Chair Report for Feb 2024
February 2024 Chair’s Report: From where I serve….
And so, another month of service to our groups…
Appointment of a trustee-at-large: So, board news is first this month. As you know, in December, we elected two new trustees, international and trustee-at-large. We scheduled our first meeting on Jan 7. Just before the meeting, I sent updated legal draft documents to be reviewed at our first official board meeting on January 14th. Our new trustee-at-large, although he was transparent about his work in a sister AA technology organization, both in his resume and at the election, felt it prudent to resign because of the draft Conflict of Interest document required by the state of New Jersey for our non-profit status. We wish him well. But we will now be posting the opening for a trustee-at-large. We would like a service resume by April 1st, 2024. (OIAA.Board@aa-intergroup.org) This will be a board appointment and the new trustee will stand for election at our December 2024 election assembly. I included a job description and resume link at the bottom of this report.
Completed Group Survey: Next is the completion of our group survey for our working quorum at assemblies. We ended the survey on the 14th of January. And our new quorum number is 43—we need forty-three voting members at our assemblies to conduct business. Thank you to our secretary and tech team for completing this task as per our bylaws. We plan to conduct the 2024 survey in June.
Nona, your Vice-Chair, hosted her second IGRep Forum on Saturday, January 27th. Forums are a place to network, to talk about issues your groups are having and to share your experience in finding solutions. We decide on topics you suggest. If you have topics for this quarterly forum, please let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your “Ask It Basket Questions”, topics of interest or suggestions for the IGR Forum.
On Saturday, we highlighted the Ad Hoc Communications Committee and the work they are doing, including the roll out of the new informational video they have produced, The Role of the OIAA IGR, now uploaded to our YouTube channel. Lesliee A, your Ad Hoc Communications chair and her Co-Chair, Randy C. made this presentation.
In addition, a home group in Connecticut made a presentation, “Building Fellowship in your Online Group“. Our Big Book asks us how the fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous helps us ‘find release from care, boredom, and worry.’ (p52) Rachel S from one of our member groups, Eastern Connecticut Sober Friends Group, shared her groups’ experience with building fellowship. Our next IG Rep Forum will take place, Saturday, April 27th at 2 pm ET. If you would like to be part of the planning team, email us at email@example.com. All members are welcome to participate.
OIAA Guidelines: We are rolling out the new OIAA Guidelines completed by an Ad Hoc Guidelines committee, which began its work in September of 2022 and completed it in September 2023. It is also board approved. Our OIAA secretary, Jeff B, will post them on our website. We will hold three workshops with presenters, those many volunteers who worked on the document. They will give a short explanation of each section. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and take answers back to your groups. The workshop dates, times and log on information is already posted on our OIAA calendar and the Workshops & Events page. Here is the link for the first session, February 10th at 2 pm , the second session February 24th at 5 am ET an internationally favorable time, and the last session- March 9, 2 pm ET. Each session will cover the same material by the presenters. You don’t have to come to all three, but you are certainly welcome to do so. This will be placed on the March Assembly agenda as a motion, so please inform your groups and help us to come to an informed group conscience on this important document for OIAA. And thank all who gave many selfless hours on the Ad Hoc Guidelines Committee and OIAA board to bring this to fruition.
What’s Next: Excitement in the Committees! We are “cooking with gas.” Come join us. Service facilitates recovery and our committees would welcome you!!
We have two committees chaired by board members, Finance and Technology.
Finance: Jennifer B chairs Finance. This committee created an independent subcommittee for a financial review, in response to membership requests for an assurance of our financial transparency and security.
We have also added an additional payment platform for contributions, Stripe. We still take PayPal or checks. All information about 7th Tradition contributions can be found here.
If you would like to serve on the Finance committee, it meets the second Saturday of the month at 2 pm ET. Here is the link to more information.
Technology, chaired by Mark M., provides, and supports the website that is really our online office. It has subcommittees of techSteppers; who help online groups with technology issues, cloud services, which help us organize our internal offices; web services, who help us update our website, and an events’ tech crew who help us put on smoothly run assemblies, forums, and workshops.
Additionally, our registrar and alternate registrar, Mary M., and Laurie C., are an essential part of this committee. Together with PAC, another of our standing committees, the registrar helps in listing groups and onboarding questions. PAC, (Policy and Admissions) chaired by Jan B-B, helps with any issues involving groups. If you have listed your group with us, you have heard from either our registrar, Mary M., or Jan B-B.. or both, as I did when I listed my online homegroup during Covid.
With the passing of our 2024 budget, they will be spending their line item to keep this essential service up to date and running smoothly. If you would like to help us provide this essential service, they meet on the first and third Monday of the month at 8:30 ET. Log on information can be found here.
We have found two chairs for the standing committees for this panel.
CPC: First, Gwen M. has accepted the position for CPC or Cooperation with the Professional Committee. This committee is responsible for sharing ‘the AA message with members of the professional community who have contact with alcoholics.’
Gwen asks for volunteers to join her for this important work. She shared how professionals involved with alcoholics provided that nudge she needed to seek out AA.
By the grace of a higher power I walked into the rooms of AA November 15th, 2007. There were many “professionals” that crossed my path along the way, therapists, attorneys, police officers and judges. So with a nudge from the judge I came to AA and stayed. This opened the door to a new way of living. I’m so grateful! Thank you for asking me to serve as C.P.C. chair and thank you, OIAA, for making this opportunity possible.
OIAA’s C.P.C. Committee plans to reach individuals on the front lines interacting with the suffering alcoholic. We need you. Please join me as we endeavor to Focus on informing professionals and future professionals about A.A.
- Communicating with professionals working with alcoholics
- Finding ways of cooperating without affiliating
- Explaining clearly what A.A. does and doesn’t do
This committee has been inactive for some time and needs support. For more information about serving on OIAA’s Cooperation with the Professional Community committee please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The committee has not yet met and when it does, we will let you know.
PIC: Mary M. is your new PIC or the Public Information Committee chair. PIC has already held its first meeting, and they are looking for additional volunteers:
The Public Information Committee (PIC) is calling for volunteers! That means you and any members of your group! PIC volunteers do not have to be members of OIAA. We offer orientation/training for new volunteers.
What does PIC do? Often, those writing to PIC are encountering AA for the first time. Some are looking for meetings, some are requesting information for themselves, and some are requesting information on behalf of others, including their clients and family members. Sometimes they just want to know how to verify their attendance for court or other authorities. Our job is to provide the information they are looking for and support them in finding what they need.
Interested? Contact Mary at email@example.com for more information.
Steppers: As Mary M. rotated out of Steppers, DC Dave, and Jeff Br., rotated in. We welcome them. Steppers answer the calls for help and average 4.5 responses for each request. They help the still suffering alcoholics get the immediate help they need, anywhere in the world. If you want any additional information about this committee, you can find it here.
PAC or Policy and Admissions: PAC is a foundational committee groups encounter when they first contact us to list. The Registrar in the Tech Committee is the other. According to PAC’s board approved charter, they do the following:
- “PAC assists new groups in registering to list A.A. meetings/groups on the OIAA meeting directory:
- Reviews all new meeting submission forms for compliance in form completion, directory listing guideline compliance.
- PAC assists new member groups to list Intergroup representatives at time of registration.
- PAC assists meetings/groups regain their status to be relisted within the OIAA meeting directory or as Intergroup representatives if they have lapsed.
- PAC assists to resolve complaints and answer questions regarding OIAA directory listed meeting/groups that have been reported.
- PAC offers OIAA policy/guideline advisories to any interested parties.”
I have a great deal of contact with the PAC chair, Jan BB. Often we collaborate on issues groups send us. It’s a great way for me to stretch my knowledge of the thirty-six principles. I get to reflect and walk the walk. If you have any interest in doing this work, we could use your help. For more information, here is a link.
We have two Convention Committees currently active!! How exciting to watch them in action!
Standing Convention Committee: The 2025 Vancouver International Standing Committee is chaired by Terry N. It is planning our representation at the in-person AA International Convention. This convention is held every 5 years at venues around the US and Canada. The first in St Louis, established the AA General Service Conference. In 1995, the Online AA Intergroup participated in the first Cyber Suite at the San Diego International Convention, and OIAA was born. From then until Covid, the business of the organization was all conducted through email. Look at us now!
