Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
May 29 to 30, 2015
Embassy Suites International Drive
Friday, May 29, 2015
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 am by Committee Chairman Tom Spiliotis. Vice Chairman John Klindtworth called the roll.
The following individuals were present:
Tom Spiliotis, Chairman
John Klindtworth, Vice Chairman
District Representatives: Lourena Mellott, District 1; Mike Renaud, District 2; Mark Turner, District 3 Alternate; Patti Fulda, District 4; Phil Hubbard, District 5 Alternate; Brian McKenney, District 6; Woody Matthews, District 7 Alternate; Tom Saunders, District 8; Joel Rose, District 9; Jesus Villeda, District 10.
Bureau of Business Enterprise Staff: Bill Findley, Bureau Chief; Maureen Fink, Operations Manager; Alan Risk, Compliance Officer; Don Meloy, Marketing and Site Development Manager; John Ahler, Business Analyst; Brian Ashworth, Region 1 Business Consultant; Bernie Kaiserian, Region 2 Business Consultant; Greg Coon, Region 3 Business Consultant; Tony Arduengo, Region 4 Business Consultant; Jim Carper, Region 5 Business Consultant; Alejandro Garcia, Region 6 Business Consultant; Janet Chernoff, Administrative Services Consultant.
Division of Blind Services: Robert Doyle, Director
Licensed Vendors: Terri Bowen, District 1 Alternate; Mitzi Tyler, District 6 Alternate; David Kaplan, District 9 Alternate; Jose Quintanilla, Valerie James
Rehabilitative Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Instructor, Steve Moss; Trainees: Gerald Sanders, Joe Bragg, Kliphton Miller, Laurel Lyew Sang.
Guests: Joe Urbanek, Chairman of the Committee of Vendors for the South Carolina program, Marion Matthews, Jesse James
A synopsis of the minutes from the February 2015 meeting was read by Janet Chernoff. A full copy of the minutes was sent out prior to the meeting. Joel Rose moved to accept the minutes as written. Seconded by Lourena Mellott. Passed without objection.
BBE Updates – Bill Findley
Military Contracts and Challenges – The Camp Blanding proposal has been signed by the Commissioner and is now being submitted. The BBE has had our eye on this facility for over a year and the selected vendor is Edward Spence. The contract with the military dining at the Eglin AFB was not renewed. The legal department believes that Eglin did not follow proper procedures and is examining the case to see if the decision should be challenged. Key West has notified the BBE that they want the program to continue to provide food service for their second option year beginning in September. Two years ago the Division filed for arbitration concerning the right to submit a proposal for the military dining at Tyndall AFB. The process is moving forward and if successful in arbitration, Tyndall would have to put out another solicitation and the Division would be permitted to submit a proposal. Bill Findley and Brian Ashworth visited the Panama City Naval Station facility on May 13, 2015. Their solicitation was very clear that the Randolph-Sheppard Act will apply to this facility. Alton Palmore was selected for this opportunity should the BBE be awarded it.
The Division is slowly moving forward with the vending in Facility 605, James Haley VA Clinic in Tampa. The population is increasing and the hope is that this will eventually be a stand-alone facility. In Facility 607, VA at Lake Nona Medical Center in Orlando the program has machines in the smaller buildings, but has not been given the opportunity to put machines in the main building. The Division has made small inroads in VA facilities throughout the state but is not getting the choice locations. Bernie Kaiserian has approached a clinic in St. Augustine, but they have indicated they are not interested in using a BBE vendor. Jim Carper has been requested to agree to give up a location in a VA clinic so that they can move the vending to another location. Jim is reluctant to agree to this. Maureen will follow up.
Facility 381, Rest Area on I-75 in at Punta Gorda was permanently closed by the DOT in April. The operator, George Arthur was given an administrative appointment to operate Facility 432, Rest Area on the south end of the Skyway Bridge. Machines were relocated from Facility 381 to the new location. Facilities 426 and 427 are scheduled to be closed on May 28th for six months renovations. Facilities 571 and 572, Jefferson County Rest Areas are scheduled to be closed in November. The existing facilities will be completely rebuilt. Other rest area renovations include Facilities 415 and 416 on I-4 in Seminole County. An additional rest area is scheduled to be built at Alligator Alley.
As of April 30, 2015 there was over $321,000 in the Bank of America Account. $150,000 was transferred to the spending account in May. The March report indicated that set-aside and other income was just over $41,000 for March. Maureen Fink has been tracking program expenditures on a regular basis to assure that the accounting is accurate. There is a surplus of funds in the spending accounts due to projects that did not come to fruition. As a result monies have been designated for a number of projects which include replacing equipment at the cafeteria at FDLE, Tallahassee and fiberglass walls to be installed in the snack bars in the Bob Martinez Center and Collins buildings, also in Tallahassee. Monies may also be used to replace equipment at the Turlington building. Other projects include machines for the proposed vending for Lake Worth and Clearwater and equipment for the Gerstein building in Miami.
DBS update – Robert Doyle, Director
Division of Blind Services Director, Robert Doyle spoke briefly to the Committee and BBE staff. He updated the group on the current Legislative Session. The Legislature will have a special session during the first week in June to work on the state budget. He also spoke about the Work Force Innovations Opportunities Act. In order for DBS to consider a case a successful closure, the employment outcome must be a competitive integrated opportunity. There was a question whether the BBE program or any outcome involving self-employment would satisfy the standard and be considered a successful closure. Another concern is that any program (including the BBE) involving employment might be moved to the Department of Economic Opportunity. The BBE program involves a rehabilitation process because of the training element before reaching an employment outcome.
New Visitation Reports procedures for Food Services – All
A recent problem with cleanliness and maintenance at the Turlington Building cafeteria has required the program to develop new procedures for visitations for all over-the-counter facilities. AFV has been operating this facility for the last few years. The Commissioner’s office was concerned about the situation and has closed the cafeteria until further notice and the contract with AFV is being reviewed with the possibility of cancelling it. Options are being explored for this facility including a branded concept, snack bar or micro-market. AFV is also operating the cafeteria at the Douglas Building in Tallahassee. We are currently negotiating with the Department of Environmental Protection to turn over this facility to them as we do not deem it a viable opportunity for a BBE operator. The BBE staff is reviewing reports from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for all their facilities and will be developing new checklists for consultants and operators to help ensure that high standards of cleanliness and maintenance are being met and that any problems or potential problems are addressed immediately. The consultant will immediately visit a facility when a problem is identified and put an action plan in place with a deadline date for follow up. New reports include separate cleanliness checklists for the facility and the staff and a temperature log. The lists will be sent to the operators to be used weekly and the consultants will be using the same checklists for their visits. Operators will be expected to confirm that all the contracted services are being done. Pest control, grease trap services, hood cleaning services and the semi deep cleaning will all be tracked.
The current training class introduced themselves and provided some information on their background. Kliphton Miller was previously a vendor in the Minnesota program and said that the Florida program is elegantly different from the Minnesota program. Joe Bragg suggested that Scott Turner from his local eye clinic would be a good contact for getting more blind veterans into the program.
Working Capital Repayment – Alan Risk/All
The BBE program went through an internal audit which resulted in two findings. The first finding involved measuring the success of the program. The second finding involved the repayment of working capital and outstanding balance due the agency from vendors who have left the program.
The program needs to redefine the parameters on which success is judged and tracked. In some cases the standards are antiquated measures and unrealistic in the current economic environment. The DOE and DMS restrictions have limited our abilities to achieve their standards.
BBE staff along with the Fiscal department is refining the procedures for collections of monies due from operators that have left program. Any outstanding debt that is over five years old cannot be collected. Previously operators were allowed to enter into a new LOFA even though they had an outstanding debt from a previous facility. The policy was changed and current operators pay off the working capital from previous facilities before signing a new LOFA. It has been recommended that a policy be instituted that would require existing operators to start paying back their working capital. The program has one million dollars in working capital assigned to operators currently in facilities. It has been suggested that a policy be put in place that would require an operator to begin to pay back their working capital beginning with their seventh monthly report. Payment would 1% – 3.5% depending on the amount of working capital with a minimum monthly payment of $25.00. Robert Doyle confirmed to the Committee that the Division wants the program to develop a repayment plan for active operators. Tom Spiliotis asked if the monies could be placed into a separate account so that operators could be assured of their availability when needed. The committee members expressed the concern that an outgoing operator who had paid off their working capital would leave the minimum of stock and money for a new operator. It was confirmed that a working capital check can be requested and received within a week. A request can be submitted prior to the changeover if needed. Lourena Mellott wanted to be assured that an outgoing operator that had paid off the working capital and had left the recommended amount of working capital for new operator would be reimbursed. Work capital overages can also be processed immediately and a check available within a week in most cases. Some operators have more working capital than is necessary because the circumstances of the location have changed. Tom Spiliotis recommended that the Consultants assess the facility and make sure that the amount of working capital that an operator is getting is appropriate for the facility. It was confirmed by Maureen Fink that this is being done. A working capital repayment plan would also help the operators transition into new facilities.
The Division wants the BBE to develop a policy so that it can be submitted to JAPC prior to the Biennial Seminar. Tom Spiliotis wants to make sure that policy is examined and reasonable before a rule is enacted. Tom Spiliotis put together a subcommittee on repayment which will include himself, Lourena Mellott, Phil Hubbard and John Klindtworth. Mike Renaud express concern about working capital owed to an operator who is deceased. It is unclear how the BBE can legally pay this money back to the operator’s estate.
Marketing and Site Development Updates – Don Meloy
Some of the opportunities that are being pursued include two VA outpatient clinics – one in Tallahassee and one in Panama City, vending at Eglin AFB, the opportunity at Camp Blanding and Sunland near FCI Marianna. Don is working with Woody Matthews and Tony Arduengo on the vending for the City of Clearwater and with Jim Carper on the vending for Lake Worth. Both permits are currently in the routing process at DOE. He is also working on the vending at Anastasia State Park where the program has offered to pay the cost of utilities.
Tom Spiliotis feels that going forward the Division should be cautious about committing to unrealistic pricing requirements and recommended that the Division check with experienced vendors before signing any agreements. Bill Findley agreed that the program may have to pass on an opportunity if the pricing requirements are unrealistic. When preparing a proposal Don Meloy emphasizes the level of service and oversight that the program can offer that is not available from a private company.
The Division continues to work on an agreement for vending in State Parks. The Florida Park Service is willing to allow the program to service the smaller parks, but the lower visitation and remoteness would not make most of them viable locations. The Osceola Courthouse invited us to submit a proposal for 2016 and there is an agreement in process for the vending at the Daytona Beach International Airport. Other opportunities that are being worked on include the DEO in Region 4, along with MacDill AFB youth center, NOAH and SoCom. In Region 5 a new VA facility is under construction and in Region 6 Don is working on GSA locations, DEA, CHI and Department of Juvenile Justice centers.
Compliance Officers Reports – Alan Risk
Five new vendors have been licensed since the February meeting, bringing the total for 2015 to seven. Three of those new vendors have been awarded Type II facilities. Three more trainees are expected to be licensed in June. Seven of the twelve licensees from 2014 are in facilities. Of the five remaining two are not actively pursuing opportunities and one was recommend for Camp Blanding and is awaiting a decision on the contract. The May selection cycle is now in process and a total of five opportunities have been posted. Applications are due by Friday, May 29th at 5pm, the selection cycle test will be given on Wednesday, June 17th and interviews are scheduled for July 13-15. Of the 107 currently assigned vendors 1.9% has less than 1 CEU, 6.5% have less than 2 CEUs, and 21.3% have at least 2 CEUs but less than the 3 required, and 69.4% vendors have fulfilled the CEU requirement for this period.
One Grievance filed since the last Committee meeting. Grievance: On March 26, 2015 a grievance hearing was requested by a licensed operator who disagreed with the Type II panels’ decision in awarding a Type II LOFA to another BBE operator. A grievance hearing was scheduled for April 2, 2015. Outcome: On March 30th, the grievant withdrew his request for a hearing.
Selection Cycle Elections – Alan Risk
Jim Lover’s term is up and he is interested in serving another term. Tom Saunders made a motion to elect Jim Lover to another term. Seconded by Woody Matthews. Lourena Mellott asked for clarification whether Jim could serve on the panel since he is retired and is no longer actively operating a facility. It was confirmed that he could serve on the panel. Passed without objection.
Type II – Maureen Fink
Twenty-two facilities are Type IIs. Six are on the current the selection cycle which includes the Doral route in Miami which consists of Facilities 557 and 614. The committee had previously voted to combine these facilities. Also included are the two facilities operated by AFV. Facility 590, Douglas building cafeteria will close the end of June and Facility 361, Turlington building cafeteria is under review.
Adjourned for the day at 5pm.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Tom Spiliotis call the meeting to order at 8:35am and John Klindtworth called the role.
Determining the viability of facilities/vendor obligations in regard to adding new locations – All
Joel Rose expressed concern about the Division entering into contracts where prices are fixed and an operator does not have the latitude to raise prices when costs increase. When the Division agrees to pricing they need to make sure that it is competitive. The operator also needs to understand that a new route may take time to develop and it may be necessary to agree to price restrictions to get the contract. In the case of Facilities 612 and 617 at the Broward Sherriff’s office (BSO) the operators have to maintain the same prices in the cafeteria building and on the route. Recently the BSO agreed to allow the operator to raise some prices because of cost increases. Facility 617, BSO route will be offered on a Type II within the next week. It was suggested that the announcement include the price list so that interested operators will be able to make an educated decision on whether to apply for the route.
SunPasses -- Lourena Mellott
Concern has been expressed about the operators at rest areas that have been required to sell Sunpasses. The passes require that the operator have card readers which are an additional expense. The division purchases card readers for locations where they are required. The additional costs for card readers are generally offset by the increased business. It was suggested that the monthly charge be an approved business expense. Tom Spiliotis said that the number of allowable expenses reduced because they are hard to track. It was recommended that the SunPass sales be tracked separately so that there is an accurate depiction of sales and how the net profit is impacted.
Business Analyst Update – John Ahler
John has done monitorings on 29 LOFAs and has nine more scheduled for June. Some of the findings he has identified are operators not reporting labor costs and not claiming business expenses. John is advising operators to be aware that nonfood items such as Sunpasses are taxed at a different rate and water is not taxed at all. Other suggestions include making sure than they have copies of thermal receipts and are reporting sales properly. John also advised the group that if an operator is charging extra for products purchased with a credit card, signage needs to say that there is a discount for cash (not a surcharge for using a credit card). Tom suggested that John email all the operators when he identifies common issues to maximize the information.
Four of the new operators, Ruby Adams, Kinesha Cole, Jason Carpenter and Matt O’Leary had the opportunity to work with the existing operator for an extended period prior to taking over the facility.
Terri Bowen suggested that mentors provide a report, and was concerned that mentor would feel like a tattletale if they reported their concerns.
Biennial Seminar – Janet Chernoff
The seminar is scheduled for August 28-30 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. Ninety operators have already registered and are in process of making room reservations. Vistar, Magnifying America, USA Technologies, Insurance by Glenn, Crane, A & M equipment and Hilliard Goldsmith are already confirmed for the trade show. Scheduled sessions include vending repair, preparing for DBPR inspections, technology, insurance and preferred business practices. Tom Spiliotis recommended that USA Technologies talk about their website. The theme for the seminar will be “stepping up to the plate”.
Regional Status/District Updates – All
Region 1 – Brian Ashworth
Emmett Magee signed into Facility 286, Pensacola vending route on May 21. Ron Jones signed into Facility 587, Blackwater River Correctional Institute on May 27. Anthony DaGraca will take over the operation of Facility 371, Cafeteria at FDLE on June 1 and Carl Walker will take over Facility 545, Snack Bar at the Bob Martinez center on the same day. Brian confirmed that Facilities 571 and 572, Leon County I-10 rest areas are scheduled to close on June 1 for renovations. Kinesha Cole took over Facility 273, Snack Bar at the Collins building on May 1. The 16th floor snack bar at Facility 361 Turlington building is scheduled to open early next week for access to vending and ice. The 1st floor cafeteria is closed until further notice.
District 1 – Lourena Mellott
Lourena reported that Coke has been very helpful to her and provided her a new machine for one of her locations. She had lunch with local operators Emmett Magee, Ron Jones and Debbie Malmberg and has spoken to Alton Palmore. Alton has expressed interest in running for alternate if Terri Bowen moves out of the District. Lourena has enjoyed being the representative for District 1.
District 2 – Mike Renaud
Mike asked for clarification on the purchasing of credit card readers. The division purchases them when it is required by the location. Examples are welcome centers selling SunPasses and the BSO where card readers were a requirement of the contract. It is an agency decision whether to purchase card readers for a facility. Mike told the group the USA technology now takes the Master Debit Card.
Region 4 – Tony Arduengo
Facility 381, Rest Area at Punta Gorda has been permanently closed and the operator has signed into Facility 432, Rest Area I-75 South on the Skyway Bridge. Locations have been added to Facility 180, Ft. Myers Route. Permits are in processes for locations at MacDill AFB, Hillsborough County and the City of Clearwater. Machines were installed in Facility 605, James Haley VA Clinic. Employees are asking why the machines aren’t more accessible and Tony will be meeting with the facility director to see if they can be moved to better locations. Sales are up on Facility 396, vending route operated by Jim Warth and will hopefully be up to $150,000 by the end of the year.
District 7 – Woody Matthews (Alternate)
Tony is trying to find new locations to add to facilities to compensate for diminishing sales at other locations. The permit for the city of Clearwater is in process and they are looking for opportunities in other municipalities in area. Woody has joined the Chamber of Commerce to help expand his contacts within the community.
District 8 – Tom Saunders
Tom has had problems with vandalism at his location. He believes it may have been one of the security guards as the problem stopped when the guard left the location.
Region 2 – Bernie Kaiserian
Ruby Adams took over Facility 569, Cafeteria at the FAA on February 1 and is doing fine. She is working well with FAA management. The operator of Facility 513, Jacksonville vending route has had some challenges. He recently had a driver quit. The operator of Facility 608, vending at Tacachale needs additional oversight to help him maximize the potential of this location. Facility 425, I-10 Rest Area and Facility 610, vending at the Northeast Florida State Hospital are both on May selection cycle. The storage area at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station is being renovated. Operator Ray Richard is moving toward exclusive Pepsi and only has three Coke machines.
District 4 – Patti Fulda
Patti will be monitoring Ray Richard’s deal with Pepsi to see if she wants to do something similar. She has added card readers and is happy with the results.
District 3 – Mark Turner (Alternate)
Don Tuell, District Representative is very busy and his wife will be out of commission for a while. Recently a car was driven into a glass front vending machine at Don’s location.
Region 6 – Alejandro Garcia
Vending routes 557 and 617 will be combined and are currently available on the May selection cycle.
The selected vendor for the third party vending is not willing to provide ADA compliant machines, so the next vendor on the list will be awarded the contract.
District 10 – Jesus Villeda
One of the windows was closed at Facility 156, Dade County Justice Building snack bar and Alejandro is working on a solution for the resulting overcrowding problem.
Region 5 – Jim Carper
Jim is waiting for the signed contracts for the City of Lake Worth. These locations will be added to Facility 257, vending route operated by Jim Perry. He has ordered the Coke machines and has will store them in his warehouse. No new information is available on the status of Facility 613, FBI building at Miramar. All the rest areas in Region 5 now have vending machine signs. The sales have increased every month at Facility 612, BSO Cafeteria. Don Gerschick has changed to the square systems and it costs about a third of what he was paying. Facility 501 has lost a location when the county condemned a building that housed Childnet. Donald Felder has card readers and David Kaplan and Bill McDermott are planning on purchasing them. Facility 430, I-95 rest area at Port St. Lucie is on the May selection Cycle.
District 9 – Joel Rose
Joel Rose said that the Childnet office moved and the new building has a micro market operated by Canteen. Joel reported that sales at his facility are down $60,000 over the previous year.
Region 3 – Greg Coon
Mitzi Tyler signed into Facility 416, Rest Area I-4 westbound in mid-April. Facility 497, Kennedy Space Center vending is currently being operated on a Type II by Dennis Horn. This facility is on the May selection cycle. Machines have been added to Facility 586, Orlando vending route. The planned closing of the Lake Mary location has been delayed until April 2016. Construction continues on the vending space in Facility 604, George C Young Federal Courthouse. The space should be turned over to us by mid-July. A micro market is planned for this facility.
District 6 -- Brian McKenney
The population in his building continues to decline. Brian reported that a vendor at his location was upset by a recent visit by BBE staff. Tom Spiliotis told the group that the intention of the visit was to help the operator. A food truck has been visiting the location. The BBE has written a letter of protest to KSC.
District Five – Phillip Hubbard (Alternate)
Phil continues to work with Greg to build his route. He would be interested in adding the micro market planned for the Federal Courthouse to the route. Greg feels that this location should eventually be a stand-alone facility.
Round Table – All
Lourena requested that she be given advance notice on any votes planned at the Committee meetings, so that she can poll the operators in her area. Items are listed on the agenda, but sometimes things come up in the course of the meeting. Representatives are elected to vote on behalf of their area. Tom thanked the committee for their service. This is the last meeting before the elections.
Meeting adjourned at 12 noon.