[Nfbnet-members-list] Lone Star Blast 2014 Announcement

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Wed Sep 24 16:24:28 UTC 2014

Cheryl Gross
Merchant Relations
National Association of Blind Merchants
Phone: (866) 543-6808, extension 10
<file:///C:\Users\Worley\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\Content.Outlook\ZYKODS0Q\cherylgross@blindmerchants.org>cherylgross at blindmerchants.org 

National Association of Blind Merchants
Announces Lone Star BLAST 2014

Colorado Springs, Colorado (September 24, 2014): 
National Association of Blind Merchants (NABM) 
announced today, that the President of the 
National Federation of the Blind (NFB), Mark 
Riccobono, will provide the opening address at 
Business, Leadership and Superior Training 
(BLAST). NFB President Riccobono will bring his 
insight, humor, and inspiration to conference 
attendees at the leadership breakfast Wednesday 
morning, Nov. 19.  NABM, a division of the NFB, 
encourages you to place your hotel reservations 
and register now for the powerful BLAST training 
conference in November 2014. Lone Star BLAST 2014 
will be held at the Austin Renaissance Hotel from November 18–20.

This year’s BLAST has expanded its scope. There 
is great excitement building around the BEST 
mentoring program for blind clients of vocational 
rehabilitation, who may be considering or 
embarking, on a career of entrepreneurship, 
either within Randolph-Sheppard, or other forms 
of self-employment. Many state agencies are 
providing stipends for clients to attend the 
Blind Entrepreneurs Succeed Today track at BLAST. 
Interested consumers and rehab counselors should 
get in touch with our office for details.

Nicky Gacos, president of the National 
Association of Blind Merchants, said: “In 
coordination with Business Enterprises of Texas 
and the elected committee, we are planning the 
biggest, boldest, most far-reaching training for 
blind entrepreneurs and state agency personnel. 
It will be a BLAST as big as Texas.”

NABM and National Federation of the Blind 
Entrepreneur Initiative will jointly stage the 
conference. The group has already begun planning 
the biggest trade show in its history, working in 
conjunction with the RSA Buying Group and the 
Committee of Blind Operators of Texas. NABM is 
also pleased to announce that in coordination 
with the National Counsel for State Agencies for 
the Blind, BLAST will, again this year, feature a 
day-long training event exclusively for State 
Licensing Agency staff. The association is also 
working with NCSAB to offer continuing education 
for attorneys working with state VR agencies and 
Business Enterprise programs. Those sessions will 
take place on Tuesday, November 18.

BLAST seminars will begin the morning of Tuesday, 
November 18, with business development training 
on the morning of Wednesday, November 19.  The 
trade show will take place Wednesday afternoon. 
There will be a full day of targeted education 
related to personal and professional growth on 
Thursday, November 20. Thursday evening, BLAST 
will conclude with an all-star Lone Star BLAST 
banquet and celebration featuring guest 
speaker/performer, blind American Idol finalist Scott MacIntyre.

Room reservations at the luxurious Austin 
Renaissance are available now at the unbelievable 
rate of $129.00 per night, plus applicable taxes. 
There are a limited number of executive suites 
available on a first come first serve basis, at 
$149.00 per night. Rooms are available from 
Sunday, November 16 through Saturday, November 
22, 2014. Reservations should be made online at 
or by phone at (800) 468-3571. Explain to the 
agent that you are registering for Lone Star 
BLAST under the National Association of Blind 
Merchants group. You must mention Lone Star BLAST 
to get the discounted rate. The Austin 
Renaissance is located at 9721 Arboretum Blvd. Austin, TX 78759

This year, BLAST registration will be $200.00. 
Remember that the BLAST registration fee covers 
BLAST activities excluding out of hotel tours or 
events that may be offered. Your registration fee 
covers training, training materials, welcoming 
reception, leadership breakfast, trade show and 
trade show reception, evening banquet, as well as 
a, “lunch and learn” featuring an address from 
Dr. Marc Maurer, immediate past President 
National Federation of the Blind on Thursday Nov. 
20. Register now at 
For questions or assistance with hotel 
reservations or Lone Star BLAST registrations, please call 866-543-6808.

Austin is the home of the most diverse and lively 
music scene in the world. NABM invites you to 
come for the high-caliber training, networking, 
and Texas hospitality.  In an e-mail to 
constituents, President Gacos said: “If you plan 
to attend any national training conference in 
2014, make it the Lone Star BLAST!”

Think training! Think opportunity! Think Austin, Texas!
Think BLAST!

         David Andrews and long white cane Harry.
E-Mail:  dandrews at visi.com or david.andrews at nfbnet.org
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