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Board Minutes


*2014 rescheduled to May 9, 2015 due to winter storm.


May 9, 2015
D.E.A.F. Inc.
Allston, MA


PRESENT:  Vice President of Public Relations Ivy Velez, Vice President of Operations Jonah Meehan, Secretary Jennifer Greenfield and Treasurer Charles Johnson.  Board Directors; Lorna Lafferiere, Andrew Veith, Ashley O’Niell,  Barbara Jean Wood, Ashley Thompson and Randee Pascall-Speights.

ABSENT:  President Alan Gifford

Attendance: Members: 23 out of 38

Review Agenda

QUORUM: Quorum was met.

Meeting called to order at 1:20 pm.

Randee Pascall-Speights is the speaker of the House.

No Parliamentarian at present meeting.

On the original agenda were:


2.0 ANNUAL REPORT President Report (as told by Jonah Meehan)

 - License issue with DESE: MTEL testing revised for Teachers of the Deaf.  MSAD collaborated with other organizations/school (TLC) to address this concern.

- (As told by Ashley T.) re: Complaint against DESE: Licensure for the teaches of the Deaf

-Problem: MTEL: Foundation of Reading

*Began with a small number of TLC teachers and John Pirone as our liaison, met with William Allan from Disability Public Consortium (DPC), and Christine Griffin- Executive Director of Disability Law Center (DLC), and with Senator Patricia Jehlen, Heidi Reed of MCDHH:

-came to a conclusion: lack of accommodation = a violation of ADA and MA State Constitution

*Bill (DPC) after these meetings wrote a complaint letter to DESE: Commission Chester

*Proposed regulation changes with DESE’s Associate Commission for Educator Quality: Heather Peske

                  1. eliminate the Foundations of Reading exam

                  2. SLPI for all teachers of the Deaf

                  3. Must have a “proof” re: taking courses on teaching reading to the Deaf

                  4. No replacement for the eliminated exam

                  5 For licensure renewal, all must take SLPI (no grandfather clause)

**As of Fall of 2014- APPROVED!!!

- Cookout at New England Home for the Deaf: successful and made a profit.  A win-win situation for both parties.

- developed a fact sheet about hearing aid bill -  result still pending.

- Interpreter licensure bill – educational interpreter can directly impact the Deaf child’s education.  MSAD is supporting the passing of this bill.

- DCN:  have a backlog, will winter 2015 send out.

- Storage:  wish to move it to a more central location.  Jonah has the key.  Wish is to set up a group of people to assist with storage preparations.

- Website:  coming out very soon.  This will greatly impact recruitment for MSAD.

2.01 VICE PRESIDENT’s REPORT: (Jonah Meehan)

- explaining his background; how he arrived to this role.

-summary on bylaws, many revisions and meetings were held. The last meeting was Fall 2014. Ready to pass the bylaws but wanted to get feedback from members.

-summary on the newly-founded MSAD Policy and Procedural Guidelines; thanks to Andy Veith.  This will help streamline and support the governance of MSAD. 

 -Organizational chart shown.  (Andy explains)

Pax: want to add the MEMBERSHIP role within the org chart.

-Conference to be held some time at the end of 2015.

Marlene Hostovsky: regarding the President report- the Teacher licensure removal of teaching reading aurally/phonetically  – MCDHH report never mentioned that MSAD was involved in this.  Individual representing MSAD was not recognized. Next meeting for MCDHH SAC should add correction to recognize the work MSAD has done.


-Acting President report: made vlogs explaining the interim role of acting president while AG was on leave.  Board met 11 times during that crisis period. 

- Want to bring back Junior MSAD camp.  Spoke with Steve Nover and recognizes this undertaking is a full time job to fund raise.  Perhaps start with a reunion – Susan Pavos in RI has the old database regarding former campers.

-Youth chairperson: Elisa Velez will work on the Junior MSAD reunion

-MASSKODA event – not yet an affiliate.

-Membership:  difficult to recruit members. MSAD going through an identity crisis. Want to offer free membership to attract members.

-Media committee/website: new chairperson – BJ Wood.  Understand that website is expensive but we needed a new start.

Question from member: ‘how to become a member’, there is no clear way of how to enroll. 

2.03 SECRETARY’S REPORT (Jennifer Greenfield)

Nov. 2013 Annual Report was shown on the screen for all members to review and comment on page by page for approval of the minutes.

Point of inquiry from Member: 2.10.11: Alan and Elaine visited

How do they determine the improvement of NEHD?  Were consumers inquired? Suggested to revisit as hearing of conflicting reports stating continued frustration at NEHD.

Point of inquiry from Member: 2.0: Annual Report

New MSAD office- still there? Updates?

JG: There’s no office. We are a “moving” Board. We have specific locations for the future meetings.

AV: We borrowed DPC’s desk, but we don’t use it. If we happen to need to meet, we can use the office, but we don’t use it because of its location- in Boston.

Motion to pass the minutes- PASSED 2013 Annual Report

2.04 TREASURER’s REPORT:  (Charles Johnson)

We have three financial reports – 2012, 2013, 2014.   Created a template to ensure consistency of formatting year to year.

Must have three signatures on the financial reports.  Treasurer was unaware of that. Because of this error, need to go back and ensure three signatures are on these reports.

No audit performed yet.  Looking for three people.  Marlene accepted offer to be on the Finance committee.  Adam and Curt are the others.  CJ thrilled to have three members willing to head this.

Review of 2012 financials.

Sue Philip: 2012 membership dues $810, means 400 members?  Varied prices, can’t say specifically. Sue proposes to please break it down to the different membership categories later. If you have the information for this November 2015 conference, that would be appreciated.

Member: possible to instead to have the total # of members and the total of membership dues collected.

Review of 2013 financials:

Add a bio of who is the person behind the Sears endowment.

Under Expenditures: Misc. (Contributions) – when you click on the computer, you can get the breakdown of expenses.

BJ: another thing that needs to be fixed is when the DATE of the report is dated – should follow the last day of the fiscal year.

Sue Philip/Janice Hoffman: perhaps for those who donate, offer them an affiliation membership as a way to increase the membership enrollment.

BJ: there is a new plan for membership, affiliates – will ask the total number of members they have and this # will become part of MSAD’s membership.  This is a savvy way to lobby and promote MSAD having ‘large’ numbers.

Lori: If affiliate, once a year membership.  Paul: if a company donates – do all their employees get counted?  Reply from Andy: up to the Board to decide if we wish to have per company/organization to become an affiliate of MSAD.

Randee:  recommend adding MSAD to your will to support MSAD.

2014 financial report:

other income: missing receipts- still digging to find out what $859.99 was for.

Some data have not been included in the report yet.   No finance committee to assist with preparing a completed 2014 report.   Once we have ‘three auditors’ we can move forward.  Working to provide consistency in reporting.

Marlene: may consider moving into Finance committee instead of Audit committee.

Michelle Dunn: Need to have accurate reporting.  Need to add all details to the financial report and do the best to make it as completed as possible.

Changing the actual receipts amount to reflect: $8,882.36

Member: if we have no proof of miscalculated reports – hope Treasurer will ensure knowing the rules and procedures of skillfully reporting on finances.

Member: related to NAD, must show amount based on member #- not indicated in the report. On the computer, you will be able to see more details under NAD.

Financial report for 2015, so far:

Member: If investments begin to decline, what agreement is set in place by MSAD board? Reply from Treasurer CJ: watches the investments and when there is a bit of a decline, he calls and talks with Lee Kramer.  Will communicate with the Board if there is a concern.

Members have the right to vote regarding investments and what to do with it (especially if declining).  Finance committee will need to monitor the investments.

Randee:  update on IRS tax situation.  We have been notified of miscalculated reporting from 2009 tax year.  Payment to IRS expected.   We did not file 990 forms, charged a late filing fee which is accrued on a daily basis.  2009 and 2010 990 forms were not filed.

Break – 10 minutes

2.05 Committee Reports

 MSAD conference (Ivy Velez)

-conference theme

-gathering ideas (keynote, presenters, focused theme)

-location! The Learning Center in Framingham – need to confirm date.  Not yet paid to reserve the space yet.  Shared the idea of Worcester Deaf Club craft fair during Nov 18th weekend.  Considering registration to be free but pay for attending the banquet like previously. 

Chairpersons needed for: workshop, program book, booth/exhibits, registration

Committee needed for:  Communication access, gala, elections, Friday night’s event.

Conference Budget:  Rough draft – based upon without fundraising.  Sue Philip shared previous budget items were less.

Annette Posell suggests 1 day conference.  Andy clarified that the motion was made for a three-day conference during Board meeting on March 2014.

Clarification of what communication access entails.

Media Committee:  (BJ Wood)

John Pirone, Suzann Bedrosian, Andy Veith.  


DCN- Suzann Bedrosian, editor

Website: Andy Veith, webmaster. 

Want to continue disseminating the wonderful publication and improve our effectiveness of timely delivery.

2014 budget for DCN:

Collected $1300 from advertisement.  Spent $4,000 for paper, ink, and upkeep of Xerox machine. 

Will have both electronic and paper copies will be available (paper copies upon request).

Wish to sell the copier.

Website update:

Issues with the hosting company.  While waiting to resolve the financial remnants, went ahead with establishing the new website through Deaf411.  Andrew Veith has been vital in making this happen.  Contracting with a new hosting company. 

Andy: put in over 100 (volunteer) hours with the website planning.  Goals for the website explained.

Vlog will have captioning – yes, can be done if transcript is given to Andy.

Bylaws Committee: (Ashley O’Niell)

Goal is to disseminate the Handbook and Bylaws at the same time, continuing with 30 days prior notice to members.

MSAD Policy and Procedure Guideline Committee Report: (Andy Veith)

6 committee members.


DEAF Inc’s Community Picnic:  Sharon Applegate giving explanation.  In the last two weeks, Alan responded to SLA.  DEAF Inc’s staff prefer to ‘keep it simple’.  Will keep the event at Castle Island, during the second weekend of July.  Would like DBCC to join as well.  Perhaps one more organization as a ‘co-sponsor’.   SLA asked whom to contact within MSAD Board – Ivy Velez. 

Marlene: attended last year, really enjoyed it.

BJ: we will work with DEAF Inc to develop a flyer. 

Andy: general cost? Varies by year.    We do need a large grill. 

Pax: perhaps MSAD can help with setting up tents /canopy to keep people cool.

Marlene: purpose of partnership – opportunity for community socialization.

Motion 05-2015:001:  Ashley moves that MSAD will partner with DEAF Inc. with the Community Picnic. Marlene Hostovsky seconded. PASSED.

Lloyd Simon, announcement:  to gather feedback about community service – doing focus group work and wish to include Deaf people.  Flyer passed around.


Elections:  For one vacant Board Director position: (until November 2015 elections)

Nominations:  Hartmut Teuber, Michelle Dunn.  

Majority: Michelle Dunn.

Oath for Wayne Dore and Michelle Dunn performed by Jonah Meehan.

Motion 05-2015:002   Andrew Veith motions to suspend Article III, Section 3, A, to celebrate MSAD’s 40th Anniversary.  Seconded by BJ Wood.  Discussion:  Free until Sept 30, 2016. If you paid membership today, you will get your money back. Lori Novak seconded closing discussion. PASSED.

Motion 05-2015:003 Ivy Velez motions that we take $20,000 from the bank/house interest for the 2015 conference. Seconded by Ashley O’Niell.  When we sold the house, many people griped about selling the house and people were promised the money would not be touched.  We are permitted to use the interest.  The conference will include free exhibit booths – need to consider fundraising ideas. BJ Wood seconded to close discussion. PASSED.

Motion 05-2015:004 Ashley O’Niell moves that MSAD either sell or donate the Konica Minolta model C252, otherwise known as the DCN printer.  Seconded by Jonah Meehan.  Member asked the year model made - 2007 or 2008.  If passed, then automatically set up an AdHoc committee. Janice Cagan-Teuber seconded to close the discussion. PASSED.

Motion 05-2015:005 Paul Schreyer motions that MSAD shall revisit NEHD [New England Home for the Deaf] with a plan of a communication assessment for residents and to investigate the allegation of staff violating consumers’ confidentiality.  Seconded by Marlene Hostovsky.  PI : as of now we do not have a record that the committee work is completed, need to revisit. . Who on the committee: Alan Gifford. . BJ: best to sit down with DPH and review.  Marlene: we need to know whether Alan did indeed meet with DPH.  This was brought up at Annual meeting within Alan Gifford during his President’s report.  SP:  need to check with DPH if a meeting occurred and to go through Ombudsman. PASSED.

Jonah Meehan asked to extend the meeting another 30 minutes. Paul Schreyer seconded.

Motion 05-2015:006  Paul Schreyer motions that the media committee/public relations committee to develop a short description of the Sears Endowment and make a video.  To allow other donations/PR/website to educate for public use.  Seconded by Hartmut Teuber.   A motion is not needed – feedback directly to the committee. MOTION WITHDRAWN

Motion 05-2015:006  Barbara Jean Wood motions (on behalf of  Janice Hoffman) that any individual or affiliate that makes a donation, if they are not or do not ask for it, to be granted membership at no cost to them. Seconded by Sue Philip.   BJ recommends referring motion to the Membership committee.  Jonah seconded.

Motion 05-2015:007 Charles Johnson motions to withdraw $10,000 from Russell Investments to pay for the IRS penalties and fees.  Seconded by BJ Wood.   We are currently awaiting a letter for a reduction in penalties, if so, the funds will be returned to the Investment fund.  The IRS mailings were sent to the wrong address, which is why we have this issue.  Michelle: why didn’t IRS let us know the next year that there were unpaid/not yet filed forms to IRS?  The latest mail from IRS that Andy saw was addressed to Beverly School for the Deaf and that’s unclear why that happened.  Paul seconded to close the discussion. PASSED.

Motion 05-2015:008 Andrew Veith motions to revisit the MSAD office at DPC to keep or clear the office.  Seconded by Ivy Velez.  This is a free space. Refer to Board. 

Upcoming Board meetings:

Saturday, June/July (Southeast region)

Saturday, September 12th at 1 p.m. (Location: TBA, Central or West region)

November State Conference (Date and Location: TBA – Metrowest region)

Saturday, December 5th at 1 p.m. (Location: TBA, Northeast region)


1) Sharon Applegate and Julie Proud-Ray, members of ODSC, Deaf/HH awareness night Sept 21.  Still have 350 tickets left., will be held until September 1st. Portion of money will go to equally be given to ODSC and Deaf, Inc.  For those who want to donate tickets: there will be raffles. Perhaps at the DEAF Inc cookout, MSAD can have the raffle.

Information is readily available on DEAF Inc’s website.

2) Sharon Applegate:  DEAF Inc’s 40th anniversary happening next year.  November 2017 celebration.  Hope you attend!

3) Randee Pascall-Speights:  Looking for Big Sister/Big Brother deaf adult mentors  - make a big impact.  Talk with Randee and she will connect you.  For Horace Mann School/inner city students.

4) BJ Wood:  MSAD is exploring liability insurance – camp, board protection.

5) Ashley O’Niell:  Now we have free membership, please see CJ to get your money.

Meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.

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