Quarterly Meeting of the State Committee of Vendors
Friday, August 19, 2022
Chairman, James Warth Called the meeting to order at 8:15 AM. Vice Chairman, Kurt Ponchak, Committee Member called the role.
The following individuals were present:
James Warth, Chairman
District Representatives: Kurt Ponchak, District 1; Colton Knight, District 2; Mitzi Bowen, District 3; Randall Crosby, District Four; David Stevens, District 5; Phil Hubbard, District 6; T.J. McCormick, District 7; Sead Bekric, District 8; Orlando Ramirez, District 9; Daniel Ochoa, District 10.
Bureau of Business Enterprise Staff: Bill Findley Bureau Chief; Maureen Fink, Operations Manager; Alan Risk, Compliance Officer; John Ahler, Business Analyst; Greg Coon, Marketing and Site Development Manager; Brian Ashworth, Region 1 Business Consultant; Bernie Kaiserian, Region 2 Business Consultant; Jay Payne, Region 3 Business Consultant; Anthony Arduengo, Region 4 Business Consultant; Mary Ellen Harding, Administrative Assistant; Steve Moss, BEP Instructor; Angela Elgaard, BEP Trainer; Sharon Jadoo, Region 6 Consultant.
Licensed Vendors: Alton Palmore, District 1 Alternate; Kash Ahmed, District 2 Alternate; Jose Quintanilla, District 7 Alternate.
Division of Blind Services: Robert Doyle, Director
Visitors: Israel Davila, Jim Anderson, Ms. Ahmed, Nicky Gacos and Ed Birmingham.
Ponchak asked for unanimous consent to change agenda to allow Mr. Doyle and Mr. Gacos to speak when they arrive. Passed without objection.
Welcome, Adoption of Agenda and Approval of Minutes – Jim Warth
Ponchak moved to accept minutes as published. Passed without objection.
BEP Updates: Bill Findley
Florida’s BEP program is in a much better position than most other states. We are recovering nicely from COVID. The State of Tennessee has lost 5 vendors recently, no longer have a training instructor or a place to do training. They requested to have training with Florida and are planning to send two people for training for the September 6th class.
Asking Director Doyle and the Deputy Director for help with hiring people and moving packages through for current DBS employees.
Also, we will be seeking to improve communication with the DOE Office of the General Counsel.
We had a meeting with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) at the Turlington Building on July 19, 2022. In attendance were Director Doyle, Trina Travis, Kurt Ponchak, Maureen Fink and Bill Findley. It was a good meeting. They seemed to understand the security situation. Government moves slowly. DBS has been asked to review our agreement, which has been done. We have sent questions to Legal. In 3-5 months, we should have a new agreement which will be executed and give blanket approval for security cameras in vending areas. The question is how long we will need to keep recordings for retrieval? FDOT does not want responsibility for keeping recordings. Vendors need better security in general at rest areas. There have been incidents which evidence the need for more/better security. Weigh stations have Florida Highway Patrol present, but rest areas do not. FDOT is going to ask truckers to park more at weigh stations and want BEP to consider providing vending there. BEP won’t do anything on weigh stations until it gets security at rest areas. We are asking for vending signs prior to the rest areas on interstates at all rest areas.
Legal issues: We have had an open arbitration on the books for years with Tyndall and had a settlement to get vending machines. Hurricane Michael changed the timeline. Currently we have 13 machines at Tyndall and are adding machines as new buildings come on line Currently there is a good relationship with Tyndall. RSA would like us to close the arbitration. We have two options: Suspend for up to 12 months or close and reopen if there is a problem in the future.
Another arbitration: Eglin Air Force Base (Eglin) reached out to us recently and asked for BEP to do a site visit. Eglin is holding to a strict interpretation of the RSA which we believe is incorrect. The regulations need to be updated. They sent us a list of buildings with machines that the Army Air Force Exchange has on the base. Eglin is a remote base in the panhandle. We are planning a two-day visit to survey the base. Reached out to Hurlburt to do a survey there but our contact has left. With both Hurlburt and Eglin it might make a large enough vending facility to make it viable.
General Services Administration (GSA) remains a problem. We are not getting good cooperation from GSA.
We may get some publicity in the quarterly NAMA publication. Capital Circle Office Center (CCOC) Living Better Market will be the subject of the article.
Will be resuming our roadshow and will be stopping by district offices to introduce ourselves to the people in the district offices this fall. We want to promote the positives of our program to counselors at the district offices.
Welcome Sharon Jadoo: Sharon is our new Region 6 Consultant. She has been with the agency for 19 years. Has been and Employment Placement Specialist in Miami. Loves the BEP program. Sharon has been very supportive of the BEP over the years and has taken culinary arts courses.
Budget Report – Kurt Ponchak and Bill Findley
This year so far, our monthly business reports show $1.5MM in sales for January $1.6MM in February, $2MM in March, $2MM in April, May and June were just under $2MM. July reports are just now coming in. Federal prisons are still not open. We have some food service facilities that are next to nothing or way down in sales. We are seeing an increase in reimbursement requests. Ponchak: We ended last year with a little more in our checking account and are seeing things moving in the right direction. We are on track with the budget.
Type II Update: Maureen Fink
The Larson Building may not remain as food service and may become a micro market rather than food service. It was not on the Type II selection because of the timing of the vendor’s death. We did an administrative appointment for the Larson Building.
Randolph Sheppard Vendors of Florida (RSVF) - Randall Crosby.
Colton Knight is going to set-up a statewide meeting to elect new officers for RSVF. At that time the organization will be revamped.
Randolph Sheppard Vendors of America (RSVA): Randall Crosby is a board member now and the newest board member is David Stevens. RSVA is holding monthly board meetings.
Accessibility Issues and Updates: Colton Knight and Sead Bekric
Knight: In conversations with Yoke. Frustrated with micro market software. There is a need to look at all the competition to see what will work best. Yoke is providing a Kiosk for Knight to use for 90 days to test accessibility. Yoke was purchased by Cantaloupe and are integrating their software with software Knight already uses to manage his route. This would be an all-in-one package where Knight could manage vending machines, micro market and warehouse inventory. We should look at and test options to make recommendations to the agency on what works and what doesn’t.
Bekric: Not feasible to get equipment that is 100% accessible for a totally blind person. But would like companies we use to be willing to work with us to make it as accessible as possible. Cantaloupe is willing to make a small adjustment to their website to make it structurally usable for screen readers. This should also be true for Kiosk accessibility. Basic equipment should be available to trainers and trainees during On-the-Job Training (OJT). Client Services should provide basic equipment to trainees. Totally blind trainees should be trained by totally blind vendors. Findley: Client Services is addressing that need currently.
Knight: 3-Square is still not accessible. They make promises but they have not fulfilled them to this point. The conference was cancelled and rescheduled for October.
Generic Machines and New Products: Sead Bekric
It is time for the Committee and the Agency to consider purchasing generic vending machines on interstates. Customers love diversity of mixed products. Quintanilla has a generic machine. You can buy healthier products at a lower cost, give customers what they want and make a bigger profit. Machines start at $2,200 for stackers and glass fronts start at $7,000. Strongly believes a trial should be done. Fink: Policy needs to be written but only if a variety of products are offered rather than getting Pepsi pricing and selling Coke exclusively. Hubbard: Coke has started its own vending service. This is why it has been hard to get machines from Coke. You can have an exclusive Pepsi machine and a generic machine with Coke and other products. Glass front machines are better performers than stackers. Ahler: Is there a discount available from Coke and/or Pepsi if we are not using their machines? Answer: Yes. Cost of repairs and replacement of machines and cost of replacing machines would need to be factored into the decision. Bekric recommending a 6-month trial. The limited resource is service for repairs. Repair costs will go up.
Training Report: Mary Ellen Harding
Israel Davila is in training in Daytona and is scheduled begin OJT September 6th. Orly Shamir had to leave training early because of a family emergency but is expected to return in November to complete her training. New Trainees: Arthur Johnson is ready to go September 6th. In process candidates: Sean McGill was expected to begin September 6th but had some personal issues and is expected to start in the Spring. Cedric Mitchell was a BEP vendor in Louisiana for 15 years and would like to start in the Spring. Richard Ruzika is working with Wayne Mercer and is expected to enter the Spring class. Steven Weaver is relocating and is a candidate for future training. The spring class is scheduled to begin sometime in February.
Training Staff: Steve Moss
Asked if vendors have a good recommendation for bar code readers. Vendors recommended going to eBay to purchase back up units for the ID Mate. ID Mate is developing an app for iPhone, but it has not yet been released. With OrCam My Eye you can point to the label, and it will find the barcode. Organizing items is the best tool to use. Seeing Eye can read the bar codes on snacks but not bottles. Chair we should have a couple of our totally blind vendors test some of the equipment. Bowen a non-profit in Jacksonville will loan out equipment for a couple of weeks to test.
Coffee Product Demonstration: 42 Degrees.
Tony Arduengo – remove tab from bottom, push button at bottom and wait 3 minutes for coffee to heat. Coffee is ready to drink, not too hot and has good flavor.
42 Degrees is a company out of Europe. They have 6 different flavors of coffee. May be ordered out of Long Island, NY. 6.9 fl. ounces. Tony: A good option when we can no longer get coffee machines for outside use or small break rooms. USI machine is not reliable outside.
Chairman’s Update: Jim Warth
Hoping to find something more accessible for blind micro market vendors. Currently there are 10 snack bars/cafeterias and 10 micro markets. Some vendors need more training on how to read and create reports especially for Cantaloupe. Cantaloupe has offered to do training via Teams and has videos on the website. Committee members believe Cantaloupe videos are not accessible. CEU event would be a good idea. Training should be in small groups. To sponsor a Cantaloupe training in your district contact Andrew Cox, Strategic Account Manager, Cantaloupe. Alan Risk confirms that if the training is 2 hours in length it would qualify as a CEU event earning a ¼ of a CEU. It would be helpful if Adam could attend the CEU event. Discussion about how to provide training for partial and totally blind people. Districts should arrange for training for their people with screen readers, Cantaloupe and Seed Live.
A training should be set up for totally blind because their training would be different from people who have low vision. Ponchak made a motion that Training and Retraining Subcommittee work on a training plan for screen reader users and others to use the reports in the Cantaloupe system. Seconded by Colton Knight. Passed unanimously.
Subcommittee Reports: Kurt Ponchak
Policy and procedures manual are being reviewed and revised by several subcommittees. Will Grignon has done a lot of work. No hard policy changes have been made to-date. Currently, we have worked through Section 4. Sections and chapters will be different from the current manual. There will be several full committee meetings over the next several months specifically to address changes to the Policy and Procedures Manual. One of the major issues is expiration dates. The current manual does address expiration dates as it applies to a transfer. The agency owns the inventory. Subcommittee is trying to address expiration/sell by/best if sold by dates. Asking for input regarding sell by dates and other issues regarding the manual. Issues can be emailed to the Chair, Vice-Chair or Kurt Ponchak and a copy to Mary Ellen Harding. Secondly, the agency is not directly involved in the process and a recommendation will be made to the agency once the subcommittee has completed its work, they will submit changes to the agency for review by Legal and finally to the RSA.
Training and Retraining Subcommittee: Kurt Ponchak
One meeting to-date. Working on Biennial Seminar. Committee Members have their assignments. Will need to meet with agency and leadership to make sure they are all on the same page. Biennial date is August 3-6, 2023. Talking with Good Maps (GPS mapping app) about mapping the building with RF so with the app vendors can find their way around the building. Changing the format to have larger CEU events rather than multiple smaller events so all vendors can experience everything offered. A workshop for Roberts Rules of oder is planned as a CEU event. The Biennial will try to be auditory, educational and tactile.
Finance, Budget and Auditing Subcommittee: Kurt Ponchak
Working on facility costs. There is a lot of data to go through. It will take some time to work through the data. Working on a request to increase set-aside. Vendors were encouraged to become familiar with 34 Code of Federal Regulations 395.9 which explains set-aside and is the basis for discussion regarding set-aside changes. Set-Aside currently provides: Maintenance and replacement of equipment, purchase of new equipment and management services. What we don’t do: Assuring fair minimum return to vendors, establishment and maintenance of retirement or pension funds, health insurance contributions, provision of paid sick leave and vacation time if approved by a majority of vendors. The Committee was limited during the pandemic with the flexibility to help vendors should an unforeseen event necessitate an increase. There is no plan to increase the set-aside for the sake of an increase. Asking for the ability to go up to 12%. Not asking for a vote today. Need to do more education on the subject. Need to take some public testimony. Want to do due diligence. Offered to meet/talk with vendors in the districts to educate/inform about the issue.
Public Relations: Tammy Spain is not present. She is waiting for submitted materials to come back to her from the agency.
National Association of Blind Merchants (NABM): Nicky Gacos and Ed Birmingham
Several vendors from Florida will be attending the Atlantic City Mini-BLAST. Had first RSA auditing in 3 years. It will take two years to get a report. Encouraged vendors to listen to the “We Are Randolph-Sheppard” podcast. Had a conference call with Farmers First which is now launching nationwide. Another merchant, just Baked, which is a machine that bakes items to order is also launching nationwide. They are based in Sarasota, Florida and would like to hold a training in September or October for vendors to try their machines. Continuing with Social Security work and advising vendors about Social Security at the NABM meeting. Gacos NABM accomplishments: Military bases, Dunkin Donuts, Hadley Training Program, which the Lighthouse in Chicago is now providing. Training for military dining will be a new offering. Goodbye cafeterias – Welcome Micro markets. Word is the government including the Army, Navy and GSA are not planning on having any more cafeterias. Micromarkets and food courts are desired now. Parlevel will be at NABM. Parlevel was just bought out by 365. Encouraged vendors to join local NABM. The NABM has a task force for accessibility and are pushing entrepreneurism and independence through accessibility. Women’s initiative. We have encouraged blind vendors to obtain their Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification. Business Leadership and Superior Training (BLAST) doing virtual events. Hoping to do an in-person BLAST in 2023. Hired Terry Smith. Formed Coalition for Rest Area Commercialization. Have been an Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) proponent with RSA. Ability One meeting coming up to discuss how the program gets contracts. Gacos stated he is a relationship and partnership builder. Would like to see all blind organizations work together as one. His goal is to benefit all blind people.
Statewide Updates: Director Robert Doyle
National: National Council of State Agencies for the Blind (NCSAB) and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) will hold a fall conference in San Antonio. There is discussion about having a session for Randolph-Sheppard.
NCSAB is also working on some communications to the congressional staff about getting more funds for older blind. Had a call with RSA and the (CSAVR) Executive Committee where CSAVR asked specifically about the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS). There was a very broad answer to the inquiry. National Council of State Agencies Serving the Blind has drafted a letter we will send to the Secretary of the United States Department of Education (US DOE) asking them to weigh-in on EVCS expeditiously. Our legal department has issued a ruling that electric vehicle (EV) charging is vending. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) says they are going to have a competitive process to identify vendors. We would need to provide the EV chargers along with costs associated with setting it all in place. We do not have the capacity to do that on our own. Our Senior Chancellor has reached out to colleges which have expressed an interest in partnering with us on EV charging. There is a 20% match requirement, but we can’t use our dollars for the match. One idea is to take a group of entities who were interested in EV chargers who would partner with us in forming a coalition to fulfill the match requirement. Another idea is the Community Reinvestment Act which requires banks to put money back into disadvantaged communities. We have been in discussion with them to see if we can use those monies for the call center and EV charging. We would put those monies together with other interested parties to work with FDOT.
We have identified a new Bureau Chief for the Braille and Talking Book Library. Gerald J. Boyle from NJ. Hoping to get him onboard in the next few weeks.
Rehab Center: All parameters for call center training at the Rehab Center have been put in place. The Web Accessibility program is under review. Discussing putting in a General Education Diploma (GED) program. Determining if we want to do the GED program ourselves or if Daytona State will run the program. We have the leadership we will now need to accomplish these programs with Gerald Boyle.
Cameras at FDOT. We got language from FDOT on cameras and the exemption on cameras. Legal says we don’t have the exemption. We had questions about who would buy the cameras DBS or the vendors. We should get an updated opinion from Legal next week. What kind of storage for the cameras cloud or local was a question. BEP should be custodians of footage or a monitoring service. With regard to cameras: Security plans are exempt from public records. Monitoring company could be responsible for looking through video if requested. Discussion with Committee regarding cameras and retention of footage.
Focused on having accessible kiosks and micro markets. Would like to do some testing before we commit to specific equipment and make procurements.
Currently working on a reclassification packet including the General Services Specialist position which is our Business Consultant position. The percentage of increase over the base is higher for General Services Specialist than other positions. DBS is proposing to reclassify 194 of the 289 positions within the Division.
Chair asked Director if he could find out where public relation articles sent to DOE are currently in the approval process? Director agreed to check on status of documents.
Marketing Updates: Greg Coon
- 55 surveys
- 121 vending machines installed & 1 micro-market
- Also, 2 micro-market conversions
- FY22-23: 24 surveys completed through mid-August
- 23 surveys completed just in July 2022, along with 10 surveys in June – busy summer for opportunities
- Key Surveys July 2022:
- 13 Region 4 Post Office locations
- Multiple VA locations: Clearwater, St Augustine, and a re-survey of Bay Pines
- FY22-23 YTD:
- Only 9 new machines installed through mid-August
- Approximately 21 machine installs currently pending
- 9 agreements in process of completion:
- VA: Clearwater, Zephyrhills, Tampa Bed Tower, New Port Richey, Bay Pines
- FDOT Miami (12 machines)
- City of Palm Bay (15 machines)
- Salt Springs State Park, USPS Valrico
- No solicitations reviewed so far this year, but there are several vending contracts I am aware of that may be ending in the next 4 months, so I am monitoring for those.
- Working on slowly compiling a list of potential expiration dates for existing vending contracts with city and county governments
- Continue to work on opportunities with FDOT DeLand, City of Jupiter, and expanded services with Marion County
- Exploring potential opportunities with Citibank and Planet Fitness locations
Business Analyst Report: John Ahler
RSA is requiring a Summary report on how FRRP monies were distributed. Ahler will send it out to the Committee for review in a couple of weeks. It is similar to the original report. Due January 2023.
Follow up to budget items mentioned by Bill and Kurt earlier. Reimbursements from the past fiscal year were only $2K above the year before. We are $130K - $140K below reimbursements compared to the past 2 to 3 years. Vendors are doing a good job of keeping spending down by doing more of the repairs themselves due to difficulty in getting repair people.
For the State Fiscal year (July 2021 to June 2022), the program reported $21.2 million in sales. Prior to the pandemic, during State Fiscal Year 2018/2019 sales were recorded at $22.5 million. Net profit to vendors for SFY 21/22 was $8.2 million compared to $8.3 million in SFY 18/19. This shows that we are financially back on track but there are still lot of facilities that continue to be closed.
Card Readers: Consultants have removed all but about 25 of the G9 readers. We are down to about 150 EMV swipers. Alan is working on a new service agreement with Cantaloupe which will expire in December.
We (Ahler, Fink and all consultants) have the ability to activate and deactivate readers. Will send out notification next week to let vendors know their consultants can deactivate readers for them. Please notify your consultant and copy Ahler or Fink to activate or deactivate. Readers turned off for a long time will take longer to turn on due to updates.
Ponchak: Have operators been identified to test Nayax readers? Yes, that has already been done. Nayax is now registered on My Florida Marketplace (MFMP).
Discussion: Bowen believes the agency should contact Cantaloupe with regard to software issues because the agency would have more pull. Bekric: Cantaloupe’s staff doesn’t take vendors seriously and mostly give us a sales pitch. The Committee and the Division agreed as a group to buy the card readers. Vendors need to continue to push Cantaloupe for resolutions. Cantaloupe will be at the meeting later today. We will ask them about the software issue then and follow up. Nicky Gacos will put vendors in touch with Bob Hurley who lives in Florida to discuss issues with Cantaloupe.
Compliance – Alan Risk:
Licensee Report – There are no new licensees. There has been 1 licensee in 2022, Leroy Roberts. 1 trainee is expected to be licensed next week. 1 beginning training in September.
Selection Cycle. Results for May selection cycle. 10 vendors submitted applications. 3 vendors withdrew prior to exam. 1 vendor did not show up for the exam. 6 qualified for interviews which were held in Tampa July 6th. Results: Jim Gaudette was awarded Facility 397 - US Naval Air Station Jacksonville Bldg 797 vending route. Jermaine Hicks was offered Facility 597 - US Customs & Border Protection but declined the opportunity. Paola Espinoza, who was the runner up, was awarded the facility. Right now, the September Selection Cycle may only have 1 facility, 608 - Gainesville - Lake City Route: A vending route.
No grievances so far this year.
CEU’s – Sent copy of CEU updates to consultants. As of August 15th, 68 of 114 vendors who are required to earn CEU’s (almost 60%) are on pace to meet the CEU requirement. 40 of our vendors have already met or surpassed the required number of CEU’s. 46 are behind pace including 13 who have no CEU’s right now. District reps can inquire via email with Risk to get a list.
Vending machine RFP: Only one bid came in due to too much volatility in the market with rising costs. That company didn’t have the required speech module. We rejected the one bid and are in the process to rebid. Change for the rebid will be for one-year with a one-year renewal at a fixed price. Speech module will still be required. Price increases exceeded what was allowed in state law and was why we cancelled the last contract. Currently, there is only one company that can provide machines with a speech module. Discussion: USI plans to have a machine with a speech module in October. Crane machine speech modules are not good, hard to hear and understand.
Expiration of Cantaloupe Service Agreement: This agreement is for fees. Current fee is $5.95 per month for terminal connection fee and 5.45% for transaction fees. Expires in December. Risk has asked them for their proposal. Will begin putting the contract together in September. Discussion: Is Nayax a made in USA company? They are an Israeli company, but their office is in Maryland.
Regional Consultant Reports
Region Consultant 3: Jay Payne
- Facility 586 - Orlando Vending Route: TSA at the Orlando airport location has asked to have vending machines installed in their new breakroom. We are looking to install them by September 20th.
- Prisons are still having COVID issues and sales are at a minimum.
- 497- KSC Vending Route: Installed 2 drink machines and a snack machine. Expecting a big turnout for Artemis launch at that location and working on a new micro market there which should be open August 26th.
District 5 Rep - David Stevens: Looking toward the reopening of Coleman. The Coleman facility has 5 locations; Jim Gaudette has 3 and Stevens has 2. Sales are minimal.
District Rep - Phil Hubbard: Boeing at the PCC building has reached out to put machines in. We are anticipating a reduction in the fire department will result in loss of one of his facilities and a loss of revenue. Brenda Nicely-Meade wants us to cancel our contract with Cantaloupe because she is still having trouble getting her updates.
Region 4 Consultant - Tony Arduengo
- Jim Gaudette won NAS Jacksonville on a Type I.
- Facility 272 - Pasco-Hernando Vending Route: One of the VA Clinics in Zephyrhills should be added and 3 post offices. Sometime the beginning of next year there should be another VA outpatient completed and opened in New Port Richey. Hoping the additions will bring 272 up to a Type I.
- Facility 500 - Pinellas County Route: one drink is going into Bay Pines VA Police Station and the Clearwater VA Clinic will be added when permit is completed. Two drink machines at the IRS in Pinellas are still waiting to be installed.
- Facility 396 - East Tampa Vending Route: Bed tower tentative install will be on September 8th, also 4 post offices will be going on to that facility.
- Facility 634 – New Polk County Vending Route: 4 post offices will be added along with the Peterson State Building in downtown Lakeland which is doing about $2K per month.
- Facility 180 - Fort Myers Route: One post office in Bonita Springs will be added.
- Facility 555 - Sarasota/Manatee County Vending Route: One post office in Englewood will be added.
- Facility 161 - West Tampa Vending Route: IRS location waiting on machines to arrive.
- 40 vending machines in total have been/will be added.
District 7 Rep – TJ McCormick: Pepsi charging prices without discounts. They are fixing it. Another vendor had a similar problem.
District 8 Rep – Sead Bekric: Same issue with Pepsi in his district. Biggest problem in district is repairs. Takes up to a month to get repairs done.
Region 5 Consultant – Maureen Fink
- Broward County is now a third-party snack bar in connection with vendor Alicia Villeda. They took over the vending last week and are waiting for licenses from DBPR to open food service.
- Facility 501 - Internal Revenue Service Plantation: Alicia Villeda signed into Joel Roses’ old facility.
- Facility 635 - New Brevard County Vending Route: 15 new machines have been ordered to be installed per the new City of Palm Bay agreement. Current vendor promises to give up 6 post office locations in Brevard when route is ready. Route currently out for a Type II.
- Facility 257 - Palm Beach County Vending Route: Placed a large glass front snack and Pepsi in Risk Management. We can install machines at the downtown DEA at any time.
District 9 Rep - Orlando Ramirez: Things are going well. Will bring up an issue at the roundtable. TSA now has a digital scanner for security. Current badging will not allow vendors into breakrooms. Other TSA offices have the same scanner. Have asked for phone numbers to call ahead but TSA is not willing to provide a number. This is a GSA issue. Grab-N-Go: has heard positive things about the company. Asked if vendors can work together for better pricing? Ray Richards bought a Red Bull vending machine.
Yoke Presentation: Susan Butler and Tracy DeZarete
Two components: Hardware and software. Yoke brought Kiosks for demo purposes. Cashless plus is the software side. Yoke portal is a web-based application you can use on your phone or computer. Allows vendors to set up customers and accounts for customers who are patrons at the market. Benefit for customers is vendors can set up loyalty programs. Price point for the Kiosk is $1,495. Monthly service fee is $75.00. Pen Optic camera system is a security system which comes with 6 free deep dives. Cashless Plus will calculate sales tax owed state. Kiosk can be countertop unit or stand alone. Every Kiosk comes with Wi-Fi. Costs less than paying for internet. Cash box has an ethernet connection. Username and password, not fingerprint is used for customers. Phone app is coming in the future.
Comments by Knight and Bekric: Colton accessibility: Colton Knight was able to download and sample Yoke at the meeting and says it works like Cashless Plus. Cashless Plus is not completely accessible, but he has found workarounds for those things. Bekric found Cashless Plus difficult to use. Knight: says it is miles ahead of 3-Square. Randall: Regardless of the company the agency has a relationship with Cantaloupe with many card readers we all need patience. Nicky Gacos will put Sead Bekric in touch with Michael Johnson of Yoke to discuss accessibility. Knight sales reports are reading properly with JAWS. Knight says he can already do significantly more with this program.
Questions: What separates Yoke from the competition? Primary thing is it’s a small, sleek, kiosk is scalable, affordable, the processing is clever, and Yoke is committed to developing this product. Software development is in house. How effective are updates? Problems? They try to do seamless updates. Cashless plus is an additional fee per kiosk. With a $40 a month subscription you get a free security camera and 6 deep dives a year to determine theft. Recommend performing a deep dive within two weeks of a market opening. 6 deep dives a year is more than most businesses use.
Region 6 Consultant – Maureen Fink
- Facility 348 – State Regional Service Center Miami: At the Rohde Building we have a 3rd party vendor operating the cafeteria and Guillermo Alvarez has the Type II vending.
- Facility 117 - Federal Building Miami 2nd Floor: GSA contacted Fink about a Social Security Building claiming machines had not been filled. Fink looked at it and it wasn’t our building. The company with the machines had gone out of business so we took it over.
- Facility 597 - US Customs & Border Protection: Paola Espinoza was awarded the Customs and Border Patrol at the Miami Airport. Waiting to hear from CBP to send paperwork to the airport. Two prisons still closed.
- Facility 568 - US Post Office Opa Locka Airport: Mansour is keeping Opa Locka Post Office and is not going back to the prison.
- Jennifer Zavala has two Type II’s.
