Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
Embassy Suites, Jamaican Court, Orlando, Florida
Friday, June 21, 2019
Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Vice Chairman Alton Palmore called the role.
The following individuals were present:
James Warth, Chairman
Alton Palmore, Vice Chairman
District Representatives: Kurt Ponchak, District 1 Alternate; Mike Renaud, District 2; Terri Lindstrom, District 3; Darryl Brinton, District 4; David Stevens, District 5; Phil Hubbard, District 6; Sead Bekric, District 7; Mary Hayes, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9. District 10 was not represented.
Bureau of Business Enterprise Staff: Bill Findley, Bureau Chief; Maureen Fink, Operations Manager; Alan Risk, Compliance Officer; John Ahler, Business Analyst; Greg Coon, Marketing and Site Development Manager; Brian Ashworth, Region 1 Business Consultant; Bernie Kaiserian, Region 2 Business Consultant; Tony Arduengo, Region 4 Business Consultant; Rafaella Diershaw, Region 5 Business Consultant; Yamilet Cabrera; Region 6 Business Consultant; Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant. The Region 3 Business Consultant was unable to attend.
Division of Blind Services: Robert Doyle, Division Director
Licensed Vendors: David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate; Mike McCrea, District 3 Alternate; Jim Anderson, District 6 Alternate; Randall Crosby, Jennifer Hobbs, Victor Rosario, TJ McCormick, Kash Ahmed, Jim Perry, Orlando Ramirez, Valerie James
Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Instructors, Steve Moss and Rachel Boltz and trainees Eddie Cornileus, Theodore Griffen and Stefan Mitchell
Guests: Patty Crosby, Aisha Ahmed, Wendy Ramirez, Patty Hubbard, Jesse James
March Minutes Review – Janet Chernoff
Janet read a synopsis of the minutes from the last meeting. A full copy was emailed to members. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to accept the minutes. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Approved by voice vote.
BBE Updates – Bill Findley
Steve Barnes, operator of Facility 481, Alligator Alley rest area passed away unexpectedly on May 13, 2019. Maureen Fink had known him since he entered in the program in 2003 and Alan Risk attended his celebration of life. Committee members Terri Lindstrom and Joel Rose shared memories of Steve with the group. Bill Findley also acknowledged the death of the spouses of vendors Mary Hayes and Renee Byrd Davis. The new Region 6 Business Consultant, Yamilet Cabrera was introduced to the group. The search for a new administrative assistant continues. Interviews are scheduled for next week.
The program continues to operate Camp Blanding. The sales have dropped by 15% and the program reached out this week to get a status. Modifications have been done to extend the funding until the end of the year. RSA has sent a letter convening an arbitration panel but a date has not been scheduled. A sexual harassment complaint has been filed against staff members hired by the teaming partner, FSIG. FSIG will lead the investigation and will interview staff members and request to interview National Guard members involved in the complaint.
A draft agreement for the vending was sent to the National Guard location in St. Augustine but no response has been received. In May the contract for military dining at Key West was renewed for five more years. The program is still waiting for an arbitration panel to be convened regarding the vending at Eglin AFB. This has been going on for two years and legal has sent a letter requesting that the panel be convened. Prior to Hurricane Michael the program had an arbitration hearing about the vending at Tyndall AFB and a decision was made in the program’s favor. Tyndall AFB had refused to abide by the decision and Brent McNeal had received approval to go to federal court. Bill Findley, Brian Ashworth and Greg Coon toured the location last week. The base still looks to be in bad shape. They were told that 60% of the population had returned but they did not observe much activity. The program may be able to install machines in the future, but currently no design for the rebuilding has been finalized. The program is still waiting for a decision from the arbitration hearing for Hurlburt Field. Even if the decision is in the program’s favor, we still may have to go to court to get it enforced. A positive decision allows the program to compete for the contract and there would be no guarantee that it would be awarded to the program. Bill Findley received a letter indicating that the Navy will not be renewing the next option on the contract for Pensacola Naval Hospital. The facility is subsidized by the government which results in low prices. The Navy will be looking at subcontracting the facility and the program may submit a proposal if the location is deemed viable.
Bill Findley attend the Critical Issues Conference in Washington D.C. in May. Nationally the program is losing vendors and locations. The Florida program is growing and has an aging population and the program is actively recruiting vendors and identifying new locations. Current vendors are the best advocates for the program and can help with getting applicants. The group discussed ideas for ways to promote the program. Suggestions included approaching local lighthouse organizations and the VA and doing public service announcements. The program licensed eleven vendors in 2018 and all eleven are in facilities.
The program continues to pursue locations in VA facilities. An email was sent asking for an update on nine locations so the program can plan surveys in Brooksville, Lakeland, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Ocala. The program has been trying to get space in the West Palm Beach VA for four years. Recently the program was contacted by them with a potential business opportunity. The opportunity was to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for $.50 and does not seem to be a viable opportunity. The program continues to have problems with this location as the VA believe that their small buildings do not qualify and Canteen is in the larger locations. The VA directives say that the program should be in these locations. At the recent Critical Issues conference 3 Square Markets indicated that they have a contract to do micro markets in the VA locations.
The Department of Management Services (DMS) has approached the program about taking over the food service in the Capitol Building and the Department of Revenue. The program has not pursued the Capitol location and the business there can be problematic in part due to its seasonal nature. The program has asked for a profit and loss statement for the location and has reached out to BBE vendors who have operated this facility in the past. The Capitol Building has a cafeteria and a coffee shop. The program needs to have a viable plan for this location before agreeing to take it over.
Phil Hubbard asked for an update on the problem of direct competition at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The program has been limited on the amount of time spent on this due to other obligations. The program needs to work out a strategy with legal to make sure that we are on the same page. The program would like to get the NASA Office of Inspector General involved to see if the gift shops are in compliance with the rules. Phil Hubbard has recommended that the program install micro markets at KSC because there is not sufficient food service options available at the locations.
Kurt Ponchak reported that a budget amendment is in place and once the encumbrances for the current fiscal year are satisfied everything should be back on track. The payments for Camp Blanding were lower than expected and profits are credited to the payment for the Pensacola Naval Hospital. This money is passed through the state account and impacts the spending authority only. Three hundred and eight thousand dollars was transferred today, June 21, 2019 to cover military contract payments. As reported the payment shortfall is lower than expected and was under $100,000 for the current fiscal year. In April and May of 2019 the program took in $55,000 per month in set aside. The program needs an average amount of $50,000 per month from set aside and third party payments. Third party payments have gone down over the last several years as locations are being serviced by operators. Set aside has gone up as sales increase. The program is doing fine with the current percentage and overall things look better than last year. Maureen Fink has been monitoring expenditures including purchases by staff and repair reimbursements. John Ahler tracks revenues and compares it to spending and does the quarterly RSA-15 report.
Type II Updates – Maureen Fink
Twenty-four facilities are under Type II LOFAs. Five are on the current selection cycle and nine will be on future selection cycles. The program is determining viability on eight facilities and three are under special circumstances. There was a brief discussion about Facility 608 at Tacachale and Facility 599, Lake City vending. No one has applied for Facility 608 on the current selection cycle. There was concern that the facility is not viable as a stand-alone. The current operator is running it in conjunction with Facility 599 and the program is reluctant to combine the two locations because of the distance between them. Facility 608 will be offered as a Type II.
Approved Expenses on the Monthly Business Report – Bill Findley and Maureen Fink
Recent changes in technology have prompted the recommendation that device fees for card readers, internet costs for square systems and micro markets and kiosk fees for markets be added to the approved business expenses reported on the monthly business report (MBR). Concerns were raised about how claiming these additional expenses would impact the facility’s net profit. There was also a discussion about the net profit percentage for micro markets and whether a micro market that produces food should be categorized differently.
The group discussed how a change would impact set aside. They also believed that net profit standards for all types of facilities should be reviewed. Mike Renaud made a motion that the subject should be reviewed by the finance subcommittee after the new Committee of Vendors is elected. It was suggested that the subcommittee work with John Ahler to assess the impact of any changes on the RSA report. Seconded by Phil Hubbard. Approved unanimously by all representatives present at the meeting.
Fly in, Emerging Leaders Report – Jim Warth
Jim Warth and Ed Spence joined vendors from around the county in Washington D. C. One of the purposes of the trip was to make national leaders aware of the impact that rest area commercialization would have on blind vendors. Different states handle the program differently and some states use a third party to service their rest areas. Training differs from state to state and some states do not have a training program. Phil Hubbard suggested that Florida open their training to vendors from other states and charge a fee. He also asked if Florida vendors could act as a third party to another state. The group discussed training including the BBE training provided by Hadley. The training provided at the Daytona Rehab Center is geared to the Florida program.
Coca-Cola – Coke Subcommittee
Tom Castillo of Coca-Cola Florida was unable to attend this meeting. Mike Renaud held a meeting with vendors from District 1 and 2 that was attended by a representative from Coca-Cola United which services the panhandle. Issues of service and pricing were discussed and some concerns addressed. The panhandle is serviced by Coca-Cola United and Coca-Cola Florida services the rest of the state. Sead Bekric spoke to Coca-Cola in October 2018 and had been promised a pricing plan with incentives that would lower prices with increased purchasing. The vendors of Florida would like to be able to negotiate lower prices with Coca-Cola and Pepsi as a group but this has been a problem in part due to the fact that the agency has not been able to participate in these types of contracts. Bill Findley will revisit this question with contracts and legal to see what options are available. Other options included the Committee forming a non-profit to negotiate contracts or creating a buying group. Phil Hubbard was added to the Coke subcommittee. Members include Darryl Brinton, Sead Bekric, Mike Renaud and Joel Rose.
Daytona Training – Steve Moss, Rachel Boltz and trainees
The class currently has three students, Theodore Griffen, Eddie Cornelius and Stefan Mitchell. Theodore and Stefan are veterans. Joel Rose spoke briefly about the mentoring and asked about a mentoring subcommittee. Mentoring has been informal and Don Tuell had taken the lead. Terri Lindstrom expressed concern that new licensees were unaware of mentors and were not responsive when she called. The staff at Daytona need to make sure that trainees are aware of the resources provided by experienced vendors. Janet Chernoff will send a list of the new licensees to the committee members.
Marketing and Site Development Updates– Greg Coon
Twenty-five surveys have been done in 2019. Eight site operations assessment reviews (S.O.A.R) have completed. For the fiscal year of 2018-19 ninety-six machines have been installed along with two micro markets and one stand-alone facility in Lee County. A draft agreement is in process for two micro markets for Pinellas County. In Region 1 a meeting was held with the Department of Children and Family (DCF) and the Department of Health about locations in the Centre of Tallahassee. DCF is interested in a micro market and the Department of Health is only interested in vending. Installation for the Department of Health and Department of State is scheduled for November 2019. DCF is not expected to move until May 2020. Other locations expected to be installed in Tallahassee in November include Florida Fish and Wildlife, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Department of Retirement. In Region 2 new locations include a USDA location, US Coast Guard at Cecil Field and a DOT location in Gainesville. In Region 3 Orange County approached the program about locations, but ultimately decided to put out a solicitation. Vero Beach Regional Airport was surveyed and determined to be too small to be a viable location for vending. A permit has been secured for Department of Agriculture in Kissimmee. In Region 4 the program is working on locations in Pinellas County and GSA locations. In Region 5 a proposal was submitted for Indian River County locations and the locations were awarded to the program. Locations include recreation centers that can be accessed by the public. Other locations in process include social security in Margate, ICE in Lauderhill and VA Health Administration building on the grounds of the West Palm Beach VA. We are working on a GSA location in Region 6 as well as identifying locations in the Florida Keys. The program is working on locations with Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and are awaiting feedback from legal. Smaller cities with big hubs are the more ideal locations. A vendor may have to contribute to the employee benefit fund.
Card Readers –Robert Doyle
Since 2011 the agency has been recommending that vendors accept credit cards as payment both in food service and vending locations. Initially vendors were purchasing or leasing their own card readers. The agency started to purchase readers for vending machines when the location contract required them. In December 2017 the Committee voted that the program would purchase card readers for all facilities including rest areas. In June 2018 the Committee voted to put credit cards on all machines. The Division put an umbrella account in place for readers that were purchased by the state in order to secure lower device fees, eliminate transfer fees and help expedite transfers. Vendors who had purchased card readers were also given the option of transferring them to the umbrella account. Credit cards have increased sales and the incomes of the vendors.
Concerns have been expressed about the umbrella account and access to the reports. The program has the responsibility of reviewing these reports as part of their oversight of the program. USA Tech has priority software so if another vendor is selected they would have to purchase it from USA Tech which would result in an increase in costs. The current agreement ends in August and the program would want the new agreement to maintain the current device fees and percentages with no activation fees or transfer fees. If the program does not put the agreement in place vendors would have to pay for activation and transfers and transfer could take months to process. The program is working with legal to work out this agreement. Robert Doyle summarized by confirming that USA Technology had been selected by the operators as the preferred provider for card readers and that it is an advantage to the program to negotiate an agreement with them. He also confirmed that no one is recommending that the program discontinue their relationship with USA Tech.
There was a discussion about some of the problems that vendors have experienced with USA Tech. One problem is that technical support does not always understand the role of the operator in the program. John Ahler suggested that vendors document any problems so that we can address them with USA Tech. The group also discussed the limits on access to the accounts. Vendors cannot change their bank accounts because that access would give them access to the accounts of other vendors. John Ahler, the Business Consultants and Brady Foore from USA Tech can make these changes for the operators. The program will turn on all functionality for vendor accounts except for the device edit function which includes the bank account and location. Sead Bekric made a motion that the Division in cooperation with the Committee of Vendors be able to negotiate and establish a contract with third party purveyors. Seconded by Phil Hubbard. Approved by all committee members present. Kurt Ponchak, Phil Hubbard and Mike Renaud will work with the Division on the USA Tech agreement. Kurt recommended that pricing for parts should be included in the agreements.
Darryl Brinton asked about roll up reports and is worried that if they do not match the MBR a vendor could be considered out of compliance. He also asked about how those reports compared to the reporting needed for the Department of Revenue. The concern is that a roll up report would be included in an audit of a vendor’s business. The program is only reviewing roll up reports when a problem is perceived. The group discussed monitoring and the ability of program staff to review financial records. It is the responsibility of the agency to review these records and they will communicate with operators about any concerns before taking any action.
Business Analyst Report – John Ahler
Fifty monitorings have been done during the state fiscal year of 2018-2019. The focus has been on correct reporting of revenue and access to the USA technology website and reporting tools. No vendor has been removed based on findings from these monitorings. The purpose of the monitorings is to help the operators and make sure they are complying with the terms of their LOFA and the law. The program tries to monitor operator tax liens but usually is only made aware of them when a lien is put on a vendor’s reimbursement for failure to pay sales tax. John is also reminding the operators of the importance of reconciling cash with reports from meter readings and roll up reports. During the current federal fiscal year (October 2018 – March 2019) gross sales have been $11,340,000 up 4% over the same period the previous year. Operating and labor costs are down and net proceeds are up 6%. Set aside increased by $17,000 as compared to last year. Operators are doing 41% credit sales and 59% cash sales. Two tier pricing reduces the operator’s cost by passing the card processing fee onto the customer. Even low performing machines see an increase in sales when readers are added.
Redistricting – All
At the last meeting moving district lines was discussed because a couple of districts have significantly fewer vendors than others. It has been recommended that Facilities 590, City of Jacksonville vending route and the two US Naval Air Station routes, Facilities 388 and 397 be moved to District 3 and the I-4 rest areas in Longwood, Facilities 415 and 416 along with Facilities 586 and 624, the two Orlando vending routes be moved to District 6. Kurt Ponchak made the motion that the Districts be realigned as recommended. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Approved by voice vote.
Type II Panel and Process – Joel Rose
Joel Rose made a motion that the current Type II panel be replaced by the selection panel members. Seconded by Kurt Ponchak. The group discussed the logistics of whether selection panel alternates could participate and if the Type II panel would still be comprised of three people. The selection panel is comprised of three elected vendors and two people selected by the agency. The agency uses district administrators and assistant administrators from the DBS district offices. There was some concern about using DBS personnel from outside the program for a Type II. During the Type I selection panel members receive a package of information on the operator and location. There is not enough time in the Type II process to provide this information and there was concern that agency personnel would not have enough information to make an informed decision. Phil Hubbard asked why the current procedure needed to be changed. He further stated that the current process should not be changed unless there was a problem. The motion did not pass.
Outstanding Debt Prohibition – Kurt Ponchak
The Policy and Finance Subcommittee has met via conference call to discuss changes to the outstanding debt prohibition policy. Alan Risk read the current wording of Section 3.5 of the policy and the recommended revisions as follows:
3.5 Outstanding Debt Prohibition
Current Policy reads as follows:
Licensed operators will not be permitted to apply for posted business opportunities, or sign a Licensed Operator Facility Agreement (LOFA), either a Permanent Type I LOFA or a Temporary Type II LOFA, if they have any current outstanding debt owed to the BBE Program. This includes working capital shortage from any facility, including the current facility, or any money owed to the BBE for any reason. Licensed operators will be required to repay any outstanding debt via a money order or cashier’s check prior to participating in the Selection Process or signing any LOFA. If a Working Capital shortage is discovered at the time of a facility changeover, the shortage must be paid in full by the outgoing operator via money order or cashier’s check, prior to the outgoing operator signing a LOFA for any facility.
- Change “Licensed operators will not be permitted to apply” to “Licensed operators may not be permitted to apply”.
- Change “working capital shortage from any facility, including the current facility” to “working capital shortage from any previous facility”.
- Add “Based upon consideration of aggravating and mitigating factors present in an individual case, and after consultation with the chairperson of the State Committee of Vendors, the Division may permit a licensed operator to apply for or sign a Temporary Type II LOFA, not to exceed 18 months in duration, provided they enter into and abide by the stipulations of a repayment plan with the Division.”
Revised Policy would read as follows:
Licensed operators may not be permitted to apply for posted business opportunities, or sign a Licensed Operator Facility Agreement (LOFA), either a Permanent Type I LOFA or a Temporary Type II LOFA, if they have any current outstanding debt owed to the BBE Program. This includes working capital shortage from any previous facility, or any money owed to the BBE for any reason.
Licensed operators will be required to repay any outstanding debt via a money order or cashier’s check prior to participating in the Selection Process or signing any LOFA. If a Working Capital shortage is discovered at the time of a facility changeover, the shortage must be paid in full by the outgoing operator via money order or cashier’s check, prior to the outgoing operator signing a LOFA for any facility. Based upon consideration of aggravating and mitigating factors present in an individual case, and after consultation with the chairperson of the State Committee of Vendors, the Division may permit a licensed operator to apply for or sign a Temporary Type II LOFA, not to exceed 18 months in duration, provided they enter into and abide by the stipulations of a repayment plan with the Division.
Kurt Ponchak made the motion to accept the subcommittees’ recommendations. Seconded by Sead Bekric.
The group discussed the proposed change. The changes will give the agency some latitude in special circumstances and will give an operator an opportunity to repay a debt. In some cases the operator incurs the debt because of circumstances beyond their control. The change would also give the program more options when there is a vacant facility with no interested operators. Mike Renaud asked when the policy would be put into practice. If approved by the committee it would be in place immediately. Phil Hubbard asked who would make the decision on granting the exception. The decision would be made by the agency in conjunction with the Committee Chairman. The motion was passed by all members present. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to change the wording in Section 4.5 to mirror the change in 3.5. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Approved by all members present.
Compliance Officer Report – Alan Risk
One new vendor has been licensed since the last committee meeting making a total of three new licensees in 2019. All three are participating in the current selection cycle. Eleven vendors were licensed in 2018 and all eleven are in facilities. Ninety-two of the 107 vendors required to complete the CEU requirement have fulfilled the requirement. Twelve have at least two CEUs, three have less than one. These vendors have sixty days to fulfill this requirement. Any vendor who does not have the required three CEUs by the start of the Biennial Seminar will be sent a letter of non-compliance and will have fifteen days to complete the requirement. Hadley has reduced the number of courses and other options will need to be investigated for CEU credit in the next reporting period.
In January three facilities were posted on the selection cycle. David Wermuth was awarded Facility 388, vending route at NAS Jacksonville. Heather Saunders was awarded Facility 416, I-4 rest area at Longwood and Facility 257, West Palm vending route was not awarded. Twenty-eight vendors took the exam for the May selection cycle and seventeen interviews are scheduled for July 15-17. There are three rest areas, vending routes in Gainesville and West Palm Beach and a cafeteria in Tallahassee. No one applied for the vending route in Gainesville.
Two grievances have been filed since the March meeting. In the first grievance the claimant was dissatisfied with several issues regarding the Type II interview process and filed their grievance on June 9, 2019. The claimant filed their grievance, not to reverse the decision of the panel, but to ensure that their concerns were addressed. The Division addressed the claimant’s concerns to all parties involved and the claimant withdrew their request for a grievance hearing on June 14, 2019. A second grievance was filed when the claimant experienced serious computer issues which prevented them from being able to complete the BBE Selection Cycle exam on June 12, 2019. The Claimant filed a grievance on June 13, 2019. The Division verified the technical issues with the District Office, the DBS MIS Department, and with other BBE test takers and determined that the applicant was not afforded a fair opportunity. After consulting with the DBS attorney, the BBE Bureau Chief, and the Committee of Vendor’s Chairman, the claimant was administered a different exam, taken at the State Office on June 14, 2019. The claimant withdrew their grievance on June 15, 2019. A second vendor expressed concerns about technical problems during the test taking. Adam Gaffney is checking on it.
The Division is recommending that the 10 point Consultant Questionnaire be revised for clarification and to add that the vendor has no business tax liens against them to question eight. Below are the questions on the current Consultant Questionnaire and the recommended changes.
- Current: Does the Vendor have proof of current business insurance?
Proposed: As of today, does the Vendor have proof of all required insurance policies (liability, worker’s compensation, and commercial vehicle)?
- Current: Does the Vendor keep scheduled appointments with you for facility visitations?
Proposed: Over the most recent 36 month period, has the Vendor kept all scheduled appointments with you for facility visitations?
- Current: Does the Vendor provide clearly posted contact information at the facility and all vending machines comprising the facility?
Proposed: As of today, does the Vendor have clearly posted contact information at the facility and on all vending machines comprising the facility?
- Current: Are all products maintained at correct temperatures? This includes freezers, refrigerators, dry storage areas and vending machines.
Proposed: Over the most recent 36 month period, have documented health inspection reports and consultant visitation reports reflected that all food products are being maintained at the temperatures required by DBPR Chapter 509 and US Food Code 2009? This includes freezers, refrigerators, dry storage areas and vending machines.
- Current: Has the Vendor resolved all valid complaints sent to you in writing by the host agency? (The absence of such complaints must be scored in the affirmative.)
Proposed: Over the most recent 36 month period, has the Vendor responded to all documented customer complaints within ten days of receiving the complaint?
- Current: Does the Vendor maintain an inventory to the levels necessary to support sales expectations of the facility?
Proposed: As of today, based upon the most recent monthly sales reports, does the Vendor maintain a merchandise inventory equal to or above a level that ensures that all products and services are available for sale without interruption?
- Current: Have all documented cleaning or sanitation deficiencies been permanently corrected?
Proposed: Over the most recent 36 month period, has the Vendor corrected all Division, DBPR, or other health inspection cleaning and sanitation deficiencies within the required timeframe indicated on the report?
- Current: Have all reports from suppliers involving unpaid invoices been resolved?
Proposed: As of today, have all invoices from the Vendor’s suppliers/purveyors been paid on-time and the Vendor has no business tax-liens pending against them?
- Current: Does the Vendor have all licenses and permits required by law?
Proposed: As of today, does the Vendor have all business licenses and permits as required by law?
- Current: Does the Vendor comply with the requirement of maintaining a reasonable managerial presence at the facility?
Proposed: Over the most recent 36 month period, has the Vendor been directly involved in the day-to-day operations of their facility?
There was a question about how the program would know about unpaid purveyors and tax liens. The program knows about unpaid purveyors only if they advise program staff. The program can check to see if a vendor has a tax lien. The group discussed managerial presence and the difficulty of defining it. Sead Bekric made a motion to adopt the changes. Seconded by Kurt Ponchak. Adopted by voice vote.
Biennial Seminar 2019 – Janet Chernoff
Janet Chernoff reported on the sessions that will be offered at the upcoming seminar along with a list of the vendors participating in the trade show. Speakers will include Brent McNeal from the DOE Office of the General Counsel, Terry Smith and Edward Birmingham from the NABM, Amanda Sulc from Accent Food Services and Brady Foore from USA Tech. Trade show participants will include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Vistar, Crane Vending along with participants involved in the vending and adaptive technology industries.
The meeting adjourned for the day at 4:45pm
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Vice Chairman Alton Palmore called the role.
Region 1 – Brian Ashworth, Janet Chernoff
New vendor Shannon Shelton has signed into four facilities, 532, Marianna FCI vending; 620, Panama City vending route; 528, Highway rest area on 231 and 602, Citizen’s Insurance vending. A state VA nursing home location which had previously been serviced by a third party has been added to Facility 620. The two rest areas in Jackson County are still closed and DOT is working on establishing costs to determine whether to repair or rebuild. Marianna FCI expects to reopen the women’s camp in August and the men’s side by Christmas 2019. Region 1 food service has had three inspections including one with no violations at the FDLE cafeteria operated by Barbara Hale. Jennifer Hobbs is operating the micro market at Ft. Knox. The location produces its own food. Locations at Tallahassee City Hall and Star Metro have been added to Facility 502, Tallahassee vending route. This is helping to establish a relationship with the City of Tallahassee and the program hopes to add the Star Metro bus hub location soon. Ninety-eight percent of Region 1 locations have card readers. The Larson building cafeteria does not have card readers on its machines and Janet will be working with the operator to add them. Wanda Feldsteen, operator of Facility 320 is participating in the current selection cycle.
District 2 – Mike Renaud
The program is looking at trying a USI Wittern coffee machine at his rest area. This machine is made by the same European company that makes Voce coffee machine. The current coffee machine is old and requires costly repairs. He held a district meeting and everything is quiet. He also held a meeting with a representative from Coke. Coke has installed key boxes at no cost which has helped with delivery problems and Coke will provide a dedicated liaison for vendors.
District 1 – Kurt Ponchak
Nothing from his district. He attended the meeting with Coke and will talk to the vendors that are west of Marianna to see if they are experiencing any difficulties. He will also check on vendors that still need CEU credits.
Region 2 – Bernie Kaiserian
David Wermuth has signed into Facility 388, NAS Jacksonville vending and Marylynn Giles-Robinson is operating Facility 590, Jacksonville vending route on a Type II. Vendor Donna Laurent is retiring effective July 31. Her facility, 406, Rest area on I-95 is on the current selection cycle. Facility 608, vending at Tacachale will be offered as a Type II. Facility 218, Jacksonville vending had $25,000 in sales the months of April and May. Sales for Facility 388 were over $20,000 in May which is higher than usual. Facility 513, Jacksonville downtown route had sales just under $20,000 in May which is an increase and Facility 590 has seen an increase over sales for previous months in 2019. Sales increases are attributed in part to the addition of card readers on vending machines. All the rest areas in Region 2 are exclusive Pepsi and are receiving good pricing and service.
District 3 – Terri Lindstrom
Everyone is busy in her district. New locations are being added to facilities in her area.
District 4 – Darryl Brinton
Josh Kimrey is settling in at his facility. The downtown Jacksonville locations have been having problems with Coke deliveries. Coca-Cola has staffing issues and deliveries are dependent on who is working that day.
Region 3 – Jay Payne
Facility 604, George C Young Federal Courthouse micro market has been converted to vending and has been closed as a stand alone facility. Card readers have been reinstalled at the naval base. The program worked with USA Tech to help with their concerns about security. An audit is being done of the food service at KSC. Jay is working with vendors Kash Ahmed and Sandra Marecki to get the necessary paperwork in place. He has been spending extra time with Sandra as she has been have staffing problems. He is also emphasizing the importance of filling vending machines. Four post offices in Volusia County have been identified as possible locations but only one has responded. Installation is planned for the Bronson Diagnostic Lab in Kissimmee. Orange County utilities have seven locations at waste water treatment plants and may reissue their solicitation. The Hurston cafeteria is getting a new walk in freezer. The location will be closed during the installation.
District 5 – David Stevens
Communications continues to be a problem at Coleman prison and he is having trouble getting repairmen cleared. Maureen Fink will see if she can help identify someone at the prison who can help with clearances. The program was unable to do inventory at this location last year because of this problem.
District 6 – Phil Hubbard
Phil has not heard from any of the vendors in rest areas but has spoken to operator of the Daytona vending route and Kash Ahmed who operates a snack bar at KSC. He is having problems with the Coke repairman because they do not want to go through the clearance process. The Pepsi repairman has been cleared but they are having trouble keeping drivers and deliveries have been made by supervisors. Boeing wants more machines in their building with more variety and options. The have asked for a Coke machine, snack machine and a frozen machine. Darryl Brinton asked about a micro market at this location but there is not sufficient population. Two other micro markets are being considered for KSC. Phil has seen an increase in business and monthly sales have been close to $40,000. The new headquarters building is not doing as much in sales as was expected.
Region 4 – Tony Arduengo
Facility 628, Lee county vending has been started. The location includes a micro market which opened on March 4 and vending. The vending machines have just been installed and filled and it is too early to determine sales. Will Grignon is operating this location as a Type II. Facility 627, downtown Tampa includes two micro markets and vending. The second micro market was opened in December right before the federal shutdown. Business is building and the sales in the federal building have doubled as compared to sales with vending only. Facility 433, Skyway bridge rest area north has reopened and the other rest area, Facility 432 has closed for a complete rebuild. The location is expected to reopen in fourteen months. Facility 380, rest area on I-75 Hillsborough County is scheduled to close the end of 2019 for renovations. A private location and the South Hillsborough VA has been added to Facility 396, Tampa vending route. The VA location is off to a slow start as it takes time to transfer patients from other locations. Card readers have been put on all machines on Facility 272, Brooksville vending route. Park locations on this route are doing well. MacDill AFB has been added to Facility 124, Hillsborough County Courthouse vending and includes eight drink machines. They are expected to be installed on July 15.
District 7 – Sead Bekric
Vendor Joey Garcia was robbed and the thieves stole his antenna. Both he and vendor Ellie Seekins continue to have problems with their air conditioning at their locations. New vendor TJ McCormick is doing great. Weeki Wachee is not allowing guests to take drinks to the boat launch. Sead recently had problems getting Coke to do repairs because they consider him to be a third party vendor. Facility 500, Pinellas County vending has record sales of $20,000 in June.
District 8 – Mary Hayes
The district representative had to leave early and was not available to report.
Region 5 – Rafaella Diershaw
Locations have been added to Facility 621, Ft. Pierce vending route including a post office, recreation center and juvenile detention facility. Renovations are planned for Facility 352, Broward County Government Center snack bar. Renovations include floor repair and reconfiguring the serving area. The facility will be open during the renovations with limited service. The location is operated by Orlando Ramirez as a Type II. Facility 547, Broward route has credit card readers on all the machines. A social security and ICE location have been added to Facility 501, Broward vending route. Bill McDermott is operating Facility 430, rest area on I-95 northbound on a Type II. This location is on the current selection cycle. Facility 257, Palm Beach County vending was not awarded on the last selection cycle and is on the current selection cycle. Region 5 rest areas are being power washed and painted. These locations need a better gutters and light fixture that are secure from insects.
District 9 – Joel Rose
Vendor Mark Ogden is doing alright and his route is growing. The new ICE location told him that he cannot put card readers on machines in their building and he plans to talk to them.
Region 6 – Yamilet Cabrera
New equipment have been received for Facility 348, cafeteria in the state regional service center including a new fryer, grill and service counter and they are awaiting electric to do the installation. A new display case is planned to replace the existing salad bar and will allow the operator to offer grab and go items and reduce wait times for customers. The Bureau of Fire Prevention inspected the facility and noted two violations. One was resolved by moving equipment and the other should be fixed before the end of the month. A new Ipad is on order for Facility 15, snack bar in the Dade County Courthouse. Building management at Facility 455, Federal Courthouse snack bar is working to increase electric capacity at the snack bar so that food heaters can be used on the counter. Card readers have been distributed to operators that have requested them. Both the operators and the business consultant will need further training to get the full benefit of the readers. New opportunities in District 6 include the Secret Service building, FAA and coffee service at Krome Detention Center. A company that does both deep cleaning and hood cleaning has been identified and a new company secured for cleaning grease traps. Services have been contracted for 2019-2020 fiscal year. Crane Merchandising does not have enough technical support to do repairs and Yamilet is working on identifying a repair person as well as someone to move vending machines.
Round Table – All
Alton Palmore asked about revisiting the possibility of cameras at rest areas. DOT does not allow vendors to have cameras at these locations and vendors with cameras would need to advise customers that they are being filmed. Sead suggested that CEU events be scheduled in conjunction with district meetings to make sure that vendors fulfill their CEU requirement. Alan Risk said that a number of districts have arranged events. These events need to have an educational component and should last at least four hours to get ½ credit. Sead suggested a two hour event to keep vendors engaged. Joel Rose plans CEU events on Saturdays and includes a meal. Other CEU opportunities include the Vistar show and the Mini BLAST scheduled for Atlantic City in September. Bill Findley plans to call Nicky Gacos to discuss the problems vendors are experiencing with Coca-Cola’s service and pricing.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:10am.