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Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors

Embassy Suites, Jamaican Court, Orlando, Florida

Friday, March 6, 2020

Chairman James Warth called the meeting to order at 9:03 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; Randall Crosby, District 4; David Stevens, District 5; Phil Hubbard, District 6; Jose Quintanilla, District 7; Joel Rose, District 9; Alicia Villeda, Alternate, District 10.  District 3 and District 8 were 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; Jay Payne, Region 3 Business Consultant; Tony Arduengo, Region 4 Business Consultant; Rafaella Diershaw, Region 5 Business Consultant; Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant.

Licensed Vendors: Colton Knight, District 2 Alternate; TJ McCormick, District 7 Alternate; David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate; Jim Anderson, Orlando Ramirez, Alton Palmore, Darryl Brinton, Shirley Smart.

Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Training staff member Steve Moss and trainees Ryan Akeley and Tyler Collins.

Guests: Patty Angel.

Minutes Review – Janet Chernoff
Janet Chernoff read a synopsis of the minutes from the November 2019 meeting. The full minutes had been emailed prior to the meeting. Kurt Ponchak moved to approve the minutes as written. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Passed without objection by all members present.

BBE Updates – Bill Findley
Bill opened the meeting by addressing concerns about the Coronavirus. He encouraged the group to not over react or panic and to take reasonable precautions. Handwashing is stressed especially for vendors in food service and that handle money. It is possible that the virus could impact business if tourism is down and buildings close or have staff work from home. The virus is also impacting the supply chain and is making it hard to get some products and parts for equipment. Bill encouraged vendors to work together and to help their fellow vendors who may need to sell excess product during closures.

Bill reviewed the goals for the program for 2019 and 2020. The program reached most of its goals in 2019. The program had almost 24 million in sales and eight new vendors were licensed. Six new vendors started in their first facility, two less than the goal. The goals for 2020 are listed below.   

  1. Gross vendor sales $24,500,000
  2. 75% of eligible operators remain at first facility for 12 months
  3. Place eight new vendors in first facility
  4. Nine new licensees. As part of Division of Blind Services (DBS) Strategic plan the program will try to recruit candidates between the ages of 18-34
  5. Conduct six DBS District Office recruitment presentations, four Community Reintegration Program (CRP) presentations and four other presentations
  6. Establish two new stand-alone facilities and substantially build up two smaller facilities to make them viable for a blind vendor
  7. Successful opening of the Skyway Bridge rest area, Facility 432
  8. Successful improvement of Lee County micro market
  9. Open four new micro markets
  10.  Complete air conditioning installation at Rohde Building, Miami
  11.  Seventy-five percent of all BBE facility vending machines have card readers (Currently around 65%)
  12.  Add a college or university location
  13.  Conduct successful Road Show Workshops and have at least 75 vendors attend
  14.  BLAST 2021 Contract completed
  15.  Complete a vendor micro market training manual
  16.  Continue to press for and work with kiosk companies to improve accessibility for micro markets
  17.  Work out a reasonable solution at NASA regarding direct competition with BBE vendors by the gift shops
  18.  Have a fully trained staff and provide professional development opportunities
  19.  Pursue and add non-Randolph-Sheppard priority locations (including private)
  20.  Complete the development of new marketing materials for recruitment of new vendors and for expanding Business Enterprise businesses

Bill encouraged the group to help the program by spreading the word to potential applicants and locations. Vendors are the best salesman for the Bureau of Business Enterprise (BBE) program. Bill also told the group about his recent visit to Facility 432, rest area at the Skyway Bridge. The facility is expected to open in April or May 2020. Kurt Ponchak asked about tracking the success of vendors in the program for five years or more. The program is currently not tracking this and may need to look at a longer range. The contract for BLAST 2021 has not been started as the attorneys are tied up with issues surrounding the cancellation of the Conklin Center contract. The Legislature is also in session but is scheduled to end next week.

