Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
Embassy Suites, Jamaican Court, Orlando, Florida
Friday, November 15, 2019
Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 8:34 a.m. Vice Chairman Terri Lindstrom called the role.
The following individuals were present:
James Warth, Chairman
Terri Lindstrom, Vice Chairman
District Representatives: Kurt Ponchak, District 1; Mike Renaud, District 2; Mitzi Bowen, District 3; Darryl Brinton, District 4; David Stevens, District 5; Phil Hubbard, District 6; Jose Quintanilla, District 7; Sead Bekric, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9; Lilian Pemberton, District 10.
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; Jay Payne, Region 3 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; Mary Ellen Harding, Administrative Assistant
Division of Blind Services: Robert Doyle, Division Director
Licensed Vendors: Debby Malmberg, District 1 Alternate; Colton Knight, District 2 Alternate; Randall Crosby, District 4 Alternate; Chuck Fickett, District 6 Alternate; TJ McCormick, District 7 Alternate; David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate; Alicia Villeda, District 10 Alternate; Mike McCrea, Jim Anderson, Kash Ahmed, Orlando Ramirez, Valerie James, Todd Bowen, Paulette Williams, Alton Palmore
Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Training staff Steve Moss, Rachel Boltz, Angela Elgaard and Richard Silva and trainees Steven Myers, Justin Davis and Keith Banta
Guests: Nicky Gacos, President of the NABM; Wendy Ramirez, Patty Angel, Jesse James
Colton Knight and Alton Palmore recorded the Committee meeting. They plan to use the recording as the basis of a podcast that provides information on the meeting to those that cannot attend. They along with vendor Woody Matthews are hoping to give a national voice to the program and to small businesses operated by visually impaired persons.
Minutes Review – Janet Chernoff
Janet Chernoff read the minutes of the two committee meetings held in conjunction with the Biennial Seminar. One meeting was with the outgoing committee and the second was with the new incoming committee. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to approve the minutes. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Approved by voice vote. Janet gave a short review of the Biennial Seminar. The seminar was attended by 110 licensed vendors, five trainees and fifteen members of Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) staff. Twenty-five purveyors participated in the trade show and the vendors reelected Jim Warth as Chairman and elected Terri Lindstrom as Vice Chairman.
Jim Warth requested that Janet Chernoff read a letter into the record. The letter was from Jennifer Johnson, Regional Philanthropy Officer with the American Red Cross and thanked the managers in the BBE program for their donation of $3752.14 for Hurricane Dorian relief.
BBE Updates – Bill Findley
Bill Findley opened by introducing Mary Ellen Harding who has just joined the BBE as the new administrative assistant. He then spoke about the mini-BLAST held in New Jersey in September. Bill attended along with eleven vendors from the program. The conference was held in conjunction with a Vistar show and was attended by two hundred people from twenty-nine states. One hundred and eighty purveyors displayed at the Vistar show and a number of companies had healthy or better for you snack options. Bill Findley encouraged vendors to try these options at their facilities. Jesse Hartle with the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) spoke at conference.
The contract with Camp Blanding, scheduled to end July 27, 2020, will likely be terminated on December 21, 2019 at the request of the Department of Military Affairs who will use National Guard personnel to do 100% of the dining hall food service. The Department of Education (DOE) Office of the General Counsel is working with the Department of Military Affairs to bring this about. This will not be official until issued in writing and the program hopes to get some National Guard locations. The contract with the Naval Hospital in Pensacola ended in September. The hospital no longer has patients that stay overnight and elected to close the cafeteria. Ed Spence was the Type I operator for this facility and has Camp Blanding as a Type II. The arbitration panel ruled in the program’s favor in regard to the vending at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) but Tyndall AFB had refused to abide by the decision. The program delayed moving forward with any action after Hurricane Michael nearly destroyed the base. The program has been communicating with the Air Force and are working toward vending in both Tyndall and Eglin. If the Air Force allows the program to do the vending at Eglin AFB it would be a settlement in advance of an arbitration hearing. The program is cautiously optimistic and would add Tyndall locations to the Panama City vending route. Hulburt Field AFB is appealing the favorable arbitration decision by arguing that the program did not submit a proposal. BBE was told that Randolph-Sheppard did not apply or qualify to submit a proposal since it was not a small business. The contract for the Panama City Naval Support Activity has been extended. The contracting officer representative has been problematic. The teaming partner, Blackstone Consulting sent a human resources person to interview cafeteria staff resulting in stories of harassment causing some staff to feel very stressed and some to quit. The contracting officer representative has also sent reports that ignored the positives about the operation. The on-site Project Manager of our vendor’s teaming partner, reached out to the assistant base commander about the problem and he has spoken to the contracting officer representative. The food service contract for Eglin will expire next year and the program plans to submit a proposal.
