The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Board of Directors met by conference call on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. President Kim Charlson called the meeting to order at 8:01 p.m. central time. At the call of the roll, the following board members were present: Kim Charlson, Dan Spoone, John McCann, Ray Campbell, David Trott, Mitch Pomerantz, Jeff Bishop, Denise Colley, Sara Conrad, Dan Dillon, Katie Frederick, George Holliday, Allan Peterson, Doug Powell and Pat Sheehan. Board member Jeff Thom did not answer the roll call but joined during the meeting. Board of Publications Representative Deb Cook Lewis was present. Staff present: Eric Bridges, ACB Executive Director, Nancy Marks Becker, ACB Chief Accountant and Tony Stephens, ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs.
President Charlson reviewed the agenda. Campbell moved and McCann seconded adoption of the agenda as read, the motion carried. McCann moved and Trott seconded adoption of the June 30, 2017 board meeting minutes as most recently circulated, the motion carried.
Election of board representatives to ACB Committees. After nominations were taken, McCann moved and Trott seconded election of Mitch Pomerantz, Dan Spoone and David Trott to the ACB Budget Committee, the motion carried. Campbell moved and Spoone seconded election of George Holliday, Pat Sheehan and Katie Frederick as board representatives to the ACB Membership, Credentials and Public Relations Committees, the motion carried.
ACB Executive Director Eric Bridges gave the board updates on several issues. ACB has been approached by the Washington Post inquiring as to why we are not joining other non-profit organizations who are pulling events from Trump’s Mar A Lago resort in Florida. ACB receives contributions from the Cavalino Classic car show each year which is held at this resort. After a Washington Post reporter tweeted a list of non-profits that were pulling events and ACB was not included, our office was deluged by emails and Facebook posts wondering why we are not pulling out. Eric feels people are beginning to understand that we have no say where those who put on the Cavalino Classic hold this event.
Eric is attending the U.S. Business Leadership Network conference. The U.S. BLN is very much interested in seeing that people with disabilities are hired into jobs. Eric has been able to meet with leaders from several high profile companies. Eric indicated that progress is being made in ACB’s advocacy efforts with Cisco and the Virginia Hospital Center.
ACB Chief Accountant Nancy Marks Becker updated the board on several issues. ACB took in $293,000 in conference and convention sponsorships in 2017 with new sponsors: General Motors, Cox Communications, Amazon and Disability Relations. Our expenses with the convention hotel were $35,000 under budget. ACB has a gold seal rating on Guide star, with BBWise Giving looking for an effectiveness report. Some 18 letters have been sent to estate planning firms about ACB’s planned giving efforts. Finally, Nancy is continuing work with the ACBES stores in Texas and Milwaukee.
ACB Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs Tony Stephens discussed the 2017 resolutions which are being proofread and will soon be available on the ACB Website. Tony went over each of the resolutions and indicated he will be reaching out to relevant stakeholders both inside and outside of ACB to implement them.
ACB Communications Action Planning Team Leader Katie Frederick presented three items to the board for approval. Campbell moved and Spoone seconded adoption of the ACB Elevator Speech template as proposed by the team, the motion carried. The elevator speech template reads: “ACB is a membership organization of diverse individuals who come together to protect the civil rights of people who are blind or visually impaired. We support people and help them strive to increase their independence. Through advocacy, education and partnerships with consumer organizations, technology companies and corporations, the American Council of the Blind works to enhance access to information, technology, break down barriers to employment and education, and strives to improve the equality of opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired.”
By consensus, the board asked that the team propose another ACB tag line, and agreed that board members would submit any tag line ideas by September 4, 2017.
Thom moved and Campbell seconded adoption of the ACB Values statement, with expanded language to be provided, the motion carried. The values statement currently reads: “• I: Integrity
• A: Advocacy
• C: Collaboration
• B: Belief in democratic principles”
The suggestion was made to put together a board policy manual. Kim, Eric, Ray, David and Katie will begin work on this starting after Labor Day. It was suggested that conference and convention discussion be included on the fall board meeting agenda.
Campbell moved and Peterson seconded that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried, and the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 p.m. central time.
Date submitted: 10/16/2017
Date approved: 10/27/2017