Mid-Atlantic Regional Group Meeting Minutes October 14, 2017



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 and the invocation.

In attendance were:

Hardy Alexander

Beasley, Lee

Gregory Bennett

Sandra Bennett

Forest Black

Marcia Black

Stevie Bradley

Charles Butler

Veronica Butler

Robert Byrd

Tess \Byrd

Linwood Grey

Michaun Harrison

Sherri Hicks

Leland Jarrett

Doris Jones

Richard lane

Chris Littles

Guest of Mr. Richmond

Vernon Richmond

Chris Semple

Joseph Thomas

Sharon Thomas

Lilly Washington

Gerald Westry

Danny Wheeler

Welcome Address:  Dr. Robert Bates, Deputy Chief of Staff, Hampton VA Medical Center.

He updated the group on the low vision services offered at the Hampton.  He praised the group for the work and dedication of the members of the Hampton VA, and MARG.

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

Ms. Schroop has served as the VIST Coordinator for the Hampton VA Medical Center for one year.  She updated the group of the services provided by Hampton VA Low Vision Services, and spoke about the short-term and long-term goals for Hampton. She continues working with travel and veteran benefits regarding transportation for Hampton veterans.

Guest Speaker: Gerald Westry, Chief Volunteer Services. McGuire VA,

He commended the Hampton BVA chapter on the outstanding job they are doing and the many volunteer hours the give weekly.  He update the group on the status of the new parking deck is built at McGuire.

Vendor:  Mr. Richard Steinberg, Regional Sales Manager, Baum (USA) 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.

Morning Break:  10:00-10:15

Vendor:  Gregory Cooks, Integrations Technologies Group

Mr. Cooks 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.

Vendor:  Mr. Jerry Marindin, Director of Federal Sales, Freedom Scientific

 RUBY has been modified with high contrast buttons. Fusion is a new product.  It is a combination of JAWS, and Zoom Text. He gave additional information regarding the GSA contract and sales.

Hotel Check-out and Lunch 11:00-11:45

Afternoon Session

The afternoon session began with the reading of the minutes by Tomeka (MeeMee) Graham. A motion was made for the spring 2017 minutes is approved. The motion was carried.


MARG Fall Meeting Treasurer Report


October 14, 2017


Starting Balance                       $7,426.88


Deposits                                      $680.00


Expenses                                 $2,250.00


Return Money Order                      $15.00


Processing Fee                             $12.00


Ending Balance                        $5,889.88


Respectfully Submitted

Hardy Alexander

MARG Treasurer  




MARG Fall Proposed Budget 2017-2018


2 chapters                                   $500.00     each  $1,000.00


MARG Meeting Budget             $1,500.00 x 2        $3,000.00


Convention Ad                            $100.00                $100.00


Delegates to 2018 Convention     $300.00 x 2           $600.00


BVA Scholarship Support Fund   $100.00                 $100.00


Mailing Supplies                          $100.00 x 2           $200.00


Website                                       $220.00                 $220.00


Incidentals                                   $100.00                 $100.00


Total                                                                       $5,320.00



Respectfully Submitted

Hardy Alexander

MARG Treasurer


The proposed MARG budget for 2017-2018 was read by Shari Hicks.

A motion was made for the proposed budget is approved.  The motion was carried.


Old Business

Tom Eaton has agreed to continue serving as the webmaster.  Doris Jones informed the group of the updated changes on the website and the layout.  Michaun Harrison informed the group of errors, missing information, and the need for correct and updated information be supplied by the chapter presidents.  Doris Jones informed the group that she and Michaun Harrison will be the points of contacts for questions, concerns, and/or updating information of the site.




New Business

MARG Fundraising

MARG has begun new fundraising initiatives.  All MARG members (inactive and active) were mailed informational letters on how to register with Kroger groceries stores and its’ affiliates.  The program will donate 3% back to MARG for every dollar we spend.

Michaun Harrison also informed the group of fundraising opportunities with Panera Bread.  Members were encouraged to go back to their perspective VA’s and chapters to set up fundraising events to benefit MARG.

2017 convention attendees’ delegates Doris Jones, Michaun Harrison, and Hardy Alexander shared information, the outcomes of the voting, and upcoming changes regarding the rules and regulations of the BVA. The $20.00 membership incentive program proposal did not pass.  Membership dues will revert back to the original cost, effective immediately

Director Remarks:

Vernon Richmond shared with the group the leadership and staff changes at National Headquarters.  He urged the members to be patient as the new changes and staff roles are implemented.

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,


Mr. Gregory Bennett

Meeting adjourned at 1400hrs

Respectively submitted

Michaun Harrison


MARGF BVA Secretary on November 21, 2017.