minutes – Feb 2024 – Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Minutes for 11 Feb 2024

Attendees:

Beth A., International Trustee

Lesliee A., Communications Chair

Jeff B., Secretary

Jennifer B., Treasurer

Nona C., Vice Chair

Mark M., Technology Chair

Papa Don, IGR, Center City in Edmonton

Naterena P-C, IGR, AA Serenity, Alternate Secretary candidate

Susan R., Chair

Renee R., Alternate IGR, AAHomeGroup.org

Susan R., the Chair, called the meeting to order and opened the meeting with the Serenity Prayer at 2:02 pm EST. Susan welcomed our guests and reminded them to just listen.

Review of Officer Board minutes – Jeff B., Secretary

  • Jeff reviewed the minutes from the 1/14 Officer Board meeting. He reported that he received corrections from Susan and Jennifer which were made.  Jennifer pointed out one misspelling. Mark M. made a motion to accept the minutes as amended which was seconded by Nona C. The 1/14 minutes were approved unanimously.

Candidate for Alternate Secretary – Jeff B., Secretary

  • Jeff mentioned that his previous alternate Secretary, Amelia L., had to step down for personal reasons. He then sent out a request for a new alternate Secretary and Naterena  P-C. reached out stating that she was interested.
  • Jeff introduced her to the Board and Naterena informed the Board about her qualifications. Naterena stated that she has been serving in her home group since 2013 as a chair and greeter. She transitioned to an online group where she is currently serving as the IGR.  She mentioned her professional work in education and her educational background.  She also told us that she is a wife and mother of 4 adult daughters and has 3 grandchildren.  She is currently working through the Step again with her sponsor.

Issue with Receiving Checks from a Company – Jennifer B., Treasurer

  • Jennifer reported that we have received checks from a corporate account on behalf of a group. She was concerned that the check was coming from an outside entity and not the group. She also mentioned that this individual had set up a recurring contribution from this same corporate account and that for now she has suspended contribution from this corporate account until the Board decides what to do.
  • Nona raised this issue at the ICOAA special workers meeting. There was a mixed response from the attendees of this meeting with the majority of attendees stating that they would accept these checks.
  • Jennifer stated that we could keep the account suspended and refund the money or we could keep the contribution but not taking additional contributions or keep the contribution and continue to take future contributions.
  • Mark stated that he is part of this group, knows the individual and believes we should continue to take these contributions.
  • Mark M. made a motion to accept the contributions from this corporate account on behalf of a group and continue to take future contributions. Jeff B. seconded the motion. There was some discussion and the Board voted 3 to 2 to approve the motion.  Minority opinion was given but, since there was no motion to reconsider the vote, the motion passed.

Technology Questions for the International Convention – Beth A., International Trustee

  • Beth raised the issue about what was possible from a technology perspective for registration at the October International Convention. She mentioned that a registration process would allow us to know who was attending and obtain useful information such as their email address.  She stated that requiring prior registration would allay some of the concerns that are being voiced over security.
  • Mark asked whether Tech 12, who is handling the technical component of the event, has registration as part of their service. Beth reported that they did not and would be relying on us. Mark stated that he and Beth can talk offline about this and then talk with Tech 12.
  • Beth also mentioned that it would be nice to have an app for the event. Mark responded that we do not have the technical resources to build an app. He stated that the TIAA organization uses an app for their conferences and he will check with them to see if we could utilize their app.
  • Jennifer stated that she thought that the registration was included as part of the services being offered by Tech 12.
  • Beth raised questions from two women’s groups who have signed up for the International Conference about whether these meetings could remain women’s meetings where men would not be able to attend. One of the meetings is an Indian meeting where they do not want men to attend.
    • Jennifer mentioned that she is not in favor of having meetings where there are restrictions as part of the International Conventions
    • Jeff stated that holding an International Convention will have complexities that we will need to address and learn from. He also stated that he felt that as we allow for Men’s and Women’s meetings in OIAA we should allow this for our Convention as well.
    • Nona voiced concerns that these specialized meetings will have additional security issues.
    • Beth responded that there will be two levels of security at the Convention level and for each individual group.

Speaking at an Online District meeting – Jeff B., Secretary

  • Jeff mentioned that he has been asked to speak about OIAA at the District 33 meeting which is the online District in Area 58 Oregon. Jeff asked the Board if there were any issues with him making this presentation.
  • The Board did not raise any objections to Jeff making this presentation.

Review of the PIC charter – Nona C., Vice chair

  • Nona reviewed the PIC charter with the Board including the mission and purpose and the roles of the committee members along with several changes which were made.
  • Mark M. made a motion to accept the PIC charter as presented which was seconded by Jennifer B. The motion passed unanimously.

Review of the Communications charter – Lesliee A., Communication chair

  • Lesliee reviewed the Communication charter with the Board including the mission and purpose and the roles of the committee members including the alternate chairs, along with several changes which were made at the request of the Board.
  • Nona C. made a motion to accept the Communication charter with an amendment for an alternate which was seconded by Jennifer B. The motion passed unanimously.

Technology Report – Mark M., Technology Chair

  • Mark reported that we have a web services professional that he is working out the terms with who should be starting in the next week and a half. A new member, Trish, has also volunteered to be part of the web services team.
  • Mark stated that Melinda is still performing services for us until the new web.
  • Mark reported that the next technology project will be to look at the Registrar function and determine how to develop a group directory.

Chair Report – Susan R., Chair

  • Susan reported that she attended the ICOAA meeting and learned that there is a Communication subcommittee which meets with GSO on a quarterly basis. At this quarter’s meeting, there was a discussion of the distribution of an email with questions about the Founders writing that was distributed by the membership and some Intergroups but was meant only for Area delegates.
  • Susan passed along a request from Lesliee to post events on the calendar with Zoom information and to request interpreters as soon as possible.

Vice-Chair Report – Nona C., Vice-Chair

  • Nona stated that she has been exploring the use of DeepL but it is very expensive. She explained that DeepL is software which translates documents into other languages.  It is not budgeted for this year and would not fit into an unabridged request. She stated that the cost would be $280 per month.
  • Jeff asked whether we looked at ChatGBT which is free software and the answer was no. He stated that Felix E., our alternate Treasurer, has used this software to translate documents to Spanish.
  • Nona mentioned that she has been attending the ICOAA meetings which has been beneficial.
  • Nona mentioned that the Board needs to work on a mission statement and that she will send out the information relating to the work done so far.
  • Nona stated that she is working on coordinating the Whistleblower statement with the Open Door policy and the decorum statement and is looking to complete this work before our International Convention.
  • Nona reported that all of the charters except two (Corrections and CPC) are complete and that CPC is coming up soon.
  • There is a change to our Bylaws which will be put forward soon to change the statement that resignations are desired in writing but not required.

Secretary report – Jeff B., Secretary

  • Jeff stated that working on a mission statement is important but that we need to also do some strategic planning which could start in April after passing the Bylaws.
  • Jeff mentioned that he also has been keeping track of several changes that we should consider making in the Bylaws which we should consider looking at starting in April. Jeff stated that he would be willing to chair a Bylaws revision ad hoc committee/
  • Jeff mentioned that he has not yet appointed Naterena as the alternate Secretary but he is encouraged by his discussion with her and that she was invited and showed up.
  • Jeff provided an update on the missing Board meeting minutes which were not completed due to his illness last year. He mentioned that he is almost caught up and that we will discuss another set of back minutes, the 6/20 Board meeting minutes in Executive session. He mentioned that Amelia had been working on the 7/11 and 7/23 meeting which he will need to complete now.
  • He stated that no additional work has been done on the Board Book.
  • Jeff reported that we are ready to purchase the additional liability policy as well as renewing our D&O policy which will see an increase from $549 to $576. He stated that he would need a credit card to make these purchases and Jennifer said that she would send him the information about the credit card to use.

