[Ohio-talk] Buckeye Update

Eric Duffy peduffy63 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 11:07:36 UTC 2014

National Federation of the Blind Of Ohio Buckeye Update
Friday, December 12, 2014

	This is going to be a trie  state update. I am in Port Columbus, where this update begins. Next I fly to Charlotte NC., and from there I connect to my Baltimore flight. I may well wrap this up before arriving in Baltimore, but it might not get sent until then.
	I really want to thank everyone for the way you have supported our organization in so many ways. The latest example of this is through our Malley's sales. We have exceeded my expectations during the Christmas campaign, but I hope we are not finished yet. We still have a few more days to sell. Let's see if we can make a few more sales.
	We had a good meeting of the Board of Director's Monday Evening. The 2015 committees have been appointed, and those appointments will appear in the next issue of the Buckeye Bulletin which will come out soon.
	I am now in Charlotte. This is  is a much bigger airport than I expected.
	It is nice to see that Malleys chocolate is still being sold while I am flying around the country. I can see that Barbara is working on the newsletter, and Sherry is writing checks.
	As I mentioned earlier, the 2015 committees have been appointed. It is through committees that much of the Federation's work is done. So here are some of the things that I am thinking about for the year to come.
	I would like the awards committee to continue to examine the process. May there will be some recommended changes for the board to consider at our spring meeting. If there are no changes recommended I am fine with that also. But I have confidence in this committee to make this the best process it can be.
	This year we have three deaf blind coordinators. They are Delcenia Brown, Lisa Hall, and Kaiti Shelton. I want us to have a deaf blind division to present a charter to by the next state convention. Coordinators, this is your charge. The membership committee is prepared to assist if asked, but you must lead the way.
	Sheri Albers is the Coordinator of convention arrangements for 2015. Sheri understands that her job is to advise and assist the president before and during national and state conventions. For the most part she is the behind the ceens person who never gets enough credit when small miracles occur and major problems are avoided or solved that you and I are not even aware of. Karen Warner has done this job for us for the last two years, and I really want to thank her for all of her hard work.
	At this point we do not have a convention hotel for 2015. I will be considering hotels in Columbus and Cleveland respectively. I will bring recommendations to the board by the January 31 meeting if not before. 
I have often had people tell me that I need a convention committee and not just a coordinator. Another president may handle this differently, in fact JW used the convention committee far more than I have ever seen it done since I have been involved in convention planning which is just short of thirty years. At the 2013 convention a member of the committee canceled another committee members hotel room, because he or she heard the individual was not going to be at the convention. When the member arrived to find out that he or she did not have a room it was the president who got the blame for canceling it. I look forward to working with Sheri in her role as coordinator. I have been given all varieties of advice concerning how the convention agenda should be planned. The bottom line is this. If the membership is unhappy with the hotel, or largely dissatisfied with the convention,  the responsibility belongs to the president. I have already received suggestions for convention items for next year. I appreciate that more than you know. I am happy to have them at any time, but they will get more of my time and attention once the 2015 BELL Program has been completed.
	The Education Committee must continue to advise the Board about issues  concerning the education of blind students at all levels.One of the things I would like to see this committee focus on is how to get Ohio colleges and universities to support the next version of the TEACH ACt. If we can accomplish this, we can broaden our congressional support.
	What can I say about the Financing the Movement Committee. We do not have to wait until convention to educate the membership about the various funds that keep the Federation alive. I want people thinking about these funds all year long.
	I want the Fund Raising Committee to find ways to help the general public to support our work. When they learn about what we do, they must also find out how they can support us. Milena has done a terrific job with our Malley's Chocolate sale. We have almost reached the end of our Christmas sale, but Milena's work and the work of this committee is just beginning. I want this committee to do a better job of promoting our Shop with Scrip Program. In order to promote it, you must understand it. To understand it, you must use it. If you are on the fund raising committee and do not shop with Scrip, please sign up immediately and start using it, and then help others do the same. The job of this committee is to find on going ways to raise money for the organization on a monthly basis. The board is responsible for the major fund raising efforts such as the one we had at the convention.
	The legislative committee must bring legislative proposals to the Ohio General Assembly in 2015. We will have a presence at the state house this year.
	The responsibilities of the remaining committees are pretty clear cut. I am pleased to assist any committee when asked to do so. The president is ex officio a member of all committees, but it is likely that I will not be involved in most of your meetings. I will participate only when it is important to do so. I have thought about committees and particularly those who chair them carefully. Therefore I expect good work from all of the committees in the year to come.
	What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for the Federation in the year to come? What are your personal Hopes, Dreams, and goals. How can your brothers and sisters in the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio help you live the life you want? This will not be the last update of the year, but I want us to begin to think about the year to come with joy and excitement in our hearts and prepare to march in to 2015 together and make the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio stronger than it has ever been before.
Eric Duffy, President National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back. 

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