Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc

Board of Director’s Meeting

August 3, 2016


The Board of Directors of Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) met on August 3, 2016 in the Regions Building Red Oak Conference Room, 400 West Capitol, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.


Members Present:                                                                 Staff Present:

Cherokee Bradley, President                                                  Tom Masseau

Teresa Dodson, Secretary                                                       Greg Hankins

Veronica Tess Myers, PAIMI Chair                                       Debbie Poulin

Mark George                                                                           Susan Pierce

Kim Weser                                                                              Yvonne Sterling

Kimberly Marshall                                                                  Cassie Howell

Toney Bailey                                                                           Jonathan Whipps

Kris Stewart

Ginny Greer


Members Absent:                                                                  Guests:

Fred Reinheardt, Vice President                                            Alexander Myers

Lorrie Thiel

Kaderick Jones

Julie Petty

Monica Pratt


President Cherokee Bradley welcomed all board members and guests and called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

Director Tom Masseau introduced Yvonne Sterling as the replacement for Susan Milburn.

Consent Agenda:

 The Consent Agenda consisted of the following items:

  • Approval of Agenda
  • Minutes from April 29, 2016 Board Meeting
  • Minutes from Finance Committee May 16, 2016
  • Minutes from Finance Committee July 18, 2016
  • Minutes from Strategic Planning Committee July 12, 2016

President Bradley advised that we did not currently have enough board members present to create a quorum, all board members present went through the consent agenda. There were no questions and no recommended changes. We will re-visit this later in the meeting when enough members are present to vote.

DRA Executive Director and Staff Reports:

 Representative Payee Program:

 Mr. Masseau reported that SSA has awarded the representative payee contract to another vendor, INS. He reported that DRA will see a reduction of about $38,000 due to the loss of this contract and there would be no staff reduction.  The loss of funds is in non-federal dollars.  He advised that NDRN could appeal this decision. He will keep the board up to date on any changes.

Self-Advocacy Training, Disability Summit, & Reception:

Mr. Masseau shared that on August 23, 2016, at the Comfort Inn in Little Rock, DRA is co-hosting a training for self-advocates. The focus of the training is to begin the process of bringing all self-advocates together and developing a strong network.  He also reported that Aaron Bishop, Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities will be speaking at this training as well as providing the keynote for the Disability Summit the next day, August 24, 2016. This event will also be held at the Comfort Inn.  Mr. Masseau has scheduled time for Mr. Bishop to meet with officials from the Department of Human Services.  He is also hoping to schedule a time for him to meet with DRA staff and board members. Once a date and time has been scheduled, he will let the board members know.

Mr. Masseau also shared that the DD Network will be hosting a reception for participants attending the self-advocacy training and those participants who are in town for the Policy Summit. The reception will take place at the Comfort Inn from 4 pm to 6 pm on August 23, 2016. DRA Board members are encouraged to attend.

Legal Director Report:  

Debbie Poulin handed out her report regarding the activities of the legal and advocacy staff. She pointed out on page 3 of her report, the case of a young man who was removed from his mother’s care by APS and placed in a State Human Development Center (HDC).  She advised that staff attorney, Sam Kauffman, successfully represented the client and the young man has been able to return home, with a plan in place and he is receiving waiver services in the home.

Ms. Poulin also reported on Medicaid issues they have been working through.  She advised that due to a problem with the assessments that are being utilized to determine eligibility clients are losing service hours. They are working these cases.

Cassie Howell and Jonathan Whipps reported on a case of neglect and abuse from a community provider. They were called to discuss neglect and financial exploitation. Jonathan has made several visits to the group homes that this provider operates and has identified several issues with this provider. They reported that DDS has been notified and has admitted that they do not have the staff and resources to adequately investigate the provider. They also met with the agency fraud unit.  Ms. Poulin reported that they are not sure, at this point, how much more involved DRA will become in this investigation.

Ms. Poulin reported that the Booneville HDC has made some changes, since DRA’s last visit and report. They will continue to monitor this provider to see if they are following through with the changes being implemented.

Ms. Poulin also reported that the Warren HDC has issues that are even worse than the issues at Booneville. DRA has sent letters to DDS advising that the center should be closed.

FY 2016 Report on Priorities and Objectives for Third Quarter:

Susan Pierce handed out her report. She pointed out that PADD is 25.6% of the overall budget and it also represented 26% of all service requests.

Ms. Pierce reported that DRA will have a presence at the TBI conference as well as the Mental Health Institute conference next week. On October 14th, they will have a display at the Step Up Conference for Kids at ACH. If were are aware of any conferences or activities that DRA should be involved in, we should let Tom know and he can pass the information on to Susan.

Public Comment:

There was no public comment.

