minutes – Sep 2023 – Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Minutes for 12 Sep 2023

Jeff B., Secretary
Jennifer B., Treasurer
Nona C., Vice Chair
Felix E., Alt. Treasurer
Amelia L., Alt. Secretary
Mark M., Technology Chair
Susan R., Chair

Susan R., the Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:02 pm EST with the Serenity Prayer.

Budget review – Jennifer B., Treasurer

  • Jennifer reported that when all the budget requests were totaled for 2024 the amount was $162,000 which we cannot support.
  • Jennifer and the Finance committee had several questions about the Technology budget.
    • There was a question about Conference attendance expense which Mark clarified should be $3,000.
    • Jennifer questioned the $30,000 expense for maintaining the website using special workers. Mark explained that this cost was necessary as the use of the website expands and becomes more complex.
    • There was another question about the need for 10 Zoom accounts. The initial thought was that we would be able to utilize Google Meet for scheduling meetings at any time, by any committee.  However, no one liked using Google Meet.  Mark stated that we can’t go back to using a single Zoom account for 14 committees. We will purchase a Professional Zoom license which has a min. req.  of 10 licenses.
    • Mark stated that there was a large amount in the budget for website development because the Tech committee is uncertain about what projects will be necessary. Mark agreed to cut this amount in half.
  • Jennifer reported that with the Technology budget adjustment and several other changes, the budget will be between $108,000 and $109,000. She will let the Committees know what changes are being made to their budgets.
  • She stated that at the end of the year we will have about $100,000 which indicates that we will not have enough money to make any disbursements to other AA entities this year.
  • The Board discussed the idea of making disbursements and agreed that not making disbursements is not an issue. Our focus has to be the ability to conduct OIAA business.

Board Meeting Approvals and Secretary report– Jeff B., Secretary

  • Susan reported that we have 3 sets of Board meetings to approve.
  • Jeff reviewed the Board meeting minutes from the May 9th, 2023 Board meeting which were prepared by Susan R., our Chair. As Jeff was in the hospital on that date, Nona had not yet become a Board member and Jennifer was temporarily unavailable, Susan provided approval for these minutes.
  • Jeff next reviewed the minutes from the July 18th Board meeting. There were no comments or corrections.  Nona C. made a motion to accept the July 18th minutes as presented which was seconded by Susan R.  The minutes were approved unanimously.
  • Jeff reviewed the final set of minutes from the August 8th Board meeting. Susan asked Jeff to remove the “Interim chair” designation and just refer to her as the Chair.  Susan R. made a motion to accept the August 8th minutes as modified which was seconded by Nona C.  The minutes were approved unanimously.
  • Jeff stated that he has prepared a spreadsheet with all of the outstanding Board meeting minutes which he and Amelia will be using to track the completion of all outstanding Board minutes. Amelia will be preparing some of the minutes and Jeff will be preparing the remainder of the minutes.
  • Jeff reported that there were issues with the recordings for the July 11th and July 23rd Board meetings, so no recordings are available for these two meetings. Susan stated that she has notes from those Board meetings which she will send when she has the time.
  • Jeff reported that he has added obtaining a liability insurance policy for the organization to the Secretary budget for next year. This will probably cost about $500 and is in addition to the D&O insurance which will be renewed as well.
  • Jeff introduced Amelia L. to the Board and reported that he had asked Amelia to serve as the Alternate Secretary. Amelia described her previous service in OIAA and to the Fellowship to the Board previously.

Treasurer’s report – Jennifer B., Treasurer

  • Jennifer reviewed the Budget Variance for September and stated that we had $8,700 in revenue. She mentioned several of the expenses that we incurred.
  • Jennifer reviewed the Contribution report and stated that there were 75 individuals and groups that contributed to the $8,700. One group that Jennifer mentioned was a group called Sober in China that contributed $786 who has not contributed previously.  Susan asked if we could prepare a report for each group’s contributions for the year and Jennifer said that she could.
  • The Balance sheet shows that we have $99,000 in the bank with $5,000 earmarked for the International Convention leaving us with available funds of $94,000.
  • Jennifer reported that there were some problems with the NAATW travel. Jennifer asked the Board whether to have Matt and Melinda pay the $50 difference in the hotels that they asked Jennifer to book and the hotel that they booked. The consensus of the Board was that they should pay the difference. The Board also agreed that OIAA will reimburse attendance at conferences only for the duration of the conference unless flights require the individual to come in the night before.
  • Jennifere reviewed the budgets presented by the Officers and Committee chairs as follows and asked for approvals:
    • Chair Budget. Susan’s original budget for Board meetings and Assemblies was $19,000 for translation. In working with the Finance committee, Susan reduced the Board meeting translations to 1 language and Assemblies to 3 languages resulting in a reduction of nearly $11,000 to $8,320.  The Board unanimously approved the Chair budget.
    • CPC Budget. The Committee asked for $5,000 for a video and added an additional $5,000 to their budget.  The Finance committee was not in favor of the $5,000 for the video or the padding of the $5,000 for no stated purpose.  The Board voted unanimously to not approve the CPC budget as presented.
    • Convention Committee. Terry modified her budget to purchase only 2,000 lapel pins instead of 6,000. Jennifer reported that the Finance committee is not in favor of purchasing lapel pins and asked for opinions from other Board members. Jeff stated that he felt that the lapel pins were not “drunk junk” and that they are a way to let the attendees know about OIAA.  He also discussed how his Area at the conventions has provided a moment.  Nona and Susan commented that they were in favor of the label pins.  The Board 3approved the Convention budget.
    • Finance Committee. There was $15,000 in the budget for an external audit. The Finance committee felt that this was a large amount to spend on an audit and cut the amount to $2,500 for any accounting-related activities.  Jennifer mentioned that she would like to engage a firm to discuss the possibility of making contributions using excess funds internationally.  Jeff mentioned that this was brought up before and the Board decided not to make international contributions. He also mentioned that we had an engagement with Pro Bono scheduled to examine making international contributions which was cancelled. Jennifer stated that she would like to re-open the possibility of making international contributions with excess funds.  The Board unanimously approved the Finance committee budget.
    • Unity Committee. The Committee has two major expenses for next year of $10,200 for the Convention and $8,000 for translations. Their budget also included translations for 2 languages at the Unity committee meetings.  The Board approved the Unity committee budget.
    • There were no questions or concerns.  The Board unanimously approved the Secretary budget.
    • IGR Forum. The IGR Forum budget included translations for 4 languages for 4 meetings a year.  The Board unanimously approved the IGR Forum budget.

Chair report – Susan R., Chair

  • Susan provided her chair report to the Board.
  • Going forward, the Combined Board meetings will focus on committee reports. The Committee chairs will be asked to provide quarterly reports as specified in the Bylaws.
  • Susan stated that she has been reaching out to Jon, the PIC chair, to determine where they are with developing their charter. Susan has not had any response from Jon.
  • Susan stated that she has had a discussion with the Unity committee about the listing of WhatsApp groups which we currently do not list.
  • Susan reported that she has been dealing with an issue of predatory behavior in a 24-hour group. Jennifer expressed concern that Susan getting involved with a group issue could open up the organization to legal action.
  • Communications has asked for a 7-word tag line for the organization. Nona stated that she has a few examples of this.
  • Susan reported that on Sept. 5, the Guidelines were handed off to the Communication committee for them to standardize the document which they have done.
  • Susan reported that she and Jeff have reached out to Pro Bono to review our legal documents and our Open-Door process.
  • There was a discussion about the status of the current ad hoc Committees.There was a question about what to do with the Communications committee and handling Bylaws and Guideline updates. Susan stated that she would like t to see the Communications committee continue and Jeff suggested that the Communication committee should probably be transitioned into a Standing committee. Jennifer suggested that Bylaw and Guideline changes are small and could be handled without a committee.  Jeff Pointed out that there are at least 10 pending changes to the Bylaws which will require a committee which could be an ad hoc committee.  Susan suggested that a Bylaws Revision committee could be a subcommittee of the Board.
  • Susan stated that the discussion of ad hic committees and other issues like Whatsapp groups and a speaker exchange will be discussed at the October Board meeting.

Vice Chair – Nona C., Vice Chair

  • Nona reported that the agenda for the 10/28 IGR Forum has been completed and posted on the website. The Forum will include a 10-minute IGR orientation and two committees will be spotlighted, Steppers and PAC.  There will also be an Ask-It-Basket.
  • Nona mentioned that the job descriptions for the International trustee and the Trustee-At-Large have been approved by the Guidelines committee and reviewed them with the Board.
  • Nona stated that she will email the IGR Orientation to the Board.
  • Nona mentioned that only 25% of the combined Board (Officers and Committee chairs) have provided their responses to the Inventory questions. The Board discussed how to proceed.  Jeff suggested that we have someone external to the organization oversee a group conscience meeting and that specific actions and an action plan be developed.  Nona stated that she feels that we should get through the Elections and the Budget and then determine how to move forward with these questions. The Board decided to revisit these questions in 2024.
  • Nona reported that she is working with the Committees to create or revise their charters. Nona has been working with the Unity committee on their charter and has reached out to the CPC committee but has not heard back yet.

Technology Chair report – Mark M., Technology Chair

  • Mark reported that Matt and Josh did a great job presenting on our Directory at the NAATW Conference.
  • Mark stated that Tech Steppers has rotated their chair and Dave W. is the newly elected chair. Mark expressed concerns that Dave W. has too many responsibilities on the Tech and other committees.
  • Jennifer brought up the issue that the Unity committee would like to hire Tech 12 for $10,200 to help with their planned 2024 Convention. Jennifer asked Mark whether he thought that this was reasonable, and Mark replied that he understands that they are good with running large scale zoom events, but they are expensive.  Jeff stated that he has had a great deal of experience with Tech 12 and that one needs to be careful with changing the contract which causes the cost to go up.  Jennifer reviewed the proposal from Tech 12 with the Board and both Mark and Jeff felt that the proposal was reasonable.
  • Jennifer brought up the issue that the Unity committee is planning on charging for the event. She believes that this would be fund raising which is something that we do not do.  The other Board members were also not in favor of charging for the event.  However, asking for 7th Tradition contributions will be done.  Nona felt that charging for the event would hurt international participation.

The meeting closed with the Responsibility Declaration at 8:02 pm EST.

Motions Summary

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

  1. Nona C. made a motion to accept the July 18th minutes as presented which was seconded by Susan R. The minutes were approved unanimously.
  2. Susan R. made a motion to accept the August 8th minutes as modified which was seconded by Nona C. The minutes were approved unanimously.
  3. The Board unanimously approved the Chair, Secretary and IGR Forum budgets as well as the committee budgets for the Unity, Convention and Finance committees.
  4. The Board unanimously did not approve the CPC budget.

Humbly submitted,
Jeff Bernknopf
OIAA Secretary



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