District 10 Rep - Daniel Ochoa: Jennifer Zavala has asked about her facility. Prisons are closed. Miami Garden Post Office are there employees there? They are still assembling their equipment and will have more people when it is all installed. Carlos Rodriguez wants to know if we can get software from Crane. Software can be downloaded online on a thumb drive and installed.
Region 2 Consultant - Bernie Kaiserian
- Facility 424 and Facility 425 - I-10 Wellborne Rest Areas: Wellborne rest area is scheduled to reopen September 1st. Don’t have a date to install equipment.
- Facility 518 - Rest Area I-95 St Johns County Southbound and Facility 517 - Rest Area I-95 St Johns County Northbound: DOT is doing a bathroom and flooring project along I-95 at and have now moved to Facility 406 - Rest Area I-95 Northbound St Augustine (St Johns) and Facility 407 - Rest Area I-95 Northbound St Augustine (St Johns): Terri and Randall’s rest areas.
- Installed machines at VA Clinic in St Augustine.
- Junior Vega is inventorying into Facility 447 – Rest Area I-10 Baker County Eastbound.
District 3 Rep - Mitzi Bowen: Talked with district about possibility of raising set aside and received no negative comments. Storage at rest area is about 10’ x 28’. No water available.
District 4 Rep - Randall Crosby: Will hold a dual meeting with Mitzi to follow up on this meeting.
Region 1 Consultant – Brian Ashworth
- Facility 488 - Welcome Center Escambia County: Parking lot being resurfaced will take a couple of months.
- Facility 579 - Rest Area I-10 Jackson County Eastbound and Facility 580 - Rest Area I-10 Jackson County Westbound: No water for the last 3 weeks. Will be 5-6 weeks until they get working water there.
- Facility 273 – Collins Building Tallahassee: micro market conversion coming in 6 months.
- Facility 371 - Dept of Law Enforcement Tallahassee: FDLE micro market conversion moving forward.
- Facility 441 - Larson Building Tallahassee: Steve Docie passed away. His facility is being run as a Type II under Mike Renaud with Docie’s wife working it. It will be converted into a micro market eventually.
- Greg and Brian will survey Eglin Air Force Base this fall. Susan Gashill has been hired by RSA to be our arbitrator with Eglin if we choose to go to arbitration.
- Colton is installing our first smart cooler at the Tallahassee City Hall. Hoping to get our foot in the door with the new police station.
- All prison locations are still closed.
Discussion about smart coolers.
District 1 Rep - Kurt Ponchak: Had a successful CEU event with Coca-Cola United. All of our group was well represented. Got feedback on training regarding general maintenance of machines. Set-aside was discussed. Some people were confused others were ok with set-aside. Concerns over repairs with delays in reimbursements and getting repairs. Suggesting all bills be sent to Brian.
District 2 Rep - Colton Knight: Has seen different rates for different vendors. District is doing well.
Mitzi Bowen: Problems with card reader reimbursements. Cantaloupe owes each vendor $5.95. Mitzi will send details to Bill for him to handle.
Bekric: Negotiated with Deconna Ice cream and can only get rebates from USG. Justin with DNS Vending supplies parts for machines. We can buy parts from DNS and they will ship directly to vendors. This will cut out middleman pricing.
Phil Hubbard: Extremely displeased with Coke. Started an email campaign. Is getting phone calls back from Coke addressing his issue. If operators send him an email, he will send Coke contact information to them. The gentleman he talked to was Mr. Reed. If we all send emails to Coke, they may address our delivery issues.
Orlando Ramirez: Are we going to keep micro markets designated as non-highway? For the time being we are. Veteran vendor believes he should get special priorities when applying for LOFA’s and CEU points. Nothing in policy dictates special priorities. Vendor would like to know with smaller locations being folded into larger routes could the smaller locations be given to new licensees or people who want to slow down as they approach retirement. We have smaller routes but have trouble getting people to apply for these routes.
David Stevens: Generic drink machines. Sam’s Club has a generic machine for $5,500. There is a rebate program where you can get a $3,500 rebate from them.
Ponchak would like to reevaluate our scoring methodology with regard to the RFP.