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2017 Convention Minutes – June 9-11 2017

July 3rd, 2017 by

North Dakota Association of the Blind, Incorporated
2017 Convention

June 9, 10, 11

The meeting was called to order by President Zelda Gebhard on June 10, 2017 at the Great American Inn and Suites in Devils Lake, ND at 8:45 a.m. Parliamentarian Rick Vannett read the proposed Convention Standing Rules. Allan Peterson made a motion to approve as read and was seconded. MSC. Our Treasurer, Helen Baumgartner, did roll call. There were 43 members and 3 guests present.

Officer’s Reports

Executive Report:

President Zelda Gebhard stated that this was a year of firsts. Her first as NDAB President, we co-hosted with the Minot Lions our first Dining in the Dark event, participated in Giving Hearts Day for the first time and acquired the promotional tools of a square and ink pens. A square is device that connects to your phone to accept electronic payments. We completed our year by bringing the NDAB Convention to Devils Lake for the first time ever.

Secretary’s Report:

Gretchen Campbell read the minutes from the March 11, 2017, which had already been approved but not published and the pre-convention board meeting minutes from Friday, June 9. Helen made a motion to approve the pre-convention board meeting minutes. Motion was seconded and MSC.

Treasurer’s Report:

Helen gave reported on the review that was recently completed. Allan made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. Motion was seconded and MSC.
Development Director: Allan, gave his report from the last year.

Committee Reports

Camp Report:

Loris Van Berkom, co-director, reported on the 2016 Adult Summer Camp held at Camp Grassick. Last year there were 24 campers and 22 staff at camp, totaling 46 in attendance. There were three new campers and one new instructor. The 2017 Camp will be August 6th-13th. She presented the classes that will be offered.

Editor’s Report:

Loris gave the report on behalf of editor, Kathy Larson. Currently 107 members receive the Promoter by e-mail, one member receives digital through MN state library, 47 print, 6 in braille and 33 requesting none.

Dining in the Dark Report:

Janelle Olson gave a report on the Dining in the Dark event that was co-hosted with the Minot Lions in October. Participants were served a 5 course meal. Each participant was seated with a member of NDAB and given blindfolds to wear through the meal. Janelle stated that she has been contacted by Perry Olson of the Minot Lions. They would like to do another Dining in the Dark event October 2017. There is interest in having one in Bismarck and in Fargo also.

Legislative and Advocacy Report:

Allan and Zelda presented the legislative report. In addition to giving testimony to the ND House and Senate Appropriations committees in support of funding for Independent Living Program for the Older Blind and North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, they have attended the ACB Legislative Seminar in Washington D.C. They visited the offices of Senators Heitcamp and Hoeven and Congressman Cramer as well as the South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming senators and representatives’ offices. Members were thanked for their individual advocacy efforts.

Membership Report:

The membership committee report was given by chairperson, Mary Stip. We currently have 220 members with 207 active paid and 13 delinquent. There were 6 deaths this past year. Of our membership, 64% is blind and visually impaired while 36% are sighted.

Nomination Report:

Michelle Zentz and Missy Miller gave the nomination committee report. Nominees for ACB delegates are Doug Stip and Lexee Steffan, for secretary Gretchen Campbell, for Development Director Allan Peterson and board member Kathyrn Schmidt.

Website Report:

Robert Hart, Website Administrator gave his report. The committee has been making several changes to the website and actively posting things on Facebook. Highlights for the past year were the formation of a small team for digital communications. This team consists of Lexee Steffan, Whitney Engbrecht and Robert Hart. In December the team did a social media campaign on Facebook. They did a “Blind Tips Advent Calendar”. They also got approval from the board to redesign the website and did a social media campaign to promote the Walk for Vision.

Public Relations:

Zelda reported that we are currently without a PR Chairperson. Many members have been attending events and making presentations on behalf of NDAB and vision loss education.

Sports and Recreation Report:

Chairperson, Dave Sundeen was not present. Michelle gave the report on behalf of Dave. There were 19 participants and volunteers. There has been discussion of having a sports and recreation committee. Information was read about an event in the Black Hills during the summer called Summer Light which will be held in August 18-20.

ACB Delegate Report:

Loris gave her report about the 2016 ACB convention in Minneapolis. She thanked the membership for the opportunity to attend the convention.

Our guest, Susan Kenner, then talked about Tourism and Economic Development in Devils Lake.

At noon the legislative luncheon was held.

The meeting resumed at 1:15 p.m. Roll call was taken with 41 members present.

Legislative resolutions were presented to the convention body. First resolution was Federal Funding Support for Amtrak’s Empire Builder. Loris made a motion to adopt the resolution. The motion was seconded and MSC.

Second resolution was Supplying Low Vision Devices to Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries. Loris made a motion to adopt the resolution, motion was seconded and carried.

Third resolution was Federal Support for Six Key Blindness Service Programs. Genie made a motion to adopt the motion. Motion was seconded and carried.
Amendments

The proposed constitutional amendments were presented to the convention body. First was Article IV. Officers Section 3. Qualifications of officers. A proposed substantive amendment from 2016 was to add the following wording:
D. To avoid undue influence and any potential conflicts of interest, no more than one member from any household shall hold office at the same time.
Wording revision of proposed amendment: Delete “potential”, “of interest” and “hold office” to read as follows:
D. To avoid undue influence and family conflicts, no more than one member from a household, “regardless of marital status”, shall serve concurrent terms as a member of the executive board.
Shirley made a motion to approve the amendment. Discussion was held. Janelle made a motion to amend the amendment and strike out the word family and conflict of interest. Motion was seconded and passed 32-1 vote. Robert made a motion to strike out regardless of marital status. Motion seconded and passed 38-0.
Amendment 2. Constitution Article III. Membership Section 7. Dues. Allan made a motion to accept. Discussion was held. A motion was made by Helen to amend the amendment and change the date from May 31st to May 30th. After much discussion the amendment was tabled until Sunday. Meeting closed at 4:30 p.m.

June 11, 2017

The meeting was called to order by Zelda at 9:25 a.m. Parliamentarian Rick Vannett went over some things from Saturdays debate. Helen made a motion to take Amendment 2 off the table and put it back on the floor to be revisited. Motion was seconded and carried. Discussion continued. It was decided to break the amendment into parts.

First part was striking out by a 2/3 vote. Motion was made, seconded and carried. Second, Helen made a motion to reword the amendment to say “Members shall be delinquent if not paid by May 30th.” Motion seconded and carried with a vote of 32-2. Third, there was a vote on the whole amendment. Discussion was held. Motion was seconded and carried with a vote of 27-3.

Next of the proposed amendments was Article IV. Officers Section 3. Proposed substantive amendment is to add a minimum age requirement to qualification of officers. Discussion was held. Motion was seconded and carried with a vote of 30-2.

Last of the proposed amendments was Article IV. Officers Section 5. Discussion was held. A motion was made to strike E. To make appointments to all vacancies not otherwise provided for. Motion was seconded and carried with a vote of 25-3.

Helen read a letter from the Montana Council of the Blind to support blind children to go to space camp in Alabama. Helen made a motion to send the Montana Council of the Blind $1,000.00. Motion was seconded and carried.

Michelle made a motion to donate $1,000.00 annually to Career Exploration at the NDVS/SB. After some discussion the motion was seconded and carried.

There was a second reading of the proposed budget. After discussion there was a motion to approve the budget. Motion was seconded and carried.

Selection of the 2019 convention site

Trampes Brown of Minot invited everyone to Minot for the 2019 NDAB convention. Rick made a motion to accept his offer. MSC. Genie extended an invitation for attendants to attend the 2018 convention in Bismarck June 8th-10th.

Missy of the nomination committee gave the committee report. Nominees for this year’s election are:

ACB Delegate: Doug Stip and Lexee Steffan. Doug spoke on his behalf. Michelle spoke on behalf of Lexee. Allan made a motion that nominations cease. Motion seconded and carried. Lexee Steffan was elected at the ACB delegate.

Board Members: Board member nomination was Kathryn Schmidt. A nomination was made from the floor for Trampes Brown. Kathryn spoke on her behalf. Trampes spoke on his behalf. Trampes Brown was elected to the board.

Editor: Kathy Larson was again running for editor of The Promoter. Helen made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot. Motion was seconded and carried.

Development Director: Nominating Committee nomination was Allan Peterson. Ruth made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot. Motion seconded and carried.

Secretary: Gretchen Campbell was running for re-election. Allan made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot. Motion seconded and carried.

Zelda asked for volunteers for the Constitution/Bylaws committee. It was recommended by the parliamentarian to combine these to documents.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:54 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Gretchen Campbell
NDAB Secretary