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California Council of the Blind
2013 Board of Directors Candidates



A Note from the President


At our Fall 2013 Conference and Convention, CCB members will elect a Second Vice President, Secretary, and 5 Board Members. All candidates have the opportunity to respond to the same set of questions, and you will be able to read these responses from the comfort of your own home, or using your portable device of choice at your favorite coffee shop, library, the possibilities are endless!


To each of you who contributed to this page, thank you for making this a success and for making another first a reality for our CCB! It is my hope that through the Candidates' Page, this can be another avenue for exposure to those you vote into office! If you require an alternate format of the candidate information, please contact the CCB Office with your request.


Donna Pomerantz, President
California Council of the Blind



2nd Vice President

No statements were submitted before the published deadline.


Secretary


Ardis Bazyn


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

I am seeking the position of secretary. I am currently secretary for Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, American Business Womenís Association, Connections Committee for my church, and was CCBís secretary ten years ago. Most of them have monthly board meetings and I have to submit the minutes to the board before the next meeting. I have written guidelines for secretaries and know the value of taking good minutes so there is a viable record of motions and actions taken. For one of these boards, I have posted the minutes online as requested. Besides taking minutes for these organizations, I have been part of the leadership teams and actively listened to other members of the board and learned their points of view. Iíve been willing to take a position opposite the majority when I feel that decision is important, but been willing to work on projects even if I originally didnít agree with them. When Iíve been part of an executive session, Iíve kept the private conversations confidential as requested. I've chaired committees and prefer to build consensus when working with others. As part of the executive committee, Iíve had to make difficult decisions regarding conflict of all kinds, adding or dismissing personnel, planning conferences and seminars, and authorizing specific fundraising efforts. I have the necessary skills to take adequate notes, participate in conference calls as requested, make minutes available when necessary, and send minutes to the office and board members in a timely manner. When Iíve been requested to find a possible passed motion, Iíve been diligent in checking the records Iíve kept. I follow-up on responsibilities as assigned, even when a task is difficult or time consuming.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

As leaders, I believe it is important to assist any state or special interest affiliate when requested. One way to strengthen the relationship between CCB and these affiliates is by mentoring. Assigning each board member to a specific set of affiliates would give each member of the board some sense of what those groups know about CCB. The board members could make sure the members of each affiliate know about the Blind Californian, the weekly Connection, and what resources the website provides. By discussing what these affiliates know, the mentor can give assistance. After contacting these affiliates, I would urge all board members to visit as many of them as possible to listen to their concerns. Before giving them any input, the mentoring member of the board needs to learn their assigned affiliates' missions, goals, and advocacy needs. Mentoring could include: giving them tips on building membership, planning fundraisers, encouraging them to share their successful strategies with other affiliates, and helping to foster better communication with the CCB leadership. If the particular mentoring board member doesn't have the expertise in the area necessary for the affiliate, the mentor can suggest resources and other CCB members who do. I believe communication is important to building a better relationship. Besides placing summaries of minutes in the BC, we need to encourage as many board meetings as possible to be open to members who wish to listen to them. We should encourage more member participation in the open committee meetings which take place during the convention and require all committees to place committee reports in the Blind Californian. Quarterly conference calls for members would be another way to discuss concerns, share new information, and provide some training in advocacy and other areas. Board members could take turns facilitating calls.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

I believe CCB needs to approach raising funds by actively engaging the board of directors and more members into various efforts. We should continue working on possible grant opportunities. CCB has raffles and the Mutt Strut, but more members have to be urged to publicize them. We can remind members more often on our email lists and the Blind Californian. Those that have sold lots of tickets could share how they have done so. Chapters could be encouraged to participate with a group to sell at a particular event or shopping area, which may need prior clearance. This year, the Mutt Strut committees have done a better job of publicizing the event and we should continue that effort.

CCB sends out letters to companies and chapters to solicit exhibitors and sponsors for the convention. I believe we'd have more success in this area if CCB board members and other members would contact companies they know sell products and services of interest to those who are blind. Personal contact builds relationships with these possible sponsors and exhibitors. We need to promote CCB to other companies and make them aware of the resources we provide to those with visual impairment. We can market sponsorships as a benefit for them as well as for CCB. Advertising is expensive but we can offer to list our sponsors on our program, our website, and mention them at the convention which is streamed to outsiders. .

We should continue to urge our members to sign up with grocery stores who give us a small percentage. Most require a yearly renewal and chapters should be encouraged annually to get this info to share with members and friends. An article could be written in the Blind Californian and reminders could be in the Connection and discussion lists.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

One focus will be public relations (publicity) to make sure our local communities know about CCB. I participate in many networking events and can share more about CCB benefits as I promote CCB's fundraising efforts. I will provide more information about CCB to those I meet. I will offer to speak at more events and to other groups in my community. I will advocate at our local city council meetings, to our legislators, and when meeting people face to face. I will continue to network with new groups in my community and make sure they are aware of CCB. I can write more articles and announcements about how to publicize CCB and share them with the presidents' email list, the membership email list, and the Blind Californian.

The second area is membership. I believe membership building is often a hands-on responsibility of each member. I will encourage an effort to chapters to have an "invite a friend" meeting at least once a year. I will also send more reminders to members on how they can build membership- one new member at a time and by publicizing their meetings. I can provide examples to those who have not done it.

The third area is fundraising. As I reach out more to others in my community, I can let people know about CCB and its benefits by promoting its fundraisers. I will keep business cards with me, keep CCB brochures on hand, and promote the CCB website to those I meet as I explain the latest fundraising efforts. I will promote CCB to my business network and ask more of them to sponsor CCB especially when events are held in my local community. I can encourage some of the larger businesses to sponsor CCB conventions or the CCB website.


Judy Wilkinson


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

I, Judy Wilkinson, seek the privilege of serving as your California Council of the Blind secretary; I am honored to be the nominating committee candidate.
I have the necessary skills to fulfill the minute-taking and record-keeping duties as secretary.
With the summer issue, I began my fourth year as editor of The Blind Californian. For 28 years I taught English and literature courses at the community college level. I have extensive credits as a freelance editor. In addition to my writing duties as BC editor, I have written or edited documents for the Council, including bios for the convention program. Many of you know the minutes I've taken for various committees; you'll recognize my "action items" in any set of minutes I submit.

In addition to being the official written record keeper for the Council, the Secretary also serves on the Executive Committee which makes important decisions concerning the Council. I feel my skills will serve well in this capacity.

I serve as president of 2 statewide affiliates: my second term with the California Library Users and my first with the Orientation Center for the Blind Alumni. I am completing my first term as a member of the Board of Directors.

This is my second year serving as an active member of the San Francisco Region Mutt Strut planning committee.

I have been a member of CCB off and on since the early 1960's. I am a lifelong California Federation of Teachers union activist and organizer.

You know me as an outspoken team player who often says what others are thinking but do not voice. Some say I am not very diplomatic, but I will always say what I believe in service to our fine organization.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

As an active member of Bayview Chapter and president of 2 statewide affiliates, I am extremely aware that we need to strengthen the 2-way relationship between the Council and its chapters and statewide affiliates.

I remember the days when come banquet time, affiliates would proudly announce their monetary gifts to the CCB. Today only a few affiliates make such contributions. I loved the idea put into practice at this year's ACB convention of having affiliates wishing to donate as it was introduced announcing its contribution to ACB. We might do something similar while credentials are being established, as this is one time when the entire roll is formally called. Many affiliates cannot make such contributions no matter how much they might wish to do so, but knowing there is a formal time and place to publicly contribute might inspire us to formally give.

Moving to a single conference/convention necessitates greater board involvement with individual affiliates. Each board member should become liaison to 2-3 chapters, keeping in touch with the officers, becoming a member of its listserve if one exists, and visiting in person if possible. The organization should definitely pay expenses for a board member visit to each chapter at least once a year.

In addition to our other publications, the Council might produce a 5-minute timely communication each month to be played at the chapter meetings. Subjects could range from information about ongoing activities such as lawsuits; updates on legislation and fundraising, etc.

As editor of the Blind Californian, I'd relish revitalization of the "Around The State" column, but this would require affiliates to send in their news and doings.

If the CCB is the tree's trunk, its chapters and affiliates are the branches. Energy and effort are the lifeblood of both.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

The Board is currently engaged in developing a strategic plan to chart the Council's course over the next few years. While details are still confidential, much of our discussion concerns the economic future of CCB. Below I present the precepts which would govern my participation as secretary and on the Executive Committee.

Nonprofits are finding it increasingly difficult to bring in donations; volunteerism is declining, and our membership is burning out and aging. We need to run the Council more like a business. As a result of the CCB's deficit budgets for the past several years, we are slowly bleeding to death financially. What I propose may seem counterintuitive, but I believe we must spend money to bring in money. I support an all-out effort to increase funds by hiring a full-time fund raiser/business manager. We may need to seek assistance from currently restricted funds, but even without this option, we should consider liquidating assets to fund this position for at least 2 years. The person hired must have a proven track record and achieve predetermined goals or have employment terminated.

We must also be more rigorous in evaluating our current fundraising efforts including an exhaustive analysis of the Mutt Strut, raffle fundraisers, etc. So how many person hours do we spend for what return per hour?

I have been seeking an identifiable product to support the California Library Users. The CCB should likewise find some item or product which clearly promotes the organization and can be sold to the general public. Mutt Strut totes, t-shirts and mugs for holiday gift giving?

We need to use our website to promote donations of course, but we should also sell products there.

These and similar proposals should assure our future, but without drastic measures, our organization faces death, perhaps within five years.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

Modernize publications/communications.
Educate members through interactive presentations and workshops.
Form a coalition among statewide affiliates.

In addition to the fiscal and membership and chapter issues considered in earlier questions, the 3 issues above are dear to my heart.

After the Publications Committee completes its survey about the BC, we may need to alter formats, rethink publication frequency and create more relevant content.
Unfortunately, a quarterly publication cannot include time-sensitive material. I hope to be the editor who shepherds this publication into a meaningful 21st century publication.

Communication among members on an ongoing basis is crucial. Why do fewer than 200 people subscribe to the Connection? Why are there only 96 subscribers to the CCB-L list? Just as we ask what formats people wish for the BC, we might offer subscriptions to these 2 lists.

As a teacher, I long ago learned that whoever is talking is getting the learning: (usually the teacher or presenter). Therefore I propose more interactive hands-on workshops and presentations both at conference/convention and at seminars at other times. At a recent convention, presenters on Social Security read scripted answers that bored most of us to tears. Far better a workshop where we learn how to assist each other in ordering resources, and making appeals by role playing. In a letter-writing seminar, after 10 minutes from a presenter, we might break up in teams of 2, write letters to our legislators, then reconvene to share our results. Think interactive; think hands-on!

As president of 2 statewide affiliates and recently involved as a board liaison to a third, I feel the need to consider special issues concerning statewide affiliates. For example, a uniform means for sending out and providing receipts for dues renewal; occasional conference calls among affiliate officers concerning shared issues such as communicating with members.


Directors


Charles Nabarrete


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

I am seeking a board position. My qualifications include: Being a past first vice president of CCB in 1998 to 2000, being a board member for 6 years in the 1990s. Memberof the Blind Advisory Committee of the Department of Rehabilitation from 1994 to 2010, and chair for 4 years. Member of the Resolutions, Governmental Affairs committees for about 20 years and former chair of these committees, and member of the Budget and Finance committee for about 15 years. Board member and past treasurer of the American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys. Administrative Law Judge since 1990, private practice of law from 1979 to 1990 and attorney in legal aid and civil rights offices from 1971 to 1979. Former president of the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles chapters of CCB.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

In order to strenghthen the relationship between CCB leadership and affiliates and all members it will be necessary to have the officers and board be transparent in their deliberations and actions. CCB leadership will have to live up to its goal of being a democratic organization. In the past the leadership have taken actions without allowing CCB members and chapters or affiliates having a genuine opportunity to have input in the decisions. I am committed to providing the membership complete information on the issues facing the CCB and listening to members points of view.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

Achieving financial stability for CCB will take a lot of hard work. Since a former president of CCB took away the thrift stores that supported CCB and after law changes dried up car donation, CCB has experienced lower revenues. CCB has taken an important initial step with the Mutt Strutt fundraiser. Other avenues that need to be pursued include seeking grants from foundations, continuing to conduct other fundraisers and the monthly donations program for CCB members and friends of CCB. CCB will also have to look to chapters and affiliates to financially support the state organization.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

I will work to achieve financial sgtability for CCB as this is vital for CCB to continue as a viable organization. With regard to achieving financial stability I will continue to work to make Mutt Strutt successful, and identify potential funding sources for CCB. I will continue to work on governmental affairs as presenting our views to the legislature and other governmental agencies is vital to protecting the rights of the blind and visually impaired community. I will also work to strenghthen the relationship between CCB leadership and CCB members.


Paul Patche Jr.
1212 woodside Glen Way
Sacramento, Ca. 95833
(916) 662-0861


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

My name is Paul Patche Jr. and Iím seeking the position of: a director of the board, of the California Council of the Blind. For the past year, I have served as president of the ACB Capitol chapter. I am also the vice chair of the Sacramento region Mutt Strut Committee. I am one of the youngest presidents in CCB right now, but that does not mean that I am inexperienced. During this year, as president of my chapter, I have made it a goal to work on increasing our membership. I am working toward bringing both new and young members into our organization. I have created a Facebook page for the ACB Capitol Chapter in order to help spread the news about who we are and what we do. Please check us out on Facebook for yourselves. This year, we have also started working on our Ronda King Scholarship. One more goal of mine is: to give out a scholarship within the upcoming year.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

I have a lead by example mentality when it comes to being a leader. One way we can improve the relationship with the chapters and affiliates, is for board members to stay involved with their chapters. If elected: I plan to give 110 percent to both CCB as an organization and to my chapter which is just as important as an organization. We need to remember, that not only are all the chapters and affiliates part of CCB as a whole, but as an organization itself, which needs the same care and respect as the whole organization. I think that all board members should be mindful of their chapters and of those nearby them. Board members should remain involved in the growth of their chapters such as, being on their respective boards , serving on chapter committees, or as easy as participating in their chapter fund-raisers. Another way to strengthen the relationship between chapter and the state is by having statewide leadership meetings which would include board members of CCB and officers and board members of these local chapters and affiliates. This way, we can help local chapters find solutions and work on causes together.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

As far as long-term financial stability is concerned, I donít think there is an easy solution, in other words no quick fix. If there was a quick fix, this would not be one of your questions. Itís going to take a lot of work, dedication and a great deal of patience to make this happen. There is no easy answer for financial stability: not for any organization today, including ours. It is my belief that we should focus on our fundraising efforts, starting with the Mutt Strut. We need to put our best effort into it each year making it better and bigger. I also think we need to find our (breaking even point) so that we know how much money we spend, and how much we need to make in a year. We need to keep brain-storming to come up with new fund raising ideas to implement during the year.


list three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

If elected, the first goal I would like to work on and see accomplished, would be to increase our membership and bring in younger members to CCB. New members could potentially bring in new ideas and ways of thinking. To do this, we need to get our name out into the public and into places like colleges, activity groups and even on social media sites like Facebook, twitter, etc.

Another goal I would like to work on, as I stated in my answer to the second question, is the relationship between the state board of directors and that of the chapters and affiliates. I have heard that some people, when they become members of the board of directors, seem to lose their enthusiasm at the local level. They tend to see only the state issues and projects and lose sight of their chaptersí efforts. As I told you before I have a lead by example mentality, which means that I will represent CCB as a board member, and still show love and respect to my chapter.

Last of all, if elected, I would like to work on the issue of the conference and convention and the registration numbers. For the last couple of years, the attendance numbers have dropped and I think itís time for us to act to bring new life and creativity into the conventions. I am not quite sure how to go about this, but I would like to try to work on this issue, and who knows, maybe when we solve the first two issues the last one will fall into place.

Sharing our dreams of today, can only improve tomorrowís reality.


Linda Porelle


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

I'm Linda Porelle and I am seeking a third term as a member of the Board of Directors of CCB. I moved to San Francisco from the Boston area in 2005 to be near my daughter and three grandchildren. I have worked as a social worker in blindness-related positions for almost 30 years and, more recently, as a life coach.
What follows is a list of positions I have held in CCB since joining the San Francisco Chapter in 2005.

* President, San Francisco Chapter, 2007-2013. The SF Chapter is one of the most active chapters in CCB.
* Member CCB Resolutions Committee from 2007 onward.
* Current member, Seniors with Vision Loss Committee and CLUA.
* Current member, Board of Directors of BRLC.
* Board liaison to CCBS, California Council of Blind Students, since 2011.
* Chair, CCB Publications Committee, appointed by President Pomerantz in 2012.
* Member of SF regional Mutt Strut committee in 2012 and 2013.

I actually enjoy attending meetings, for the most part. I appreciate discussing both the larger issues affecting CCB as well as the day-to-day logistics of overseeing CCB's operation. I value our democratic process and the freedom and responsibility to speak my mind and offer my ideas and suggestions. I also value the environment of respect and collaboration being fostered by the current CCB administration.
I'm a connections person. I feel it is important for a group that works this closely together to get to know each other well enough to understand each other's gifts and talents as well as personal challenges and quirks. IN addition, people often comment appreciatively on my sense of humor. I have a fairly good sense of when it's time to lighten things up.
I would gratefully welcome your support and your vote in October.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

I support the steps already taken by President Pomerantz to appoint members of the Board of Directors to serve as liaisons to CCB standing committees. This new structure has, in my view, provided a valuable source of support and accountability for the committee chairs and their members. In addition, it has increased the awareness of board members concerning the challenges faced by CCB committees.

One of the potential benefits of our move to one convention a year is the opportunity it provides to shift more of our focus toward increasing those efforts. For example, I would be interested in participating in discussions on strengthening special-interest affiliates that currently only meet at convention. AFFILIATES like BRLC and the Seniors with Vision Loss group could be encouraged to create and promote educational projects to share with the wider community outside CCB.

Additionally, as a member of the CCB Board of Directors, I would like to be involved in creating regional chapter gatherings with a focus on sharing resources while maintaining each chapter's distinctive identity. Such regional gatherings could occur in the fall of each year as a viable alternative to a second annual convention.
These conferences could feature both a business-related and a programmatic component. All board members living within or near these regional gatherings could be invited to attend. Organizational duties for developing the programs could rotate among chapters within the region. This responsibility would contribute to the development of valuable planning and leadership skills at the chapter level.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

Let me begin by talking about the Mutt Strut. This is our third year out and we are already beginning to create community partnerships that will grow over time. Hiring a statewide coordinator for the Mutt Strut has been an excellent strategy. However, it will likely take a few more years for the Mutt Strut to grow into a solidly predictable annual source of revenue for CCB.

However, we still face challenges with the Mutt Strut. First, the amount of time and effort required continues to be divided among too few individuals within CCB. Next, we need to more successfully address unresolved issues around balancing chapter and state-related fund-raising efforts. Finally we still need to create meaningful and inviting options for more remotely located chapters to contribute to the ultimate success of the Mutt Strut.
Very simply stated, the energy-intensive task of identifying and securing adequate financial resources to carry forward the work of CCB may be somewhat beyond our capacity to achieve as a totally volunteer organization. This reality absolutely should not be seen as a failure on our part.

Therefore, I strongly believe that we must decide to invest some of our dwindling resources to hire a professional in the field of grant writing and fund-raising. This person could more quickly and efficiently identify appropriate financial resources and assist us in securing them.

So, Let us imagine a CCB with a professional fund-raiser, who has found a reliable income stream for the immediate future, an organization whose members can eagerly turn more of our attention to the activities and projects that make CCB so vibrant and meaningful to each of us.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

1 As Chair of the CCB Publications Committee, I have already begun the process of re-evaluating every aspect of our work. It is my goal, along with the editor of the BC and other committee members, to conduct a survey of BC readers and use the data it provides to make decisions about the content, frequency of publication and formats for our magazine. OUR goal is to continue to provide relevant and interesting information to the membership of CCB in the most timely and cost-effective manner.

2 I am very interested in leadership development. As a result of moving to one convention a year, we will, of necessity, be holding our nominations and elections in a single annual four-day period. I strongly support the adoption of this candidates page format as a way for CCB members to get to know individuals who are seeking leadership roles.

However, in addition to individuals coming forward of their own accord, CCB can benefit from a thoughtful and organized recruitment effort to identify potential leaders. I would like to play a role in that process. I feel that the Board of Directors, as individuals and as a group, could state our willingness and availability to speak with anyone who wants to explore serving in a leadership role. In addition, I would encourage each board member to be on the look-out for potential candidates.

3 Finally, I would like to assist in creating and holding regular leadership development workshops to train interested CCB members for serving as chapter and state office holders. We are an organization rich with talent. I want to issue a strong invitation to members to share those talents with CCB.


John Ross


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

I am interested in serving on the CCB Board of Directors. I feel I am qualified to serve in such a capacity, as I have been an active member of CCB since 2000, when the Greater Bakersfield Council of the Blind was chartered. During my service to my local chapter, I have served as Delegate and Alternate Delegate to the Conference and Conventions of CCB, served as chapter Secretary on different occasions (currently serving as Secretary), and have also served as our chapter Treasurer as well as Vice President. However, the most work, not to mention fun, was my time as chapter President, during which I helped launch our chapterís signature fundraising event, Dine in the Dark, which is going on itís seventh year.

I have also served on the state level as CCBís State Fundraising Committee Chair, along with fellow CCB family member and Fundraising Committee co - chair Ken Metz. I am currently Treasurer of the Braille Revival League of California. During my time as Treasurer of BRLC, I have learned a lot about interpersonal communication in regards to the internal workings of a BOD as well as doing effective fundraising for a special interest affiliate.

In 2008, I was invited to attend the ACB Leadership seminar in Vancouver, Washington at which I learned about the history and accomplishments of ACB.

I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity not only to serve our great organization, but also as many Californians who are blind or visually impaired as possible.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

To strengthen the relationship between CCB leadership and state and special interest affiliates requires good communication between all involved parties. To strengthen this bond, I would like to see more liaison building between the state leadership and the affiliates and chapters and their elected representatives. This could perhaps be accomplished by more effective social media networking (think Facebook, twitter, etc.). For those who use social networking, you know what an effective tool it can be when used in the right capacity.

Face to face meetings are still relevant by all means, but in todayís hi-tech society, social media may perhaps be the best (but not only) avenue of keeping the lines of communication open. I would like to see those of us in positions of leadership within CCB make a concerted effort to reach out to our chapters and affiliates not just via social media, but with regularly scheduled ďOffice HoursĒ, during which various Board members would be available to talk with the membership. This could be a time designated by the BOD or President.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

To achieve solid financial standing within CCB, we as an organization and CCB family need to work together, not just relying on a few to do the work. I believe we are on the right track. Our Mutt Strutt event is a great start! But let us not end with that.

To achieve fuller financial stability, we in CCB need to do more outreach to the community, and not just rely on fundraising within our own blind community(ies). Building up our reserves, along with our other finances, is a must. As your fundraising chair, Iíve heard some great ideas come from the numerous fundraising committee meetings I have chaired, but unfortunately, many never come to fruition simply because folks donít follow up on their own good ideas.

A great example of outreach would be Lions Clubs, of which I am a proud member. Lions were asked in 1925 by Helen Keller to be Knights of the Blind, and have done well at this over the years. We in CCB need to approach not just Lions, but other service organizations and make our presence known. In this manner, CCB would perhaps be on more solid ground in terms of financial stability.

I would suggest the BOD establish an Outreach Committee (assuming none currently exists) to do outreach to various community groups, particularly targeting services organizations.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

Fundraising, Community outreach and sponsorships are three areas I would like to see and assist us in CCB in addressing, should I be elected to the BOD. The case could be made that the aforementioned are tied together.

In the fundraising area, I would like to work with any and all CCB members to attract funding from outside sources, such as service organizations (see my previous vitae). This could also be tied to community outreach; people cannot be of assistance, financially or otherwise, if they do not know our organization exists! Outreach is a must! I would like to see us engage in more outreach to the community in order to attract more funding to CCB; this could be done with the assistance of not just BOD members, but leadership from the chapters and special interest affiliates.

Our current sweepstakes are great, but we as an organization need to learn how to get the outside community interested in the sweepstakes, not just relying on our own members.

I would like us to pursue sponsorships, similar to ACBís sponsorship structure. Again, outreach in this area is a must! Lions clubs and other service organizations are key in this area, as are different companies. I would as a member of the BOD do my best to work with not just BOD members, but any and all interested CCB members in making the aforementioned a reality.


Robert Wendt


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

I am seeking a seat on the CCB Board of Directors. My first and foremost qualification is my desire to follow, promote and contribute to the ideals and practices of this organizations Mission, Vision and Values. I have already served one term as a board member and I feel I have contributed to the organization in a positive way. Although my time and effort could always be shared more I feel my heart has always been in the right place as regards this organization and the blindness community.
I have served on the boards of many local and state organizations, Including the City of Long Beach Advisory Commission on Persons with Disabilities, Southern California Public Labor Relations Council, Disabled Resource Center, Co-Chair 25th Annual International Career Development Conference, C alifornia Counseling Association and the California Career Development Association. My experiences have included terms as a member of the board of directors, positions as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chairperson and Chair-person of the organizations. In several cases I also served as executive director. Most importantly I hve served a term on the Board of Directors of the California Council of the Blind. My service has been exciting and rewarding. One of the strongest values I have is service t others and helping society. My board position has allowed me the opportunity to fulfill both of these values.
All of these experiences have given me the unique prospective of both a decision maker and a manager of day-to-day operations in both good and not so good financial times. These challenges have taught me to look at the big picture and see what the organization needs moving forward.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

It may seem a little simplistic, but I think one of the most important things to do is to improve the communication between the CCB Board and its affiliates. One of the primary problems is that one size does not fit all. Each affiliate may prefer a different style of communication and operation. The board may need to assess the type of communication for the affiliate and or chapter. We have chapters that need to use the telephone and do not use electronic (digital) forms of communication.
The question becomes what is the best way to communicate so that everyone gets the message as it is intended. This work is not just required of the board, but the chapter/affiliate also has an obligation to openly communicate with the board.

As you can see I believe that when communicating it is important to keep in mind that the process is a two-way street. Both sides should make sure that they are communicating what they intend. If someone is communicating with me and does not confirm that I have gotten the message then there is a problem. Or if I assume that someone has gotten my message without making sure then I am creating the same problem that I am accusing the other party of creating.
A possible solution is for us to find someone in our ranks that has the expertise to provide some training for both the board and chapters and affiliates. As part of our strategic planning we may need to find a way to make this happen. One of the benefits of our organization is the richness of expertise that is available to our board, chapters and affiliates.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

I do not know what is the best thing to do here. I wish I had a solution. I do feel we have begun to make some positive changes to our financial health by making the change to one convention a year. We have all heard arguments on both sides of this issue and we should give it a chance to see what benefit happens or not. If it is successful we may be able to find other ways to save money. I am certain our finance committee will look at the potential financial benefit and share this information with the membership.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

The things I would like to work on our communication between the board and chapters/affiliates, continuing to improve the CCB scholarship application process and research the process of training members for advocacy purposes.

I would like to be part of the communication training I suggest in question three above. I do feel it will take a team to do all that is required. It will take a great deal of time to formulate the training curriculum and to implement it all the parties that may be interested. It will also require the use of technology and some personal time and financial sacrifice to complete.

The scholarship work is going well and we are on track to have a model that allows for both fairness and the development of excellent qualitative tools. We owe a lot to those that have worked on the committee in the past and I for one would like to thank them for their work. I would also like to invite any member to feel free to share information about the scholarships when they are available.

Lastly, I would like to see if we have the ability to develop training for members who might be able to assist with advocacy activities. It would be nice to have more resources to assist with the work of the Governmental Affairs committee. I hope my thoughts do not catch anyone off guard, but I am only answering a what if question.


Vita Zavoli


What office are you seeking, and what are your qualifications?

Answer: I am seeking the office of CCB Board Member.

Qualifications: As Chair of the Technical Operations Group (TOG), I am leading a team of skilled volunteers to revitalize the CCB website and to provide other technical services to the organization. I am currently Treasurer for the San Francisco and Contra Costa CCB chapters, serve on the CCB Membership Committee and am a member of the San Francisco Regional Mutt Strut Steering Committee. I am also on the board of the Guide Dog Users of California (GDUC) working to rebuild the integrity and advocacy services of this important affiliate.

I have held several board seats in the eight years I have been a member of the San Francisco Chapter and greatly contributed to its fund raising efforts. In the past two years, I have assisted in the formation and development of the Contra Costa Chapter.

Throughout my 30 years of working in the technology profession, I have acquired many abilities that I can apply in my service to CCB such as strong presentation and writing skills, extensive knowledge of computers and access technology, managing budgets, producing instructional reference materials, supervising staff, being responsible for supplying information in a forthright and tactful manner and maintaining confidentiality.


What would you do to strengthen the relationship between the CCB leadership and state and special-interest affiliates?

Answer: Since we will be conducting one Conference and Convention per year beginning in 2014, we will need an effective strategy for ongoing communications between the CCB Board and its chapters and affiliates. I would suggest quarterly conference calls where the first portion is an organizational update by the CCB Board and the remainder is answers to questions from CCB members that have been submitted prior to the teleconference. I'd would also like to establish an online and telephonic "drop box" where members can anonymously leave their questions at any time.

I would encourage chapter and affiliate leaders to publicize their fund raising experience and activities in the California Connection, The Blind Californian, on listservs, in blogs and use other such avenues to share skills and talents. In this manner, the organization as a whole can benefit from our collective experience and unite in the goal to keep CCB financially alive and strengthen the bond between all of its members. Only by constructive communication can we truly be productive.


In light of the current national economic crisis, how can long-term financial stability be achieved for CCB?

Answer: I strongly believe that CCB should hire a fund raiser on either a part-time or contractual basis. With the right salary, CCB can obtain an experienced and creative individual to make the corporate and foundation contacts that we desperately need.

Although the Mutt Strut is an inspired effort to expand our fund raising tactics and the enormous amount of talent and time that is harnessed by all of the participants is truly impressive, all of the regional teams are volunteers and can only devote a specific amount of time to the event. Also, many of us do not have the experience and connections that come with a seasoned fund raiser.

I also believe that developing a donor database is crucial to expanding our fund raising efforts. Let's utilize the information provided on all those raffle tickets to our advantage.


List three issues you plan to work on should you be elected and how you plan to effect change in those three areas.

Answer: A. I would continue to strengthen our online presence by working with the TOG to use new tools and strategies to update our website, offer more online services to CCB members, and expand into the social networking community to foster CCB's recognition. In this way, we can attract new members, keep the community updated on our efforts and accomplishments and essentially put ourselves on the internet map.

B. I would like to add programs and/or activities to our Conference and Convention to attract transition age youth and blind and visually impaired people starting out in the job market. Such events might include hands-on communications workshops, assisting with resume writing, inviting Human Resource (HR) personnel to speak on trends and necessary skills, etc. Hopefully, we can branch out with these ideas to various regions of California with the assistance of CCB chapters, affiliates and committees.

C. I would assist in fund raising efforts. Supporting CCB in securing funds to hire a suitable fund raiser, make suggestions for products CCB could sell and reach out to chapter and affiliates to hear their resourceful ideas.



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