Annual Report - 2011
Reporting on July 2010 - March 2011
Chair’s Report - Elissa P.
As is stated in the FA Conference-Approved World Service Board Mission statement, the primary purpose of the WSB is to serve our fellowship, worldwide, and “to support strong, clear FA recovery from food addiction at all levels of our organization through the World Service Office and the development of systems, structures, web and written materials.” We are continuously striving to carry out this mission.
The Board generally meets one time per month, for two hours by telephone. Twice this year, we were able to also meet in person, once in June at the World Service Business Convention, and again for a weekend in October. General business at each meeting included the passing of minutes, the passing of each month’s treasurer report, and monthly check-ins from each board member regarding all WSI standing committees. Updates were also provided regarding each WSB Special committee including the personnel, design, finance, inquiry response, and resolutions committees.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF WSB ACTIVITIES
The Personnel Committee has continued to work with the chairs of the WSI Office, Literature, and connection Committees to maintain proper employee relations and contracts with paid personnel, including the FA WSI office director, office manager, multiple web management companies, connection editor, connection designer, and a professional writer for the FA book.
The Office and Design Committees assessed our current website and set goals toward future improvements. The office director currently serves as project coordinator regarding the website design and development project. A revised website with user-friendly functions, easy navigation, and complete redesign of the FA logo, literature, and overall “branding” is due this coming year.
The Writing/Editing Subcommittee of the Literature Committee strategized a new plan for revising the FA book. To date, nine stories (out of 28) have been substantially edited using a professional writer and an interview technique. We are on our way toward an excellent book, due for publication in 2012.
The board worked extensively to clarify issues related to the Seventh Tradition, including a deeper understanding of “corporate poverty” and the recommended allocation of donations among the various levels of our organization. The first Seventh Tradition pamphlet had become outdated since its initial printing in 2006. The revised pamphlet will be distributed at the June 2011 WSBC, if not before.
The board established the Inquiry Response Committee to help us better serve the fellowship, allowing us to reply thoughtfully and efficiently to questions and concerns from FA members or members of the public. Matters previously replied to in writing by either the WSI secretary or the Traditions Review Committee (TRC) are now usually handled by a phone call from a member of the Inquiry Response Committee. (The TRC is still involved when inquiries directly bear on the Twelve Traditions.) The feedback regarding this committee has been very positive. Members report that they appreciate someone taking the time to call them personally and to allow their concerns to be heard.
The Resolutions Committee effectively assisted the Bylaws Committee chair and the entire board in clarifying all motions for the 2011 WSBC. The board engaged in lengthy conversations to address all aspects of these motions as they directly relate to the Traditions, Concepts, Bylaws, and Conference- Adopted Policies.
Support from WSI committees for members and meetings now includes
- Emailed letters, sent monthly to members who as yet have no meetings in their area (letters to “the frontier”)
- Gratitude in Action (GIA), an emailed newsletter with information and materials supporting FA service
- A beautifully redesigned connection magazine layout, successfully integrating fellowship feedback
- Regularly distributed lists of long-distance sponsors and those who speak languages other than English
- Redesigned meeting trifold templates for announcing local meetings, FA information sessions, and stories that pertain to teens and twenties
- Meeting formats and meeting trifolds in German and Spanish as well as English
- A comprehensive Fact File posted on our website to inform the media of FA history and statistics
- A monthly conference call to support existing chapters and intergroups and to foster development of pre-chapter areas
- Mediawatch@foodaddicts.org actively responding to all leads sent in by FA members.
- Healthwatch@foodaddicts.org newly created to respond to health care professionals in the media who may be interested in learning more about FA.
- Planning, well underway, for the fellowship convention scheduled for September 23-25, 2011 at the San Francisco Airport Marriot in Burlingame, CA. Registration at foodaddicts.org begins in early July 2011.
Serving as chair for these past ten months has been a privilege. The efforts put forth by the board, its committees, and its subcommittees are pure examples of “gratitude in action.” It has been hopeful, inspiring, and fulfilling to see ideas emerge, develop, and be continuously refined, by individuals who are wholeheartedly invested in bettering FA as a whole.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve. This experience is in many ways intangible and indescribable, but I sincerely look forward to doing it again in the year ahead.
Vice-Chair’s Report - David I.
My report this year is a summary of the work done by the Personnel Committee, of which I am chair. This fiscal year, we
- brought three new people onto the committee (including the new WSB vice-chair)
- supported the hiring of a graphic designer for connection
- ensured that our employees and independent contractors are being managed appropriately and constructively supported the Office Committee in the search for a new webmaster and designer for the upgraded website
- supported WSI committee chairs in the performance management/annual reviews of paid employees
- helped clarify the warranted raises and salary adjustments for two employees
Secretary’s Report - Margaret H.
As secretary, I’m all about words. I spend each board meeting typing away on my laptop, capturing as many of the points of discussion as possible so we’ll all remember later what we thought and what we decided. After the meetings I work at making the rough notes cogent.
The interval since our last annual report has been a period of challenge and growth for me in this fourth and final year as secretary. Because I have a passion for words, I always yearn to “get it just right,” the “it” being any written document issuing from the board or from one of its committees. However, I have learned yet again in the context of board work about the preeminence of progress over perfection and about personal humility. God did give me the gift of remembering tiny details about grammar and an ability to craft a thought clearly and succinctly. But other gifts also belong in the mix when it comes to producing the best and most helpful document an organization can produce. It has been amazing to witness the wisdom that can come from several pairs of eyes looking at the same document. The documents just kept getting better and better and the reasoning clearer. Humility also came in learning yet again to be right sized. It was not realistic for me to have a say about every bit of writing that issued from the board. In my desire to do so, I sometimes slowed down the work of others and sometimes had to bail out on doing the final proofing.
As I leave the board I wish to say that it has been an honor to do this service and to have walked among this small group of FA members who show up and do the seemingly impossible because God has given them so much and they are so eager to give back, to keep our program strong and to help make it available to all who want it.
Treasurer’s Report - Joan M.
- Worked with the WSB Finance Committee and the WSI Board to create clear reports and to review FA WSI financial methods. This includes having a budget with regular reviews, having a prudent reserve of one year’s operating and magazine expenses, and having a project reserve to support special projects such as the FA Book, literature translations and website design. Budgets for the special projects were also reviewed and monitored.
- Worked with connection committee and the FA office staff to improve the financial basis for the magazine so that it does not require as much subsidy each year. This was done through a revised publication schedule, a subscription price increase, and lower costs for printing and for mailing.
- Revised the pamphlet Your FA Seventh Tradition to provide information and guidelines for members, meetings, chapters and intergroups about the use of Seventh Tradition funds and about the spiritual principles behind the concept of “corporate poverty.” The content of the pamphlet was revised with the help of the WSB Finance Committee and the WSI Board. This pamphlet will be sent to all WSI contacts and will be posted on the FA website under “Meeting Information” so that all members have access to the information. It will also be available for sale online and will be included in the Starter Kit that is sent to new meetings.
Bylaws Committee - Sue H., Chair
All WSI committee chairs and WSB committee chairs documented a charge for each of their committees and subcommittees to provide a clear understanding of who is doing what and how. This material has been added to the WSB Manual and includes charges for the 9 standing committees of WSI, the 5 special committees of the WSB, and the nearly 40 additional WSI subcommittees. Updated procedures for all committees and for the WSB will soon be posted on the web.
Worked closely with the Board and the Resolutions Committee to finalize all motions to be presented at the 2011 business convention.
Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee - Misch E, Chair
This past year the Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (CISC) meetings have evolved into a format that is achieving our purpose–to support existing intergroups and chapters and the pre-chapter areas. The format includes reports from existing groups and from ad-hoc committees (currently we only have one, the Chapter Manual Rewrite Committee). The main part of the meeting is a round-table discussion based on a topic of interest. This discussion involves input from the various groups, resulting in the support each group needs as well as an opportunity for the pre-chapter participants to learn about the work involved in chapters and intergroups. Our meeting minutes have become valuable documents for the participants because the minutes include contact names, telephone numbers, and emails for possible follow-up. Currently the CISC serves three intergroups and three chapters as well as interested persons from nine pre-chapter areas. An ad-hoc committee is revising the Chapter Manual, a guide for chapters. Meetings are open. Anyone interested in learning about intergroups or chapters is encouraged to join us.
connection Committee - Anna B., Chair
- Worked with treasurer to streamline costs of connection while maintaining quality.
- Reduced number of issues from 12 to 10, with 2 compilation issues.
- Changed printers and began using non-profit mailing.
- Raised subscription price from $20 to $24. WSI subsidy is now at a sustainable level.
- Raised connection Collection price from $20 to $24 to reflect true cost of production.
- Reconfigured production schedule to ensure timely delivery of magazine.
- Began year with interim paid designer. Hired permanent paid designer.
- Established connection Design Committee which, working closely with new designer, implemented design feedback from fellowship.
- Continued working with editor and writing team leaders to strengthen quality of stories.
- Implemented regular conference calls for writing team leaders.
- Established connection Representative Network, including regular emails and conference calls.
- Established Editorial Advisory Committee.
- Updated committee procedures.
- Began looking into offering a digital edition of connection in addition to print.
- Began redesigning web page. Also looking into ways to make renewals and gift subscriptions easier and identifying meeting subscriptions versus personal subscriptions, so they can be tracked separately.
Convention Planning Committee - Adrienne P., Chair
On September 23-25, 2011, recovering food addicts from all over the world will attend the third fellowship convention at the San Francisco Airport Marriot in Burlingame, California.
- The convention will open on Friday, with registration beginning at 10:00 AM and going until 5:00 PM. Scheduling for the rest of the day’s events is still to be determined. Registration will be open again on Saturday morning from 7:30 to10:00 AM for those who arrive
- Programming for the convention will focus on a format of modeling strong meetings; five meeting types (speaker, discussion, Big Book, tools, and qualification taping) will be held in three meetings blocks on Saturday, and the convention will begin and end with a discussion meeting. Evening entertainment will include Karaoke on Friday night and a dinner dance on
- The Western Area Intergroup (WAI) has a cadre of dedicated subcommittee chairs and members who are helping with all aspects of organization and planning, including site selection, material production, publicity, and hospitality. All FA members are welcome to do service. Those interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact Fellowship Convention Chair Renee B. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- o Feedback from convention attendees at our past fellowship conventions has been extraordinarily positive. WAI has been enthusiastically gearing up and making plans for the upcoming event and hopes to spread the word and excitement to the fellowship worldwide. We look forward to sharing a wonderful time together and can’t wait to see the hundreds of food addicts who will be
- Planning for the 2011 World Service Business Convention, taking place from June 3 to 5 at the Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort Boston in Danvers, Massachusetts, has been underway for the past several months. In order to better plan for the event, the decision was made to close online registration, including meal plan purchase, on April 30. No meal plans will be available for purchase onsite, but onsite registration will be open (this will include a late fee).
- Eight motions will be discussed during the business sessions, along with the turning over of several Board positions, all of which are uncontested this year. There will also be meetings for all WSI standing committees on Saturday and Sunday.
- Sunday morning 45-minute sharing session: During this time any WSC member is invited to express his or her opinion on the question “What is working in your area regarding public information activities?” (e.g. information sessions, contact with the media, sponsor-a-rack, letters to healthcare professionals and the clergy, and distribution of meeting trifolds). Comments are welcome on how to best reach beyond those who are already actively involved in service. (i.e., how we can encourage others to do more service). Each person will be given up to 90 seconds to share. Because you need to be succinct, please prepare your remarks ahead of time. The intent of this session is for constructive dialogue accompanied by workable ideas. We want to know what’s working in your area and what isn’t, so we can all learn ways to better reach a newcomer.
- If you have any questions prior to the convention, please contact the WSB at email@example.com. There will also be two conference calls for WSC members to discuss any questions or concerns related to this year's motions. If you are interested in participating, please join several Board members on a conference call from 7 to 8 PM Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, May 15th and/or Wednesday May 18th. The call in number is 213-406-8520, and the access code is 440-6008.
- Further information regarding the tentative convention schedule, a sample food plan, and transportation and lodging information is currently posted on our website at www.foodaddicts.org under the For Members section and has been emailed to all convention registrants.
- Next year’s Business Convention will be held June 1-3, 2012, and will more than likely be held at the same location in Danvers, MA.
Literature Committee - Jane M., Chair
Speaker CD’s Subcommittee
- Secured speakers for the June 2011 Business Convention in Danvers, MA, including two German
- 6 CD’s withdrawn due to the speakers having “gone back to day one”; will no longer be offered for
- 4 CD’s recorded at the 2010 business convention: Rather Dead Than Fat, Doomed to Die Young, Just Leave Me Alone!, and The Story Was In Her
- Goal for next year: submit subtitles to the Board for feedback for all CD’s, with intent of making it easier for members to choose CD’s (e.g. men vs. women; under 30).
- Will identify speakers for fellowship convention in September
- FA Book - Writer engaged from within FA who will coordinate, assemble, and deliver a manuscript ready for publication in 2012. At the time of this report, nine stories have been completed using an interview/storytelling technique. The plan is for all 28 completed stories to be submitted to WSB by November 2011. Writer will also finish pre-story material and introduction, incorporating the Doctor’s Opinion.
- Pamphlets and New Literature Requests - New literature development is on hold pending completion of the FA Book.
- Pamphlets - Eight English pamphlets were re-printed with correct FA World Service address, banner language, and revision date on the back page: To Our Families and Friends; There is a Solution; The 20 Questions; Teens and Twenties; Some Thoughts on Sponsoring; Men in Recovery; Are You Having Trouble Controlling the Way You Eat?; and Anorexic/Bulimic: There is Hope. Future goals are (1) to work with Design Committee on website re-design and on creating uniformity in the look of the pamphlets; and (2) to develop a copyrighting plan for FA literature.
- FA Book - Will be developing a publishing plan in collaboration with Writing/Editing Subcommittee and Design Committee.
Language Translation Subcommittee
- Translated the qualification format into German for recording Speaker CD’s.
- Translated the disclaimer on the bottom of CD’s into the language they are recorded
- Translations of Some Thoughts on Sponsoring into German and Spanish have been done and will soon be available for purchase
- Posted German Meeting Format on the FA website
- Posted German trifold on the FA website under the EAI
- Plan to complete the updating of two Spanish pamphlets with correct FA World Service address and banner language on the back page: Are You Having Trouble Controlling the Way You Eat?; and There is a Solution
- Plan to translate the meeting guidelines into Spanish and German
- Plan to translate To Our Families and Friends and Teens and Twenties into Spanish and German
- Plan to review other translation needs for current pamphlets
Office Committee - Ruth M., Chair
- The FA office director is project manager for the design and development of the new website, and the office continues to gather suggestions on ways of improving our website from WSB members, intergroup and chapters, FA members and newcomers. Please continue to send any suggestions or comments regarding the FA website to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Developed short- and long-term goals for web management during the transition phase.
- Assisted the 12th Step Committee in getting an “unsubscribe” link for the newsletter Gratitude in Action.
- Assisted the treasurer in posting the new postage rate on the web online ordering page.
- The office is now able to respond to newcomer and members more efficiently.
- The Office Committee continues to assist the Web & Directory Contacts in understanding their job. Step-by-step directions on how to submit meeting changes and submit a new meeting registration online can be found in two documents called “Directions for Submitting Meeting Changes” and “Directions for Registering a New Meeting” found in the Members section under Meeting Information on our website.
Public Information Committee - Kris M., Chair
- Four thousand one hundred twenty-nine (4,129) members responded to the survey, showing the break-down of the fellowship by gender (90% women, 10% men), by age range, and by how members heard about FA, as well as other salient information.
- The new FA Fact File was posted to the Media page of the FA website.
- Over 20 articles from publications including Aetna Insurance’s newsletter, CNN.com, Canada’s National Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Boston Herald were posted to the media page of our website.
- Public information sessions continued to be posted to the FA calendar, and evaluations were sent in following information sessions to provide statistics on attendance and feedback about the events.
- MediaWatch sent out over 500 emails and hard copy letters.
- Weblinks signed on new colleges and connected links to organizations such as the Obesity Action Coalition, Women’s Day, Michael Praeger’s website, an eating disorders center in New York, and the California Department of Managed Health.
- The committee investigated future conferences and events to attend, such as the National Convention on Addiction Disorders, National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals, and the Walk for Obesity.
- New trifolds were uploaded to the FA website.
- A press release is being sent out to announce the 2011 Business Convention in June.
- A new Cision database contact was identified and now sends out media lists to FA groups requesting their local media lists around the country.
- Website change work orders were sent to the Office Committee to include establishing an archives section with searchable copies of past issues of connection magazine and search engine marketing capabilities to bring more visitors to the website from search engines like Google.
- “Would you like to read more about food addiction?” proved to be successful as the new phrase suggested for use at health fairs.
- “Healthcarewatch” was introduced as a new sub-committee. It is an email service where FA members can email email@example.com when they would like FA to reach out to a doctor or physician they think should know more about FA.
- The committee voted not to use terminology directly specifying flour and sugar but to use more subtle wording such as “I knew I had a problem with sugar. I didn’t know I was addicted to it.” Because this program addresses food addiction to include addiction to flour and quantities, we discussed keeping current terminology and highlighting our spiritual foundation.
- Plans were initiated for a German website. Work will begin once a web agency has been selected.
- Public information collateral materials were collected, such as pictures of “FA 20 Questions” stand-up signs and FA tablecloths, to try to help the design committee develop consistent materials.
- The committee discussed new smartphone apps and contacted app developers to include FA in 12-step location-based apps such as meeting locator apps.
- New positions were discussed to offer ways to make the PI rep position more manageable, i.e. an Area Media Rep or local Radio Coordinator, to help split up the responsibility of contacting the media.
- EAI presented a waiting room leave-behind booklet, which was approved by the PI committee for regional testing in the EAI area.
- A PI Cheat Sheet is under development and is anticipated for release at the 2011 FA Business Convention.
- The new Outreach Tool guide was submitted for approval as a scripted guide to help FA members call doctors and media to find out how they might work together with FA, i.e. by hosting a trifold rack or having FA members come in to speak.
- The PI committee suggested placing images or photos of the FA banner and tablecloth next to where they can be ordered on the FA website or on the literature order form, whichever is deemed appropriate, in order to make it clearer how to order these PI materials.
Traditions Review Committee - Dan B., Interim Chair
PROCESS FOR CONSIDERATION OF TRADITIONS ISSUES
- Issues and concerns are submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by individuals, meetings, chapters, intergroups, or the World Service Board.
- The Traditions Review Committee (TRC) meets on a monthly basis to review and discuss how the Twelve Traditions might guide consideration of issues and concerns.
- The TRC responds in a timely manner to those who have sent inquiries.
- A summary of issues and responses is sent to the general fellowship, when appropriate, through WSI quarterly and annual reports.
SAMPLE TRADITIONS ISSUES REVIEWED THIS YEAR
- Issue - a member inquired about the distribution of a “Men’s Phone List” at a meeting or by email to meeting members.
- Response - The TRC felt that this was similar to a prior question regarding meetings restricting membership by gender (i.e. “Women Only Meetings”). The TRC referred to Tradition 1 and was of the opinion that neither of these practices fosters FA unity. Also, Tradition 3 states that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating addictively. An exclusive list of this type appears to defy what we stand for as a fellowship.
- Issue: An FA member was invited by a pastor to speak to a congregation about FA and to hand out FA literature. The member asked the TRC to consider the request in light of the Traditions.
- Response: The TRC suggested the member refer to the Public Information Kit and consider using the FA Information Session format for a session of this type. The key message, regarding the Traditions, was to ensure that religion or other outside issues remain separate from the FA message. For example, the presentation should not be part of a religious service and should be accessible and comfortable if attended by members of any religion.
- Issue: A PI rep (public information representative) was asked by a member at the meeting to distribute flyers or otherwise promote a non-FA “12 Step Workshop.”
- Response: Per Tradition 6, the TRC believes that the PI representative should not promote or endorse outside events or issues and therefore suggested that distribution of these non-FA flyers to members of the group by email or on the FA meeting literature table would not be appropriate.
- Issue: A member expressed concern regarding the practices of local meeting groups and asked the TRC to provide consideration and comment through the lens of the Twelve Traditions. The first question was regarding a meeting in their area that is held in the worship area of a Christian church. The second practice of concern was the existence of “clothing swaps” being held before, after, and during breaks at some meetings. Third, at one meeting, some members had developed a written food plan for distribution, available at the literature table, intended to be given to newcomers who do not yet have a sponsor.
- Response: There are many issues the TRC identified relating to multiple Traditions, the FA Meeting Guidelines, and other FA documents (FA WSI Bylaws). The TRC found no Traditions issues with the idea of holding meetings in worship spaces. However, the Meeting Guidelines discourage this practice because of the importance of religious neutrality. The TRC highlighted that “our primary purpose is to carry the message to those who still suffer” and clothing swaps can divert us from this purpose if they interfere with meetings. It would not be appropriate to make clothing swaps part of business meeting agendas or to announce them at FA meetings. However, the TRC believes it is acceptable for members to exchange clothes in a manner that does not, in any way, interfere with meetings (including meeting breaks). The TRC believes that the distribution of written food plans on a literature table contravenes FA bylaws and, as such, referred this issue to the WSB. Additionally, the TRC discussed Tradition 1 and noted that FA unity is inherent in our definition of abstinence, not a common food plan. The TRC feels that it is not in the best interests of newcomers to receive a food plan without the involvement of a qualified sponsor who can pass along the full FA way of life, including consultation of a member’s doctor, when beginning the FA program. Tradition 5 states that “each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the food addict who still suffers.” The three above noted practices could distract the meeting from its primary purpose.
Frequently, the TRC receives inquiries that are not specifically related to the Twelve Traditions. In these cases, the committee reviews the issue or concern and decides to which other WSB committee the inquiry and the resulting TRC comments should be forwarded. Issues outside the TRC purview submitted this year were referred to
- the Inquiry Response Committee (use of FA’s 12 Steps and Traditions in a Pagan book; definition of “cross talk”)
- the Bylaws Committee or to review the bylaws document (bequest & donation queries)
- the Finance Committee (bequest query, corporate poverty question and use of 7th Tradition funds)
- the Literature Committee (Some Thoughts on Sponsorship comments and concerns)
- the Public Information Committee (query regarding advertising in the yellow pages)
- the World Service Executive Board (concern regarding meetings providing food plans on the literature table)
- the Eastern Area Intergroup (main motion bylaw concern)
- a review of the FA Meeting Guidelines in the “Members” area on our website (use of FA meeting logo on signs, meetings held in religious sanctuaries)
- the 12th Step Committee (comments on meeting requirements motion)
- Group conscience local meetings (fragrance announcement at a meeting, use of plural form of serenity prayer in a meeting)
Twelfth Step Committee - Jim S., Chair
- Gratitude in Action, FA’s e-newsletter with stories of FA news and service, is sent to every FA member who is registered on the website: www.foodaddicts.org.
- The Frontier Phone List is being sent monthly to members with no FA meetings and to FA WSI contacts for distribution on meeting literature tables. Recent Lists have also included special e- letters.
