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Teleconference Meeting Of Transfer And Promotion Subcommittee And Selection Panel

MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2006

Mr. Spiliotis convened the meeting at 2:30 P.M.

Attendees were:

Mr. Tom Spiliotis, Committee Chairperson

Ms. Gyorke Alger, Transfer & Promotion subcommittee

Mr. Chuck Fickett, Transfer & Promotion subcommittee

Mr. Don Tuell, Transfer & Promotion subcommittee

Mr. Jim Lover, Selection Panelist

Mr. Randy Morgan, Selection Panelist

Mr. Gene Newcomb, Compliance Director

Gallery: Mr. George Arthur; Ms. Mary Hayes

Mr. Spiliotis asked the Selection Panelists for an evaluation of the current process. Mr. Morgan began by stating that the combination of a 5-minute presentation by each applicant and the four questions developed by the Panel was excellent. He stated that the interviews were realistic. He suggested that holding the interviews by video conference would be more convenient than meeting in person. Mr. Morgan also stated that more information about new licensees, such as OJT evaluations and training reports, is needed for the Panel to make better judgments.

Mr. Spiliotis stated that the difficulty in verifying numerical data reported to the Division is the reason that the Committee is reluctant to make use of such data.

Mr. Newcomb added that he sees a problem with using OJT evaluations, in that one trainers score of 3 on a component can be another trainers 5. His suggestion was to use the average of the six component test scores from Daytona. His suggestion was well received by the Panelists and the subcommittee.

Mr. Lover concurred with Mr. Morgans observations, stating that the 5-minute presentation followed by the interview was a great improvement over the previous process. He said that the panel needs more time between interviews, probably an hour. He stated that the Panel held in-depth discussions after each interview, but that they believe they need more background information about the applicants than is currently provided. He said that Ms. James and Mr. Batterton provided valuable insights about several of the new licensees, but that without documentation the Panel was reluctant to use what was technically hearsay.

Mr. Arthur spoke to the group as a first-time applicant under the new selection process. He believes that the 50% weighting of the test should be reduced and that the applicants operation of his current and former facilities should be valued at 50%. Mr. Spiliotis responded that until we have reliable ways of verifying reported information, the test is the best measure of the applicants knowledge of business management.

Mr. Arthur also reported that the person who read the test to him was partially sighted and that this made it difficult to complete the test in two hours. Mr. Newcomb stated that he was not aware that this had happened and that he will fix the problem.

Mr. Morgan agreed that our long-term goal should be to weight performance data at 50% of the total score. Mr. Spiliotis concurred, but said that in view of the fact that the BEP is understaffed and has no system for data verification in place, there is no way we can implement this at present.

Mr. Lover brought forward the fact that the new licensees all mentioned the total lack of vending machine training at Daytona. Ms. Alger asked if this was not being done in OJT and Mr. Lover replied that trainees are not getting much vending training there either. Mr. Newcomb reported that a coffee vending machine has been installed at the training center in Daytona.

Mr. Spiliotis questioned the wisdom of appointing new licensees to highly complex facilities, asking if we are not setting them up for failure.

Mr. Newcomb reported that because of the difficulty of calculating net profit over the 36-month time period in use, that element was not used at all in the April selections. Instead, he pro-rated the points awarded for timely reports, using 10 points as the base and applying a 2.5 point penalty for each late report.

Mr. Spiliotis and Ms. Alger voiced support of this action. Mr. Newcomb will use the same method for the July selections and the Transfer & Promotion subcommittee will revisit and rewrite this section of the process for submission to the full committee.

A discussion regarding the merit of using net profit expectation in the selection process ensued. Mr. Newcomb felt that as it is a contractual issue it might best be excluded. Mr. Spiliotis mentioned that in the case of non-highway vending, of which there are at least four types, there is only one net profit requirement. He also stated that in every case the expectation is unrealistically low. Ms. Alger stated her opposition to using net profit because it is not verifiable data.

Mr. Newcomb asked if it would be helpful to the Selection Panel if they had telephone access to OJT trainers during their deliberations. Mr. Morgan and Mr. Lover said that it would be useful. Mr. Spiliotis raised the question of personality conflicts between trainers and trainees. The consensus was that the panel is comprised of people who have the ability to make sound judgments and determine the value of statements they receive.

The video conference format for interviews was discussed again. Mr. Spiliotis observed that in any real world setting a person hoping to advance his career is prepared to make the effort to go to a personal interview. M. Fickett mentioned that applicants who live close to the interview location might have an advantage over those who have to travel a long distance. In response to a question about the expense of traveling incurred by new licensees Mr. Newcomb said that their expenses are paid by VR. Mr. Tuell asked if there were more applicants from the Tampa Bay area than other parts of the State, and there was general agreement that it is not likely.

Mr. Lover, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Newcomb said that meeting in a hotel was much preferable to using the Tampa DBS office. This raised the question of possibly moving the venue to other locations. As funds are available for travel, Mr. Newcomb suggested that both Orlando and Tampa could be used in rotation. The July selections will be held in Tampa.

Mr. Morgan raised the point that in his capacity as District Administrator he relies heavily on references supplied by applicants for State positions. No one was quite sure how to incorporate this into the selection process.

On behalf of the Committee, Mr. Spiliotis expressed his appreciation to the Selection Panel and Mr. Newcomb for their excellent work in implementing the new process. All present agreed that significant improvements have been made and that we will continue to strive for further improvements.

Mr. Spiliotis adjourned the meeting at approximately 3:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Gyorke Alger

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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