This committee is now up and running a meeting on Zoom and is preparing to coordinating planning for our in-person representation in a suite in Vancouver at the July 2025 Convention. If you would like to participate, find more information here.
Unity Committee: Our Unity Committee is chaired by Carlos D. This committee is supported by our new international trustee, Beth A. They are currently planning our 2024 OIAA International Online Conference. Here is their announcement for this exciting event.
If your group is interested in participating, contact Beth A, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission and purpose of the Unity Committee is to encourage the exchange of online A.A. group experiences among the vast online A.A. group community, which can help them in their shared goal of spreading the A.A. message to the alcoholic online who is still suffering.
We do this through:
- Outreach to our OIAA groups and committees
- Inviting groups to share their experiences carrying the message to the alcoholic online
- Organizing an annual OIAA International Online Convention
The Ad Hoc Communications Committee was formed by the board in March 2023. It is chaired by Lesliee A and has now one Co-Chair, Randy C., who is working on creating short informational videos for us. The board agreed to forward this committee to full standing committee status last fall. The motion to do this will be on the March Assembly agenda for approval by the fellowship. They are in the process of updating their charter to do this and look for that charter to be linked to the March Assembly agenda for you to review to your groups.
What are they doing? They meet on the third Sunday of the month, and you could visit to find out. They have taken on the responsibility of finding interpreters for OIAA events and translators of documents. They are making short informational videos that we are uploading to OIAA’s YouTube video channel. They completed three last year: “What is The OIAA 12-Step Committee”, “What is OIAA?” and just released, “The Role of the IGR in OIAA”. This last video was unveiled at our January, 27the IG Rep Forum. Communications will also make fliers for events and be responsible for the OIAA Archives. We are currently looking for people interested in doing any of this important work. You might have a suggestion for an informational video, or become part of the OIAA archives work, now housed in this committee. For more information, here is the link. And check out our informational videos here.
Finally, though not a committee, if you might be interested in helping us stay connected to our groups, suggesting issues, offering solutions you have found to be effective in your groups, join us in planning our IG Rep Forums. We plan these quarterly, January, April, July. We will not hold a Forum this year in October, as instead, we will offer our support to our OIAA International Online Conference. But, if you would like to join us in planning forums, contact our vice-chair, Nona C., (email@example.com) for more information or check out their webpage here.
So, join us, check out our committee work. Service facilitates recovery and we welcome you to walk with us!!
Finally, I have been thinking about the Second Tradition this month. Early in the month I witnessed an event in my homegroup when a member, an essential service member, left dramatically before our monthly business meeting, over what I interpreted to be personality problems with the differences of opinion on how to run the meeting. We all have differences of opinion, but it is through the presence of our Higher Power in the informed group conscience of our business meeting, that the issues are resolved, so we can stand together in unity to help the still suffering alcoholic. The groups I visit, and my home group, do a great job at opening the door to experience, strength, and hope. But their job, our job doesn’t end there. We must learn how to arrive at consensus on how to do that, without hurting others, without leaving a hole in the force, to use a Star Wars metaphor, without leaving a hole in each group’s service structure. How we choose to carry the message is up to each group. Similarly, each group, each service board decides together how to do carry that message, what format to use, how to solve problems, etc. That is why OIAA formed its nonprofit status with the state of New Jersey. It is why we have spent a year writing guidelines, to be forwarded to the Assembly in March for approval, to further expand the understanding of what the process is for OIAA’s service functioning. We are using the Second Tradition to discuss and come to consensus to develop a plan of action to serve our groups, just as my homegroup and yours serves the still suffering alcoholic with their experience strength and hope.
The Second Tradition asks us to come together and discuss our differences, not run from a difference of opinion. I believe there is often more than one right answer to a problem. Often, a compromise is a stronger right answer. This takes time. This is a process. When the Higher Power speaks to us at this time, through the voices of our sisters and brothers, the people from any group can be satisfied and accept they have a working solution, even if they disagreed with the solution or need to return and discuss again.
Humbly and respectfully submitted: