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Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors

Embassy Suites, Jamaican Court
Orlando, Florida

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Committee Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 8:36 a.m.  The Vice Chairman Alton Palmore called the role.

The following individuals were present:
James Warth, Chairman
Alton Palmore, Vice Chairman  

District Representatives: David Wermuth, District 1; Mike Renaud, District 2; Mike McCrea District 3 Alternate; Darryl Brinton, District 4; David Stevens, District 5; Phil Hubbard, District 6; Sead Bekric, District 7; Steve Barnes, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9.  District 10 was not represented.

Bureau of Business Enterprise Staff: Bill Findley, Bureau Chief; Maureen Fink, Operations Manager; Alan Risk, Compliance Officer; John Ahler, Business Analyst; Don Meloy, Marketing and Site Development Manager; 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; Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant.  Alejandro Garcia, Region 6 Business Consultant was unable to attend.
Division of Blind Services: Robert Doyle, Director.

Licensed Vendors: Georgia Kellogg, District 1 Alternate; Jim Anderson, District 6 Alternate;
David Kaplan, Region 9 Alternate; Kathy Warth, Valerie James, Shirley Smart, Jose Formoso
Jennifer Hobbs, trainee.

Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Instructors, Steve Moss and Jill Richardson; Trainees: Jeffrey Estebo, Marylynn Giles-Robinson, Antonio Gonzalez, Barbara Hale, Crystal Hughes.

June/August Committee meetings – Janet Chernoff
Janet reviewed the June Committee meeting minutes and the meeting and election notes from August. The June minutes were approved by the outgoing committee in August.

BBE Updates – Bill Findley
Bill Findley reported on the impact of the recent hurricanes.  The most significant impact was made by the closures.  Government offices were closed and a number of facilities lost power for several days. Krome Detention Center operated by Lilian Pemberton closed on September 5, 2017 and did not reopen until November 11, 2017.  Lilian agreed to operate Facility 352, Broward Government Center snack bar on a Type II during the closure.  A Job Corps location in Gainesville was damaged in the storm. Currently there are only a few occupants in the building and it is unclear whether it will fully reopen.  Joel Rose reported that two locations on his route had roof damage and machines had to be removed.  The buildings will be closed for at least three months.  The program had sales of 1.6 million in September 2017.  This is lowest month of sales the program has had in the past three years.  Per a request of the Division of Blind Services (DBS), an email was sent to all the vendors asking for information on losses as a result of the hurricane. Ultimately this did not result in any funds for vendors as the Federal government would require that DBS provide matching funds for any payments and DBS was unable to provide those matching funds.

In May 2017 Bill Findley and Dennis Horn made a presentation to the Orange County Commission with the objective of retaining the Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) facility at this location. In addition to the BBE facility which consisted of vending and a coffee counter the location had a small snack bar.  The contract for the snack bar ended in September and an agreement is in the works for a BBE operator to service both locations.  The program plans to replace the snack bar with a micro-market type facility with packaged products.  Dennis Horn is currently running the location, but it will be on the January selection cycle list.

The program has filed for arbitration concerning the lack of a BBE presence in the Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) vending.  The hearing has not been scheduled.  An arbitration hearing was held for Tyndall AFB on October 17 and 18, 2017 concerning the placement of vending.  A decision is expected by January 31, 2018.  The program hopes to get between 24-34 machines as a result of this decision. The location would be added to Facility 620, the Panama City route.  The program has filed a protest that the solicitation for Tyndall AFB food service does not include a Randolph-Sheppard requirement.  If they acknowledge the requirement the program can submit a bid.  The program has a similar situation with Hurlburt Field AFB and are requesting that RSA schedule an arbitration. Ruby Adams was awarded a Type II on Facility 606, military dining in Key West.  This is the last year for this contract but the program hopes to be able to get the contract renewed.  Camp Blanding was closed for one month because of the hurricane.  Because payment is based on meal count the teaming partner received no monies for that month but the operator was still paid.

