Summary of the August Board of Directors Conference Call

by Debbie Lewis

President Kim Charlson called a meeting of the ACB board of directors to complete business from the convention board meeting, including: election of the budget committee and election of board members to constitutionally required committees, staff updates, and approval of communication action team items.
Secretary Ray Campbell called the roll; all board members were present. Staff in attendance included: Eric Bridges, Nancy Becker, and Tony Stephens. Kim reviewed the agenda, which was approved as proposed. Minutes of the June 30, 2017 convention board meeting were unanimously approved.
Committee Elections 
For the budget committee, George Holliday nominated Mitch Pomerantz, Ray nominated David Trott, and David nominated Dan Spoone. All three were elected unanimously.
For constitutionally required committees, George Holliday will continue to serve on membership, Pat Sheehan will continue to serve on credentials, and Katie Frederick will continue to serve on public relations. The executive committee will be established at the fall board meeting in St. Louis.
National Office Update
Due to the recent events in Charlottesville, many major non-profits have chosen to move their events away from Mar-a-Lago in Florida. ACB was cited by a writer for “The Washington Post” as unwilling to relocate an event scheduled at Mar-a-Lago. Eric explained that this event is not sponsored or influenced by ACB, and that we are merely a beneficiary of the event. Despite this, ACB received negative publicity on social media and significant amounts of hostile email. Staff quickly developed and circulated educational materials explaining ACB’s history of service and commitment to civil rights. This strategy paid off, and the anger is subsiding.
This week, Eric is attending the U.S. Business Leadership conference in Orlando, where he participated on an industry panel at the opening plenary session discussing innovation in technology. Through participation, ACB will be able to educate the 1,200 attendees from key companies and can collaborate with many of these organizations.
Ray thanked Eric for his and Rebecca’s participation at the recent Midwest Leadership Conference.
Minnesota Office Update
Nancy Becker reported that convention sponsorships increased to $293,000 this year. New sponsors were: General Motors, Amazon, Cox Communications, Disability Relations Group, and Spark Therapeutics. AT&T, Microsoft, Comcast and VFO increased their sponsorships.
ACB has reached out to organizations who rate the fundable status of non-profits. ACB has the GuideStar Gold Seal. BBB Wise Giving has asked for a different type of effectiveness report this year. CharityWatch reaches out to organizations they wish to rate, and hopefully will give ACB a good rating.
The planned giving brochure is being printed, and letters were sent to 18 estate planning firms. In July, Lane and Nancy visited the stores in Texas and Milwaukee. Nancy talks with store staff weekly, and is working to improve the demographics and visibility of the stores.
Resolutions Implementation
Tony Stephens reported that 28 resolutions were passed at the 2017 convention. Some will be assigned to committees; others require action by leadership and staff. Tony summarized each of the resolutions. Topics include: audio description standards, autonomous vehicles, issues regarding rehabilitation and independent living, rights of service animal handlers, accessibility of vending equipment and protection of the Randolph-Sheppard program opportunities, transportation, health care, etc.
Marketing and Communications Team Items
The committee proposed a tag line, value statement and short elevator speech for use in marketing ACB. There was consensus that the tag line needs more work. Board members have until Sept. 4 to propose alternatives.
The ACB organizational values, based on the letters IACB, and the elevator speech language, which can be adapted to various situations, were both adopted.
Other Business
David asked that the board consider developing a policy manual. Kim suggested this might be similar to the BOP’s Editorial Policy Manual. Currently, board policies and procedures are buried in 50 years of minutes.
Ray also asked that the convention schedule and format be reviewed based on significant feedback he received. Others agreed this should be an agenda item.
The meeting adjourned at 11:34 p.m.