NORTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF THE BLIND, INC.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Trampes Brown, Ali Engraf, Rebecca Anderson, Helen Baumgartner, Doug Stip, Milissa Miller, Allan Peterson and Zelda Gebhard
BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Mickey Teubner
GUESTS PRESENT: Mary Stip, Paula Anundson, Janelle Olson, Gerald Byron & Michelle Zentz
CALL TO ORDER: Trampes called the meeting to order at 6:31 pm via Zoom.
ROLL CALL: Helen took roll call.
GUEST TOPICS: None
President: Trampes encouraged the board to use the QTIP philosophy – Quit Taking It Personal. He reiterated that the work of the board should be for the benefit of the organization. Trampes received an email from Robert Hart, informing him of his resignation as the webmaster and chair of the Communications Committee. Trampes will serve in the role as chair of the Communications Committee until someone is appointed to replace Robert.
Dining in the Dark: Janelle reported there were 65 paid guests present. She felt the event was a success. She is working on guidelines for Dining in the Dark.
Secretary: Doug made a motion to approve the October 3 board minutes as amended, seconded by Mickey. MC. The minutes were approved on Oct 5.
On November 12 a sympathy card was sent to Lora Bendickson for the loss of her sister.
Treasurer: The total for Camp Grassick expenses for the 2021 camp session was $17,831.85. Discussed the cost of mileage reimbursement for the Treasurer to drive to Grand Forks to do the financial review. Allan made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Zelda. MC
Development Director: Allan reported the Walk for Vision total is presently $9,235. The Walk had media coverage from WDAY in Fargo and in Minot. Proclamations were signed by the Governor and the mayors of Fargo, Minot, and Grand Forks. Giving Hearts Day is Feb 10. Planning and preparation are underway. The goal is to raise $30,000, half being the match funds. The theme is “See Blind Possible”. The use of technology by people with vison loss will be featured in the promotion and communication materials, with Mickey Teubner being featured as a member who uses various types of technology in his everyday life. Any possible donors should be given to the committee to include in the mailing. A letter from the President will be sent out to donors. The committee is seeking volunteer callers for GHD to make calls to thank donors.
Camp: Missy reported that the committee continues to meet almost weekly. A committee decision has been made not to go forward with a Camp Auction for the 2022 Camp Session. Some people are not able to participate because of lack of financial resources, which causes hard feelings. Some felt that they are told they are attending a free camp but are made to feel like they must support an auction to defray costs. Instead of the auction, the committee thought a fun afternoon of activities would help end the week on a positive note. A question was raised about the funds that are going to be lost by not having an auction. Missy addressed the question, stating that the committee has discussed possible ideas for replacing lost auction income with other fundraisers. After much discussion, this topic was tabled until the next meeting. Trampes suggested the Camp Committee come up with ideas to reduce the cost of camp or replace the auction with another fundraiser.
Communication: Trampes will try to set up a meeting with this committee before the new year, so that they can discuss how to move forward to replace Robert.
Constitution and Bylaws: Michelle reported that approximately 10 changes have been drafted to be discussed at the next convention. The legal documents on the website need to be updated to reflect the most current revisions. These changes should be made before the next convention, so the information is available to the membership.
Convention 2022: Missy reported the next convention will be in Fargo at the Holiday Inn Express Southwest I-94, 4711 19th Ave South, from June 10–12.
Financial Committee: Allan reported that the committee is recruiting members at this time. After the committee has been established, a meeting will be scheduled.
Membership: Ali reported that she will be working on the membership renewal forms this next week. They will be sent out in December. Members who are renewing their membership via the website should let Ali know so she can save time and postage. In order to keep our membership information safe, any requests for member information should be sent to Ali. Luella Latozke has applied for membership. She is visually impaired and lives in Cavalier. Ali moved to approve Luella as a member, seconded by Allan. MC Zelda stated ACB is requesting detailed gender and ethnicity information. She did not recommend that we request this information at this time to see how this data collection works out for ACB and other affiliates.
Olga Neal Memorial Committee: Helen reported that she is calling around the Bismarck area to get bids on benches to be placed at Camp Grassick. Shereen had bids from the Scheels Foundation, but they had stopped production of the benches and did not know when they were going to start again. She was to check back in November. Missy is also checking on some benches that have been placed in downtown Fargo that have planters built into them. Helen will prepare a report for the February Promoter with the ideas people have submitted thus far for the remaining funds in the Olga Neal Memorial Fund and request additional ideas be submitted. These will be discussed at the convention in Fargo. The committee currently consists of Kathy Johnson, Mary Stip and Helen Baumgartner.
Sports & Recreation: Trampes reported there is no new information since the Sports and Rec Retreat. There was a question about Ski for Light transportation. Rebecca reported that she spoke with Paul Olson from NDVS/SB. She also called Judy Iten on November 12. Judy informed Rebecca that it sounds encouraging that a possible driver may be available. She also stated the transportation costs may increase. Mary had information regarding another bus company possibly driving. Trampes suggested we continue to work with Judy until we find out for sure what she can do, then possibly look at other bus companies. There are no requirements for COVID to attend SFL, but recommendations are to mask and use hand sanitizer when in enclosed areas. There is no indication at this time as to how many people are attending from ND. Discussion was held regarding the COVID waiver used for other NDAB events being required for SFL participants.
Legislative Committee Report: By law, every 10 years the legislative districts must be redrawn to reflect changes that have taken place in the population during the previous decade. A special session of the state Legislature was held November 8–12 for this purpose. Cass, Burleigh and Williams Counties have had significant increases in population in the past decade, therefore, each of these counties will have a new district in the next election cycle. Each of the 47 legislative districts should have an equal number of residents. The goal is to have approximately 16,500 people in each district. Due to redistricting, some people will be in different legislative districts. Other decisions made during the special session include: Social Security benefits will be excluded from state taxes, but will be taxed at the federal level; for the next two years, no one whose state income tax is less than $350 will have to pay state income taxes; 20% of the Legacy Fund will be invested in ND based companies; funding allotted for an indigenous person’s database for tracking missing persons; funding for Long Term Care and Child Care programs. The ACB Leadership meeting will be held in March.
NDAB Business Cards: Trampes did more research on the purchase of business cards. Through APH, we could purchase a braille embosser for $250 to emboss business cards. The same information would be embossed on each card. Office Max had the lowest bid for business cards at $10 for 100 cards. Allan made a motion to purchase business cards from Office Max for board members and up to 100 generic business cards for any NDAB member, seconded by Rebecca. Zelda made an amendment to the motion to include the embosser from APH for $250, seconded by Missy. Amendment passed. Vote on the motion carried.
Transportation Guidelines: Trampes reported a committee drafted guidelines for transportation reimbursement. The amended guidelines were approved by the board.
Raffle: Discussion was held on whether to continue to have a raffle. Pros and cons of the current raffle were discussed. The raffle was tabled until the next board meeting.
Website: Trampes reported that there is a need for a couple of people to work on the website. This will be discussed during the Communications Committee meeting. Zelda suggested we may look into online courses for people to obtain some employability skills and use to develop our own website and help them with possible employment.
Strategic Planning: Trampes reported there was a Strategic Planning meeting held on October 29. Some topics discussed were advocacy, reaching out to agencies and eye doctors, and the dangers of cane travel in traffic. Recommendations were made to get the information from the Strategic Planning meeting to the membership.
NEXT MEETING: The next meeting is scheduled for January 9, 2022 at 6:30 pm.
ADJOURN: Allan made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Missy. MC
The meeting was adjourned at 9:18 pm.
Helen Baumgartner, NDAB Secretary