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State Committee of Vendors Quarterly Meeting

Orlando, FL - December 10 and 11, 2010

Mr. Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.
Friday, December 10, 2010.

Mr. Klindtworth called the roll.

Members Present:

  • District 1 - Georgia Kellogg - Alternate representative,
  • District 2 - Randy Shuster,
  • District 3 - Don Tuell,
  • District 4 - Mary Hayes,
  • District 5- Victor Rosario - Alternate representative,
  • District 7 - Tom Saunders,
  • District 8 - Shirley Smart,
  • District 9 -Joel Rose,
  • District 10 - Leslie Francis.

Members Absent:

  • District 1 - Steve Schneider relocated,
  • District 5 - Phil Bluschke,
  • District 6 - Randall Crosby.

Division of Blind Services Representatives:

Mr. John Clarkson, Mr. William Findley, Mr. Lawrence Batterton, Ms. Kathleen Crosson, Mr. Gene Newcomb, Ms. Maureen Fink, Ms. Raquel Falero, Mr. Chadwick Duncan, Mr. Darryl Lane, and Mr. Bernie Kaiserian.

Other attendees who made a presentation to the Committee:

Mr. Steven Moss, BEP Instructor.

Mr. Chadwick Duncan read the minutes from the previous meeting.
Ms. Georgia Kellogg moved to approve the minutes. Ms. Shirley Smart seconded the motion. Motion carried without objection.

Mr. John Clarkson gave an update on the last committee meeting stating that the committee meeting minutes will be expedited more efficiently on the DBS web site. The minutes will be read at the following committee meeting.

Mr. John Clarkson also discussed giving an update to the District Administrators and Vocational Rehabilitation supervisors around the state on October 15, 2010. The update included a discussion on new operators coming into the program, what they should expect, and referred to some of the new sites that are being developed.

On November 19, 2010 Mr. Tom Saunders, Mr. Bill Findley and Ms. Maureen Fink gave a presentation at the FAER conference in Tampa, Florida which generated a lot of interest in the BEP program.

Mr. John Clarkson has been working closely with the Florida State College in Jacksonville to produce a video about the Business Enterprise Program with the help of Mr. Tom Spiliotis. The video should be released within the next month or two which will be distributed among CRPs and optometrists within the state.

Mr. John Clarkson gave an update on the online reporting which should be up and running by mid January. The site should be available to the ten managers that were picked for the pilot and accessibility testing. Managers should be able to sign on with Bank of America by February 2011 to do their on line monthly reports and to make payments. This site will be Jaws and Windows friendly.

Mr. John Clarkson stated the budget for the year 2010 - 2011 is $2.697 million dollars. There was $30,000 dollars added to this years budget from last year. Some of the funding comes from set aside, which is about 14.6% or ($395,000). Unassigned income is about 3% or ($91,000). Unassigned income comes from Visinity, Newspaper racks and Working Capital Repayments. Mr. Clarkson also stated that most of our funding comes from state or federal funding (82%). So far this year, Business Enterprise has spent $494,000 from the Vending Stand Equipment and Supplies category through November, 2010, which includes $80,000 to Crane National. Salaries and benefits for the same period were $248,560 and expenses were $26,239.

Mr. Bill Findley read the Type II LOFA selection process for clarification that all decisions have to be in the best interest of the facility. The facility should first be offered to a local manager and that the seventy five mile limit would not apply should it be offered to an out of area manager.

Ms. Maureen Fink disclosed a list of operators that owe outstanding working capital amounts. The operators names will not be listed in the minutes.

There are a total of nine managers currently under contract that will be placed on repayment plans.

Mr. Bill Findley read the repayment plan template for debt owed by current facility managers. It was suggested that wording should be added permitting them to pay off the debt in full. The consultants will hand deliver the letters to the operators.

It was decided that operators not currently in a facility who are close to the five year limitation for collection will be notified first by certified letter stating what is owed and that it should be repaid by check, money order or cashier check. If amount is not paid it will be sent to a collection agency.

The fiscal department will notify Ms. Glenda Josey of all non payments and she will inform Mr. Bill Findley. Non payment, or checks returned for insufficient funds, will be grounds for possible removal from the facility.

A new policy was introduced stating that any operator that owes money from a previous facility will not be allowed to sign another LOFA until all monies have been repaid by cashiers check or money order. There was a motion to pass a repayment plan for operators and that all monies must be paid before an operator can sign a LOFA on a facility. Ms. Shirley Smart approved the motion. Mr. Leslie Francis seconded the motion. Motion passed without objection.

Mr. Chadwick Duncan gave an update on Southern Command which is a new facility in Region 5 and will be opening with a total of fifty machines. It could be on the May, 2011 bid sheet.

Ms. Maureen Fink gave an update on the post office in Miami, stating that National Vendors has been contacted regarding removing there vending machines and replacing them with DBS machines under the Randolph Sheppard Act.

There was a discussion regarding future contract opportunities with vending and food services at military bases around the state. There was a discussion regarding Eglin AFB that the agency did not have enough time to pursue this opportunity by the beginning of 2011 because of all the personnel changes in Tallahassee.

Mr. Victor Rosario and Mr. Tom Spiliotis discussed the opportunities we could have at the medical center complex and VA hospital that is being built in the Orlando area. Also we need to pursue VA hospitals in various locations around the state for vending and snack bar opportunities.

Mr. Darryl Lane gave an update on Milton Prison that could possibly go on the May 2011 bid sheet.

Mr. Bernie Kaiserian gave an update on Millhopper library which will open in January, 2011. The Duval county courthouse plans to be open in two years. The post office in Daytona Beach facility #410 will be closing the beginning of 2011.

Ms. Raquel Falero announced Mr. Frank Obremski will be retiring at the end of the year from Cape Canaveral.

There was a discussion regarding leaving Patrick AFB due to the fact that we are expected to pay the electric bill and we are not permitted to expand our operation.

Mr. Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 8:30 A.M, Saturday, December 11, 2010.

Mr. Bill Findley gave an update on background screening rules and written policy.

Mr. Tom Spiliotis discussed changing the selection panel process. It has been requested by previous interviewees to update the test questions, have short answers to questions as opposed to essays and more performance based scoring. Applicants should submit job resumes with references especially new managers. Also the selection panel should have access to visitation reports and financial information before interviewing the candidates.

Kathleen Crosson was asked to send out the dates of the Biennial Seminar to all the operators within the state. Seminar date is August 12 - 14, 2011 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, FL. Susan Johnson and Joel Rose will be helping with the organizing of this event. Also the BLAST convention will be held in Nashville, Tennessee September 20, 2011. More information will be released as it becomes available.

Mr. Bill Findley announced that Aramatic was bought out by American Food and Vending Company in September, 2010. They have made some improvements such as training the staff for better customer service and portion control. The buy out should bring accurate monthly business reports to the agency, so it can receive the six percent set aside. American Food and Vending was notified that the DOE cafeteria will at some point be put on the bid list but no timetable has been set.

Round table discussion

District - 5 Mr. Victor Rosario, Alternate Representative, announced the retirement of Manager Nancy Schisano. It was announced that the post office in Daytona is closing and they are moving the employees to the Lake Mary facility, but this has not been made official as of yet.

District - 8 Ms. Shirley Smart asked Ms. Maureen Fink to discuss the rebuilding of Alligator Alley Rest Area which will be in fiscal 2012. The blue prints have not been received for the project so far. The rebuilding will not interfere with the operation of the vending machines or bathrooms; there will be extra space made available for storage and extra vending machines.

Ms. Shirley Smart announced that in Fort Myers there was a Race Trac gas station built next to the rest area at exit 131 at Daniels Parkway. This is hurting the vendor financially. Mr. Tom Spiliotis suggested combining the rest area at exit 131 with the TSA route as a package.

Mr. Tom Spiliotis asked to nominate individuals to replace outgoing members and alternates on the Selection Panel. Please contact Tom Spiliotis with an email.

Don Tuell and Tom Saunders agreed to be permanent members on the grievance panel, replacing Jim Lover and Gyorke Alger.

Mr. Bernie Kaiserian suggested expanding the existing requirement that states that a new operator must sign a twelve month LOFA contract for a Type I to include operators that had a Type I or Type II contract cancellation, or operators that had been inactive for the previous five years.  The new requirement is that new operators, operators who have had a contract cancellation, and operators who have been inactive for the previous five years, must sign a twelve month LOFA contract for a Type I contract on the next facility they accept. The purpose of the requirement expansion is to improve the stability of the program and to give operators a twelve month window to prove themselves. Ms. Shirley Smart made the motion to approve the recommendation. Mr Victor Rosario seconded the motion. Mr. John Klindtworth called the roll of all districts to vote. The motion was approved.

Also Mr Kaiserian suggested changing the moving timeframe from ninety days to thirty days from the signing of the LOFA. The extension period will remain at thirty days. Mr. Tom Saunders made the motion to approve. Ms. Shirley Smart seconded the motion. Mr. John Klindtworth called all districts to vote and the motion was approved.

District - 10 Mr. Leslie Francis stated that the meeting with Mr. John Clarkson was very productive for the district and the program. He also hopes to work with Mr. Chadwick Duncan to increase facilities in the south Florida area.

District - 1 Ms. Georgia Kellogg discussed that one of the operators in her district, Mr. Tom Parnell, who operates three locations would like to give up two of them because of health issues and keep the welcome center on Hwy 231. The Committee does not agree and feels that the route should not be broken up.

District - 2 Mr. Randy Shuster gave an update on adding more locations to Ms. Maria Reynolds route. He also discussed trying to obtain the snack bar at the Dept of Revenue that was previously turned down.

District - 3 Mr. Don Tuell stated everything was going well in the district and that Mr. Darryl Brinton was transferring from district 3 to district 4.

District - 4 Ms. Mary Hayes announced that there was a new operator. Mr. Ray Richards has taken over the FAA facility. Also there will be three more operators moving to the region. Ms. Hayes also stated that the city of Jacksonville wants to go to healthy food choices.

District - 9 Mr. Joel Rose suggested adding routes to facilities that are in decline, such as some Visinity locations.

District - 7 Mr. Tom Saunders announced that Mr. Rodney Rolle is doing a good job at running the Tampa state regional center snack bar. Also, Ms. Maureen Fink announced there are two vending routes that have become available and will be added to the January, 2011 bid; one will be in Tampa and one in St Pete.

Next State Committee of Vendors Meeting is scheduled for February 3 - 5, 2011 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

Meeting Adjourned.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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