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State Committee of Vendors Quarterly Meeting

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mr. Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.
Friday, February 4, 2011.

Mr. Klindtworth called the roll.

Members Present:

District 1 Georgia Kellogg - Alternate representative, 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 Lonnie Wilcox Alternate representative.

Members Absent:

District 2 Randy Shuster, District 6 - Randall Crosby.

Division of Blind Services Representatives:

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

Mr. Spiliotis introduced visiting committee vendors from South Carolina, Chairman Mr. Joe Urbanek and Vice Chairman Mr. Isaiah Nelson.

Other attendees that made a presentation to the Committee:

Mr. Steven Moss, BEP Instructor.

Mr. Chadwick Duncan read the minutes from the previous meeting.
Mr. Phil Bluschke moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Joel Rose seconded the motion. Motion carried without objection.

Ms. Georgia Kellogg announced the passing of Mr. Tom Parnell in District 1.
Mr. Tom Spiliotis also announced the passing of Ms. Gene Harper. Condolences were extended to both families.

Mr. Bill Findley and Ms. Maureen Fink read the motions to endorse the four new policy proposals and performance review changes made via phone conference call on January 12, 2011. The policies voted on are as follows:

  1. Policy 2.02 Outstanding Debt Prohibition,
  2. Policy 2.03 Bid Opportunity and Limits for Operators of Temporarily Closed Facilities,
  3. Policy 2.04 Bureau of Business Enterprise Operator Licensure Training Requirements and Policy
  4. 2.05 Licensed Operator Facility Agreement (LOFA) Commitment Requirement.

The Performance Review Change involved changes in how performance points were determined up to the 25 points for that portion of the selection. An adjustment was necessary since new Policy 2.02 forbids an operator from bidding on new facility while having a debt owed to BBE. Prior to that, up to five points was given to an operator who did not owe any debt. Motion was approved unanimously by Committee Members. Mary Hayes made a motion to approve the conference call minutes. The motion was seconded by Ms. Shirley Smart. Motion carried without objection.

Mr. John Clarkson gave updates from the December meeting. First, he stated that the working capital repayment plan was sent out initially to operators who have a current active facility, then to operators who do not have a facility. So far three managers have agreed over the phone to repayment plans. Currently, we have nine operators who are in a facility that had agreed to repayment plans and four payments have been received.

The Miami Post Office situation was discussed and that National Vending Company has been removed from the PO and BBE now has its machines in as of February 1, 2011, with the exception of a frozen food machine. Mr. John Clarkson stated that BBE will attempt to collect funds that were previously earned by National Vending in direct competition to BBE facility operator, Mr. Lonnie Wilcox. Attorney Mr. Charles Pellegrini will pursue this. Mr. Wilcox says he has documents dating back to 2006 on this topic.

Mr. Bill Findley gave an update on Eglin AFB Cafeteria stating that the new start date for the food requirement is September 1, 2011. The first step is to obtain a CAGE (Commercial and Governmental Entity) code. This will cost BBE a $599 registration fee. We should have this code before the end of February 2011.

The Agency called a meeting with American Food and Vending and the Agency on January 31, 2011. The meeting improved our understanding of what each expects from the other. More clarification in reporting was provided and agreed upon.

Mr. John Clarkson announced a new BBE position for Site Development which will enable us to search for and develop new facilities.

Mr. John Clarkson gave a presentation regarding online reporting and that pilot testing should begin by the end of February, 2011.

Mr. John Clarkson presented a video on the BEP program produced by Florida State College in Jacksonville to help recruit new clients interested in the BEP program. The video was positively received.

Mr. Tom Spiliotis discussed a Type II selection process where Mr. Bernie Kaiserian and Mr. Chadwick Duncan reversed rolls; Mr. Kaiserian was on the panel for the Miami district, Mr. Duncans district, and vice versa. This seemed to be successful as far as no candidate favoritism could be shown or perceived. There was a motion to pass this Type II selection process where you have a consultant from another district other than his own participate in the Type II selection. Mr. Joel Rose approved the Motion. Ms. Mary Hayes seconded the Motion. Motion carried without objection.

The Working Capital action plan was discussed by Mr. Bill Findley and Ms. Maureen Fink. Repayment plans have been signed by nine operators and four payments have been made to date. One is not overdue yet, but four are. Over 40 registered letters have been sent out to non-current facility operators and approximately 8 have responded. A couple of people have responded negatively disputing the debt or the amount. Three have agreed to a plan on the phone, and a repayment plan has been sent out but not returned so far.

Mr. Barry Wood from A & M Equipment gave a demonstration on three vending machines: one snack, one frozen, and the combo (snack and drink) machine. Advantages of these machines include the fact that the coils may be easily adjusted and the control board is mounted in the front of the machine at the bottom for easy access. These machines are made for outdoor use.

