June 9, 2010, Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the June 9, 2010 Teleconference Meeting of the Board of Directors

The June 9, 2010, meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind, held via teleconference, convened at 5:40 PM PDT. Members present at the call of the roll were: Mitch Pomerantz, Kim Charlson, Brenda Dillon, Marlaina Lieberg, Chris Gray, Ray Campbell, Berl Colley, Michael Garrett, Pat Sheehan, David Trott, Cammie Vloedman and Marcia Dresser. Staff present was Melanie Brunson. Michael Godino, Marsha Farrow, Jeff Thom and Carla Ruschival arrived at 5:55 PM. Billie Jean Keith was absent.

Review and Approval of Agenda. Pomerantz reviewed the agenda; Lieberg moved approval, seconded by several, and the motion carried.

Trott moved and Lieberg seconded approval of the February 19/20 Board of Director’s Meeting minutes as emailed, and that motion carried.

President's Report. The GDUI convention luncheon speaker, who was invited to speak, will not be doing so. This is a decision by a vote of the GDUI Board. Two changes in staff in the Arlington Office have occurred. Deana Wilson and Patricia Castillo are moving onward. Carla Ruschival, Lane Waters, Melanie Brunson and Mitch Pomerantz are working to resolve questions of how convention staffing assistance will occur.

The NFB are now interested in working with ACB on the accessible currency issue and have hired a consultant to develop recommendations. The consultant has approached ACB with a request to possibly help validate his findings by conducting a survey of ACB conventioneers. Pomerantz asked for Board input and Gray expressed that if the current data, which was so biased against blind people is not removed, we should not offer assistance since the consultant hired by NFB is the same person who developed the Treasury’s original report. Pomerantz said that of great concern to us is the suggestion that money identifiers be used in the interim. Colley suggested careful exploration of all options. Gray moved that the Board authorize Pomerantz or his designee to indicate that we would make space available at the convention to discuss with either individuals or groups to participate and provide feedback on prototype bills he has to show, and that we further authorize the president or his designee to discuss with the consultant, Mr. Witt, possible further involvement by ACB based on our impressions of his material and advice of our counsel; Lieberg seconded, and the motion carried.

Gray gave an update on the database program on which he is working. While there are still glitches, he feels optimistic. The full database is loaded and the database will be ready in a couple of days for beta testing.

Lieberg moved and Campbell seconded acceptance of the President’s Report and that motion carried.

Request for Approval of Collaboration Between ACB and Elderhostel - Sandra Sermons,Chair, International Relations Committee and Pam Shaw, Member, IRC. This organization organizes trips which combine education and experiential learning. The Committee is requesting Board support for the concept of a pilot program between ACB and Elderhostel. There is a trip to Spain being planned for October 18, 2010. Lieberg moved and Campbell seconded to investigate collaboration with Elderhostel; that motion carried. Pomerantz asked the IRC Chair to get copies of the draft agreement to Brunson and himself by June 22.

Tracfone Wireless Safelink. This program provides free cell phone service for people with low income; they have contacted ACB requesting support for their particular program, which they are trying to introduce into various states via legislation. Gray suggested Pomerantz appoint a committee to determine precisely what is being requested of ACB. It was generally felt that ACB should let the company know it is a grass-roots organization, and does not dictate action to its affiliates, but is very much in support of this concept. Pomerantz will convene a task force after convention to investigate further actions vis-a-vis endorsements in-general. Pomerantz will communicate with Tracfone, indicating that ACB supports the concept of the Tracfone effort, and request more information regarding their expectations. Garrett, Colley and Thom will comprise this task force with Garrett serving as chair.

A motion to ratify the previous Email Vote Approving an Increase From $1 to $2 in the convention function sir-charge was made by Campbell and seconded by Lieberg. The motion carried.

Campbell moved and Lieberg seconded that the date for the fall, 2010 Board meeting will be November 5-7, 2010; that motion carried.

Campbell offered a motion to adjourn; the motion was seconded and carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM Pacific time.

Marlaina Lieberg

Submitted: 06-11-2010
Approved: 7-10-2010