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Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
November 15-16, 2013
Embassy Suites Orlando, International Drive

Friday, November 15, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 9am by Committee Chairman Tom Spiliotis. Vice Chairman John Klindtworth called the roll.

The following persons were present:

  • Tom Spiliotis, Chairman
  • John Klindtworth, Vice Chairman
  • District Representatives: Lourena Mellott, District 1; Mike Renaud, District 2; Don Tuell, District 3; Bill Perret, District 4; Steve Barnes, District 5; Brian McKenney, District 6; Woody Matthews (Alternate), District 7; Gyorke Alger, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9 and Jesus Villeda, District 10.
  • Bureau of Business Enterprise Staff: Bill Findley, Bureau Chief; Maureen Fink, Operations Manager; Alan Risk, Compliance Officer; Don Meloy, Marketing and Site Development Manager; John Ahler, Region 1 Business Consultant; Bernie Kaiserian, Region 2 Business Consultant; Greg Coon, Region 3 Business Consultant; Tony Arduengo, Region 4 Business Consultant; Jim Carper, Region 5 Business Consultant Alejandro Garcia, Region 6 Business Consultant and Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant.
  • Licensed Vendors: Randy Shuster, District 2 Alternate; Mitzi Tyler, District 6 Alternate; Tom Saunders, District 8 Alternate; David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate and Shirley Smart.
  • Licensed Vendors from South Carolina: Joe Urbanek, Ruby Bryant, Olivia Messer, Frances Messer, Isaiah Nelson.
  • Rehabilitative Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Instructors, Steve Moss and Jill Richardson. Trainees: Michelle Morris, Christopher Franks, Maria Del Llano.
  • Guests: Marion Matthews, Julie Barnes

Tom Spiliotis welcomed all the attendees including the visiting vendors from South Carolina. This is the first time the committee has met since the elections were held this summer. Janet Chernoff read a synopsis of the meeting minutes from the May and August meetings. A full copy of the minutes had been emailed to the committee members prior to the meeting. Gyorke moved to approve the minutes. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Passed without objection.

BBE Updates Bill Findley

Bill Findley reported on the budget and provided handouts. This information was emailed to the committee prior to the meeting. Overall the program is in good shape and fiscally well supported. The BBE has a budget of 1.5 million separate from the set aside. The program has $595,000 in spending authority from set aside and set aside has generated between $385,000 and $400,000 in the last couple of years. There was a surplus in the set aside account which allowed a reduction to 5% for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The handout covered the first nine months and is based on the federal fiscal year which runs from October 1  September 30. Sales are up $510,000 over the same period last year and up $13,000 in set aside funds. Vendors earnings are up $200,000. We expect a drop in sales for October 2013 due to the federal shutdown.

BBE was able to acquire the Key West Army Training Center at Trumbo Point. Mr. Edwin Hale is the selected vendor. As with Eglin, the vendors set aside is based on the net income for the operator with military LOFAs. Mr. Hale has an expanded LOFA for Key West signed by the Division Director and the Commissioner which outlines the additional requirements of this contract.

Eglin is in the final option year. The agency would prefer to negotiate with Eglin directly but may have to go through the procurement process again. Tyndall AFB was designated as an opportunity for a small business, and on that basis, the BBE was rejected from participating in their food service solicitation. FLDOE has filed a protest with Tyndall AFB. The BBE will argue a priority under Randolph-Sheppard and will hope for a decision that will allow the agency to bid.

The coffee/deli shop on the 16th floor of Turlington is now open. The ultimate goal is to have a licensed vendor operating the facility at the Turlington building. Bill McDermott will leave the Douglas building, Facility 591 on November 22. American Food and Vending (AFV) will operate this location as well as Facility 470, Fort Knox snack bar, until it can be determined if they are viable and the agency can find a qualified operator. BBE staff will be meeting with the Ft. Knox management next week. AFV will also be operating the cafeteria in the Capitol starting in July. Mike Renaud suggested that the Capitol be put on the selection cycle opportunities list to see if anyone is interested. An operator will also be needed for the snack bar in the Revenue Building. Randy Shuster asked if the snack bar would be combined with the vending at that building. This needs to be explored. Since there is an operator servicing the vending in that building, BBE would need to determine if he is willing and able to take on the additional responsibilities. If he is not, then the snack bar would be run as a separate facility. Bill Findley explained a little of the history of the Revenue Building stating the agency was misinformed on the facility five years ago and believed that no storage or water would be provided.

Tallahassee has a large number of over the counter food service facilities and a limited pool of interested vendors. There was a discussion on establishing a one year commitment with all Type I LOFAs, not just an operators first one. This has been mentioned before and the Committee feels that the operators would object to the time limit.

Bill Findley and the Division Director, Robert Doyle will meet with management at the Kennedy Space Center next Thursday, November 21. The purpose is to check on the status of the snack bar operated by Brian McKenney and the status of the gift shops. The gift shops are selling snacks, drinks and sandwiches in direct competition with our operators.

BBE is receiving notifications on opportunities at the VA facilities. Facilities include the Jacksonville outpatient clinic, Cape Coral, Bay Pines, Tampa Polytrauma Center and the Gainesville bed tower. For the Orlando VA the permit was redone to include only the smaller buildings. The agency may have to challenge them if they reject our permit for the larger location. The BBE continues to work with national leaders on issues with the VA. Bill Findley and Tom Spiliotis attended the Randolph-Sheppard Forum in Baltimore and there was a special meeting there on the VA conducted by Terry Smith.

Type II Update--Maureen Fink/Tom Spiliotis

There are currently 22 facilities with a Type II LOFA. Four facilities; Jackson Memorial Hospital, Jacksonville City Hall Annex, KSC snack bar and the South Dade Community Health Center have an uncertain future and may be closed. Nine Facilities will be posted on the selection cycle and the viability of six facilities is to be determined. American Food and Vending operates three facilities in Tallahassee. Maureen provided a handout listing all the facilities on a Type II.

Tom Spiliotis outlined the current process and the protocol. There was a brief discussion about the protocol and the importance of providing opportunities for unassigned vendors versus the needs of the facility. The Type II protocol needs to be revised in the manual. The wording about the notification process needs to be updated and the language clarified.

Daytona Training--Steve Moss

Steve Moss introduced the members of the current training class that attended the meeting. Two trainees did not make the trip. Steve reported that the manager of the Daytona Rehab Center cafeteria resigned recently, prohibiting the current class from training in the cafeteria. The BBE Regional Consultants came to Daytona Beach for vending machine training in October and sat down with the class for a Q & A session. The class also went to Jacksonville to tour facilities recently. Tom Spiliotis discussed mentoring for new and inexperienced vendors. He asked Don Tuell to head up a mentoring program.

Subcommittees/Selection Panel alternates  Tom Spiliotis

Tom asked each committee member to indicate which subcommittee they would like to be on. In addition to the current subcommittees: grievances, promotion and transfer, training, retraining and upward mobility, budget and finance and public relations the committee discussed subcommittees for policy and to deal with agreements between vendors and suppliers such as Coke. Tom would like to set up conference calls so that the subcommittees can meet. There was a suggestion that the alternates could also be on a subcommittee.

Joel Rose discussed the problems that vendors continue to have with Coke. Joel suggested that the operators have a statewide pricing agreement with Coke and other suppliers. Joel Rose will head up a contracts committee to investigate to possibility of negotiating a Coke and Pepsi contract with the vendors. Another issue is that Coke does not want to provide machines for a location that uses less than 100 cases per year. There is a problem with tracking the amount used as some vendors purchase product from other outlets such as Sams.

More alternates are needed for the selection panel from the Tampa area to be available on short notice. The current alternates are Gyorke Alger, Shirley Smart, and Mike Renaud. Joey Garcia was suggested. Mike Renaud moved to select Joey as an alternate for the selection panel, Joel Rose seconded. Passed without objection. Debbie Hietala was also suggested as an alternate. Mike Renaud made the motion, seconded by Steve Barnes. Passed without objection. Valerie James term on the panel is up, but is willing to continue to serve. It was recommended that she be elected to serve another term. Joel Rose made the motion to elect Valerie to another term, seconded by Gyorke Alger. Passed without objection.

Monitoring review--Maureen Fink

Lawrence Batterton was unable to attend the meeting so the report was given by Maureen Fink. Seventy six operators have been reviewed this year. Some operators are reporting sales tax incorrectly. Monthly inventories are recommended and operators need to be more diligent about the financial side of the business. When selecting operators for monitorings in the future, the length of time in the facility, facility type and a history of compliance issues will be considered.

Compliance Officer Update--Alan Risk

We have licensed five new operators since the last committee meeting for a total of nine to date in 2013. Of those nine, four currently do not have a facility.

In May two Military Dining Contracts were offered, Tyndall AFB and Key West NAS. Four applications were received for Tyndall and all four applicants participated in the exam and interview phase. Tyndall was awarded to Steve Docie. For Key West, four applications were received and all four participated in the exam and interview phase. Key West was awarded to Ed Hale.

For the May Selection Cycle seven opportunities were advertised and 21 applications were received. One applicant was disqualified for failing to show up at the exam. Five applicants withdrew prior to the interview phase and 12 applicants qualified and participated. Six of the seven facilities were awarded.

In the September Selection Cycle nine opportunities were advertised and 31 applications were received. One applicant was disqualified due to an outstanding debt owed to the Agency. Three applicants withdrew prior to the exam and two withdrew prior to the interview. Sixteen applicants qualified and were interviewed. Eight of the nine facilities were awarded.

Alan reported on the CEU status of the vendors for the current reporting period of August 2013  August 2015. We have 129 vendors who are currently active; this number includes nine vendors who are currently unassigned. Three vendors are exempt from the CEU requirement because they have just completed training at Daytona. Nineteen vendors have zero CEUs, 99 vendors have at least 1.5 CEUs and twelve have already completed the requirement. There was discussion on CEU events for the next couple of years. Some recommendations included more technology training with Adam Gaffney, machine repair training with experienced vendors and web based training. Alan reminded everyone that for CEU credit the training needs to be approved in advance and verified.

There were two grievances filed and one arbitration settlement from May, 2013  October 2013.

Grievance Hearing #1: During the May, 2013 Selection Cycle, the complainant was given a test proctor to read the questions and record his answers on the Selection Cycle Examination.  The complainant felt there was a misinterpretation given by the test proctor of what the question was asking for, resulting in him giving an incorrect answer, which subsequently proved to be the difference in the selection outcome. Outcome: The grievance panel voted unanimously in favor of the Division and recommended that the test grade remain as originally scored. The Director agreed with the grievance panels decision.

Grievance Hearing #2: The complainant felt the proper protocol was not followed in the awarding of a Type II LOFA in August, 2013. The complainant claims that, according to BBE policy, he should have been awarded the Type II. Outcome: The grievance panel voted unanimously in favor of the complainant, overturning the original decision, and recommended awarding the Type II LOFA to the complainant. The Director agreed with the grievance panels decision.

Arbitration Ruling: The complainant disagreed with the Grievance Boards ruling of February, 2011 in which the Board agreed with the agencys decision not to reimburse the claimant for losses due to break-ins at their facility. Original Ruling: The Arbitration Panel, in a split decision, felt the Agency was liable for over $8,000 in losses incurred by the complainant and that the agency also reinstate the claimants license which had been revoked for abandonment. Settlement: On August 29, 2013, the Division settled out of court and agreed to make payment to the complainant in the amount of $5,652.12, erase his indebtedness to the Division, and reinstate his license.

Alan reported on status of the permit required by the Department of Agriculture. The agency has met with the Department of Agriculture and is maintaining that the rule does not apply to our vendors. There is a recommendation that the rule be changed to exempt any business regulated by Blind Services. This will be voted on in the next session of the legislature. Alan will follow up with directions for payment for 2014.

Alan read the 24 recommended changes in the manual. The agency will make sure that everyone is aware that the manual is updated and the current version will be available on line. There was a discussion about two of the recommended changes. The first item that was discussed was the awarding of performance points in regard to the selection cycle. Currently the manual says that if an operator has two or more LOFAs performance points are based on the facility with the better performance. Tom believes that performance points should be based on a Type I LOFA. The issue was tabled. Secondly there was a discussion on the issue of short dated products on an inventory during a changeover. It was determined that this is the licensees responsibility. Joel Rose moved to accept all the changes except the one concerning performance points. Seconded by Steve Barnes. Passed without objection.

Biennial Seminar Recap--Janet Chernoff

Janet Chernoff reported on the results of survey on the Biennial Seminar. Overall the operators were pleased with the seminar. The location and dates were deemed satisfactory by most vendors so we plan to schedule it there for 2015. The survey offered suggestions from vendors for topics for 2015.

