September 22 & 23, 2001, Board Meeting Minutes

Fall Board Meeting
September 22 & 23, 2001

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Gray at 9:10am MDT in Room 200-201 at the Holiday Inn Mountain View, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Roll call was taken by the secretary and all officers and directors were present as well as Ms. Winifred Downing representing the Board of Publications. Ms. Pat Beattie, Mr. Jim Olsen and Mr. LeRoy Saunders, as well as 14 additional guests were in attendance. On the speaker phone were Mr. Charlie Crawford, Ms. Penny Reeder, Ms. Terry Pacheco and Ms. Melanie Brunson.

Motion 1: Mr. Paul Edwards moved to approve the agenda with a couple minor changes. The motion carried.

Motion 2: Mr. Paul Edwards moved the adoption of the Pre-Convention Minutes. Mr. Brian Charlson seconded. Motion carried with the following changes:

1. Mr. Sanford Alexander recommended the following change to Motion 13 “Moved the recommendation to increase the dues from $3 to $5 and that this be sent to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee for their action.” Mr. Alexander recommends changing “this” to “it”.

2. Mr. Alexander recommended the following change to Resolutions Prioritization: “Sanford Alexander stated that he would “again do” the Resolutions Prioritization as a representative to the Board for the 2001 resolutions. Mr. Alexander recommends changing the words “again do” to “be able or willing to”

3. Mr. Jim Olsen said the minutes reflected his presence, however, he was in the Registration Office at the time of the meeting.

4. Dr. Ed Bradley stated Motion 2 should read “accept” rather than “adopt”.

Motion 3: Mr. Brian Charlson moved the adoption of the Post-Convention Minutes. Dr. Ed Bradley seconded. The motion carried with the following recommendations:

Ms. Debbie Grubb asked that the makers of motions and seconders be stated in the minutes. Ms. Grubb also asked that the motions be numbered. The secretary accepted the recommendations.

Mr. Sanford Alexander recommended the following changes to the minutes:

1. “The weekend of the 22nd of September seemed to be the best for everyone. The motion was seconded and carried.” Clarification of the motion to hold the fall board meeting in Albuquerque should be included.

2. “Mr. Crawford suggested the chair of the Budget Committee confer with Mr. Olsen regarding the cost effectiveness of this meeting place.”

President Gray reported information from two executive meetings. Copies of the minutes were sent to each officer and director prior to the fall meeting.

Motion 4: Ms. M. J. Schmitt moved the acceptance of the executive committee reports. The motion passed.

President Gray delivered his report to the Board.

A. Membership – President Gray stated he thought it might be helpful to the membership for the Board to meet in states that have smaller affiliates to encourage their interest in ACB. He further stated that Ms. Pam Shaw, chair of the Membership Committee, will address the Board later in the meeting by telephone link.

B. Fund Raising – President Gray contacted Support Systems in the Bay Area to help ACB with fund raising. He went on to say he had met with Ms. Melissa White who is a professional fund raiser for the Breast Cancer Action Foundation. Ms. White agreed to meet with Ms. Laura Oftedahl and President Gray. Out of that meeting came a major document on fund raising. In addition Mr. Charlie Crawford and Mr. Ralph Sanders have been meeting with a gentleman by the name of Mr. Dodge Fielding from Washington, DC on possible work he might do for the organization. President Gray proposed a definition. “Development is the implementation of a far-sighted plan to identify potential donors, build relationships so that they become prospective donors and then cultivate these new and existing relationships so that when asked, these supporters give as generously as possible. Those donor relationships are then nurtured to build growing commitments to ACB. Stated another way, the goal of development is to build relationships with our donor base because people who feel involved have more interest in giving than others.” President Gray stated four successful principles for fund raising: 1. People give to people, not parks. 2. People give for results, not needs. 3. People want to make a difference. 4. People seek recognition with their peers.

Mr. Oral Miller suggested that maybe a separate body or board be established specifically for fund raising. The suggestion will be included in the President’s final report.

