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Friends of the Museums of Florida History, Inc

Meeting Minutes
9:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gallery for Innovation & the Arts (1st Floor)
R.A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399


Directors: Mr. Bill Herrle, Chair; Mr. Lester Abberger; Mr. Stephen Birtman; Mr. John Boudet; Ms. Kathy Guilday; Ms. Milissa Holland; Ms. Kristina Tutton; and Mr. Gil Ziffer

Staff: Dr. Jeana Brunson; Ms. Elyse Cornelison; and Ms. Susan Stratton

Meeting Minutes

  1. Call to Order

    Mr. Lester Abberger called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. A quorum was not present at this time so the decision was made to start the meeting and to go to item New Business: La Florida Exhibit Project Report and Next Steps which was presented by Dr. Brunson as a PowerPoint presentation from the design package from Synergy Design Group. She showed the board what Synergy has conceptualized for the design inspirations (fonts, colors, and patterns), the case designs and the mural concepts. The design work is on schedule and we anticipate that the final design package will be presented by the end of November.

  2. Introduction of Board, Staff and Guests

    Chair Herrle welcomed board members and staff.

  3. Adoption of Agenda

    At 9:35 a.m. a quorum was present.
    Motion to proceed with agenda: Mr. Ziffer
    Second: Mr. Abberger
    Motion passed with no objection

  4. Chairman’s Comments

    Chair Herrle thanked the board members for giving him the opportunity to lead the Friends of the Museums of Florida History board. He also thanked former Chairs Gil Ziffer and Frank Jameson for providing excellent leadership to this board for which he can use to build on especially with the big project of the La Florida exhibit ahead. Chair Herrle also talked about the need to have a strong Chair-Elect. He recommended Mr. Lester Abberger.

    Motion to nominate Mr. Lester Abberger as chair-elect: Ms. Holland
    Second: Mr. Ziffer
    Motion passed with no objection
    Mr. Abberger Accepted

  5. Consent Items

    Note: consent items up for vote were provided in advance via email.

    1. Minutes from October 5, 2010 board meeting
      Motion to approve minutes: Ms. Holland
      Second: Mr. Abberger
      Motion passed with no objection

    2. Financial Report through August 31, 2010

      Discussion ensued on a question about the Profit & Loss report for the History Shop. and on how well the Museum and the History Shop did with the NASA|Art exhibit. Mr. Ziffer requested that staff update the board about grants as expected income.

      Motion to approve financial report: Mr. Ziffer
      Second: Mr. Abberger
      Motion passed with no objection

  6. Business Items

    1. Old Business
      1. Board Appointments Board Appointments – Chair Herrle talked about per the board’s by-laws there can be up to 25 board members. He doesn’t feel that there is a need to expand that much but a few more should be added that have some contacts and the talents to help with the La Florida exhibit fundraising. There are two names that have been discussed to be approached to ask to join the board. The first one is former Secretary of State Kurt Browning. Chair Herrle has had a very brief, initial conversation with Secretary Browning and he said he would consider it. The second one is former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Mr. Abberger is working on another project with him and offered to approach Senator Graham with the invitation. Discussion ensued about adding members from South Florida as well as someone with a Hispanic background. Mr. Boudet suggested former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez. Commissioner Ziffer suggested Ms. Lauren Shoaf from Visit Florida. Discussion ensued about bringing the two organizations together as resources. Assignments - Mr. Abberger: Senator Graham; Mr. Boudet: Senator Martinez; Chair Herrle: Secretary Browning; and Mr. Ziffer: Ms. Shoaf. Chair Herrle reminded board to follow the Sunshine Laws and to go through staff first. He also offered that he and Ms. Cornelison would work on a one page of notes about the board, the terms, and other information to give to board members to use when discussing joining the Friends of the Museums of Florida History board.

      2. Sponsorship for the Audubon exhibit – Mr. Abberger updated the board on his securing a $2,000 sponsorship for the Museum’s upcoming temporary exhibit John James Audubon: American Artist and Naturalist from Audubon of Florida.

      3. Renewal of Agreement with Fat Sandwich – Ms. Cornelison reported that the Letter of Agreement with Fat Sandwich café is up for renewal November 4, 2010. Discussion ensued on well the café has been doing, financials, and what the monthly rent has been. Ms. Cornelison also reported that Fat Sandwich per the Agreement has been paying the CSO back for equipment purchased, there is two months left.
    2. New Business

      1. La Florida Exhibit Project Report and Next Steps – Dr. Brunson presented to the board, as requested from the previous board meeting, a budget reflecting estimate of costs with an estimate of when funds would be expended. Budget shows an additional $300,000 needed in addition to the legislative appropriation to complete Section 1. Mr. Birtman asked if there are contracts in place now to obligate the appropriation. Dr. Brunson answered that some funds have been contracted and there will be more by end of November or beginning of December. Chair Herrle suggested an additional meeting in November to keep the board updated and to set legislative goals for 2011. Mr. Boudet brought up the question of marketing, both enhanced and early and how to pay for it. Dr. Brunson answered that marketing has to come out of the regular CSO budget and that the legislative appropriation has to be used for tangibles in the exhibit. Mr. Ziffer brought up the idea of inviting Mr. Lee Daniel from the Tourist Development Council (TDC)/Visit Tallahassee to the next meeting to hear his ideas on advertising.

        Dr. Brunson updated the board on the Viva Florida! project and the monthly meetings that have been taking place. All parties involved (Visit Florida, Florida Humanities Council, City of St. Augustine, other DOS divisions) have also been updated on the La Florida exhibit. Also, all exhibit related materials (sponsorship packets and PowerPoint presentation) have been translated into Spanish.

      2. Future Fundraising Initiatives – Chair Herrle shared with the board he recently sent a letter to the new Consul General of Spain. In the letter he welcomed her to Florida and touched on the support shown to the project from former Consul General Cabanas and from the España-Florida Foundation. It also outlined a proposal to have an event at the Museum that would showcase the La Florida exhibit during the Legislature's November Organization Session. The event would include an audience of Spanish executives, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, legislators, possibly the Governor and Governor-elect, the Secretary of State and other dignitaries. Dr. Brunson and Chair Herrle will make a follow-up phone call to Consul General Barrios. Board will be asked to help get invitations out and making arrangements after a commitment has been made.

        Secretary's office also will follow-up with interest in project from the British consulate. Ms. Tutton asked if any advertising could be done at the airport. Mr. Ziffer answered that the TDC is working on installing a big screen at airport that this kind of information can put on as well as their website. Mr. Boudet brought up discussion about plans for "anticipation advertising," such as a picture of a Spanish galleon and "Coming in 2012". Other advertising ideas were discussed such as billboards, getting the information to the Florida Retail Federation, Florida hotels, and on the Tourist Development Council website.

  7. Other Business

    1. Staff Updates – Ms. Cornelison reported that she had a conversation about the La Florida exhibit with a representative from American Express while staffing the Viva Florida! booth at the Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism. The representative was extremely interested in the project and promised to help walk through a grant. Ms. Cornelison will update the board when more information is known.

      Ms. Stratton gave a update on the Florida History Shop business, including involvement in Viva Florida!. Preorders for the 2010 holiday tree ornament, which depicts The Grove, are being taken. She is coordinating with the Historic Capitol on weekend tours and new exhibits. To bring in extra sales she is organizing offsite sales at places such as the Downtown Marketplace, book sales for the Governor's Mansion book club, and setting up a booth at the Junior League holiday marketplace. Ms. Stratton thanked Ms. Tutton for her help in facilitating this through her connection with the Junior League.

    2. Wrap Up – Summary of Meeting Accomplishments – Chairman Herrle concluded meeting with reminders of board assignments, including recruitment of new board members, a working meeting to be scheduled in November and an event during the Legislative Organization Session in November.

    3. Next Meeting – To be determined.
  8. Public Comment


  9. Motion to Adjourn

    Motion to adjourn: Chairman Herrle
    Second: Mr. Abberger
    Motion passed with no objection
    Meeting adjourned at 10:58 a.m.

Presented by Ms. Kathy Guilday, Secretary