February 23-24, 2012 Mid Year Board Of Directors Meeting

The 2012 Mid Year Board of Directors meeting, held at the Holiday Inn National Airport Hotel was called to order on February 23, 2012, at 9:00AM.  The following Board members were in attendance:  Mitch Pomerantz, Kim Charlson, Brenda Dillon, Marlaina Lieberg, Carla Ruschival, Chris Gray, Ray Campbell, Berl Colley, Janet Dickelman, Marsha Farrow, Michael Garrett, George Holiday, Billie Jean Keith, Alan Peterson, Jeff Thom and David Trott.  Paul Edwards represented the Board of Publications.  Staff present were Melanie Brunson, Lane Waters, Barbara Jackson LeMoine, Sharon Lovering, Eric Bridges, Dione Matthews and Steve Obremski.
Pomerantz reviewed the agenda; Campbell moved and Garrett seconded approval of the agenda, and that motion carried.
At 9:15AM, Lieberg moved to recess the meeting in order to conduct the long range planning seminar.  Holiday seconded and the motion carried.
Pomerantz reconvened the 2012 Mid Year Board Meeting on February 24, 2012 at 9:00AM.  At the call of the roll, all Board members were present.  Staff present were Brunson, Waters, Matthews and Bridges.
Campbell moved and Dickelman seconded that the minutes for December 14 be approved and that motion carried.
President's Report, Mitch Pomerantz. 

  • ACB will host the meeting of the North American/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union on May 18. 
  • ACB Radio will stream the 8th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Blind Union in Bancock, Thailand in November of 2012.

Edwards moved acceptance, Farrow seconded and the motion carried.
Staff Reports, Melanie Brunson and Lane Waters.

  • Brunson reported that ACB is well represented on the advisory committee established by the FCC to develop recommendations for the implementation of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act. 
  • The Institute for Traffic Engineers invited ACB to participate in a meeting regarding how to make round abouts safer for blind pedestrians.  A task force has been established to study this issue, and ACB will have a representative on that task force.
  • ACB will participate on a website which serves to establish a giving library; donors can visit this site and see videos presented by charitable organizations.
  • Brunson is continuing her search for a law firm whose rates are reasonable, with whom ACB might work when we need to refer affiliates for legal assistance.  The Idaho affiliate has asked Brunson to request the Board to consider assisting them with the 501C3 filing fee, which has been raised to $400.  Lieberg moved and Farrow seconded to assist Idaho by providing them with $400 to cover the cost of their 501C3 application filing fee.  Colley offered a friendly amendment to offer up to $400, in the event other funds can be found.  Lieberg and Farrow accepted, and the motion carried.
  • The scholarship winner handbook is being updated; it will clearly spell out what ACB will cover, i.e. air and ground travel, for scholarship winners.
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, will meet in Geneva from July 18-25.  Brunson will attend that meeting.  She continues to work on negotiations regarding copyright issues.
  • Steve Obremski, Development Director, reported that the U S Postal Service lost 8,000 pieces of ACB's last direct mail.  He is looking into using alternative mailing houses.
  • Obremski explained that sometimes, requests from ACB are turned down because the funding source provides funds regionally or locally.  The Board requested that when this occurs, Obremski contact any affiliate President whose affiliate might benefit.  .
  • Colley moved that the Board authorize ACB to participate in the giving campaign known as State Employee Campaigns through neighbor to nation.  Farrow seconded, and Gray added a friendly amendment stating, provided that ACB not compete with affiliates in the Combined Federal Campaign.  Colley and Farrow accepted this friendly amendment and the motion carried.
  • Eric Bridges reported that Congressman Markey will introduce the prescription labeling bill on which ACB is currently working.  He expects that a similar bill will be introduced in the Senate as well.
  • Bridges summarized information regarding the legislative imperatives on which ACB will work this year at its Legislative Seminar.
  • Waters reported that staff in the Minnesota office are stable and working well.
  • We are getting ready for the annual audit.
  • Staff are ramping up for convention activities. 
  • Lieberg moved and Campbell second acceptance of the staff reports.  The motion carried.

Pomerantz announced that Karen Kenninger, former director of the Iowa Department of the Blind, will be the new director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. 

  • Pomerantz reported that the international guest for the 2012 conference and convention will be arnt holt.
  • Brunson reported that ACB was contacted by Senator Patty Murray's office to draft questions for the Senator regarding the status of enforcement of the court order regarding accessible currency.

Treasurer's Report, Carla Ruschival.
All figures are current as of January 31, 2012.
Total Revenue:  $83,817.
Total expenses:  $101,526
Total Net Surplus Deficit:  $65,334
Total Assets:  $2,843,591
Trott moved and Garrett seconded acceptance of this report; that motion carried.
Investment Committee Report, Carla Ruschival.
Investments are doing well, and are following market trends.  They are currently at $1,0388.  Edwards moved acceptance of this report, Keith seconded and that motion carried.
At 12:00PM, Lieberg moved and Dillon seconded that the Board move to Executive Session to discuss Sensitive affiliate and financial matters, and that motion carried.
A motion to leave executive session and reconvene to an open meeting was made, seconded and passed at 2:50PM.
The Board reconvened its public meeting at 3:00PM.  Pomerantz reported that  the board adopted a motion directing the credentials committee to record the votes for the Missouri Council of the Blind as  2.5 votes fewer than the number to which MCB would ordinarily be entitled at the 2012 Conference and Convention in Louisville. 
Additionally, a motion to receive the ACBES report and directing ACBES to explore other options, including the viability of internet sales was passed.
A motion to amend the expense side of the budget for the Audio Description Project to add $9,600 resulted in a tie vote.  In order to have been successful, this motion would have required a 2/3 majority vote.
Resource Development Committee Report, Dan Dillon. 
A proposal for a trivia night fundraiser which would be carried on by local chapters or affiliates was discussed.  Local chapters or affiliates would receive 50% of the net funds raised and ACB the other 50%.  Gray moved approval of the RDC moving forward with this test project, and that they report back to the Board when the project is completed.  Thom seconded and the motion carried.
Dillon next proposed the use of a donation box, designed especially for collecting contributions, 50% of which would go to ACB.  The RDC has 8 test markets in mind in Tennessee and Florida.  If the project is successful, the RDC will ask ACB to pay for the boxes for affiliates on an ongoing basis.  Ruschival moved that the RDC be authorize by the ACB Board to proceed with a test of 4 boxes in Nashville and 4 in Orlando as a pilot for the donation project, with the affiliates receiving 60% of the proceeds, and ACB 40%, and that they report back to the Board at the fall Board meeting; Holliday seconded and the motion carried. 
Dillon next requested that members of the Board of Directors send out thank you email or make thank you phone calls to top contributors to ACB.  Pomerantz asked Board members to volunteer to make phone calls or send email, and all members volunteered.  Ruschival moved that the board proceed with this; Campbell seconded and the motion carried.
Ruschival moved that the ACB auction committee be given the go ahead to plan an auction for the first Sunday in December, the proceeds of which will go to ACB Radio, and that motion carried.
Brenda Dillon next proposed a comedy club activity at convention for Friday, July 6.  There is a dinner club near the convention hotel which is willing to work with ACB on this fundraiser.  While the Board felt this was a worthwhile idea, questions of liability and potential conflicts with existing similar activities by the Students affiliate were raised and after discussion, it was felt that this would not be an activity ACB could sponsor.
Gray moved acceptance of the RDC report, the motion was seconded by many, and the motion carried.
Board of Publications, Paul Edwards.

  • The BOP continues to work on the development of the ACB website.  Nolan Crabb began serving on the BOP in January, and is heading the website task force. 
  • The BOP is still working on the ACB copyright statement.
  • Discussion resulting from convention action regarding a name change for the Braille Forum is ongoing, and will include discussion with the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
  • A bid to create a BARD-ready copy of the Braille Forum for inclusion on the nLS BARD download is being considered.
  • The BOP has approved a planned giving brochure which is now in production.
  • Electronic subscriptions to the Braille Forum continue to increase . Campbell moved acceptance of the BOP report, Lieberg seconded and the motion carried.

Draft Criteria governing the proposal to provide the names of MMS contributors to affiliate presidents, Carla Ruschival and Ray Campbell.
Campbell moved that this Board approve the mms proposal concerning the sharing of donor information with affiliate presidents, with the understanding that an opt out provision will apply to both name and/or amount.  Holiday seconded and the motion carried.
2015 Conference and Convention sites, Janet Dickelman.
Dickelman reviewed several potential sites for the 2015 Conference and Convention.  She will provide more details by email.  Colley moved acceptance of the report, Ruschival seconded and the motion carried.
Discussion of Distribution to ACB Scholarship Fund, Kim Charlson.
Charlson moved that ACB level out the smaller scholarship funds to generate sufficient income to cover their reward, and that remaining funds be used to establish an endowed account to be used toward payment of scholarship travel.  Farrow Seconded this motion.  Gray moved to divide the current motion Ruschival seconded and the motion to divide carried.  A motion carried to take approximately $27,000 to make the seven scholarships, not including the Qualls Scholarship, self sustaining.  Gray moved to amend the motion on the floor such that remaining funds would be used to increase each existing scholarship fund proportionately.  Peterson seconded. Ruschival offered a friendly amendment that the $73,000 be applied to the Qualls scholarship fund which will enable ACB to offer a higher scholarship amount; gray and Peterson accepted, and the motion carried.
ACB Fall Board Meeting, Mitch Pomerantz.
After much discussion and juggling of calendars, it was decided the Fall Board Meeting would be held in Columbus, OH over the weekend of September 14.
Request from ACB Students and Blind Pride to renew charters due to name changes.
Two affiliates have changed their name, and have therefore requested new charters.  Charlson moved acceptance, Ruschival seconded and the motion carried.
Officer Liaison Reports.
All committees are working well and preparing for their summer meetings.  All committees are meeting regularly.
Colley discussed the upcoming Leadership Training Institute which will occur the Friday of convention week.  Between 50 and 60 participants will be accepted.  More information will be forthcoming.
Heritage for the Blind.  The Pennsylvania Council of the Blind has requested that the Pensylvania Attorney General look in to this organization. 
At 5:50PM, a motion to adjourn was made, seconded and carried.
Marlaina Lieberg
Submitted 04-23-2012
Approved:  05-09-2012