[tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide

  • From: "lynda jones" <lyndajones2414@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 16:47:19 -0400

Hello Again!

I've read several responses but decided Owen's comments are where I need to
insert this comment. Owen is probably right, but that has never stopped me
from voicing what I believe could fix part of the problem, namely, staff
being verbally harassed for years and no one to turn to. I am not only
speaking of visually impaired staff but also sighted staff who were afraid
they would lose their jobs and had nowhere else in Tallahassee to go. Liz
and I were not the only people abused. When I submitted my grievance in
2012, I knew I could manage financially if I got fired or resigned. Others
did not have that option, and one staff person came to me frightened that I
had mentioned her name in my grievance. This was a woman I had walked with
at lunch time to help her get through the day because at that time she was

As for the salary issue, the Board probably will not act on my
recommendation, but it’s not out of the question for them. For some time,
they have posted a job announcement for a fundraiser with a salary of
$35,000. This means, at least on paper, that they are willing to pay up to
$105,000 for the combined positions. They could offer $60,000 for the
Executive Director and $45,000 for the Director of Client Services and
remain within this budget. If a major portion of the work is handled by the
Director of Client Services, the Executive Director can also cover

Burying their heads in the sand for several years has cost the Board of the
Lighthouse a bundle. I’d like to believe that they have learned their
lesson, but the closing date on the job announcement does make me wonder.

FYI I’m assuming everyone knows that Barbara will remain the Director until
someone is hired.
-----Original Message-----
From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Owen Mccaul
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 7:47 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide

While I agree that a 'seperation of powers' between co-directors would
be desirable, I don't see the local Lighthouse doing that anytime soon.
That would, after all, require paying 2 salaries between $50,000 and
$70,000 per year. The Lighthouse, like many state agencies, is always
trying to do 'more with less,' not recognizing that the usual result is
that you really end up doing less with less.

I strongly suspect that you won't see significant changes at the
Lighthouse until you see significant changes on the Board of the
Lighthouse. I applied for a position on the Board a few years ago,
thinking that my experience as a member of the Board of Trustees for
the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and my experience as
vice-chair of that Board, made me a good candidate. After being
interviewed, my application was rejected because they said that they
were looking for someone who could assist with fundraising efforts. I
have always suspected that the real reason was that Ms. Ross feared I
would be too confrontational. Perhaps now that Ms. Ross will be leaving
the picture it would be possible for the Lighthouse's Board to get some
'new blood.' I have far too much on my plate to apply again anytime
soon but perhaps someone else in the local community (Chip?) could step
up and try to make changes from within.

-----Original Message-----
From: Erica <ericamccaul@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tue, Sep 1, 2015 12:27 am
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to

What Lynda suggests-- hiring 2 differently qualified but compatible
co-directors-- is exactly what C.I.T.E.-- the predecessor of Orlando's
Lighthouse-- did. This arrangement allows the proper caliber of
services to be provided, but in a scope that will be fiscally
sustainable long-term.


-----Original Message-----
From: lynda jones &lt;lyndajones2414@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx&gt;
To: tabi &lt;tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx&gt;
Sent: Mon, Aug 31, 2015 9:53 pm
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to

I agree with much of what you have written. I too am puzzled as to
why they would close a job posting for an Executive Director in one
week. Let me put a bit of a different perspective to the situation.
I do know why Barbara resigned. It wasn’t her management skills that
forced a resignation; it is her lack of people skills as well as her
lack of knowledge of quality blindness services. For more than three
years the Lighthouse Board of Directors has ignored evidence that
Barbara was mistreating some of her staff. They were told several times
by several people and chose to ignore the evidence and stand behind
Barbara. Recently, they were forced into accountability.
Executive Directors of many businesses are often managers rather than
experts on the service part of the business. It would be wonderful, if
there is someone who knows both sides of the picture—blindness and
management. But you can’t run a business without the management skills.
As I read the job announcement, I noticed that the Board is again
giving total power to a single individual. This new Director will
oversee every aspect of the Lighthouse. It is quite possible that they
could hire someone else like Barbara and again ignore all red flags.
It is my belief that the only way to avoid repeating the problem is
to hire two individuals with both of them answering directly to the
Board. One person would manage the business and fundraising part of the
Lighthouse. The other person, qualified in blindness services, would
hire staff and manage client services.

From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Robert Miller
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 6:21 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide

Apparently around August 17th Barbar Ross director of the
Lighthouse of the big bend resigned with no announcement or reason
given to the blind community it services. To add more insult to injury
the job announcement has already been posted and closed on August
24th.  As far as we can tell the job announcement wasn’t posted on any
blindness organization web sites.  I have posted a copy of the job
discription below, which to me is very disturbing since blind or
visually impaired is not mentioned once. In the discription where
disability is mentioned  they are prefered and not requirements. From
the discription it is very apparent that the board is looking for a
money maker not someone who gives a damn about blind people or there
needs. It is pretty scary to have a director responsibal for the hiring
and directing of employees that has no idea what to look for in who
they hire. Since The lighthouse of the Big Bend is a FAASBY member, I
am afraid this is the case with many other member agencies and this is
exactly why the state of Florida is doing a major disservice to it’s
blind citizans.


I urge all of you to contact the board and express your dismay and
demand that they re-write there job discription and repost the job
announcement in places that might give them a chance to find an
aplicant that is qualified to adequately provide quality services for
our community.




The Lighthouse of the Big Bend, a local nonprofit in the Tallahassee
area is seeking an Executive Director. This salaried position will pay
between $50,000 - $70,000 annually, depending upon experience, and
comes with excellent benefits such as annual, sick and holiday paid
leave, health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits.

The Executive Director shall be directed by the Board to include but
not be limited to the following:
a)   To coordinate between the Board and staff respecting all
business of the nonprofit agency.
b)   To administer and report on all fiscal matters as directed by
the Board.
c)   To monitor and report on trends respecting the mission of the
nonprofit agency and assist the Board in setting appropriate priorities.
d)   To prepare and submit to the Board an annual operating budget
for their approval.
e)   To develop fund raising activities locally, statewide and
nationally for the proper operation of the nonprofit agency.
f)   To maintain a written personnel manual.
g)   To recruit, employ and terminate, as may be necessary, the
employees of the nonprofit agency.
h)  To coordinate the services of the nonprofit agency with other
i)   To provide leadership and promote professional growth by
participation on committees and in training conferences which are
pertinent to the mission and operation of the nonprofit agency, with
the prior approval of the Board.

Duties of the Executive Director
• Supports operations and administration of Board by advising and
informing Board members, interfacing between Board and staff and
supporting Boards evaluation of Executive Director, upholding and
adhering to the policies and bylaws of the organization, entering into
contracts on behalf of the organization with the Board of Directors
• Facilitates the development and implementation of the
organization’s strategic plan in collaboration with the Board of
• Oversees the effective design, marketing, promotion, delivery and
quality of programs, products and services through the recruitment and
supervision of the management team. 
• Oversees creation and implementation of annual operational plan and
continuous quality improvement plan.
• Recommends yearly budget for Board approval and prudently manages
organization’s resources within those budget guidelines according to
current laws and regulations.  Ensure timely and accurate reporting and
invoicing on all contracts and grants.
• Effectively manages the human resources of the organization
according to authorized personnel policies and procedures that fully
conform to current laws and regulations.
• Oversees fundraising planning and implementation, including
identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources,
establishing strategies to approach funders, submitting proposals and
administrating fundraising records and documentation.
• Assures the organization and its mission, programs, products and
services are consistently presented in strong, positive image to the
general public, media, other organizations and relevant stakeholders.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
Executive Director Requirements
• Preferred education level: Master’s Degree with emphasis in
management, social work, human service, psychology, education, or a
related field;
• Minimum ten (10) years of management experience preferably in the
field of disabilities;
• Minimum five (5) years experience in social services, preferably
with children/adults with disabilities;
• Proven supervisory and leadership skills;
• Adept at budgeting and strategic planning;
• Knowledge of grant writing experience;
• Skilled in exercising sound judgement and possesses good analytical
• Capable of working with a variety of diverse and multi-cultural
personalities and leadership styles;
• Excellent oral and written communication skills;
• Clear Level 2 background check.
To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume
to the Board President at boardpresident1@xxxxxxxxx by August 24, 2015.
Thank you.

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