September 2023 Chair’s Report: From where I serve….
And so, another month of service to our groups…. Your vice chair and I are attending committee meetings; the committee chairs have met with the board. Officers and committees have prepared and submitted budgets for approval to the finance committee, board, and membership at the December assembly. We have sent twelve service members to the National AA Tech Workshop this month, where we are also on the agenda as presenters. The Tech Committee has launched How to Videos on our YouTube channel. Our secretary presented at a Service Workshop in Australia late last month! We are on the agenda to present at the ICOAA (Intergroup/Central Office AA) workshop in Cincinnati October 13-15. At our July Assembly, we approved funds for our secretary to attend. He has told us he cannot attend, so we are proposing a motion to the Assembly in September to send another officer in his place. I will be going to represent you as well. We are learning to communicate, cooperate and collaborate.
Additionally, the Treasurer has rescinded the motion postponed at the July 29th Assembly, so that will not be on the agenda later this month. (That motion is here for your referral, Motion: Remove the service position of Finance Chairperson and change subsection 4.01(d): Treasurer of the Bylaws to reflect the changes below. The Treasurer and Alternate Treasurer will lead the Finance Committee and OIAA will no longer have the positions of Finance Chairperson or Alternate Chairperson.)
The treasurer and board were sensitive to the concerns of membership at the July assembly regarding financial oversight and in response to that is considering a regular audit to provide this oversight If we decide on an external audit, we will need to consider an increased cost in the finance budget. If we do an internal audit with qualified members, we will not need a significant increase in the budget, but 12-Step service commitment will be necessary. At the assembly later this month, the treasurer will discuss the differences between external and internal audits and ask for your input. We will always listen to your thoughts and concerns.
The board has decided to expand itself. Our bylaws give us the authority to do so. With the Ad Hoc Guidelines Committee, we have hammered out the descriptions of two new non-officer trustees, an International Trustee and a Trustee At Large. We will provide these descriptions, their eligibility requirements, and suggested qualifications and duties to you at the September 16th Assembly. We are asking you to submit your service resumes to us by November 1st, 2023. We will elect these new trustees at the December 16 election assembly when we will also approve the 2024 budget.
Speaking of elections, three of us on the board are serving as appointments: me, your vice chair, and your treasurer. Per our bylaws, we will stand for your election at our December Assembly. We will present our service resumes to you. If others choose, they could present their service resumes and stand for the position themselves. So, December will be an important Assembly with an election and the 2024 budget approval. We will need your participation, preparation (review of proposed budget ahead of time) and support.
We are assessing the future of the Board Ad Hoc Committees: Bylaws/Guidelines, Communications, Grapevine/La Viña, brought into the organization in March. As Ad Hoc Committees, they have an end date. Is their service representative of our entire fellowship? Are they important to expanding our infrastructure? How and where do they fit? There is a process to become full standing committees. We must go through the process as a board and answer those questions. When the board hammers that out, we will let you know. And if we form a new standing committee, we will ask you to debate, decide and vote.
One of our Board Ad Hoc Committees, Get into Action, has decided to leave and not seek OIAA Committee status. They did exciting work before they joined us, and they may continue to follow a passion to provide workshops in helping online groups have a place in the general service structure and other issues facing online groups. It was their autonomous decision, and we wish them well.
Similarly, the Unity Committee hoped to successfully forge a supporting role in the 2nd International Convention of Online Groups. An organizational committee abroad had been planning this event since the fall of 2022. Our planners and theirs could not find consensus on the program, and we elected not to continue. It takes a lot of courage and wisdom to look at a project and say, “This is not for us.” We all encounter times when we reach a fork in the road. This is the courage to change and wisdom to know when to do so. We have done this twice this month. And we wish the planners of the 2nd International Convention of Online Groups well. Look for Unity and the Convention Committee to plan an event for us together in the future! Perhaps you could send ideas for this to our Unity and Convention Chairs now. (Unity.firstname.lastname@example.org or Convention.email@example.com Tagline-Convention of Online Groups 2024)
Our bylaws suggest committees are responsible for quarterly reporting. Check out their reports on our website! See what they are doing! Consider becoming involved! Service facilitates recovery. It is a wonderful opportunity for growth. We have need for interpreters, translators, graphic wizards, 12-Steppers, tech steppers, those that answer policy and admission questions, those interested in serving our international groups, upcoming convention planning, public information, cooperation with professionals; all can find a rewarding place with us. We need an archivist and if there are those out there who would like to pioneer a corrections or accessibility committee, get in touch!! (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We will be holding an IGR forum on October 28, 2023. Our vice chair is planning this and is seeking a presenter, “How and What does an IGR provide to their Group?” This will be a 5-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers. Please contact her if interested in presenting at email@example.com. Look for the rest of her agenda soon! And if you have any questions, suggestions, ideas, problems, this will be the place to let us know what you need!
Ad Hoc Guidelines will meet the September 30th board deadline to provide the membership with an updated version of the original eight sections of guidelines created when business was all conducted via email. They will hand it off to the Ad Hoc Communications Committee to edit, providing us with a final version to be approved by the board and the membership at a future assembly. We will post those guidelines and provide workshops for questions in advance of their approval, just as we did with the bylaws. What all that means is your service committees have learned to work together to serve you!
In the recent past, you were asked to send us ideas, to think outside of the box. I am excited about your ideas, but we are learning we need the infrastructure in place to realize those ideas and visions. Do we have the money, time, or volunteers to do the work? Sometimes those ideas must be placed on the back burner. That does not make them any less important. It means the answer is Not Now.
I remember when I had a flash-of-light moment about the seventh tradition: “Self-Supporting through our own contributions.” It did not say, support us with money, though certainly, it is implied. We are all grateful for your group’s financial generosity! We are not really self-supporting as an organization without those contributing their time. As intergroup representatives you have a responsibility to be involved, to volunteer, to come to assemblies and listen, debate, vote, and report back to your groups. You have such an important pivotal role in the line of communication between OIAA and your group. It is an act of mutual communication, collaboration, and commitment to a journey together as your groups provide that light into the darkness of alcoholism, sharing your experience, strength, and hope! Your support, financially and in contributing your time in 12-step service, helps us find common solutions and realize dreams. Together, we can take those dreams off the back burner. And for that…. we are all responsible.
Humbly and respectfully submitted: