[Ohio-talk] fyi

Smith, JW smithj at ohio.edu
Wed Dec 18 13:53:40 UTC 2013

Well said Annette and thank you for taking the time and having the courage to chime in here.

We need you and I personally look forward to working with and getting to know you better in the near future.

Stay with us!


Dr. JW Smith
Associate Professor
Interim Director of Honors Tutorial Studies
School of Communication Studies
Lasher Hall, Rm. 112
Athens, OH 45701
smithj at ohio.edu
T: 740-593-4838
F: 740-593-4810

*Ask me about the newly revised Ohio Fellows Program or visit http://www.ohio.edu/univcollege/ohiofellows.cfm

"Regarding the past, change what you can, and can what you can't."
"Our minds are like parachutes. They work best when they are open."

-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Annette Lutz
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 8:15 AM
To: 'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] fyi

Good Morning everyone,

I have been a part of this list for some time, and haven't participated in much of the conversation because I am so new to the organization, and until fairly recently, haven't been too involved in the NFBO outside of my work with the Merchants Division.  I have stayed out of the "politics" that naturally come with all groups, because of my newness.  I have sat back and listened and learned because it is my sincere hope that someday, after learning as much as I can, that I can be a better contributor to this wonderful organization.  I have learned a lot, and after learning so much about the NFB philosophy and the great work that is done, I feel stronger about my affiliation with this group, and hope that in my small way, that I can be of some help to the cause in the future.

However, after reading the current thread of email, I have been extremely concerned about some things.  Most notably, I see from the point of view of someone that really doesn't know most of the players personally and who doesn't know much of the history, that this type of personal attacks is very discouraging to read.  I have noted that outside of fundraising, one of the top goals of the affiliate is the increase of membership.  From the point of view of an "outsider" this type of continued thread could have the opposite effect.  If I hadn't been sitting back and listening for some time now, and had just gotten on this list recently, maybe after just attending my first convention, this type of attacking could have put me off of the entire group.  I hope that this isn't the case for any new people who might be reading this list, because the group is so much more than is being portrayed here.

Since I have began my involvement with the affiliate outside of the Merchants Division, I have felt completely included in anything that I had interest in.  I enjoy reading the weekly updates from Eric, and the wonderful newsletter that Barbara puts together.  I have gotten the opportunity to meet many people through the conventions that I have attended and my involvement with last summer's BELL program, and I have recently become more involved in the Columbus Chapter, who have been very inclusive and welcomed me openly.  I am certain that any other Chapter would have done the same if I lived in those areas as well.  In fact, I have felt that some have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome to this group, and have told me that my ideas and opinions are welcome.  I believe that everyone else is given that same welcoming approach.  So what I am asking is that the personal attacks please stop on this list.  It is natural for their to be disagreements, and the fact that people feel so strongly about their opinion only emphasizes the passion that is felt about doing the work of the NFB, but when those passions reach the point of attack, it hurts the group, and could push away future leaders who might not have had the opportunity yet to learn what the NFB is all about.

Just my thoughts.

Everyone have a very Merry Christmas, and let's have a great 2014 making this affiliate an even stronger and better one than it already is.

Annette Lutz

-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Cheryl Fields
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:04 PM
To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] fyi


You are absolutely right, thank you for adding me to ohio talk. I also thank you and the board for allowing me time for the Domestic Violence talk and Break Out Session. I am looking forward to expanding this in the near future and would love to discuss this further with you.

My comments are not ment to hurt anyone, exclude others or cause a rift among the membership, but I thought we were having great dialogue about importan issues concerning nfb. I feel strongly about these issues and don't mind being vocal, like others. However, I think you and Richard should iron out your differences privately. As president, I hold you to a higher standard, as well as Richard and when both of you begin to bicker publicly it effects the whole group. Again, in my opinion, Barbara should have stayed out of it andI should not have responded to her comments, this is not our fight. Aleeah sent me a message that I responded to honestly. I thought I have always made it clear that If I do not have the correct information please straighten me out. The convention info was made very clear in Shelby's notes and I asked a question in an earlier email asking, can we give proposals to board members for future consideration of convention locations, no one asked answered me yet. I am not infallible, and it is a moot point, the main issue is how do we come together for the benefit of the organization? I offered a suggestion and have gotten no response from you or any board member. This is interesting to me, but I have a response to my remarks on the efforts of the Cleveland chapters involvement, and coments on who's right and who's wrong. Sometime ago I sent you a private email about setting some guidelines for Ohio Talk, no response from you, so I am suggesting it again. Maybe we can ask each chapter to make a list for the board to consider, Ohio Talk Ettiquet. Are any of us perfect? The ability to communicate is a beautiful skill and can sometimes be painful or unpleasant, but in the end accomplishing an understanding among everyone is what counts, even if we disagree. So, I am asking you to take some time to think about what is really going on,who are the people you may need to reach out and smooth some feathers, evaluate if any of this talk has merit, and how to come together. Finally, make your way to Cleveland for the party and we can talk face to face, because I prefer not to be placed in the position of appearing to be against leadership in any way. I happen to sit on another board and am quite awae of how important solidarity is, I also am a leader in other organizations and know that it is not a easy job. We can all learn from each other if we first learn how to listen, sometimes the most important message is in the silence.
I will say Happy New Year to All now because I am taking a break from Ohio Talk for the holidays, Blessings,

Cheryl Fields
On 12/17/13, richard payne <rchpay7 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> We all have our opinions. Richard
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
> Aleeha Dudley
> Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 5:59 PM
> To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] fyi
> Hello Richard and All,
>      As someone who was on the board meeting last Tuesday evening, I
> feel I must weigh in on this conversation. I must respectfully
> disagree with you, Richard, on the points you make. I truly and firmly
> believe that the board of directors, chosen, I might add, by our state
> Federation membership, I might add, has the best interests of the
> affiliate at heart. As you know, the affiliate is in dire financial
> straits right now and cannot afford to keep having the convention in a
> location where it will take massive expenditures to get members of the
> board there. If we keep having to spend this much money on the board
> alone, how can we expect to get new people to the convention?
>      I also must say that, having heard exactly what happened at the
> board meeting, there was consideration given to your idea of exploring
> different locations for the hotel since we had such issues with the
Wyndham Garden.
> We
> were all advised, however, that the money just wasn't there to fund
> such a committee, because, after all, this will still cost the state.
>      As for the statement that the board cares not for our membership,
> again, I must disagree. Eric openly invited members and discussion to
> this meeting. He has always been transparent with the affairs of this
> affiliate, and I would think that you would know that, working hand in
hand with him.
>      As for this "team player" bit, I must wholeheartedly agree with Eric.
> A
> team player is just that: he works to support the team and does not
> flay the head of such team on an open forum such as this. A team
> player brings these concerns directly to the head of the team, as well
> as the rest of the board.
> A team player fully and wholeheartedly supports the Federation.
>      As for Cheryl's comments, Eric had his reasons, I am sure, for
> not holding a BELL program in Cleveland, on top of the one planned in
> It was the first year of the program, so naturally we needed to start
> small.
> It was difficult to know how well the program was going to go, if it
> would go at all, so naturally, our efforts needed to be centrally
> located and focused on one common goal. There was also not enough
> money for Ohio to support a second program. Chinelle got, as I did, an
> email from Eric, expressing his sincere gratitude for her assistance
> with
the BELL program.
> These are just my thoughts and I will continue to work my tail off for
> this Federation because I consider them a better family than my own
> right
> Issues will arise in every family, but they should be properly
> addressed, so as not to undermine the strong foundation of the family.
> Just my humble opinion,
> Aleeha Dudley
> On 12/17/13, Eric Duffy <eduffy at deltav.org> wrote:
>> Richard,
>> Although these are not the kinds of emails I would like to see on a
>> public listserv, I am compelled to respond to this one since you have
>> publically thrown down the gauntlet.
>> I agree with you that we need to include and involve our membership.
>> I too believe that the board should be responsive to the membership
>> as much as possible while performing the role it was elected to carry
>> out. Those two things are not one in the same. You say, "I think that
>> the call last week was in part designed to limit the input on some of
>> the things we spoke about.  When the information was put out, it made
>> it seem that only the board would need to be present and maybe this
>> is why several members did not
>> participate.    I think some members of our leadership make others feel
>> left
>> out and do not open   the doors until money or work is needed. "
>> In the Buckeye Update dated December 6, 2013 I said, "I have called a
>> meeting of the board of directors of the National Federation of the
>> Blind of Ohio for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM. We had a December
>> meeting last year at which time I appointed the committees that will
>> do much of the work of the organization. I plan to appoint committees
>> on Tuesday. We will also discuss the 2014 convention and our next
>> scholarship program. We will also set the date for our January
>> meeting. Other business might arise, but only if it absolutely must
>> be discussed before our January meeting.
>>      You do not have to be a member of the board to participate in these
>> meetings. I encourage you to join us. Shortly before 8:00 PM.  On
>> Tuesday call (605) 475-4875. When prompted, use access code 201909
>> followed by the pound sign."
>> Kyle Conley, Paul Dressell, Aleeha Dudley, and Colleen Roth
>> participated in the call but are not on the board. Aleeha and Kyle
>> are two of our younger members, and I'm glad they were there.
>> You say, "I am a team player and serve for all Federationists." When
>> I think of a team player, I think of one who's head and heart are in
>> the game at all times. I think of one who supports the team even when
>> there is disagreement among team members. This type of email going to
>> a public list does not seem to me to be what a "team player" would
>> send. A team player would not have led his chapter out of the banquet
>> before the fundraising period, particularly after having received an
>> award from that organization. We have had the Scrip program for two
>> years now, and, though you have made noises about joining it, you
>> have still not done so. Is that being a team player?
>> In the January 2013 board meeting you publically accused me of
>> intimidating the board. To this day I know of no one who supported
>> your position. That to my mind does not represent a team player.
>> At the Sunday morning session of this years convention you publically
>> accused me of reading amendments  to the constitution that had not
>> been brought to the board. You might say that you were just asking a
>> question, but your question was really an accusation. As vice
>> president I would never have asked Barbara or JW such a question on
>> the convention floor. If I were concerned that something was being
>> slid past the membership, I would have quietly come to the head table
>> and raised the question with a recommendation that things be made
>> absolutely clear.
>> Those who are intelligent do not need to tell the rest of the world
>> how bright they are. It shows! Those who are wealthy don't need to
>> tell the world how rich they are. Again, it shows!  Yet I often hear
>> you refer to yourself as a "team player." The instances I have
>> sighted above I fear speak louder than words. We are members of the
>> administration, and we must find a way of getting along and working
>> for the same goals. Blind Ohioans deserve no less. I suggest that we
>> pursue this discussion off list in the hope that we can agree to work
>> together. We have a lot of years of doing so. Surely we can find some
>> trust and common ground.
>> Eric
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