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State Committee of Vendors Quarterly Meeting

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mr. Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.
Friday, May 20, 2011.

Mr. Klindtworth called the roll.

Members Present:

District 1 Georgia Kellogg /Alternate representative; District 2 Randy Shuster; District 3 Don Tuell; District 5 - Phil Bluschke; District 6 - Bob Murray /Alternate representative; District 7 Tom Saunders; District 8 James Warth /Alternate representative; District 9 Joel Rose; District 10 Leslie Francis.

Members Absent:

District 4 Mary Hayes; District 8 Shirley Smart.

Division of Blind Services Representatives:

Mr. William Findley, Ms. Kathleen Crosson, Ms. Maureen Fink, Mr. Chadwick Duncan, Mr. Bernie Kaiserian, Ms. Laine Grivna, Mr. Alan Risk, and Ms. Raquel Falero.

Mr. Spiliotis introduced visiting committee Chairman from South Carolina, Mr. Joe Urbanek.

Other attendees that made a presentation to the Committee:

Mr. Steven Moss and Ms. Jill Richardson, BEP Instructors from Daytona, and the BEP trainees.

Mr. Bill Findley introduced Ms. Laine Grivna, new Region IV Business Consultant Tampa, Mr. Alan Risk, recently hired Compliance Officer replacing Mr. Gene Newcomb who retired, and Ms Jill Richardson who is working with Mr. Steve Moss instructing the BEP trainees in Daytona. The plan is to have two training classes in Daytona beginning August 1, 2011. Ms. Richardson is currently preparing to be the second instructor.

Mr. Bill Findley announced the resignation of Mr. John Clarkson, Deputy Director of DBS. Mr. Findley and Mr. Spiliotis expressed appreciation for the contributions Mr. Clarkson made for BBE. It was also announced that Mr. Darryl Lane, Region 1 Business Consultant, resigned at the end of April and will be replaced by Mr. John Ahler. Mr. Ahler is expected to start in early June. It was also announced that Ms. Raquel Falero, Business Consultant for Region III will be leaving at the end of May.

Ms. Laine Grivna read the minutes from the previous meeting. Mr. Tom Saunders moved to approve the minutes and Mr. Jim Warth seconded the motion. Motion carried without objection.

Mr. Alan Risk read the minutes from the May 12, 2011 Committee Meeting phone conference call addressing the revision of the selection process protocol. Mr. Tom Spiliotis called for a Motion. Mr. Joel Rose made a Motion to endorse the policy and Ms. Shirley Smart seconded the Motion. Motion passed by a vote of six to zero with one vote abstaining.

Mr. Bill Findley gave an update on items from the previous Committee Meeting, February 4-5.

On-line Reporting thirty-three vendors have signed up for the on-line reporting and twenty four vendors have filed a monthly report. Part of the discussion involved a problem some vendors were having. It appears that any vendor with two facilities has to make two separate reports on two separate days. This problem will be examined further.

Tom and Bill announced there will be a training and sign up session at the Biennial Seminar in August for on-line reporting.

The BBE Promotional Video - Updates have been made and include recommendations made at February Committee Meeting. When the video is completed it will be available on the DBS/BBE web site and will be used for marketing the program.

Budget Data Budget data used to track and complete the annual RSA 15 report was shared for the period of October 1, 2010 thru March 31, 2011. The report included facility operator reports of gross sales, profits and setaside paid. The Committee requested that in the future year to year comparisons be shared. The report also included an amount for un-assigned income, which generally is from third party sources. A concern was raised that the amount shared was low by comparison to other years and that the amount had been steadily dropping from year to year with no plausible explanation. Mr. Findley stated he will look into the matter.

Working Capital Repayments - Three vendors have paid off their debt in full since January 1. Five are currently late in making their monthly payments. Two of those are now out of the program and the others will be followed up on. Legal action is being taken against three vendors, including one referenced in previous sentence, who recently left the program and have not made payments nor signed up for a repayment plan.

Mr. Bob Murray, a vendor from Kennedy Space Center, and Mr. Tom Spiliotis discussed the lay offs at KSC and how it would effect the food service operations at KSC. The managers have had to cut their hours of operation since the number of employees has dropped dramatically. By the end of July KSC will have cut seventy-five percent of its work force leaving between four and five thousand employees. Mr. Murray requested that the agency look into the problem and see what can be done to help the managers with their facilities, possibly combining facilities and routes.

Update on sites in progress:

Mr. Findley gave the report for Region I and stated that BBE is taking back the cafeteria at the Douglas building in Tallahassee July 1, 2011. This cafeteria had been operated by employees of the Division of Recreation and Parks which has to trim back its budget. The cafeteria is operational and doing well. Licensed vendor, Patrick Foley, who has never had a facility and wants to manage a food service facility in Tallahassee, has been offered the facility and is expected to take it on a twelve month Type II LOFA. He will work as an employee of Recreation and Parks for the month of June in preparation for taking over the facility in July.

Also, several hundred state employees will be moving back into the Carlton Building by July 1, 2011. This is expected to bring the total workforce population over the six hundred mark. BBE currently has just the vending in that building. A snack bar will be installed in the building and it is hoped to reopen sometime in July. The plan is to offer it as a Type II to determine its viability as a stand alone.

Work will continue on taking back some of the locations operated under the Visinity/Best Vendors contract with the goal of creating a second vending route in Tallahassee. This will be offered as a Type II to determine if it is a stand alone.

The Fort Knox and Claude Pepper building cafeterias in Tallahassee are considered distressed facilities as a result of poor management over several years. Currently, Mr. Kurt Ponchak, recently licensed, is managing the cafeteria and vending machines at the Fort Knox building on a Type II and is slowly turning it around. Mr. Don White is managing the Claude Pepper Building cafeteria, and despite having received much support from the Agency, is having a difficult time making the facility profitable.

Also in Region I, Mr. Findley stated that on April 6th manager Arthur Johnson notified the Bureau that he was resigning from two rest areas he has managed while living several hundred miles away. A resignation letter, along with the keys to the machines, was turned in after Mr. Johnson removed all monies from machines and stock from the storage areas. Mr. Michael Sumler, the only available vendor in the area, responded to the urgent request, and took over these facilities on a Type II and restocked the vending machines.

In Region II, Mr. Bernie Kaiserian announced the snack bar at the library in Gainesville is now open and operated by Mr. Tetoee Howard. Facility #525, the post office vending route in Gainesville is being currently run by Mr. Darryl Brinton on a Type II LOFA. Mr. Clifford Roberts, who was offered the facility, and initially accepted it, decided the day of changeover, to decline the facility. It will be posted on the May Business Opportunities website listing.

Ms. Mary Hayes will be moving to Palm Bay to take over the I-95 Rest Area, and Mr. Hugh Mansfield, currently completing OJT in Jacksonville, is expected to be offered and operate the vending route she is leaving on a Type II sometime in June. Facility #590, the City of Jacksonvilles healthy vending route, is a work in progress and Mr. Terry Major is running it as it is developed.

In Region III, Ms. Raquel Falero announced that Facility #586, a vending route in Orlando, is on the May Business Opportunities posting. Facility #410, a post office in Daytona, is being run on a Type II. At the beginning of July this location will cease to be a stand alone facility and will be added to an existing Daytona vending route. 35-50 employees are expected to move to the Lake Mary post office.

In Region IV, Ms. Laine Grivna announced that 1313 Tampa Street, Facility #265, has been taken on a Type II by Ms. Debbie Hietala who took it over on an urgent request. It is expected that current OJT trainee, Diana Knox, will be offered this facility once she gets licensed. As a result of a reduction in the workforce, this facility has been turned from a snack bar into only vending.

The SW FL Water Management facility in Brooksville, #272, is being converted to strictly vending. Three more local sites in the Brooksville area currently being serviced under the Visinity/Best Vendors contract are expected to be added to this facility soon.

The renovations of the two rest areas in Zephyrhills are scheduled to be completed in November, 2011, but the rest areas will not likely reopen until early 2012.

The Type II contract at Fort Myers vending route, #180, has expired and the Bureau is seeking someone to take it on a Type II. There have been complaints that the manager was not keeping the machines full, a complaint that has been registered at the managers main facility in Bradenton. This situation is being monitored closely.

In Region V, Mr. Chadwick Duncan stated that the FAA facility in Miami is up and running and Mr. Leslie Francis is operating it on a Type II. Facility #117 has been changed from a cafeteria to vending due to the building population diminishing.

Southern Command is doing well; March was a good month financially.
The month of April was down financially due to the fact the manager had problems getting access into the facility due to tight security; Chadwick spoke with the facility manager regarding getting the guards to escort the manager into the vending area. The manager has stated things are better. This facility has a total of 45 vending machines that should be a stand alone facility.

Mr. Steve Moss gave an update on the Daytona classroom training. The training module on Record Keeping will include the recently implemented, on-line reporting. Also vending machines have been made available for training. There are five students in the class who will complete training the third week of July. The next class will begin August 1st.

Licensed vendor, Mr. George Arthur, addressed the current selection process. He stated that in the past, selections were made based on seniority, and now that has changed to where those applying for new locations, have to take a test and that some people do not test well. He feels this process is unfair and should be based on performance, seniority and interviews. He also requested an administrative appointment be offered to him for a facility he would feel comfortable managing due to the cut backs at his post office and loss of revenue. The Agency expressed sympathy and concern for Mr. Arthur due to the fact that his post office is losing employees, but is not in a position to make an appointment for him while many other vendors are in a similar situation. The Agency and the Committee encouraged Mr. Arthur to apply for facilities on the next selection cycle and to prepare himself under the current process.

Tom Spiliotis discussed ATM machines on the interstates. He reminded everyone that Mr. Clarkson had been approached by DOT to have a pilot program in seven interstates. It was determined that DOT did not have the authorization to do a pilot. The Agency will contact a couple of ATM companies and discuss doing a pilot at the interstates.

Mr. Alan Risk discussed recent grievance decisions handed down since the last meeting. Four grievances were filed, three of which had to do with the selection process. One was postponed and one was withdrawn. One grievance had to do with the Agencys decision not to reimburse a vendor for losses due to multiple thefts at the facility he operated. The Grievance Committee supported the Agency decision. The other grievance centered on the selection process and the change to include performance elements such as minimal net profit requirements as part of the process for determining assigned points to an applicant. The Grievance Committee did not support the vendors contention since the Agency followed the recently approved Selection Process Protocol which includes data such as net profit requirements.

Mr. Bill Findley discussed a recent trip to the Pensacola area to visit rest areas and post offices with Mr. Alan Risk and that facilities generally looked good. Problems discovered were minimal and easily addressed.

Bill stated that Mr. Michael Sumler and Mr. Ron Jones are doing outstanding jobs at their facilities based upon appearance of facilities and compliments from customers.

Mr. Maureen Fink stated that the fiscal department in Tallahassee wanted to know exactly what was reimbursable regarding repairs. The following is the current procedure for handling and being reimbursed for repairs:

The Licensees may authorize repairs up to $400.00 without consulting the Consultant and be reimbursed later.

If the Vendor is unable to make a repair, or if the cost of repair is over $400.00, he/she will contact the Regional Business Consultant. After consulting with the RBC, the Vendor will follow through with the recommendations of the Consultant.

Repairs refer to the cost of repairing any equipment or purchase of parts used to repair equipment.

Note: Light bulbs for vending machines may be purchased as a part, but a repairman wont be allowed to charge for the installation of light bulbs.

Items not included are the purchase of any equipment or small wares (scoops, knifes, pans, etc.) Equipment and small wares should be purchased through the Consultant using a purchase order.

Ms. Kathleen Crosson gave an update on trainees going into the August class in Daytona. At this point there are six potential candidates for the class.

The Biennial Seminar is coming August 12-14. The deadline date to make a reservation at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando is July 20th. Vistar is having a food show at the Gaylord hotel in Kissimmee all day Friday, August 12 and transportation will be provided at a small charge for those managers who are interested in attending. The seminar agenda is still being worked out but there will be many beneficial workshops. Session topics will include Interviewing for the Selection Panel, On-line Reporting instructions and sign-up, Crane Intl machine demonstrations, Good Customer Service practices, and many more.

Mr. Tom Spiliotis made a motion to reinforce the CEU requirements which state that each licensed vendor is to complete three continuing education units (CEUs) every two years. It was recommended that this begin July 1, 2011. Mr. Phil Bluschke moved to approve the Motion and Mr. Joel Rose seconded the Motion. Motion passed with one abstaining.

5:00 PM Adjourn

Saturday May 21, 2011

Mr. Alan Risk discussed the January and May bids, there were nine postings for the January bid and in May there are six opportunities. May Business Opportunities were posted on May 16 and all applications are to be in the State Office by 5:00 PM, June 6.

Ms. Maureen Fink gave an update on the strategic plan which included implementing the On-line Reporting and improving the Daytona classroom training and OJT which has been completed. Bill announced he will be traveling throughout the state to the district offices and local providers to explain the new BBE application process and to promote the benefits of being a licensed vendor in the BBE program. The plan to increase the number of business opportunities for BBE managers is still in the works as a position dedicated to site development and public relations has been created. This position should be filled by the fall.

Mr. Bill Findley discussed background checks which have been in effect since last year for managers and trainees. So far four operators have been removed for disqualifying offenses identified in the background screenings; four others have filed for and been granted an exemption by providing appropriate documentation to satisfy the exemption requirements. One operator was suspended because he has not provided all appropriate documentation to satisfy the disqualifying offenses. All operators who are in DMS buildings must have Level 1 background checks and this includes their employees.

Mr. Larry Batterton gave a presentation on the Monitoring Procedures. The purpose for monitoring is to ensure the success of the vendors and compliance with LOFA requirements. Examples of items to be reviewed during monitoring include, but are not limited to, timely submission of monthly reports, proof of current liability insurance and business license, application of the 80% rule for vending machines, and proof that the vendor resides within seventy-five miles of their Type I facility. Vendor should be prepared to explain their accounting system. Notification will be provided well in advance of on-site visits with clear guidance of what is to be expected. An exit interview will be conducted to discuss any findings and recommendations the monitor may have for the vendor.

Mr. Alan Risk gave an update on changes that are being made to the policy and procedure manual on the BBE web site. There is more to come.

Ms. Maureen Fink proposed a list of changes in the redistricting of the districts throughout the state; some managers facilities will now be in a different district. Changes were made so that districts do not overlap into more than one BBE region. There was a motion to pass the changes. Joel Rose moved to pass the Motion. Mr. Leslie Francis seconded the Motion. Motion passed.

Round Table Discussion

Licensed vendor, Clifford Roberts, requested an administrative appointment since the Post Office in Daytona is closing down. Mr. Roberts had bid and was offered two different facilities, one being the Gainesville PO route. After accepting each offer, he subsequently turned both down. He said he heard one of the Gainesville post offices was going to close. The Agency, with support from the Committee, told Clifford to bid again on the next cycle.

District 1

Georgia Kellogg announced that everything is going ok and that she will be adding new machines made for out doors to her facility. She did have a lightening strike that knocked out one of her machines.

District 10

Leslie Francis announced he will not be seeking reelection as a representative but will still work with Chadwick and the new representative.

District 2

Randy Shuster stated that Richard Sawyer has taken a Type II LOFA until June, when will be month to month or a six month contract. Maureen Fink will contact him on this.

District 9

Joel Rose stated everything was good except business is down. The agency needs to pursue new business opportunities possibly in Home Land Security building.

District 3

Don Tuell stated everyone is good in his district.

District 8

Jim Warth stated that employee reductions with the Manasota Post Office have caused his revenue to drop. Shirley Smarts old facility, #381 in Punta Gorda, is on the next bid list.

District 7

Tom Saunders announced the Veterans Administration has been added to the Pinellas route along with four new machines. #265, 1313 Tampa Street, has gone strictly vending. Debbie Hietalla has taken this facility on a Type II.

District 5

Phil Bluschke stated everyone is doing fine. He has encouraged Mr. Arthur to prepare and bid on the available facilities.

The Biennial Training Seminar is August 12-14 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

Next State Committee of Vendors Meeting is scheduled for December 1-3, 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