Mr. Gene Newcomb gave an update on the Selection Process Protocol. The test points have been lowered from 50 to 40 points. Test questions may consist of multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/ false and solving business math word problems. It was decided that there would not be essays or short answer, suggestions that were made and discussed at a previous meeting. There is no set number or mix of questions as long as a value for each question is prorated to achieve 40 points.

Interview Qualification Requirement.

The Interview point maximum is increased from 25 pts to 35 pts. In order to qualify for an interview, the applicant must achieve a combined test and performance review score which places them in the top five (5) scores for any business opportunity for which he or she has applied. A change in this requirement is as follows: If an applicant currently holds a Type II LOFA on a business opportunity that is among those offered he or she shall be interviewed even if he or she is not in the top five scores.

Points for Improving a Distressed Facility.

A licensee who seeks a Type I LOFA while still holding a Type II LOFA for a facility that is prior determined as distressed or damaged due to causes not of his/her making is eligible to receive a maximum of five (5) credit points in the selection for the facility only if he or she has significantly improved the overall performance and viability of the facility. Interstate highway rest area facilities are excluded from this credit determination.

Selection Panel Recommendations.

The Selection Panel is entrusted to recommend persons whom they feel are qualified to successfully manage a facility. Likewise, if the panel feels some or all of the candidates do not have the ability to manage a location, the panel may recommend the facility be re-advertised or it may recommend a candidate with a lower overall score. In such instances, the panel is obligated to explain in writing its reasoning for making such a determination. Mr. Tom Saunders approved the Motion. Mr. Lonnie Wilcox seconded the Motion. Motion carried without objection.

Mr. Gene Newcomb gave an overview of the January Bid Selections stating there are nine facilities offered; four interstates, four routes and one cafeteria. Fourteen applicants have applied so far.

Potential future sites were discussed by Mr. Bill Findley referencing a new position of Site Development that Mr. John Clarkson had discussed earlier. This position will be added to help locate and create new facility sites.

The Consultants gave an update on current sites in progress. Mr. Darryl Lane discussed Milton prison reaching full capacity of inmates and that the vendor is reporting around eighty five hundred dollars per month. Mr. Lane stated he had spoken to the warden regarding getting more electricity to expand the vending due to the high volume of sales. This facility will be advertised on the September 2011 bid.

Mr. Bernie Kaiserian stated that facility 585 which is the library in Gainesville has opened offering vending only. The snack bar as of yet has not opened. There is a possible new route in Jacksonville; the City of Jacksonville gave Bernie a list of locations and machines that are onsite. Mr. Kaiserian and Ms. Mary Hayes will verify these locations. This facility should be up and running by the end of June, 2011.

Ms. Raquel Falero announced that two more stops have been added to facility 586 and four additional post offices will have a feasibility analysis conducted to determine viability. In addition there are three more sites pending transfer from 378 to 586.

Ms. Maureen Fink announced she had a contact person for TSA in Tampa and will try to meet with TSA to see if she can do a feasibility analysis. Likewise, she will try to identify a contact person with the James Haley VA Hospital in Tampa to see if DBS can get into that location.

Mr. Chadwick Duncan discussed feasibility for the administrative offices for Air Traffic Control. There are seven vending machines at this location and Mr. Leslie Francis has accepted a Type II contract for six months. Hopefully, this will turn into a Miami route. Ms. Lillian Pemberton has taken a Type II LOFA at Southern Command.

Tampa Region Consultant Update: Bill and Maureen will be interviewing for this position on February 11, 2011. There were approximately one hundred eighty applicants.

Mr. Bill Findley gave a review of the OIG report, stating many things have already been addressed such as Working Capital repayments, reducing risk by adjusting the WC levels and by requiring current LOFA holders to make repayments. Additional recommendations that have been or are being addressed include not permitting an operator to bid or sign a new LOFA while owing the Department, defining terms such as inventory, the 80% rule for Vending Machines and developing a list of allowable business expenses. A monitoring program is being developed and two hours were spent on this subject at the Consultants Meeting the previous day. Monitoring is expected to begin before the May Committee Meeting. Mr. Lawrence Batterton is heading that up.

Ms. Maureen Fink discussed the reimbursement policy stating that reimbursements are only allowed for repairs or parts used to repair a piece of equipment. Items not reimbursed are purchases for small wares and equipment. Purchase orders are to be obtained in advance for allowable purchases.

Ms. Maureen Fink, Mr. Tom Spiliotis and Mr. Tom Saunders discussed the 80% rule for Vending Machines. All vending machines should be at least 80% full at all times. This means that 80% of the par level is to be filled with the product. The spirals or columns can be at different par levels based on sales volumes and other factors, but there should be a variety of products in the machines. Excess duplication of products in any vending machine could be regarded as circumventing this rule and will result in violation of this policy. Product duplication should be explained to the Regional Business Consultant and will not be deemed a violation.

Inventory for the monthly report is defined as goods purchased for sale, and additional items offered at the time of purchase such as plastic ware, napkins and condiments. Items not considered inventory are such things as cleaning supplies and insecticides, as well as purchases or items such as gas, groceries or alcoholic beverages. Inventory does not include cash on hand or in machines.

The seventy-five mile rule was discussed by Mr. Tom Spiliotis. He stated that we might consider implementing and applying the seventy-five mile rule to all operators. This would require a LOFA change. We have heard of an operator who lives within seventy-five miles of the facility that is considering moving out of the seventy-five mile limit. Nothing can stop this from happening because all current LOFA holders were grandfathered in.

Ms. Maureen Fink has taken a course through Hadley School on self-employment that might be interesting for new clients coming into BBE. She is going to take a course in Business Fundamentals to see if this would benefit operators in the program.

4:15 PM Adjourn

4:20 PM Mr. Gary Gallentine from Ice Quik gave a presentation on having ice machines on interstate rest areas.

4:45 PM Mr. John Plummer from AmeriSourse discussed getting rebates from companies for vendors that buy their merchandise through their program.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mr. Bill Baker with Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida invited interested individuals to attend an open board meeting to be held in July, 2011 in Orlando FL and one in Clearwater in October, 2011. (No set date for October). The Southeastern Vending Association (SEVA) will be holding their annual convention at the Sandestin Resort in Sandestin, FL on August 4 - 6, 2011.

Mr. Baker would like to see the Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida (AMAF) and the Division of Blind Services (DBS) work together on common goals such as the taxing of bottled water which is in the house to be voted on.

Vistar Distribution Company will be holding a one day trade show on Friday August 12, 2011 at the Gaylord Palms Hotel 6000 West Osceola Parkway Kissimmee, FL 34746. Mr. Baker may be reached at 727-423-5008.

Mr. Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 8:30 A.M. Mr. Klindtworth called the roll.

Mr. Chuck Fickett discussed placing an ice machine at his interstate rest area as a pilot. The Committee did not approve the ice machine placement on the basis that it was going to increase energy demand and raise the electric bill on the rest area and that this is not in the best interest of the program. The higher cost was a great concern in this current climate of carefully monitored expenses by the State. It was suggested that data from other states could be collected and reviewed and reintroduced in the future.

Mr. Bill Findley and Mr. Steve Moss stated the BBE training classes were going well with the current class scheduled to complete training on April 1. The next class start will be April 4. The current plan is to have two training classes running concurrently starting in August at Daytona. OJT is also going well. Mr. Kurt Ponchak completed his training with Mr. Steve Docie in Tallahassee on March 4, 2011.

Biennial Seminar Training. Kathleen will be sending information to Mr. Joel Rose and Ms. Shirley Smart who are helping to organize the training sessions. One suggestion was to conduct mock job interviews as was done in 2009.

Mr. Gene Newcomb spoke briefly about two Grievance Panel decisions. The first was for an operator with a Type I LOFA at a temporarily closed facility, who wanted to obtain a second Type I from the bid announcements, while maintaining his right to his closed facility. This was denied. The operator grieved the decision, and the panel agreed with the agencys original decision.

The second grievance had to do with an operator, who was a high scorer for a cafeteria and the agency decided the individual was not qualified and rejected their appointment to such a facility. The operator grieved the decision, and the panel agreed with the agencys decision.

Vendor removal was discussed by Mr. Joel Rose and Mr. Tom Spiliotis.

Round Table Discussion

District 5
Phil Bluschke - stated he feels good about how things are going with the agency.

District 10
Lonnie Wilcox - had no comments and stated all is well.

District 1
Georgia Kellogg - stated everything is fine.

District 9
Joel Rose has a couple of interstate facility openings.

District 3
Don Tuell has a new facility in Gainesville run by Tetoee Howard
that will be opening in thirty to sixty days. Currently only vending
machines are being operated.

District 8
Shirley Smart Announced there are approximately two thousand post office sub stations to be reviewed for possible closure nation wide if operated by five or fewer employees. In addition, one of the operators would like to downsize to smaller vending machines due to the economy.

District 4
Mary Hayes Discussed the new vending route in Jacksonville that she has taken on as a temporary LOFA.

District 7
Tom Saunders - An emergency removal of a vendor from a facility was necessary. It was also stated that local repairman should be used, if at all possible. Maureen Fink stated she will prepare a report of repair costs for each facility for the next meeting.

Next State Committee of Vendors Meeting is scheduled for May 19 - 21, 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