chair-report – Oct 2023 – Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Chair Report for Oct 2023

October 2023 Chair’s Report:  From where I serve….

And so, another month of service to our groups…As I told you last month, I asked our committee chairs to prepare a quarterly report, per our bylaws.  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!!  (

And since I believe in leading by example, here is my quarterly report for the first quarter of service as your chair:

Fulfilling the duties of the Chair:

Subsection 4.01(a): Chairperson. The Chairperson sets the agendas, leads the business meetings, and rules on points of procedure that arise under these Bylaws or the operating guidelines.

I planned and conducted 7 Board Meetings, 4 Combined Board/Committee Meetings, and 3 Assemblies.  I did not do this alone.  It took a team.  I wish I could say that I easily ruled on points of procedure, but gratefully, I had a team to help me with that as well.

That met the bylaws requirement and was a team effort, but it was not the only work…

I attended ICOAA (Intergroup Central Office of AA) Special Workers Meetings and assigned special worker to help cover this responsibility in networking with other Intergroup and Central Officer workers.

I attended NAATW, the National AA Technology Workshop online in September, a 3 say event.  We sent two members of our tech team in person to this event which was held in Winchester, Virginia.  One member of our team was a presenter on Friday night.   We also provided funds to send 10 other members of our team to participate online.  All weekend we heard whispers of Tech Steppers.  I am proud of the work we are doing for you!

I am preparing to present at ICOAA Workshop in Cincinnati later this month.  Our vice chair will be a co- presenter.

And finally, I chaired the Ad Hoc Guidelines Committee until I turned it over to the vice chair of the committee on June 21, 2023, so I could concentrate on my duties as chair.

I continued attending this meeting after I turned over its leadership.  It met 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 have turned it over to the board. After board approval, we will post those guidelines and provide workshops for questions in advance of their approval, just as we did with the bylaws.   Look for those next year! As Chair, and in communication, cooperation and collaboration with the board and the committees both standing and Ad Hoc, we have identified issues and sought to find solutions in helping the organization service the groups of our fellowship including, how to come to conflict resolutions, how to implement the adaption of bylaw required governance documents, how to develop infrastructure to support the rapid expansion of the number of groups we serve, how to initiate a partnership with a committee of international planners for an International Convention of online groups, as well as how to decide when it was not in our best interest to continue that partnership;  how to support our own service committees in the plans for developing an agenda for our own convention in 2024, how to plan the 2024 budget, how to encourage committees to communicate, cooperate and collaborate to prevent siloing and duplication of services, and how to reach our groups so they can tell us their needs.

Speaking of listening to you, our groups–Look to our IGrep Forum at the end of the month, Saturday, October 28th at 2 pm EST.  Our vice chair is planning this. The agenda for this has been set and posted on our website.  And if you have any questions, suggestions, ideas, problems, this will be the place to let us know what you need!

As announced in the September assembly, we will be expanding the board with two new non-officer trustees.  Their eligibility, qualifications and duties, descriptions approved by the board are posted on our website. Here are those descriptions:

    1. Suggested Eligibility & Qualifications for all Trustees, Officer and Non- Officer:
        • Trustees shall be at least 18 years of age and need not be United States citizens or residents of New Jersey. OIAA suggests that ten years of continuous sobriety is preferable for Trustees, though it is not mandatory. A committed program and leadership experience can enable a member to deal with OIAA growth and its affairs with serenity and ease in problem-solving. Such candidates can bring to the board the quality of decisiveness and the fortitude of their guidance and convictions, along with objectivity and prudence, and are well suited to represent the OIAA board and interpret its actions. A business background or other professional experience is helpful. The Board and Membership are also interested in other skills and qualities that Trustees can offer.

    1. International Trustee
        • The International Trustee serves as a liaison from OIAA to online groups outside the U.S. and Canada. While no Trustee can be said to “represent” a geographical area, this Trustee brings an international perspective to the Board and membership. This Trustee provides insight to the Board regarding the needs of the OIAA international online community and cultivates the spirit of inclusion and unity. This may include recommendations regarding zonal and regional inclusivity. They coordinate and collaborate with Unity and other OIAA Committees as needed or as determined by the Board. The International Trustee provides the Board with pertinent information which may affect our organization and its online presence, utilizing their experience in diverse cultural environments. As our membership grows, additional International Trustees may be added at the discretion of the Board. Being bilingual or multilingual and residing outside of the US or Canada are assets.

    1. Trustee at Large
        • The Trustee at Large will work in partnership with the OIAA Committees to foster     communication, collaboration and avoid duplication of efforts. The Trustee at Large will be available to serve in other areas as determined by the Board. As the membership grows, additional Trustees at Large may be added at the discretion of the Board.

In addition, 3 current OIAA officers are appointments:  chair, vice chair and treasurer. We will be standing for election at our December 16th assembly.  The descriptions for these positions are also posted on the website taken from our assembly approved bylaws.  The eligibility for these officer (trustee) positions also comes from the bylaws. 

Here are the officer descriptions: 

Subsection 4.01(a): Chairperson. The Chairperson sets the agendas, leads the business meetings, and rules on points of procedure that arise under these Bylaws or the operating guidelines.

Subsection 4.01(b): Vice Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson acts as Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson. The Chairperson may delegate responsibilities to the Vice Chairperson, including the Chairperson’s position as ex officio member of the standing committees, as the Chairperson deems advisable and agreed upon.

Subsection 4.01(d): Treasurer. The Treasurer maintains the Intergroup’s corporate financial records, tax returns, detailed accounting of receipts and disbursements; and provides summaries and reports to the Intergroup at least quarterly. The Treasurer works with the Finance Committee to prepare the annual budget and present it to the Member Assembly for a vote. The Treasurer receives contributions and maintains the Intergroup’s funds in an account in the name of the Intergroup. With approval of the Board, the Treasurer oversees and maintains any financial professional services.

And here is the eligibility for those officers per our bylaws:

Section 4.02. Eligibility. Anyone who has served in an OIAA service position is eligible to serve as an Intergroup Officer.

No person may hold more than one Intergroup office at a time, nor may any Officer serve concurrently as an Alternate. No Officer may serve concurrently as an IGR.

All Officers must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.The difference between officer and non-officer trustees is seen in the eligibility descriptions.  Those who stand for an officer position must have served in OIAA.  The two new non-officer trustees do not.

If you plan to stand, please send service resumes  to the board by November

I have been thinking about trust and faith this month.  I think there is a lot of mistrust in our culture right now and although that is an outside issue, we are human, and I think it seeps into our rooms.  I am grateful in my homegroup, we try to keep our eyes on the solutions of recovery.  In addition, there has been a lot of upheaval in the organization and learning to be a cooperative, communicative, collaborative team is a solution we are trying to achieve. I trust this process of teamwork.  What does it mean to be a trusted servant?  How do we fulfill our primary purpose as an intergroup service board to serve the groups that light the way into the darkness of alcoholism?  How do we do that without governance when really we are structured both as a membership nonprofit but also as an A.A. service organization which follows 36 spiritual principles?  We do it one day at a time, one meeting at a time, one phone call at a time, modem to modem.  The “Hollywood Squares” works for recovery, and it works for service.  I trust my team.  I hope you trust us. I hope we both trust the process of the 36 spiritual principles to carry us forward into Tomorrowland.  The team needs you and we trust you are on board.

Finally, I have found that I spend a lot of time talking to people.  It has shown me that the chair has the responsibility of a certain duty of care for the organization.  I am grateful my phone is always on, and the zoom room has comfortable chairs.  It is good just to check thinking and perspectives.  Together we find solutions or ask others to come to the table and weigh in.  It takes a village, and I am grateful for others with their generosity of time.  Bill wrote, “Hence, an A.A. service is anything whatever that helps us to reach a fellow sufferer — ranging all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee, and to A.A.’s General Service Office for national and international action. The sum total of all these services is our Third Legacy of Service.” (P 44 AA’t Legacy of Service by Bill Wilson, p 3) What would Bill say about this Tomorrowland of A.A? He would see that many are giving hours of their time to keep the lights on, the questions answered or redirected.  He would see a team.  This team keeps the light on, the way out of the darkness of alcoholism.

If you have identified any issues or can offer any solutions, please stop by.  The door is always open to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate, the coffee is hot, and the chairs are comfortable.  I may have to move the cat.

Humbly and respectfully submitted:

Susan R
OIAA Chair

If you have ideas for the OIAA 2024 International Convention, reach out to our Unity and Convention Chairs now. ( or Tagline-Convention of Online Groups 2024)

Oh, and look out for our October 28th  IGRForum .

And our 2nd Annual General Meeting on December 16th, 2023, 2 pm EST, during which time we will hold elections for Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and the new non-officer trustees-International Trustee and Trustee at Large.  We will also approve the 2024 budget!  We need your participation!

And remember, if you want to step up to service, we need your help!!  It’s really a mouse click away.

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