|November 2009 Chicago|
Deaf Seniors of America
November 12-14, 2009
Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
James Potter called the meeting to order at 2:44 p.m. (Central Time). Present were Vice President Mack Harris, Treasurer Joseph Rose, Secretary Nancy Kensicki, and Board Members Ronald Nomeland, Nancy Rarus and Renwick Dayton.
The minutes of June 21, 2009 board meeting were approved as read.
(The following two motions were made in a closed meeting and then ratified to the minutes the next day.) Due to the time-sensitive factor concerning the DSA 2009 Las Vegas issue, President Potter raised the question of retaining an attorney to handle a possible breach of contract with the Memorandum of Understanding document signed by former DSA President Robert Cook and Las Vegas Chairperson William Moran.
Board member Rarus moved that the Board pay the $3,000 fee to retain the services of Jennifer McDonald of the Rocheleau Law Group in Henderson, NV, to recover the $46,760 owed DSA by the Las Vegas Committee. Passed.
Potter stated that the Board’s decision will be included in his President’s Report scheduled for the next issue of New Horizons.
The next item on the agenda consisted of two DSA members’ claims that they had not received their refunds due to illness. Potter will investigate these claims.
Board Member Dayton moved that considering the fact that the MOU with the DSA 2011 Chicago host has been yet signed, the Board ask the host to accept a rider that would stipulate for each 500 tickets sold, $10,000 be sent to the DSA Treasurer. Passed.
Board Member Harris moved that DSA hold future monies from the ClearBlue sales of Z340s in escrow. Passed.
Concern was raised about a committee that was created two years ago to investigate senior facilities for deaf people because a marginal report has been received from the committee. By general consent, the Board will not activate this committee.
Board Member Nomeland moved that the per diem maximums be $10 for breakfast, $20 for lunch, and $30 for dinner. Passed.
Board Member Rarus moved that the actions (listed above) made during this closed meeting be ratified to the minutes. Passed.
Treasurer Rose presented dated financial summaries devised to display ClearBlue incomes of each financial period as surplus or shortfall. The current (January 1, 2007-May 28, 2009) totals based on the past October 1, 2003 to May 28, 2009 reports are $80,126.71 as income including CB payments and $68,814.60 as expenses, also including ClearBlue, which result in a net gain of $11,312.11.
Rose said that had DSA received the $46,760 from the Las Vegas DSA Committee, the total assets would have been a total of $105,880.98 as of November 8, 2009. In addition, the success of the postcards mailed to members who hadn’t attended the Las Vegas conference, thus letting their dues collapse, resulted in about 350 people renewing their memberships, thereby generating more than $7,000 for DSA.
Rose reminded the Board that two separate reports have been created: general and ClearBlue. This is so that the ClearBlue report would be especially designated for New Horizons expenses and any other expenses such as workshops and projects that the DSA President may be aware of.
The meeting was recessed and resumed at 7:00 p.m. Three visitors were present: Pam Wojcik, Nancy Calderone, and Drucilla Ronchen.
The Board directed their attention to the motions made at the general membership meeting on June 25, 2009, at the Las Vegas conference. The motions below are presented in quotation marks to avoid confusion with the Board’s motions in these minutes. Board actions are shown in italics.
“Tom Posedly moved that in order to assist the medical community to align with ADA law, DSA will distribute pocket cards showing Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind patients’ right to choose which ‘effective communication’ preference will be provided. The user will just point to his/her choice.”
After studying Mack Harris’s card sample and a card presented by Ms. Ronchen on which ADA regulations were printed, the Board agreed that more revisions were needed for the card sample and will continue to work on it.
“Brent Nowak moved that the DSA Board check the dates, sites and cost of hotel and its facilities as well as the distance to and from the airport after bids are submitted prior to commitment.”
The Board, by general consent, was not able to act on the motion, but recommends that this information be included in the guidelines for the host committee with further developments.
“Howard A. Sultan moved that the bidding fee be increased to $2,000 effective with the 2015 convention.”
The Board, by general consent, agreed. Carried.
“Gertrude Galloway moved that DSA establish an ad hoc committee to explore and develop guidelines in regard to scooters and wheelchairs at DSA conferences.”
The Board agreed, but delayed action on the motion until it meets with Martha Keller, Associate Director of Convention Services at Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. It was suggested that since Mack Harris is revising the guidelines, he could add the information about scooters and wheelchairs to said guidelines.
“Barbara Schmidt moved that DSA provide ‘visors’ to people who get on the stage so that they can see the audience.”
The Board referred this motion to the host committee with the understanding that any related information is to be part of the guidelines.
“Buddy Singleton moved that DSA not exclude any sponsors.”
The Board agrees that the conference host shall not exclude any other reputable sponsors in order to grant one sponsor exclusive privileges.
“Betty Oshman moved that the next DSA host give more consideration to wheelchair and scooter users such as making pathways exclusively in the exhibit room and other conference areas.”
The Board regarded this motion similar to Galloway’s motion. (See above.)
“Lillian Mittauer moved that exhibits be open to the public.”
The Board agreed to this motion in principle and recommended that an admission fee or charge to be decided on by the host committee for those wishing to enter only the exhibit halls and not elsewhere in the hotel such as workshops.
“Marilyn McCallon moved that we get an ASL interpreter for the hotel information center and registration center.”
The Board agreed with the provision that this information be added to the guidelines. Carried.
“Alvin Leff moved that the exhibit hall be open to everyone including registrants and non-registrants.”
The Board saw this motion to be similar to Mittaur’s motion. (See above.)
“Allan H. Karp moved that DSA implement six regional chapters of NE, SE, NC, SC, NW and SW with their own rulings by head regional boards and secondary regional board to be determined by their regional chapters’ voting of two (2) year term with maximum of two (2) consecutive terms. This is to be supervised by the Vice President of DSA.”
The Board voted six to one to oppose the motion. Failed.
“Ed Corbett moved that DSA at its next conference rent an electronic vote counter to accurately record/tally all votes that take place.”
By general consent, the Board did not support the motion. Failed.
Motions 2009-8 through 15
The Board then turned its attention to eight proposals from Ernie Hahn, Editor of New Horizons. For the purpose of saving space in the minutes, the following proposals are summarized.
Proposal #1: The New Horizons editor takes over the newsletter’s mailing list.
The Board did not agree as newsletter editors customarily don’t have responsibility for subscription lists.
Proposal #2: DSA lists names of those whose newsletters had returned to the treasurer by the Post Office as undeliverable no more than two issues.
The Board agreed with the provision that the number of issues be increased to three.
Proposal #3: The editor creates and designs “Notices” informing the readers who might not be attending the next conference that their memberships/subscriptions are about to expire starting with the seventh issue. Then again on the last issue (just before the conference), the editor creates another notice in the newsletter saying that if they do not renew, the issue will be their last.
The Board didn’t agree, preferring to keep the current system.
Proposal #4: The editor’s name replaces the treasurer’s in the in the upper left corner return address as at times contributors had sent their articles to the wrong address.
The Board did not accept the proposal because the treasurer needs to receive unsent issues.
Proposal #5: The editor sends newsletter issues online to those who ask for it instead of mailing the issues with the understanding that he checks to make sure they are DSA members.
The Board preferred to retain the current system. The proposal was not accepted
Proposal #6: Out-of-country subscribers’ subscription fees should be increased to offset the added postage charges.
The Board will not take any action since this involves the need to change dues.
Proposal #7: The editor mails New Horizons to libraries at Gallaudet University, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, schools for the deaf, the National Association of the Deaf, and others.
Treasurer Rose can provide assistance with mailing addresses. Carried.
Proposal #8: The editor seeks the Board’s blessing on his selections of Nancy Kensicki, Tim Jaech and Bob Cook to be on the Editorial Board. Carried.
The meeting was recessed and resumed the next day at 9:15 a.m.
Three guests were present: Julia Anderson, president of the Western Suburban Association of the Deaf (WSAD); Gustavo Diaz, vice president; and Ed Glennon, auditor. Also in attendance were Pam Wojcik, Drucilla Ronchen and Gary Etikie.
Julia Anderson requested an official letter from DSA affirming that DSA takes over DSA 2011 Chicago and asked for an update from Pam Wojcik who said their Articles of Incorporation application had received approval from the Illinois Secretary of State and their application for tax exemption was in process. Their CPA was John Breech and an addendum could be added to the MOU with WSAD officers’ signatures to make the transfer official.
Ed Glennon advised that the CPA would need time to check out the amounts owed to WSAD listed on Julia Anderson’s November 4, 2009 letter to Pam Wojcik. Glennon then described the steps needed to transfer the EIN to IDS. The DSA would need to inform the IRS to transfer the EIN.
Anderson asked for the reason as to why DSA would take over if it was going to be IDS. Potter replied that the action was temporary.
Gary Etikie asked that since a motion had been made by the Board that DSA accept Wojcik as the chairperson, a letter is needed from DSA to release WSAD as the 2011 host.
Nancy Rarus asked that Martha Keller (associate director of the hotel’s convention services) at Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chicago be made aware that WSAD would no longer be involved.
Potter thanked both WSAD and IDS people for having made the effort to achieve cooperation. He also thanked Julia Anderson for having the courage to come to the Board meeting.
Ronald Nomeland described his difficulties with the DSA website. There had been many delays including a flawed software, graphics that couldn’t be transferred, and lack of cooperation from the trainer. In addition, the NAD had changed its website eliminating the list of senior facilities, causing DSA to lose its access.
There have been an increasing number of hits on the DSA website. Nomeland has received ten questions so far.
Nancy Rarus moved that DSA contact NAD to request that the link to senior facilities be transferred to DSA. Passed.
Mack Harris moved that web banners be added to the website to generate revenue. Passed.
Wojcik presented a tentative DSA 2011 conference schedule. She was told that IDS would have two cost free pages in New Horizons and was asked to send any conference information to Nancy Kensicki and Mack Harris for them to review.
The meeting again was recessed and resumed at 10:15 a.m.
Motions 2009-18 through 23
The following motions acted on via electronic mail during the past summer were ratified to these minutes with two changes.
On August 20, 2009, Joseph Rose moved that the DSA send out postcards to remind expired members to renew their memberships. Passed unanimously.
On September 22, 2009, Joseph Rose moved to donate $100 to Southeastern Wisconsin Deaf Senior Citizens (SWDSC) first annual fundraiser to provide services for deaf seniors in southeastern Wisconsin. Ronald Nomeland amended to add three free DSA memberships as raffle prizes. Both motion and amendment passed by majority vote.
On September 24, 2009, Joseph Rose moved that the DSA Board ask WSAD to release DSA Chicago 2011 Chairperson Pam Wojcik and her committee and to allow the transfer of hosting the conference to Illinois Deaf Seniors. Nancy Rarus amended that the DSA temporarily takes over the hosting of the conference in Chicago. Both motion and amendment passed.
On October 5, 2009, Ernie Hahn and Al Sonnensthral requested that advertising rates be approved by the Board, which was done on September 24, 2009. (“New Horizons Advertisement Rates and Specification” chart to be attached to the minutes.) Ronald Nomeland amended to change the color advertisement rates a bit lower, which are listed in the blue area (also to be attached to the minutes). Passed.
On October 9, 2009, Joseph Rose proposed to renew a $10,000 CD, which would have been expired on October 20, 2009. Passed.
On November 1, 2009, Joseph Rose moved that the Board, on behalf of the DSA, engage an attorney, preferably a deaf person to advise us, and possibly for the same attorney to build up a case against the LV Committee regarding the dues matter as soon as possible. Passed by majority vote.
The question of whether a MOU with the signature of a notary public could be binding was raised. Potter will consult with an attorney.
Discussion centered on potential bidders being allowed to advertise their bids. It was agreed that after the bid is approved, the host must provide certain information such as a first-come-first policy should hotel rooms are limited. This will start with Baltimore.
Renwick Dayton moved that DSA review and give advice on the registration form at least six months before the Baltimore conference. Nancy Kensicki amended to add “. . . and future conferences.” Both motion and amendment passed.
Pam Wojick agreed to sign her name on a rider to the MOU. However, since the original MOU with WSAD was now null and void, Wojick will sign a new MOU without any rider.
Wojick distributed copies of IDS’s intended activities including meetings every year in different towns in Illinois. There would be five directors from different parts of the state.
The meeting was recessed and resumed at 1:00 p.m.
Joe Rose moved that DSA pay $100 for a full page ad in the program book about a biennial gala given by the Baystate Deaf Senior Citizens in MA as a fundraiser for the New England homes for the deaf. Passed.
Ronald Nomeland will represent DSA at the retirement party for departing Gallaudet University President Robert Davila.
Mack Harris will work on bidding and convention guidelines and will ask that they be voted on via email.
In response to Nancy Kensicki’s request for input regarding nomination guidelines, the Board advised that nominations be made at the first day (same day as opening ceremonies) and that the nominations chairperson must make candidates aware of the requirement that they have attended at least one past DSA conference. Kensicki volunteered to write up the nomination guidelines.
Potter assigned the following tasks to each board member:
Dayton—ClearBlue, law committee
Potter will handle the signing of MOUs with Chicago and Baltimore.
Dayton moved that the Board accept Libby Pollard as parliamentarian. Passed.
Harris moved that Pollard be paid a flat $500 fee. Passed.
The Board acknowledged that there is a need for a vision and goals. There should be long range plans to request corporations for donations. Ranger Kraft, who is a consultant, could be contacted for concrete planning.
The meeting again was again recessed and resumed at 9:00 a.m. the next day.
The Board reviewed the MOU with Chicago and made many changes to it.
The Board agreed to meet during November 2010 on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Homecoming at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:31 p.m.