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State Committee of Vendors

Orlando, FL -- December 15 and 16, 2009

Mr. Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 8:30 A.M., Monday, December 15, 2009.

Mr. Klindtworth called the roll.

Members Present:

District 1 Steve Schneider, District 2 Randy Shuster, District 3 Don Tuell, District 4 - Mary Hayes, District 5 - Phil Bluschke, District 7 - Tom Saunders, District 8 - Shirley Smart, District 9 - Joel Rose, District 10 - Leslie Francis.

Members Absent:

District 6 -Randall Crosby

Division of Blind Services Representatives:

Ms. Joyce Hildreth, Mr. Gene Newcomb, Ms. Kathleen Crosson, and Mr. John Clarkson.

Other attendees who made a presentation to the Committee:

Mr. Ed Hudson, Director of the Orientation and Adjustment Center, Daytona Beach, FL.
Mr. Kurt Ponchak, DBS Bureau Chief, Operations and Compliance
Mr. Bruce Berger, Consultant, Strategic Planning

Mr. Saunders moved to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and Mr. Rose seconded. The motion carried without objection.

Ms. Joyce Hildreth discussed the importance of strategic planning to identify the goals and objectives of the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) over the next five years. She stated that the strategic planning process will help us target the most critical needs of the program and we will work one step at a time toward improvement. The plan is our map for the future.

Mr. Bruce Berger reviewed the strategic plan process, reviewed proposed projects and received input from Committee members on additional projects to consider for the strategic plan.

Mr. Burger also led the Committee members in a discussion of strengths and weaknesses.

Further discussion included the following suggestions and comments:

  • Perspective BEP clients meet with existing successful vendors to discuss pros and cons and expectations of BEP
  • Offer more hands on training in the field for consultants.
  • Clients need more enhanced business training in the training program at the Orientation and Adjustment Center
  • Modules need to be better defined
  • Trainees need more management skills (e.g.) monthly reports, understanding of net profit, business math etc.
  • Community college business courses should be incorporated into the training program
  • BEP sub-committee and agency personnel visit the Orientation and Adjustment Center to assess the training program and make recommendations for improvement
  • Need to increase the number of vending and food service business opportunities statewide
  • Concentrate on more training and recruitment before going after more locations
  • Need to provide new licensed vendors more oversight and support to ensure success
  • Need more internal control and auditing of the facilities

Ms. Hildreth stated that BEP has been moved under the Director within the organization. Ms. Hildreth also stated that the Division is in the process of hiring an auditor who will be responsible for programmatic and financial auditing.

Mr. Spiliotis stated that the committee puts there heart and sole into the program. He explained that BEP vendors want to share this experience with others both in the state and nationally. He also stated that it is the wish and the passion for people in this room to work hand in hand in partnership with this agency to make this a cutting edge program in the nation.

Mr. Ed Hudson gave an overview on training at Daytona and presented recommendations related to the assessment and referral process for BEP. Mr. Hudson also addressed some possibilities related to integrating more hands on experiences in the training program at the O&A Center.

General discussion commenced regarding background checks. Ms. Hildreth stated that the agency was working towards having background checks in the near future and that this could possibly occur by March 2010. Department of Management Services (DMS) is requiring all managers to have background checks for all DMS facilities. She also stated that this requirement is becoming more frequent.

Mr. Kurt Ponchak, Bureau Chief of Operations and Compliance, gave a financial report to the Committee. Mr. Ponchak will provide clarifying information at the next meeting.

Mr. Spiliotis announced that Ms. Debbie Malmbergs term on the selection panel will expire at the end of 2009. Mr. Spiliotis moved to renew Ms. Malmbergs term. Mr. Saunders approved and the motion was seconded by Mr. Rose. It was passed by districts 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Ms. Malmbergs will serve a three year term.

The alternates were also up for re-election. Mr. John Kalivoda from Ocala area, Ms. Kathy Graham from Tallahassee, Ms. Valerie James from Brandon area were re-elected to three year terms.

Ms. Shirley Smart nominated Ms. Gyorke Alger to be nominated for back up alternate. Mr. Saunders seconded the nomination, Ms. Alger left the room for the nomination to be discussed by the committee members, but she was not confirmed for back up alternate.

Mr. Spiliotis brought up an issue regarding type II Licensed Operator Facility Agreement (LOFA). The procedure handbook temporarily states that a LOFA II assignment shall be six months unless it is an interstate location which would be a month to month renewal contract. DBS responded that upon occasion we have given a yearly contract to type II LOFAs. In a serious situation were we might loose the facility but usually it is a six months contract.

The Committee discussed the timeline requirements related to the business reports. Mr. Newcomb stated the following protocol.
A recent in-depth survey of Agency records revealed a possible discrepancy in monthly business report recording.

Therefore, beginning with the January 2010 selection round and continuing until this matter is resolved, the points available in the performance review section of the selection protocol will be scored as follows:

1. Credit for experience

0.1 point for each month under LOFA for the 50 months prior to the close of applications (maximum of 5 points)

2. Financial standing with the Agency

10 points if no monies are owed

5 points if a debt is owed and being repaid according to the terms of an agreement with the Agency

0 points if a debt is owed and not being repaid

3. Consultant survey

10 points (one point for each item)

Approved December 16, 2009 by the State Committee of Vendors and the Division of Blind Services.

Round table discussion with all members

It was discussed that Ms. Fink will temporarily take over District 9 until a permanent Consultant can be hired.

Mr. Randy Shuster District 2, presented a letter written by Ms. Maria Reynolds in which her concerns were expressed to the Committee.

Mr. Shuster stated that there is a new court house being built at south wood in Tallahassee and that this may be a good opportunity for a vending facility.

Mr. Rose stated that Coke Cola will increase their prices sometime in January. Pepsi will also be increasing their prices due to inflation.

Mary Hayes stated all is well in District 4. There is one new vendor, Ms. Sharon Rodman and also a new facility, Federal Aviation Administration Building (FAA). Mr. Kaiserian stated that the FAA building had approached the agency to provide the vending.

Mr. Spiliotis closed the meeting by thanking Ms. Hildreth for coming and for all her help.

Next State Committee of Vendors Meeting is scheduled for February 11-13, 2010 at the Embassy Suites in Orlando, Florida.

Meeting Adjourned.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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