The program sent a letter to Paul K. Martin, Inspector General of NASA requesting that NASA follow their own policies and asking that program vendors be removed from the auspices of the NASA Exchange and placed under a neutral party. Gift shops at NASA have expanded their offerings to include food in direct competition with BBE vending and food service. They are exploiting a loophole in the rule that says vending machine income rather than vending facility income and argue that they do not have vending. Our legal department indicated that the argument has merit as the regulations say vending machine income. To date the program has not received a response to the letter. The group discussed competition from food trucks. On Federal property we have requested that they not park near the food service locations. With state locations the program has an argument if the truck is parked on state property. Nicky Gacos recommended looking at the focus of the contract for the location to determine if the property is out of compliance with that agreement. Bill Findley feels that food trucks are on the decline and that BBE locations are impacted more by the delivery services. Discussion of the budget was delayed until after the break.
Florida BLAST Fall 2021 Discussion – Nicky Gacos
Nicky Gacos spoke about some of the work that the National Association of Blind Merchants (NABM) is doing. They are looking at doing a YouTube channel and have the emerging leaders program and the women’s initiative. They have also been working on improving the accessibility of micro markets for both the vendors and the customers. The next BLAST conference will be held in April in Chicago. They plan to include a staff training and a micro market certification course. The conference will cover subjects like credit cards and the increase cost of replacing plastic bottles with glass or cardboard and active shooter training. NABM is looking to partner with the Florida program for BLAST in the fall of 2021. This would replace the Biennial Seminar and the Florida program would have time during the conference to hold their elections and have a committee meeting. NABM would want the Florida program to guarantee attendance of 100-120 vendors at a registration fee of $250 each which would result in an estimated $30,000 in additional costs to the program. The program would also have the option of contributing more money for speakers. All other costs to the program would remain in line with costs for a Biennial. Mitzi Bowen made a motion for Florida to host BLAST in October or November of 2021. Seconded by Sead Bekric. Passed by voice vote.
Nicky Gacos had a letter from Max Rose, US Congressman from New York to Betsy DeVos, Secretary of US Department of Education read into the record. The letter asks Secretary DeVos to address issues that impact Randolph-Sheppard vendors. Congressman Rose asked about plans for updating the regulations and/or providing meaningful sub regulatory guidance on critical issues facing the program. He also asks what steps Secretary DeVos is taking to eliminate the backlog of rule approval and convening of arbitration panels and when rules and arbitrations currently in the pipeline will be completed. Nicky will send a copy of letter to Bill Findley and Jim Warth. He suggests that vendors contact their US Congressman to ask them to send a similar letter to Secretary DeVos and hopes that it will result in action from the US Department of Education.
Budget – Bill Findley
Bill Findley emailed a spreadsheet with BBE expenditures from July 1-November 6, 2019 prior to the meeting. The program currently has $280,000 in the Bank of America account. A transfer of funds of $150,000 will need to be done in the near future. The program does not have any issues with not having enough budget authority at this time. The Pensacola Hospital contract ended in September and Camp Blanding is scheduled to end in December. A review of the budget showed that $14,000 of MITs were not certified forward. Two projects did not get completed in time to be paid out of last year’s budget. These were the Broward Government Center renovations and a walk-in cooler for the Hurston building. The program has plenty of money and will review future projects and will cancel purchase orders if a project will not be completed in time so that the monies can be used elsewhere.
