February 13, 2016

ACA WSO Teleconference Meeting Minutes


Chair, Larry A. opened the meeting with the Serenity Prayer and the reading of Tradition Two:    For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority, a loving God as expressed in our group conscious.  Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.    

Attendees:  Larry A., Mary Jo L., and Ines Z. – Quorum was established.  Majbrit M. was not present.

Guest Introductions:  Marty (Montana) x 12+, Kadijah (SC) x1, Pam (Central Coast ACA Intergroup CA), Hecktor(Denmark) x5, Jeff (Orange County CA) x1, Mikal (Copenhagen) x3, Bonnie (TX) x19, Sandra (Board Chair Elective of the SE Texas Intergroup, Harris County) x 1, Tom (Boston) x1,Marietta, Intergroup Rep for Telephone Meeting USA Intergroup (CT) x 22; Mona (Chicago); Tracy (NY, Intergroup 017 Greater NY) x15+; Bill, AWC Planning Committee (Miami)x5; Matt, Sec for West Great Lakes Intergroup (Oshkosh, WI) x10;  Don F., Sec for NE WI Intergroup, (Oshkosh WI) x9/10; Jeffrey, WSO European Literature/Finance Committee (Prague) x6; Jim (South, FL) x5; John.


Motion brought forward by Secretary, Ines Z. to approve the minutes of the November 14, 2015 ACA WSO Teleconference Meeting (Mary Jo-second).  The minutes passed, unanimously.  

Motion brought forward by Secretary, Ines Z. to approve the minutes of the January 9th, 2016 ACA WSO Teleconference Meetings (Mary Jo–second).  The minutes passed, unanimously.  

Committee Reports

TREASURER’S REPORT AND FINANCE COMMITTEE (Chair:  Mary Lo):  The net income for January was $23,892.  In December, the Distribution Center ran out of Laundry List Workbook therefore orders were delayed so there was a net loss of $1,112.  The January income partially offset the December loss.  The Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet are posted in the repository.  7th Tradition Contributions are shown on the “donations received” tab under the Treasurer’s Report. If there are any questions or errors, please email treasurer@adultchildren.org.  Mary Jo noted that sometimes contributions are listed as “anonymous” but may have actually come from a meeting so, please advise if there needs to be a change.  

The Finance Committee members are:  Bill D. (FL); Jeffrey (Prague); and Mary Jo. The committee is relatively new and has met 4 times since the last Board conference call.  We have reviewed how WSO works and the financials, and have a list of projects the committee is researching and making recommendations on, all of which are listed in the full report on the repository.  Items discussed include using the European Committee as the model for deciding how non-US outreach efforts operate and setting a pricing strategy model to sell books through Amazon in an effort to help the European countries save on shipping.  Jeffrey has been instrumental in working on that.  Mary Jo extended a personal thank you to committee members noting that their business and non-profit backgrounds have been instrumental in moving things along. 

Larry asked for clarification of why financials were not posted for the January meeting.   Mary Jo responded that there were minor adjustments that she asked Patricia to make because some things were charged against the wrong line items.  Due to the holiday the changes were not ready in time but have since been posted in the repository.

Ines asked for clarification about work the Finance Committee is doing on creating the job descriptions.  She indicated there may be an overlap with the DC Oversight Committee as that would be something that would fall under the DC Oversight Committee responsibilities.  Ines indicated that at some point this task would fall back to the DC Oversight Committee or could possibly be worked on a co-committee level.  Ines then discussed that there had been prior mention of hiring an operations manager and wanted to gain clarity regarding what responsibilities pertain under each committee.  Mary Jo responded that the Board has been discussing the hiring of a manager.  She stated the finance committee was only working on this as a matter of giving input and working on a suggested description.    

Larry then commented that the money shown in the Balance Sheet is used for many purposes..  Although it may sound like a lot of money, there are expenses such as hiring of a manager and other positions that are in the planning stages.  He wanted to make it clear that there are organizational needs that need to be met and these funds go towards helping to move things along.

Chair, Larry A.:  Larry started by reminding everyone that all the reports discussed during the call are located in the repository.  He then went onto the Literature Committee report noting that Robin was not on the call.  

LITERATURE COMMITTEE – Larry:  Chair, Larry A.  announced that the Russian Big Red Book, has been translated and  received.  They (Russia) will now be fast tracked to move them along so they can get their Big Red Book.  Part of the translation agreement provides that the WSO will give the translation group the first printing, meaning they will pay for printing and shipping and the WSO will give them that in return for the sweat equity (having done the translation).  Larry also stated they (Russia) have provided most of the tri-folds and booklets that were done by native speakers.  The Russian Translation group saw the machine translations and found them to be inadequate for their purposes.  Larry then announced that “we are approaching 1000 audio Big Red Books sold and we are also approaching 10,000 (9,209) mark on the electronic Big Red Book”.   

Spanish Translations – Ines:Ines reported that there were no updates at this time.  

ComLine – Phyllis- (Reported by Larry) Larry reported that the ComLine is still looking for volunteers to help out with writing articles, specifically contributions for the next addition which will cover traditions and steps 4, 5 and 6.  Articles can be submitted to litstaff@adultchildren.org.  

Robin – Special Worker, (Reported by Larry) Larry reported that Robin has been handling emails from international members.  

Jeffrey (Prague): Jeffrey reported that next week emails should be going out to intergroups and group contacts in Australia.  He has received an Adultchildren.org email address so that he can use officially.  This means there can be a major outreach program in Australia.  WSO will be reaching out to every group and intergroup in Australia letting them know WSO wants to help you be self-sufficient in the next few years so you can produce and distribute their own literature instead of having to have it shipped in.  Jeffrey stated this will go a long way to show the WSO’s involvement even with limited resources.

ACA WSO DC Oversight Committee & Distribution Office-Ines/Mary Jo:  Per Ines, reminded that at the last meeting it was decided to collapse these two committee reports together. The DC Oversight Committee has not met.  They are working on establishing a time that will work.  Ines stated that Majbrit is part of the committee and is in Latvia and wasn’t available to be on the call.  

Mary Jo then reported on the Distribution office and noted the reports that Gloria has prepared are on the repository: The Yearly Gross Sales, which is the gross sales before any costs are attached to them, and the Product Sales Comparisons.  There are now 1,520 active meetings and 54 active intergroups.  

Larry then mentioned that for a long time the fellowship could not cross over the 1500 meeting mark so that is a good sign that the fellowship is growing.  

MEMBER AND PUBLIC SERVICE (Chair, Joan):  Neither Joan or Denise were on the call.  Larry asked Bonnie to read the report that was posted by Denise.  Bonnie read:  The purpose of Member and Public Services in ACA is to support ACA members in becoming responsible for their own well-being through ACA related materials and to provide information for the public and for professionals by providing ACA related recourses and services.   

Special Worker, Denise (Report given by Bonnie):    Bonnie read the posted report:  Report for January.  Emails received were 664.  Emails sent were 464.  Vonage Voice Mails:  501, International Connections made:  Australia, Germany, Hungry, Ireland, London, Netherlands, Prague, UK.  Most common emails were about finding meetings, meeting changes, how to start new meetings, literature order information.  Most voicemails are about finding meetings, meeting changes, literature, and order information.  There were a lot of new comers this month asking for assistance for information about ACA and meetings.  Regarding teamwork, as always I thank WSO and all involved in assisting me with helpful information and feedback to provide the most helpful information to all of our Adult Children reaching out for assistance.  Full report is on the website.  

Hospitals & Institutions -Joan:  Report tabled as Joan was not on the call.  

Intergroup Liaison-Bonnie: Bonnie (TX) reported that the intergroup subcommittee email traffic at integroups@adultchildren.org remains steady in February 2016.  Twenty-four incoming messages; nine were forwarded to MPS; and there were twenty-two responses.  Bonnie reported that many problems were about the intergroup registration.  Most common complaint was about long delays for getting meetings posted and changes posted.  A couple of intergroups wrote asking for confirmation of their registration.  Bonnie said she currently does not have a way to access that information.  While there was talk about notification of when a new intergroup does register, the mechanism to handle that has not been developed as of yet.  Bonnie also reported that new intergroup registrations were up.  There were some intergroups that were in contact trying to confirm each other’s registration.  Apparently there are 2 intergroups that are next door to each other but those meetings will sort out what intergroup the constituency will choose to support.  New intergroups and groups newly affiliating with their intergroup are bottlenecked with registrations and updates.  It is becoming more difficult for an intergroup to verify what meetings have affiliated with them.  Bonnie stated there was one complaint from an intergroup that they could not find a link or listing to reach the intergroup subcommittee email,  and had to be routed through several parties to get to the subcommittee.  The subcommittee is in discussions with WSO to create some kind of forum or message board for the use of registered intergroups so they can share their experience of experience, strength and hope with each other.  Bonnie closed by stating it had been a fairly quiet month.    

Ines asked about the discussions with WSO about establishing a forum for intergroups to be in contact with each other.  Ines indicated the “best practices” tab on the website was created for that purpose.  

In response, Bonnie indicated it would be a space for intergroups where they could have an ongoing discussion, not just posting the end result.  MaryJo asked if there was google group set up for the intergroups.  Bonnie responded that the google group is an outside component and is not an official WSO site and because it’s in a free space, it is not as secure.  The hope was to have something under the WSO “name”.  Larry mentioned that he had exchanged emails with Bonnie about this request.  He has currently asked for a quote and mentioned that the “best practices” tab can be used for both groups and intergroups.  Additionally, Larry noted that in the past, WSO has had forums and they became extremely time consuming and not very productive. Larry stated the board will discuss whether the forum should be reopened.  In response, , Bonnie indicated that they were not looking for anything as cumbersome as the old forum but a place where  there can be an ongoing conversation adding that the “best practices” tab, wasn’t suitable for their purposes.  

WEBSITE AND DATABASE COMMITTEELarry:  Larry reported that the trusted servant that has been working on this is retiring at the end of this month therefore there wasn’t a report.  Larry did report that over the last few months there had been consistent use of the website.  Modifications had been made to the home page to make things more accessible such as “What’s New” was changed to “News” for clarity on  what can be found there.  “MPS Resources” had been relabeled “Resources”.  The website continues to be retooled and there will be some motions regarding the website coming up.  Larry stated he would try to put together the site user matrix for next month’s meeting.  

Mary Jo asked if there had been any progress with the plan to change the icon for “Find a Meeting”.  Larry indicated that it is still in the queue for evaluation.  He also stated the items that might be included instead of “Find a Meeting” will appear when the cursor is rolled over “News”.  

Ines put out there the need for discussion around replacing the trusted servant who is retiring from this position and who will be handling duties related to committee work in the meantime.  Larry replied he had just sent an email including that discussion.

EUROPEAN COMMITTEE Majbrit: Report given by Jeff (Prague):  Jeff read the January 2016 European Committee Report submitted by Majbrit.  Jeff indicated the report starts with a statement from the Bronx Strategic Planning Meeting from December 2015.  The statement is as follows:  ACA/WSO Board is committed to supporting the growth of the fellowship and will accomplish this by creating systems, policies and procedures that will nurture global growth, expansion and access while ensuring that current initiatives are realized.”  In the last two months we have been busy talking about how to proceed with the support structure of the European Fellowship.  Jeffrey was elected chair of the subcommittees of the European Committee for Finance and Literature.  We are currently working to support the initiative to establish literature fulfillment in Europe through Amazon UK and are investigating setting up a similar fulfillment in Denmark.  We are waiting for additional information to be able to complete our report.  We are meeting once a week to work on that.  Supporting the European Fellowship in a more professional way is a constant topic in our discussions, which will be address by our first plan that we are working on.  This past month I have spent 9 hours on skype calls with Greece, Switzerland, Germany and Sweden.  I have been in contact with a new meeting in Slovakia who is looking for fellow travelers with experience to share or maybe sponsor a meeting.  Other countries I have has contact with are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, UK, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Turkey, Greece and Italy.  I have sent one Danish Big Red Book to a psychiatric emergency ward in Svendborg, Denmark and a BBI to Prague and the Chez Republic.  Our EC secretary stepped down and we will eventually need other volunteers to support our work once we more clearly define roles and responsibilities.  We are pioneering new frontiers every week, setting up a service structure in Europe which is fun, but also demanding work.  Respectfully submitted by Majbrit M.

OPPM REVIEW COMMITTEE Joan:  Report given by Mary Jo.  Mary Jo indicated the committee continues to meet weekly and are getting close to finalizing the first draft.  It will then be given to the Board for review.  

2016 ABC LIASON:  Larry noted that there was a full report in the repository.  

Bill D. (FL) then reported that planning for the 2016 ABC/AWC is moving forward.  There have been 2 more meetings since the last teleconference.  There have been about 24 to 26 people at each meeting that are actively participating in the meetings.  There are 15 committees and 14 of the 15 committee chairs were at the last meeting and gave reports and updates.  There has been much work with Larry in getting things finalized, with purchase, retails and misc., that need to be done.  Bill indicated Florida is very excited about hosting the 2016 ABC/AWC this year.  There have been 7 tradition collections.  They have been passing second baskets from as far north as Jupiter, West Palm Beach to Miami Dade County and have raised over $500 so far for incidental expenses for the convention tee shirts and the like that will be out of pocket.  The Florida groups are really supporting this and reaching out and passing the second basket at all the meetings.  Relating to the volunteer tee shirts, a color has been agreed on and has been sent the printer and should be completed soon.  The Activities and Program Committee has been working hard and having weekly teleconference meetings.  They have 7 potential speakers self-nominated or nominated.  There have been 14 workshop presentations that have been applied for.  The committee is interviewing and vetting all now to get down to the final 7 or 8 for the program to include 3 speaker meetings, regular meetings or sharing sessions.  Some of the activities include a “Full Moon Fire Circle” on Friday night; Ice Cream Social on Saturday night as well as a dance; Yoga on Sunday morning; Play shops on Sunday.  In conjunction with the activities there is a great program lined up.  Bill stated the website that was put up for advertising and marketing the ABC/AWC has been a great resource, it went live a few days ago with the online registration for non-delegate commuters.  Bill commended Jim B. who was also on the call for his great job in building the site with a shopping cart at no cost to the committee and it is working flawlessly.  So far with the few days it’s been up there have been at least 5 people who registered.  There will be a Duncan site visit on February 20th and most of the committee chairs will be there for a preliminary walk through of the plans.  There will be a wrap up meeting in March before the next teleconference meeting in April.  To date there are about 50 volunteers on the roster.  That number is expected to be maintained with maybe a slight increase depending on the outpouring of registrations.  

Larry indicated that there should be a conversation after the meeting as he was not aware of the ice cream social or dance and it had not been brought to the Board.  

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Majbrit/Larry: (Report read into minutes by Ines) Ines reported that the first action was:  approval to order 2000 additional Laundry List Workbooks.  An order of 1000 was received the previous week but there were some that were that were pent up demands.  So 450 had already sold and it would take up to 6 weeks from start to finish for an order to be completed.  The second item was the approval of the purchase of 5 unlimited email accounts for use by the WSO board members or board committee members to conduct WSO work.  The cost was $191.76.  They used to be sold in multiples of 10 but since the last purchase the multiples had reduced to 5.  


No Old Business

New Business:

  1. Motion:  To validate on the record the Board specific concurrence to pay the expenses of the European chair to attend an ACA Conference in Riga for the purpose of speaking about WSO service.  (Majbrit)

Background (Read by Ines):  The European chair has determined that attendance at this conference will assist the represented groups become better acquainted with the WSO.  There will be about 100 participants with new countries represented being Norway, Sweden and Germany.    

Second (Mary Jo) – Motion passes unanimously.

  1. Motion:  Approve expenditure of $782.50 for AWC medallions. (Larry)

Background: (Read by Ines) To commemorate the inaugural AWC, the Board is going to issue the special medallions to give to the AWC attendees and to sell the remainder.

Second – Ines 

       Motion passes unanimously.

  1. Motion (Larry):  To authorize the payment of $258 to have the intergroup shopping cart programed by X-cart.

Background: (Read by Ines) The X-cart programmers need to program the intergroup shopping cart to have a different minimum order amount than the retail shopping cart.

Ines:  At last Board meeting there was a similar expense approved and it was mentioned that it should be brought forward in the Executive Committee Report because it was less than $500 and the Exec Committee had already established a motion that expenses under $500 could be expended and then recorded at the meeting.  Then at a working session there was further discussion and it was agreed that any purchases under $500 but were ongoing expenses for a particular item, would be brought forward as a motion and not brought forward under the Executive Committee.  

Larry:  For clarification, if there is a continuing expenditure such as in this case with the website or the shopping cart, it doesn’t matter that it is less than $500 because the aggregate of the expenses would be greater than $500 and we want to have those go forward as a motion and not as an executive committee decision.  

Second – Ines.

Motion passes unanimously.

  1. Motion (Larry):  To authorize the chair to execute a contract with the Regency Party Rental and Productions for the installation of riser for the AWC in the amount of $807.41 not including tax.

Background: (Read by Ines) The use of a riser will permit the expected 200 attendees to see the speakers better.

Second:  Ines

Motion passes unanimously.

This concludes our Agenda.  Thank you all very much.

Any guest comments or questions?

Summary of guest comments:  Guest comments focused primarily on:

Question:  Is there a deadline on the 30% discount on literature?  Answer:  No deadline but WSO does reserve the right to discontinue but there is no deadline in terms of registering or being able to receive the discount.  For additional questions regarding Literature:  litstaff@adultchildren.org.  Bonnie suggested getting in touch with the Intergroup committee for help starting an intergroup and getting meetings @ intergroups@adultchildren.org.  Question:  Policy manuals and templates for policy manuals for an intergroup.  Answer:  Contact intergroup@adultchildren.org as there maybe samples that may be available for use.  Question:  Is there any discussion re a minimum number of meetings needing to be affiliated with an intergroup in order to qualify for the discount?  Answer:  There has been no discussion but as a matter of policy an intergroup is vetted to actually qualify for an intergroup to be able to qualify for the discount.  Mary Jo did suggest that maybe there should be some conversation about this for future.  Ines suggested that may be the restrictions should be light to encourage participation of intergroup.  Question:  Is there movement on improving the intergroup registration process?  Answer:  Yes, there was some communication breakdown but has been resolved so things should be moving forward.  Follow up re 2016 ABC, there is information about the dance and ice cream social on the record as there has been dialog but no response from the Board.  Larry indicated that everything is subject to Board approval especially if it is an event will cost money.  That although there was dialog it was not brought forward in the program and therefore not presented to the Board.  Larry said he will bring it to the Board.  The concern is cost and type of activity called for this type of convention.  Question:  Can an intergroup discounted order be made next week?  Answer: Not as yet but an email will be sent as soon as the shopping cart is ready.  

Announcements: Larry – The next ACA WSO Board Teleconference is scheduled March 12, 2016at 2:00 p.m. EST.   

ABC AWC is April 22nd through 24th 2016 in Del Ray Beach, Florida.  Info in Fellowship Alerts or the Repository.  

Is there a motion to adjourn the meeting? 2nd to the motion?

Ines – Motions to adjourn

Mary Jo – Second the motion

Are there any questions or comments about the motion to adjourn the meeting?

Motion carried unanimously.

Closed the Meeting with the Serenity Prayer