Annual Report - 2008
May 30 – June 1, 2008 Sheraton Ferncroft Resort Danvers, Danvers, Massachusetts
This Convention Report was prepared by the FA-WSI Secretary Margaret C., with assistance from the FA World Service Board and the FA World Service Office Manager
This report presents an overview of some of the year’s highlights and a brief discussion of the board’s efforts overall. More detailed reports from several of the committee chairs follow.
World Service Committees
- The Bylaws Revision Committee met twice a month to discuss and then re-write our bylaws. The completed draft was reviewed by the WSB; submitted to our parliamentarian, Michael Malamut, for his comments; submitted to the fellowship via the web for their comments; and reviewed and revised by the board once again before final submission to the 2008 Conference. At the convention and before it, primary concerns by some members of the fellowship focused on the proposed requirement of five years of abstinence for members of the Conference and the shift in the procedure for submitting motions – the proposal that intergroup and chapter boards or committees, rather than individual meetings, submit motions. At the convention, after searching discussions and with some minor amendments, the draft of the bylaws was adopted by a nearly unanimous vote.
- The Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee has helped articulate and respond to matters of common concern, supporting collaborative efforts and conversations. The committee is emerging as a critically important communication link between the WSB, intergroups, and chapters, and its work is helping to strengthen the quality of service in the fellowship as a whole. The Intergroup and Chapter Forum (held before the opening of the business convention) has expanded, with about eighty people involved in planning and approximately three hundred registered to attend.
- theconnection Committee is now served by an art team of FA photographers and illustrators whose work is featured in every issue. Writing is coordinated by regional writing editors who solicit articles and offer feedback to beginning writers. The committee is pleased to observe that they are receiving articles from beginning to experienced writers. Subscriptions have continued to rise.
- The Convention Planning Committee planned and prepared for the convention throughout the year. A small group from Northern California is investigating possible sites for a 2009 fellowship convention.
- The Literature Committee works primarily through sub-committees. A small group completed a draft of the FA book, which was submitted to the conference for approval. The conference adopted the draft as submitted and asked the Literature Committee to complete final revisions, giving prior approval for the finalized version of the book. A pamphlet sub-committee reviewed all FA pamphlets as the beginning of a comprehensive effort to further improve them. A CD sub-committee began the work necessary to title all CDs, which will no longer be identified by the speakers’ names.
- The Office Committee, working collaboratively with the treasurer and the Public Information Committee, has transformed the office, its procedures, and our presence on the web. The office has moved to Woburn and is operating with the help of paid staff. Literature orders, convention registration, magazine subscriptions, and meeting changes are now submitted online.
- The Public Information Committee has expanded to include four subcommittees: a “fact file” group that is developing an FA “fact file” for use when we respond to media inquiries or, as needed, when we develop new FA materials; a “web-link” group that works to increase the organizations offering a link to our website; a survey group that will eventually make it possible for us to do a regular census of our membership and meetings; and the website group that oversees our website. The PI chair convenes a monthly phone conference call open to all in the fellowship who are working on PI.
- The Teens and Twenties Committee continued its national outreach to organizations and associations serving young people. Last year’s committee chair had questioned whether or not the committee should continue as a freestanding group or, rather, whether it should become a subcommittee of the Public Information Committee. The Teens and Twenties Committee and the World Service Board agreed that a shift might be best, given that the committee focuses on one segment of the population and that its efforts are directed to public information. This change was embodied in the revised bylaws and adopted by the Conference.
- The Traditions Committee reviewed and responded to a range of questions, offering thoughtful opinions on matters related to the FA Traditions.
- The Twelfth Step Committee has also expanded and now includes four subcommittees focused on: (1) outreach to those on the FA frontier through a long-distance sponsor list, a phone list, and an occasional letter that is sent electronically; (2) an accessibility committee; (3) a language committee that has established a list of FA members speaking languages other than English and that will work on overseeing the translation of more of our pamphlets into Spanish and, as need arises, other languages; (4) a group to re- introduce Gratitude in Action as a service newsletter that will be distributed electronically to all in the fellowship who are interested.
The World Service Board
As chair, I have observed an increase in the volume and complexity of the work handled by the board. Monthly board meetings last two hours, with work via email required between meetings. The executive committee (chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer) meets once a month at a minimum, as do each of the WSI committees or subcommittees. On occasion, and sometimes for some weeks in a row, members of the WSB have generously offered full-time or nearly full-time service to the WSI. The fellowship owes our deep thanks to the members of the board, who are doing hours of work for World Service while maintaining their individual recovery, family lives, and jobs.
This year, the World Service Board worked more closely with intergroups and chapters, responding to their concerns and encouraging coordinated efforts. For example, at the board’s invitation and with some help from the Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee chair, representatives from all the intergroups and one chapter worked together to develop policies and procedures guiding the funding offered to those who might otherwise find it difficult to attend the convention. The group created systems and guidelines that are fair, impartial, protect anonymity, and require individual responsibility. The guidelines are widely used. The board has also explored the possibility of finding liability insurance for individual meetings that are gathering in places that require it and it has at last become clear that this insurance should be held by the intergroups. A group of intergroup representatives has now taken up that work.
Decision by decision, we as a board are gradually gaining a better understanding of our role regarding intergroups and chapters. The boundary between our work and theirs has not always been clear, and we are learning how to offer better support.
As the year has drawn to a close, we see that, as a board and as committee chairs, our focus is on encouraging and reinforcing the strength and clarity of the FA message carried by individuals and meetings. We have been establishing systems that enable World Service to better serve the fellowship as a whole – particularly at the office – and we have been further developing the vehicles of communication through which we offer support, most especially to isolated individuals and small meetings. Increasing numbers of people are involved in World Service work. Almost every committee has subcommittees, and we have established a number of special groups to work on short-term projects. We are stretching and growing as individuals and as service groups. This is a source of gratitude and joy, and we are eager to do more.
