DSA Minutes from Seattle Conference

Deaf Seniors of America General Meeting Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sheraton Grand Seattle Hotel- Grand Ballroom

President Nancy Rarus called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.

She announced that the required quorum is set at 150 per the By-Laws. At that moment, there was no quorum. However, at 9:38 a.m., the quorum was met.

President Rarus recognized the board by calling them to the stage, outlining each member’s responsibilities and activities for the past two years (2017-2019).

Mr. Andy Lange was then introduced as the official parliamentarian for today’s meeting. Rarus also pointed out that the motions shall be submitted in writing for new business. They shall be reviewed by two board members first before they are put on the floor.

Recognition was also given to Melissa Draganac Hawk, as National Association of the Deaf (NAD) President. She came forward to send her best wishes to the DSA members.

Summary of DSA Board Members’ Activities: 2017 – 2019 Alfred Sonnenstrahl, Vice-President

  • Represented DSA at the following:
    • Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Council
      • Text 911 Regulations
      • VRS Regulations
    • Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Funding Council
      • Federal funding of various relay services
    • DHH Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN)
    • 2018 NAD Conference
      • Assisted in creating NAD/DSA Aging Task Force
      • Assisted in creating Outreach Program between DSA and State Agencies
  • Coordinated with NAD in developing Health-Related VRI Guidelines
  • Upgraded DSA website (www.deafseniors.us)
  • Vision:
    • DSA to develop partnership with AARP
    • DSA website as a resource center for all Deaf Seniors
      • Deaf Health Care
      • Residences (Homes for Deaf Seniors)
      • Deaf History (Deaf Archives)
      • National Directory of Deaf Seniors clubs
      • Financial Consultations
      • Deaf Travel
      • Care Givers

June McMahon, Secretary

  • Took minutes of all monthly and special meetings.
  • Volunteered many hours in the Palm Beach and Boynton Beach areas in finding assistive living placements for Deaf Seniors.
  • Represented DSA at NAD 2019 Conference in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Participant on the NAD-DSA Task Force on Aging.
  • Located a Deaf person who has a CNA (Certified Nurse’s Assistant) degree.

Michael Lockhart, Treasurer (Term expires 2021)

  • Maintained corporate filing with State of Florida for banking purposes; updated corporate filing with State of Texas.
  • Prepared treasury reports on quarterly basis and published audited reports on semi-annual basis in New Horizons.
  • Tracked expenditures for two years (2017-2019) within a $50,000 budget.
  • Filed timely electronic income tax reports with IRS on annual basis.
  • Maintained membership mailing list for New Horizons.
  • Sent out membership renewal notices to 600+ members by mail and email.
  • Went on a site visit in Pittsburgh for DSA 2021 with Lance Fischer.
  • Collaborated with Renwick Dayton to compile and distribute Board Member Handbook.
  • Collaborated with web developers to enable receipt of credit card payments for dues and donations on DSA’s website.

    Lance Fischer, Board Member

  • Worked closely with Don Hahn (Houston 2017 chair) and Larry Butler (President of Houston Deaf Senior Citizens Love Fund, Inc.) prior to and during the DSA 2017 Houston conference to ensure the Houston conference went well.
  • Visited the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh as prospective site of DSA 2021 Conference. Met with Jeffrey Janaszek (Pittsburgh 2021 chair) at Pittsburgh Association of the Deaf clubhouse.
  • Consulted from time to time with Ellen Scheppach (Seattle 2019 chair) and Jeffrey Janaszek (Pittsburgh 2021 chair) regarding conference planning.
  • Contacted prospective conference hosts for 2023 conference. Spoke with representatives from Southern California and New York City. They decided not to submit a bid to host the DSA Conference in 2023.
  • Continued to update conference handbook, MOU for conference hosts, archival photos, DSA history and related DSA documents to ensure they are current.

    Raymond Kilthau, Board Member (Term expires 2021)

  • Involved as Committee Member o DSA Bylaws Committee
  • Coordinated the DSA Nomination Committee
  • Coordinated DSA E-Blast Announcements

    Renwick Dayton, Board Member (Term expires 2023)

  • Donated $2K worth of conference displays, including: 2 – 6 foot tablecloths imprinted with “Welcome” and “Deaf Seniors of America;” 3 X 4 foot DSA banner, 2 – 8 foot retractable banners stands imprinted with “Where the Elders Meet” and “What DSA Represents;” one metal flag pole (telescoping up to 8-feet high); one flagpole stand, 12 X 18 inch handmade lectern, and Traveling Show case with wheels.
  • Delegate to 2018 NAD Conference and also manned DSA exhibition booth sharing with WSDSC.
  • Manned DSA exhibition booth all-day at Deafopia program at Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver, WA. Distributed over 200 DSA membership applications forms. Manned DSA booth all-day at the Deafest in Portland, OR.
  • Attended WSDSC 2-day retreat in Ocean Park, WA in March 2017 to observe their planning for the DSA 2019 Seattle Conference. With Sonny as a guest, attended DSA planning meeting in Lacey, WA in May 2019.
  • Attended Zoom meeting with the DSA Board every month. Served on Law Committee.

    Phil Aiello, Appointed Board Member at Large

  • Chaired DSA Restructuring Committee, recommending infrastructure organizational and by-laws changes.
  • Worked on By-Laws Committee, revising by-laws changes published in New Horizon spring edition.
  • Created eBlast 3 Vlogs with Andy Lange to explain the Restructuring Committee’s organizational recommendations and the By-Laws Committee’s revisions.
  • Implemented agreement with DSA 2019 Seattle Committee to allow DSA conduct its own Live and Silent Auctions along with the host’s Live and Silent Auctions.
  • Sent out donation letters to donors for Live and Silent Auction items to be auctioned during the conference.
  • Instrumental in creating a working partnership between DSA and Poorna Kushanagar at the Gallaudet Research Institute on Senior Citizen-related grants.
  • Vision:
    • Restructure DSA into a viable and marketable organization.
    • Develop partnership with businesses to give DSA members discount benefits.
    • Create an affiliation program with local Senior Citizen organizations.
    • Future conferences starting with 2023 be hosted by DSA.

Andy Lange, Chair of the By-Laws Committee, came forward with a power-point presentation. (to be attached- still waiting for Andy Lange to submit)

It was brought to the attention of the DSA board that a definition shall be inserted in the mission of DSA to clarify the definition of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It shall be inclusive of diverse populations within these two categories, which would include DeafBlind, etc. It is agreed that there will be an insertion.

Harvey Corson moved to accept the proposed ByLaws as amended. Carried. Old Business: None


New Business:

Motion 2019-1:

Marcia Nowak, seconded by Mary Ann Corbett, moved that all tours be held before or after the days of the conference. Rationale: Many of the conference participants have shown disappointment in missing workshops. They signed up for the tours and did not want to miss what they paid for. 
Result: Carried.

Motion 2019-2:

Mary Ann Corbett (Marcia Nowak) moved that DSA provide the necessary video equipment for use in every conference. Rationale: for the sake of consistency in accessibility
Result: Refer to the DSA Board- Carried

Motion 2019-3:

Kathy Seymour (Bob Bergan) moved that DSA shall provide food for Opening Ceremony. Rationale: help host with expenses.
Result: Refer to the DSA Board- Carried.

Motion 2019-4:

Sharon Hovinga (Roman Kazragis) moved to include Past President as a board member. Rationale: provide experience and guidance to newer board members.
Result: Out of order because it is already inserted in the new By-Laws

Motion 2019-5:

Marcia Zisman (Mary Lynn Lally) moved that DSA have a conference guideline covering all conference procedures (workshops, tours, meetings, etc) Rationale: for better and more consistent conferences.
Result: Out of order because the Board already has them in place.

Ray Kithau as Chair of the Nominations Committee announced the nominees for the board positions as follows:

President: Al Sonnenstrahl (sole nominee)- accepted with a cast vote by Treasurer

Vice President: Phil Aiello (sole nominee)- accepted with a cast vote by Treasurer Ray Kithau announced that for each nominee to win, there shall be at least 51% of the total votes. If there was no clear winner, then we shall go into the next round.

Round#1 Round#2
(165 votes-84) (140 votes-71)
Secretary: Sharon Hovinga 48 55
Nancy Kensicki 37 x (eliminated)
Ellen Scheppach 77 81 (winner)

Ellen Scheppach garnered more than 51% in the second round, therefore was declared the winner.

Board Members: (Vote for two)
Round#1 Round#2
(174 votes-89) (175 votes-89)
Lance Fischer 92 (winner)
Marcia Nowak 37 72
Elaine Navratil 45 98 (winner)

The meeting was adjourned at 1:18 p.m. Pro-tem Secretary Donalda K. Ammons

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