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

  • From: "Robert Miller" <robertmiller2201@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 12:22:25 -0400

Hi Robin,

Just curious, Are you and Barbara friends and did you apply for the job?
I have never seen you on the list before and it’s kind of odd that you showed
up during this discussion in defense of Barbara and the board. Have you ever
worked in the Blindness field?

Robert



From: Robin McDougall
Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 8:51 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide

Hello all

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, currently in private practice as a
psychotherapist. I am writing this e mail in hopes my perspective will help to
clarify a few points and make the upcoming transition at the Lighthouse more
palatable for the blind community.

Prior to working in private practice, I worked in the not for profit community
for almost 20 years. For thirteen of those years, I was the Program Director in
an agency which served low income people with health care needs.

I am reading what you have written here, and I am comparing it to my
experiences both as a subordinate and a supervisor. I am also comparing it to
my experiences both serving on boards and working with boards in my profession.

Some of the things about what you're complaining are simply things which are
regulated by rules and policies.

As a subordinate, there have been times when I have heartily disagreed with the
decisions my director made. However, our agency had policies and rules which
she was compelled to follow and to mete out equally between myself and all of
the other employees. There could be no special treatment and very little
variance from those policies in order for my boss to do her job. And I was
similarly restricted and required to follow policies.

Additionally, a Board is restricted from interfering with the Director as he or
she runs the agency. The primary role of the board is fund-raising and
long-term planning for an agency. As a colleague, a subordinate and someone who
has served on boards, there are many times when I have felt a board should be
involved on a more direct level with an agency. And each time, I was told those
types of activities are inappropriate for a board. This has been true at the
United Way, this is true at Florida State University, and this is been true
when I have worked with boards in the private nonprofit community.

It is my understanding it is inappropriate for a board member to have personal
relationships with people in an agency where that board member serves.


I also believe in order to provide mental health services a person must meet
certain state requirements both educationally and with training. This opinion
is derived from my own experience of psychotherapy and covering liability (both
in private practice and when serving on a board). I believe a Board member who
offers mental health counseling to staff of the agency that Board serves opens
the Board up to liability. There two roles should be separated, and a provider
can do one or the other, but not both in the same agency.

It sounds like the Board has met its obligation to the Lighthouse and that the
advertisement of the position of Director meets ADA requirements by indication
someone with a disability is preferred. I don't think an agency can indicate a
position is required to be filled by a person with a disability, in large part
because the agency is also governed by its funding sources and must meet state
and Federal guidelines.

Twice I have been in staff in an agency when the Director resigned. First those
Directors discussed their plans with the Board, and later we (the staff) were
informed. In neither case, did that Director tell us her personal reasons for
departing, nor was an announcement made to the clients and community our agency
served.

The same applies when I left my position as a Program Director. My reasons were
my own and personal. There is an appropriate, professional boundary that
enables those of us who are employed to draw a line between our personal lives
and those for whom we work and serve.

I agree, the net could be cast wider, and the job posted where people who are a
part of the blind community would have an opportunity to apply. This specific
request seems sensible to me, and perhaps the position can be posted again.

The remainder of your complaints do not seem reasonable to me based on my
experiences as a psychotherapist, a board member, as a subordinate in my
workplace at times and as a director in my career.

Sincerely

Robin McDougall, LCSW
The Healing Center
847 E Park Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301








On Sep 3, 2015, at 5:30 AM, Robert Miller <robertmiller2201@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
wrote:


That’s because there hands were tied


From: Norine Labitzke
Sent: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 10:27 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide

Most did almost nothing. Norine



From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of lynda jones
Sent: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 8:18 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide



As far as I know the Board membership has remained committed to the bylaws
percentages of blind and sighted. I can say that the blind people on the Board
have been just as silent about what has gone on as the sighted members, and
perhaps even more so. I know there were a couple of blind people appointed to
the Board two years ago or so who said they were going to try and do something
to change the atmosphere at the Lighthouse. I don't know if they got scared or
got drawn into the crowd and weren't brave enough to stand alone. Believe me,
the entire staff has been affected. The entire Board knew much of what was
going on and they did nothing.



Lynda






------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Norine Labitzke
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 5:52 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide

I believe the answer is “yes” and my experience was it was adhered to.
Norine



From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Laurie Davis
Sent: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 8:37 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide



Hi, Norine,



I would like to know if there is a requirement that a certain percentage of
Board members be visually impaired. If so, is this policy being adhered to or
ignored?



From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Norine Labitzke
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2015 11:43 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide





Chip, thank you so much for this opportunity to state my perspectives, and
make others aware of them. Also for your gentle reminder of how remiss I was
regarding openly discussing these issues on this and other forums, and how
important this can be to this and so many other fields. At the time, I felt
alone, insignificant, rejected by those of importance, and thus wrongly kept my
mouth shut.



All this happened a few years ago. It was related to many accumulating
issues in my opinion.



I never doubted Barbara was an excellent asset as a fund raiser/organizer for
Lighthouse. I became increasingly aware of her deficits in understanding and
managing professional staff; I never held this against her as this was not a
background she presented to us, and I made this clear in written notes
presented at the meeting referred to below. I think, but am not sure, those
notes, relate my recommendation for separate positions of Director of Fund
Raising, and Director of Staff and professional development (I sure hope so as
that would have been intended).



As a professional (ARNP with ongoing years of experience in mental health I
volunteered my services to staff and clients of Lighthouse of the Big Bend, for
many years, and prior to my accepting any position on the Board, primarily to
listen and be supportive (but challenging when necessary). Thus I became aware
first hand, over months and years, of what clients, and especially, staff ,
perceived to be, and seemed to me to an accumulating record of unfairness and
intimidation to them, Barbara’s power issues, inability to understand, and
manage their professional issues and concerns.



I do not remember the exact precipitating issue, (I am sure it remains
accessible but buried deep in my archived files). I, as President, called an
urgent Board meeting which took place at my house. Much to my shock and
surprise, the Board members immediately dismissed my serious concerns
evidencing 100% support of Barbara. At that meeting I was told, in no
uncertain terms, that my being available, on a volunteer basis, as a mental
health professional to “listen” to staff issues and clients was a conflict of
interest with being President and on the Board, and I would have to choose
which I would do, but it could not be both.



I had volunteered my professional services to staff and clients for many
years in the past, prior to being on the board. I always made this known to
the Board, and it never previously seemed to be an issue, or a block to my
Board involvement (actually seemed to be recognized and appreciate).



Thus (as I felt forced at that meeting and with 20/20 hindsight have not
changed my opinion) made the decision to resign as President. Everyone left my
house. I was in the process of writing an email to Barbara to inform her of my
decision, but within less than fifteen minutes of board members leaving,
received a curt call from Barbara acknowledging my decision. The rest is
“silent history”. I have heard little or nothing since then from any of them.



I apologize for not informing TABI, FASBE, DBS or anyone else of these
events. At the time, I felt and believed the Board to be correct and
representative, and my concerns to be irrelevant and of no value or importance
or significance to anyone, especially to the Board, or to Lighthouse. I now
believe and understand otherwise. Also now, with 20/20 hindsight, I strongly
believe two things:



#1 This organization has progressed to the point where it would benefit from
the services of paid, short term (maximum four years board members) with some
pre-determined qualifications.



#2 As many others have stated, and I believe was bottom line to my
resignation issues, Barbara’s position needs to be replaced by two separate
individuals with separate and distinct responsibilities – one for fund raising,
and one for staff development.



#3 I realize with my resignation from the Board, I have chosen to not keep
up with issues at Lighthouse. In some ways I regret this; in many ways,
perhaps excuses, I understand and accept my decision of removal, as I hope
many of you will also; like so many life decisions, perhaps it was not a best
one, but it did seem appropriate at the time and circumstances. I continue to
care deeply for Lighthouse and always will as I daily remember I am here,
where I am, because of the services Lighthouse, and especially Jeanine, Evelyn,
Jim Breen, and Chip, and so many others made available to me.



#4 This is not an excuse; it is real. I will always thank Barbara for all
she did for Lighthouse of the Big Bend. She definitely brought us from near
extinction to way beyond survival mode. She did everything and more her
resume, and our reasons for hearing her for her position expected.



#5 In my opinion, the biggest fault lies with the board. Although it is
made up of excellent, good, dedicated, and well intentioned/ committed people,
it is time for a total change and probably oversight and direction from an
independent source.



Thank you for this opportunity to express my personal opinions. Norine




From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 6:59 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide



Norine,



This is the first I’ve heard you resigned as president, so let me ask, did
you post anything here about it?



I am still interested in hearing why you felt you had to resign; as I said,
it’s a community organization, so why not get the community involved.



Chip





From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Norine Labitzke
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 9:53 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide



All this is news to me. I just wish more people had asked or evidenced
interest when I resigned as President of the Board a few years ago; may or may
not be relevant then or now. Even then the “board” seemed oblivious, and that
appears not to have changed. It is also interesting, although I may be wrong
and do not pretend to keep in touch, with the concerns and issues of the blind
community, and the staff of Lighthouse of the Big Bend. I do believe in many
ways Barbara did a good job, but I also believe the “board” turned a “blind
eye” to what could have been expected of her position, and hope this does not
continue.

Norine



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.



Robert







NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR



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 programs.

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 approval.

• Facilitates the development and implementation of the organization’s
strategic plan in collaboration with the Board of Directors.

• 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 skills;

• 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.



From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Chip and Allie Orange
Sent: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 6:59 AM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide



Norine,



This is the first I’ve heard you resigned as president, so let me ask, did
you post anything here about it?



I am still interested in hearing why you felt you had to resign; as I said,
it’s a community organization, so why not get the community involved.



Chip





From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Norine Labitzke
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 9:53 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: What is the lighthouse of the big bend trying to hide



All this is news to me. I just wish more people had asked or evidenced
interest when I resigned as President of the Board a few years ago; may or may
not be relevant then or now. Even then the “board” seemed oblivious, and that
appears not to have changed. It is also interesting, although I may be wrong
and do not pretend to keep in touch, with the concerns and issues of the blind
community, and the staff of Lighthouse of the Big Bend. I do believe in many
ways Barbara did a good job, but I also believe the “board” turned a “blind
eye” to what could have been expected of her position, and hope this does not
continue.

Norine



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.



Robert







NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR



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 programs.

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 approval.

• Facilitates the development and implementation of the organization’s
strategic plan in collaboration with the Board of Directors.

• 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 skills;

• 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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