The Committee Chairperson, Mr. Krekor Sampadian, called the meeting to order at approximately 7:05 PM.


Guests: Ms. Patricia Benson-Lane, Mr. Jimmy Davis, Ms. Patti Fulda, Ms. Kathy Graham, Ms. Mary Hayes, Mr. Joe Naulty, Mr. Mansour Nazari, Mr. Paul Prescott, Mr. Joel Rose, Mr. Jim Warth, Ms. Kathy Warth and Mr. Lonnie Wilcox

A quorum was established.

Mr. Sampadian asked that all participants speak separately to minimize confusion.

He asked for a motion to approve the August 6 - 7, 2004 Committee Meeting Minutes. Ms. Alger moved the adoption of the minutes as presented by email to the Committee and posted to the Divisions web page. Mr. Fickett seconded. After discussion, by voice vote, the motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Mr. Sampadian indicated that the purpose of the meeting by conference call was to discuss the suggested improvements to the selection process as represented in the written proposal mailed to all Committee members. He asked if all Representatives had received the proposals and there were no indications from anyone that they had not received them.

Mr. Sampadian asked Mr. Newcomb to give a brief synopsis of how the suggestions were developed. Mr. Newcomb said that a group of 8 persons, who were not representing the Committee or the Selection Panel, met in Tampa on August 31, 2004. The group included 5 vendors and 3 Division staff. The groups discussions produced the suggested improvements to the selection process, as were presented in writing to Committee members and all other licensees and trainees.

Mr. Sampadian asked for comments first from Committee Representatives and later from others.

The following points were made:

Ms. Alger: Indicated the proposed improvements offered at this meeting are not to be viewed as the end product of the selection process improvements but serve as a platform for further development and refinement.

Mr. Thompson: Commended the work done but felt that no development should be done in secret and that a manual should be created for applicants to use as a study guide.

Mr. Rose: Suggested the development of tests be done by a professional company.

Mr. Wilcox: Emphasized that Committee members should not be involved in creating test or interview questions, since they are potential applicants for future business opportunity selections.

Many other Committee members as well as a number of the persons listening participated in the general discussions.

Ms. Alger, representing the Committees Transfer and Promotion Work Group, made a motion to endorse the proposed improvements. Ms. Shirley Smart seconded.

Calling for discussion, Mr. Sampadian asked the Divisions Compliance Director, Mr. Gene Newcomb, to read the proposed improvements, point by point. He did so and as some points were discussed amendments were offered.

(Scribers Note: Suggested deletions are indicated by cross through of the words and additions are indicated by bold face. Motions made are indicated parenthetically after each amended section, as are the actions on the motions. 

1. The Selection Panel will receive no personal identification data about applicants for facilities. This includes names, Social Security numbers, current facility number/location and any other information that could identify the applicant.

2. The oral exam with target bullets will be replaced by a standardized multiple choice written test. Each question will have only one correct answer. The test score will comprise 50% of each applicants overall score.

3. The test will be developed in Sunshine. The time and place of the developmental meeting will be announced in the Florida Administrative Weekly and any person may attend.

(Because of time constraints we will not be able to accomplish this for the October selections, but it will definitely be in place by January 1st, 2005.)

(Ms. Alger moved that the above section be stricken in its entirety. Mr. Fickett seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

3. 4. Test questions and answers will be developed by persons agreed upon by the Division and the Committee from the following sources: FRA Safe Serve Manual; Crane National Snack Machine Manual; FAC Chapter 38K-1; BEP Policy Manual; BEP LOFA. Source references will be given for all questions and answers. Test questions will address the criteria listed in FAC Chapter 38K-1. (The test for the October selections will be developed by members of this discussion group who are not Selection panel members.)

(Ms. Alger moved acceptance of the additions and deletions to this point. Mr. Rigney seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

4. 5. The test will be administered by a designated DBS staff person in the District office where the vendor resides. The Compliance Director will transmit the required number of tests, to be kept sealed until administered, to each designated DBS staff person. BEP employees will not be permitted to administer the test. The test will be administered to all applicants on the same date and at the same time. The tests will be returned to the Compliance Director and kept sealed until the Selection Panel convenes.

5. 6. When the Selection Panel convenes the sealed tests and other data to be scored will be delivered by the Compliance Director. All documents will be identified only by a letter or number designation assigned by the Compliance Director to each applicant.

6. 7. The test and other documents will be independently scored by each member of the Panel on one master score card. Each component will be separately totaled. The component scores will then be totaled to produce each applicants total score. When each applicants score cards are marked they will be held by the Compliance Director until all applications have been evaluated.

7. 8. Until reliable verification processes for the evaluation of performance data are developed the Panel will consider only data that is currently verifiable. For the October selections these are limited to the following: timeliness of reporting; accounts receivable; number of months under LOFA in good standing beginning with January 1st, 1997; set aside fee payment. These items will be scored as follows:

Timeliness of reporting - Eight (8) points for no late reports. Two (2) points subtracted for each late report, no limit on subtractions dating from October 1st, 2002, when due date was changed to postmark date.

Accounts receivable - Eight (8) points for no monies owed. Four (4) points if monies owed and payment plan in place. Zero (0) points if monies owed and not paid as agreed no payments being made.

(Mr. Angelicola moved acceptance of the additions and deletions to this sub-point. Ms. Alger seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

Months under LOFA in good standing - 0.1 point (one tenth of one point) per month beginning January 1st, 1997; maximum of nine (9) points.

Set Aside Fee Payment - Any vendor who is required to pay set aside fee by money order or cashiers check by reason of having submitted a check that was returned twice for insufficient funds will have two (2) points subtracted from the overall score.

(Ms. Malmberg moved acceptance of the deletions to this sub-point. Ms. Alger seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

8. 9. As the test score and the performance data scores are quantifiable and not subject to interpretation, any discrepancies in scoring will be brought to the Panel by the Compliance Director for correction.

9. 10. Applicants with less than six (6) months of no performance data, as of the closing date for applications, will not be scored on performance elements, but will automatically be included in the final interview group.

(Mr. Fickett moved acceptance of the additions and deletions to this point. Ms. Alger seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

10. 11. For each facility, the top fifteen percentile of the top scores of the applicants shall be invited for an interview, for that facility, The five (5) highest scoring applicants for each facility and all first time applicants will be invited to participate in an interview to be held in the Tampa DBS office, date and time to be established by the Selection Panel. Each applicant will be asked the same five (5) questions and the responses will be scored independently by each Panel member with no consultations or discussions. Each question will have a value of five (5) points. The Panelists scores will be averaged and the result added to the applicants final score.

(Mr. Angelicola moved acceptance of the additions and deletions to this point. Ms. Malmberg seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

The questions are to be open-ended and will focus on the areas of customer service and general business management principles. The intent is to allow the applicant to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of good business practices.

The text of the interview questions will be provided to each qualifying applicant prior to the interview. Thirty (30) minutes will be allocated for each interview.

(Ms. Alger moved acceptance of the deletions to this point. Ms. Malmberg seconded. After discussion, the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.)

During the discussions of the above amendments various individuals made suggestions. There was no specific vote to incorporate the suggestions into the text.

These include the following:

Tape record the test with 1 = minute intervals for applicant responses and provide an opportunity for the proctor of the test to repeat any question an applicant might want to revisit after the last question.

When tabulating months under LOFA in good standing, use the timeliness of reporting data as the determinant of good standing.

Each facility will have its own group interview of applicants where the Compliance Director will randomly ask the interview questions to the applicants until all questions have been posed to all applicants. The interview sessions will be tape-recorded.

Ms. Alger called the question on the original motion to accept the improvements, now as amended. Ms. Malmberg seconded. The motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.

Ms. Alger moved that the test questions be developed by the Divisions Compliance Director and Rehabilitation Center Business Enterprises Instructor. Mr. Angelicola seconded. After discussion, the motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Having no further business, Mr. Sampadian adjourned the meeting at 8:59 PM.

Return to top of page

DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.