There was a discussion about the military trying to put 9-10 bases in different states under one contract.  This would make it hard for the program to compete.  Jim Warth asked about MacDill AFB as a possible location.  Don Meloy reported that the base has never put out a public solicitation.  The Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) services this location and many other military locations.  The original intent of AAFES was to service locations that had no other options.  The program may need to file a protest with the Inspector General.  It make take a national effort to effect a change.

The remodel of Facility 403, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) snack bar was completed hours short of the September 30th deadline.  The construction was delayed because the contractors started later than requested and the recent hurricane activity. The results are less than optimal and there are post construction problems.  The program has received no response to their protest that gift shops on the property are selling products in direct competition with program vendors.  Phil Hubbard contacted them when he first took over the vending route and received no response to his emails.  BBE management will try to reschedule the meeting to discuss the issue. If the BBE cannot resolve the problem themselves the attorneys may have to get involved.  Construction of the new NASA headquarters building has been delayed until October 2018.  Vendor Aruna Kapadia, operator of Facility 466, KSC snack bar has indicated that she will be retiring effective December 22, 2017.  The location has been put out as a Type II.

There is nothing new to report on the commercialization of rest areas as Congress has been focusing on the budget and tax reform.  The word is that each state would be responsible for deciding how to fund infrastructure improvements but nothing has been finalized.  The agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the Commissioner of Education’s office awaiting signatures.

Veteran’s Administration (VA) locations continue to be a challenge.  The program is waiting for Bay Pines to respond to the latest agreement and are also waiting for the permit for Lake Baldwin in Orlando.  The VA in Gainesville wants the program to give up its best location in exchange for a group of less viable locations.

The Crane and A&M equipment contracts expire in March 2018.  Alan Risk has sent letters to both companies indicating the program wants to renew the contract for two more years. Once the response is received, the contracts department will do the required paperwork.

Bill Findley emailed the Committee information on the budget prior to the meeting.  The renovations of KSC snack bar was completed by the September 30 deadline so it was paid out of the budget from 2016-2017. The program spent almost all of the budget authority last year which is optimal.  If the program does not spend most of the monies budgeted it can impact federal matching funds. In addition to monies from set aside, the program also receives money from newspaper racks and third party vending.  Overall the program is in good financial shape and there is no need to change the current set aside amount.

Nancy Spiliotis turned over the Visually Impaired Vendors Association (VIVA) bank account to Jim Warth.  The signers on this account were Tom Spiliotis and Jim Lover and the account has been used to purchase plaques for vendors.  John Klindtworth was recently reimbursed for plaques purchased for the 2017 Biennial.  The balance in the account is $4526.43.  Jim Warth will meet with Jim Lover at the bank to get his name on the account.

Project Updates and Expenditures – Maureen Fink
Following an RSA audit of DBS, the Division was informed that RSA needed to approve all purchases of $5000 or more.  Further investigation revealed that since Florida has a standard of approving all purchases of $1000 or more that the lower figure would apply.  In 1995 a twenty year waiver of this policy was put in place.  In 2015 the waiver expired and was not renewed.    RSA has not given any direction as to how this would be implemented, but other states that have submitted purchases for approval have waited up to 3 months.  BBE staff have put together a detailed list of current and expected future purchases for the 2017-2018 fiscal year with a hope that this will satisfy the requirement.  The list includes details on whether the purchase is a replacement of existing equipment, for a new facility or an improvement of an existing facility.  The list has been submitted to the DBS fiscal department and they will forward it on to RSA.  The list was emailed to all committee members and copies were provided at the meeting. 

Type II Updates – Maureen Fink
A list of the facilities on Type IIs was emailed to the committee members prior to the meeting.  Currently twenty-five facilities are on Type II contracts.  Two were on the September selection cycle.  One, Facility 436 Ft. Myers Post Office was awarded to Mary Ann Grignon as a Type I. No one applied for Facility 352, Broward Government Center and Lilian Pemberton is operating it as a Type II. Six facilities will be on future bid sheets and three were awarded in the May 2017 selection cycle and are in process of being transferred to the new operators.  Viability is still being determined on eleven facilities and three are under special circumstances. 