Treasurer’s Report – Jennifer B., Treasurer

  • Jennifer reported that the January reports have been posted on the website.
  • Jennifer reported that we are about $1,000 ahead of budget on contributions.
  • She mentioned that Stripe is up and running and we received our first payment.
  • She reported that our down payment for Tech 12 has been made.
  • Jennifer reviewed the Contribution report and mentioned that individual contributions are not reported on a single line. She reported that we had an $800 contribution through Stripe from a first-time contributing group from New Zealand.
  • Jennifer reviewed the Balance report with the Board. She mentioned that the report has been enhanced to rename the Mercury Savings account to Prudent Reserve.
  • Jennifer mentioned that Erica had sent out a financial review which had found no financial anomalies but she has not had time to look at the review yet.

International Trustee Report – Beth A., International Trustee

  • Beth A. reported that the first phase of planning for the International Convention which is signing up groups should be completed by March 1st.
  • She reported that sign up forms have been sent out and that both she and Carlos D., the Unity committee chair, have been reaching out to groups.
  • Beth mentioned that she has been coordinating with Tech 12 and the next meeting is on March 2nd.
  • Beth mentioned that she will need to use an additional Zoom license so that they can schedule meetings at the same time as other OIAA meetings. Jennifer reported that a second license has been purchased but that meetings will need to be coordinated with the Tech team.
  • Beth stated that she is interested in using the AI Companion in Zoom for meeting notes because they do not have a secretary to take minutes.
  • Beth stated that the groups who are signing up for the International Convention are excited to participate and appreciate that we are listening to them

Interpreters – Lesliee A., Communications chair

  • Lesliee discussed the issue with the ASL interpreters requested a 2 hour minimum which the Board was unwilling to support. She mentioned that she is working to learn how to use Upwork.  One issue with Upwork is that the interpreters cannot communicate prior to the meeting.
  • Lesliee reported that reviewing the GSO guidelines has been helpful.
  • She reported that the ASL interpreters at the Guideline Review session had issues with communicating with one another. She also reported that the ASL interpreter who has worked with us in the past did not believe that the ASL interpreter from Upwork did a good job.  She is also concerned that the cost of interpretation will be rising.
  • Nona stated that we will need to look closely at what languages we will need interpretation and that we should be asking our membership what their needs are.
  • Jennifer agreed with Nona and asked whether we were asked to provide ASL interpretation for the Guideline Review. She stated that we should request interpretation at least two weeks out. Jennifer mentioned that the standard for interpretation is to hire two interpreters.
  • Beth mentioned that we will need ASL for the International Convention as a deaf group has already signed up.
  • Susan stated that in her notice to the membership about any event she asks that members communicate with her their interpretation needs. She stated that anyone who is planning an event should request interpretation at least two weeks prior to the event.

The meeting closed at 4:24 pm EST when the Board went into Executive session.

Motions Summary

The following motions were voted on by the Board at this meeting:

  1. Mark M. made a motion to accept the minutes as amended which was seconded by Nona C. The 1/14 minutes were approved unanimously.
  2. Mark M. made a motion to accept the contributions from this corporate account on behalf of a group and continue to take future contributions. Jeff B. seconded the motion. There was some discussion and the Board voted 3 to 2 to approve the motion.  Minority opinion was given but, since there was no motion to reconsider the vote, the motion passed.
  3. Mark M. made a motion to accept the PIC charter as presented which was seconded by Jennifer B. The motion passed unanimously.
  4. Nona C. made a motion to accept the Communication charter with an amendment for an alternate which was seconded by Jennifer B. The motion passed unanimously.

Humbly submitted,

Jeff Bernknopf

OIAA Secretary

 

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