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Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
June 6, 2014
Embassy Suites, International Drive, Orlando Fl.

Friday, June 6, 2014

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; Mark Turner (Alternate) District 3; Bill Perret, District 4; Steve Barnes, District 5; Brian McKenney, District 6; Charles Hackney, 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; Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant

Licensed Vendors:  Terri Bowen, District 1 Alternate; Mitzi Tyler, District 6 Alternate; Woody Matthews, District 7 Alternate; Tom Saunders, District 8 Alternate; David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate; Troy Arthur, Todd Bowen, Jason Carpenter, Patti Fulda

Rehabilitative Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Instructor, Steve Moss and Jill Richardson; Trainees, Jimmy Giles, Ruby Adams, Edward Shettlesworth, Edward Spence

Guests: DJ Hackney, Marion Matthews

Janet Chernoff read a synopsis of the minutes from the February meeting. The full meeting minutes had been emailed to Committee members. Gyorke Alger moved to accept the minutes as written. Seconded by Joel Rose. Passed without objection.

BBE Updates – Bill Findley

The BBE budget should be more current now that DBS has a new Operations and Compliance Bureau Chief.  In May 2013 the Committee voted to lower the set aside to 5% based on a surplus of $375,000.  New information indicates that the account had $170,000 more than reported. The set aside account has $453,000 as of April 30, 2014 and is expected to have approximately $520,000 at the end of the fiscal year.  Repair costs are down, sales are up 4% and net profit is up 6%.  More income will come in when the Alligator Alley rest area opens in late summer-early fall.  There is also an expected increase in revenue from unassigned vending when a new company is selected and local monitoring is in place.  The two rest areas on I-10 that are scheduled to close temporarily in 2015 will also impact revenues in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

John Klindtworth, Budget Subcommittee member recommended that the set aside remain at 5%.  Joel Rose moved that the set aside remain at 5% with quarterly reviews until such time that the Committee votes to change it.  Seconded by Gyorke Alger.  Passed without objection.

From March to May, Bill traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Palmetto, Ft. Myers, Manasota and Starke. He and BBE staff members met with the following vendors; Jesus Villeda, Justino Colon, Robert Rodriguez, Daniel Ochoa and trainee Guillermo Alvarez in Miami; Bobby Capehart, Hugh Mansfield and Junior  Vega in Jacksonville; Will Grignon in Ft Myers and Gary Ernneus in Manasota.  He had good reports on a number of vendors especially Michelle Morris at Broward County Government Center and Ed Hale at Key West Army facility. He met with the Coke representative and some progress was made to resolve issues related to machine inventory and purchasing.  Bill conducted positive marketing outreach meetings with Lighthouse of Manasota staff, Miami Lighthouse staff, the board members of Lighthouse of Pinellas, the Lighthouse of Broward and with staff and clients of Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind in Pasco. Bill had a very positive visit with the Miami-Dade County chapter of the NFB.

While in the Ft. Lauderdale area he toured the FBI building at Miramar. The facility at FBI Miramar will not have a micro market as previously planned since the federal union will not allow camera surveillance.  The facility will be vending only with a commissary that can be used for catering. Bill also toured Camp Blanding in Starke. A Type II is out for the vending there and AFV is interested in operating the snack bar.  The BBE may pursue the Camp Blanding dining hall service when the contract comes available.  

Tyndall AFB denied the settlement agreement that our legal department proposed and now legal is about to request that the US Department of Education convene an arbitration panel.  It may take up to two years for this to be resolved.  In the meantime Tyndall has offered the food service to another company.

There has been a two year extension signed with the current company that operates the Capitol Building over the counter facilities and Revenue Building snack bar.  The contract with AFV has been renewed for one year while alternatives are explored. The Turlington Building cafeteria may be posted on the September selection cycle. There may be extra requirements for an operator interested in this facility including a commitment to operate the facility for a minimum of two to three years.  AFV is operating two other Tallahassee facilities, the Douglas Building which is doing breakfast only and Fort Knox that is on the May Selection cycle.

Other projects include postal permits for Ocala, vending at Silver Springs State Park, DOT Tampa and the RFPs for third party vending and vending machines. 

Mentoring and Assistance for New and Struggling Vendors – Bill Findley

The Agency would like to strengthen its support of new vendors in their first facility as well as for existing vendors who are struggling.  An extended OJT has been provided for new vendors and Don Tuell and other operators have acted as mentors.  One suggestion is that an experienced vendor in the area could help.  Another option is to enlist retired vendors.  The position currently held by Lawrence Batterton will be revised when he retires to include duties that would allow that staff member to spend several days with a new or struggling vendor. One other suggestion was to develop a small facility that a new vendor could run by themselves for a couple weeks prior to being licensed.  The Douglas Building was recommended as a possible site. 

Daytona Training – Steve Moss

Steve Moss and Jill Richardson introduced the four students currently in training.  The District Representatives told the class about themselves and their business.  

Compliance Officer Report –Alan Risk

Three trainees have been licensed since the February meeting for a total of five in 2014. Two additional trainees will be licensed the week of June 9.  Two of the five new licensees have been awarded facilities and four are participating in the current selection cycle.

The May selection cycle is in process.  Seven opportunities have been posted including one highway vending, one snack bar, one cafeteria, three non-highway vending and one vending route. The selection test is scheduled for June 11 and the interviews start on June 30th. 

No grievances have been filed since the last meeting.  A 120 hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  The complainant disagreed with a Grievance Board’s ruling regarding the awarding of the Type II for the Tampa VA location.  The judge dismissed the case when the complainant failed to show at the scheduled time. The complainant requested the hearing be rescheduled, but later dropped the case when the Agency asked for reimbursement of costs incurred for the cancelled hearing. 

Permits and Requirements for Vending Machines – Alan Risk

The legislature passed a ruling that any facility operated by DBS will no longer be subject to Department of Agriculture inspections.  The Division has provided a list of vendors to the Department.  Any food machine that sells perishable items and ice cream machines needs to be permitted by DBPR.  The Division will get clarification from DBPR and will advise the vendors.

The Auditor General recently cited DMS for not charging DBS rent for their facilities.  If DMS charged our facilities fair market value the cost would be over a million a year and facilities would have to be shut down.  The information requested was provided and nothing further has been heard about the subject.

Type IIs – Maureen Fink

Currently there are 17 Type IIs.  Three are operated by AFV, seven are new facilities that need sales figures and seven are on the selection cycle.  Four will be on the next selection cycle.

Tom Spiliotis recommended that the list of priorities be eliminated in the Type II protocol and the determination be made based on the needs of the facility exclusively.  The purpose of a Type II is to assign a temporary operator until a permanent operator is selected.  In some cases accurate sales figures also need to be determined.  Lourena Mellott moved that the four priorities be removed and a Type II operator be chosen based on “the needs of the facility and any special circumstances that apply.”  Seconded by Gyorke Alger.  Passed without objection.

Manual Revision – Alan Risk

Alan asked the Committee if the section in the manual concerning pest control needed to be revised as some vendors are providing their own pest control.  The Committee determined that a professional should provide pest control and that the manual did not need to be revised.

Training, Retraining and Upward Mobility Subcommittee

– Charles Hackney, Bill Perret

The Subcommittee provided suggestions for CEU training including how to deal with government agencies, checking in products and deliveries to prevent theft and fraud, handling refunds, customer side and bookkeeping side and the employee hiring process.  They also recommended that some topics from the previous CEU events should be repeated. Charles Hackney suggested that training on the I phone would be useful along with training on different types of vending machines.

Employee vs Independent Contractor Discussion – Alan Risk

The group discussed employees versus independent contractors.  It was decided that more research should be done and the vendors should be educated.  There is a concern that vendors could be held responsible for payroll taxes for an independent contractor.  The Department of Revenue website provides information on this subject.

Liability Insurance Discussion – Alan Risk

The Committee discussed whether a minimum amount of liability insurance should be mandated.  The LOFA says “adequate insurance” and most have more than is required.  The operator should have the minimum required by the facility agreement.

Biennial 2015 – Janet Chernoff

The Biennial is scheduled from August 28-30, 2015 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.  Vistar has indicated that they are doing a virtual trade show this year.

Adjourned for the day at 4:30pm.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Committee Chairman, Tom Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 8:40a.m.  Vice Chairman, John Klindtworth called the role.

Protecting Program Funds – Bill Findley

When an operator is removed or passes away, the Agency has trouble recovering their working capital.  In the case of a removal the Agency tries to set up a payment plan for the operator.  In the case of a death the Agency has to rely on family to repay the debt.  When commissions are also owed, the Agency is responsible for paying those in order to retain the facility.  Options were discussed and it was suggested that a promissory note be signed by the incoming operator.  This would be a legal document that would be stronger than the current working capital form.  Another recommendation is that an operator be required to purchase a surety bond.  Lourena Mellott suggested that an operator be given the option of repaying the working capital instead of purchasing the bond.  More research into surety bonds is needed and Bill is to check on that. Working capital amounts should be reassessed when a new manager is signed into a facility.

Retention of Legal Counsel Discussion – Tom Spiliotis

The Committee discussed looking at hiring outside legal counselor to represent the vendors.  As a result of changes in personnel and assignments it seems as though the DOE Office of the General Counsel no longer has a dedicated lawyer to handle DBS issues and is very busy with K-12 matters as expected.  Some of the issues the Committee would want them to look at include the DOT Employee Benefit Funds provision, DEP (Silver Springs State Park ), Citizen’s Insurance, Space Florida, Space X, Kennedy Space Center, VA and Veteran’s in Need.   The Committee would like to pursue legal representation for the program.  The CFR indicates that the set aside funds can be used for management services. The NFBI provides legal advice and information but does not provide legal representation.  There was a motion by Gyorke Alger to support the pursuance of legal representation for the blind vendors of Florida. This would include interviewing prospective lawyers and getting costs. Information on this process would be collected and brought back for a vote at the August meeting.  Seconded by Brian McKenney. Passed without objection by the nine members present.  The representative from District 3, Mark Turner was out of the room during the vote.

Marketing and Site Development Update – Don Meloy

Don is currently working on prospective locations including VA locations in Panama City and Tallahassee, Camp Blanding, Pasco Hernando State College, DCF in Tampa, Daytona International Airport and National Guard armories.  A Disadvantaged Business Enterprise designation is required for some locations.  The Division needs to check with the Small Business Administration to see if the BBE qualifies for this designation. Don Meloy is also checking Amazon Performance Centers in Ruskin and Lakeland.  He has a meeting on June 11 with the Broward Sheriff’s office concerning the cafeteria and vending at that location.

Region 3- Greg Coon

Locations have been added to Facility 586, Orlando vending route and Facility 603, Ocala Vending route.  Vending machines have been installed in the Marion County Courthouse and the Agency plans to bid on the rest of Marion County’s vending when the contract expires in February 2015.  Vending in the smaller buildings of the Orlando VA generates about $500 per week and the larger building is scheduled to open in February 2015.  Funding has been approved for the micro market in the Federal Courthouse and that will move forward in July.

District 5 – Steve Barnes

Nothing to report

District 6 – Brian McKenney

At Kennedy Space Center the population is fluctuating in the buildings. Brian has changed the menu in his facility and is trying promotional ideas to encourage business.

Region 2 – Bernie Kaiserian

Facility 608, Tacachale is being operated by Todd Bowen on a Type II.  This location is on the current selection cycle and is generating about $5000-$6000 per month in sales. Machines at NAS Jacksonville have been moved as requested by OSHA.  Bill Perret has lost seven machines and George Colson has lost four machines. Bernie recommended that a reorganization of the NAS routes may need to be considered when an operator leaves. Facility 525, Gainesville Vending route and Facility 513, Jacksonville Downtown Vending Route have both had record sales.  April sales for Facility 401, State Regional Service Center are the best that facility has had in several years.  A CEU event with Pepsi is scheduled for June 14.

District 3 – Mark Turner

Nothing to report

District 2 – Bill Perret

Business in his other locations has picked up.

Region 4 – Tony Arduengo

Mary Hayes has signed into Facility 380, Rest Area I-75 Hillsborough County.   Joey Garcia is operating Facility 605, Tampa VA.  Currently he has six machines and the second floor will be opening soon.  Other new locations include the Sherriff’s Administration that will be added to Facility 500, Pinellas Route and DCF Suncoast Tampa.  The micro market will be set up in the Tampa office for training prior to being installed. 

District 7 – Charles Hackney

Nothing to report

District 8 – Gyorke Alger

Gyorke talked to Mary Hayes when she arrived.  Mary’s husband is retiring soon and will be helping with the facility.  Tom Saunders had a fire ant invasion at his facility but it has been addressed.

Region 5 – Jim Carper

Michelle Morris signed into Facility 352, Broward County Government Center and has the best sales that facility has had in over two years. Erica Ferrier signed into Facility 547, Broward County vending route and then resigned without warning. Lilian Pemberton is operating the route on a Type II and it is available on the current selection cycle. Bill McDermott signed into Facility 430, I-95 rest area on a Type I. A bid has been put in for the Broward Sheriff’s office. The facility has a cafeteria and twelve vending machines and in 2015 twenty-five vending machines and the jails will be added. 

District 9 – Joel Rose

Joel has a CEU event scheduled for June 26th with Pepsi and Crane.

Region 6 – Alejandro Garcia

Robert Rodriguez signed into Facility 117, Downtown Miami vending route and sales have increased from $1700 to $5000 per month.  Two locations have been added and two more will be added in the fall.  The lease for Facility 156, Dade County Justice Building snack bar has not been signed yet. Sales are up 20% at this facility. There is also a cafeteria in that building, but the building wants an investment of at least $100,000.  This would have to be a second facility in that building.  The cafeteria at the Miami Post office will be added to Facility 519 in September. The operator would like to hire the existing staff.  Locations have been added to Facility 557, USPO International Service Center.  Sales at Facility 510, Krome Detention Center are at $32,000 per month.  The Agency had drawings prepared for a presentation for the Children’s Courthouse but they are not allowing us to present.  We continue to pursue this opportunity. 

District 10 – Jesus Villeda

Alicia Villeda has her bond and has access to Facility 597, U.S Customs and Border Patrol. 

Region 1 – John Ahler

Locations were added to Facility 286, Pensacola vending route and to 503, West Tallahassee vending route.  Lourena Mellott is operating the NAS Pensacola vending route, Facility 609 on a Type II to assess machine conditions and placement as well as sales. DOT will be putting an RFP for the I-10 Rest areas in Jefferson County and construction is expected to begin next year.  Sales have increased by 20% at Facility 578, I-10 rest area. Robert Gary, operator for Facility 587, Blackwater Correctional passed away unexpectedly. The facility is now being operated by Mike Sumler on a Type II and is on the current selection cycle.  Because of Mr. Gary’s excellent work at Blackwater the BBE is being considered for the vending at another correctional facility in Graceville.  John will attend a meeting at Camp Helen in Panama City concerning a RFP for the vending, concession and kayak rentals.

District 2 – Mike Renaud

Randy Shuster, Facility 485 Capital Circle Office cafeteria is concerned about staff bringing in outside food in violation of the facility agreement.  It was recommended that he document the incidents.  There is also a question whether that provision of the agreement is still in force.

District 1 –Lourena Mellott

Lourena had some problems with Coke, but they seemed to be resolved for the time being.  She estimates that sales at NAS Pensacola will be about $10,000-$11,000 per month. 

Round Table – All

Lourena asked about our rights in the Naval Federal Credit Union. This needs to be checked. Mark Turner asked if the Veteran’s in Need group is setting up in locations statewide.  They are in different areas at different times. Operators need to document any violations of the rules and report them.  Joel Rose asked about the DMV and their employee benefits funds. This is an issue for legal.

Meeting adjourned at 11:20 am.     

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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