The program had hoped to complete the micro market training manual after Brian Ashworth attended the micro market certification at BLAST in April. Participation in the BLAST has been denied for BBE staff due to budgetary considerations. The request has been resubmitted. Five vendors are planning to attend the conference. Micro market training has been added to the curriculum at the training center. Aira, a service that helps visually impaired persons is doing a pilot program at the micro markets serviced by Jim Warth and TJ McCormick to help with accessibility for visually impaired managers and customers. It was suggested that the program be expanded to the training center.

Three Florida National Guard locations have been identified in St. Augustine and another in Miramar. Maureen Fink surveyed the locations but our point of contact has been non responsive. The program will ask our attorneys to investigate. A national permit is being prepared for Air Force Base (AFB) locations but they have requested language from a directive that the program thinks should not apply to these permits. Tyndall is requesting that the vendor pay for electricity at the going rate. The rate is expected to be less than $100 for all the machines. Brian and Maureen are scheduled to do a site visit at Tyndall AFB. Once this location is secured the program will pursue vending at Eglin. There is a case in the Texas Court of Appeals that is similar to Hurlburt Field. If that case goes in favor of that program it could help with Hulburt. The program may have to go to Federal Court to get Hurlburt to abide by the decision of the arbitration panel.

The group discussed options for promoting the program to assist with getting more locations. One suggestion was a placard for rest areas that would help educate the public. Another suggestion was to post information on the touch screens of vending machines. BBE staff is working with the Chief of External Affairs to update both electronic and printed information on the program.

The program has submitted a proposal for a micro market for LCC at NASA. A concern was expressed by the public health officer that someone could tamper with products at an unmanned market. This individual convinced the leadership team to reject the proposal. Bill plans to ask for names and titles of the leadership team. This could impact a second micro market proposed for Boeing.

Bill Findley, Alan Risk, Maureen Fink, Tony Arduengo and Jim Warth met with Coca-Cola management to discuss service issues. Joel Rose, Phil Hubbard and Brian Britt participated in the meeting by phone. The meeting included a tour of the Coca-Cola plant. Phil Hubbard reported that three of his five broken machines are now working and that he received one replacement machine and expects another next week. Phil orders product from mycoke.com and said that pricing on the website is correct but was wrong on the receipt he received from the driver. Joel Rose reported that he called Coca-Cola five times about a leaking machine with no response. He called Pepsi and they responded quickly and he is now having troubles getting Coca-Cola to remove the broken machine. Jim Warth and Phil Hubbard reported that replacement machines arrive with problems. Bill Findley asked that he be advised of any unresolved issues as the management of Coca-Cola wants to know what is happening.

Bill Findley sent out a budget worksheet prior to the meeting. The program has sufficient budget authority and monies in the set aside account. Kurt Ponchak reported that any set aside monies collected after March will be extra. This is a result of increase in sales and Kurt said that the program is closing the gap between spending authority and available cash. The program has a buffer if the Coronavirus impacts sales.

Podcast Update – Colton Knight
Colton reported that he has received positive feedback on the podcast. About 130-140 people have listened to it. He plans to arrange interviews from the recent Sagebrush Conference. The Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of Florida (RSVF) website is up and running at rsvf.org. The website has a media tab where the podcast is posted.

Randolph-Sheppard Law and Regulations – Bill Findley, Alan Risk   
Regulations, rule and policy are frequently referenced in meetings and written communications and vendors should be educated. The Randolph-Sheppard Act is the foundational law of the program and the federal regulation implements that law. Regulations can be interpreted differently and may require clarification. The regulation allows the State Licensing Agency (SLA) to establish criteria for licensing qualified applicants but does not specify how that it is to be done. The selection process is a collaborative effort between the Division and the Committee. The selection process is not part of the act or federal regulation and a change was made several years ago where the points from the test were lowered to forty and allowed a vendor to receive up to an additional ten points during the interview. The Florida program’s selection process has been used as a model for other states. Some states still use seniority as a method of promotion. Florida has the Little Randolph-Sheppard Act which includes exemptions for colleges and prisons. The Florida Administrative Code is the rule that governs the program and has been revised with the active participation of the vendors. The Office of General Counsel felt that any policy that could impact a vendor’s livelihood should be in rule. There was a public forum and vendors had input in the rule change. Changes made in administrative code have to be approved by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The RSA is looking for documentation of active participation of the committee in any proposed rule change and makes sure that it does not deviate from the regulation. It takes RSA several months to approve a change. They recently have added more positions and should be able to get more done. They are planning to start to monitor the SLA. The monitoring will be a program review rather than a financial review and they plan to do two states per year. The SLA is supposed to provide financial information, information on licensure and training and set aside funds to the committee members. The Division provides this information at the quarterly meetings. An example of active participation between the program and State Committee of Vendors is when the group decided to lower set aside to 5% for about a year. The group discussed fair minimum return. The program can legally use set aside to provide a minimum income to vendors. The Florida program does not do this and the group discussed the concern that vendors might abuse the option.

Sagebrush Recap – Alan Risk, Jim Warth, Colton Knight, other attendees
Six vendors and Compliance Officer Alan Risk attended the Sagebrush conference in Las Vegas in February. Alan Risk reported that it was a good opportunity to meet with other SLA staff. Other states report having problems with an aging population of venders and urged vendors to employ younger visually impaired staff. Southern Food Management was at the conference. The company is a possible teaming partner for military dining and is also involved in facility maintenance and services for corporate accounts. Woody Matthews and Colton Knight both received plaques for their contribution to the program. Jim Warth attended a session on quick books and monthly reports. They also talked about the selection process, card readers and did an update on social security. Colton Knight reported that attendance was lower than he expected. He said that there are not enough young people involved in the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA) and that they may not be having the Sagebrush conference for much longer. TJ McCormick also attended the conference and reported that he received good information. He said that they need to encourage younger people to get involved and that involvement gives vendors an opportunity to become leaders.

Daytona Training – Training Staff and Trainees
Instructor Steve Moss attended with two trainees, Ryan Ackley and Tyler Collins. The training center has a new nano market that is doing minimal sales. Micro market training has been added to existing curriculum but the length of the training has remained the same. They plan to replace the vending machines with a beverage cooler so that customers can purchase drinks either at the kiosk or at the register.

Recruitment Efforts – Bill Findley and Janet Chernoff
The program continues to focus on efforts to get more applicants into the program with an emphasis on candidates age thirty-four and younger. Bill Findley, Alan Risk and Janet Chernoff have had meetings with Department of Education (DOE) staff who work with visually impaired students at the high schools and colleges. The program plans to attend the Visions Conference held by the Florida Division on Career Development and Transition in April. A trip to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to speak to the Adult Living class is planned for April 2. The program is also planning a contest for vendors with a plaque for the vendor that recommends the most applicants to the program. The program will do visits to district office and CRPs and plans to update electronic and written promotional materials.

Type II Update – Maureen Fink
Maureen provided a spreadsheet of the twenty facilities on Type II contracts prior to the meeting. Three are on the current bid cycle, nine will be on future cycles and eight are being monitored to determine viability.

Joint Agency/Committee Decisions – Bill Findley
The first vendor was adversely impacted by Hurricane Michael. Two of his rest areas closed and the third location, a small welcome station is the only one that is still operational. The two rest areas are still closed but will hopefully reopen later this year. He ran a Type II on a food service for almost a year but elected to return to his rest area leaving an outstanding debt. He has not made a payment on the repayment plan and there are operational issues. Per section 5.8 of the policies non-compliance with a payment plan shall nullify the repayment agreement and the remaining balance shall be immediately considered due in full. Section 6A-18.0421(4) allows the Division to consider aggravating or mitigating circumstances and allows them to deviate from the penalties recommended. The group discussed the case and whether sufficient circumstances applied to allow the Division to deviate from policy. Mike Renaud wanted to make sure that the vendor’s district representative was involved. The group decided that a meeting would be scheduled with the vendor to discuss plans for making payments and servicing his machines. The district representative will be included.