- The Frontier Sponsor List is being sent quarterly to members with no FA meetings and to FA WSI contacts for sign-up on meeting literature tables.
- The Universal Language List (ULL) is being sent quarterly to WSI contacts for distribution and sign-up on meeting literature tables. Beginning in December 2011, the ULL will remove from the List anyone who does not respond to a request for confirmation that they want to stay on it.
- The Meeting Accessibility, Safety, and Effectiveness Subcommittee has met to discuss meeting guidelines and requirements.
- Conversations among the chairs of the three Intergroup 12th Step Committees are being encouraged and facilitated.
Resolutions Committee (a WSI Special Committee) - Anne S., Chair
The Resolutions Committee (RC) received three motions from Intergroups for consideration for the 2011 Business Convention. All three motions have been withdrawn.
Motion from Southeastern Area Intergroup (SAI)
The Motion from SAI sought to change wording in the meeting disciplines section of the Meeting Format in order to prevent some potentially offensive misunderstandings. The section of the Meeting Format dealing with a meeting’s disciplines is changeable by that meeting’s group conscience. The RC came to the conclusion that the Convention does not need to vote on matters that can be dealt with at the group level. The RC suggested that SAI meetings can address the issue through group conscience at the meeting level. SAI agreed and withdrew the motion.
Motion #1 from Eastern Area Intergroup (EAI)
The first Motion submitted by EAI proposed a change to the Tools section of the Meeting Format. The RC concluded that the motion was not appropriate for voting at the Convention because currently the Meeting Format and Tools are WSI Board-approved material, not Convention-approved material, and as such are not changed by voting at the Convention. The RC suggested that EAI submit their proposed change to the WSI Board as a request to include in the next format update. EAI withdrew the motion.
Motion #2 from Eastern Area Intergroup (EAI)
The second Motion received from EAI was a proposed bylaw change to Article VIII, Section 3. The proposed changes were regarding a) clarifying the wording about who may submit main motions to the Convention and b) the decision–making process Intergroups or Chapters use to submit main motions. There were some parts of the Motion as originally submitted that some RC members thought contradicted some of the Twelve Concepts (Concepts 4 and 7). Some RC members also thought that the motion as originally submitted did not accomplish the stated intention and that it was unnecessary, from their reading of the Bylaws. In addition, the Parliamentarian suggested that the wording did not accomplish the intent and might not be a permissible bylaw. Because of the disparate opinions and understandings, the RC Committee worked with the motion makers and the Parliamentarian to reword and clarify. The edited motion was withdrawn after further consideration by EAI.
Eastern Area Intergroup (EAI) - George M., Chair
There are three chapters affiliated with EAI: Southern Florida, Maine, and Michigan. Within EAI, there are approximately 261 meetings registered. As of June 2009, there were approximately 1,750 members spread across the United States in 22 states (DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, and WI) and the United Kingdom, Eastern Canada, Israel, and Germany. The breadth of the work of our committees and executive board continues to amaze and inspire me. It has been a privilege and blessing to chair this Intergroup for this past year, and I look forward to chairing it next year.
THEME OF 2011
EAI continues to focus on outreaches and looking at ways to serve the meetings in our defined area from Chicago to Frankfurt. Our committees and executive board strive to offer programs that benefit: (a) our meetings, chapters, and pre-chapters, (b) WSI, (c) our existing Fellows so that they will be able to continue in their abstinence, and (d) the sick and suffering Food Addict who has not yet found FA.
This year, the Bylaws Committee presented two continuing effect motions to the EAI conference: updated existing motion process so as to be in alignment with the WSI bylaws and changed the start time of Intergroup. Both motions were passed, and the bylaws were updated accordingly. The Committee also updated the Bylaws Committee chair service position and dates that service began. The chair also worked with the EAI chair to develop a main motion for the WSI Business Conference. The motion was passed and moved forward to WSI for consideration. In addition, the committee completed a continuing effect motion regarding the ongoing annual evaluation of main motions by EAI.
In March, the Chapter Support Committee took a ReachOut to North Dartmouth, MA. This was modeled after the success of a similar event one year prior. With almost 50 people in attendance, the conversation centered on the theme Keeping it Green: Maintaining a Strong FA Recovery. April brought the first ReachOut in Cleveland. It was organized mainly by local fellows with some support from the committee. The theme of the Cleveland ReachOut was The FA Solution: Why We Do What We Do? This event was the first time that the broad Cleveland FA fellowship gathered together. In October, the Chapter Support Committee oversaw a ReachOut in the Washington, D.C. area that gathered fellows from DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. The gathering of over 100 people sparked the launch of an official pre-chapter group, which is currently under development. In November, the Chapter Support Committee partnered with the Maine Chapter of EAI to mount the annual Chapter Support Weekend in Portland, ME. The two-day event was a rousing success, drawing fellows from several states and allowing cross-pollination of many FA members active in service in their respective regions.
The connection Committee developed, supervised the administration of, and collated data for an EAI survey encompassing a representative sample (574 participants) of the fellowship in MA, ME, NY, MI, FL, OH/PA and DC/VA/MD. The survey focused on membership opinions as to the quality and use of connection magazine, as well as related subscription issues. WAI will be using this survey for their fellowship this spring. In the meantime, the committee continues to identify writing team leaders within the EAI area and has launched an effort to ensure connection Reps for EAI-affiliated meetings are registered online.
The Convention Resource Committee achieved success on many fronts, including (a) updating the letter that conference voting members receive from the meeting’s EAI Contact, (b) updating the financial aid application and assisting the Chapter Support Committee in reviewing financial aid applications for Chapter Weekend, (c) reviewing eight financial aid applications and awarding each one with either all or part of the amount requested, and (d) trying out a new system for signing up and disseminating the Ride and Lodging list using Google.docs. This latest effort will enable Boston-based fellows willing to do service to view requests from out-of-town travelers who are in need of rides or lodging during the conference. The Committee also continues to assist the WSI Convention Planning Committee by organizing greeters for the convention, helping with the registration table, and acting as a resource for the EAI fellowship for information pertaining to the convention.
The Office Committee has finalized and submitted the Literature Kit (a kit which will be an online resource for local Literature meeting service reps), to the WSI Literature Committee for processing and publishing on the FA web site; and has developed and completed a “welcome letter” for new FA meeting registrations. The EAI Office Committee also became part of the process to re-format the MA trifolds for literature tables along with the health care packets. The EAI Office Committee is responsible for updating this MA trifold monthly. The Committee is also actively involved with ongoing training of the EAI Contacts and the Web & Directory Contacts (formerly the “Meeting Contacts”) to make meeting changes online and to help FA members register new meetings online. The Committee also continues to respond to all telephone and email requests for service or information. They also support the EAI treasurer in the achievement of his objectives.
The Public Information Committee established several new positions, including: (a) a coordinator for radio station contact announcements (this member lives in Atlanta and is the point person to research radio and or newspapers in any requested area); (b) an internet researcher for health fairs and conferences; (c) a health fair and conference contact for establishing contact persons and obtaining enrollment and cost information; and (d) a PI Committee member who maintains a list of members willing to do service by staffing the booths at health fairs/conferences. In addition, the PI Committee conducted quarterly PI conference calls for our whole EAI area and developed the Waiting Room Booklet to be placed in doctor’s offices. The PI Committee has worked closely with the connection Committee to establish a permanent collection of stories that will be inserted in the Waiting Room Booklet, and has established a monthly EAI PI question for the intergroup report along with reach out calls to all new PI representatives starting up a new meeting. Specific outreaches the Committee conducted this year include
- NPACE Conference (Nurse Practitioners Associates for Continuing Education)
- Women’s Health and Elder Care Conference - June 14-16
- International Doctors in AA (IDAA) Conference - Aug 4-8 (we shipped 700 pamphlets and had an IDAA member volunteer to place them on an information table)
- Stop & Shop Employee Health Fair - Oct 14
- Focus on Primary Care - November 8, 9, 10
- Mass Conference for Women at the Boston Convention Center – December 9
The Teens and Twenties Committee maintained relationships with 7 of the16 colleges that had been contacts in 2010 and conducted 13 outreaches. Ten were at college health fairs, two were at a public high school, and one was at a recovery high school. There was a decline in fellowship satisfaction with service at health fairs, due to lack of interest in FA by health fair participants. As a result, the team has shifted their energy to in-class outreaches. Outreaches at the public high school were met with such enthusiasm by FA members and students as evidenced by heartwarming letters of praise by the students for the time and effort and information the speakers provided. In addition to the Committee being invited back for the 2012 year, they continue to explore more schools by requesting any FA members who are teachers in high schools or colleges to give them contact information for their school nurse or health teachers. Another highlight this year was attendance at the Maine Chapter. During this Chapter event, the Committee chaired a committee meeting with over 20 interested and enthusiastic members.
Maine had no Teens and Twenties Committee prior to the meeting, and since then the Chair has been contacted by several members making efforts to reach out to their local colleges. With these changes in our focus, the Committee developed a format to use for classroom outreaches. They will continue to update the website with these new documents so that the whole EAI fellowship can avail itself of them. They continue to have a member present on the Public Information monthly call.
The 12th Step Committee created a conference call for our Committee meeting at intergroup on Sunday mornings, and has invited fellows from EAI who live two or more hours away to call the Committee chair for information on how to participate. Also the Committee has gathered information from EAI contacts by asking “Do you receive the EAI report? Do you receive the blank 12th step Frontier Sponsorship list and the Frontier Phone list? If so, what do you do with these attachments? Who makes the on-line updates of your meeting information?” This process increased communication between EAI and affiliated meetings, and among FA members. It also helped to educate fellows on the purpose of the 12th step lists and enabled the Committee to hear what the needs of the fellowship are within EAI. The Committee created a link on the FA website for members to request the 12th Step list of people willing to do service work and announced via the EAI report how to find this link. The Committee continued their yearly tradition of Thank-a-thons on Thanksgiving Day. It also processed five guest speaker travel fund applications and approved four of them. It funded one person to go to Clermont, Florida; one person to go to Dunedin, Florida; and two people to go to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Vice-Chair. The vice-chair continues to focus on EAI communications and is working through the best ways to reach our diverse constituency. In addition to the writing and distribution of the monthly EAI Intergroup Report, the EAI monthly newsletter, the vice-chair is working with a small team to develop a robust EAI communication strategy that will ensure the delivery of relevant, timely information to our Fellows (right message, right audience, right time). The team is focused on three distinct areas: (a) determine what we need to communicate and why, (b) ascertain how we can best communicate what it is people need to know, and (c) identify ways on an ongoing basis to assess the effectiveness of our communications--and what needs to be changed and/or modified to achieve maximum effectiveness. In addition, the vice-chair is working closely with the EAI Contact assigned to each meeting. In December, we launched our inaugural EAI Contact monthly conference call that is designed to help EAI and its affiliated meetings’ contacts learn from each other what is working well with our communications, what we should start doing to assist EAI Contacts in the distribution of EAI information, and what we should stop doing that may impede our quest to provide relevant, timely communications to individual meetings. Our goal is to host these calls quarterly to continue to support meetings, gain feedback from them, and establish best practices.
Treasurer. Our Treasurer had a busy year. With the help of the Office Committee and WSI’s webmaster he accomplished the following: (a) worked out the bugs that were preventing electronic downloads of data from our bank account into Quickbooks Online; (b) improved tax compliance by including the Chapters in our tax returns going forward; (c) improved the budgeting and forecast processes; (d) improved the process for collecting mail, depositing and recording donation checks, paying bills, and responding to mail inquiries; (e)improved the expense reimbursement process to get people reimbursed faster; (f) implemented online filing of our Annual Report filings to the Secretary of State and brought our filings up to date, (g) implemented an efficient process for getting liability insurance certificates to EAI meetings that need them, (h) improved corporate governance by updating the out-of-date files and websites of the Secretary of State, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MA Department of Revenue, IRS, and Social Security Administration, and EAI name changes, address changes, officer changes, and several amendments to our articles of incorporation; (j) gave guidance to Chapters and meetings on record keeping, use of bank accounts, and general duties of treasurers; and (k) supported the 50/50 seventh tradition split and main motion initiatives.