Mr. Paul Edwards questioned whether the Resource Development Committee or another entity should be responsible for the fund raising projects.

President Gray went on to talk about a variety of ways to raise money for the organization such as grants from foundations, corporations and ACB’s annual appeal. He stated that special events and large mail campaigns take a lot of capital up front.

Mr. Sanford Alexander stated that a lot of foundations are unwilling to give to local and state organizations and others will not give to national organizations.

Ms. M. J. Schmitt mentioned that larger corporations determine which organizations they will give to and that can’t be changed.

ACB needs money in order to raise money. It needs to be determined who would do the work, either a consultant or volunteer members.

President Gray went on to talk about a capacity building grant. Foundations are also prospects. ACB could apply to several foundations for a capacity building grant for hiring one year of time for a fund consultant or director. There are specific steps such as formulate project plan and budget. Next would be to research prospects through a foundation center. Then write a winning proposal and determine if anyone in ACB or friends have connections with a foundation. Follow their guidelines and if funded, records and reports submitted on time. Last, if not funded, try to learn why and make improvements. President Gray stated he would like to apply for three capacity building grants for ACB.

ACB needs to enhance its individual donations. President Gray also mentioned that we want to make sure ACB is on the Guidestar Web Site and also purchase lists of names.

Mr. Mitch Pomerantz asked what role the Resource Development Committee would play. President Gray responded by saying we would have a better sense of that as time goes on.

Mr. Steve Speicher asked what President Gray’s vision might be with grant proposals and ongoing projects. Where do the goals and fund raising activities get coordinated?

President Gray responded by saying that over the next few weeks there would be some talk about which capacity building grants to apply for. He went on to say the Resource Development and Public Relations Committees, the Board and staff will all be key players in the projects.

Ms. Winifred Downing asked for a clarification of a capacity grant opposed to a regular grant.

President Gray stated that a capacity building grant might be for developing an information and referral center whereas a regular grant might be for six issues of the Braille Forum.

C. Internet activities: Following the breakdown of the web site, it was decided that ACB should have its own server and be able to control activities.

Mr. Brian Charlson asked what will be done to re-establish the affiliate and other links to the web site that were lost in the crash?

President Gray stated when the new web site is up and running, the affiliates will be brought back.

Ms. Dawn Christensen asked about how much cost will be involved?

President Gray said the Budget Committee will respond to the question. The server cost will be about $6,000. The cost co-located is $100 per month and the cost of data transfer is $25 per gigabyte. Exact costs will not be known for a few months because the precise rate has not been measured in ACB’s former location.

Mr. Charlson asked that correspondence go out to those people waiting to know about the status of the web site.

President Gray agreed that would be a good idea.

Mr. Paul Edwards stated on the Freedom Scientific web site there has been a direct link to ACB radio archives of a demonstration of JAWS 4.0, but no one can get to it because the archive is not there. He also asked in regard to co-location, what options were available to ACB.

President Gray responded by saying there are a couple different facilities. The decision was made primarily on cost. ACB will be using tsoft who will make the data transfer and co-location at their cost.

Mr. Charlson asked about the cost of data transfer and how much that would be.

President Gray told the Board that if the cost is excessive, then the vendor will make their T-1 line available at cost to lower the price to ACB.

Mr. Edwards asked what the process was in making this decision.

Mr. Charlie Crawford responded to the question. He stated that not only cost was considered, but the time crunch. Approximately two weeks were spent in looking at several options. With co-location, each affiliate would be able to manage their own web site from their individual location. The two best competitors were tsoft and A-Plus.

D ACB magazine: The Public Relations Committee has been exploring a four-color magazine that would be directed to families, senior citizens centers and doctors’ offices. The idea is to have the bulk of the expense paid for by advertising. A minimum of 1,00,000 circulation. Four issues each per year need to be published in order to be successful. Mr. Campbell Ewald, a custom publisher, is willing to work on the project. ACB will do the editorial copy only.

