2021 Convention Agenda

2021 Convention Agenda

#NFBMN
November 5-7, 2021
Anywhere and Everywhere

Ryan Strunk, President
National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota
100 East 22nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 872-9363, president@nfbmn.org
www.nfbmn.org

National Representative:
Ron Brown
Second Vice President
National Federation of the Blind
Indianapolis, IN

Welcome to our 101st Convention!

The National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Zoom Video Conferencing Platform

The most up-to-date version of this agenda, particularly the links to join each session, is available on our website at http://www.nfbmn.org/convention/agenda/

Based on the success of our National Convention and the accessibility of the platform, all meetings will be hosted using Zoom.

In brief:

  • With the exception of general sessions, all meetings have unique links and ID numbers, which are listed in this agenda. The password for all meetings is the same: 63266101.
  • For your convenience, all general sessions share the same meeting ID.
  • For the best experience, we encourage you to download, install, and use the Zoom app on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Even if you don’t have a microphone on your computer, joining the meeting by computer first will give you access to all features of the Zoom platform.
  • If you cannot use the Zoom app, you can dial-in using your telephone. Use any of Zoom’s dial-in numbers, then enter the meeting ID and password (63266101). You are responsible for the cost of all calls, including any applicable long-distance charges.
    • (646) 876-9923
    • (312) 626-6799
    • (301) 715-8592

Social Media

The Social Media Committee invites you to share your convention experience with your friends and family to show them how the NFB of Minnesota is empowering blind people. Post to Twitter or Facebook using #NFBMN. We love pictures…just remember to add descriptions so everyone can enjoy them.

Auction

Our second largest state fundraiser will be an opportunity to show off your creativity and that of your fellow Minnesotans. On Friday night, you can bid on several unique gift baskets put together by your Federation family! Auction Coordinator Charlotte Czarnecki will land a good price and new home for your basket creations. Please bring your credit cards and be ready to raise those hands in Zoom and on the phone to take home some fantastic auction items!

A list of available auction items and specific rules will soon be available on the convention page of our website.

Door Prizes

Prizes will be awarded throughout the convention. To be eligible, you must be registered and present online when your name is drawn. Donations are being coordinated by Amy Baron, John TeBockhorst, and Tom TeBockhorst. 

Get on the PAC Plan

The Pre-Authorized Contribution (PAC) Plan has come to be an increasingly important part of financing our movement. According to the chairman of the NFB’s PAC committee, Scott LaBarre, the Federation has raised more than $10 million over the years through the PAC Plan.

The PAC Plan allows members, affiliates, chapters, and others to give a regular and automatic donation to the Federation every month. All you need to provide is your checking account, debit card or credit card information. Because of the costs associated with operating the program, the minimum donation is $5 per month, yet there is no restriction on how much you donate. Please sign up at the convention to begin a new PAC contribution or to make changes to your current contribution. 

Complete the PAC form today! Your donation will help the blind live the lives we want.

Friday, November 5

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Productivity Track

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 944 5168 7833 | Password: 63266101

2:00 PM—APP FORUM; CHELSEY DURANLEAU, FACILITATOR: TREASURER, NFBMN METRO CHAPTER AND TECHNOLOGY INSTRUCTOR, BLINDNESS: LEARNING IN NEW DIMENSIONS (BLIND), INC. 

There are more than 2 million apps in the iOS App Store alone, and they can do anything you can imagine…and some things you’ve likely never considered. Come discover your next favorite apps, and share your current favorites with others.

3:00 PM—EMPLOYMENT FORUM; DAN ASHMAN, CAREERS INSTRUCTOR, BLINDNESS: LEARNING IN NEW DIMENSIONS (BLIND), INC.

Especially today, there may be many questions on how to find, obtain, and keep a job, whether that work be remote or in person. Join Dan Ashman for a moderated forum on how you can find your next great career or start a new one, and discuss application documents like résumés and cover letters. Because this session is built around answering questions, participants can join as they’re available. 

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Federationism in Action

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 937 3981 0026 | Password: 63266101

2:00 PM—A SEMINAR AT CONVENTION: DISCUSSING AND DEBATING OUR PHILOSOPHY OF BLINDNESS

We know we can live the lives we want. We know that blindness doesn’t have to hold us back. What does that mean for each of us, though, when we encounter discrimination or when people treat us differently. Share your thoughts on blindness in this moderated discussion featuring thought-provoking situations.

3:00 PM—UNDERSTANDING THE NFB: OUR PHILOSOPHY AND OUR PURPOSE; RON BROWN, SECOND VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

Perhaps you’re new to the National Federation of the Blind, or perhaps you have burning questions about something you’ve never quite understood. Join Mr. Brown for an open forum discussion of our organization, the philosophy we embody, and what makes us so effective.

4:00 PM—RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE; JENNIFER DUNNAM, CHAIRPERSON

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 937 3981 0026 | Password: 63266101

Resolutions are the policies of our organization, and they help us set priorities for the coming year. Before resolutions are discussed on the convention floor, however, they are considered first by the resolutions committee. This is your opportunity to hear the resolutions as they are first read and listen as the committee discusses them. 

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM: If We Build It, They Will Come: Learn strategies to help your chapter grow and thrive

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 971 2568 7679 | Password: 63266101

2:00 PM—WELCOME AND OVERVIEW

2:10 PM—CHALLENGE 1; BRILEY O’CONNOR, FACILITATOR, SECRETARY, NFB OF MINNESOTA

This small group exercise will help you determine what unique challenges your chapter is facing.

2:30 PM—RETHINKING CHAPTER FUNDRAISING; PATTI CHANG, DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

Chapter fundraisers can be expensive and time-consuming with what feels like a small payoff. How should chapters think about raising and spending money?

3:00 PM—START FROM SQUARE ONE; KATHRYN WEBSTER, FACILITATOR, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIR

Hear how current chapter presidents from around the country grew their chapters in both size and membership participation in innovative ways.

3:35 PM—THE THOUSAND FACES OF LEADERSHIP; LISAMARIA MARTINEZ, LIFE COACH AND FEDERATION LEADER

We all have our own unique skills and strengths. Often, though, we’re not sure what they are or how to fit them into Federation work. Learn what strengths you bring and ways you can help to build the Federation by being yourself.

4:45 PM—CHALLENGE 2; BRILEY O’CONNOR, FACILITATOR, SECRETARY, NFB OF MINNESOTA

This small group activity will help you come up with specific ways you can help your chapter grow and how the affiliate can support your efforts.

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Friday Evening General Session

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

  • 6:00 PM—Welcome and Call to Order
  • 6:05 PM—Convention and Zoom Logistics
  • 6:10 PM—Sharing the Wind: Life Lessons from an Elite Athlete; Randi Strunk, Member and Two-time Ironman
  • 6:25 PM—From Donettes to Dollars: A career in vending; Mike Colbrunn, President, Riverbend Chapter
  • 6:40 PM—From the Zoom Room to the Classroom: College and Life from a Student’s Perspective; Joshua Olukanni, Student, University of Minnesota
  • 6:55 PM—Fit Break: Kyle Hanneman, Fitness Consultant
  • 7:00 PM—Beyond the Telephone: Customer Service in 2021; Carey Scouler, Member, Minneapolis
  • 7:10 PM—Why I am a Federationist; Mark Erickson, Travel Instructor, Blindness Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc.
  • 7:20 PM—Family Feud, Federation Style
  • 7:25 PM—Announcements

7:30 PM to 10:00 PM: Auction

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

Join your Federation family for an evening full of fast, furious bidding on exciting auction items. Get ready to raise those Zoom hands and bring your credit cards! 

Saturday, November 6

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM: Saturday Morning General Session

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

  • 9:00 AM—Welcome and Call to Order
  • 9:05 AM—Welcome from our Host Chapter; Dave Andrews, President, At Large Chapter
  • 9:10 AM—Greetings from our National Representative; Ron Brown, Second Vice President, National Federation of the Blind
  • 9:50 AM—A Report from the Executive Director of BLIND Inc.; Jennifer Kennedy, Executive Director, Blindness Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND) Inc.
  • 10:20 AM—Hard at Work: Empowering Minnesotans in a Pandemic; Natasha Jerde, Director, State Services for the Blind
  • 10:35 AM—Q&A
  • 10:40 AM—Fit Break; Kyle Hanneman, Fitness Consultant
  • 10:45 AM—Expanding the Circle: Building a Stronger Affiliate through Diversity and Inclusion; Shawn Callaway, Board Member, National Federation of the Blind
  • 11:00 AM—The Power of Perspective: Seeing Things a Different Way; Logan Stenzel, Treasurer, Minnesota Association of Blind Students
  • 11:15 AM—Education and Perspective from the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind; John Davis, Director, Minnesota State Academy for the Blind
  • 11:30 AM—Q&A
  • 11:35 AM—An Update from the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library; Catherine Durivage, Library Program Director
  • 11:50 AM—Announcements
  • 12:00 PM—Adjourn 

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM: BLIND, Inc. Virtual Luncheon

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

Please join the students and staff of Blindness: Learning in New Dimensions (BLIND), Inc. as we celebrate the progress and accomplishments of our consumer-directed training center rooted in Federation philosophy.  Jennifer Kennedy, Executive Director 

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM: Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Association of Blind Students

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 893 7884 5345 | Password: 63266101

Samantha Flax, President

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM: Annual Meeting of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota Seniors Division

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 7400 9485 | Password: 63266101

Judy Sanders, President 

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM: Blind Parents Discussion Group

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 910 7040 6286 | Password: 63266101

Briley O'Connor, Facilitator 

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM: Minnesota Social Chat

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 929 1746 7790 | Password: 63266101

3:30 PM: Break

3:45 PM to 5:00 PM: Saturday Afternoon General Session

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

  • 3:45 PM—Technology Resources for Life and Leisure; Jason Meddaugh, A. T. Guys
  • 4:00 PM—Q&A
  • 4:05 PM—Educating Minnesota’s Blind Students—A New Approach to an Old Problem; Casey Robertson, Lead Professor at Louisiana Tech, Professional Development Research Institute on Blindness, Ruston, Louisiana
  • 4:20 PM—We’ll Tell You What We Want: History and Philosophy Guiding the Future of Overlays; Steve Decker, Member, Maple Grove
  • 4:35 PM—Senior Retreat: Building the Federation and Teaching One Another; Judy Sanders, President, Senior Division and Marian Solomons, Member, Rochester
  • 4:55 PM—Announcements
  • 5:00 PM—Adjourn 

6:30 PM to 10:00 PM: Keynote Address

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

  • Invocation
  • Presentation of Scholarships; Steve Jacobson, Chairperson
  • Keynote Address: Ron Brown, Second Vice President, National Federation of the Blind 

Sunday, November 7

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM: Sunday Morning General Session

Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 985 0105 0062 | Password: 63266101

  • 9:00 AM—Call to Order
  • 9:05 AM—Family Feud, Federation Style
  • 9:10 AM—Blind Students Paving Their Path; Trisha Kulkarni, President, National Association of Blind Students
  • 9:20 AM—Resolutions; Jennifer Dunnam, Chair, Resolutions Committee
  • 9:40 AM—Presidential Report; Ryan Strunk, President, NFB of Minnesota
  • 10:05 AM—Treasurer's Report; Jennifer Dunnam, Treasurer, NFB of Minnesota
  • 10:20 AM—Discussion of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Regarding the Semiannual Convention
  • 10:40 AM—Elections
  • 11:05 AM—Chapter and Committee Reports
  • 11:30 AM—Adjourn

Special Thanks

The activities of this organization can only succeed with the help and dedication of many Federationists, and the convention is no exception.  The National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota offers particular thanks to all of the many Federationists who have worked both out in front and behind the scenes to make this convention happen.

NFB of Minnesota Board of Directors:

  • Ryan Strunk, Minneapolis (President)
  • Steve Jacobson, Edina (Vice President)
  • Briley O’Connor, Minneapolis (Secretary)
  • Jennifer Dunnam, Saint Louis Park (Treasurer)
  • Dave Andrews, Stillwater
  • Cody Beardslee, Minneapolis
  • Rob Hobson, Minneapolis
  • Jennifer Wenzel, Bloomington
  • Jan Bailey, Rochester

NFB of Minnesota Chapters

  • At-Large: Dave Andrews, President
  • Metro: Deanna Langton, President
  • Riverbend: Mike Colbrunn, President
  • Rochester: Jan Bailey, President
  • Twin Ports: Alex Loch, President

Divisions, Committees, and Work Groups

  • Convention Auction: Charlotte Czarnecki
  • Convention Door Prizes: Amy Baron, John TeBockhorst, and Tom TeBockhorst
  • Convention Logistics: Corbb O’Connor
  • Convention Sound, Recording, and Streaming: Tim Aune and Steve Jacobson                      
  • Legal and Policy Committee: Jennifer Dunnam, Chairperson
  • Membership Committee: Jan Bailey, Chairperson             
  • Minnesota Association of Blind Students: Samantha Flax, President
  • Minnesota Bulletin: Ryan Strunk, Editor
  • National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota Seniors’ Division: Judy Sanders, President
  • Resolutions Committee: Jennifer Dunnam, Chairperson
  • Scholarship Committee: Steve Jacobson, Chairperson
  • Social Media: Samantha Flax and Kayde Rieken, Co-chairpersons
  • Technology Committee: Corbb O’Connor, Chairperson