KC Incorporated USA – J Max Andre Jr.  
Mr. Andre had a mechanical problem with his vehicle and was unable to attend the meeting.

Carryover CEUs for Exempt Vendors – Alan Risk
The current Daytona class has asked whether newly licensed vendors were eligible for carryover CEU credit.  Further investigation showed that the exemption from the CEU requirement for newly licensed vendors was not in policy or rule.  In March 2012 the Committee of Vendors voted to allow vendors to carryover up to two CEU credits for educational courses such as Hadley courses.  There was a short discussion as to why national conventions were not also approved for carryover CEUs.  The main reason is that Hadley and other educational courses are verifiable as grades or a certificate of completion are issued.

Mike Renaud made a motion that all newly licensed vendors be exempt from the CEU requirement during the reporting period which they were licensed and that they would also be able to carryover up to two CEUs per the current policy.  Seconded by Darryl Brinton.  Passed without objection by all representatives present. 

Alton Palmore asked about allowing carryover credit for national conferences such as BLAST and Sagebrush. The group discussed the importance of continuing education and the value of Hadley courses versus attendance at national conferences.  Phil Hubbard made the motion to amend the policy to allow attendance at Sagebrush and BLAST to be eligible for carryover credit.  Seconded by Sead Bekric.  Jim Warth questioned whether the committee could vote on this issue if it would require a rule change.  Alan Risk read the rule per Phillip Hubbard’s request and confirmed that although the CEU requirement is in rule the carryover policy is not. The vote was five to four and the motion did not pass.

Daytona Training – Steve Moss/ Jill Richardson
Five trainees started in August and four will finish classroom training in December and start on the job (OJT) training in January.  One student finished classroom training in November and has already started OJT. One student started in October and is scheduled to finish classroom training in March. One trainee asked what a new vendor can do to improve their standing in the selection cycle.  Valerie James, selection panel member confirmed that panel members rely on the reports from the instructors at the Rehab center as well as OJT reports.  Alan Risk emphasized the importance of doing well on the selection exam especially for new vendors.  Past work experience can be mentioned during the interviews.  One trainee asked about possible points for past work experience prior to entering the program. This would be hard to verify and quantify.  The group discussed the inconsistencies between vocational assessments from different areas and the possibility of all candidates going to the rehab center to be evaluated. 

Monthly Business Reports – Jim Warth
There was some concern about vendors not getting a confirmation when submitting their monthly report.  Vendors who do not get a confirmation should contact BBE state office staff and may have to have their report reset.  The system is not connecting to the payment portal when an operators puts notes in their reports.  We are working on the problem and Bill Findley sent out an email to all the vendors warning them of the issue and telling them who to contact to get a report reset.

NFBEI Subscription Renewal – Bill Findley/Jim Warth
The NFBEI subscription is due to be renewed for 2018.  The cost is $3,500.  The program has received free consultation and advice from the National Association of Blind Merchants.  They keep the state staff and vendors up to date on national issues and have provided keynote speakers for the Biennial seminar at no cost to the program.  Mike Renaud made a motion to renew the subscription for 2018.  Seconded by Joel Rose.  Passed without objection.

Marketing and Site Development Updates – Don Meloy
As a result of a meeting with the Assistant Director of the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Medical Center Don and Tony have been investigating and surveying the associated Community Based Outpatient Centers (CBOC) as possible additional route facilities. Machines have been installed in the Sunland Center in Region 1 and this location has been added to Facility #532, the Marianna FCI, which now makes it a much more viable facility. There is storage at Sunland.
Machines will be installed in a TSA location in Region 1 this week.  Machines have been installed in LA Fitness locations in Region 2 and Don continues to work on Florida National Guard locations.  He will be asking consultants to survey these locations around the state.  In Region 3 the program is working on the Orange County Courthouse agreement and on machines for the Naval Air Warfare Center Navy Base (NAWCNB) in Orlando.  Don is also investigating food service and vending for Daytona State College.