Mr. Ralph Sanders stated that a possible name for the magazine might be The American Low Vision Counselor.

Motion 5: Mr. Paul Edwards moved acceptance of the President’s report. The motion carried.

Item eight on the agenda pertained to the task force on voting procedures for the Board. Ms. Donna Seliger stated the committee consisted of Dr. Ed Bradley and Mr. Brian Charlson. She read a proposal consisting of four points.

Mr. Pomerantz pointed out that there is no procedure to determine a chair for the directors and secondly, there needs to be clarification for how that chair might be selected and whether he/she may vote. Also, could that chair be nominated to serve on the executive committee?

Motion 6: Mr. Charlson moved that the Board adopt the report with respect to Mr. Edwards’ suggestion “or any other person serving in the capacity as chair” in relation to the voting procedures. Motion carried.

Mr. Edwards asked for a point of order to clarify that the voting rules just adopted would now apply. The president agreed that would be the case.

Item ten will cover finances. Ms. Ardis Bazyn reported to the Board that total revenues for the first seven months (through July) are $1,113,610. This figure is $429,309 above budget. The total expenditures through July are $777,996 which is $11,707 less than was budgeted. The adjusted balance is $160,643, which is actually $441,106 more than budgeted.

Motion 7: Mr. Charlson moved the acceptance of the Treasurer’s report. The motion carried.

Motion 8: The President asked for a motion to recess the ACB Board of Directors meeting in order to convene the ACBES general membership meeting. The motion was made by several people, seconded and carried.

Ms. Pat Beattie, President of American Council of the Blind Enterprise and Services, Inc. brought the meeting to order.

Ms. Beattie reported that ACBES operates thrift stores which is a major source of income for ACB. Currently ten stores are open for business. During the month of August eight of the stores made a profit and two did not. Income has been approximately $40,000 a month through the summer. Year to date income is about $390,000 compared to $193,000 at the same time in 2000.

Next ACBES moved to nominations. Mr. LeRoy Saunders chaired the nominating committee. He explained to the new members of the Board that ACBES has seven board members. Out of these seven, there shall be four from the membership of the ACB board. Five members are elected and then those five elect two more members. These people must elect a chairperson, assistant chairperson, secretary and treasurer. In even years three members are elected for two-year terms and in odd years, two are elected for two-year terms.

Since both Ms. Beattie and Mr. Saunders no longer sit on the ACB Board, two people must be elected for a one-year term to end in 2002.

Mr. Oral Miller remains on the ACBES Board. The following slate was offered for election: Ms. Ardis Bazyn for two years; Mr. Paul Edwards for two years; Ms. Dawn Christensen for one year; and Mr. Michael Garrett for one year.

Motion 1: Mr. Edwards moved that the ACBES corporate body adopt the voting procedures that were proposed to the ACB board of directors and adopted by them. Motion carried.

The slate of officers recommended by the nominating committee was elected as follows: Ms. Ardis Bazyn unanimously.

For the next position, the names of Mr. Paul Edwards and Mr. Alan Beatty were placed. The results of the roll call vote is as follows: Those voting for Mr. Edwards were Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Grubb, Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Gray, Mr. Speicher, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Alexander, and Mr. Annunzio. Those voting for Mr. Beatty were Dr. Bradley, Mr. Sanderson and Mr. Beatty. Mr. Edwards received 13 votes and Mr. Beatty received three.

For the next position, the names of Ms. Dawn Christensen, Mr. Alan Beatty, Mr. Steve Speicher and Mr. Brian Charlson were submitted. Those voting for Ms. Christensen were Ms. Christensen, Ms. Grubb, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Speicher, and Mr. Alexander. Mr. Beatty received the following votes from Mr. Sanderson, Mr. Gray, Mr. Beatty and Dr. Bradley. Mr. Charlson received votes from Mr. Edwards and himself. Those voting for Mr. Speicher were Mr. Miller, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Bazyn, and Mr. Annunzio. Ms. Christensen received five votes, Mr. Beatty, four, Mr. Speicher four and Mr. Charlson two votes with on abstention.

Mr. Charlson was dropped and the voting proceeded with the remaining three people. Ms. Christensen received votes from Ms. Christensen, Ms. Grubb, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Speicher, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Alexander and Mr. Charlson. Mr. Beatty’s votes were Mr. Sanderson, Mr. Gray, Mr. Beatty and Dr. Bradley. Mr. Speicher received the following votes from Mr. Miller, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Bazyn and Mr. Annunzio. Ms. Christensen seven; Mr. Beatty four, and Mr. Speicher four with on abstention.

At this point, Mr. Speicher withdrew his name from the list. Those voting for Ms. Christensen were Ms. Grubb, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Speicher, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Charlson and Ms. Christensen. The following votes were for Mr. Beatty: Mr. Miller, Mr. Sanderson, Mr. Gray, Ms. Seliger, Mr. Annunzio, Mr. Beatty, and Dr. Bradley. In this round, Ms. Christensen received nine votes and Mr. Beatty seven.

The nominating committee submitted the name of Mr. Michael Garret and the membership placed into nomination Mr. Alan Beatty, and Mr. Brian Charlson. Those voting for Mr. Garret were Mr. Miller, Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Gray, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Alexander, and Dr. Bradley. Mr. Beatty received the following votes from Mr. Sanderson, Mr. Speicher, Mr. Annunzio and Mr. Beatty. Mr. Charlson received votes from Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen and Ms. Grubb. Results were: Mr. Garret eight, Mr. Beatty four and Mr. Charlson four.

Mr. Charlson withdrew his name for nomination leaving Mr. Garret and Mr. Beatty. Mr. Garret received the following votes: Mr. Pomerantz, Mr. Gray, Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Alexander, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Grubb and Mr. Miller. Mr. Beatty received votes from: Mr. Sanderson, Mr. Speicher, Mr. Annunzio and Mr. Beatty. The vote was twelve to four respectively.

President Beattie determined the meeting to be adjourned and turned the chair back to the President of ACB.

At this point, President Gray introduced Mr. Charlie Crawford, Executive Director of ACB who was asked to give his report via speaker phone.

Mr. Crawford reported that information and referral is ongoing daily. He indicated the staff has been doing fairly well to cover the void left by the passing of Ms. Anne Fesh. A replacement position will be advertised sometime in October.

The national office will install some new computer networking software which should make tasks easier. Two computers will possibly be replaced.

Mr. Crawford reported that Ms. Cindy Lovering has been working on all the board decisions and motions made during meetings since 1961 through the present.

Mr. Miller asked what are the duties of the Canadian intern?

Mr. Crawford stated that the Canadian Government has offered ACB an intern for a period of six months. The intern will work on three priorities concerning pedestrian safety. There will be no cost to ACB for the intern.

Ms. Penny Reeder, Braille Forum Editor, reported to the Board that the August issue brought positive feedback and that several people had called reporting they had cancelled their subscription to “The Monitor” due to an article, which appeared in the June, 2001 issue of that publication. She went on to say that the number of people who listen to the Braille Forum on line has tripled. There are 7,540 audio cassette readers; 2,310 Braille readers; 12,350 large print readers; 738 who receive computer disk versions and 349 e-mail list readers of the Braille Forum.

In July Ms. Reeder, along with the Board of Publications, anticipated there would be funds to produce a convention issue, however, that was not the case. Approximately $14,000 would be needed to produce the issue so with the $5,000 excess an additional $9,000 would be needed.

Ms. Reeder thanked Mr. Jonathan Mosen for the work he has done on ACB Radio and especially since September 11 with his coverage of the attacks.

Mr. Miller asked about the usage of the Washington Connection.

Ms. Brunson responded that there have been a lot of technical difficulties with the voice mail system. She believes the problems will be resolved so that the Washington Connection can be updated on a regular basis.

Motion 9: Mr. Edwards moved the acceptance of the Editor’s report. The motion carried.

Ms. Melanie Brunson, director of Government Affairs, reported to the Board about the resolutions passed in July and in particular those resolutions given a number one priority. To date, all of those resolutions have been worked on.

Ms. Brunson mentioned other issues undertaken by the Advocacy and Governmental Affairs staff. One of those has to do with getting accommodations for students during tests administered by the Educational Testing Service. Legal action may have to be taken to resolve this issue. The Justice Department has been contacted and they seem interested.

The staff is following up on the lack of information from both private and public entities. The Social Security Administration as well as others were mentioned. The ticket to work issue is being tracked.

Motion 10: Mr. Edwards moved the acceptance of the resolutions update and remainder of the Advocacy Services Governmental Affairs report. Motion carried.

Mr. Crawford reported that the Active Participation document will probably have a final draft from RSA by November. He congratulated Randolph-Shepard Vendors of Texas and RSVA for their participation.

The last staff member to speak was Ms. Terry Pacheco. She thanked the officers for returning lists of committees, although not all have been submitted to date.

The Social Service Providers want to re-incorporate and change the name to ACB Human Service Professionals. They will need to approach the Board for approval at mid-year.

Next, Ms. Pacheco discussed membership and mentioned the four affiliates that were not seated at the convention. She said Ms. Pam Shaw has been working with her on membership issues.

The Legislative Seminar is being put together. The mid-year will occur in February.

Ms. Pacheco and Mr. Michael Smitherman are looking at the exhibitor packets to make the exhibit hall more marketable.

She is also working with the Scholarship Committee on redesigning the scholarship application.

Ms. Pacheco reported that NABS has a student chat room every Saturday afternoon on the internet, which has been very successful.

Over 400 online applications have been received for membership to the various affiliates.

Motion 11: Ms. Dawn Christensen moved the acceptance of the report from Ms. Pacheco on Membership Service Coordination. The motion passed.

Motion 12: Mr. Charlson moved the acceptance of the Executive Director’s report in its entirety from Mr. Crawford. Motion carried.

President Gray acknowledged Mr. Crawford and the Washington staff for their help in the transition of ACB presidents.

Mr. Edwards also commended the national staff for their assistance.

Item Ten relating to the finances of the organization:

D. The Resource Development report was given by Mr. Sandy Sanderson who introduced the members of the committee. He reported that one project might be to install a maximum of ten ATM’s at different locations at a cost of $12,000 per machine. Approximately $8,000 of the money would be actual cash in the machine. Several questions were asked of the committee.

Motion 13: Mr. Edwards moved the Board authorize the Resource Development Committee to continue its investigation of the ATM machines and begin negotiations with affiliates to establish whether they are interested.

Mr. Steve Speicher asked about funding for travel to affiliates in connection with the ATM’s.

President Gray stated that further information will come later.

Motion 14: Mr. Speicher moved to table the discussion. Motion failed.

Motion 15: Mr. Charlson moved a friendly amendment “with the proviso that they all be talking ATM’s.” The motion carried.

E. Mr. Ralph Sanders brought forth the book signing project. A proposed reception and dinner would be held in Washington, DC to celebrate the release of the ACB History book. A written proposal was distributed to each Board member.

Motion 16: Dr. Ed Bradley moved that the Board authorize the Resource and Development committee to move forward with the project and that it should be self-sustaining. Motion carried.

F. Next Mr. Alan Beatty spoke to the group about a project involving the Lions Clubs. He believes he is close to possibly acquiring a large grant for ACB from the Lions International.

Motion 17: Dr. Bradley moved to accept the Resource Development report. The motion carried.

Ms. Pam Shaw, chair of the Membership Committee, reported to the Board via speaker phone. ACB currently has a database of 47,142 names. The actual membership is 17,630. Comparing this figure with the previous year shows a loss in members of 1,733. Four affiliates were not seated at the national convention. Puerto Rico has not responded to ACB for some time. Rhode Island has more or less been adopted by the Bay State Council. West Virginia needs development. The Aloha Council has dissolved and the Social Service Providers wishes to become ACB Human Service Professionals. Four other affiliates were mentioned that need assistance with reorganizing: Idaho, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming.

The Membership Committee was also asked to develop a survey. Other activities of the committee include communication with affiliates, recruitment and retention and the establishment of ACBM list.

Ms. Shaw recommended the following to the Board from the Membership Committee:

1. The Membership Committee and others as appropriate work on the development of a commercial about ACB for the web radio station.

2. To collaborate with the Board of Publications and others as appropriate on the production of publications in Spanish.

3. With the establishment of ACB logo products, the proceeds from the sale of those products go toward membership building activities.

Motion 18: Mr. Alexander moved the acceptance of the Membership Committee report. The motion carried.

Motion 19: Mr. Charlson moved the adoption of recommendation one as presented by Ms. Shaw. The motion passed.

Motion 20: Dr. Bradley moved the adoption of recommendation two as presented by Ms. Shaw. The motion carried.

Motion 21: Mr. Miller moved the adoption of recommendation three as presented by Ms. Shaw. The Motion was withdrawn by the maker after lengthy discussion.

G. Budget Committee report from Treasurer, Ms. Ardis Bazyn. The first recommendation was to ask someone to ratify the decision that the Executive Committee made in regard to two grants made to affiliates.

Motion 22: Mr. Charlson moved that the Board ratify the decision the Executive Committee made to grant two affiliates financial support: New Mexico in the amount of $2,000 and Louisiana for the amount of $3,000 plus for the potential of an additional $4,000 predicated on a list of things they must do in order to qualify for the additional amount of money. The motion passed.

Ms. Bazyn presented further recommendations to the Board.

1. Depreciation expense of $16,000 was omitted from the budget.

2. Computer training held at the convention is unclear, however, there would be a match of $5,000 ($5,700 per Mr. Olsen.)

3. Pedestrian safety funds of $20,000 were included in the budget, but not the expenses.

4. The ACB Board at its pre-convention meeting voted to go back to the original scholarship amount and the travel expense amount of approximately $4,300.

5. The alternative media grant revenue of $5,000 has been received, but we don’t have the expense side yet. (Total recommended amount for these five items is $51,000)

Motion 23: Ms. Bazyn moved the Budget Committee recommendations. The motion carried.

Ms. Bazyn presented the next group of items:

1. Support Systems, a fund raising company, $395 per month for three months and then $250 per month thereafter.

2. Live 365 radio is $525 per month which began in August.

3. Computer equipment for a total of $9,400. Part of the amount was for the new web server and a lap top for President Gray. In addition, there will be a web hosting charge of $1,500 until end of 2001. (The total amount for this group is $15,635.)

Motion 24: Ms. Bazyn stated the committee moved the acceptance of the items. The motion passed.

4. The Board of Publications Committee has requested funding for the production of a convention issue of the Braille Forum.

Motion 25: Ms. Bazyn moved the passage of the request from the Publications committee for the 13th issue of the Braille Forum.

As a matter of clarification, Ms. Kathleen Megivern stated the request came from the staff, not the BOP. The motion carried.

Motion 26: Mr. Pomerantz moved we fix the revenue side of the budget by adding in the full bequest amount. The motion failed on a roll call vote with ten no, five yes and one abstained.

5. The budget committee recommends the establishment of a $40,000 fund outside the budget for the use of the Resource Development Committee with the following three restrictions: 1. The President is the authorizing party for this account. 2. This fund can only be used to fund projects approved in concept by the Board of Directors or if time will not allow the Executive Committee or if time will not allow the President, the ACB CFO will provide to the ACB Treasurer and the Treasurer to the Board a monthly account of expenditures from this account. The duration of the fund shall be until the end of 2002.

Motion 27: Ms. Bazyn moved the adoption of the request of $40,000 from the Resource Development Committee and amended to $20,000 with the above provisions. The motion passed. (Motion 28 was voted on before motion 27)

Motion 28: Mr. Charlson moved to amend the motion from $40,000 to $20,000. The motion carried.

6. The Budget Committee drafted guidelines to be brought to the Board for discussion:

A. No adjustment can be made to line items that are zero funded without Budget Committee review and/or approval.

B. Any request for reimbursement must be accompanied by a letter from the authorizing party indicating the purpose and the section of the budget to which it is to be charged.

C. Any ongoing expense such as internet service can be authorized by a single letter with the first invoice and thereafter be billed directly to ACB.

D. Any expense not included as a line item or anticipated in a line item by the Budget Committee of more than $2,000 or a total of more than $4,000 in any given quarter and/or any future ongoing expenditure must be reviewed by the Budget Committee and approved by the Board of Directors of ACB.

Motion 29: Ms. Schmitt moved that the Budget Committee dedicate itself to coming up with some guidelines in tandem with the President, CFO and Executive Director and circulate to the Board at least one week before the February meeting so that we can digest them ahead of time and vote on them. The motion passed.

Mr. LeRoy Saunders, 2001 Convention Coordinator, reported to the Board that he was pleased with the results of the ACB convention in Des Moines. He estimates there were 1,500 people including volunteers, exhibitors and attendees.

Mr. Saunders moved on to the 2003 convention to be held in Pittsburgh. There was some concern about safety, which he addressed. A letter was read from the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau indicating added security measures will be taken while the ACB convention is being held. We will use the Westin and Hilton Hotels as well as the new convention center.

The Public Relations report was given by Mr. Ralph Sanders. There were approximately 36 persons attending the PR seminar at the 2001 convention. There will be another seminar at the 2002 convention. The committee is working on PR media in Spanish. The committee is also working on the new magazine project.

Motion 30: Mr. Alexander moved the acceptance of the Public Relations report. The motion passed.

Motion 31: Mr. Speicher moved that the President with such assistance as he thinks appropriate, establish a working group to review the role of the Board of Publications and Public Relations Committee and any other things they find that fall in that area of controversy to make a written proposal with any comments to the Constitution Committee no later than December 1. The motion carried.

Motion 32: Mr. Pomerantz moved to amend the date on above motion to January 1. Motion passed.

The ACB Board of Directors meeting recessed until 9:00am on September 23.

The meeting reconvened at 9:15am on Sunday, September 23, 2001 with Mr. Speicher and Mr. Saunders absent.

Agenda item eleven: Convention matters

C. Guide Dog Relief Area Task Force Committee report. Ms. Debbie Grubb reviewed for the Board the written report each member received.

Motion 33: Ms. Grubb moved the acceptance of her report. The motion carried.

Motion 34: Mr. Edwards moved that we extend the operation of the task force and ask them to develop specific proposals for Houston and Pittsburgh and ask that the proposal for Houston be prepared by mid-year. Motion carried.

Item Thirteen: Employment Issues Task Force report from Mr. Pomerantz. The mission statement and goals of the task force were not available, however, an e-mail copy was sent to the Board. The task force is planning to hold a workshop for the 2002 convention. They are looking at training materials for members and others.

Motion 35: Mr. Charlson moved the acceptance of the Employment Task Force report. The motion carried.

Mr. Jerry Annunzio presented the report from the Logo Committee. He described a few designs and answered some questions. Sample raised line logos were distributed for examination.

Motion 36: Mr. Edwards moved we use the letters “ACB” with the words “American Council of the Blind” below them as a beginning. The motion carried.

Motion 37: Mr. Charlson moved that we charge the staff at the national office to acquire the services of a graphical artist to render a minimum of three different proposed logos of dramatically different motifs and provide them to us in enlarged and down to business card size to be presented at the mid-year meeting.

Mr. Edwards offered a friendly amendment, which gives the President and the Executive Director the authority to initially utilize other methods. The motion carried.

The next item on the agenda: Voting Accessibility Task Force. Mr. Edwards, chair, reported the committee is working on a document which will be ready by October 8 and will circulated with a final draft by October 15.

Motion 38: Several people moved to accept the Voting Accessibility report. The motion carried.

Mr. Oral Miller presented a report from the Endorsement Committee. The criteria listed at the post-convention Board meeting remains the same. The committee wishes to be involved in fund raising efforts especially concerning the ATM agreement and contract to make certain they meet the criteria established by the committee.

Motion 39: Ms. Dawn Christensen moved the adoption of the proposed criteria. The motion carried.

Motion 40: Mr. Edwards moved that the President is hereby directed to appoint a group from the Board who will have the responsibility of overseeing any agreements that involve endorsement. The motion passed.

Motion 41: Mr. Alexander moved that the Endorsement Task Force be dissolved having fulfilled its responsibility. The motion passed.

Old Business –

President Gray brought forth the pre-convention motion 15 tabling pre-convention 2001 Motion 14 to a time certain. This motion referred to the cap associated with dues. At this point the motion is to refer to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee a recommendation made first to this Board that a modification of the Constitution be examined that would alter the nature of the cap of a maximum of 625 dues paying members per affiliate. The recommendation was that the cap be lifted by 200 members each year until it exceeded the affiliate with the largest membership.

Motion 42: This is Motion 14 from the pre-convention Board meeting. Those voting in the affirmative were Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Seliger, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Beatty, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Grubb and Mr. Miller. The dissenting votes were Mr. Alexander, Mr. Annunzio, Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Sanderson. The motion passed with a roll call vote of ten yes and four no.

Motion 43: Mr. Edwards moved that the president be instructed to allocate time at the President’s Meeting to place the issue of the membership cap on the table so the affiliates will have the opportunity to understand what the Board has done and why it has done it. The motion carried.

Dr. Bradley reported that work had begun on the 2002 convention in Houston.

New Business –

The mid-year meeting will be February 16 through 18, 2002 in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Crawford suggested that ACB be more involved in special education. He proposed a task force on special education be formed.

Motion 44: Mr. Charlson moved that a task force for the education of blind children and youth be established and the President be encouraged to appoint members to that task force at his earliest convenience. The motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 11:10am.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary


1. When electing members to either the ACB Budget Committee or the ACBES Board of Directors, nominations shall be placed for one position at a time. Following nominations for the first position, a roll call vote will be conducted with the voting member stating the name of the candidate of their choice. The candidate with the most votes will be elected. Nominations will then be in order for the second position with nominations and the election being conducted in the same manner as for the first position. Any candidate that has failed to be elected for the first position is eligible for subsequent positions. Additional positions shall be nominated and elected in the same manner as the first position.

2. When electing members of the Executive Committee, the ACB Board of Directors shall divide into two groups, the Directors and the Officers, the latter group to include the Immediate Past President. Each group will select two members to represent their group on the Executive Committee. In the case of the group of the Directors, one Director shall be identified to serve as chair of the group. Nominations shall be placed for one position at a time. Following nominations for the first position, a roll call vote will be conducted with the voting member stating the name of the candidate of their choice. The candidate with the most votes will be elected. Nominations will then be in order for the second position with nominations and the election being conducted in the same manner as the first position. Any candidate that has failed to be elected for the first position is eligible for nomination for the second position. In the case of the Officer group, the President shall act as chair of the group.

3. While it has not been the practice of the past three holders of the office, there is nothing in the ACB Constitution or By-Laws or within Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised prohibiting the President of the American Council of the Blind or any other person serving in the capacity as chair from casting a vote when serving as chair of the Board of Directors. The President may cast a vote for any candidate seeking a position on the ACBES Board of Directors, the ACB Budget Committee or the ACB Executive Committee.

4. There may not be any proxy voting by either mail ballot or e-mail ballot. An individual may cast a vote while attending a meeting in person, by conference call or by speaker phone.

Adopted 9/22/01