[nfbmi-talk] more on blast conference

Terry D. Eagle terrydeagle at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 7 05:27:25 UTC 2014

It is my understanding from a former Michigan BEP vendor who attended,
Rodgers and sidekick Pemble were the only from Mich to attend.  BS4BP has
even kicked the EOC sell-outs to the curb gutter, once Rodgers and Essenberg
castrated the EOC.  Now I get why Pemble was hired as Rodgers' sidekick.

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Subject: [nfbmi-talk] more on blast conference

And who was there from Michigan? Was there even one blind operator? Not from
my sources, the only two attendees at the Blast Conference from Michigan
were reportedly Ed Rodgers and Mike Pemple.


And what do they know about blind empowerment, or the BEP?


They only know how to steal these locations and priorities from blind
vendors using taxpayers resources and dedicated VR dollars even in the House
Building and State Capitol.


And not even one blind employee in the mix who is paid either.


Oh yes and they used VR dollars that could have been far better spent on
rehabbing blind people here to attend this conference too. Wonder how the
golf courses in the area were?




Education & Inspiration Lead To 2014 BLAST Conference Success


Ben White

On Dec 2, 2014




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Austin, Texas was pleased to host the 13th consecutive BLAST (Business
Leadership and Superior Training) conference for blind entrepreneurs and

vendors at the Renaissance Hotel this past November.  Representatives from
all 50 states enjoyed the BLAST conference, which was presented by the

Association of Blind Merchants and the Business Enterprises of Texas.


Abundance of opportunities


A great deal of energy and enthusiasm accompanied the attendees' arrivals. I
noticed that spirits ran high on Tuesday, which kicked off with a morning of

staff and State Attorney General training. The afternoon offered a wide
variety of symposium topics including lessons in leadership, a healthy

seminar and a very helpful smartphone tutorial. There were classes to
maximize Low Vision Logic effectiveness, as well as discussions about

and micro markets. The evening celebrated 75 years of Randolph-Sheppard and
more than 125 years of Coca-Cola refreshments with an outstanding Texas BBQ

dinner. Music and dancing were provided by some of Austin's many live
performers and networking opportunities were abundant.


Wednesday's annual Leadership Breakfast featured excellent speakers and a
leadership address from Mark. A. Riccobono, president of the National

of the Blind. The morning's Upward Mobility Training Session focused on
productivity, the future of entrepreneurship for the blind and the future of

retail. As technology changes, health concerns and an evolving retail
environment challenge all small business owners in the vending industry,

the issues head-on with practical solutions and infectious confidence.


The afternoon trade show allowed attendees to taste and touch the latest and
greatest products, equipment, and technology of the automated retail

 The trade show was sponsored by the National Association of Blind Merchants
and it showcased experts who could answer specific questions about

technology for the blind, legal issues and partnering for contracts in
addition to a host of vending-related products and services. There were 83

Entrepreneurs and staff alike got an opportunity to witness genuine Texas
hospitality in Autin's famous "6th Street" entertainment district after the

show closed for the evening.


Education empowers attendees


Thursday was another day of intense listening and learning with business
leaders and industry experts energizing the crowd. Michael Hingson,
president of

the Michael Hingson Group spoke to business owners about creating their own
destinies. Hingson, a dog-guide user and author of the book Thunder Dog, led

a number of people down from the 70th floor of the World Trade Center on
9/11. His life story and business leadership were compelling. Kevin Adams,

of Skill Connections, instructed the group as to why "Success is not for
Whiners". Additionally, I discussed creating a future in the vending

today. "Taking Inventory and Restocking the shelves of Randolph-Sheppard"
was presented by Deanna Jones and Jesse Hartle, who were both from the

States Department of Education. Special speakers included Steve Farber,
president of Extreme Leadership, Inc, John Murn, director of the RSA Buying

and Colleen Wunderlich, director of the Forsythe Center for Entrepeneurship
at the Hadley School for the Blind. Thursday's speeches were highlighted,

by an incredible story of civil rights advocacy and entrepreneurship shared
by Dr. Marc Maurer, immediate past president of the National Federation of

the Blind.


The conference culminated with an awards banquet featuring 2008 American
Idol finalist Scott MacIntyre. MacIntyre was inspiring, as he spoke and sang

the hope and triumph he has experienced, and the encouragement he receives
from the National Federation of the Blind. He said he confronts his

through his support of family, his faith, his long white cane and the notion
that, through raised expectations, you can live the life you want. BLAST

attendees left feeling very positive about the future of our industry. Small
business owners across America are anxious to overcome challenges, produce

profitability and enjoy the satisfactions and rewards of hard work.




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