The second vendor operates a cafeteria. She was in another cafeteria for a year under a Type II but was not awarded the facility as a Type I. She signed out of her Type II the day after she signed into the Type II for her new facility and left an outstanding debt. She has missed two payments and there have been operational issues. The group discussed how much is a reasonable amount of capital for a facility and how to be sure that an operator is maintaining their working capital. The group decided that a meeting with the vendor should be scheduled to discuss the issues before taking any action. The district representative will be included.

Facility 628, Lee County vending consists of a micro market and vending. In February the county cancelled the contract for the micro market effective in April. The program is recommending that the route be added to Facility 112, Collier County vending. Kurt Ponchak made the motion to add Facility 628 to Facility 112 when the micro market contract and the Type II for Facility 112 ends. Seconded by Phil Hubbard.  The group agreed that the numbers for the two locations should be reported separately but that the Type II should be offered as one opportunity. Kurt withdrew his motion and made a new motion that Facility 628 and 112 should be offered as a Type II as one opportunity but that the facilities should be reported separately to get sales figures. Seconded by Mike Renaud. Passed without objection.

Reorganization of Pensacola Routes – Brian Ashworth
The program is recommending that Facility 626, Whiting Field vending be combined with Facility 609, Pensacola vending. Vendor Emmett Magee has been operating Facility 609 since 2015. In 2018 Emmett was awarded Facility 626 on a Type II. The facility has twenty-five coke bottle machines. The sales at Facility 626 are not sufficient to make it viable as a stand-alone facility. The snack machines are being operated by the Navy Exchange and the location is geographically isolated. Emmett is willing to take on the additional machines on a permanent basis. Kurt Ponchak made the motion to add Facility 626 to Facility 609. Seconded Mike Renaud. Passed without objection.  

Marketing and Site Development Updates – Greg Coon
Twenty-one surveys have been done in 2020 for a total of sixty-two for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Six SOAR reviews have been completed so far in the 2019-20 fiscal year. To date eighty-two machines, one micro market and thirty permits/agreements have been done for the 2019-20 fiscal year with pending installations for eighteen locations. A county wide agreement with Palm Beach County is near completion and the Department of Health in Miami has requested services from the program. Other opportunities include a downtown micro market and vending in Homestead. A veteran’s nursing home is coming to Region 5 within the next few months and several State of Florida Parks locations are expected to be added this summer. A recent survey of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport could lead to a route addition and locations at the Naval Support Activity in Panama City, administrative complex in Indian River County, Salvation Army in Bradenton and US Coast Guard locations are being explored. The program will continue to work with legal on AFB vending in Region 1 and Shades of Green in Orlando. In Region 1 the micro market for the Department of Children and Family (DCF) has been postponed to May 2021 and the program is waiting for building owner approval for a Department of Financial Services (DFS) location. An installation was done at TSA in Destin-Fort Walton Beach airport and the machines are being serviced by a third party. An additional opportunity is being explored in Panama City. In Region 2 a location at the FAA Air Traffic Control in Jacksonville will be added to a route and VA location in Middleburg is expected to be installed near the end of 2020. In Region 3 the program has been working on four USPS locations in Volusia County and hope that the return of a former Randolph-Sheppard coordinator will help expedite things in Regions 3 and 4. Other locations include a VA clinic in Deltona, Social Security office in Orlando and the Department of Agriculture Bronson Diagnostic lab. There are new issues preventing the installation of machines at Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA). New locations in Region 4 include an Air Force clinic in Brandon and four USPS location in Naples. Additional locations in Naples are being explored and the VA continues to keep in touch regard new locations. In Region 5 potential new locations include a Veterans Health Administration in West Palm Beach and an opportunity in Vero Beach. In Region 6 new potential locations include the National Park Service at Homestead and Department of Health locations.

Business Analyst Report – John Ahler
In the first quarter of the federal fiscal year sales were at $5.9 million which is an increase of $300,000 over the same period last year. Sales are trending up due to price increases and the addition of credit card readers. The program currently has 1400 card readers. Additional card readers are planned for some of the larger routes. John Ahler is having to do less with USA Technology as the vendors get more comfortable with the technology and the consultants are doing more. The contract with USA Technology has been signed. Brady Foore did a training with vendors in Region 5 and 6 and more are planned for the rest of the state. Sales are 45% credit and 55% cash and the percentage of credit sales continue to increase. Reimbursements for the past seven months are up about $10,000 over the previous year. John has done forty-nine monitorings in 2019 and hopes to complete fifteen more before the end of the state fiscal year. Three business coach sessions have been done including one with new vendor Tammy Spain. Her sales have increased every week since she started in January and she is very enthusiastic. Visits are planned with Natasha Ginarte and Paulette Williams in the near future.

Compliance Officer Report – Alan Risk
Alan addressed program policy in regard to options for rest area operators whose facilities have been closed. If a rest area is closed temporarily for renovations the operator has the option of applying for another Type I facility. Once a date is set for the reopening the operator must choose between their original facility and the new facility. When a location is permanently closed the program has the option of doing an administrative appointment at a facility with comparable sales. Facility 415, I-4 Eastbound is only allowing trucks and is closed to all other vehicles. Sales have decreased by 50%. The only option at this time for an administrative appointment is Facility 432, I-275 rest area on the Skyway Bridge. This location has been closed for a complete rebuild and is expected to reopen in the next couple of months. The program is recommending that the operator be offered this facility. If the operator turns it down, the program would list it on the May selection cycle and post it as a Type II in the interim if needed. There was a discussion about options if the operator turns down the location and whether he would be offered another facility at a later date. There was also a discussion about how long the program would keep the offer of an administrative appointment available if the operator refuses the first offer. Another point of discussion was the amount of control the program has over these closures. The Department of Transportation (DOT) makes these decisions and the program has minimal input. The main concern is the lack of communication from DOT. The program contacted them as soon as we were made aware of the situation and had a meeting with DOT in December to discuss the issue and the lack communication.

Jim Warth and Kurt Ponchak held a meeting via conference call with Bill Findley and Alan Risk. They were concerned about outgoing operators not having sufficient working capital when they sign out of a facility. One suggestion was a yearly inventory of all facilities and another was to require that a vendor do an inventory thirty days prior to a changeover. A yearly inventory of all locations is not practical and there was concern about accuracy of an inventory done by the vendor. The outstanding debt prohibition is already in rule, but Kurt is recommending that it be added to the decision form. The wording will be as follows: I understand that I will not be allowed to enter into either a permanent or temporary LOFA for (facility number) if I have a working capital balance due from any past facilities. Failure to repay the full amount of working capital due when relinquishing my current permanent LOFA will prohibit me from being able to sign into another LOFA and therefore will rescind the Division’s office for Facility # (facility number). By signing below, I confirm that I will be able to leave the full amount of working capital due from my current permanent facility at the time of changeover. Kurt said that the addition of the wording would be a reminder to the vendor of their responsibilities when accepting a new facility. Phil Hubbard confirmed that even when a vendor signs the decision form that they are not under contract for the facility until the LOFA is signed and executed. Phil Hubbard made the motion to add the wording to the decision form. Seconded by Kurt Ponchak. Passed without objection by all members present.

Eighteen vendors have completed their CEU requirement for this period. Forty-seven vendors have at least two CEUs, forty-two vendors have at least one CEU but less than two and eleven have less than one CEU including five that have no CEU credit. Vendors have over a year to complete the requirement. District Representatives should check with the Regional Business Consultants to get specifics on the vendors from their area. Two new vendors have been licensed since the November 2019 meeting for a total of eight new licensees in 2019. Three of the eight are currently operating facilities and the other five participated in the current selection cycle.

One grievance has been filed since the last meeting. On January 20, 2020 the Division received a request for a grievance hearing via email from a BBE vendor who claimed the Division had been inconsistent in its actions surrounding the September Selection Cycle. The grievant claimed the Division made special allowances to a particular vendor in the awarding of a Type I facility, which is scheduled for closure and delayed posting that vendor’s current facility as a Type II opportunity to ensure that the vendor would not be without a facility.
A grievance hearing was held on January 23, 2020 where the grievant presented their case to the panel via conference call. The panel determined that the action taken by the Division did not affect the grievant in the operation of the relevant vending facility, as required by Florida Administrative Code 6A-18.0423.

The following awards were made as a result of the September 2019 selection cycle. Darryl Brinton was awarded Facility 425, Westbound I-10 rest area in Columbia; Carl Walker was awarded Facility 447, Eastbound I-10 rest area in Baker County; Jeff Estebo was awarded Facility 500, Pinellas County vending; Natasha Ginarte was awarded Facility 608, Gainesville/Lake City vending and Facility 627, Tampa micro market was awarded to TJ McCormick. Four facilities are posted on the current selection cycle including two non-highway vending routes, one cafeteria and one micro market. A total of eleven vendors applied and took the test. Ten applicants will be interviewed next week.

The selection panel has one opening created by the retirement of panel member Jim Lover. A vote was held at the November 2019 meeting but no candidate received the required two thirds majority. Darryl Brinton was nominated by Mike Renaud. No other candidates were nominated and Kurt Ponchak made a motion to vote Darryl onto the panel by acclamation. The committee confirmed Darryl Brinton as a member of the selection panel.

The meeting was adjourned for the day at 4:50pm.  

Saturday March 7, 2020

Jim Warth called the meeting to order at 8:30am. Terri Lindstrom called the roll.

Regional Status/District Updates – Regional Consultants and District Representatives
Representatives from Districts 3, 6 and 8 were not at the meeting on Saturday morning.

Region 4 – Tony Arduengo
The micro market at Facility 628, Lee county vending will close on April 8. Four USPS locations and Juvenile Justice locations will be added to Facility 112, Collier County vending. Gary Ernneus has a Type II for Facility 630, northern Charlotte County vending. A Department of Revenue location has been added to Facility 555, Manasota vending route. Facility 380, I-75 Hillsborough County Northbound rest has closed for renovations and is expected to be closed for around fourteen months. Facility 432, I-275 south end rest area on Skyway Bridge is scheduled to reopen in April or May. Jeff Estebo signed into Facility 500 in January 2020 and is doing a good job. Facility 31, snack bar in Hillsborough County has a new serving line and square system. Facility 396, East Tampa Vending routes has three new locations and a micro market in a Department of Children and Family location. Facility 272, Pasco-Hernando vending route is doing well and should see increased sales as they go into their busy system.

District 7 – Jose Quintanilla
Everyone is doing well in his district. Richard Draper, operator of Facility 161, West Tampa route will be retiring the end of June. Vendor Debbie Hietala is having trouble with her square system. Justin Davis, her trainee is helping her with it.

Region 3 – Jay Payne
Sales at Facility 403, snack bar at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) are up. The program put together a proposal to add micro markets to the LLC and Boeing locations as part of Facility 497, Kennedy Space Center route. Concern was expressed that building staff might tamper with product in a micro market. Sales are up at Facility 466, the other KSC snack bar. Facility 378, Orlando cafeteria is having trouble with the air quality in the cafeteria. Facility 624, new Orlando route is expected to have sales of $100,000 for the year. Property inventory was done for the first time in two years at the facilities at Coleman prison. The prison limits access for suppliers and repairmen. A location at Blue Springs State Park has been added to Facility 285, Daytona vending route.  This includes eight outdoor drink machines and laundry equipment. A GSA location was slated to be added to Facility 586, Orlando vending route but the building is requiring too much insurance and the location would cost the vendor money. The program will try to work with the private company that owns the building. Facility 466, KSC snack bar has had seven inspections with no violations and Facility 403, the other KSC snack bar has had two inspections with only one violation.

District 5 – David Stevens
His facility, Coleman prison had problems with a bacterial infection and the complex was closed.  

Region 5 – Rafaella Diershaw
Locations are being added to Facility 621, Ft. Pierce vending route including third party locations in Port St. Lucie and Indian River County locations. Facility 377, Martin County snack bar was closed for the month of January because the primary employee had had an accident and could not work. The operator of Facility 257, Palm Beach County vending route is doing well. Several more locations are scheduled to be added to this facility. A large number of card readers are scheduled for Facility 501, Broward vending route. This is the only facility in Region 5 that does not have card readers on all machines. The vendor of Facility 547, the other Broward County vending route has had problems with his deliveries from Coca-Cola because he moved his delivery location to Dade County. The Miramar National Guard location is scheduled to be added to this facility. A coffee bar is planned for the FBI location. Once in place this will be put out on a Type II. Facility 469, Palm Beach County Courthouse snack bar has raised prices for the first time in four years. It took several weeks to redo the floor in Facility 352, Broward County Government Center. The facility reopened December 16, 2019 and the business is bouncing back.

District 9 – Joel Rose 
Joel held a CEU event which including training by Brady Foore from USA Technology. He is planning another CEU event with Lesa Kretschmer from Florida Vision Technology. His IRS location is scheduled to close in August of 2021. This is the hub of his route and his storage is there. He may ask the building about renting this space. The IRS is looking at two potential locations, one in downtown Ft. Lauderdale and the other near Sawgrass Mills. His district is doing well but is having trouble getting Zephyrhills water.

Region 2 – Maureen Fink (for Bernie Kaiserian)
Facility 239, Jacksonville Police Department cafeteria is on the January selection cycle. Vendor Jeff Estebo has taken a route in Pinellas County and the facility is currently being run by Darryl Brinton as a Type II. New vendor, Natasha Ginarte took over Facility 608, Gainesville/Lake City route on January 6, 2020. Vendor Heather Saunders opened the micro market at the Lake City DOT and helped to make this route a feasible business opportunity.

Facility 611, military dining at Camp Blanding closed in late December. A location at the Federal Department of Agriculture was added to Facility 525, Gainesville route and a US Coast Guard Hanger at Cecil Field was added to Facility 397, US Naval Air Station (NAS) route in Jacksonville. Potential new locations include Florida National Guard in St. Augustine which would be added to Facility 616, St. Augustine route, FAA Tower locations which is planned for Facility 218, Jacksonville vending route and Hanger 1000 at NAS which would be added to the other NAS route, Facility 388. The efforts of Josh Kimrey at Facility 145, Kevin Nealey at Facility 218, Jeff Estebo at Facility 239, David Wermuth at Facility 616, David Wermuth at Facility 388, George Colson, Facility 397 along with Jimmy Giles, Facility 513 and Heather Saunders in Facility 608 have resulted in double digit sales increases for the region.

District 4 – Randall Crosby
Things are good in District 4. Randall welcomed Terri Lindstrom to the district.

Region 6 – Maureen Fink
A Key West post office location was added to Facility 606, military dining in Key West. Three locations in the Upper Keys in Marathon and Key Largo were added to Facility 614, Doral Route. Another location at the DOT in Marathon is scheduled to be added to that route. A food kiosk was installed in the administration building at Facility 510, Krome Detention Center and is scheduled to open this week. Maureen Fink will be attending a meeting with Parlevel and building management on Tuesday, March 10 to discuss a micro market at Facility 588, FAA Miami. She will also be meeting with building management at the Federal Building in Miami on Monday, March 9 to evaluate space for a snack bar. The building had installed counters but they are not ADA compliant. She will be evaluating sales at Facility 455, snack bar in the Department of Justice in Miami to determine how to proceed with this facility. The facility had increased sales in January. Sales have increased at Facility 519, Postal Distribution Center vending by 75% due to a change in operator and the addition of card readers to machines. Sales at Facility 568, Opa Locka postal distribution center are up 24%, Facility 117, downtown vending is up 23% and Facility 600, Hialeah vending is up 24%. The increases are all due to the addition of card readers to the machines.

District 10 – Alicia Villeda
The district had a CEU event with USA Technology and was able to get information on security of card readers. Hopefully this information will enable the location at Southern Command to get card readers for machines.

Region 1 – Brian Ashworth, Janet Chernoff
New operator Tammy Spain took over Facility 273, Collins building cafeteria in mid-January. She has made several changes and is already reporting increase sales. Recently DMS reported concerns about cleanliness at Facility 441, Larson Cafeteria and Brian and Janet are working with the operator to improve the location. Steps included removing old equipment, organizing, providing cleaning checklists to the operator and doing a deep clean of the location. Over the counter vendors should be aware that DMS may be checking their space after hours and should make sure everything is clean and organized when they leave for the day.

Brian Ashworth reported that the program hoped that Facilities 579 and 580, Jackson County rest areas would be open by late spring, but after a recent visit Brian feels that they will not open that soon. A survey of the vending at Tyndall AFB is planned for the week of March 16th. Marianna FCI, Facility 532 is at capacity on the men’s side and hopefully will be up to full capacity by the end of the summer on the women’s side. He working with DOT to get more storage at Facility 571 and 572, Jefferson County rest areas. Facility 470, Fort Knox micro market is on the current selection cycle and hopefully a new operator will be able to start by May 1. Barbara Hale has been operating the location as a Type II since October 2019 and has done a good job. No word has been received from DMS concerning the conversation of Facility 545, Bob Martinez Center location to a micro market. The plan to install a micro market at the Douglas Building has been delayed to 2021 because not enough money was budgeted for the project. Seventeen vendors attended a CEU event with Coca-Cola.

District 1 - Kurt Ponchak
Kurt put the CEU event together with Coca-Cola United and attendees came from District 1 and District 2. They spoke of new products, demographic research and planograms for machines. Coca-Cola makes decisions on new flavors based on data from the freestyle fountains. The vendors need to be proactive with customer service issues. Georgia Kellogg reported that Pepsi is not interested in doing a CEU event. Debby Malmberg has been asking about DOT and the rekeying of locks at storage facilities at the rest area. Another CEU event is planned with USA Technology.

District 2 – Mike Renaud
Mike is doing a three month trial with a new hot drink machine. He is using a dehumidifier and will see how the machine does during the summer months.

Round Table Discussion – All
Terri Lindstrom spoke briefly about the mentoring effort and said that assigning the District Representative as a mentor had not worked out. She thanked Mike Renaud, Joel Rose and Lilian Pemberton for all their help. She is looking for volunteers and plans to assign two or more mentors for each new vendor so that they have a choice. Terri has been working with one of the new vendors and is helping him prepare for the selection interview. Bill Findley said that the program has received approval to hire an OPS staff member to help in Region 1. David Kaplan asked about DOT and the rekeying of locks at rest area storage rooms. DOT seems to be working from west to east and the program has been told that they will be putting the entire state under a master key system.

Adjourned at 10am.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

Providing Tools and Support for Legally Blind Vendors in the Food Service Industry

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