Kesaya N., Chair, World Service Board
II. Opening Remarks by the FA-WSI Chair
The FA World Service Business Convention 2008 What is Our Work and How are We to Do It?
I have given you an overview of the work the Board has done over the past year, but the real issue today is the work that lies ahead of us as a Conference. You have received and read the draft of the bylaws, the draft of the book, and the list of all the motions. This is the content of our work – the concerns we are mandated to address. But what principles should guide our efforts?
And who are we, who have been selected to do it?
As a Conference, we are one group. We do not clap when a motion passes or fails to pass because there are no sides here. No one wins and no one loses. We are one body. There is only one name for us: “the Conference.” And there is only one goal for us: to support the recovery of food addicts across the globe. Thus, we must keep foremost in our minds the fundamentals of FA recovery, the food addicts who have not yet found FA and the needs of sponsors and meetings that carry our message. As the Conference, we can find unity in our purpose, despite our differing opinions and points of view.
We all care deeply about FA and FA recovery, so feelings are already running high regarding some issues we will discuss. I encourage us all to remember the principles that guide us every day. We need to be grateful! We all got on our knees this morning and asked God for help. Let us be appreciative in our conversations with one another and trusting of one another’s good will and good intent.
We also need to be honest, brave, and humble. The quality of our work depends upon individual honesty. We each must be willing to say what we see of the truth. But we must also listen and stay open to new information and new points of view.
Most of all, we have to pray. We are one group, seeking consciousness of the will and the guidance of our Higher Power. With that as our goal, we can have faith that all of us together are infinitely wiser than any of us alone.
Kesaya N., Chair, World Service Board
III. Synopsis of the Motions and Results of the Voting
The following business motions were heard
Motion: That the World Service Board develop a concise statement expressing, in substance, the World Service Board statement of September 9, 2007, regarding medications and sponsorship, to be inserted in the sponsorship tool in the meeting format, at or before the 2009 Annual Business Convention.
Friendly Amendment Made and Seconded: That the World Service Board develop a concise statement expressing, in substance, the World Service Board statement of September 9, 2007, regarding medications and sponsorship, to be inserted in the new sponsorship pamphlet to be established by the passing of Motion 3.
Outcome: Motion passed as amended.
Motion: That the Literature Committee shall write a new sponsorship pamphlet.
Outcome: Motion passed.
Motion: That we adopt the bylaws as revised by the Bylaws Revision Committee.
- Motion that the committee be allowed to correct typographical and other minor errors without submitting them for approval by the conference.
Outcome: Motion passed unanimously.
- Motion that the committee be allowed to go through the bylaws section by section to do non- substantive “housecleaning” to eliminate inconsistencies in terminology and redundancies and to increase clarity of language.
Outcome: Motion passed unanimously.
- Section-by-Section Discussion of Proposed Bylaws
Note: There were no questions to be discussed about Article 1; Article 2, section 1; Article 3, sections 1, 3; Article 4, section 2; Article 5, sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 6; Article 6, sections 1, 3; Article 7; Article 8, sections 1, 2, 4, 5, 6; Article 9, section 11; Article 10, sections 1, 3; Article 11; and Article 12, sections 2, 3.
- Moved and seconded that we add a paragraph to Article 2, section 2 saying that we should not refer to AWOLs or medications in that these are outside the scope of FA.
- Moved and seconded to strike the second sentence of Article 2, section 3(c).
- Moved and seconded that Article 3, section 2(a) be modified to read “…elected by meeting groups to represent the fellowship” rather than “…to represent them.”
- Moved and seconded to change Article 3, section 3 and throughout the bylaws so that the term “delegate” is replaced by “elected conference member.”
- Moved and seconded to change all references from elected conference members representing their groups to elected conference members representing the fellowship.
- Moved and seconded to change the voting requirement in Article 3, section 2(b) to four years of abstinence instead of five. Other lengths of abstinence suggested for this section (following the instruction of the parliamentarian that we should get all numbers on the floor at once) were two years and three years.
Procedure: Parliamentarian suggested we could vote on this using the Robert’s Rules method or the Sturgis method. The Sturgis method would be that the year with the highest number of votes wins.
Motion was made, seconded, and passed by the required 2/3 vote that we should proceed using the Sturgis method.
Standing vote resulted in the following:
- Votes for 2 years- 44
- Votes for 3 years- 47
- Votes for 4 years- 21
- Votes for 5 years- 138
Motion to change abstinence requirement failed. It remains five years as stated in draft
- Moved and seconded to change Article IV, section 1 to require that in order for a meeting to register as an FA meeting group, it must use in its format the 12 steps, the definition of food addiction, and the requirement that only members of the fellowship with ninety days or more of continuous abstinence in FA may share.
- Moved and seconded to insert the following text into Article IV, section 4(b): “the revocation shall be presented to the WS Conference at the next WSBC and ratified by a 2/3 vote, and if the revocation is overturned by a 2/3 vote, the Intergroup shall be reinstated and funds restored.”
- Moved and seconded to strike from Article V, section 3(a) “…and must maintain a credible body size.
- Moved and seconded to add to Article VIII, section 3 (a) “FA meeting groups.” Motion failed.
- Moved and seconded to strike “qualify” from Article IX, section 2.
Kesa called for a general assent to close the debate without voting on this motion due to the lateness of the hour. The debate was closed until the next business session.
- Motion made and seconded to change Article IX, section 2 regarding appointment of committee chairs to specify that the committee members would be appointed by the committee chairs with the approval of the World Service Board. This change will be made for each section (a) throughout Article IX.
Motion passed 123 to 64.
- Motion to amend Article IX, section 8(a) to change it from four to five years.
- Motion to strike every sentence after “members are appointed by the 12 step committee chair” in Article IX, section 9(a).
- Motion to revise Article IX, section 10 to add “with the approval of the Board,” making the appointment of special committees consistent with the change made to Article IX, section 2.
- Motion to adopt the bylaws as amended.
Motion: The WSB moves that policies and procedures that are administered by the Board and that affect FA as a whole should be adopted by the conference.
Motion: The WSB moves that we adopt the FA Book in its present form, giving the Literature Committee the authority to continue with editing and final development of content.
IV. Election of Officers
All board positions that were up for re-election were uncontested. Therefore, the body voted in the following trustees by acclamation: Kesa N., chair; Elissa P., vice-chair; Margaret C., secretary (to complete vacated term that will end as of the 2009 convention); Joan M., treasurer (to complete vacated term that will end as of the 2009 convention); Joshua P., Bylaws Committee, Jacquie P., theconnection Committee; Ann H., Convention Planning Committee; Adrienne C., Office Committee; and Sue G., Traditions Review Committee.
V. World Service Committee Reports
Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (George M., Chair)
- Fully established a geographically diverse committee this year. Now an ongoing resource positioned to help the fellowship throughout the world: Representation from Australia, England, Washington State, Ohio, Washington DC, from California to Florida to Maine.
- Continued nurturing the development of the Michigan Chapter, which is currently thriving.
- Supported pre-chapters, particularly Ohio, Washington State, Washington DC, and Australia.
- Expanded WSI Convention Chapter and Intergroup Support Forum-June 1, 2008, including twelve breakout groups, with over 250 participants.
- Published Best Practices News Flash - Electronic, brief, newsletter- 5 Issues, including 3 tips on how to maintain meeting health.
- Through AD-Hoc Committee chaired by Courtney from MA developed a uniform process for Funding Delegates to the Convention in Need of Financial Aid which is currently being used by the three Intergroups, and through AD-Hoc Committee chaired by Jane M. from ME explored and made recommendations regarding safety and anonymity issues concerning telephone numbers for meeting contacts on the Web Site.
- Currently support three intergroups, five chapters and six ad-hoc associations of meetings which organize for specific activities – pre- chapter locations. Assist with communication between these units and the WSI Board.
- Coordinated Quarterly Chapter and Intergroup Chairs Meeting to share communication and develop programs that meet the Fellowship’s needs.
- Continue to develop ways to support service leaders as they organize to reach the newcomer.
- Increase support for those involved in pre-chapter activities.
- Increase communications between chapters and IG’s, and between chapters, IG’s and the WSI Board.
- Continue to help current chapters and IG’s and assists them in initiating new ones.
Opportunities for Service:
- FA Members who are involved in pre-chapter activities or anyone who wishes to help the development of IG’s and Chapters please join our committee.
theconnection Committee (Jacquie P., Chair)
- Increased subscription 9%, 2007 to 2008 (current total is 1000).
- Ongoing effort to establish theconnection Reps at each FA meeting.
- New Art Team leader position created and Art Team established.
- Online subscriptions activated.
- theconnection Web pages created for www.foodaddicts.org.
Convention Planning Committee (Ann H., Chair)
The Convention Committee planned and facilitated the 2008 business convention by:
- Coordinated logistics with the hotel including room selection and set-up, menu design, and audio-visual needs.
- Developed materials including registration documents, nomination and motion forms, and letters and notices to the fellowship.
- Established an on-line registration process including payment by credit card with the guidance of the Office Committee.
- Coordinated with the FA-WSI office and worked with intergroups to disseminate information to all FA members.
- Developed the convention agenda.
- Worked with the 12th Step Committee to coordinate speaker taping sessions.
In addition, the Convention Committee planned and facilitated the first-ever FA fellowship convention, held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, California, October 5–7, 2007.
- Over 700 FA members from 31 states and five countries attended the event.
- During the course of the weekend, members participated in 22 meetings and convention sessions, listened to eight speakers making qualification recordings, and ate six meals together.
For the coming year, the Convention Committee hopes to:
- Plan and manage the next business convention to be held once again in Danvers, Massachusetts at the Sheraton Ferncroft Danvers Resort, May 29 – 31, 2009.
- Plan and manage the next fellowship convention, to be held at the Marriott Santa Clara in Santa Clara, California, October 16 – 18, 2009.
- Be mindful of the escalating costs of the conventions and plan accordingly.
- Continue to work closely with the intergroups and chapters to disseminate information about the conventions to our ever-growing fellowship.
- Work with the Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee for a more seamless integration of the Chapter and Intergroup Forum into the business convention schedule, and explore the possibility of holding a second Forum at the Fellowship Convention.
Literature Committee (Anne B., Chair)
- Solicited conference comment on FA book at 2007 convention.
- - Reviewed and incorporated comments as appropriate
- Drafted supplementary content for FA book.
- Posted draft of FA book in February for FA-wide comment.
- - Reviewed and incorporated comments as appropriate
- Continued committee member story review for FA book, with professional editing following.
- Began near-final proofread of stories for FA book.
Office Committee (Adrienne C., Chair)
- Formed Office Committee with Members from many areas.
- Office Moved to new location: 400 West Cummings Park, Suite 1700, Woburn, MA 01801.
- Staffed WSI office, organized office files with new office set-up.
- Completed draft of Revised Policy and Procedure Manual that reflects expanded responsibilities of the WSI office committee.
- Formed On-line Subcommittee to oversee and develop On-line Projects that support the WSO.
On-line Projects completed:
- Subscription ordering.
- Ordering of cd’s and literature.
- Registering for Business and Fellowship conventions.