Marketing and Site Development Updates--Don Meloy

Don Meloy continues to work on identifying and contacting potential new locations in VA, state and private locations. Some of the locations include Tallahassee and Panama City VA outpatient clinics and the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center. An operator will be selected for a Type II for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (Tacachale) in Gainesville and will start in February. Don and Bill Findley will be meeting with the Florida State Parks about vending in Silver Springs and other state parks on Monday, November 18.

There was a brief discussion about the Sunpass and how it affects net profit. The price and cost are mandated by DOT. The hope is that the Sunpass will help increase the business at the location. DOT is providing signage at the Welcome Stations.

Adjourned for day at 5pm.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 8:30am by Committee Chairman Tom Spiliotis. Vice Chairman John Klindtworth called the roll.

Facility Reorganization  Maureen Fink

In August the agency recommended that Facility 557 become the start of a new Doral (Miami) route. The committee decided to table the subject until the November meeting. The agency has written confirmation from the operator that he agreed to his facility becoming a vending route. Joel Rose made the motion to make Facility 557 a vending route, seconded by Gyorke Alger. Passed without objection.

District and Regional Updates

Region 6--Alejandro Garcia

Facility 7, Jackson Memorial was closed in June by request of Miami-Dade County. BBE staff is working with the county to reopen the facility, but the county is requesting a commission. The operator has signed into another facility. In Facility 156, the Gerstein Justice Building, building management has indicated that the operator cannot use any cooking equipment which limits their menu. Facility 510, Krome Detention center has converted from vending to a store. Sales have increased and there are plans to expand the operation by increasing the size of the window and adding another computer. There was a short discussion about commissions. Commissions may need to be paid at locations where the program does not have first right. A new warehouse is needed in this region since the current warehouse is located too far away and is in a less than desirable neighborhood. Three new trainees in the current class are from Miami and there are another two other potential training candidates from the Miami area.

District 10  Jesus Villeda

Jesus had nothing new to add to the report.

Region 4  Anthony Arduengo

In a recent conference call meeting the committee agreed to add Facility 594 to Facility 180. Tony will be offering the Tampa VA Polytrauma on a Type II next week. A snack machine and two drink machines have been installed in the VA at Cape Coral. Other potential new locations include VA Bay Pines and the Sherriffs Administration Building. Facility 500 has lost some business due to the reduction in postal employees and new locations are being added to offset the loss. The Manasota post office, Facility 555, will not be closing and has added people.

District 8

Gyorke reported that her district is quiet. Paul Prescott, Facility 380, had a fall and had to go to rehab. Maureen said that Paul was at his facility recently.

District 7

Woody indicated the Sherriff Administration building will be added to Facility 500 in February.

Region 2  Bernie Kaiserian

Jonathan Caudill was awarded Facility 525, Gainesville route, on a Type II and is doing well. Bernie will be doing a Type II for a new facility, Agency for Persons with Disabilities. The selected operator would take over in early February. Carla Chambers continues to improve the business in Facility 401. Cecil Tesmer is operating the greater Jacksonville vending route Facility 590. On November 1, Arnold Eco took over Facility 569, the FAA snack bar. The previous operator resigned from the facility after having some staffing issues. Facility 102, Jacksonville Annex snack bar, will be closing soon and the vending will be added to the downtown Jacksonville route.

District 4

Bill Perret reported that OSHA has required that some machines be removed on the NAS Jacksonville route. Locations may be lost on that route and the plan is to look for better placement for those machines.

District 3

Don Tuell reported that Troy Arthur will be taking over Facility 424, Wellborn East rest area and Marcus Armstrong will be in Facility 425, Wellborn West rest area.

Region 1  John Ahler

The Turlington building painted and replaced the carpeting in the cafeteria. The BBE provided new tables and chairs. Facility 470, Ft Knox is currently in limbo and is being operated by AFV. BBE staff will meet with the building management next week. Kurt Ponchak has a temporary agreement to operate the vending at this facility until the status is finalized. The operator of rest area Facilities 575 and 576 was removed and Debbie Malmberg is currently operating the facility on a Type II. The facility was awarded to Donna Galley on the last selection cycle. Facilities 577 and 578 were awarded to Pauline Bush on a Type II. All the rest areas in Region 1 have ice cream machines. There were some concerns about the cardboard bins and suction problems. Ed Hale was awarded Facility 606, military dining at Key West and Richard Sawyer was awarded the facility Ed left, 533, on a Type II. New Licensee, Alton Palmore was awarded Facility 532, Marianna FCI on a Type II. Current operator, Marcus Armstrong will help him for a month as an extended OJT. John Ahler, Bill Findley and Janet Chernoff visited Panama City in October to visit potential locations, meet with district office staff and tour Eglin AFB. John will be moving his warehouse to a smaller space and will save $1000 a month. There is still no signed agreement with Citizens State Insurance and they are not responding to inquiries.

