June 30, 2007, Pre-Convention Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Pre-Convention Board of Directors Board Meeting
June 30, 2007

The meting was brought to order by President Chris Gray at 9:15am Central Daylight Time at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The roll of the board of directors was taken by Secretary Donna Seliger. All members were present as well as Ms. Brunson, Mr. Strong and Mr. Don Stevens, parliamentarian. A number of guests were present who introduced themselves.

President Gray reviewed the agenda and added a few items.

Motion1: Mr. Edwards moved to adopt the agenda as amended. The motion carried with a voice vote.

Mr. Pomerantz asked President Gray about the direct mailing campaign and was told a mailing had been sent out as well as an e-mail campaign with no report of results available at this time.

Mr. Miller questioned ACB’s involvement in the World Blind Union. President Gray stated that ACB is heavily involved with the WBU

Motion 2: Mr. Edwards moved to adopt the President’s report. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Mike Godino, Treasurer reported to the Board the year to date financials for ACB.

Motion 3: Mr. Pomerantz moved to accept the budget committee report and treasurer’s report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Next on the agenda, Ms. Seliger presented the minutes from the May 23, 2007 conference call Board of Directors’ meeting for approval.

Motion 4: Mr. Edwards moved to approve the May 23, 2007 minutes. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Ms. Brunson reported the results of the survey on currency which appeared in the Braille Forum. Of the 55 responses that were reviewed, 18 use a money identifier and one uses the Opticon. Eleven reported the devices used were not effective. Several people reported foreign currency of different sizes and colors were sufficient. Ms. Brunson stated there are additional responses that were not included in her report. She also suggested the results be might be reported in the Braille Forum.

Ms. Schmitt suggested having the survey on currency available during the convention. However, finding a couple volunteers and a table to distribute and complete survey forms proved to be a problem.

Ms. Ruschival suggested beginning on Monday have the survey available. A report of the survey results will be available at the fall board meeting.

Motion 5: Dr. Bradley moved to accept the currency survey report from Ms. Brunson and Ms. Schmitt. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Trott, chair of the Resource Development Committee, stated the ACB Braille Forum raffle is going well and tickets are available from several individuals. The winning tickets will be drawn at the annual banquet on July 6, 2007.

Motion 6: Mr. Edwards moved acceptance of the Resource Development Committee report. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Ms. Ruschival, Convention Coordinator, reported ACB has a bid for the 2010 convention. The Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix has presented a bid for the Board to approve. Two representatives spoke to the group about the Sheraton Hotel and the greater Phoenix area. The hotel has planned for a 6,500 foot dog relief area sponsored and maintained by the Pet Smart Store. The hotel will actually not be open until 2008. It will have a full service restaurant as well as a Starbucks in the lobby. There are several eateries directly across the street. Audible pedestrian signals are located throughout the downtown area.

Mr. Jim Halliday from Humanware presented his views on investing in corporate sponsorships. One of many goals is to promote Braille literacy through ACB Radio. He feels the American Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment is also a very important project that ACB members are encouraged to support. Mr. Halliday emphasized partnerships as a means of successful project completion. Because HumanWare contributed so much toward the 2007 convention, it was decided to award Mr. Halliday and his company with the Ruby Sponsorship which equates to a $10,000 contribution.

Ms. Ruschival continued with her report. The Sheraton is offering a room rate of $89 per night.

Motion 7: Dr. Bradley moved that we go forward with the bid from the Sheraton Phoenix Hotel provided the site inspection upon completion of the facility in 2008 is satisfactory. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Although the Hyatt Regency has been very accommodating, those who have computers and wish to go online in their guest rooms have had problems with the system and not been able to connect with the internet. Mr. Campbell has agreed to follow up with the hotel on the issue.

The Convention Ear has been resurrected and the number in the Hyatt is extension 6370.

Motion 8: Mr. Thom moved the acceptance the convention chairperson’s report from Ms. Ruschival. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Brunson reported the 2006 priority one resolutions have been handled capably by ACB’s new Governmental Affairs Director, Mr. Eric Bridges. The priority two resolutions are being handled now.

Ms. Brunson gave a brief report on the law suit Independent Living Aids has filed against ACB and its president. The article in the Braille Forum written by President Gray will most likely be taken from the ACB website until further notice. The decision will be made by the Board of Publications at their meeting on July 1, 2007.

Motion 9: Mr. Edwards moved that the Board recommend to the Board of Publications to remove the article in question from the website until conclusion of the lawsuit. A statement will be placed on the ACB website which will be written in consultation with the attorneys. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 10: Mr. Campbell moved to accept Ms. Brunson’s report on litigation and other items. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 11: Mr. Campbell moved to recess the Board of Directors meeting and convene the American Council of the Blind Enterprises and Service Board. The motion carried on a voice vote.


Mr. Michael Garrett, chair of the ACBES board of directors, stated one board member has resigned his post on the board. He recommended that Mr. David Trott fill the vacated position. By consensus, the corporation agreed to leave the board seat empty until the next meting which is planned for September.

The thrift store managers were brought to Minneapolis for a two-day meeting in March. Mr. Garrett felt they all took away information they could use in their daily operations. He reported the Milwaukee store along with two others have increased in sales. ACBES anticipates meeting their financial goal for 2007.

Motion 1: Mr. Campbell moved to adjourn the ACBES corporate meeting. The motion carried on a voice vote. **********************************************************

Motion 12: Ms, Schmitt moved to accept the ACBES report from Mr. Garrett. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Ms. Crissie Cochrane of ACB Radio spoke briefly about ACB Radio World which will be a combination of Mainstream and the Interactive stream which will be heard in several languages.

Motion 13: Mr. Pomerantz moved to accept the report from Ms. Cochrane. The motion carried on a voice vote.

The president of the new affiliate, ACB of Wisconsin, stated Ms. Nona Graves will be available later to accept the charter of affiliation from the ACB Board of Directors.

Mr. Charlie Hodge who has been the liaison from the Board of Publications to the ACB Board gave a very brief report. Mr. Hodge announced the bi-annual revision of the BOP manual will be presented to that Board.

Motion 14: Mr. Godino moved to accept the Board of Publications report from Mr. Hodge. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Ms. Lori Scharff came to the ACB Board of Directors with a request for funding to meet accessibility needs for the hearing impaired who attend the ACB convention such as interpreters. This year ACB was very lucky to have had donated funds from AOL to cover interpreters for the deaf-blind members attending the convention.

Motion 15: Mr. Pomerantz moved to refer this matter to the ACB Convention Committee. On a voice vote, the motion carried with one dissenting vote.

Motion 16: Dr. Bradley moved to accept the report given by Ms. Scharff. The motion carried on a voice vote.

President Gray recognized Ms. M. J. Schmitt for her years of service to ACB in her capacity as a member of the Board of Directors.

Next President Gray thanked Mr. Paul Edwards for being a valuable member of the ACB Board.

Motion 17: Mr. Campbell moved to adjourn the ACB board of directors’ meeting. The motion carried and the meeting ended at 1:30pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary