Mid-Atlantic Regional Group Meeting Minutes October 29, 2016

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M.by President, Doris Jones. Mr. Gregory Bennett rendered the Pledge of Allegiance. Dr. Clyde Jackson rendered the invocation.

In attendance were:

Hardy Alexander

Paula Banks

Sister Banks

Woodrow Banks

Gregory Bennett

Sandra Bennett

Forest Black

Mrs. Black

Stevie Bradley

Charles Butler

Robert Byrd

Mitchell Cannon

Ramona Crowder

Veronica Edmonds

Michaun Harrison

Robert Henningan

Sherri Hicks

Clyde Jackson

James Jackson

Vanessa Jackson

Leland Jarrett

Doris Jones

Christine Patterson

Doug Patterson

Herb Patterson

Angel Ramirez

Guest of Mr. Richmond

Vernon Richmond

Chris Semple

Mary Steele

Betty Stump

Joseph Thomas

Sharon Thomas

Lilly Washington

Gerald Westry

Danny Wheeler

Robert Zettler


Welcome Address:  Mrs. Crystal Lindaman, Associate Director, Patient Care, Hampton VA Medical Center.

Vendor: Mr. Roger Steinberg, Regional Sales Manager, Baum Inc.

Baum produces low vision and braille equipment. Mr. Steinberg demonstrated the Isiolight, Visio 22, 22+, VisioDesk, Flo View low vision devices. the Vario Ultra and Vario 340 text to braille devices.   A GSA contract is in the works and will be forthcoming.  The products were put on display for demonstrations in the back of the room.



First Guest Speaker:  Ms. Amy Schropp VIST Coordinator, Hampton VA Medical Center.

Ms. Schropp is the new VIST Coordinator for the Hampton VA Medical Center.  She informed the group of the services provided by Hampton VA Low Vision Services, and VIST and also the goals of the Hampton VA low vision department and their contact information.


Second Guest Speaker:  Mr. Gerald L. Westry, Chief, Volunteer Service, McGuire VA Medical Center.

Mr. Westry gave a detail synopsis of the mission of the volunteer services at McGuire, and the services provided.






Integration Technologies Group (ITG)

Ms. Patricia Zawasky and Giovani presented the new camera for small portable CCTV, Samsung tablet, Explorer 5, 6 7, and braille devices for Human ware and the specifics of each device.

The vendors set up displays in the rear of the room for viewing.


Hotel Check-out and Lunch



Afternoon Session

The afternoon session began with the reading of the minutes by Sherri Hicks. Robert Byrd acknowledged he was present at the last meeting and his name was not read in the minutes.  A motion was made to amend the minutes to include Robert Byrd as being in attendance. The minutes were motioned, second and approved by the membership.


Treasurer Report


October 29,2016


MARG Fall Treasurer Report


Starting Balance:                                              7,891.36


Deposit                                                                633.60


Disbursement                                   3,328.33


Ending Balance                                 5196.63



Respectfully Submitted

Hardy Alexander

MARG Treasurer


The treasury report was read by Shari Hicks.

A motion was made for the treasurer report for Fall 2016 is approved.  The motion was carried. The treasurer report and budgets were approved.



Old Business

Questions arose regarding the status of the 501C 3 and its uses, the 990 Federal Tax form and payments.  Michaun informed the group that all forms were processed with the help of Pete and Lottie Davis, and all accounts were transferred to Hardy Alexander, treasurer.

Tom Eaton will no longer serve as the webmaster.  A motion was made that Dianna Gillard serve as Webmaster and receive $150 for her services. Diana has agreed to accept the position. The motion was carried and approved.

New Business

Members who attended the BVA National Convention in August 2016 provided the group with updates on the meeting. Delegates Doris Jones, Michaun Harrison, and Hardy Alexander provided the information.  In an effort to increase membership numbers,   a membership drive will take place from September 2016-August 2017.  New members will pay 20 dollars for a lifetime membership. Members who are paying in installments or who have let their membership lapse will also pay 20 dollars for a lifetime membership.  The national board agreed that due to the dynamic changes and upgrades in technology the one time car grant for eligible service connected members should be increase from a 1-time grant to every 10 years. This request has been sent to the legislative committee for approval.  Women veterans formed a committee.  The goal is to reach out to all blinded female veterans, identify their individual needs and concerns in an effort to unite the group and bring their needs to the forefront. Melanie Brunson will head the committee..

Vernon Richmond was elected as the new District Director as of August 2016, as Pete Davis had to step down due to health issues.

The Richmond Chapter agreed to host the spring meeting.   A motion was made for the Richmond chapter to host the meeting in April 2017..  Dates and additional details will be forthcoming. The motion was carried and approved,


Director’s Remarks:  Vernon Richmond

Doris Jones introduced Director Vernon Richmond and gave a brief biography of Mr. Richmond.  Mr. Richmond introduced himself and his guest to the group, outlined his goals as district director, and commended the MARG for its’ hard work, cohesiveness, accomplishments and passion for the BVA and MARG.



Dr. Clyde Jackson

Meeting adjourned at 1400hrs


Respectively submitted by Michaun Harrison, Mid Atlantic BVA Secretary on November 21, 2016.

Send to:

BVA National Headquarters Administrative Director Bridgett Jones:  bjones@bva.org

Mid-Atlantic Region President Doris Jones: olivia25@gmail.com

Mid-Atlantic Region Vice President Greg Bennett: gbennett804@gmail.com

Richmond Chapter President, Herbert Patterson: blindknight1@verizon.net

Hampton Chapter President, Robert Byrd:  rbyrds@hotmail.com

Mid-Atlantic Region Treasurer, Hardy Alexander: halexander6@verizon.net

End of document