February 21, 2014 ACB Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Board of Directors met on Friday, February 21, 2014 at the Holiday Inn National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.  President Kim Charlson called the meeting to order at 9:09 a.m.  At the call of the roll, the following board members were present:  Kim Charlson, Jeff Thom, Marlaina Lieberg, Ray Campbell, Mitch Pomerantz, Berl Colley, Sara Conrad, Janet Dickelman, Michael Garret, George Holliday, John McCann, Allan Peterson, Patrick Sheehan, Dan Spoone and David Trott.  Carla Ruschival joined the meeting at 10:20 a.m.  Board of Publications Representative Denise Colley was present.  Staff present: Melanie Brunson, ACB Executive Director, Lane Waters, ACB Controller, Eric Bridges, Director of External Relations and Policy and Francine Patterson, Executive Assistant.
President Charlson reviewed the agenda.  Trott asked to present a special project idea; this was added under the Goal 1 report.  Pomerantz asked to present an issue for consideration during the convention report.  Colley moved and Lieberg seconded adoption of the agenda as amended, the motion carried.
The minutes of the January 30, 2014 Board of Directors meeting were presented by ACB Secretary Ray Campbell.  McCann moved and Garrett seconded adoption of these minutes, the motion carried.
The President’s report was presented by Kim Charlson.  Highlights included:

  • Kim met with Jeffrey Lovitky, the attorney representing ACB in the Accessible Currency case.  This meeting took place during the Christmas holiday.  They discussed issues with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) and the courts.
  • Kim will be meeting next week with Pete Osborn from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to discuss ways RNIB and ACB can work together.

Thom moved and Dickelman seconded acceptance of the President’s report, the motion carried.
Staff reports were presented.  The DC Area Office report was given by Melanie Brunson, Executive Director.  Highlights include:

  • We have 65 people coming to the President’s meeting, and 85 coming to Legislative Seminar.
  • ACB has been working behind the scenes getting information out on the Accessible Prescription Labeling Best Practices.

Tom Tobin, Director of Development, joined the meeting via conference call to give his development report.  Highlights included:

  • We’ve received 10 proposals as we requested from Seliger which will be submitted with the goal of raising funds for the Audio Description Project.
  •  Work continues on building our direct mail data file.
  • Our first “Inside ACB” Donor newsletter has gone out.  While we’re using this mainly as a communications tool, we’ve received 11 gifts since it was published.  A copy of the newsletter was included in the packets of information given to attendees at the recent Cavalino luncheon event.