In Region 4 machines were installed in Charlotte County.  These locations were added to Facility 180, Ft. Myers vending route.  Another opportunity is a location in Hillsborough River State Park which has a laundry facility.  The park has 250,000 – 300,000 visitors a year and the campground runs at 100% capacity.  Lee County has also requested our services.  The program is still waiting for a response on Bay Pines VA.  This request is over a year old.  In Region 5 machines will soon be installed in the Palm Beach County Tourist Council.  The Broward Sherriff’s Office has renewed the agreement and price increases will be submitted.  The Broward County jails are asking about a possible micro-market.  Alton Palmore asked about the possibility of prison commissaries.  The program does not have a priority in these locations and they would require a large investment of capital.  Kathy Warth commended Don Meloy for his efforts in securing new locations. 

Phil Hubbard asked about state parks in Florida.  The program has been working on an agreement for some time.  Two meetings have been scheduled and cancelled.  A meeting is planned for December 6, 2017.  The program wants to emphasize that it should have a priority for the vending.  The Department of Environmental Protection has several long term contracts with their concessionaires and there is a question about their legality. Phil also asked about Federal Parks.  The program has a priority but if they have a contractor doing everything including services not typically offered by the BBE then the priority doesn’t apply.

BBE Application Process and Training Update – Janet Chernoff and Bill Findley
Janet reviewed the application process for the committee.  When considering an applicant the vocational assessment is reviewed and applicants are expected to have good mobility and computer skills, an entrepreneurial spirit and be interested in managing a business.  Recently the assessment panel elected not to recommend an applicant and the applicant decided to protest.  The attorneys indicated that since the rule only requires that an applicant be legally blind, 18 years old, a high school graduate and a US citizen that the program would probably lose if the applicant challenged the decision. The question is whether to put the application process in rule with metrics.  There is reluctance to do this because if the focus is too narrow there is a risk of eliminating viable candidates.  Darryl Brinton suggested advising a candidate that we do not recommend them for the program, but allowing them to make the decision whether to enter training.  Jim Warth recommended that the training subcommittee work on this issue.  Janet also asked that the training subcommittee review the current OJT assessment along with the selection panel members to make it a more useful tool for the selection process. 

Sub-Committees – Jim Warth
Terri Bowen Lindstrom, Phil Hubbard, Don Tuell and Wanda Feldsteen were selected for the training subcommittee.  Terri and Phil have already agreed to serve and Janet will check with Wanda and Don Tuell.  We will advise all the vendors about the other subcommittees via email and will ask them to let Jim Warth know if they wish to volunteer for a subcommittee.

Compliance Office Reports – Alan Risk
One vendor has been licensed since the Committee met in June and a total of five were licensed in 2017. Two of the newly licensed vendors have been awarded facilities.

Four opportunities were on the September selection cycle and three were awarded. A total of fifteen vendors applied for three of the facilities.  No one applied for Facility 352, snack bar in Broward County. Eleven of the fifteen applicants qualified for interviews and nine of the eleven participated in the interview process. Facility 482, the new not yet opened rest area in Collier County, was awarded to Randall Crosby.  Facility 586, vending route in Orlando was awarded to Kevin Wheeler and Facility 436, post office vending in Ft. Myers was awarded to Mary Ann Grignon.

Nine vendors have fulfilled the CEU requirement for the 2017-2019 reporting period. Thirteen operators have at least two CEUS, eighty-five operators have at least one CEU and fifteen operators have less than one CEU.

One new grievance was filed since the June committee meeting. The request was received on June 21, 2017.  The vendor claimed that issues with the BBE laptop computer caused him to answer some questions incorrectly on the exam.  The vendor requested the opportunity to either retake the exam or be credited two additional points on his exam score.  The hearing held on June 27, 2017.  The grievance panel upheld the decision of the Division. 