Discussion on Draft Priorities for FY 2017:

 Susan Pierce handed out the results of the Survey Monkey which was designed for public comment regarding Priorities for 2017 as well as a Draft Priorities and Objectives for FY 2017. A brief discussion was held regarding the survey results.  Mr. Masseau then reported on the Draft Priorities. He advised that last year we had 7 priorities. They have looked over those and identified four main priorities for 2017. Those priority recommendations are Abuse and Neglect and Exploitation, Community Access, Employment, and Education. Each of the priorities were broken down into objectives of what can be worked on within that priority. A brief discussion was held as to whether we have cut too many priorities or if we need to look at cutting back on the number of objectives under each priority. Mark George pointed out that objective 4 under priority 3 may need to be removed as that is more of a long term objective rather than an annual one. Mr. Masseau would like for us to review the draft as the PAIMI board will be voting on it at the August 20th meeting.

Consent Agenda:

 Tony Bailey arrived to the meeting.  President Bradley announced that we have a quorum and could approve the Consent Agenda.

Mark George moved that the Consent Agenda be approved.  Veronica Tess Myers seconded and the motion passed.

Kim Weser moved that the Board break for lunch.  Veronica Tess Myers seconded and the motion passed.

Discussion and vote on Strategic Plan Documents:

 Tom Masseau handed out a list of changes that were made to the Strategic Plan Document by the Strategic Plan Review Committee. President Bradley went over the changes that were made: Our Name and Mission statement remained the same. Vision had grammatical errors corrected. Goal #1, bullet 1 was changed to read: Arkansas will improve and expand quality communitybased services and supports statewide.

Veronica Tess Myers made a recommendation that we add the word, “appropriate” before “services” under bullet point 1. No objections were made to this change.

Goal 3 was changed to read, “DRA will increase its visibility across the state. The first bullet point was removed. Goals 4 & 5 had no changes. Goal 7 was removed as it is all included in our mission statement.

Kim Weser moved that we approve the Strategic Planning Document with changes as discussed.  Tony Bailey seconded and the motion passed.

DRA Financials: 

 Financial Quarterly Report:

 Tony Bailey reported on the last Finance Committee Meeting. He advised that it was agreed that notes would be entered on the finance report regarding any overages in the budget.

Greg Hankins reported that all costs & expenses for the office move have now been paid. Kimberly Marshall asked about office rent and the office deposit. Mr. Hankins advised that they would begin paying rent in August as well as the deposit. Kimberly also had a question about losing the Representative Payee account and how that would affect the budget for 2017. Mr. Masseau explained that the non-federal funds would see the impact and that it will not affect programming funds.

Kimberly Marshall moved that the financial report be approved.  Kim Weser seconded and the motion passed.

Discussion on FY 2017 Budget:

Mr. Masseau reported that he and Greg have been meeting and discussing the budget for 2017. They plan to get a draft to the finance committee soon. Once the finance committee has approved, it will be brought to the full board for approval. He advised the board that he will be looking at providing cost of living increased for all staff, to be included in the budget.


PAIMI Report:

Chair Myers reported on the last Council meeting. She reported that they are looking and focusing more on the Juvenile Justice System. They will determine at their next meeting what their objective will be. She also reported on a couple of new members that were appointed to the Council – Dorcas Johnson and Eddie Smith.

Board Governance Report:

Chair Pratt was not present. President Bradley reported that we need every board member to reach out to their contacts in order to identify potential new board members. We currently have an appropriate number of members at this time. However, some members will be rolling off after this year and we do not currently have any applicants to replace them. We need members who can commit to attending board meetings and will commit to board work as well as our mission. Tom will email the current board member application to all current members.

Public Policy Committee Report: 

No meeting was held this quarter.

DD Council Report:

Tom Masseau and Mark George both serve on this council. Tom feels the council is going in a good direction. The State Plan has been drafted and approved. The council will have 3 goals; Self Advocacy, Employment, and Long Term Supports & Services.

Mr. Masseau also reported that the council has funding that needs to be obligated prior to the end of the fiscal year.  He is working with David Deere at Partners for Inclusive Communities to see if the council will fund a Self-Advocate Coordinator position that would be an employee of DRA. Mr. Masseau stated that he was working on a job description and would like to hire by October if the position gets funding,

 Discussion on evaluation of Executive Director:

 President Bradley explained to new members that we complete an annual evaluation of the Executive Director, which is then used to determine any raise or merit bonus amount. She would like a new tool developed for this use. The evaluation tool will be mailed out to all Board members prior to the September board meeting. She asked if Mr. Masseau could get a copy of the evaluation tool used by NDRN. Tom will obtain this and email to President Bradley and Secretary Teresa Dodson. Teresa and Cherokee will work on a new evaluation, to be completed in time to be mailed out prior to the September meeting.

Other Business:

 Mr. Masseau reported that he serves on the Board for the NDRN. He has received an invitation to serve as the VP of that board.


 Kim Weser moved that the meeting be adjourned at 2:10 pm.  Veronica Tess Myers seconded and the meeting was adjourned.

The next board meeting is September 28th.


____________________________________                        ________________________

Teresa Dodson, Secretary                                                       Date