The vote was as follows: 10 yes, 2 no; yes votes cast by Charlson, Dillon, Colley, Dickelman, Garrett, Holliday, Keith, Peterson, Thom and Trott; no votes cast by Campbell and Farrow.

Elections. Elections for Executive and Credentials Committee positions were deferred until the Board meets in Reno, November 6, 2010. The current Budget Committee, consisting of Colley, Garrett and Godino, was re-elected by acclamation. Peterson was nominated and elected by acclamation to the Public Relations Committee.

ACBES Board. The ACBES Board will meet in Reno on November 6, 2010.

Other items.

ACB will soon receive proceeds from the last cruise organized by David Kronk. There are two cruises scheduled for 2011. An organization known as Art As Responsa is donating 18% of its profit to ACB from the sale of a braille dradle for 2010 and 2011.

Pomerantz thanked Jenine Stanley for her efforts and hard work in setting up ACB’s social networking presence.

Board members were reminded to make hotel reservations for the November meeting through Carla Ruschival.

At 9:20 P. M. PDT, a motion to adjourn was made, seconded by many and carried.

Marlaina Lieberg
Submitted: October 28, 2010
Approved: November 5, 2010