Selection Panel Elections – Alan Risk
Selection panel member Jim Lover’s term has expired. Jim had indicated that he is willing to serve another term.  Two other operators, Joey Garcia and Shirley Smart have indicated they are interested in serving.  Steve Barnes nominated Jim Lover for the selection panel.  Seconded by Joel Rose.  Darryl Brinton nominated Joey Garcia.  The nomination was seconded by Sead Bekric.  Steve Barnes made a motion to close the nominations.  Jim Lover was elected to another term by a majority vote.  Valerie James’ term has expired and she is interested in continuing to serve on the selection panel.  Darryl Brinton nominated Valerie for another term on the selection panel.  Seconded by Mike Renaud.  Steve Barnes made a motion to close the nominations.  Valerie was elected by acclamation.  The terms of two alternates, Debbie Hietala and Joey Garcia for the selection panel have expired. Both have indicated that they are willing to serve.  Phil Hubbard nominated Joey Garcia, seconded by Darryl Brinton.  Steve Barnes made a motion to close the nominations.  Joey Garcia was approved by all members present.  Darryl Brinton nominated Debbie Hietala and the nomination was seconded by Sead Bekric.  Steve Barnes moved that the nominations be closed.  Debbie was approved as an alternate by all members present.

Steve Barnes moved that the meeting be adjourned for the day.  Adjourned at 4:59pm.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Chairman Jim Warth called the meeting to order at 8:35am.  The Vice Chairman Alton Palmore called the role.

Biennial Seminar and BLAST 2017 Recap
BLAST 2019 – Janet Chernoff and Bill Findley
The majority opinion of the vendors was that the 2017 Biennial Seminar was a success and that it was more organized than previous events.  One vendor indicated that he felt that the time allotted for the trade show was too short.  Janet Chernoff and Maureen Fink attended the 2017 BLAST conference in Memphis in September.  Only three vendors were able to attend as Hurricane Irma resulted in cancelled flights and some vendors felt that they were needed at home to deal with the results of the storm.

In June 2017 the Committee of Vendors approved the expenditure of an additional $30,000 over the cost of a Biennial Seminar that would be needed to host the 2019 BLAST conference in Florida.  Subsequent investigation revealed that the cost would be more that originally reported.  The program would cover the registration fee for all Florida vendors at a projected cost of $250 per attendee.  In addition the cost of rooms is projected to be higher and the program would also assist with the cost of speakers at estimated cost of $10,000 and audio-visual equipment at an additional cost of $10,000.  The estimated cost to the program would be approximately $53,000 more than the cost of the Biennial seminar.

The program traditionally sends two staff members to the conference and pays for the registration fee for vendors who attend.  The vendors have to pay for lodging, food and travel expenses.  As a result only a few of the vendors have the opportunity to attend the seminar.   There was discussion about how the elections would be handled if the Committee voted to host the BLAST in 2019 in place of the Biennial Seminar.  Time would be set aside for the Florida vendors to meet and nominate candidates for Chairman and Vice Chairman and hold elections.  Sead Bekric moved that the Florida BBE program host the BLAST seminar in October 2019 with an estimated cost of $53,000 over the projected cost of a Biennial seminar.  Seconded by Joel Rose.  Passed without objection by all representatives present.

Credit Card Readers – Brady Foore, USA Technology; Jim Warth and Sead Bekric
Sead Bekric and Jim Warth have been speaking to Brady Foore from USA Technology about strategies to expedite the transfer of credit card readers from one vendor to another and lowering or eliminating transfer fees.  Some of the readers have been purchased by the program and some have been purchased, rented or leased by the vendors.  Brady recommended that the program purchase additional readers for estimated 1500 machines that currently do not have card readers.  Brady indicated that card readers on machines result in increased overall sales and higher sales per transaction.  The readers are beneficial even on machines with lower sales as the reports give the operator information that would allow them to plan their visits to lower yield machines more efficiently.  Brady indicated that adding readers to at least 1000 machines would result in better service and rates from USA Technology.

The group agree that the solution to the problem would be for the program to take ownership of all the card readers.  Once that is done there would be no transfer fees and moving a reader from one vendor to another would only require a change of bank information.  This is not a problem for readers owned by the program, but readers owned, rented or leased by vendors would be more of a challenge.  Vendor owned readers could be transferred to the state and the vendor would benefit by not having to pay transfer fees.  Card carders that are rented can be returned to the company when the contract ends but leased readers need to be paid off before they can be transferred.  The program will need to investigate to see how best to implement the transfer of the readers to state ownership.  The purchase of additional readers would have to be done gradually as the budget allows.  Currently the program has been only purchasing card readers for machines in locations that require them as part of the agreement and for rest areas that have been renovated or rebuilt. 

Mike Renaud made the motion that going forward that the program purchase card readers for all facilities including rest areas.  Seconded by Georgia Kellogg for District 1.  Georgia is the alternate and replaced the representative David Wermuth as he had to leave early.  Passed without objection by all representatives present.

Business Analyst Update – John Ahler
John and Alan Risk are working on the RSA report for the federal fiscal year that runs from October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017. Sales for the 2016-2017 fiscal year are over 22 million as compared to sales of 21,951, 000 reported in 2015-2016. The operators have received profits of 8.3 million which is up slightly over the previous year.  Even in the years that sales have dropped the vendors have lowered costs and have maintained their profits. Twenty-one federal properties and fourteen non-federal have been surveyed and Don Meloy and the consultants continue to look for new locations.  The RSA report has not been completed as figures are needed from the fiscal department. John has completed forty-four monitorings this year.  He has focused on making sure that operators have proper insurance and that they are reporting labor correctly.  Contracted labor cost are considered labor for the purposes of the monthly report.  He has been working with new vendors Sandra Marecki and Mark Wilkinson. Maureen and the local consultants have also spent time with these operators.  John and Brian Ashworth spent time with Kliphton Miller and report that he is doing well and only needed minimal assistance.  John encouraged experienced operators to reach out to new operators.

Regional Status/District Updates
Region 1 – Brian Ashworth
Brian has done a series of changeovers recently.  Joe Bragg signed into the Facilities 528, 579, 580 rest areas in Jackson County the end of August.  Kliphton Miller signed into Facility 470, snack bar at Ft. Knox in September and Jason Carpentor signed into Facility 361, Turlington micro-market the first of October.  Doug Wright signed into Facility 371, FDLE cafeteria the end of October but recently gave his thirty day notice as he needs to take care of a sick parent.  This facility is available on a Type II. Randall Crosby has been awarded Facility 482, the new not yet opened Alligator Alley rest area.  His facility will be on the January selection cycle.  Alton Palmore has been assisting with the expansion of Facility 532, Marianna FCI and Facility 620, Panama City vending route.  Alton has Type II contracts for both these facilities. Janet Chernoff reported that Wanda Feldsteen signed out of the Type II at FDLE the end of October and has returned to her facility full time.  Steve Docie continues to provide fresh entrees for the Turlington micro-market.

District 1 – Georgia Kellogg
Everything is fine in District 1. 

District 2 – Mike Renaud
The operators of the Jefferson County rest areas are concerned because they believed that they would be required to give keys to their storage to DOT staff and rest area attendants.  Brian Ashworth confirmed that DOT management/contractors have a key but individual attendants do not.  The space is the property of DOT and they need access in case of emergency or maintenance problems.  A number of vendors have refused to give keys to DOT but if DOT owns the space the operator may have to give them access. 

Region 4 – Tony Arduengo
Kevin Wheeler, operator of Facility 272, Brooksville vending route has been awarded Facility 586, Orlando vending route.  The Brooksville route will be offered as a Type II.  Ten locations have been added to the Brooksville route including a VA outpatient facility in New Port Richey. Locations have been added to Facility 396, East Tampa route including Hillsborough County sites and health department locations.  One location at Hillsborough River State Park has an opportunity for a vendor to manage a laundry facility. Charlotte County locations have been added to Facility 180, Ft. Myers vending which has doubled the facility.  The new Alligator Alley rest area is expected to open in March or April of 2018.  Facility 433, North Skyway Bridge rest area has been completely demolished and the rebuild is expected to take about nine months.  Once it is completed Facility 432, South Skyway Bridge will be closed and rebuilt.

District 7 – Sead Bekric
All is quiet in his district

District 8 – Steve Barnes
Everything is quiet in District 8.

