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Mr. Sampadian called the meeting to order at 1:30 P.M. on Friday, February 11, 2005.

Ms. Alger called the roll.

  • District 2 - Debby Malmberg, Representative
  • District 3 - Cathy Graham, Non-Voting District Member
  • District 4 - Mary Hayes, Representative
  • District 5 - Absent
  • District 6 - Dan Angelicola, Representative
  • District 7 - Phil Bluschke, Representative
  • District 8 - Jerry Rigney, Representative
  • District 9 - Tom Saunders, Representative
  • District 10 - Absent
  • District 11 - Absent
  • District 12 - Shirley Smart, Representative
  • District 13 - Absent
  • Chairperson - Krekor Sampadian
  • Vice-Chairperson - Gyorke Alger

A quorum was established.

  • Agency staff - Kathy Murphey, Larry Batterton
  • Guests - Amy and Fred Hayes

Mr. Sampadian made the following announcement: there will be no cross talk between gallery persons and Committee members during discussion of issues or motions. Members of the gallery may address the Chair after the Committee has completed a discussion.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved without change.

Mr. Sampadian announced the need to realign the Committee Districts. The purpose for realignment is to create more proportionate representation for all vendors and to reduce the number of Districts to ten (10).

Districts 4, 5, and 6 will work together to eliminate one district. Dan Angelicola, Gene Harper and Mary Hayes were assigned this task.

Debby Malmberg, Leo Thompson and the Alternates from Districts 2 and 3 will create a more equitable division of these two Districts.

Districts 7, 8, 9 and 11 will work together to create three (3) Districts from these four. Phil Bluschke, Jerry Rigney, Tom Saunders, Chuck Fickett and Gyorke Alger will work on this.

Shirley Smart and Leslie Francis will work to create a more equitable division of Districts 12 and 13.

This will be voted on at the May meting, at which time the ten Districts will be numbered 1 - 10.

Ms. Murphey presented a comprehensive report on facilities under management by Aramatic. There are currently two, the FDLE Cafeteria in Tallahassee, on the current availabilities list and the Snack Bar in Ft. Myers. Three have been transitioned back to BEP operator management.

Ms. Murphey reported that two of the transitions went very well, but that many problems surfaced when Mr. Jim Warth took over the cafeteria at the SWFWMD in Brooksville. These included deficiencies in cleanliness and sanitation, malfunctioning equipment, employees without Safe Staff cards, failure to bring pricing into line with target goals and an attempt by those employees to have Mr. Warth dismissed by the host Agency.

Ms. Murphey stated that a new Florida Supervisor, Mark Healy, has been appointed by Aramatic and that he is addressing these and other issues, including slow reporting to DBS of monthly sales and profits.

The Committee and Ms. Murphey agreed on the need to develop a transition plan with a checklist to see that all requirements are met. This will include a list of Aramatics responsibilities and those that are the Agencys.

Mr. Sampadian pointed out that we are paying Aramatic a lot of money and that we should be able to expect them to manage our locations in a professional and profitable way.

Ms. Murphey reported on VISINITY, the company that manages our unassigned vending machines. The total number of machines involved is 538. Distribution of revenue is as follows: all to DBS - 216; shared on a percentage basis with VISINITY - 115; no revenue to DBS - 207. Ms. Murphey stated that the last number is unacceptable, that DBS staff needs to locate these machines and secure the monies from them. She stated that VISINITY is doing a good job of identifying machines being serviced by BEP operators that the Bureau office doesnt know about.

Ms. Murphey then presented an overview of the BEP budget and gave each Representative a disk containing the full data. We average $600,000 in annual income from set aside and VISINITY. For the first half of this fiscal year the total is $293,000 and accounting for expected variables we are right on track. Our financial condition is sound.

Mr. Sampadian announced the need to appoint a back-up alternate for the Selection Panel to serve on a one-time basis for the current round. This is to ensure a full panel if any applicant objects to Mr. Klindtworth as a Selection Panelist.

Mr. Rigney nominated Mary Hayes. The nomination received several seconds. Ms. Hayes was confirmed by unanimous roll call vote and accepted the position. The Secretary will notify Mr. Newcomb.

Mr. Rigney reported that Coke has announced a new Statewide pricing policy that will take effect March 1st. This information is on a disk that Mr., Rigney distributed to all present. The details are as follows:

Pricing is divided into three tiers:

1. All Non-Interstate locations selling both Coke and Pepsi
2. Highway rest stop areas
3. All locations using Coke exclusively

Tier 1 pricing: 12 oz. cans - $6.40; 20 oz. bottle sodas - $12.50; 20 oz. water - $8.50
Tier 2 pricing: cans - $6.15; bottles - $11.00; water - $6.75
Tier 3 pricing: cans - $5.95; bottles - 10.75; water - $6.50

Pepsi is expected to respond by February 15th.

Mr. Rigney commended Ms. Murphey for her efforts in the negotiations with Coke, but stated that the Purchasing committee is not satisfied with the new pricing from Coke. He stated that it is a price increase for all but highway rest stop locations and that the reason for the concessions to those locations is that for Coke they represent a huge advertising venue. He also reported that none of the discussions involved lower pricing for fountain syrup because those products are handled through a different division of the Coca Cola Corporation. Ms. Murphey is the person with whom Coke and Pepsi are willing to negotiate; our work group is in an advisory position only. The pricing structure adopted by Coke was not presented to the Agency as a contract subject to negotiation or modification; it was merely a notification.

Mr. Sampadian asked Mr. Rigney to work with Ms. Murphey and Ms. Fink to determine the best disposition of the machines at the Tampa Post Office, currently attached to a vending route.

Ms. Murphey reported that DBS has received a solicitation to bid on a full service cafeteria at the Miami Post Office. Estimated sales are $235,000 plus $65,000 vending annually. DBS will not bid on this location.

Ms. Alger reported for the transfer and promotion work group. She has learned that the test contains no business math questions, an element that was agreed to at the work group session held August 31, 2004. This will be addressed at the May meeting. She also reported that some applicants have said they believe the test is too easy.

Mr. Rigney reported that new applicants have not received vending training at Daytona or in OJT that relates to the selection test. He suggested that Crane national be involved in the training at the Rehab Center. He also suggested that OJT training be upgraded and that the evaluation system be made more specific and less redundant.

Mr. Sampadian announced the following changes to the Training work Group: Leo Thompson will remain Chair and Debby Malmberg will remain part of the work group. Mr. Saunders will join the group. Mr. Francis, Mr. Fickett and Mr. Harper are no longer part of the work group.

Ms. Alger reported for the Seminar Committee. Mr. Fickett wants to step down as Seminar Chair for health reasons but wants to participate as much as possible. Ms. Alger volunteered to see the project through to completion. She will consult with Mr. Fickett to find out what contacts have been made, what their status is and follow up. Mr. Lover and Mr. Spiliotis have pledged their assistance.

Mr. Sampadian asked what breakout sessions were planned. Ms. Alger responded that two are planned to date, one is an educational session to acquaint all vendors with the new selection process and the other is a hands-on machine training class that Mr. Spiliotis will organize.

Mr. Fickett has contacted Branex and they plan to participate in the trade show. Other purveyors will be contacted in the near future, including companies that offer high tech items that are relevant to our businesses.

Mr. Sampadian adjourned the meeting at 4:30 P.M.

Mr. Sampadian reconvened the meeting at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday, February12, 2005.

Ms. Alger called the roll.

  • District 2 - Debby Malmberg
  • District 3 - Cathy Graham
  • District 4 - Mary Hayes
  • District 5 - Absent
  • District 6 - Dan Angelicola
  • District 7 - Phil Bluschke
  • District 8 - Jerry Rigney
  • District 9 - Tom Saunders
  • District 10 - Absent
  • District 11 - Absent
  • District 12 - Shirley smart
  • District 13 - Absent
  • Chairperson - Krekor Sampadian
  • Vice-Chairperson - Gyorke Alger
  • Agency Staff - Kathy Murphey, Larry Batterton
  • Guests - Jim Warth, Fred Hayes, Victor Rosario

Mr. Sampadian announced that the session would be devoted to round table discussion and invited Mr. Warth to speak to the problems he encountered in the transition from Aramatic. Mr. Warth began by stating that before he took the facility Aramatic requested an additional week to clean the facility and that when he arrived it was a disaster. He cited broken equipment, coolers not holding temperatures, clogged water line filters, health inspection reports with numerous violations, no staff person on site with Safe Serve card, suppliers reluctant to deliver because of past slow payment by Aramatic, no current sales tax certificate for Aramatic, and a general lack of cleanliness.

Ms. Murphey responded that DBS is responsible for many of the items cited, but that if they arent aware of the problem they cant fix it. Mr. Nerenberg knew the steam kettle wasnt working but it wasnt in use and he elected not to have it repaired.

Mr. Bluschke pointed out that this is an old facility and that most of its equipment needs to be replaced, citing as an example the salad bar unit having a rusted out bottom. Ms. Murphey added that because of problems with past operators the facility had been scheduled for closure and that was the reason the equipment was not replaced.

Mr. Warth said that sales have improved steadily since he took the LOFA and that he intends to continue making improvements. He has the snack machines and will take over the drinks in about a week.

Mr. Sampadian questioned the value of using Aramatic, asking if they are managing our locations profitably. He pointed out that we are paying the company a lot of money to bring substandard operations up to par and that if they are not doing that we have a problem.

Ms. Murphey said that one problem is that Aramatic does not keep an on-site manager to oversee the employees.

The Committee would like to have Mark Healy attend the May meeting and give us information about his plans to upgrade their operation of BEP facilities. Mr. Sampadian suggested that the BEP Consultants visit Aramatic locations on a monthly basis. He also reminded all present that the policy is to use Aramatic as a last resort, only if a BEP vendor cannot be found to operate a location or if the location has been grossly mismanaged in the past.

Mr. Rosario expressed his satisfaction with the program and said that he is very happy with his new facility.

Mr. Rigney talked about the one-day mini Camp Achievement workshops that Client Services is sponsoring in various districts Vendors from District 8 provided food service at this event in Tampa last month and District 9 did so in St. Petersburg last year. It is an opportunity to advocate for our program and to help parents see a brighter future for their blind children. He encouraged all vendors to participate in these workshops.

Mr. Rigney also mentioned that Paul Prescott had asked him to remind everyone of the BLAST Conference in April.

Mr. Sampadian asked for a clarification of the Agencys policy in dealing with vendors who violate the terms of the LOFA. Ms. Murphey explained that they "start soft" and then step up the pressure.

Ms. Malmberg expressed her concern that the Consultants do not perform their job duties consistently. Several members agreed with her. Ms. Murphey said that the Consultants will never do the job consistently; they each have their own ways of doing things. The Committee believes that progress in this area could and should be made.

Cathy Graham brought a request from District 3 to attach the 3 machines in the R. A. Gray Building to the Caldwell Building (VF531). Ms. Murphey said he had the proposal but left it on her desk, and that the Agency favored the action.

Mr. Rigney moved to combine, Ms. Smart seconded and the motion carried by unanimous roll call vote.

Ms. Graham reported that Mr. Thompson is opposed to combining any part of District 2 with District 3.

Mr. Sampadian stated his belief that representation of vendors is more important than keeping the districts geographically consistent. Very few Districts have meetings on a regular basis; it is more efficient to communicate by telephone and email.

Ms. Hayes brought a question from her District about reimbursement for hurricane damage and product loss. How is it paid and what is the difference between this and other losses? Hurricane losses were paid through Client Services, not by BEP. The difference is that ordinary repairs and product losses are a normal business expense and hurricane damage is a catastrophic loss.

There being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Gyorke Alger
Vice-Chairperson, Secretary

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

Providing Tools and Support for Legally Blind Vendors in the Food Service Industry