State Committee of Vendors Quarterly Meeting
December 2 - 3, 2011
Call to order
Tom Spiliotis called to order the regular meeting of the State Committee of Vendors at 9:00am on December 2 at the Embassy Suites, Orlando, Florida.Roll call
John Klindtworth conducted a roll call. The following persons were present:
- Tom Spiliotis, Chairperson;
- John Klindtworth, Vice-Chairperson
- District 1-Marcus Armstrong;
- District 2-Kurt Ponchak;
- District 3-Don Tuell;
- District 4-Bill Perret;
- District 5-Dennis Horn;
- District 6-Randall Crosby;
- District 7-Charles Hackney;
- District 8-Catherine Gyorke Alger;
- District 9-Shirley Smart (non-voting substitute for Joel Rose/David Kaplan);
- District 10-Jesus Villeda
- District 9 -Joel Rose-representative and David Kaplan-alternate
Bureau of Business Enterprises:
- William Findley, Bureau Chief;
- Maureen Fink, Operations Manager;
- Alan Risk, Compliance Officer;
- Lawrence Batterton, Government Analyst;
- Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant;
- John Ahler, Region 1 Consultant,
- Bernie Kaiserian, Region 2 Consultant,
- Gregory Coon, Region 3 Consultant;
- Stephen Holland, Region 4 Consultant,
- Chadwick Duncan, Region 5 Consultant.
- District 5 - Phil Bluschke;
- District 7 - Kathy Warth
- Vendors - Jim Warth;
- Tom Saunders;
- Victor Rosario;
- Debbie Hietala;
- Jose Formoso
Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Steven Moss
Trainees (in class-Daytona) - Gary Ernneus; Brian McKenney, Robert Gary
Trainee (in OJT) - Mitzi Tyler
Cappuccino Express Coffee Company-Ian Craig; Palmer Ogden
Bill Findley introduced the three new consultants - John Ahler, Region 1; Greg Coon, Region 3 and Stephen Holland, Region 4 and the new Administrative Services Consultant, Janet Chernoff
Approval of minutes from last meeting
John Ahler read the minutes from the last meeting. A motion to approve was made by Kurt Ponchak and seconded by Gyorke Alger. The minutes were approved as read unanimously by all district members except District 9. District 9 does not have a voting member present.
Approved Business Expenses - Maureen Fink
Maureen went over approved business expenses. Phones are no longer an approved expense. There was discussion amongst the committee and agency staff about monitoring expenses. Consultants and BBE monitor, Lawrence Batterton, are monitoring reports and will investigate any inconsistencies. Back up paperwork should be kept by the operator. The Agency should be a certificate holder on insurance.
Repairs and Moving of Vending Equipment - Tom Spiliotis
There is concern about the moving of vending machines. The movers are arriving late and not bringing the proper tools and equipment. Browning headquarters are too far from some locations and this has caused delays, especially in Region 5. The Agency will look at going off contract in Region 5.
Tom Spiliotis suggested a sub-committee to look further into the problem. Possible suggestions include regional contracts rather than a statewide contract.
Timelines for Applicant Decisions on Business Opportunities - Alan Risk
Years ago an applicant was given up to 7 days to make a decision on a business opportunity, but that was changed to 24 hours in recent years to move along the decision making process. Currently the timeline is not in the manual and is only listed on the offer letter. Per discussion at the Consultants meeting on Thursday, December 1, Alan Risk recommended 24 hours with an additional 24 hours if circumstances require it. There was discussion amongst the committee on the pros and cons of different timelines. Charlie Hackney made a motion to make the timeline no more than 3 business days and include it in the manual. Seconded by Gyorke Alger. Motion was unanimously passed by all qualified districts.
CEU Requirements - Alan Risk
Three CEUs are required every two years. The CEU requirement will be tracked and enforced. Vendors can check with Alan or their business consultant on their status. Alan recommended that vendors check with him on any course not listed on the website to make sure it qualifies. Alan will advise vendors of training opportunities via email. Kurt Ponchak suggested looking into a field on RSVP so that vendors can check on their CEUs.
BBE Update - Bill Findley
Plans are to add two new positions to BBE, a marketing and site development person, and an additional business consultant based out of Ft. Lauderdale. Bill wants the consultants to be more engaged with the vendors and building managers so that they are aware of problems or opportunities so that they may be addressed quickly.
Visinity Facilities. Visinity (aka Best Vendors) was selected in 2004 to be a third party company to take over unassigned vending and seek new locations. BBE management has not been happy with their management of BBE sites and is moving toward self management of locations. Former Visinity-managed machines have been added to existing routes. District 1 - 13 machines, District 2 - 6 machines, District 5- 21 machines, District 4 - 8 machines, and District 3 - 10 machines in 3 locations. We are looking at several other Visinity locations. Tom Spiliotis suggested adding a position that would take care of unassigned vending.
District Offices. Bill Findley reported that he has visited every district office except the Tallahassee office to show the promotional video and explained the application process. The application process and video are available on the website and consultants have a copy of the video. Bill suggested that we approach the facilities with the benefits to the facility and provide good service.
Online reporting. Currently 62 vendors are set up for online reporting. Bill Findley recommended a deadline that would have all BBE facility operators online for the January 2013 business report. Tom Spiliotis recommended a deadline of October 2012 to match up with the Federal fiscal year. A motion was made by Kurt Ponchak that the deadline for online reporting begin with the monthly business report for October 2012 (due in November). Bill Perret seconded. Passed unanimously by all available districts.
Presentation by Palmer Ogden and Ian Craig from Cappuccino Express coffee vending company.
Budget - Bill Findley
Gross sales (not including income from unassigned facilities) increased from 2009-2010 over the previous year but has decreased slightly in 2010-2011 compared to prior year. The decrease is primarily due to employee cutbacks in state and federal facilities including post offices and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
In the federal fiscal year 2010-2011 FY, over $2 million was charged to expenses which included the Biennial Seminar. In addition, BBE also received $200,000 in stimulus money which was spent on outside vending machines for rest areas and vending machines for the panhandle and a second Tallahassee route. Information on the budget has been limited due to changes in the Fiscal bureau chief position. Tom Spiliotis will put together a Budget subcommittee. It is expected that a more complete and accurate report will be available at the next meeting.
Concern was expressed over vendors who leave the program owing money. There are only a few people in the program that owe money and all but one is making regular payments. Legal action is being pursued in a couple of recent cases where a significant amount of money was owed following the departure of a facility vendor. The requirement that a licensee cannot sign into another facility while owing money has helped. The Committee suggested that operators have ownership of inventory. To accomplish this, BBE would need to reevaluate the working capital of each facility and allow operators to agree to a payment plan to get their working capital down. Bill Findley indicated that the BBE is more careful about recapitalizing vendors. He also said that he will contact the legal department on this issue and ask for their counsel on making it a requirement that working capital reduction be paid back by the operators.
Maureen Fink reported that sales are down in every type of facility; however, overall net profit is slightly up over the last three years. Businesses are being run smarter and more efficient.
Eglin AFB - Bill Findley
Eglin AFB is a complicated process and the legal department is doing a good job.
Four contracts are involved. Mike Sumler is the operator for the Eglin AFB; the first BBE venture in military dining. The facility will initially serve 50-100 people and eventually max out at 350 people. This includes serving up to four meals a day including midnight and weekends. Customers will include pilots in training plus visiting military VIPs and other guests. It is expected to generate $28,000 in income to the vendor in the first year. This amount should increase as the number of trainees increases to the contract maximum. Mike Sumler is taking Eglin on a Type II and will retain his Type I. He is currently responsible for two other Type IIs which he will soon be relinquishing. One will be taken over by a new vendor in January, and the other (Blackwater) will be on the January bid sheet. Blackstone Consulting is teaming with Mike Sumler and BBE in this venture and helped BBE get into Eglin AFB. Meal service will begin Monday, December 5.
Sites in Progress - Business Consultants
Region 5 - Chadwick Duncan
Two Workforce One buildings, the new Social Security Center, and AG Holley State Hospital were taken off the Visinity list and added to existing routes. Facility 359 was scheduled to transition to vending but was put on hold because current operator is making money in the snack bar. A remodel is planned for Don Gerschicks facility in the Palm Beach Courthouse. Six post offices in Boca Raton will be added to an existing route. We have received the permits for the post offices. A removal was done for facility 584 and it will be put in as a Type II. The building manager is happy with the change; we may have lost the facility if the operator had not been replaced. Bill Findley indicated that there are a number of vendors in Region 5 with two facilities, and there are many opportunities for new trainees. We are also hoping to take the ICE building and Homeland Security off the Visinity list.
Region 4 - Stephen Holland
Stephen Holland has been the Region 4 consultant for one month and has taken this time to meet with vendors and train on vending machines. Region 4 is expanding sites and looking at new opportunities, including two post offices in New Port Richey. The Florida Wildlife Commission and NOAH are potential locations. The VA Center in Fort Myers is closing, but will reopen in Cape Coral in the future. There are applicants from the area interested in the BBE program.
Region 3 - Gregory Coon
Kennedy Space Center. It is hard to get consistent information on the center and future plans. We were told we would lose a snack bar, but now we will continue to have four snack bars until 2013. KSC plans to relocate a snack bar and want a specialty concept, a coffee house/smoothie operation. A survey of employees found that they prefer the snack bars to the cafeterias. The cafeteria contract expires in 2012 and the current company does not plan to renew. KSC plans to reduce the number to two cafeterias, and would like to move to a food court concept. BBE has expressed an interest in running the cafeterias. KSC plans to remove the gates around facility 130, LCC snack bar, which should help expand business for Bob Murray. Consolidation of buildings adversely effected business in some of the facilities; however, there are plans to add 300-400 people to the staff in 2012. Vending is down to two routes from three. One operator is doing both routes. We are trying to show NASA that we are involved in the vending as they had a problem previously.
New opportunities include the new Federal courthouse in Ft. Pierce, taking some Visinity locations to create a new route and TSA in the Orlando International airport. Two resignations; the Fort Pierce I-95 Interstate southbound and State Regional Service Center Cafeteria in Orlando. Victor Rosario has accepted a Type II offer on the cafeteria. There is a possibility that Victors post office facility may close.
Region 2 - Bernie Kaiserian
Development of the healthy vending route is finished and we are waiting for Jacksonville to sign the contract. Sales for the route are erratic. The new Duval County Courthouse will open in May and the annex will close between August and November. The current vendor in the courthouse annex, Robert McClaskey, is moving to the Federal Courthouse and the annex will be taken over by Darryl Brinton on a Type II. Darryl has the courthouse on a Type I. Other transitions include Troy Arthur taking over the Gainesville vending route, David Harbach is taking the downtown Jacksonville vending route and Hugh Mansfield will take over Blount Island. A recommendation was made to add the satellite vending location only currently attached to the courthouse annex to the Jacksonville downtown vending route.
There was a motion made by Bill Perret to take vending machines from facility 102 (courthouse annex) and add them to facility 513 (downtown Jacksonville vending). The motion was seconded by Dennis Horn. Voted unanimously by the nine committee members present.
Region 1 - John Ahler
We have approached Saufley Field where the FCI facility located about adding their vending to Lourena Mellotts route. This would add 14 machines. Ron Jones route in Pensacola has been increased from 13 to 27 machines. Patrick Foley has been running the cafeteria in the DEP Douglas Building since July. This facility is a challenge because it was previously run by the Florida Park Service and was subsidized. New licensee Lacy Coker will take over facility 545, DEP Twin Towers snack bar on Monday, December 5. The Carlton building has infrastructure issues and the problems need to be fixed before we can proceed with the snack bar. Tallahassee vending route, facility 593 will be taken over by Kurt Ponchak on a Type II.
Grainger has offered vendors state contract pricing. They have over 900,000 items in their catalog. Contact is Lisa Miller.
The panhandle has problems with Coke pricing. Contract is up the end of the year. Other vendors have had problems with Coke pricing especially in the panhandle area. There are also problems with Vistar pricing.
Daytona Training - Stephen Moss
Three students from the last training group have started with Type I facilities. The facility now has two teachers so they can handle 10 students at a time. Three students are currently in OJT and three students will finish class in mid January. Four students started training on November 28 and will finish in March. Standardize menu training is in force and all students will leave knowing how to make a variety of sandwiches.
Three of the current students Gary Ernneus, Bob Gary, and Brian McKenney spoke briefly to the group.
A class is scheduled to start every 8 weeks and classes will overlap one another. Schedule of classes for 2012 has been set. A maximum of five students will be in each class.
Type II Awards - Maureen Fink
We have a total of 25 facilities on a Type II and we are working on more. There are plenty of opportunities for new licensees.
- Region 1 - 7 Type II
- Region 2 - 4 Type II
- Region 3 - 1 Type II and 3 coming up
- Region 4 - 7 Type II
- Region 5 - 6 Type II
Tom Spiliotis explained the Type II procedure and indicated the needs of the facility is the most important thing when assigning the facility.
ATM Pilot Program - Tom Spiliotis
The pilot program continues. The DOT lawyers determined that ATMs are vending machines and should be our responsibility. We are working with the company selected by DOT, ATM Solutions out of Jacksonville. The pilot program will be in nine locations, four in the Jacksonville area, two on I-4 at Longwood, two in Polk County and the Welcome Center on I-95. Each manager of the facility where the ATM is located will receive a $1 per transaction. There is some concern about the safety of the vendors and public in areas where the ATMs are located. The ATM will not be in the vending area but nearby so that customers are encouraged to spend their cash at the vending machines.
Card readers on vending machines. Charles Hackney has been very successful with card readers on his vending machines. Cost is 6% on each transaction plus a cost of $.33 per day for the equipment. There is a jumpstart program for card readers with USA technologies.
Grievance Report and Legal Actions - Alan Risk/Bill Findley
One grievance held over from May following the January selection cycle. Grievant has since been awarded a new opportunity in the May selection cycle. September 30 a grievant disagreed with a decision to remove him from his facility. On October 6 the committee upheld the Agency decision. The grievant requested a hearing pursuant to Chapter 120 which will be conducted in January 2012.
Legal action is being taken against two vendors who left program owing a significant amount of money.
In another matter, a vendor took all the product and money and then resigned. He had previously lost a grievance. He wanted to be reimbursed for losses due to theft at his facility. He has filed with the US Department of Education. We offered forgiveness for his debt but he refused because he wants compensation for his losses. He believes the Agency was at fault because machines were not properly secured. The offer from the Agency is no longer available and this will go to arbitration in Washington D.C.
The post office in Miami allowed the company running the cafeteria to put in vending machines in direct competition with the vending facility run by Lonnie Wilcox and in violation of the Randolph-Sheppard Act. We are requesting compensation of $14,000/year for the period of the violation on his behalf.
May/September Selection - Alan Risk
May Cycle - Six opportunities, 3 Accepted, 2 declined, 1 no applicants.
Accepted: Facility 381 Punta Gorda Vending to George Arthur, Facility 513 Jacksonville vending route to Dave Harbach, Facility 586 non highway vending in Orlando to Jose Formoso.
Declined: Rest area Panhandle vending and non highway vending in Gainesville.
No applicants for the snack bar in Miami.
September Cycle - 11 opportunities, 8 accepted, 3 declined.
Accepted: Facility 532 - non-highway vending in Marianna by Marcus Armstrong, Facility 545 - snack bar in Tallahassee by Lacy Coker. Facility 570 - Non highway vending Tallahassee by Richard Sawyer, Panhandle rest area by Donna Galley, Non highway vending in Ft. Myers by Daniel Archer, Non highway vending in St. Petersburg by Tom Saunders.
Declined: Vending in Brooksville, Cafeteria in Ft. Lauderdale, and Snack Bar in Miami.
Alan Risk advised the committee that no BBE staff serves on the grievance or selection panels. The panels are made up of DBS personnel along with vendors.
Consultants Training Report - Maureen Fink
Consultant training was held from October 26-28, 2011 in Tallahassee. All consultants attended including new Consultant, Stephen Holland and new Administrative Services Consultant, Janet Chernoff. Training included vehicle training, purchasing, a visit with the Browning representative, and the new visitation schedule.
New visitation schedule- minimum visits:
Food operations: First 30 days-twice weekly, between 2-6 months-once a week, after 6 months - once a month.
Vending Route: First 30 days - twice weekly, between 2-6 months-once a week, after 6 months-once a month.
Highway Vending: First 30 days - once a week, between 2-6 months-once a month, after 6 months - quarterly
Problems: First 30 days - once a week, between 2-6 months - biweekly, after six months -N/A as problem should be resolved.
Adjourn for day at 5pm.
Call to order
Tom Spiliotis called to order the regular meeting of the State Committee of Vendors at 8:30am on December 3 at the Embassy Suites, Orlando, Florida.
Biennial Seminar Follow up
Attendance at the Biennial was 130 people with staff, vendors and guests.
Suggestions for 2013 included changes in room set-up and the number and types of seminars. It was also recommended that the time for the vendor social be changed and that we add the Pledge of Allegiance. We will also speak with hotel about key cards and accommodations needed for visually impaired vendors.
BBE Manual Updates - Alan Risk
The manual will be updated to incorporate policies and procedures previously approved by the committee. The manual has been changed to reflect the format used by DBS and will be available in accessible format.
Kurt Ponchak suggested that we correct the information on the Daytona Rehab facility. Another change allows the Agency to extend a Type II beyond 12 months if needed. The revised manual will be published in January 2012.
John Klindtworth conducted a roll call
Agenda Items - continued
BBE Manual Updates (continued) Alan Risk
Kurt Ponchak suggested that agency be allowed to proceed with the manual update and that committee members should provide feedback by December 16, 2011.
Kurt Ponchak made the motion to put wording that states the selection process protocol that is currently on the website will control the process on business opportunity announcement. Gyorke Alger seconded. Voted unanimously by all available committee members.
Motion to increase passing scores on Modules in Daytona class from 75% to 80% effective the February 6, 2012 class and include it in the manual. Kurt Ponchak made the motion. Randall Crosby seconded. Passed unanimously by all available committee members.
Raise Licensure passing score from 75% to 80% effective immediately. Moved by Kurt Ponchak and seconded by Gyorke Alger. Voted unanimously by all available committee members.
LOFA policies were added to the manual.
Alan suggested that we add under license vendor responsibilities a code of conduct and use wording that is used in the DOE employee manual. Also included are the CEUs and 80% rules. Recommendations will be given by the committee on the wording of the 80% rule.
Manual will include that online reporting will be required for all vendors starting with the October 2012 report submitted in November 2012.
Also added was that a license may be revoked if the licensee fails the required background screening or licensee has a LOFA terminated on more than one occasion.
John Klindtworth asked if regular checks with DMV for active drivers license could be done as part of the bid process. Tom Spiliotis suggested it should be an annual process for all vendors. This is an administrative issue.
The deadline for suggestions was changed to December 14, and a conference call for approval of the manual is scheduled on December 21 at 6pm.
LOFA Monitoring Updates - Lawrence Batterton
Fifteen facilities have been reviewed as of the date of the meeting. Areas that are addressed during the monitoring visit are inventories (beginning and ending), machine readings and physical presence at the facility. Operators on interstates should be out in the facility at least four times a week. Lawrence goes over the 80% rule and the repairs and maintenance policy and encourages operators to keep track of their reimbursements. Overall most operators are doing well.
District Updates - Committee Members
District 10 - Jesus Villeda
Many operators have two facilities. Lillian Pemberton accepted a Type II on a facility because another vendor was removed for not submitting timely reports and paying set aside. Overall everything is going well.
District 1 - Marcus Armstrong
Everything is going well so far. He is planning a teleconference with district members.
District 9 - Shirley Smart
Shirley represented Joel Rose. The Social Security building is up and running and is doing fine. Facility at the government center is under a Type II LOFA.
District 2 - Kurt Ponchak
The elected representative resigned in November. Kurt had conference call with the district members. The Tallahassee district has facilities that are more challenging with a lot of food service facilities. Suggested that there be a plan for replacements and renovations for facilities.
There was a discussion amongst Agency staff and committee members about timelines for equipment replacements.
There are regular meetings in the district. The new alternate for District 2 is Michael Renard who was elected unanimously on November 28th.
District 8 - Gyorke Alge
Everything is fine. George Arthur is settling in at the Punta Gorda rest area.
There was a question on who does the updates of the contact lists. At the Agency Glenda Josey updates our lists. Vendors must do updates in MFMP, because the Agency cant do them.
There was a LOFA cancellation on the Bradenton route. Richard Draper is handling it. The facility is on January bid list. George Arthur uses a repairman from Gainesville. Problems everywhere getting repairmen for machines.
District 3 - Don Tuel
Everything is okay.
District 7 - Charles Hackney
In District 7 some facilities are without an operator-facility 124 and facility 265 at 1313 Tampa Street. Decisions need to be made on the disposition of these locales. Jim Warth expressed some concern on how the routes are set up - routes are crossing over. Kathy Warth expressed concern that Jim Warth needs to use monies from other facilities to support nonviable routes. Tom Spiliotis said that the routes need to be an agenda item at the next meeting. The consultant needs to come to the meeting with a plan and numbers. All effected parties need to be informed. The issue will be added to the March meeting agenda.
District 4 - Bill Perret
Everything is fine.
District 6 - Randall Crosby
Jose Quintanilla has facility 285 at the VA hospital. The hospital has requested that a food truck come to the facility. The truck is selling chips and candies in direct competition with the vending in the building. There used to be a snack bar but when the operator moved into the new building only a vending area was provided. Greg Coon is looking for direction in regards to the Randolph-Sheppard act. He plans to talk to the food truck proprietor and see if they can work something out. Jose Quintanilla has not spoken with the building manager. Jose indicated that he was losing $2000 per month. VA hospitals historically consider themselves exempt from Randolph-Sheppard. At the KSC employees are moving in the OSB 2 building which is in close proximity to Bob Murrays snack bar. Bob would like to provide food service to that building.
District 5 - Dennis Horn
One vendor wants an ice machine and is preparing to present that at the next meeting. Another vendor wants the required profits to drop-net profit requirements too high. Michael DiAngelo has resigned from the Seminole Cafeteria (located in the State Regional Service Center). One post office may be closing and the operator, Victor Rosario is going to operate the cafeteria.
Selection Panel Nominations and Appointments
Jim Lovers term on the selection panel expires this month. He is interested in serving again. There is no prohibition against a retired vendor being on the panel. A motion was made by Gyorke Alger to renew Jim Lovers term on the selection panel. Seconded by Dennis Horn. Unanimously voted by available members.
Nominations or recommendations are needed for alternates for the selections and/or grievance panel. David Stevens has agreed to be an alternate and was confirmed.
Richard Stevens and Richard Draper were recommended as alternates for the grievance panel. Submit names to Tom Spiliotis and it will be discussed on the December 21 conference call. Kathy Warth offered to be an alternate. Kurt Ponchak made a motion to have Kathy Warth as an alternate; it was seconded by Charles Hackney. Voted unanimously by available members.
Round Table - Committee Member
Shirley Smart, District 9 for Joel Rose said that the post office at Pembroke Pines (David Kaplans facility) may be closing. Joel Roses post office facility is still up in the air. Both post offices may be closed and the business sent to Miami.
Janet Chernoff announced the dates for the 2012 committee meetings. Dates are March 8-10, May 17-19, August 16-18, and December 6-8, 2012.
Tom Spiliotis adjourned the meeting at 12 noon.
Minutes submitted by: Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant