Summary of the November Board Conference Calls

by Ron Brooks

On November 17 and 21, 2016, ACB’s board of directors held two conference calls to finalize and approve the organization’s 2017 budget and to conduct other necessary business. This article summarizes decisions made regarding the budget, several recommended updates to ACB awards, and other business, which the board completed.
On Nov. 17, the board began by focusing on projected revenues. After a presentation from treasurer Carla Ruschival, secretary Ray Campbell moved to adopt the 2017 ACB revenue budget. David Trott seconded the motion, which passed. Total projected support and revenue is $1,093,870.
Ruschival then presented the draft budget for the 2017 ACB conference and convention. After her presentation, John McCann moved to adopt the budget for the conference and convention; immediate past president Mitch Pomerantz seconded the motion. It, too, passed.
ACB executive director Eric Bridges updated the board regarding the organizational strategic planning effort which began in Reno at the fall board meeting (see the December 2016 E-Forum). Eric proposed a two-day face-to-face meeting to take place in Alexandria in early 2017. After this presentation, the board recessed its meeting.
On Nov. 21, the board turned its attention to the expense side of the budget. Before diving into budget, Campbell presented draft minutes from the fall board meeting. Allan Peterson moved approval of the minutes as presented, and Pomerantz seconded. The motion passed.
Ruschival then led a discussion on proposed guidelines for ACB affiliates and other organizations wanting to conduct fundraising events using ACB Radio. John McCann moved to adopt the guidelines as circulated; Denise Colley seconded. The motion passed.
ACB president Kim Charlson presented a number of proposed updates to several awards which have been recommended by the awards committee. These awards include:
·      The Robert S. Bray Award, given to an individual or an organization that has made a significant contribution to improving library services, information technology or communication access.
·      The Durward K. McDaniel Ambassador Award, given to an individual who exhibits a positive image of blindness in his/her community.
·      The George Card Award, presented in recognition of outstanding service by a blind person who has contributed to the betterment of the blindness community.
·      The James R. Olsen Distinguished Service Award, given to an individual or organization that has made important contributions to advance opportunities for the blindness community.
There were no proposed changes to any other awards. Peterson moved to adopt the revised awards criteria as circulated; Campbell seconded. The motion passed. Watch future editions of the Forum for information about ACB awards, including criteria and the process and timeline for making nominations.
Ruschival then presented the expense portion of the proposed 2017 ACB budget. After some discussion and two motions making small adjustments to the line items for ACB Link and for the Holiday Auction, Campbell moved to adopt the proposed expenses portion of the 2017 budget as amended; McCann seconded. The motion passed.  Total projected expenses are $1,259,703.
McCann then moved that the board adopt the 2017 ACB budget in total; Colley seconded. The motion passed.
Following the budget discussion, Charlson invited attendees to provide recommendations for the midyear meeting. Potential topics included presentations of “best practices” from successful affiliates, ideas for membership development, fundraising strategies, and potential implications of a Trump administration for people with disabilities, especially people who are blind or visually impaired.
Eric Bridges then provided a brief update on ACB’s activities to assist the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promulgate rules for audio description. These efforts have included circulation of a letter signed by the ACB and a number of other advocacy organizations and attendance at several meetings by ACB’s director of advocacy and governmental affairs, Tony Stephens. The issue is now beginning to draw some media attention. Upon the conclusion of this update, the meeting adjourned at 9:09 p.m. Eastern.