July 10, 2010, Pre-convention Board Meeting Minutes

Pre-convention Meeting of the ACB Board of Directors
July 10, 2010

President Mitch Pomerantz called the Pre Convention Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind, held at the Downtown Phoenix Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, AZ, to order at 11:15 a.m. on July 10, 2010.

At the call of the roll the following Board members were present: Pomerantz, Charlson, Dillon, Lieberg, Godino, Gray, Colley, Farrow, Garrett, Keith, Ruschival, Sheehan, Thom, Trott, and Dresser. Not present were Campbell and Vloedman; Vloedman's absence was excused; Campbell arrived soon after the call of the roll.

Trott moved and Lieberg seconded adoption of the agenda, and the agenda was adopted.

Trott moved and Keith seconded approval of the June 9, 2010 Teleconference meeting minutes, and that motion carried.

President's Report: Mitch Pomerantz. Pomerantz reported that several ACB members were participants in a film dealing with education and life as a blind person.

ACB Store Website upgrade. Pomerantz will provide more details on this issue at the Post Convention Board Meeting.

Pomerantz will represent ACB at the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Washington, DC during the week of July 20. He and Melanie Brunson will then travel to our Minneapolis office.

Pomerantz publicly thanked Carla Ruschival, Patrick Sheehan and Camie Vloedman for their service on the ACB Board. Campbell moved and Lieberg seconded acceptance of the President's Report, and the Report was accepted.

Staff Reports: Melanie Brunson. Two people have left the Washington office, Patricia Castillo and Dina Wilson. Brunson will be evaluating job duties of the Administrative Assistant to create a current job description for that position.

Brunson said that comments regarding accessible currency are due to the Department of the Treasury on August 18. She further outlined some of the convention speakers dealing with ACB's legal victories regarding accessible currency and Social Security.

Brunson updated the Board regarding the World Intellectual Property Organization, and its proposed treaty to allow the sharing of books among blind persons worldwide. ACB has been at the table for these meetings in Geneva. The US does not support this treaty, but feels there are some compromises that should be attempted first. ACB will be working with a government staff person to attempt to influence the outcome on this matter.

Eric Bridges reported that all resolutions passed at the 2009 ACB Convention have been addressed and acted on as specified by each.

Sharon Lovering, Braille Forum Editor, reported that the Braille Forum is currently being sent to 2,030 braille readers, 6,605 cassette readers, 12,905 large print readers, 612 CD readers and 2,825 e-mail readers. We are seeing a rise in e-mail subscribers more so than in other formats.

Lane Waters reported that the Brooklyn Center Office has been working to implement a better preregistration experience for our annual conference and convention. His staff have also developed a more efficient system for registration at convention. Gray moved and Trott seconded approval of the staff report in toto, and that motion carried.

Review of Convention Bids for 2013 and 2014: Carla Ruschival. Thus far, two bids have been received for 2013, one of which would accept 13 or 14. The 2013 only bid is Columbus, OH and Los Vegas, NE will accept either year. After listening to representatives from each bidding hotel, Trott moved and Lieberg seconded that the bid for Columbus, Ohio be accepted for 2013, but that we wait on the 2014 bid until after Ruschival conducts a site visit in Atlanta at which time the Board can decide during its August teleconference call, and that motion carried.

Treasurer's Report: Michael Godino For the fifth month, ending May 31, 2010, revenue equals $428,308; expenses equal $547,303. The net excess shows a deficit of $118,994. Total assets including various investment funds $1,466,222. Campbell moved adoption of the Report, the motion was seconded by many and carried.

Membership Committee activity in Idaho: Berl Colley. Colley explained the purpose of the trip to Boise which task force members made in May. The goal was to evaluate whether an affiliate could be chartered in 2011 at the ACB conference and convention. Based on the results of the one day visit and input from interested persons in Idaho, the current plan is to visit Boise in the fall to present a one day seminar dealing with technology, eye conditions and ACB related information and education. After that meeting, there will be monthly conference calls for persons in Idaho. Another meeting is planned for the spring. Gray moved and Campbell seconded adoption of the report and that motion carried.

Receipt of life membership plaques by those who pay on installment plans: Mitch Pomerantz. A question arose regarding when a member who purchases a lifetime membership on an installment plan should receive the actual plaque. After much discussion, Keith moved that persons shall be considered as life members when full payment has been received; the motion was seconded by many and the motion carried by voice vote with 9 yes and 5 no. Board members voted as follows: Charlson no; Dillon yes; Lieberg yes; Godino yes; Gray no; Campbell yes; Colley no; Farrow yes; Garrett yes; Keith yes; Ruschival yes; Sheehan yes; Thom no; and Trott no.

Board of Publications Report: Marcia Dresser. The Druple group has instituted a page model for the website. The BOP is working on the social networking issue, and has found someone to moderate the Twitter presence and is still looking for someone to moderate Facebook. Godino moved and Lieberg seconded acceptance of the report, and that motion was carried.

ACB Radio, Larry Turnbull. The audio quality of the Mainstream has been updated. Turnbull is working on bringing the Treasure Trove stream back in house. The Interactive stream will be automated by software like the Mainstream. The World stream is becoming more widely used for special events, such as the graduation ceremonies at the Washington School for the Blind. ACB Radio's website will be moving to Druple. Eight broadcasters have joined the Interactive stream in the last year. Lieberg moved and Thom seconded acceptance of this report, and that motion carried.

ACB Board Handbook and Second ACB Long Range Plan: Kim Charlson and Melanie Brunson. A folder in the ACB server has been created to hold all master copies of documents for the Handbook. Shortly after Convention, a Handbook will be distributed to all Board members. Charlson will seek input from Board members regarding what expectations of Board members should be and hopefully finish this document in the next couple of months.

Brunson reported that there are organizations which fund strategic planning, and the presenter who spoke to this Board at its fall, 2010 meeting indicated he could assist us with linking up to such organizations. Therefore, it is the plan to contact that presenter again to begin to gather information so that a line item can be developed for the 2011 budget. Trott moved and Lieberg seconded acceptance of this report, and the motion carried.

Update on Proposed Youth Legislative and Leadership Program: Michael Garrett Garrett reported that due to the departure of ACB's Director of Development, the 2011 date for this program will not happen. Funding is being sought with a date in 2012 in mind. Lieberg moved with many seconds that the report be accepted, and that motion carried.

Brunson requested to be more consistently in communication with Board members by finding a way to have an email list involving the Board and the Executive Director. Gray moved that Melanie Brunson and Lane Waters be added to the current Board List and that a second Board list be established called Board Private, in the event that the Board of Directors might wish to engage in private discussions without staff. The motion was seconded by Keith, and the motion carried.

Convention Report, Carla Ruschival. Board members raised questions such as how to handle guide dog accidents in the hotel, issues with busses, etc. Ruschival reported that thins are going well, and each member of her committee is doing their job efficiently. Godino moved and Campbell seconded acceptance of this report, and that motion carried.

Trott moved adjournment, Campbell seconded and the motion carried at 4:50 PM.

Marlaina Lieberg

Submitted July 19, 2010
Approved September 22, 2010