Dan Spoone, Chair of the Strategic Plan Goal 2 group, reported on their activities.  He listed the 12 ACB fundraising programs identified during the fundraising planning session held prior to the Fall Board meeting.  These are: Direct Mail Campaign, Telemarketing, grant proposals, Audio Description Project, MMS, ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, Online donations, special events, planned giving, convention sponsorships, Advertising on ACB Radio and advisory board.
Spoone moved and Ruschival seconded approval of an annual giving society program for ACB, retroactive to January 1, 2014.  The motion carried.
Upon Mr. Tobin’s departure, we returned to the DC Area Office Report.  Pomerantz moved and Conrad seconded approval of a shortened Presidents Meeting and Legislative Seminar format, with the board meeting taking place on a Saturday, and the hill Visits taking place on a Tuesday.  The motion carried.
Eric Bridges, Director of External Relations and Policy, provided the board an update on progress implementing 2013 ACB Resolutions.  All resolutions which required immediate attention have been addressed.  One of our 2013 resolutions asks for increased funding for older blind programs.  There are many broader issues surrounding older blindness services, and to best address these collaboratively, Eric Bridges recommended that ACB reach out to stakeholders to create a working group to address and focus on these concerns and make strategic recommendations to move these issues forward.  Eric reported that progress is being made on other resolutions.
Campbell moved and McCann seconded that the board recess into Executive Session for discussion of affiliate, advocacy, constitution, personnel and financial issues.  The motion carried, and the board recessed into Executive Session at 12:05 p.m.
The board returned to open session at 2:57 p.m.  President Charlson reported that the board discussed the issues enumerated on the agenda, with no motions being adopted during Executive Session.
Lane Waters, ACB Controller, gave the Minneapolis Area Office Report.  He stated that in addition to the normal responsibilities his office works on, they’ve been doing quite a bit of work with Donor Perfect.  Lane also reported that the Affiliate Membership Management System (AMMS) is working well, and that the 2014 convention site is up.
Trott moved and Lieberg seconded acceptance of the staff reports, the motion carried.
The Treasurer’s Report was delivered by Carla Ruschival.  She stated that since the latest financial data the board has is for end of year, 2013, a more useful exercise would be to look at the first quarter report after March, 2014 to see how we’re doing relative to budget.  Dickelman moved and Campbell seconded acceptance of the Treasurer’s report, the motion carried.
Dan Spoone, Co-Chair, gave the Resource Development Committee (RDC) report.  He indicated there are several subcommittees under the RDC, including MMS, the ACB Brenda Dillon Memorial Walk, and the Auction.  He also indicated there are three new subcommittees dealing with online donations, special events and planned giving.
Carla Ruschival reported on the ACB Mini Mall.  She indicates that work is continuing on adding shopping cart functionality to the website.
A proposal from the ACB Public Relations Committee, to produce public service announcements for ACB Affiliates for a fee, was presented by Kim Charlson and Sara Conrad.  Pomerantz moved and Campbell seconded that the board thank the Public Relations Committee for its proposal to produce public service announcements for ACB Affiliates, and that this proposal be transmitted to the management of ACB Radio for implementation and that any revenue obtained for production of such PSAs go directly to the operation of ACB Radio. The motion carried.
The Board of Publications Report was presented by BOP Representative Denise Colley.  The BOP will be providing a number of opportunities for members to provide input on the ACB Braille Forum and eForum.  They are also spending time implementing best practices for forum readers with low vision.  Campbell moved and Pomerantz seconded acceptance of the BOP report, the motion carried.
The ACB Radio Report was presented by Marlaina Lieberg.  ACB Radio’s Management Team is broken up into Programming and Marketing subcommittees.  Also, an Affiliate Request for Streaming form has been developed to better document what an affiliate has and what is needed for streaming.  Pomerantz moved and Garrett seconded acceptance of the ACB Radio report, the motion carried.
The Conference and Convention Report was presented by Convention Coordinator Janet Dickelman.  Janet indicated that things are progressing with the Riviera in Las Vegas for the 2014 Conference and convention, which will be held July 11-19.  We will continue sending out the one-page Conference and convention brochure in large print.  Janet also reported that we have signed contracts for the 2015 and 2016 conference and convention.  Dates for 2015 in Dallas are July 3-July 11; and dates for 2016 in Minneapolis are July 1-July 9.  Pomerantz moved and Conrad seconded acceptance of the Conference and Convention report, the motion carried.
The Strategic Plan Goal 1 group report was presented by Carla Ruschival.  While we had heard in previous reports about many of the Goal 1 activities, Carla reported that we have 348 “likes” on the ACB Facebook page, and 606 followers on the ACB twitter page.
The Goal 3 report was presented by Jeff Thom.  Jeff reported that besides looking at several personnel-related issues, Goal Group 3 will be re-issuing a memo to ACB committee chairs asking them to do whatever is possible to reduce the burden on ACB staff during evenings and weekends without interfering with committee operations.
We had heard from goal groups 2 and 4 earlier in the meeting.  David Trott expressed that we need to find a way to preserve the rich pictorial history of ACB.  By consensus, it was felt that an effort could be made to not only continue capturing ACB’s oral history, but also include pictorial history and historic recordings as part of an overall ACB history project.
Officer and board liaison reports were presented.  All of the committees and task forces were reported to have been making progress in their work.  During the course of these reports, Kim indicated that the current ACB representative to the ANSI standards Committee has tendered his resignation, so we are looking for a new person to fill that role.
There being no further business, Pomerantz moved and Lieberg seconded that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion carried, and the meeting adjourned at 5:42 p.m.
Ray Campbell,
Date submitted: 5/08/2014
Date approved:   6/09/2014