Finance and Policy Subcommittee reports – Kurt Ponchak
Kurt Ponchak reviewed the budget and for the most part things look okay. He recommends paying the $400,000 encumbered for vending machines out of both funds so that the program can meet the match requirements. Kurt has concerns about how the Division is tracking program monies and hopes that the fiscal departments are staying on top of program funds. The Finance and Policy subcommittees have had three meetings. They are looking at the calculation of set aside, net profit expectations and approved monthly business expenses. One thought was to change from net profit expectations to cost of goods for the selection cycle purposes. The subjects are still in the discussion phase and Kurt hopes to have some recommendations by the May meeting. He has asked that members of the subcommittees be willing to work and spend the time to educate themselves. He emailed the instructions for the RSA 15 report to all committee members with the aim of reviewing these instructions to see if there are opportunities for change. He wants committee members to think outside of the box with the goal of making sure the program is there for future vendors. At the June meeting the subcommittees recommended and the committee approved a change in policy that would allow a vendor with an outstanding debt to apply for a Type II opportunity under certain circumstances. Legal has asked for examples of circumstances where the exception would apply.
Subcommittees – Jim Warth
Janet Chernoff read the list of subcommittees and their members. Mike Renaud, Orlando Ramirez and Jose Quintanilla were added to the Training, Retraining and Upward Mobility Subcommittee. Orlando Ramirez, Colton Knight, Woody Matthews and Lilian Pemberton were added to the Public Relations Subcommittee. The Retirement Subcommittee is no longer active. Kurt Ponchak and Phil Hubbard were added to a group working on Coca-Cola agreements and issues. Jim Warth advised the group that vendors should contact the Grievance Subcommittee prior to filing a grievance and that district reps should educate the vendors on the process and recommend that they consult with subcommittee on the procedures. Sead Bekric asked if a grievance could be sent to the subcommittee members and the group discussed the issue of confidentially in regard to a grievance. Alan Risk would only send a grievance to the subcommittee if the grievant requested it. The decision is public record. Alan tries to advise a grievant if there grievance does not fall within the perimeters and also sees if the grievance can be solved without going to a hearing. Mike Renaud questioned a recent action when a grievance was denied because a deadline was missed. Alan confirmed that he conferred with the legal department and they agreed that the grievance had been filed too late.
Accessibility – Sead Bekric
Sead brought up the concern that there are vendors that do not have the equipment they need to operate their facilities. This issue came up at the District 8 meeting and equipment included talking coin counters, bill sorters and ID mates. Client Services purchases equipment for vendors and the program purchases equipment for facilities. The staff of the BBE will help operators get the equipment they need. There was a discussion of the pros and cons of equipment for accessibility. The BBE recommends that client services contact the business consultant prior to purchasing equipment to make sure that it is appropriate for facility. Both Sead and Terri Lindstrom agreed that an ID mate is a helpful tool for their businesses.
The group also discussed options for micro markets including the Aria system that uses a camera with a live person. Aria is putting together a plan for Parlevel that would be at no cost to program. BBE staff and Adam Gaffney met with Parlevel staff at the Daytona Rehab Center in October to discuss options for accessibility. Steve Moss reported that they seemed to be open to suggestions.
Daytona Training – Steve Moss
Steve introduced the new snack bar trainer, Richard Silva to the group. Richard is a licensed vendor in the BBE program. The students introduced themselves to the group. One of the students asked about the mentoring program and was told that it was the next subject on the agenda.
Mentoring – Terri Lindstrom
Terri was asked to coordinate the mentoring program at the meeting in August. Terri will coordinate with new licensees and connect them with the district rep in either their home area or in the location of their first facility.
Type IIs – Maureen Fink
A list of the Type IIs was emailed to everyone prior to the meeting. Five of the twenty-two Type IIs are on the current selection cycle.
Accepting Licensed Vendors from other States – Bill Findley
Bill explained that a member of the committee had asked about allowing licensed vendors from other states into the program. That conversation was followed by another with a vendor at the mini-BLAST that was looking to move to Florida. He said that this would not mean that a vendor from another state would just be able to come and join the program. He suggested looking at streamlining the training and said that the program would need a good recommendation from their current program. The group discussed options including what type of training would be required. Bill feels that the program would need to assess the applicant and that passing a test would not be a sufficient gage of their abilities. He suggested that the vendor could be required to commit to 3-5 years in a food service location. Jose Quintanilla confirmed that an out of state vendor would not get a point advantage over the Florida vendors. Kurt asked about training vendors from out of state at the Rehab center and charging them. Robert Doyle said that could be explored. Options for recruiting candidates were discussed including presentations at the Lighthouses and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Kurt recommended that the district reps take the discussion about out of state vendors back to their districts.
Marketing and Site Development – Greg Coon
Greg has completed thirty-one site surveys since July 1 with a total of sixty-seven for the year. Permits for sixteen new locations have been done since July with a total of thirty-two agreements for 2019. Fifty-eight machines have been installed this fiscal year for a total of 143 for the year. Two micro markets have been installed this year, one in Department of Children and Family (DCF) in Tampa and one in Lee County. Greg has reviewed seven RFPs and has submitted two proposals including one for a snack bar in Sarasota County. Twelve GSA leased locations will be installed by the end of 2020. In Tallahassee four agencies are being relocated to the Centre of Tallahassee. A micro market is scheduled to be installed at the new DCF location there in 2020. A VA nursing home in St. Lucie County will be installed in the spring. Greg has been advising entities that are political subdivisions of the state that they can go into direct negotiations with program and would not have to go through the procurement process. Greg surveyed every state and federal location in the Keys and found a handful of opportunities that warrants further investigation. Greg continues to follow up on locations at colleges. The College of Central Florida in Ocala is currently in a vending contract with Santa Fe Community College and is looking to get their own agreement. Greg also plans to follow up on Lake Sumter College. There was short discussion on the viability of the locations in the Keys. These locations would require additional private or county locations to be a viable facility. The program investigated these locations in response to a local vendor’s request. There are nine state parks in the area and four have concessions. The program could submit a proposal when the contracts come up for renewal.
Business Analyst Report – John Ahler
John Ahler and Alan Risk are compiling the data for the RSA 15, a federal report that covers the federal fiscal year from October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019. Sales for 2018-2019 are up 4.1 percent over the previous year. Vendor earnings are up and the program had an increase in set aside of 5.5 percent. Sales at rest area locations were down due to the closure of the two Jackson County rest areas and the rebuilding of the rest areas at the Skyway Bridge. Seventy-nine locations were surveyed in 2017-18 and forty-one were accepted. Eighty-six were surveyed in 2018-19 and forty were accepted. The report also includes the number of facilities and vendors and number of vendor trainings. Overall everything looks good with an upward trend in sales and set aside. Forty-nine monitoring reviews and five coachings have been done in 2019. Credit cards and the tools provided by the roll up reports have been emphasized. The majority of the vendors are under the umbrella accounts. There are still machines without credit card readers and the plan is to get them installed on those machines to determine sales. This will help to determine if low yield machines should be removed or relocated.
Compliance Officer’s Report – Alan Risk
Alan advised the group that the new agreement with USA Tech has been approved by both parties and is being routed for signatures. The agreement is a three year agreement with two one year renewals. There was concern that committee members did not have time to review the agreement. At the June meeting it was decided that Kurt Ponchak, Phil Hubbard and Mike Renaud would work with the Division on the new agreement. The current agreement expired in August and the main purpose of the new agreement is to guarantee the current pricing. Committee members agreed to accept the agreement that is being routed. Robert Doyle confirmed that the committee members agreed to go forward with the current agreement and revise it later if needed.
Fourteen of the 119 vendors required to achieve CEU compliance for 2019-2021 have met the requirement. Sixteen vendors have at least two CEUs, seventy-six have at least one CEU and thirteen have less than one CEU. There was a discussion about a deadline for the CEU compliance if the program does the BLAST conference in the late fall. A deadline date may be established in August 2021 (two years from the 2019 conference). Credit earned by taking courses from Mississippi State would qualify for rollover credit. Terms of the Chairman and Vice Chairman would be extended until the vote at the BLAST conference as the committee by-laws require that vendors vote in person for these positions. Three vendors have been licensed since the June committee meeting for a total of six for 2019. Two of the six are currently operating facilities and the three recently licensed vendors participated in the current selection cycle.
One grievance has been filed since the June committee meeting. The grievance was not filed within the twenty-one day timeframe as required by rule. After consulting with our legal counsel on interpretation of the twenty-one day timeline, the request for a grievance hearing was denied. Two other grievances were filed earlier in 2019. In both cases the Division was able to address and resolve the concerns of the claimants and grievance requests were withdrawn.
Six facilities were posted on the May 2019 selection cycle including three rest areas, two non-highway vending and one cafeteria. Facility 608, Tachachale vending in Gainesville received no applicants. Five facilities were posted on the September 2019 selection cycle including two rest areas, two non-highway vending routes and one micro market. A total of thirteen vendors applied and took the exam. Eleven applicants interviewed and the program is in the process of notifying the applicants of the results.
Jim Lover, member of the selection panel has resigned due to health concerns. A replacement is needed to serve out the last year of his term. Selection panel member Valerie James’ term will expire at the end of the year. She has indicated that she is willing to continue on the selection panel.
Darryl Brinton nominated Todd Bowen to fill the spot vacated by Jim Lover. Jose Quintanilla nominated Joey Garcia, Sead Bekric nominated Mike Renaud and Randall Crosby was nominated by Phil Hubbard. Alan Risk read from the minutes of a 2008 Committee meeting where concerns were expressed about a district rep serving on the selection panel. No vote was taken and there is no rule or procedure in place that mandates that a district rep would have to step down if elected to the panel. Mike Renaud indicated he would be willing to step down if elected. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to close nominations. Seconded by Mitzi Bowen. The members voted by secret ballot. No candidate received the required two thirds majority and there was a run off between Randall Crosby and Todd Bowen. Neither candidates received the required two thirds vote after two more rounds of voting and the vote was tabled until the next meeting in March 2020. Sead Bekric nominated Valerie James for a three year term on the selection panel. Phil Hubbard nominated Orlando Ramirez and Jose Quintanilla nominated Joey Garcia. The vote was done by secret ballot and Valerie James was reelected to the selection panel by two thirds vote. The meeting was adjourned for the day at 4:55pm.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Vice Chairman Terri Lindstrom called the role.
Regional Status/District Updates – All
Region 4 – Tony Arduengo
A new serving line will be installed in Facility 31, snack bar in Hillsborough County next month. Three locations are being added to Facility 272, Brooksville route which is being operated by Paulette Williams on a Type II. A micro market was installed in the DCF Regional office one month ago. This location is on Facility 396, East Tampa vending route. The new bed tower is under construction at the James Haley VA. Five machines are scheduled for this location. Facility 432, Skyway Bridge rest area is scheduled to reopen in March of 2020 and will be posted on the January selection cycle. Two locations in Port Charlotte were added to Facility 180, Fort Myers Route. Facility 380, I-75 Rest Area Hillsborough County is scheduled to close in December for fourteen months for renovations. Locations including the lodge, administration building and recreation center at MacDill AFB have been added to Facility 124, Hillsborough County Courthouse vending. Vendor Christopher Clark retired in October and Facility 112, Collier County vending is being operated on a Type II by Ray Richards.
District 7 – Jose Quintanilla
The only issue in his district is security at the rest areas. There have been incidents at three rest areas. Tony Arduengo recommends that operators put high security locks on their machines. There is not enough security at the rest areas and there is only one guard for both sides. Vendors in District 7 are inquiring about allowing cameras at the rest areas. DOT has not allowed cameras previously. Jim Warth is going to reach out to other states to see how they handle the issue and hopes to prepare a resolution to take to the legislature.
District 8 – Sead Bekric
Two operators in his district, Mary Hayes and Tom Saunders have had break-ins. Another concern is the length of time it takes to get a repair done. Maureen Fink suggested looking for other repairmen. Sead also had concerns about the pick up or delivery of equipment and has had reports of equipment that was not working properly when delivered. Vendors need to make sure that the consultant is notified when equipment needs to be moved and realize that it may take time to get it scheduled. They also need to inform the consultant of any equipment that is not working when delivered. Sead asked about getting a moving company to move equipment so they do not have to wait for a repairman to deliver it. In the past that has been problematic as the moving companies do not have the right equipment or expertise needed to move vending machines.
Region 2 – Bernie Kaiserian
Three facilities from Region 2 are on the current selection cycle. The region had sales of $4.6 million in the first nine months of 2019 with profits of almost two million. This is an increase as compared to the same period in 2018. Bernie credits card readers and new operators for the increase. A USDA location was added to Facility 525, Gainesville route and Coast Guard locations were added to Facility 397, NAS Jacksonville Route.
District 4 – Darryl Brinton
Darryl welcomed Terri Lindstrom to the district. Staff from the Mississippi BBE visited Jacksonville.
Bill Findley explain that the program was asked to work with the staff from the Mississippi program. Bernie Kaiserian and Maureen hosted the group and they visited locations in Jacksonville, discussed how visitations reports are done and toured the training facility in Daytona Beach.
District 3 – Mitzi Bowen
Tammy Spain has Facility 447, Baker County rest area on a Type II. Vendors in her district have asked about getting CEU credit for attending Committee meetings. This will be considered at the next meeting.
Region 1 – Brian Ashworth and Janet Chernoff
Facility 545, snack bar at the Twin Towers has been closed and will be converted to a micro market. Brian is recommending that it be combined with Facility 470, Ft. Knox micro market when it reopens. Joe Bragg has returned to Facility 528, Highway 231 welcome station. His two other locations, Jackson County I-10 rest areas are still closed. He is also operating Facility 620, Panama City vending route on a Type II. A Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) location is scheduled to be added to this facility. Shannon Shelton is operating the new location at Facility 629, Centre of Tallahassee on a Type II which includes eight machines for the Department of Health. This location will eventually have a micro market in the DCF offices. Barbara Hale is operating Facility 470, Fort Knox micro market on a Type II. A number of state offices in Tallahassee are moving locations and Brian will be moving machines for Department of Financial Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Department of State and the Department of Retirement. Brian is doing survey of a TSA location at the Destin Fort Walton Beach Airport. His property inventory was postponed and is now scheduled for the second week and third week in December.
Wanda Feldsteen was awarded Facility 485, cafeteria at the Capital Circle Office Complex on the May selection cycle and the current operator, Crystal Hughes was awarded Facility 320, cafeteria at Claude Pepper on a Type II. The changeovers were done the end of August. The operator of Facility 273, cafeteria at Collins is participating in the current selection cycle.
District 1 – Kurt Ponchak
Kurt has had two calls with his district. He has had good participation and the vendors are happy with the communication. Vendor Joe Bragg had asked about an adjustment to working capital when product is lost due to a natural disaster. Kurt suggested that the program have a policy in place to address this. The policy and finance subcommittees have been discussing the MBR, set aside and net profit expectations. Vendor Emmett Magee has asked about Facility 626, vending at Whiting Field. The facility is not viable as a stand-alone and he is asking about combining it with his Type I facility. The issue will be addressed at the next meeting. Debby Malmberg expressed concern about Department of Transportation (DOT) access to storage facilities at the rest areas. The locks have been changed recently and she is concerned about the security of her product. Suggestions include cameras in the store rooms or electronic locks that can be changed easily. Debby is also concerned about whose responsibility it is to pay to change the locks if DOT staff loses the key. Bill Findley has reached out to DOT to set up a meeting to discuss this and other issues. He has not heard back from them and will follow up. Bill confirmed that vendors could put cameras in the storage rooms as it is not a public space. Kurt is talking to Coca-Cola about doing a training at their facility. Subjects would include maintenance, simple repairs and marketing. He is hoping to set up a similar training for the Pensacola area.
District 2 – Mike Renaud
All his concerns have been addressed.
Region 3 – Jay Payne
The walk in cooler project for Facility 378, cafeteria in the Hurston Building is taking longer than planned. Facility 624, Orlando East vending route will be on the January selection cycle. He is working with Parlevel on a micro market at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Machines have been installed in the Cape Canaveral VA and the DCF offices in Deland. Kash Ahmed has completed a year in his first facility.
District 6 – Phil Hubbard
All is quiet in his district except for the concerns about competition at KSC.
District 7 – David Stevens
One vendor in his district has completed their CEU requirement.
Region 5 – Rafaella Diershaw
Mike McCrea has signed into Facility 430, I-95 rest area in St. Lucie County. Daniel Roth has signed into the first half of Facility 257, Palm Beach County vending. Lilian Pemberton has been assisting him and he will sign into the second half before Thanksgiving. The remodel of Facility 352, Broward Government Center snack bar is almost complete and a soft opening is scheduled. Orlando Ramirez did an emergency feeding at the Broward Sherriff’s office during Hurricane Dorian. Thirteen new locations have been added to Facility 621, Ft. Pierce vending route. A coffee cart is planned for the FBI building at Miramar. The Region 5 property inventory has been completed.
District 9 – Joel Rose
Daniel Ochoa has been having problems with deliveries because he has nowhere to accept them. Mark Ogden has been having trouble with Vistar and it has been recommended that he let them know that he is a BBE vendor. Joel has scheduled a CEU class with USA Tech on January 11 and a second class on February 8 with Florida Vision Technology.
Region 6 – Yamilet Cabrera
The Secret Service location has been added to Facility 614, Doral Vending route. FAA Air Traffic Control tower was added to Facility 117, Miami vending route, and a Key West post office is being serviced by Antonio Gonzalez. Greg Coon surveyed several possible locations in Homestead and the Keys to determine viability. The FAA location on Facility 588 is being considered for a micro market and we are waiting for approval from building management and a quote from Parlevel. A coffee bar is being planned for Facility 510, Krome Detention Center. Quotes are being requested and the building management are receptive and responsive regarding the project. The cleaning company hired to clean the food service locations is not performing up to expectations and a second cleaning did not resolve the problem. Effected vendors are providing details on the concern and the plan is to find a new company before the next cleaning in February 2020. Yamilet is moving forward with card readers and will use them as a tool to improve sales and business management in the region.
District 10 – Lilian Pemberton
District 10 will have a meeting on Friday, November 22. Brady Foore from USA Tech is coming in January to do a CEU training. The district is excited to have their first micro market. There have been delivery problems with Coca-Cola and Lilian had a meeting with them. They are planning to hire and train more staff and hopefully that will help with the problems.
Round Table – All
Jim Warth has invited Terry Smith to do a training at the next meeting in March. The committee is trying to get incorporated as a nonprofit. Bill Findley suggested that Jim contact Ed Birmingham, Vice President of NABM to help expedite the process. Jose Quintanilla asked the purpose of being incorporated. This would allow the committee to enter into a binding agreement. Phil Hubbard suggested a buying group as another option for getting better prices from Coke. Once incorporated the committee would also be able to help vendors with monies to attend BLAST and fly-ins to Washington DC.
Alan Risk asked if any decisions had been made on adding to the approved business expenses. The finance and policy subcommittees have been discussing this and hope to have some suggestions by the May 2020 meeting.
The group discussed the changes with the square system. The percentage is 2.6 with a .10 per swipe cost. Orlando Ramirez asked if the group could negotiate a better rate from Square. Square is still one of the better options even with the increase. There are no software charges and it is accessible and user friendly.
Meeting adjourned at 9:53am.