Category Archives: State Board Meeting Minutes

NFBV Board Minutes, 05/02/2015

Minutes from the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia Board Meeting

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Call to order: 11:00 by President Michael Kasey

Invocation was given by Melody Roane

Everyone present introduced themselves.

Minutes from the January 19, 2015 meeting were read and accepted.

The Treasurer’s report was read by Treasurer Mark Roane and was accepted as read.

Bell Program Coordinator Nancy Yeager announced we will have four Bell programs. She said we need at least five students for each program. Flyers and brochures have been sent out to local school districts, and Nancy will send out these flyers electronically. Jeremy Grandstaff suggested setting an application deadline for the program.

Leadership seminar: Vice President Tracy Soforenko and Strategic Planning and Collaboration Consultant Jeremy Grandstaff lead this seminar.
Volunteer leaders were Stewart Prost, Kim Valko, John Halverson, Nancy Yeager, and Sarah Patnaude. We discussed qualities of a good leader and ways to improve leadership opportunities. Participants were requested to provide feedback questionnaire answers to Jeremy Grandstaff by no later than Wednesday, May 6.

Communications update: John Bailey, Chairman of the Communications Committee, talked about internet outreach and our website, We also have an NFB of Virginia Facebook page. The committee plans to build a YouTube presence to answer common questions about blindness. The committee is looking for people good with technology, writing, and public speaking to assist in its efforts. Mary suggested making a video about how to treat a blind person. Chris O’Meally and Kris Foley offered to help with videos. The Bell program is also looking for people to assist with creating videos. Sarah Patnaude offered video assistance from the Student Division. Conference calls for the Communications Committee are the third Tuesday of every month.

Organization and Arrangements Committee: Brian McCann and Joe Hobson, co-chairs. Our 2015 state convention will be held at the Westin Tyson’s Corner in Falls Church, VA from October 30 to November 1, 2015. All other relevant information is on and NFB Newsline. Tracy Soforenko encouraged people to suggest seminar ideas for state convention. It was decided that we will have an auction at the 2015 state convention.

2016 state convention: The 2016 state convention will take place at the Wyndham Ocean Front Virginia Beach hotel from November 10-13, 2016. There will be a three week cutoff for hotel reservations. The president has signed the contract for 2016.

National Convention 2015: Tracy Soforenko asked for convention attendees to contact him by email if they were interested in assisting with shuttling people between the two hotels. President Michael Kasey announced that we had thirteen books of Jernigan tickets. We have some Independence Market volunteers, but any additional people who were interested in helping were asked to email Michael Kasey. Mary Durban announced we had reserved a Virginia table. We voted to sell our Virginia peanuts at the 2015 national convention. It was suggested that we sell flash drives or earbuds as well.

McDonald Fellowship: We had several people apply to the program. People interested in mentoring McDonald Fellowship winners should contact Tracy.

Door prizes: We agreed to match our donations from last year, which were four $50 cash prizes. We also contributed $150 for the $7500 door prize this year. In total, we will allocate $4000 for convention, and this amount will be allocated at the president and treasurer’s discretion.

Caucus: The Virginia caucus tentatively will occur on Monday, July 6, 2015, at 10 PM.

Report on Richmond Seminar: We were not as successful as we expected. Vice President Soforenko is looking for ideas on how we can be better prepared for next year’s seminar.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Mary Durban will be contacting chapters and divisions to get information on delegates.

Scholarship Committee: Sarah Patnaude, chair. The application may be going out earlier in the future, Sarah said.

Fundraising Committee: Vice President Soforenko suggested our fundraiser prize should be a fixed amount of money. A fundraising Committee was created and Bernie Werwie was chosen as chair. Jeremy Grandstaff offered to help with the committee. Bernie suggested we work on relationship building with other organizations.

Bell Program: Rodney Neely will reach out to chapter presidents and encourage them to connect with Lions Clubs.

Newsline: John Halverson has initiated discussion with the commissioner in Roanoke to add the Roanoke newspaper to Newsline.

Advocacy: The NFB and DVBI can work together to create more opportunities for success.

Our next board meeting will take place on August 8, 2015 in Richmond.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:06 by President Michael Kasey.

Respectfully submitted
Jennifer Shields, Recording Secretary, National Federation of the Blind of Virginia