District 1

Lourena Mellott reported that everyone is doing well. She spoke briefly about storage and that vendors cannot use personal residences. Vendors will need to rent warehouses.

District 2

Mike Renaud reported that his district had a meeting at Randy Shusters facility. He requested an update on the rest areas without storage. The cost estimates for the project were too high and currently DOT and BBE are not moving forward. Mike recommended that Facility 533, Tallahassee FCI and Facility 570, Revenue be combined. Current sales figures for FCI and a decision on the Revenue snack bar need to be determined before acting on this recommendation. Randy Shuster asked about a timeline for replacing outdated equipment. A database and timeline is needed to determine this. Replacement of equipment and refurbishing is dependent on the state and status of a facility.

Region 5 - Jim Carper

Facility 514 was merged with the South Broward route. Sales have declined at Facility 377, snack bar in Stuart, but the current operator prefers to stay. With the recent reorganizations of routes sales have increased 80% but expenses have remained the same. Locations were added to Jim Perrys vending route, Facility 257.

District 9

Joel Rose reported that Alicia Villeda was awarded Facility 597, US Customs and Border Protection, and Troy Arthur was awarded the Facility 424 rest area. Their facilities will be available on a Type II next week. Don Felders rest area sales have increased 17% since the closure of the Alligator Alley rest area.

There was a brief discussion about the Veterans in Need group that has been soliciting donations at rest areas. This is a registered charity and they are permitted at these locations with certain limitations. They cannot sell anything and can take donations only. They cannot approach people or block the walkways and cannot be in the vending area. We will email a copy of the rules to all affected vendors.

Region 3  Greg Coon

Greg reports that KSC has been more stable in the past few months. Sales are up at two of the KSC snack bars. Greg, Bill Findley and the Division Director, Robert Doyle will meet with the NASA exchange next week. Facility 378, Orlando Cafeteria has a new operator, Richard Stevens on a Type II. Jose Formoso is operating Facility 408 on a Type I. Phillip Hubbard is operating Facility 586, Orlando vending route and TSA was added to this route. Steve Schneider was awarded Facility 478, Ocala rest area. Tom Loveday is operating Facility 603, Ocala vending on a Type II. The Fire College is only doing $500 a month so far. This route has three Visinity locations and three post offices that will soon be added. Facility 607, new VA facility at Lake Nona was awarded to Victor Rosario on a Type II. Figures will be gathered to determine whether this will be a stand-alone or part of a route. Dennis Horn was awarded Facility 604, federal courthouse on a Type II, but the new micro market has been put on hold because of construction delays by govt. It may take several months to get the needed funding.

District 5

Steve Barnes reported everything is okay in his district.

District 6

Brian McKenney reported that his building is at 50% capacity. He is getting no information from the NASA Exchange on the status of his building or the facility.

District/Regional Lines  Greg Coon

When the sixth Region was added the lines between districts and regions no longer lined up. The agency recommends that the vendors in Ocala be moved from District 3 to District 5 and the vendors in Ft. Pierce be moved from District 6 to District 9. Steve Barnes made the motion to approve the change. Seconded by Gyorke Alger. Passed without objection by all committee members present.

Round Table

Joel Rose recommended that an award be given to all the caregivers. Committee members felt it would be impractical to give awards to all caregivers and impossible to pick just one. They will do a general acknowledgement of all caregivers at the Biennial meeting.

Woody Matthews expressed concern about the lack of quality in the vending equipment that is being purchased. Equipment is being delivered that was not checked prior to leaving the factory. There was discussion about options and the Crane contract. Consultants need to work with managers and need to make sure that the machines are working when they are delivered. Repairs were also discussed. The Agency does not tell operators who to use for repairs, but they want the operators to be aware of the cost and be good stewards of the funds.

Adjourned at 11:55am.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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