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Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
February 27-28, 2015

Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
Embassy Suites International Drive
Orlando, Florida

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Committee Chairman Tom Spiliotis.  Vice Chairman John Klindtworth called the roll.

The following individuals were present:
Tom Spiliotis, Chairman
John Klindtworth, Vice Chairman

District Representatives: Lourena Mellott, District 1; Mike Renaud, District 2; Mark Turner, District 3 Alternate; Patti Fulda, District 4; David Stevens, District 5; Brian McKenney, District 6; Woody Matthews, District 7 Alternate;  Tom Saunders, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9; 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, Business Analyst; Brian Ashworth, 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; Phillip Hubbard, District 5 Alternate; Mitzi Tyler, District 6 Alternate; David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate.

Rehabilitative Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Instructor, Steve Moss; Trainees: Rachel Hage, Roselyn Duran, Mike McCrea, Sead Bekric, Donnie Clift, Paulette Williams.

Guests:  Joe Urbanek, Chairman of the Committee of Vendors for the South Carolina program.

The new District Representatives, Patti Fulda from District 4, David Stevens from District 5 and Phillip Hubbard, District 5 Alternate were welcomed.  A synopsis of the minutes from the December 2014 meeting was read.  A full copy of the minutes was sent out prior to the meeting.  Mike Renaud moved to accept the minutes as written.  Seconded by Mark Turner.  Passed without objection.

BBE Updates – Bill Findley

Department of Transportation

Vendors with rest areas are updated when information is received from the Department of Transportation (DOT). Vendors should use their own best judgment on whether to install security cameras.  If the DOT staff or maintenance contractor objects, contact the Bureau and we will request permission.  There was a short discussion about whether security cameras are a reimbursable expense.  The Bureau will pay for any electrical work needed, but the purchase of the cameras is the responsibility of the vendor. 

Bill Findley, John Ahler, Tom Spiliotis and Robert Doyle, Division Director met with representatives of the DOT on December 18, 2015.  They were able to get an extension of three months on the closing of Facility 381, I-75 Rest Area in Punta Gorda.  The rest area will close on April 6 and the operator, George Arthur will be taking over Facility 432, Rest Area on I-275 South.  The current amendment of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act will need to be reauthorized in May of this year.  Vendors need to be ready to contact their congressmen if privatization of the rest areas becomes an issue. Renovations are planned for Facilities 426 and 427, rest areas in Leon County.  Current plans indicate that the DOT plans to tear down a building that was built by Blind Services.  Facilities 571 and 572, I-10 Rest areas in Jefferson County are scheduled to be rebuilt one at a time starting July 2015. There are also plans to rebuild Facilities 415 and 416, I-4 Rest areas at Longwood.  A second rest area is planned for Alligator Alley and a rest area on I-75 at Punta Gorda is being considered.

Broward Sherriff’s Office Complex

The cafeteria at the Broward County Sherriff’s Office Complex was opened on January 12, 2015.  It is being operated by Jesus Villeda on a Type II. 

Military Contracts

A couple of years ago the Division tried to submit a proposal for military dining at Tyndall Air Force Base and was told that we didn’t qualify.  A protest was filed and an arbitration panel is being assembled to hear the case.  Mike Sumler and Blackstone are developing a proposal to renew the contract at Eglin Air Force Base. Payments from the military have been delayed and this may cause problems as the Division has not spent the money budgeted for this contract.  Panama City Naval Air Station solicitation should be out next week.  Alton Palmore has been selected for this opportunity.  We will look at Camp Blanding when the federal solicitation is posted.  A vendor and a teaming partner are needed to put together a proposal. 

Permits for the James Haley VA clinic have been signed by the Department of Education and need to be signed by the VA. The permits for the VA at the Lake Nona Medical Center were revised to include the smaller buildings.  A permit for the larger building was submitted and we were advised that there is not enough space us for in the building that is reported to be over a million square feet.  We will follow up.

Budget Updates

Maureen Fink and Bill Findley are actively involved in key issues of the budget and are tracking expenditures and account balances.  On January 31, 2015 the spending account had $25,691.75. Two hundred thousand was transferred from the set aside account to the spending account on February 11.  The set aside account had $408,628.31 as of January 31 before the transfer.  The program has adequate funds to cover expenditures.  We have some projections with monies earmarked that did not come to fruition and this leaves funds for worthy projects or equipment replacement.  Unassigned vending is gradually being moved from Visinity to operators or third party contractors.  Don Meloy is working on identifying military vending that will go to vendors or third party contractors.

Grievance Panel – Tom Spiliotis

Tom Spiliotis recommended Terri Bowen and Wanda Feldsteen as alternates for the grievance panel.  Joel Rose moved to add Terri Bowen as an alternate to the panel.  Seconded by Mike Renaud.  Passed without objection.  Woody Matthews moved to add Wanda Feldsteen as an alternate.  Seconded by Joel Rose.  Passed without objection.

Operator Maintenance Obligations with Coffee Machines – Maureen Fink, Tom Spiliotis
Recently there has been some concern expressed about the failure of some operators to properly clean and maintain hot beverage machines.  Maureen Fink has developed a separate visitation report that will assist consultants in evaluating the condition of the machines.  There was a short discussion about the problems and costs to the program when coffee machines are not properly maintained.  Preventative maintenance is an allowable expense and can be reimbursed. 

Subcommittee Assignments – Tom Spiliotis

Don Tuell has replaced Bill Perret on the Training, Retraining and Upward Mobility Subcommittee.  He is participating on the conference calls for assessment and exit interviews.

Type II – Maureen Fink

We have twenty-three Type II’s.  Three are being operated by American Food and Vending.  Of those three, one will be taken over by an operator on March 6, 2015.  Of the remaining twenty Type IIs, two have an uncertain future, five are on the January opportunities list and four more will be on the opportunities list in the near future.  We are still determining the viability of eight facilities and Facility 432 will be awarded to George Arthur in April on an administrative appointment.

Mike Renaud inquired about the status of Facility 533, Tallahassee FCI which is being operated as a Type II.  Currently there are no plans to offer this facility on an upcoming selection cycle.  The facility is still being evaluated to determine whether to leave it as a stand-alone facility or combine it with another facility.  Mike expressed concern about the viability of Facility 593, Tallahassee vending route, east and Facility 502, Tallahassee vending route, west.  The current operators of both these facilities have turned down the opportunity to add locations to their facilities. 

The group adjourned for lunch at 12 noon and returned at 1:30pm.  Tom Spiliotis had a conflict and John Klindtworth moderated the Friday afternoon session. 

Daytona Training – Steve Moss

Six students attended the Committee meeting with Steve Moss.  Three students have finished classroom training and are moving on to OJT.  Three new students will be starting class on Monday, March 2, 2015.

Marketing and Site Development – Don Meloy

The Broward Sherriff’s Office transition was done in January. We were not awarded the cafeteria in Gerstein Building in Miami, the Lee County or Pasco-Hernando vending routes.  The Marion County Board of Commissioners agreed to lower the rent for courthouse and the operator regained a snack machine that was removed months ago because of a conflict with other contractor.  Other potential facilities include FedEx, Army Reserve, Lottery Building in Fort Myers, Community Health Center, Department of Economic Opportunity in Tampa, Drug Enforcement in Miami, the Department of State in Ft. Lauderdale and TSA in Orlando. Future possibilities include Coast Guard, Naval Training Center in Orlando and vending at Eglin and MacDill.

Compliance Officer Update – Alan Risk

Two new vendors were licensed so far in 2015.  Of the twelve vendors licensed in 2014, six are in a Type I facility and six remain unassigned.  The January selection cycle is currently in process.  Five opportunities were posted and sixteen applicants applied.  Nine applicants are scheduled for interviews.

Fifty-nine percent of the currently assigned vendors required to achieve CEU compliance have three or more CEUs. Twenty-nine percent have at least two CEUs and eleven percent have less than two.  Only one percent of the currently assigned vendors have no CEUs. 

Grievance Hearing

Grievance: On January 29th, 2015 a special BBE selection panel conducted telephone interviews with two applicants for a potential military dining contract at the Naval Air Station in Panama City.  The panel recommended the applicant with the lower overall score due to performance related issues with the applicant and the Division agreed with the panel’s recommendation.  The unsuccessful applicant disagreed with the Division’s decision and filed a request for a grievance hearing on February 11th, 2015. 

Outcome: On February 13th, 2015 the grievance panel heard the claimant’s presentation and recommendation for resolution.  After reviewing the facts of the case, the grievance panel voted unanimously in favor of the Division and the Director of the Division agreed with the grievance panel’s decision.

Business Analyst’s Report – John Ahler

John reported on RSA-15 report and figures for the first quarter.  The RSA-15 is a federal report the program is required to submit for the Federal fiscal year that runs from October 1-September 30.  In the first quarter of 2014 sales were $4,962,000 versus $4,513,000 in the same quarter of 2013.  In addition to compiling the RSA-15 John has been working with new vendors in his role as Business Coach.  He is doing a performance improvement evaluation and is focusing on inventory and ordering, staffing, cleanliness, customer service and marketing, goals for improvement and development of a backup plan for emergencies.  John will begin monitoring visits with vendors in April.

Regional Status/District Updates – All Consultants and Representatives

Region 3 - Greg Coon

Tom Spiliotis was awarded 416, I-4 Rest Area on a Type II.  Dennis Horn operated Facility 415, I-4 Rest Area on a Type II while the current operator was on a medical leave of absence.  A meeting was held in January concerning the construction for the micro-market in the George C. Young building and we are waiting to hear back from them.  One operator in Region 3 did not make their net profit and has been put on an action plan. Greg has been working on the transition of Visinity locations to the third party vendor and is also looking for locations to add to Facility 586, Orlando vending route to offset the eventual closing of the Lake Mary post office. 

District 6 – Brian McKenney

The headquarters building that houses Brian’s location is scheduled to be rebuilt and the population and sales continue to go down. Brian is trying new menu items and promotions to increase business. The Division has been told that no space is planned for a snack bar in the new building, but Brian has heard that a snack bar has been included in the plans.  Brian will try to get more information.

District 5 – David Stevens

David had nothing to add.

Region 1 – Brian Ashworth

Lourena Mellott continues to do a good job on her Type II with Facility 609, Pensacola Naval Air Station Vending Route. Vending signs have been placed at all the rest areas on I-10.  Facilities 571 and 572, I-10 rest areas in Jefferson County are scheduled to be rebuilt one at a time starting in July.  Facilities 426 and 427 I-10 rest areas in Leon County are also scheduled for renovations. Mike Renaud and Debby Malmberg have both reported break-ins at their facilities.  Recently two people that were thought to have vandalized vending machines were caught in Leon County.  Terri Bowen took over the vending for Facility 591 and reports that two of the locations have very low sales.  Renovations including new flooring and paint are planned for Facility 485, Capital Circle Office Center cafeteria operated by Randall Crosby. Jason Carpenter is servicing the vending for his Facility 470, Fort Knox snack bar and will take over the food service next week.

District 1 – Lourena Mellott

Everything is going well in District 1.  Lourena asked about the VA hospital in her area.  This location already has a vending company in place and is not interested in using a BBE operator.  Saufley Field, part of Facility 534 may be closing.  This will not affect the vending from the prison.  The personnel will be moved to the Pensacola Naval Station which should result in an increase in business for Facility 609, Pensacola Naval Air Station vending route and a decrease at Facility 534. There is currently no timeframe for when this chance will occur.

District 2 – Michel Renaud

All is good in his district.

Region 4 – Tony Arduengo

Locations are being added to Facility 180, Ft. Myers vending route.  We did not get the vending at Pasco-Hernando State College, but four health departments have been added to Facility 272, Brooksville route.  The Department of Education has signed the permit for Facility 605, James Haley VA Clinic and Tony will take it to the VA for their signatures.  Currently the location is doing $2000 per month but that should increase as other clinics open up.  Facility 381, Rest Area on I-75 will close on April 6 and the operator will be taking over Facility 432, Rest Area on the south end of the Skyway Bridge. A permit for Hillsborough County facilities is in process but has been delayed by the Department of Management Services.  Hillsborough County has been very patient and we hope to get the permit to them by March 18.

District 8 – Tom Saunders

All is quiet in District 8.

District 7 – Woody Matthews (Alternate)

Jim Warth, operator of Facility 396 requested that computer upgrades required by his micro-market be considered an approved business expense on the monthly report.  It was agreed that this was an allowable expense.  Business on Facility 500, Pinellas County Route has declined and Woody is looking for new locations to add with the assistance of Don Meloy.

Region 6 – Alejandro Garcia

In Facility 156, Dade County Justice Building snack bar the building closed access on the jury side because of security concerns.  All the customers have to be served from one side which has caused a problem.  The building has requested the Division’s assistance, but since it is a security issue we feel that its best dealt with by the building management. The permit for Facility 597, US Customs & Border Protection expired on February 15, 2015.  We are waiting for a letter from them granting access for our operator to the facility.  Facility 614, Doral vending route will be on the May selection cycle.  Robert Rodriguez is currently operating it on a Type II.  The Division is still working on obtaining facilities in the Community Health Center and the Children’s Courthouse.

District 10 – Jesus Villeda

Justino is concerned about his facility; otherwise all is quiet in his district.

Region 5 – Jim Carper

The Department of Transportation is installing vending signs for the rest areas on I-95.  A sign for Facility 429 is expected by March 21 and signs for Facilities 430 and 431, rest areas in St. Lucie County are expected within 60 days. Jesus Villeda signed into the Broward County Sherriff’s office complex cafeteria, Facility 612 on January 12.  Food was served from a temporary kitchen until the new equipment arrived.  Initial sales are between $750 and $800 per day.  Currently no one is cleared to operate Facility 613, FBI at Miramar.  Recently the agent in charge called to see why the location does not have vending machines. Jim will meet with them next week.  The permit for a location at the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program) is in process.  The location is expected to have 400 people. 

District 9 – Joel Rose

Joel believes that he would need 4 snack machines, 4 drinks and a coffee machine for the HIDTA building.  Facility 501, Broward County vending route is losing a location.   

Region 2 – Bernie Kaiserian

Ruby Adams signed into Facility 569, FAA at Hilliard the beginning of February.  Jimmy Giles signed into Facility 513, Jacksonville Downtown vending route in January. Randy Shuster was awarded Facility 616, St. Augustine vending route on a Type II.  Facility 33, snack bar in Duval County Courthouse did over $450,000 in sales last year.  The vendor, Darryl Brinton is operating Facility 145, Federal Building snack bar on a Type II.  This facility is available on the January selection listing. Facility 610, vending at Northeast Florida Hospital at MacClenny will be on the May selection cycle.  The current operator is reporting sales of about $20,000 per month.  Facilities 489 and 423, Welcome Centers are selling both the portable and sticker types of Sunpasses.  Sales are going well.  There was a brief discussion about net profit and the Sunpasses. Mike Renaud asked if there would be enough sales to offer Sunpasses at other locations besides Welcome Centers.  John Ahler said that operators should be aware that sales tax rates on tangible goods such as the Sunpasses are different than snack products.  John is providing information from the Department of Revenue on sales tax to the vendors.

District 3 – Mark Turner (Alternate)

Mark had nothing to report from his District.  Customers have inquired about Sunpasses at his rest area.

District 4 – Patti Fulda

Patti has nothing to report.  She will contact operators in her District prior to the May meeting.

Biennial Seminar – Janet Chernoff

The seminar will be held at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando, August 28-30.  Janet will be preparing a registration form for the vendors and will work with Adam Gaffney to make sure it is accessible.  It was suggested that DBS Director, Robert Doyle be invited to be the keynote speaker.

Adjourned for the day at 5pm.

Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tom Spiliotis called the meeting to order at 8:30am.  John Klindtworth called the role.

There was a short recap of the information on the Biennial Seminar for Tom.  Procedures for vendor travel were discussed and the concern that vendors who live over 100 miles from the venue would be required to rent a car rather than use a personal vehicle.  Terri Bowen and Mitzi Tyler were named to the Biennial Subcommittee and Mark Turner suggested a theme involving taking ownership of a facility.

Vendor Emergency Plans – Maureen Fink, John Ahler, Consultants, Mitzi Tyler

The importance of emergency plans was discussed.  Vendors should provide their consultant with contacts in case of an emergency.  The group agreed that there are two different concerns, contact information for the Division and an overall emergency plan for their business.  This subject was suggested as a session for the Biennial Seminar.

BSO Vending Route – Tom Spiliotis

At the December 2014 meeting the Committee voted to create Facility 617, Broward Sherriff’s Office (BSO) Complex vending route. This would encompass all the BSO vending outside of cafeteria building. The representative from District 9, Joel Rose was unable to attend the December meeting and asked the committee to review the decision.  The BSO requested that the Division start servicing the vending only a few days prior to the December meeting, so there was insufficient time to give notice to the committee that it would be on the agenda.  Because of our agreement with BSO, the division was unable to split the vending between the two existing routes.  A new route has been created and will be available on a Type II.  Joel Rose recommended that an experienced vendor be selected to develop this facility.

Round Table Discussion – All

Earlier in the meeting the group agreed that software updates on micro-markets would be an approved business expense on the monthly report.  There was a brief discussion about approved business expenses.  Mike Renaud inquired about credit card fees as an approved expense.  For a micro-market the software update is not an optional expense.  Credit cards are still optional for most facilities.

David Stevens asked if vendors could purchase equipment and be reimbursed.  Procedure dictates that equipment needs to be purchased through the purchase order system.  In an emergency the purchase of new equipment can be expedited.

Adjourned at 10am.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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