- Meeting directories generated from database information.
- Continue with online projects that will better serve the various WSI Committees, Intergroups and Chapters.
- Move files from FADOCS to www.foodaddicts.org.
- Continue to update WSI documents that are on FADOCS for accuracy and latest revised dates.
- Continue to manage the World Service Office and bring new ideas that would better serve FA as a whole.
PI Committee (Bonnie H., Chair)
- A Website Sub Committee has been established to oversee and help implement all the changes taking place on the website.
- Information Sessions worldwide are now being displayed on the website. Please contact Kate at email@example.com to have your Information Session posted. We have also begun tracking the Information Sessions to acquire more information about them.
- Fact File – we are building a document similar to what AA and NA have – this document will be helpful to the fellowship and also to the public for information about FA. We hope to gain a membership count via the delegates at the convention to find out the number of FA members.
- A Survey Sub Committee has also been established and we continue to work on the new survey since one hasn’t been done since 2005.
- A Weblinks Project was begun in California and now is reaching out nationally to try to incorporate businesses, friends, relatives, gyms etc. to have FA linked to their websites.
- Prior to the San Diego Convention we sent out a press release which resulted in an interview which then led to TV and newspaper coverage around the country.
- We continue to assist communities around the world with their attendance at health fairs, conventions, and conferences.
- www.fadocs.org for documents; firstname.lastname@example.org for articles you have read or programs you have seen that relate to food addiction; email@example.com for questions or passing on information; and the website at www.foodaddicts.org are all sources of information if you need help in the Public Information arena.
- Revise the Policies and Procedures of both the PI Committee and the Website’s Policies and Procedures.
- Redo Public Service Announcements for radio broadcasts.
- Update the PI Kit – there always seems to be new information and revisions needed.
Traditions Review Committee (Sue G., Interim Chair)
Process for Traditions Issues:
- Issues submitted in writing (email to firstname.lastname@example.org) from individual, group/meeting, Chapter, Intergroup, and World Service.
- - Committee Reviews topics
- - Committee’s response is sent
- - Summary of issue and response is included in WSB quarterly report sent to all meetings.
- - Purpose is to
Examples of Traditions Issues this year:
- Should FA members speak and be at FA booth at International Doctors of AA Convention
- - Not considered a break of Tradition, but members should follow the PI guidelines, particularly regarding having no opinion on outside
- Can the Michigan TV news hour interview be shown at FA Business Convention
- - TRC recommends that the PI committee consider showing the video to the PI Committee as an example of communicating about FA, but not show the video to the convention as a
- Putting a link to ‘podcasts’ of FA qualification recordings (FA tapes/CDs) on the FA website
- - Not considered to be a Traditions issue, but rather a Literature and PI Committees issue.
- Use of bank link on German FA website for the purpose of payments for FA literature
- - TRC’s opinion is that having a link to the bank would not be a violation of
- Joe and Charlie tapes being played at meetings
- - Not considered to be a Traditions issue, but rather a By-Laws
- Should AA banners be shown at FA meetings
- - Not considered to be a break in Tradition, some meetings do display
- College class in chemical dependency use of closed circuit TV video tapes of FA members talk
- - Original recommendation was to pixel faces and names should be protected, if not, anonymity is not
- Draft of new Policies and Procedure for Traditions Review Committee finished.
- To have the Traditions archive documents available for viewing on site.
- The Secretary of TRC will compile a categorized index of all questions and recommendations with appropriate date of the minutes in which they appeared; to be completed by the June 2009 convention.
Twelfth Step Committee (Jamie M., Chair)
- Continue to facilitate the four sub committees of the Twelfth Step Committee. Our primary goal has been to promote outreach to those FA members who are in outlying areas or isolated due to language barriers or physical constraints. The sub-committees are:
- Communication (e- newsletter)
- Review and update the WSI Twelfth Step Committee Policies and Procedures.
- Continue to serve as a resource and guide for 12th Step service, addressing questions and concerns for FA members by facilitating communication and meeting special needs.
Outreach Sub-Committee Accomplishments:
- Standardized the format for the Long Distance Sponsor (“LDS”) and Outlying Area Phone (“OAPL”) lists.
- Distributed the two together each month in one email, with the OAPL updated monthly and the LDS updated every three months.
- Developed guidelines for how the committee functions and how these lists are developed and distributed.
- Distributed two issues of the e-letter "On the FA Frontier".
Outreach Sub-Committee Goals:
- Help to develop a larger more comprehensive e-letter under the auspices of the communications sub-committee to reach the entire FA fellowship.
- Continue to facilitate the distribution of the two phone lists.
Accessibility Sub-Committee Accomplishments:
- Completed draft of the accessibility pamphlet FA Guidelines: Supporting Food Addicts with Special Needs (a pamphlet outlining special needs and suggestions for meetings to help them support members with special needs).
- Completed draft of the Accessibility document FA Guidelines (which would serve to provide more explanations and suggestions than the pamphlet).
Accessibility Sub-Committee Goals:
- Serve as a resource for members and groups with accessibility concerns.
- Facilitate the publication of the accessibility information.
Communications Sub-Committee Accomplishments:
- Edited, published and distributed two issues of the e-letter On the FA Frontier.
- Issue # 1 was focused on using the tool of the
- Issue #2 was focused on using the tool of
- Archived these two issues and four issues of Gratitude in Action on the site.
Communications Sub-Committee Goals:
- Plan and publish Gratitude in Action as a new revised e-letter to inform the fellowship about the various aspects of ongoing service both at the local, chapter, intergroup and World Service levels. It would also include a section called “Great Service Moments” with stories from our members.
- Plan to solicit support for the newsletter at the Convention.
Language Sub Committee Accomplishment:
- Formulated and distributed a Universal Language Phone List consisting of members who have conversational fluency in a language other than English.
Language Sub Committee Goal:
- Research and develop policies to take to the WSB for approval regarding the translation of FA-approved pamphlets and formats into languages other than English.
VI. Intergroup and Chapter Reports
CENTRAL FLORIDA CHAPTER – Chair
- June/July 2007 - $ 722.00
- August 2007 - $ 187.35
- September 2007 - $ 332.00
- October 2007 - $ 312.51
- Nov/Dec/Jan 2007-2008 - $ 532.52
- February 2008 - $ 348.92
- March/April 2008 - $ 388.97
- May 2008 - $ 195.20
Total donations from meetings
- Phone bill - $ 700.80
- Printing - $ 605.89
- WSI donations - $2519.17
- NEI donations - $ 593.23
MAINE CHAPTER - Patty R., Chair
- The Maine Chapter of FA New England Intergroup has strengthened this past year! Attendance at chapter meetings has been consistently between 15-20 people (up from 12-15 during 2006-2007) on the 3rd Sunday of every month.
- There have been a couple of “firsts” for us this year. First, we were growing enough to need more time to discuss the important work we are trying to do to reach the sick and suffering food addict. Previously, our meetings went from 8:30-10:15am. In order to dedicate the time we needed to discuss the issues at hand AND to accommodate the needs of our fellowship attending from further north (as far as 2 ½ hours away), we changed our meeting time to 9:30-11:30am. As a result, the Board was also able to extend the time that it used to meet and spend more time assisting committee chairs with projects.
- Second, for the first time in our history, we sponsored an “FA Meeting Support Day”, modeled after the NEI Chapter Day. We had well over 65 FA members from Maine in attendance and most meetings were represented. Panels were presented on the topics of Maintaining Meeting Health and Sharing for the Newcomer, with speakers from both NEI and Maine. 50 evaluations were received, all overwhelmingly positive – 95% agreed or strongly agreed it was a valuable day. Comments centered around a few themes — focusing on newcomer rather than self, arriving early and staying late, sharing about addiction and recovery in FA rather than your day or your feelings; avoiding distractions like describing food, chewing gum, or drinking water; doing more service and encouraging sponsees to do service; keeping business meetings healthy.
- We saw FA grow in Maine through new outlying meetings started in central, mid coast and northern Maine (Belfast, Damariscotta, and Bangor).
- We continued to focus on our service work in two committees, the PI/Media Committee and the Office Committee and participate in NEI Bylaws discussions.
- All Chapter members attending the chapter meeting first attend both committee meetings, which share the one-hour time slot available for committee work. As a small chapter, we continue to find that this is the best way to protect our own commitment to abstinence and avoid “burnout”.
- In addition to participating in the 2007 NEI Chapter Day, we worked closely with FA NEI to identify and develop ways to foster communications between FA NEI and the Maine Chapter.
- Finally, in May 2007, we held elections for the Chair and Vice Chair positions, both service positions uncontested and voted in by acclimation. As you can see, although we are a small group, we’ve accomplished a lot over the past 12 months! The specific outcomes of the committee work are detailed in the following committee report(s).
The Financial Summary for June 1, 2007 – May 31, 2008 is:
- 6/1/07 - Beginning Balance - $ 232.11
- Total Income - $ 4276.97
- Total Expenses (NEI - $507, WSI $1522.50) - $ 3972.29
- 5/31/08 Ending Balance - $ 536.79
- Our Treasurer diligently keeps track of the Maine Chapter account by monitoring 7th Tradition donations from meetings and the Maine Chapter in a spreadsheet. Our expenses include Committee expenses, rent, contributions to FA-NEI and WSI. Our prudent reserve includes $200.00. Approximately every three months our Treasurer reviews the financial status with the Officers and passes on to NEI and WSI any funds beyond our prudent reserve. We have encouraged our meetings to send their donations to the Maine Chapter, and in 2007-2008, all meetings contributed to the Chapter at least once. We in turn split all donations 25% to Intergroup and 75% to WSI. We use Expense Reimbursement forms with receipts to document the expenses. We are currently using an excel spreadsheet to keep track of our financial status. Our Treasurer maintains the financial records.
Office Committee Report
Meeting Directory and Meeting Database
- As of June 1, 2008, the Maine Chapter has nineteen registered meetings, up from sixteen registered meetings one year ago. Meeting directories are updated and sent out to Chapter contacts each month. Changes in meetings during the past year include the closing of the Sunday AM York Hospital meeting on January 20, 2008; and the opening of four meetings:
- Monday, 9:00 AM, Brunswick on April 14, 2008
- Monday, 6:30 PM, Belfast on June 18, 2007
- Tuesday, 6:30 PM, Damariscotta on November 13, 2007
- Sunday, 4:00 PM, Bangor on April 13, 2008
- In April 2008, we began directly registering new meetings on line through the WSI website. This enables new meetings to get their starter packets more quickly and newcomers to get more accurate meeting information in a timely manner.
- This service position was created during our last fiscal year to help support Chapter contacts, and to serve as a means of communication between meetings and the Maine Chapter. Since that time, the position continues to evolve (and is still changing!) and develop into a more proactive resource for new and existing chapter contacts.
- The liaison contacts Chapter contacts for each meeting at least quarterly to help with meeting record accuracy, meeting health issues, and the nuts and bolts of running a business meeting.
- The liaison assists contacts with basic questions like, “what do we do with 7th Tradition money”, “what do we talk about at business meetings”, “what are WSI/NEI”, “ fadocs”, “what kind of sharing is appropriate at the meeting”, etc. This position will be further developed over the next year.
The Maine Information Line/Phone line
- The Maine Chapter maintains a phone line that is listed in the meeting directory and in several phone directory listings throughout the state. This previously was called the “hotline” but this year we changed it to “information line” so as not to give the impression that we could be an emergency responder.
- This voice mail system notifies the caller that they can receive information about FA from one of our information line volunteers and provides the caller with FA’s WSI website address.
- An information coordinator oversees seven volunteers who each retrieve messages on one day a week. The coordinator provides each volunteer with pamphlets, etc. for mailings, and guidelines on how to talk to newcomers. Volunteers record data on where the callers have heard about FA.
- The Maine Chapter’s phone number has been listed in 8 Verizon phone books’ white pages throughout the state: Bangor, Bath/Brunswick, Belfast, Lewiston/Auburn, Portland, Rumford Saco/Biddeford and Waterville.
- This year we added our phone line directory listing to Augusta, Dover-Foxcroft and Ellsworth to cover those areas where new meetings have started. In addition, the Community Services section of the directories created a “Food Addiction” category and began placing our number there, FREE, in every directory in the state, beginning with the Bath directory in January 2008.
PI/Media Committee Report
- This has been a busy, productive year for the Public Information Committee of the Maine Chapter. It has been a learning experience for this chairperson, focusing on reaching the general public in Maine and helping Maine meetings to grow stronger. Here are the highlights of our year.
- We have helped Brunswick, Damariscotta, Waterville, Bangor, and Monday morning Brunswick with literature to get them started, as well as lending Brunswick literature when they were having a speaker meeting and were very low on literature. The meetings have been returning the borrowed literature to us when they are able.
Health and Wellness Fairs
- On Saturday, July 21, Patty R. and Cathy N. staffed a table at Audrey F’s church in Cape Elizabeth.
- We supplied pamphlets for a staff training day and health & safety fair held at Paula W.’s workplace in Bath on Oct. 26. About 130 people attended and many brochures were handed out.
- The Women’s Wellness Fair in South Portland was not held this year.
- On Saturday, May 17th Shirley from Woolwich, Pam from Georgetown, Mel and Sandy from Brunswick represented FA at a table at the Inland Hospital’s Wellness in Waterville at Thomas College.
A blitz of PI sessions happened from January through April this year.
- Scarborough, January 15
- Bath & Brunswick, February 4 and 9
- Westbrook, March 24
- Freeport, March 20
- Augusta, April 6
- Westbrook, April 10
Meetings that had their PI sessions near the same date and area shared the expenses of publicizing the sessions.
- Announcements of our PI sessions were sent to NEI and placed on the web site.
- We have been tracking PI reps from each meeting in the state. Most meetings only have a PI rep when they are doing a PI session. Augusta, Scarborough, all 3 Westbrook meetings, Freeport, Bath and Sat. Brunswick all have PI people in place.
- Throughout the year we asked people to consider sponsoring a literature rack in a doctor’s office, therapists, library etc. This really took off in April and May, especially in the Brunswick through the Damariscotta area, and Robin took three for the Waterville, Bangor area. The racks need to be replaced at this point.
- Parkview Hospital in Brunswick had an excellent announcement about FA in a handsome brochure but it needed a small change that was easily taken care of. This brochure gave us the idea to contact other hospitals around the state to see if they would carry our message in their publications.
- Mid Coast and many southern Maine Hospitals already have us in place, but other hospitals in the state are being contacted as well. Barbara W. and Anne from Ellsworth have volunteered to help with this.
- Two panels of 4 FA members shared in the summer and fall Addiction class taught by Professor Phil Watkins at the U. of ME in Augusta this year. These were very successful, but we agreed to stop doing them because the professor was not willing to obscure the faces of our panel members. Because of the closed circuit T.V. and taping involved, the Traditions Committee advised against continuing with these.
- Jane placed a message in the Community Guide that will run in mostly southern Maine newspapers.
- The Forecaster will be running our announcement throughout the mid coast area, and has added a listing for the Freeport and Scarborough groups in their Portland ongoing Health and Support section. It is their policy to only put items in their paper relevant to the regions they cover. The Mid Coast listings run every week, and the Portland ones will appear monthly beginning May 28.
Newspaper Classified Ads blitz
- During the middle of January the chapter used 7th tradition funds to place classified ads in the following newspapers: Portland Press Herald and Sunday Telegram, Lewiston Sun Journal, Times Record, Kennebec Journal, Waterville Sentinel and the Bangor Daily News. Readers were referred to the Maine FA info line for meeting information.
Committee review of PI Kit
- One of our goals was to go through the PI kit. We managed this for the first few months, but more pressing business limited our progress. This goal will be continued for next year.
Registered Meetings in Maine
Number of individual, registered meetings at beginning of fiscal year: 16
Number of individual, registered meetings at end of fiscal year: 19
SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER - Misch E., Chair
South Florida Chapter (SFC) Officers:
- Chair: Misch E.
- Vice Chai: Ilene M.
- Secretary: Gail D.
- Treasurer: Felice S.
SFC Committee Chairs:
- Public Information: Bonnie H.
- Office: Misch E.
- Bylaws: Becky M.
- Liaison: Nancy O.
Changes within the board during the year:
- The original treasurer, Mary C., resigned and was replaced by Felice S. as interim treasurer
- The Vice Chair, Henry R., resigned and was replaced by Ilene M. as interim vice chair
- Ilene M. resigned as Liaison Chair to become interim Vice Chair and was replaced by Nancy O.
- Muriel S. resigned as By-Laws Chair and was replaced by Becky M.
- Henry R. resigned as Office Chair and was replaced by Misch E.
- Two meetings on the East Coast closed due to lack of members.
- Three new meetings were opened on the West Coast.
- There are currently 17 meetings registered with the South Florida Chapter.
- The chair prepares the agenda and conducts the board meeting and the general meeting each month.
- The chapter chair prepares and emails the SFC Highlights to every meeting contact person after each chapter meeting.
- The chapter chair attends the WSI Chapter and Intergroup Chair conference call meetings.
- The chapter chair participates in the WSI Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee conference call meetings.
- The vice chair supports the chair as needed.
- The vice chair gives the NEI report each month.
- The chapter vice chair has participated in a WSI Ad-hoc committee regarding anonymity on the WSI website with meeting listings.
- The secretary takes the minutes, submits them to the chair for perusal, makes copies and reads them at the chapter general meeting.
- The secretary will be officially retiring as secretary this term but has graciously offered to serve as an interim secretary until someone else (who is willing to fill this position) gets her 2 years of abstinence in October.
- The treasurer collects the meeting monies, maintains a bank account, pays the bills and submits donations to NEI and WSI, writes a monthly report and gives it at the general chapter meeting.
- The treasurer prepares the yearly financial report.
- The Treasurer is currently serving out a term as an interim, but has been nominated and is uncontested to begin her own term in June.
- The Treasurer also serves on the WSI Public Information Committee.
Public Information Committee:
- The PI Committee Chair is also the WSI PI Committee Chair.
- Until recently, the PI Chair handled the new registrations, meeting changes and updated the information on the WSI website.
- The chapter supported 5 FA Information Sessions.
- The chapter supported 2 Health Fairs.
- The chapter was listed in a community support directory.
- The chapter telephone number is scheduled to be listed in the white pages and the yellow pages of the Palm Beach County Telephone Directory.
- There were 2 newspaper articles.
- There were 2 radio announcements.
- The committee continues to list meeting schedules in Public Service listings in local newspapers and magazine.
- The committee updates and maintains the list of persons responsible for answering the chapter 800 number.
- The committee updates and maintains the meeting list which is distributed to all the meetings.
- The committee designed a protocol for returning calls to people who leave messages on the chapter 800 voicemail.
- The committee chair currently handles new registrations, meeting information changes and updates the information on the WSI website.
- The Liaison chair attends the NEI conference call meetings.
- The Liaison chair prepares and submits a report on the conference call to the chapter.
- The By-Laws chair attends the NEI conference call meetings.
- The By-Laws chair prepares and submits a report on the NEI conference meetings to the chapter.
- The South Florida Chapter serves meetings on the East and West Coasts of south Florida.
- The chapter meets the first Saturday of each month at the West Broward Club in Plantation, Florida. The board and the committees meet from 8:00 to 8:30 AM, and the general meeting is from 8:30 to 9:30 AM. There are usually around 8 to 12 people attending the meeting.
- A brief summary of the chapter meeting activities, called the SFC Highlights, is sent out monthly by email to all the meeting contact persons.
- The Liaison Chair and the By-Laws Chair do not attend the monthly chapter meeting. We have asked them to fill these positions for the following reasons:
- The chapter needed people with 2 years of abstinence to fill these positions, and no one on the East Coast stepped forward to do this service.
- FA members on the West Coast wanted to be more involved in the Chapter but were unable to come for the chapter meetings.
- NEI holds conference call meetings for the chairs of these two positions, and we needed to have the information from these conference calls.
- Two people on the West Coast were willing to chair these positions, attend the conference calls and submit reports for the chapter.
UPSTATE NEW YORK CHAPTER - Diane O’H, Chair
This year, the Upstate New York Chapter accomplished two goals: to become financially solvent and to provide groups with regular, consistent, and accurate guidance about how best to reach the still suffering food addict. We've met these objectives in the following ways:
- We received a significant increase in group donations.
- We made regular and significant donations to FA/NEI from our funds.
- We achieved fiscal solvency (i.e., we ran our operations consistently "in the black.")
- Maintained tri-fold meeting list and area phone list. (Chapter has ultimately decided to discontinue the production of the Upstate area phone list. Meetings are now responsible for this task.)
- Maintained chapter literature reserves for PI efforts.
- We collated and sent out many information packets to medical professionals through group contacts.
- We provided each of our chapter's groups with a Public Information resource binder.
- We wrote a PI focused "bullet" every month for the chapter minutes, providing meetings with simple suggestions for doing effective PI work or directing them to an FA PI resource.
- We answered a number of questions from meetings in our chapter regarding PI efforts (e.g., suggested requirements for speaking to a newspaper and for participating in an interview).
- We are currently in the process of communicating to the meetings the purpose and function of the PI Committee through an "Introduction to the Chapter" letter (in draft form).
As a group, we understood that our lack of manpower prohibited us from doing large scale public information outreach efforts; instead, we devoted ourselves to meeting regularly as a group, maintaining our efforts to keep accurate group information records, supporting healthy meeting practices, and achieving financial solvency. We attended the November Chapter Support Forum in Boston and were reassured that these activities were crucial to group and chapter health. We continue to take an active part in the World Service Chapter Support Committee conference calls, and all of our officers and committee chairs facilitated, spoke at, or attended a session for the 2008 Chapter Forum at the yearly World Service convention.
We are looking forward to a new year of service opportunities and the experiences they will bring.
NEW ENGLAND INTERGROUP (NEI) - Kathleen M., Chair
In fiscal year 2008, New England Intergroup focused on outreaches and in developing its resources to offer to our meetings and Chapters. Its committees did a tremendous amount of work toward that end.
Teens & Twenties Committee.
- There was a huge increase of activity in our Teens & Twenties Committee (T&T) this year resulting in an unprecedented number of opportunities for outreaches. The Committee coordinated 12 outreaches: 4 in the fall; 8 in the spring. As a result of all these outreaches, the Committee created an excellent and concise starter kit on how to do an outreach in order to serve as a resource to our Chapters and meetings.
- One of their objectives for next year will be to post this starter kit with its accompanying templates on fadocs.org.
- The Committee has also started creating a database of colleges that its members have contacted. T&T has collaborated with the Public Information Committee in giving them their tri-folds so they could adapt them for their outreaches. This collaborative effort is something the Board would like to see happen more often among its committees. Toward that end the Board will have its first planning session afternoon on June 14th where we will meet for a few hours to discuss our goals for next year.
- Although the Public Information Committee (PI) has not had as many outreaches as in past years, that situation has created an opportunity for it to assess some of its procedures.
- The Committee is creating a summarized version of the PI representative’s responsibilities in order to make it less intimidating to the first-time user. It has also created an on-line calendar which gives the dates of upcoming FA Information Sessions in order to help meetings plan their sessions. Their attendance at the International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous Convention last August was very successful, and our PI Chair has passed on to the Western Area Intergroup’s PI Chair this information as the Convention will be held on the West Coast this year.
- PI continues to hold conference calls with NEI’s PI reps and is working on reaching more PI reps on their calls. It has supported Maine’s Chapter Day in Maine and keeps its ear to the ground to hear about other ways in which it can support our Chapters and our meetings.
Twelfth Step Committee
- There have been enormous strides in reaching out to struggling meetings by the 12th Step Committee. Outreaches were made to: Martha’s Vineyard, Weymouth, Harwich, Seekonk, Shrewsbury, MA and Portsmouth, NH meetings.
- The 12th Step Committee reinstituted the Travel Fund which involved establishing its criteria and application form. After reviewing application forms, the Committee provided travel funds to five members for PI sessions in Raleigh, NC, Fort Meyers, FL, and Plantation, FL.
- It also established the guidelines and procedures for the 12th Step Outreach call and provided that service for one FA member. The Committee also established guidelines for Partnering Meetings and instituted its practice.
- It set up home meetings for three members and had another successful Thank-A-Thon on Thanksgiving Day. NEI’s 12th Step Committee continues to liaise with WSI’s 12th Step Committee in obtaining names for and distributing the Sponsorship List, distributing the Phone List for Members in Outlying Areas.
- The Office Committee underwent huge change this year as it helped WSI integrate its database with ours. It hired a new office secretary, purchased and installed a new computer and printer, and converted to QuickBooks online.
Convention Resource Committee
- The Convention Resource Committee continued to do an excellent job this year in administering financial aid to NEI delegates in need.
- The Committee reviewed financial aid applications and offered $2,960 of financial assistance. Depending on the reimbursement forms it receives from the financial aid recipients, the Committee will apply to WSI for $960 of the $2,960 in order to cover the expenses of its budget.
- Members of the Committee worked diligently with our Treasurer, our Office Committee, and the World Service Office in solving logistical challenges arising from the recent change to online convention registration.
- The Committee has also organized and collected contact information from local members who can offer rides and/or short-term hosting to members traveling from other states and countries.
- It has liaised with the World Service Convention Committee by sharing pertinent convention information with the NEI fellowship.
- It has also acted as a general resource for information pertaining to the annual business convention by welcoming phone calls and emails with questions or concerns from NEI’s fellowship.
Chapter Support Committee
The Chapter Support Committee assigned Chapter liaisons to develop on-going monthly communication between NEI and its Chapters. From that communication the Committee begins to see a pattern of ideas for its annual Chapter Support Day. This year Meeting Health was the theme of that day. Their feedback was that it was a very successful day.
- The Bylaws Committee consists solely of its Chair. The Chair participated in WSI’s Bylaw Revision Committee. She continued its quarterly teleconference with the Chapter Bylaws Chairs. The purpose of these calls is to provide the Chapters a resource for questions or problems and to be used as a sounding board for new bylaw changes.
- The Chair drafted a new format for Policies and Procedures which is now called Goals, Functions, and Objectives.
- It also created a bylaw change regarding NEI’s ability to give electronic notice of amendments. This bylaw passed and now NEI does not have to send out notification of bylaw amendments by mail. It can do so through its NEI Report.
NEI has sent WSI $2,000 for its yearly contribution. A financial statement will be sent to WSI under separate cover at the end of June.
UNITY INTERGROUP - Margaret D., Chair
Number and Locations of Meetings
Charlotte, NC, Concord, NC, Belmont, NC, Asheville, NC, Kings Mountain, NC 3 new meetings are currently being formed.
Income and Expenses:
Starting balance in 2007 $1,144.30. Total income for 2007 $2,302.02 Ending balance for 2007 $1,024.41. Income to date in 2008: $2,212.63
Public Information Committee
The chair and committee have done an outstanding job of spreading the word. With letters to the clergy/healthcare provider, attending health fairs and reorganizing the committee into sub groups with individual contact people.
Improvement in the organization of the group has taken place over the last year.
The Chair has also formed a committee that entails registering our meetings on the FA website, updating our phone list and meeting list, organizing the answering of the hotline, networking with WSI to keep our IG up to date on updates from WSI.
Twelfth Step Committee
By scheduling a meeting of the month and encouraging members to attend meetings that are not their regular meetings. Reaching out to those members who are not able to attend meetings due to health issues have all been accomplished by this committee.
Unity Intergroup continues to grow, with more than 24 members now attending our meetings (up from 10 just a year ago). Our purpose continues to be to get the message out to the food addict who still suffers.
WESTERN AREA INTERGROUP (WAI) – Kris S., Chair
- Chair: Kris S.
- Vice Chair: Marti Mc.
- Treasurer: Rosa R.
- Secretary: Julie B.
FA/WAI Committee Chairs
- Office: Patricia M.
- Public Info/Media: Kim R.
- Twelfth Step: Jim S.
- Young People: Sue H.