[Nfbk] 2015 NFBK State Convention Minutes

Lora Felty lorafelty at windstream.net
Sun Sep 18 22:58:24 UTC 2016

National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

68th Annual State Convention

2015 State Convention Minutes

Galt House Hotel

Louisville, Kentucky

September 25-27, 2015


Friday, September 25, 2015


The 2015 NFBK state convention got underway early Friday morning with the
annual Technology Assistance Division Symposium.  Guest speakers from
various realms of the technology field presented software, hardware and
other technology solutions that can improve the lives of blind individuals.
The symposium took place from 9:00-5:00 PM with a break for lunch and
visiting vendors.


The annual student division meeting was held at 6:00, and the resolutions
committee met at 7:00.


This year the NFBK divisions hosted the Friday evening social event.
Members of TAD, (Technology Assistance Division), NAPUB (National
Association to Promote the Use of Braille) and KABS (Kentucky Association of
Blind Students) Planned a trivia game night.  Individuals paid a $5 fee to
enter and competed in teams.  Trivia night winners were the Jackson 5 Team
members, including our own NFBK president, Cathy Jackson.  Lora Felty
Stephens organized a silent auction for the evening to off-set the costs for
the Friday evening event.  Many items including jewelry, bath and body
products, handmade baby sweaters, a handmade tactile beach scene, etc. were
included in the auction items.  However, the most popular silent auction
items were containers of homemade chocolate and peanut butter fudge made by
our own Joan Balot and Diana Cline.  A grand total of $275 was made on the
silent auction.


Saturday, September 26, 2015


The morning got underway with the annual scholarship finalists breakfast.
During this event scholarship committee members had an opportunity to meet
scholarship finalists face-to-face and get to know them more personally.


Morning General Session:


NFB of Kentucky president, Cathy Jackson called the morning general session
to order at 9:00 AM.  Board member Jennifer Hall gave the invocation.  Katie
Adkins, president of the NFB of Greater Louisville welcomed convention
attendees to Louisville.  Congressman, John Yarmouth welcomed everyone to
Louisville.  President of the NFB, Mark Riccabono served as our national
representative and brought greetings from the national office.


Chapter and Division Updates:

Ashland:  Lora Felty Stephens, President

Frankfort:  Karen Mayne, 2nd Vice-President

Lexington:  Chris Stewart, Treasurer

Louisville:  Katie Adkins, President



Merchants:  Charles Allen, President

NAPUB:  Michael Freholm, President

KABS:  Katie Adkins, President

TAD:  Todd Stephens, President


National Report:


President, Mark Riccabono presented the report from the national office.  He
began his report by playing the song, "Live the Life You Want" the debuted
during the 2015 75th annual convention of the National Federation of the
Blind.  President Riccabono extended greetings from the Riccabono family, as
well as, from immediate past-president, Marc Maurer.  He discussed the world
record umbrella mosaic that happened during the 75th national convention.
He explained the 6 core values of the NFB: collective action, courage,
respect, full participation, love and democracy.  He discussed the various
programs that the NFB is currently working hard to pursue.  He stated,
"Together with love, hope and determination, we transform dreams into


Kentucky Office for the Blind:


Allison Flannigan, executive director of the Kentucky Office for the Blind
explained the current status of the OFB.  She explained the current budget
crisis and how financial limitations will affect services that the OFB is
able to provide to clients.  If budget issues do not improve, services will
be cut even further.  New federal legislation requires that transition
services be provided to youth.  She described the boot camp that was held at
the McDowell Center this past July.  


It's All About the NFB:  A History of the National Federation of the Blind:


Denise Franklin served as moderator of a panel of individuals who discussed
various aspects of the NFB, both past and present.  Denise did this in the
form of an old radio show.  Panel members included Michael Freholm, Dennis
Franklin, Briley O'Connor and Danielle Burton.  They explained how the NFB
was established in Kentucky, past battles that were fought, and training
opportunities offered by our national training centers.  Their presentation
was both informative and entertaining.


Non-24 Sleep Disorder:


Representative, Kelly Bisson from Vanda Pharmaceuticals informed the
assembly about the Non-24 Sleep disorder that affects many individuals who
have light perception or less.  Vanda has created a drug that was approved
in January 2014 to help treat this sleep disorder.  She provided information
for those who were interested in finding more about the condition and
treatment of this disorder.  In addition, Vanda is a corporate sponsor of
the 2015 NFB of Kentucky convention.  They will donate $500 to the


Introduction of 2015 Scholarship Finalists:


Lora Felty Stephens introduced the 2015 NFB of Kentucky scholarship
finalists.  They were as follows: Kaley Outlaw, Eastern Kentucky University;
Shamyak Acharya, Eastern Kentucky University; Danielle Burton, Morehead
State University.


The morning general session adjourned.


Open Board Meeting and Luncheon:


The luncheon began at noon.  (See board meeting minutes, dated Saturday,
September 26, 2015 for more details.)



Afternoon General Session:


President, Cathy Jackson called the afternoon general session to order at


Employment Alternatives for the Blind:


Michael Freholm moderated the panel that discussed various aspects of being
self-employed.  He, Dennis Franklin, Tonia Gatton and Corb O'Connor
discussed their different entrepreneurial ventures.  Michael and Dennis are
licensed blind vendors.  Tonia works for the Kentucky Office for the Blind,
along with selling essential oils to earn extra money.  Corb has his own
consulting business.  They each explained the unique aspects of their


Presidential Report:


  President, Cathy Jackson presented the 2015 Presidential report.  She
explained the happenings in the NFB and NFBK in the past year.  These are
the highlights:

75th Anniversary of the NFB

Katie Adkins and Chris Stewart won national scholarships

New NFBK chapter established in the Four Rivers region of Kentucky

At Large phone conference calls continue

Meet the Blind Month activities

The NFBK Cardinal Newsletter is now edited by Todd and Lora Stephens

BELL Program in Kentucky had to be cancelled because only one student

TAD 2nd Annual Symposium, 35 people registered

TAD Tech Tuesday, phone conference calls to support blindness technologies
to individuals across KY 

Washington Seminar, 3 Kentuckians attended

TIME Act dealing with Fair Wages for the disabled, Congressman, Andy Barr
will not sign on because he has a sheltered workshop in his region.

NFB Newsline, new Kentucky Coordinator, Todd Stephens



2015 NFBK Resolutions:


Katie Adkins chaired the resolutions committee.  Committee members were
Michael Freholm, Corb O'Connor and Chris Stewart.  The resolutions are as


Resolution 2015-01 urges the state legislature to fully fund the Kentucky
Office for the Blind in order that OFB might pull down the full amount of
federal funds in order to more effectively serve client needs.  After
discussion, Charlie Allen moved its adoption.  Todd Stephens seconded.  The
resolution passed unanimously.


Resolution 2015-02 deals with providing orientation and mobility instruction
for all school age students in Kentucky schools.  It urges that the state
legislature create legislation that ensures that O&M be presumed a need for
all students with visual impairments, and that unless the ARC determines
that instruction in orientation and mobility is not needed, O&M will be
provided to all students with visual impairments.  After discussion the
motion was made to approve the resolution.  The resolution passed


Resolution 2015-03 urges the Kentucky state legislature to enact legislation
that ensures that all individuals in Kentucky earn equal wages and
eliminates the special wage certificates that allow for sub-minimum wages.
It urges that all individuals in Kentucky with disabilities have meaningful
and integrated employment.  After brief discussion, Denise made the motion
to adopt the resolution, Charlie Allen seconded.  The resolution passed



Proposed Changes to the NFB of Kentucky Constitution:


President, Cathy Jackson appointed a committee to review the NFBK
Constitution and make recommendations to update the constitution.
Chairperson of the committee was Katie Adkins.  Committee members were Corb
O'Connor, Chris Stewart and Dennis Franklin.  Proposed changes to the NFBK
Constitution were emailed out to the list serve in late July for the review
of the membership.  Katie Adkins, chairperson of the constitution committee
read the proposed changes.  Results were as follows.  


Article 3, Section1:  Membership


The proposed change deals with active membership of individuals in chapters
and divisions.  The current constitution requires chapters and divisions to
provide membership lists and $1 .00 dues to the state for each individual
member by August 1st in order that members are eligible to vote at state
convention.  The proposed change would eliminate the August 1st deadline and
allow individuals to pay dues at the door and vote during state convention.
There was discussion to the pros and cons of this requirement.  Following
the discussion, a voice vote was taken.  The proposed change was defeated.


Article 3, Section 1 (Part 2):  Membership


The current constitution requires that at-large members pay their $1.00 dues
to the state president by August 1st in order to be eligible to vote during
state convention.  The proposed change would allow at-large members to pay
dues at the door during state convention and be eligible to vote.  Further
discussion of membership followed.  At-large membership was explained.  A
voice vote was taken, and the proposed change was defeated.


Article 3, Section 2:  Membership


This dealt with disciplinary action 

A voice vote was taken, and the change to the constitution was approved.


Article 5: Divisions


A voice vote was taken, and the change to the constitution was passed


Article 7:  Officers and Their Duties


The proposed change to the constitution changes the term of officers from a
one year term to a two year term, with officers being elected in even
numbered years, beginning in 2016.  After discussion, a voice vote was
taken, and the change was adopted unanimously.


Article 8:  Board of Directors


There are six Board of Director positions, currently these are elected every
year.  The proposed change increases the term to a two year term, with the
Board of Directors being elected in odd numbered years, beginning in 2015.
After discussion, a voice vote was taken, and the change was adopted


Article 14:  Delegates to National Convention


This article was added to the NFBK Constitution.  It states that the state
president will serve as the delegate to the national convention, and the
board will elect an alternate delegate from among the active membership.
And, to the extent possible, travel expenses to the national convention will
be paid by the state affiliate for the delegate and alternate delegate.
After discussion, a voice vote was taken.  The addition to the constitution
was adopted unanimously.


Treasurer's Report:


Treasurer, J. Mike Freholm presented the treasurer's report as follows:  

General Checking:  $9,097.24

Cameron Fund:  $145.07

Mike explained that 28 checks for $100 were given to provide financial
assistance for members to attend the 2015 NFBK state convention.  $1,000 was
moved from the general checking to cover the 28 checks.  The amount in the
Cameron Fund reflects the remaining funds.


Morgan-Stanley Funds:

NFBK Fund:  $58,050.22

Allen Scholarship Fund:  $46,242.51

Mike reported that the stocks have been up and down, and this accounts for
the decreases in the investment funds at this time.  The motion was made to
approve the treasurer's report.  The motion passed unanimously.


Secretary Report:


Lora Felty Stephens posted the minutes from the 2014 NFBK State Convention.
The minutes were approved as posted.


Old Business:


President, Cathy Jackson asked if there was any old business.  Corb O'Connor
asked to see a breakdown of income and expenses of the affiliate.  Cathy
stated that the treasurer's report had already been approved.  J. Mike
Freholm said it would be no problem to generate a one year annual report.
This could be sent out via email.  President Riccabono commented that we
might not want to send out an electronic copy because it might get into the
hands of individuals who we might not want to have this information.  J.
Mike Freholm said that he would work with individuals to get them the
requested information.


Nominating Committee Report:


Angela Dehart, nominating committee chairperson gave the nominating
committee report.  Nominating committee members were Karen Mayne, Saundra
Williams and Chris Stewart.

The committee placed in nomination the following slate of officers:


President:  Cathy Jackson

1st Vice-President:  Katie Adkins

2nd Vice-President:  Charlie Allen

Secretary:  Lora Felty Stephens

Treasurer:  J. Mike Freholm

Board of Directors:

Denise Franklin

Michael Freholm

John Glisson

Jennifer Hall

Todd Stephens

George Stokes


There was a motion to approve the nominating committee report.  The report
was approved unanimously.


Angela Dehart conducted the election for the president.  Cathy Jackson was
elected president by acclamation.


President, Cathy Jackson took over the election of the remaining officers
and board members.  Results were as follows.


1st Vice-President:  Katie Adkins was elected by acclamation


2nd Vice-President:  Charlie Allen was placed in nomination by the
nominating committee.  Dennis Franklin was nominated from the floor.  A
private ballot vote was taken.  Dennis received 26 votes.  Charlie Allen
received 11 votes.  Dennis Franklin will serve as the new 2nd


Secretary:  Lora Felty Stephens was elected by acclamation.


Treasurer: J. Mike Freholm was elected by acclamation.


Board of Directors:


Board Position #1:  Denise Franklin was elected by acclamation.


Board Position #2:  Michael K. Freholm was placed in nomination from the
nominating committee.  Charles Allen was nominated from the floor.  A secret
ballot vote was taken.  Michael K. Freholm received 24 votes, and Charlie
Allen received 12 votes.  Michael K. Freholm will serve in board position


Board Position #3:  John Glisson was placed in nomination from the
nominating committee.  Although John Glisson was unable to attend the 2015
NFBK convention due to a death in his family, he was extended the courtesy
of being allowed to stand for nomination, as has been done in the past for
board members, who, due to extenuating circumstances, have been unable to
attend convention.  Corb O'Connor was nominated from the floor.  Charlie
Allen was nominated from the floor.  Nickie Pearl was nominated from the
floor.  Corb O'connor requested that the nominees be allowed to speak, so
he, Charlie Allen and Nickie Pearl were given the opportunity to speak in
regards to their candidacy.  A secret ballot vote was taken.  John Glisson
received 3 votes.  Corb O'Connor received 11 votes.  Charlie Allen received
8 votes.  Nickie Pearl received 14 votes.  Since John Glisson had the fewest
votes, his name was removed and a second secret ballot vote was taken.
Results from the second vote were as follows:  Corb O'Connor received 14
votes, Nickie Pearl received 14 votes, and Charlie Allen received 8 votes.
Charlie Allen's name was removed and a third secret ballot vote was taken.
There was a tie between Corb O'Connor and Nickie Pearl, each candidate
receiving 18 votes.  President, Cathy Jackson was forced to break the tie.
Nickie Pearl will serve in board position #3.   


Board Position #4:  Jennifer Hall was elected by acclamation.


Board Position #5:  The nominating committee placed Todd Stephens name in
nomination.  Charlie Allen was nominated from the floor.  A secret ballot
vote was taken.  Todd Stephens received 26 votes and Charlie Allen received
9 votes.  Todd Stephens will serve in board position #5.


Board Position #6:  George Stokes was placed in nomination from the
nominating committee.  Jayne Seif was nominated from the floor.  Corb
O'Connor was nominated from the floor.  A secret ballot vote was taken.
George Stokes received 12 votes.  Corb O'Connor received 12 votes.  Jayne
Seif received 10 votes.  A second secret ballot vote was taken.  George
Stokes was originally reported to have received 14 votes, and Corb O'Connor
was reported to have received 19 votes.  There was a mix-up, and these
numbers were reversed.  George Stokes will serve in board position #6.


New Business:


There was no new business to discuss.




The afternoon general session adjourned at 5:50 PM.



2015 NFBK Annual Banquet:


Michael K. Freholm served as Master of Ceremonies for the 68th annual
banquet of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky.  


National president, Mark Riccabono gave the banquet address.


2015 Scholarship Winners:


$500 NFBK Scholarship:  Shamyak Acharya, Eastern Kentucky University

$1,000 NFBK Scholarship:  Kaley Outlaw, Eastern Kentucky University

$1,000 Charles & Betty Allen Scholarship:  Danielle Burton, Morehead State




Susan B. Rearik Award:  Jennifer Hall

Robert Whitehead Award:  NFB of Frankfort

Tim Cramner Award:  Joan Balot



Sunday, September 27, 2015


The 2015 convention wrapped up with the annual NAPUB (National Association
to Promote the Use of Braille) annual meeting.  Following the NAPUB meeting,
President, Cathy Jackson held a Presidents/Treasurer's Seminar.  This
seminar was to review bookkeeping procedures for chapters and divisions.
Treasurer, J. Mike Freholm gave out the list of codes that are to be used to
code income and expenses for the chapters and divisions.  These should be
used when the end of year financial reports are submitted to the state
president.  There were some questions in regards to these procedures.  Todd
Stephens will create an Excel document for bookkeeping that he will share
with chapter and division treasurers who are interested.  


The 2015 NFBK state convention Adjourned following the
Presidents/Treasurer's Seminar.



Respectfully submitted,


Lora Felty Stephens, Secretary 


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