The meeting was called to order by Zelda at 6:31 p.m. President Zelda welcomed our guests. Roll call was taken. Present were Shereen, Zelda, Mark, Trampes, Allan, Rebecca, Ali and Gretchen. Absent was Mickey. Other members present were Michelle, Mary and Helen.
There was no president’s report.
A sympathy card was sent to Carol Johnson on the death of her brother. Email decisions made since the last meeting were:
Revised resolution 2021-04 Voting, approved 1-24
January 10th meeting minutes, approved 1-30
The January report was emailed to the board. Made a motion to approve, seconded. Motion carried.
Figures from our participation in the 2021 Giving Hearts Day Appeal to share:
A very appreciative thank you to Rebecca Anderson for her work to compile these figures! Online:
Stripe donors 110 total of $6,064.88. Note: Stripe donors made their donations online on the day of or before February 11 Giving Hearts Day. There were a significant number of online donors who chose to remain anonymous.
Check donors 58 total of $6,420.00. Note: These are the donors who made their donations by check and sent them to Rebecca before Giving Hearts Day so they could be entered as Giving Hearts Day donations.
Bonus check donors 15 total of $1,620.00. Note: These are donations that were received after February 11, as a consequence they couldn’t be considered as Giving Hearts Day donations; although it was likely they had been generated from the communications connected with Giving Hearts Day. Total of the 3 above is $14,104.88. The total number of donors was 173. This does include the 15 “bonus” donors. We were credited with a total of $25,890 by Giving Hearts Day administrators. Half of this amount came from our Match Fund. THANK YOU SO MUCH! It’s due to the cumulative hard work of many that we can celebrate this level of success!
Mark reported that he has had some questions from the Lion clubs.
Camp will be August 8th-15th.
GHD Wrap up
Allan sent 2500 letters (more than before) – got a good response. Put in return envelopes – make things easy. All thanks to work on database work by Michelle and others. Videos worked really well. Discussion was held about what big organizations do that we don’t? Perhaps they have paid staff and a bigger volunteer reach. Zelda stated that the mailing list on google group worked, 2100 emails were sent. Two e-mails were sent out and there were 22 unsubscribes. Email formatting was inconsistent.
Ali stated that content was created for her. Younger members felt they were not represented in content. Trampes report that there was more paid promotion on Facebook and that the planning and preparation should start earlier.
Updates are slowly being recorded. A couple of promotion events – including Just Talking. Content is getting updated. Brant will be collecting call count numbers and email them to committee. Promotion includes an article in the Promoter, adding to the website by Robert, posting to Facebook by Ali. Brant will send information details to communications group for promoting.
Ali reported that we have a great team. We don’t have a lot of content. They will be meeting on Thursday. They were focusing on Giving Hearts Day. The committee would like to see more on NDAB. There will be a team spotlight on the Facebook team members. There has been more post engagement and 184 likes. We have started posting every day. Also would like to share content between media.
Looking at moving to Drealhost.
Brant now admin on Google G-Suite domain. He is Robert’s alternate.
Lexee will not be running again as editor. There is one printed Promoter that is getting returned. Ali will look into it. Going to create a google group list.
We have a lot of communicating to do to promote the convention and to ensure that attendees know what to expect and how to use the technology. There needs to be a review of the ADKAR guide. More discussion will be held at future meetings.
Email Marketing Platform
Research will be done on an email marketing platform that we can use. Zelda will be the main customer. Tim will review the current offerings and make a short list of platform to look at more closely.
The idea of a branding guide was introduced. This topic will be looked into deeper at the next meeting.
The board voted on approving the convention standing rules. Allan made a motion to approve, Shereen seconded. Motion was carried. Expected expenditures from the convention will be the webinar account through Zoom. To upgrade the account it will cost $40 a month, 4 months would be $160. With a webinar account the host can mute and unmute participants. Allan made a motion to purchase the account for 1 year. Shereen seconded. Motion carried. Other expenditures include hiring a producer/host for during the convention, Rick Vanett will be our parliamentarian again. Also, there will be fees for speaker and door prizes. Shereen made a motion to allow the committee to purchase 12 $25 gift cards from Bell Bank. Total will not exceed $336 which includes activation fees. Allan seconded. Motion carried.
T-shirts will be given to those attending. The t-shirts are an 80 cotton/20 polyester blend. The shirts will have the NDAB logo on them with a circle around it. On top of the circle, it will say North Dakota and on the bottom it will say Association of the Blind. Allan made a motion to purchase, Rebecca seconded, motion carried.
Legislative and Advocacy
Our advocacy work recently has involved providing testimony both written and oral at the state legislative session and monitoring legislation that affects people with disabilities particularly people with sight loss. Written and oral testimony was provided virtually for the hearing before the North Dakota House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and the Environment. This testimony was in support of the budget request (HB1013) for North Dakota Vision Services School for the Blind and the North Dakota Talking Book Program which is included within the State Library. These appropriation bills are now to be considered after crossover by the State Senate Appropriations Committee. So far so good! We provided written and oral testimony virtually for the hearing before the North Dakota House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee for House Bill 1253 regarding voting to add a provision that would make the absentee ballot accessible so people who are blind, visually impaired, or have print disabilities can vote a secret, independent ballot. In this way we could use our assistive technology to access the ballot. Hallelujah we got such a provision inserted into HB1253 and it was passed by the House and will now be considered by the Senate after crossover. Written and oral testimony was provided virtually for the hearing before the North Dakota House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human
Resources for House Bill 1012 in support of the budget request for the Older Individuals Who Are Blind Program. This appropriations bill will now be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee when they reconvene after crossover. This past week we held virtual meetings with members of the staff for North Dakota U.S. Senators Hoeven and Cramer and are in the process of arranging a meeting with Congressman Armstrong’s office. These meetings were a consequence of our participation virtually in the ACB Legislative Seminar. We are advocating in support of 4 different legislative initiatives, they are the Medicare Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act, Disability Access to Transportation Act, the Exercise and Fitness for All Act, and the Cogswell Macy Act. All of these initiatives have been introduced as bills in prior sessions of Congress but must now be reintroduced so that they can be considered by the current 117th Session of Congress that began its work on January 4, 2021.
Ali reported that she has been busy with renewals. The majority of our membership has renewed their membership. Ali will be making phone calls to those that have not renewed to inquire if they are still interested in being members. Future focus for membership will be restructuring the website application. Ali will work with Robert to accomplish this task.
There are two new members to approve:
Greg Otis of West Fargo and Peg Hanson of Fargo, North Dakota. Ali made a motion to approve the new members, Allan seconded. Motion so carried.
Sports and Recreation
Changes were made to the editor’s manual with contact info. Shereen made a motion to approve, Trampes seconded. Motion so carried.
2021 ACB Convention will be July 16-23. Before the convention we will need to elect a delegate and alternate.
Prevent Blindness is mailing a letter to the House and Senate for funding. NDAB signed the letter in support along with other affiliates. Allan made a motion to sign the letter. Rebecca seconded. Motion so carried.
Olga Neal memorial ideas need to be submitted to the committee by April 2nd.
Upcoming Just Talking calls:
March-Zoom training and Options
April- Fun Night to celebrate 3 years of Just Talking-Jeopardy
Next meeting will be March 28th.
Allan made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Shereen.
Gretchen Campbell, Secretary