Region 2 – Bernie Kaiserian
Vendor Cecil Turnage moved to Facility 416, Rest Area on I-4 in May 2017.  The Jacksonville routes, 590, 218 and 513 were reorganized.  Facility 569, FAA at Hillard was added to Facility 590 and the location was closed as a stand-alone facility.  Mike McCrea ran Facility 218 while it transitioned.  It was awarded Kevin Nealey and he signed into the facility the end of August.  Eighteen locations were added to Facility 218 and Kevin reported sales of 11.5 thousand in October.  Machines were installed in a Gainesville Job Corps location in July and in a Jacksonville Job Corps location in August.  The Gainesville location was damaged in the hurricane and there is no information on when or if it will be fully reopened.  Twenty-seven machines were installed into the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind as part of Facility 616, St. Augustine vending route.  Sales are limited at this location. The City of Jacksonville has requested that the BBE do a coffee shop in city hall.  It will be part of Facility 513, Jacksonville Downtown Route.

District 3 – Mike McCrea
All is going well.  He has not heard any complaints

District 4 – Darryl Brinton
Darryl met with a representative with Coke to try and improve a dialog between them and the vendors.  Otherwise all is good.

Region 3 – Greg Coon
Greg did two changeovers with Facilities 415 and 416, Rest areas on I-4 at Longwood.  Cecil Turnage signed into Facility 416 in late May and Chuck Fickett signed into Facility 415 in early August.  Kinesha Cole was awarded Facility 285, Daytona vending route on the May selection cycle and is waiting for her certification for the airport.  The operator of Facility 466, KSC snack bar has announced her retirement and location is available for a Type II. Kevin Wheeler was awarded Facility 586, Orlando vending route on the September selection cycle. 

District 5 – David Stevens
He hasn’t heard of any problems from vendors in his district.  He is having issues with his location at Coleman prison as they have changed the times the machines can be serviced and staff on site are inconsistent on how it should be handled.  It was suggested that David should inquire about getting access so he doesn’t have to be escorted.  Legal is aware of the problem.

District 6 – Phil Hubbard
Phil asked if there was any way to get Kinesha’s certification expedited.  Kinesha has relocated and needs to get back to work.  Greg has been told they are understaffed and is reluctant to push.  Don Meloy will reach out to his contact.  

Region 5 – Jim Carper
Jim has spent a good deal of time at Facility 612, Broward Sherriff’s office cafeteria. He was there during the summer, when the location did not have a full time operator and again after Mark Wilkinson signed into this location the end of September.  Lilian Pemberton has been operating Facility 352, Broward County Center snack bar and vendor Laurel Lyew Sang will be taking it over. Facility 501, Broward vending route temporarily lost two locations in the hurricane. Jim is working with Don on new locations for this route.  Seven machines in Palm Tran locations have been added to Facility 257, Palm Beach County vending route.

District 9 – Joel Rose
Everything is okay.  He is glad to have Jim back to his regular duties.  

Region 6 – Maureen Fink
Neither consultant nor the representative from District 10 were able to attend the meeting.
Maureen reported that Dade County is requiring that grease traps be installed in all food service facilities.  Plans will need to be created for Facility 15, Dade County Courthouse snack bars before the work can be done.  The work is scheduled to be done at Facility 455, Federal building snack bar. A remodel is planned for Facility 156, Dade County Justice Building snack bar to make it ADA accessible.  The Region 6 Business Consultant, Alejandro Garcia should be back in the office next week.

Round Table Discussion – All
Robert Doyle advised the group that Legislative Relations has been contacted by the American Heart Association about healthy vending.

Kathy Warth expressed concerns about locations that were being serviced by employees or relatives of vendors rather than the vendors themselves.  Some managers are involved in the business but may not be physically doing the work.  Managerial presence and the lack there of is hard to prove.  Kathy questioned the policy if it can’t be enforced.  John Ahler asks questions during the monitoring to help judge how involved a vendor is in the business.  Robert Doyle said that it is important to the program to have a vendor presence at the locations.

Adjourned at 11:50am.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

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