Friends of the Museums of Florida History, Inc
Meeting Minutes (Draft)

9:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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. John Boudet; Ms. Kathy Guilday; Mr. Peter Harris; Ms. Milissa Holland; Mr. Frank Jameson; Mr. Jon Moyle; Ms. Kristina Tutton; and Mr. Gil Ziffer.

Staff: Dr. Jeana Brunson; Ms. Elyse Cornelison; Ms. JuDee Dawkins, Deputy Secretary of State for OCHIP; Ms. Rachel Porter; Ms. Sandy Shaughnessy; and Ms. Susan Stratton

Guest: Mr. Ron Sachs

Meeting Minutes

  1. Call to Order

    Mr. Bill Herrle, Chair called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

  2. Introduction of Board, Staff and Guests

    Chair Herrle asked board members and staff members to introduce themselves.

  3. Adoption of Agenda

    SECOND: Mr. Abberger

  4. Chairman’s Comments

    At the board meeting on April 20, 2011 with Secretary Browning, a Letter of Agreement with the Department of State was signed. It essential means that the FMFH CSO board is now the CSO for management of Viva Florida 500 projects and funds. This does mean there will be an additional workload. However, we can't lose focus on our original and main charge, the Museum of Florida History and the Forever Changed exhibit. The extra work with Viva Florida 500 will include administrative duties, accounting, and approving project proposals. How to navigate within the Sunshine Law and expediting the proposals will require some discussion.

  5. Consent Items

    Note: consent items up for vote were provided to the board members in advance via email.

    1. Minutes from February 1, 2011 and April 20, 2011 board meetings.
      Chair Herrle asked board if level of thoroughness in the minutes were too thorough. Mr. Moyle commented that he felt very comfortable with the level of thoroughness. It helped to bring him back up to speed from the previous meetings. Mr. Ziffer seconded Mr. Moyle's comment. The board also agreed.

      SECOND: Ms. Holland

    2. Financial Report through April 31, 2011

      Chair Herrle asked Ms. Tutton if she had any questions or comments on the Financial Report. Ms. Tutton reported that she did not and that she had been in contact with Ms. Cornelison and all questions were resolved. She also reported that the investments for the KHM Endowments were doing extremely well.

      SECOND: Mr. Jameson

    3. Operating Budget For Fiscal Year 2011–12

      Chair Herrle made opening comments since he previously reviewed the budget and process with staff. This upcoming year's budget does reflect a 6.3% reduction over the previous year's budget. He was pleased to see that even instituting a reduction that there was not discarding or demolition of the Museum's hallmark programs. As a point of reference the museum has brought in to date $96,000 and spent only $75,000. He addressed the philosophy differences between the private sector and a state agency. Private sectors start out small and can be added to. State agencies start out with higher projections because they are required to have the spending authority allocated and cut back from that if revenues do not come in. He also wanted the board to be aware that the budget has a $33,000 fundraising obligation for the board to fulfill. He also informed the board that due to the staff's belt tightening there was a surplus in case it is needed. Chair Herrle also mentioned that staff is trying to present the budget as clear as possible to the board and to present expense items with a revenue source where possible. A discussion ensued between board and staff on the details of the budget. Mr. Ziffer proposed that a fundraising committee meet to put a plan in place to raise the budget monies and the permanent exhibit monies. Chair Herrle agreed and put forth that a motion to approve the budget as it is presented to the board and a discussion on a fundraising committee to follow.

      SECOND: Mr. Ziffer

  6. Business Items

    1. Old Business
      1. Board Appointments (Prospective or New) – Discussion ensued about still wanting to have ex-Senator Bob Graham on the board. Chair Herrle proposed adding Ms. Lena Juarez. She is President and Founder of JEJ & Associates, Inc., a governmental relations firm based in Tallahassee and Orlando. She is a supporter of the Humanities and Culture and is very effective before the Florida Legislature. Mr. Abberger asked about what the process was to expedite the appointment. Chair Herrle said that it has to go to the Executive Committee and then through to Secretary Browning. Chair Herrle added that as Viva Florida 500 gets going that we will need more contacts with Humanities groups as well as contacts from the tourism industry such as Visit Florida. He proposed Mr. Andy McLeod, who is the government affairs director for the Florida chapter of The Nature Conservancy and serves on the board of the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation and the Florida Humanities Council. He also proposed Ms. Lauren Shoaf, Marketing and Event Planner for Visit Florida. Mr. Ziffer offered to contact past board member Mr. Chris Thompson who is the President and CEO of Visit Florida for recommendations if Ms. Shoaf is unavailable. Ms. Holland agreed that having the marketing arm for Florida represented on our board is a very good idea, especially with the high profile projects that the board is embarking on.

      2. La Florida Exhibit Project Update – Dr. Brunson briefed the board on the progress of phase 1 of the Forever Changed exhibit. The fabrication of the exhibit has been contracted to Explus from Dulles, Virginia. The exhibit has been valued engineered to fit the available budget. It is now in the technical detailing stage. All the measurements are rechecked and all the details for the infrastructure are put into place. The walls in the gallery have been removed and the details for the infrastructure (walls, flooring, electric, ceiling) will start soon. Once that is complete the actual construction of the components will begin. The area is walled off but there are windows for visitors to view the progress. The exhibit will be constructed in the facilities in Dulles and a subcontractor for the life-sized mannequins have been identified in New York. Another subcontractor for the murals is here in Florida. There is also now a subcontractor for the interactive components. The exhibit parts will arrive in mid- to late- September, the bulk of it (exhibitry, cases, panels, trees and artifacts) placed in October and November. There is a December 16th completion date but there will be refinements to do afterwards, as well as ADA compliance items and updates to the tour wands.

        To date, $900,000 has been allocated to the exhibit design and fabrication.  A 10% holdback of $100,000 from the $1 million appropriation was considered, but not accepted by the legislature. The bulk of the $100,000 amount was put towards the interactive components leaving $14,000 for additional infrastructure work and associated services such as Spanish translations. There is a $48,000 shortfall for the murals and the vegetation in the Land of Many Cultures. As previously discussed, this is what the board was to raise money for during the spring. The murals and vegetation can't be retro-fitted in later, so the funds had to be committed now. The funds will be appropriated from the Museum state budget for fiscal year 2011–12, consequently other exhibit costs will be cut back to accommodate. Things such as the hearth, which is in this year's budget to fundraise for, can be added in at a later time.

    2. New Business

      1. La Florida Exhibit Fundraising – Chair Herrle reminded the board that staff is eager to take any interested parties around the exhibit area. Please bring yourselves and bring VIPs or potential donors. The space really does sell itself. He also directed Ms. Cornelison to coordinate with board members on who needs additional sponsorship packets. It's important to get this important information into the hands of potential sponsors.

        Mr. Ziffer asked if there was suppose to be a match in private funds from the board to the appropriation from the Legislature. Ms. Shaughnessy reminded the board that this is just the first phase of a $5 million dollar project. She also confirmed that there was suppose to be a $1 million dollar match raised in private dollars to the Legislative appropriation. We need $4 million dollars to complete the rest of the project (phases 2 through 4), half of which is supposed to be raised from donations. Discussion ensued on the lack of revenue for the rest of the exhibit and how to raise it. The discussion also included using Viva Florida 500 as a type of leverage. Mr. Ziffer warned about working against ourselves and not to lose site of the fact that we were not ask to fundraise for Viva Florida 500. Chair Herrle reminded the board that their focus is on fundraising for the exhibit. He also asked staff to help identify potential donors across the state for board members to approach. He would also like to work with staff on putting together a fundraising pitch for the board to be able to use. Mr. Ziffer asked for a clarification of the Sunshine Law. Since no vote will be taken would board members be able to discuss with each other about seeing donors and raising money? (Tape change-answered not recorded). The discussion came up again about a fundraising committee meeting. Mr. Ziffer, Ms. Guilday, Mr. Boudet, Mr. Harris, Ms. Tutton along with Chair Herrle and Chair-elect Abberger will meet on July 11 from noon until 2:00 p.m.

      2. Viva Florida 500 Business Plan and Proposals – Ms. Porter presented the Strategic Business Plan. She gave a brief overview of the project and talked about partners. The Business Plan is very much about Viva Florida 500 as well as incorporating certain aspects of the CSO. The Department wanted this to be a clarification document for the board, not necessarily for board to adopt (or make a motion of approval). It is a dynamic document, which should change and evolve, and certainly with the board's input.

        The Plan is also addressing the Letter of Agreement, Article 2, "The Board and DOS will establish internal procedures for review and approval of specific projects proposed by Viva Florida 500 partners". The Department is putting forward a proposed procedure for those specific projects. It is not addressing at this time the issue of unrestricted funds since it isn't going to be a "cookie cutter approach" at this point. Ms. Porter stated that the projects that will come before the board will already come with the funding in place. A very lengthy discussion ensued between board members and DOS staff about restricted funds versus unrestricted funds and fundraising issues between Viva Florida 500 and Forever Changed exhibit. Mr. Harris brought up the issue of why an administrative or processing fee was not addressed for restricted funds in the Letter of Agreement.

        Ms. Porter stated that the Plan could be endorsed but asked for the process and the application to be adopted. She reviewed the proposed application form for the board and stated that it was designed to save the board time and would answer all the questions they would have about the project, including listing names of sponsors. Again, another lengthy discussion ensued between board members and DOS staff about if the board needed to go out and confirm the proposals' sponsor commitments, the use of the trademark, monies, amount of diligence in reviewing proposals, and contractual obligations. Ms. Porter reviewed the difference between Department plans and Partner plans.

        Mr. Ziffer proposed in the interest of the short amount of time left for the meeting that Mr. Harris work with staff on working out the details of the process of reviewing and processing the proposals and then make a recommendation to the board. The board agreed to this. Ms. Porter asked that the application form be reviewed and that it be tabled for further consideration.

        1. Mr. Ron Sachs, President of Ron Sachs Communications made a presentation to the board about his proposal. As stated in the Overview, "the agency is prepared to serve the CSO and FDOS in an effective private/public partnership that will serve to actively reach Floridians, and will also target national and international audiences". This will be done through television and radio programming, media relations with earned media opportunities, and a social media campaign. He presented his proposed budget showing that his firm could leverage at least a 4:1 match. The presentation included a showing of the first few minutes of the 30 minute commercial from the 1995 sesquicentennial celebration and several of the 30 second commercials from the same time period to show what the campaign could look like.

          SECOND: Mr. Boudet
          AMENDMENT TO MOTION: Mr. Ziffer – approval pending DOS legal approval

          Item went into discussion. Mr. Ziffer asked what the time frame would be for Mr. Sachs to be ready for 2013. Mr. Sachs answered a year and half. Discussion ensued within the board on how to move forward with this proposal. Many comments were made to make sure that the board move forward very cautiously and thoughtfully and to make sure that ethic issues are addressed. Question was asked by both Mr. Harris and Ms. Guilday, is there someone on museum staff that will be coordinating with DOS staff about potential sponsors between Viva Florida 500 and Forever Changed? Point was made that it's not good policy to ask the same people over and over again. Discussion continued on with comments about going through a contract route with Mr. Sachs. Mr. Boudet restated what the revised motion before the board is: they are endorsing the concept of retaining a Public Relations firm in this general capacity, encouraging the development of a contract, to be reviewed by the Department's legal counsel, and be ready for presentation and consideration at the Board's next meeting. Mr. Abberger seconded the motion as stated by Mr. Boudet. Item went into further discussion, this time centered on the term contract. Mr. Moyle summed up what he would like to see added to the application form. "It is hereby understood that Ron Sachs communications will make efforts to raise this money and that this agreement is wholly contingent on Ron Sachs Communications raising the money to fund the proposal". Both Mr. Abberger and Ms. Shaughnessy commented that they felt that a contract wasn't needed since Mr. Sachs is basically asking for the right to use the Viva Florida 500 logo and to vet his sponsors with the board. Chair Herrle refocused the board on the motion before the board.


          Ms. Dawkins asked Mr. Sachs if the money he raises will go directly to him or through to the CSO? Mr. Sachs answered that all monies raised will be directed to the CSO and that he'll ask for payment with the deliverables. He also commented that he wouldn't rule out adding a processing fee to the overall total (if successful) of what he raises. Mr. Sachs thanked the board for the opportunity to present to them and stated that he would like to proceed soon so that the deliverables will ready to go by January 2013.

      3. Monthly/Bi-Monthly Meetings – Chair Herrle felt that this is covered for the committee meeting scheduled for July 11th. He asked that the meeting scheduled for next month actually be a whole board meeting. Mr. Ziffer suggested that it would be better to keep it a smaller group so it would be more focused on fundraising and come back to with a recommendation to the whole board. Mr. Abberger seconded it.

  7. Other Business

    1. Staff Updates –Ms. Shaughnessy recommended that the board read the other three proposals in the notebooks. Dr. Brunson passed on her report. Ms. Stratton updated the board on the Florida History Shop financials. She then gave an update on Florida History Shop business such as the Old Capital events, 3rd Thursday sales, the Governors' mansion ornaments, off-site book signings, and the Junior League's Jingle Jubilee sale. The merchandise sale of Audubon items was extremely strong and what was left was sold to Mission San Luis. Florida Landscapes had a great opening night sales. And the first month of the exhibit sales has been strong and showed the coffee mug with James Gibson's painting

    2. Wrap Up – Summary of Meeting Accomplishments

  8. Public Comment


  9. Motion to Adjourn

    SECOND: Mr. Boudet
    Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

Presented by Ms. Kathy Guilday, Secretary