Board Meeting Minutes for May 2019

From Sarah Patnaude, Substitute Recording Secretary

National Federation of the Blind of Virginia NFBV
Meeting of the Board of Directors

Saturday, May 18, 2019
Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired
Library and Resource Center
395 Azalea Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227

The National Federation of the Blind of Virginia’s Board of Directors meeting was called to order by President Tracy Soforenko

Invocation by Susie D’mello

Roll Call: 46 members were present including delegates and alternate delegates

Minutes for January 21st board meeting was read by Sarah Patnaude. Minutes were approved without correction

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer’s report was read by Mark Roane
Reporting period was December 31, 2018 - April 30, 2019
General checking account balance as of April 30 is $63,774.10
Treasurer’s report was accepted without any corrections

Ruston Recovery
Jessica Reed asked for donations from members to go towards the recovery efforts in Ruston, Louisiana after the recent tornado that hit Ruston.

Division Reports

VABS: Gerald Meredith gave an update on the progress of updating VABS’ website and their participation in chapter events. The South East Regional Seminar will be held this summer. Gerald asked the affiliate for $4,000 in financial assistance for approximately 25 students to attend. Motion was approved.

Merchant’s Division: Sandy read the report for Harold. Merchant’s division attended the National Merchant’s division meeting, where members learned about current legislative issues concerning merchants. The National Vendor Association meeting was held in March.

Parents Division: Sandy Halverson read the report. Their focus is on planning a parent track for state convention. Some parents were able to connect during various beeping egg hunts throughout the state.

Seniors: report read by Sandy Halverson. The Seniors Division had a meeting to discuss social media. Further discussion on social media and training will be the topic of the next conference call.

VAGDU: Brittany Fraer discussed how the division is always looking for new members. Conference call meetings happen about quarterly, with the next one in July.


Membership: Sandy Halverson thanked individuals who helped with updating the membership lists. Membership lists were sent to the national office and coins will be sent to Tracy to distribute. There will be a new membership form.
Tracy gathered feedback about how the affiliate wants to distribute membership coins. Roll call of delegates for deferring membership coins until state convention was conducted. Affiliate voted to distribute coins at state convention.

Scholarship: Susie D’mello gave the committee report in Patrick Johnson’s absence. Deadline will be late September for applications. Application forms being submitted via website will be discussed by the committee.
Public Outreach: Uricka Harrison reported the committee will be holding a walk with the blind on October 12 in Williamsburg.

Fundraising: Earl Everette reported that the committee’s current focus is determining the products being sold at national convention. One possibility is selling t-shirts with a company that can ship to Las Vegas for an additional fee. Feedback was gathered regarding selling t-shirts. Committee will distribute information about the next meeting to gather more feedback. Earl will also distribute information on how to sign up to volunteer at the Virginia table to assist with selling products at national convention. Shifts will be two hours long.

McDonald Fellowship: Earl reported on behalf of Mary Durbin. The five McDonald Fellowship finalists were announced. If you would like to be a mentor to our finalists at convention, please reach out to Mary Durbin. Tracy announced the list of Jernigan Fund Finalists are currently not available; however, finalists will be announced soon.

Communications: Sarah reported that the affiliate now has an Instagram account, focusing on building relationships in the community. The affiliate website is being upgraded. Joe Orozco, Cathy Schroeder, and Sarah are working on designing the new website design, which will be on the drupal platform.

Convention Operations: State convention will be held in Portsmouth from November 1-3. Room rates are $86 for all rooms. The 2020 convention will be held in Northern Virginia.

Chapter Leadership Institute: Domonique Lawless reported that CLI participants are tasked with building and strengthening chapters. Participants discuss various topics about leadership and chapters to bring ideas to chapters. Participants are tasked with leading the next chapter meeting. This will allow the participants to learn how Presidents plan and implement a meeting. Chapter presidents who are also participants will be leading a portion of the next board meeting.

Legislative committee: Sandy gave report on behalf of Deepa Goraya, Derek Manners, and John Halverson. Updates were given on both national legislations. Please contact your representatives about our legislative priorities. Tracy reported a victory in our state legislation when Governor Northam vetoed HB 2296. Sarah Patnaude and Deepa Goraya are working on writing a Press Release and letter to the editor to commend the Governor for his support.

National Convention

National convention will be held July 7-12 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tracy and Sandy Halverson were nominated and elected as delegate and alternate delegate respectively for national convention. The Virginia Caucus will be held at 10 PM on July 8. Tracy announced Gerald Meredith and Helen “Georgie” Sydnor are national scholarship finalists.
Kathryn spoke about the Kenneth Jernigan fund raffle tickets. Tickets are $10. The winner of the raffle will win an all-expense paid trip to next year’s convention for two. Please see Kathryn or Sarah Patnaude for tickets. If Virginia sells the most tickets, the affiliate will win $500.

At national convention, there will be a celebration for the American Action Fund. The celebration will be held right after the Braille book fair. It will be a sea creature themed event with door prizes and carnival food.
If you are willing to volunteer to assist with the Independence Market at convention, please contact Tracy or Mrs. Maurer directly.
Motion was put on the table to contribute $200 for door prizes. Motion was approved.

Chapters and divisions reported their contributions for each of the following funds: white cane, tenBroek, Jernigan, SUN, NFB camp
A motion was made for the affiliate to contribute an additional $20,000 to split amongst the funds. Motion was approved.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct now applies to all affiliates. As such, affiliates do not have to gather signatures for leaders within the affiliate. If you witness a violation of the Code of Conduct, please report violations to the national office and Tracy.

Brittany Ingram announced that there will be a Treasurer training seminar at state convention to cover the responsibilities, limitations, and best practices for chapter treasurers.

Project RISE

Kathryn reported that Project RISE has had successful sessions the last several months. Please get in touch with Kathryn if you would like to be a mentor for next year. Project RISE hopes to have more students next year, so more mentors are needed.


Stewart Prost has been assisting people with advocating for services and needs from the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.
Tracy proposed having the board meeting in Northern Virginia in August to allow for a national representative to participate and lead programming. A motion was approved.

The next board meeting will be held on August 17th.

Board Meeting was adjourned at 4:14 PM

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.