For the 12 months ended 3/31/11, total revenue was $25,274.99, total expenses were $26,956.58, and the net loss was $1,681.59. As of 3/31/11, our cash balance was $15,680.05, which approximates a seven- month prudent reserve.
Southeastern Area Intergroup - Trina S., Chair
Southeastern Area Intergroup (SAI) previously known as Unity Intergroup, currently serves 16 meetings, 17 as of May 5, 2011. Our intergroup meets monthly with attendance averaging 26 members.
- We are listed in the calendar section on a recurring basis in 8 local publications.
- We established a link to FA on the websites for a local support group network, a local hospital’s Employee Assistance Program, a local NPR radio station, and a local bariatric clinic
- We currently have 30 active trifold racks in locations including churches; doctor’s, chiropractor’s, therapist’s, and dentist’s offices; supermarkets; salons; health clubs; and bariatric clinics.
- We created a tool to assist members with outreach efforts. It is currently being reviewed by the WSI Board for inclusion in the PI Kit.
- We purchased the trifold display and have participated in health fairs.
- We took a panel discussion to two bariatric clinics and spoke with a number of staff members, including surgeons, nurses, intake coordinators, exercise physiologists, dieticians, and psychologists.
- We were a part of an hour-long radio show on a local NPR station discussing food addiction. They published a blog devoted entirely to one of our member’s story, the 20 questions, and additional information on FA.
- We have recently included the Frontier Sponsor Sign-up list in our Intergroup minutes to be distributed to our literature tables in our meetings and at the Intergroup meeting itself.
- In November, we organized a Thank-a-thon on Thanksgiving Day for our local and traveling members. There were three consecutive meetings in the morning that offered experience, strength, and hope to roughly 60 members. We promote the newsletter Gratitude In Action, using it as a tool to increase support for our Frontier members. And we have implemented communicating the Monthly Meeting Health question in our Intergroup.
- The Office Committee distributes a monthly Intergroup-wide phone list via email. Individuals who want to be added to the phone list or removed must send an email to the Office Committee.
- Literature is provided for sale at the monthly Intergroup as a service to members.
- A writing team has been formed for connection.
- Our Intergroup voted to obtain liability insurance for the Intergroup and its officers/directors.
We recently passed a motion to send all excess funds on an annual basis, reviewed in February, to WSI, beyond one year of prudent reserve in addition to the 30% we currently send monthly.
Created a Continuing Effects Motion Manual updating our Intergroup bylaws as follows:
- Effective June 2011, Southeastern Area Intergroup Executive Board elections for officers shall be held at the next regularly scheduled FA-SAI monthly meeting following the Annual FA World Service Business Conference
- Effective February 2011, Southeastern Area Intergroup will assess its financial status in February of each year and send to WSI what it deems to be in excess of funds needed to finance the intergroup’s operations.
Suggested extensive changes to more closely resemble EAI’s/WSI’s bylaws.
Western Area Intergroup (WAI) - Marti M., Chair
WAI continues to strive to reach food addicts who still suffer and to provide support for existing FA meetings through dedicated and generous service. Our Intergroup (IG) consists of four main committees, Public Information/Media, Twelfth Step, Conference Resource, and Office. PI and 12th Step utilize several subcommittees to focus on outlying-area meetings, fellowship support, and community outreach. Australia is in the pre-chapter process. Attendance at monthly WAI meetings averages approximately 325 members.
There are approximately 219 meetings registered with WAI, up from 204 in 2010. The Office Committee maintains and updates weekly the WAI meeting directory posted on the FA website. Great effort is taken to obtain and maintain current information from each meeting so that FA is represented reliably to the public.
The Convention Resource Committee funded travel expenses for ten voting members to attend the 2010 FA Convention in Danvers. The 2011 Fellowship Convention Committee has been in planning mode for several months.
PI and 12th Step Committees and their subcommittees met periodically via conference call to discuss the committees’ goals and ongoing service activities.
12th STEP COMMITTEE
The Target Area Resource Subcommittee (TAR) serves 104 outlying meetings, relaying information regarding IG resources, activities, changes, best practices, website help, service opportunities, and a link to a wider scope of fellowship. The committee helps partner up smaller outlying-area meetings with larger ones, suggesting they review Meeting Best Practices and Healthy Meeting Guidelines on the website to strengthen their meetings.
Homebound meetings were taken to 12 members through contact with the committee chair and the service of ten area coordinators.
The connection Subcommittee’s purpose is to encourage subscriptions, submitting artwork and writing articles for connection magazine. It meets during the IG meeting time.
Fifteen Thank-a-thons were held on Thanksgiving Day – 11 in California, 1 in Texas, 2 in Northern California and 1 in Massachusetts ( part of EAI).
Other subcommittees in action include the Bay Area Outlying Area Speaker List, Bay Area Carpools for those traveling to outlying-area meetings, Speaker Travel Fund, Spanish Speaking Meeting Support, Outlying Area Speaker List, Universal Language List, and Frontier Sponsor List. Best Practices posted on the website include topics such as WSI Contacts and Meeting Set Up/Take-Down suggestions.
The Community Outreach Committee continues to spread FA recovery to healthcare professionals and lay groups in the community through information sessions and health fairs. Outreaches included attending 15 health fairs, speaking to 20 community groups, 5 classroom presentations, university panels and other events, and sending trifolds to various doctors’ offices, a nursing agency, and a career day.
Members are encouraged to place trifold racks in locations in the community and to post them (with permission) on public announcement boards in coffee shops, doctors’ offices, gyms, grocery stores, yoga studios, etc.
Members are appointed to maintain the racks to assure they are always full for the next newcomer.
Weblinks’ goal is to get the foodaddicts.org website listed as a resource on college, health, community resource, body image, etc., websites. They contacted 26 websites and succeeded in getting FA linked to many sites.
Through the efforts of MediaWatch members, 357 emails and letters have been sent to media authors, healthcare professionals, and other pertinent contacts regarding information about FA. As a result many articles have been written about FA over the past year. Some of the contacts resulted in a mention of FA in a CNN story. There was positive interest from a University of Florida professor studying food addiction in rats for 10 years. The committee had contact with a Scientific American author of an obesity crisis article who wanted more information. He was given information about meetings in his Boston area as well as being put in contact with our WSI Chair. Several other contacts with professionals such as the University of California at Davis, a Yale professor and author, and a professor and chair of the National Obesity Forum in the UK, have sparked interest in FA in the professional community.
- Income: $48,825
- Donations to FA/WSI: $14,000
- Expenditures: $47,471
The WAI Board expectantly looks forward to continuing focused outreach actions to reach potential newcomers. There is a continuing need for dedicated sponsors, healthy meetings, and a greater dependence on the direction and power of God. Abstinence, gratitude, and service equal a contented life free from the obsession of food.
Intergroup provides the opportunity for service – abstinence and gratitude are the gifts we receive.
Maine Chapter of EAI - Patty R., Chair
The Maine Chapter of FA Eastern Area Intergroup remained strong this past year. Attendance at chapter meetings was 17-20 every month. Chapter meetings are a center for discussions about questions about meeting health and reaching newcomers more effectively.
- We held a Board Retreat, with 100% attendance.
- Two new FA meetings were started in Ellsworth and Lewiston. One meeting closed during this time period.
- Maine Meeting Support Day — We held our fourth annual Maine Meeting Support Day. Approximately 80 people attended the event with representation from every meeting within the Chapter as well as FA members from MA, NY and TN. The day included a Chapter meeting in which we broke out into separate committee meetings and discussed establishing a 12th Step Committee. We held a panel discussion on unity in the fellowship and small-group discussions about service.
- Wrote monthly Chapter Highlights to be distributed to meetings, with separate sections to be read during meeting announcements and more detailed service information for business meetings.
- Continued to circulate a 12th Step Speakers List of anyone with 90 days or more of abstinence who is willing to travel to lead a meeting.
- Continued the Meeting Liaison phone calls as a communication link between the Chapter and local groups, helping to ensure the meeting contact information is accurate and answering questions such as how to find information on the web and what is the role of the Chapter Contact.
- Beginning Balance (6-1-10): $1,232.10
- Total Year Deposits: $8,045.49
- Total Year Expenses: $6,727.92
- Year End Balance: $2,549.67
- Helped many meetings through the change to a Web & Directory Contact and demonstrated how to make changes on the website. Provided hands-on assistance to members at the EAI Chapter Support Day and the Maine Meeting Support Day.
- Listed the Maine Information Line phone number in New Hampshire phone directories in recognition that the Maine Chapter now includes two meetings in NH.
- We added a 15-minute orientation session before each Chapter meeting to introduce newcomers to the Chapter.
- Medical/Professional Outreach — We presented an information session for health care professionals at Nordx lab in Scarborough and an information session for employees of the City of Westbrook, both at their suggestion.
- Health Fairs — Participated in one health fair sponsored by Inland Hospital in Waterville. We purchased a tablecloth to use for these fairs so that our table looks more presentable.
- FA Information Line — Volunteers for our information phone line answered about 40 voicemail requests over the year, but more importantly, each month the phone line received approximately 30 incoming calls for a total of about 300. Information about upcoming PI meetings was added to the information line as they were scheduled.
- Brochure Distribution — Approximately 80 brochure racks were purchased and distributed to local groups along with the first supply of FA Maine Chapter Meeting Directories. Calls for refills have been received from doctors’ offices and others. We’re now working with meetings to better track where those brochure racks are and who is responsible for keeping them filled.
- We held between 8 and 11 FA Information Sessions in both September/October and January/February. Designed a special brochure that listed all the information sessions and surrounding weekly meetings.
- Reviewed a motion for the FA Business Convention that was submitted by a local group. Reported to the Board a recommendation that the motion ought not to be considered. The Board agreed with that recommendation, and the motion was not passed on to WSI.
- The EAI Chapter Liaison reads highlights of the EAI Report and gives additional highlights from a Chapter member who attends the monthly EAI meetings.
- We hosted the Eastern Area Intergroup Chapter Support Day, with nearly 150 people from MA, NH, NY, NC, OH and FL. Events included a Chapter and Intergroup Exchange, fellowship dinner and FA meeting on Saturday, followed by a ME Chapter meeting, Intergroup Committee meeting, and panel discussions on Sunday.
Michigan Chapter of EAI - Lynn N., Chair
The Michigan Chapter covers the entire state. We have 35 meetings in the Lower Peninsula. At our chapter meetings the attendance varies from 12-20 members. We are still a young chapter and are keeping it very simple. We focus on what can help the newcomers. The activities that we continue to be involved in and a few new ones are
- Literature racks and trifolds to many doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and local hospitals. As a result many more newcomers than last year have found their way to our local meetings.
- Letters to the professionals have been mailed out, and we encourage members to take to their personal professionals.
- Information Sessions were held in four different areas.
- Health Fairs have been a new area of growth for us. We attended eleven Health Fairs throughout the state.
- Board Members attend the WSI Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee conference calls. It helps to receive a wealth of information for our chapter and therefore FA as a whole in our state.
- Fellowship Support Day was well attended again this year. This was our second annual support day.
- We have supported new meetings in helping them to get started.
- We support an 800 phone number which is now answered on the phone line or over the