AFG, Inc. Strategic Plan & Bylaws
Working within the framework of Al‑Anon’s Legacies, the Board, Executive Committee, and Senior World Service Office Staff have developed the AFG, Inc. Mission Statement, Envisioned Future, and Strategic Goals to assist the World Service Office in the work it carries out on behalf of Al‑Anon Family Groups.
As a non-profit organization, AFG, Inc. operates in accordance with its Bylaws, which represent the Board’s legal agreement with our members.
Letters from the Chairperson of the Board
Letters containing information about the most recent Board, Policy, and Finance Committee Meetings.
Chairperson of the Board Letter – Section View
Dear Al-Anon and Alateen members,
With the start of a new decade this January 2020, it is a pleasure to welcome our new Panel 60 Delegates as members of our largest representative group conscience, the World Service Conference (WSC). As members of the WSC, Panel 60 will be joining Panel 59 and Panel 58 Delegates, At-Large members of the Executive Committee, members of the Board of Trustees, and World Service Office (WSO) Staff Conference members in Virginia Beach April 20-24. Please know that we all wish you success and we are all here to support you in any way that we can.
The attendees of a WSC always appreciate hearing from the fellowship. If you are a member who would like to send your encouragement or greeting through a card or a package, the mailing address is:
Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
3501 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Please ask any members who wish to mail their greetings to include Hold for WSC 4/20-4/24, 2020 in the address and to include the designee’s name and address in the return address section of the envelope. Please ensure your mail arrives no later than April 23 and not prior to April 14. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful warm wishes. They are truly appreciated.
The January 2020 Board Week was the launch of a trial for shortening Board Week by one full calendar day as was approved at the October 2019 Board meeting. We began by holding web conferencing meetings for selected committees the week prior to meeting face-to-face. On Tuesday, January 21, we started Board Week at the WSO with a morning four-hour session on Board Development presented by a consultant, Mark Engle of Association Management Center. Mark led the Board through exercises on examining Board attributes, agendas, board culture, time management, stewardship, fiduciary responsibilities, and more. This session proved very enlightening in aiding the Board to move forward in our effort to be a more strategic, thinking Board and shorten our agendas. Mark talked to us about letting go and “sunsetting” some of our routine ways of thinking and operating in order to allow change to evolve. The Board held a discussion later in the week and a motion was approved to eliminate the liaison Trustee positions on the Literature Committee, Forum Editorial Advisory Committee, and the Public Outreach Committee effective following the Annual Board Meeting in April 2020. The Board of Trustees (BOT) will continue to assess and evaluate how to function as a high-performing Board while managing our time and travel commitments.
The 2020 A.A. International Convention will be held in Detroit, Michigan on July 2-5, 2020. Online registration has been open since September, and A.A. is providing us weekly updates on Al-Anon and Alateen registrations.
Four members of WSO Staff responsible for the Al-Anon program at the Convention—the Al-Anon Convention Chair, Programs & Speaker Coordinator, Welcome Committee & Training Coordinator, and the Planning & Speaker Logistics Coordinator— will travel to Detroit to attend a Convention Planning meeting and the Volunteer Kick-off event, which is scheduled for February 8, 2020. Excitement is building!
The TEAM Event Replacement Task Force has been busy diligently seeking input on what would serve the fellowship best in replacing TEAM Events. A survey was created and sent out to all Delegates, earnestly requesting their responses in order to provide the Board with information on what direction to take. A consensus was taken by the Board at the January meeting to await Delegate responses before continuing the conversation to allow their insights to be considered. More will be revealed!
We are very excited about the newly implemented 2020 WSC Syllabus. As the documents listed in this guide are posted, we will link them to the Syllabus. Please be sure to check it often, as it is being updated continually.
The Director of Finance & Operations presented the financial report for the period ending December 31, 2019 with comparative figures for the prior year.
The Board approved the 2020 Preliminary Budget as presented and approved funding the 2020 Strategic Initiatives with the Reserve Fund as special projects.
Thank you to all our members for your contributions during 2019, especially a big thank you for your response during December as it was our largest donation month ever! Your donations take Al-Anon places that you cannot go. Thank you!
The takeaway responses from Road Trip! You and Your Board Connect, which was held in Seattle in October 2019, were reviewed and discussed. All the comments are greatly appreciated as they provide us with insight on what we did well and what we could improve on. Thank you to all who traveled from near and far to be with us this year. My comment upon reading your responses was, “Wow, I just feel like I’ve attended a really good meeting!”
Now for the exciting announcement: Road Trip! You and Your Board Connect will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on October 31, 2020. We are all looking forward to being in Cleveland and the BOT and At-Large Executive Committee members sincerely hope you will join us.
Information regarding the 2021 Road Trip! and how an Area can submit to serve as the Host Area will be presented during the 2020 WSC.
The Executive Director presented the Board with background on a Staff recommendation to establish an Alateen Certification program for WSO Staff which would require successful completion of national background checks and professional training on legal requirements of WSO Staff members involved with Alateen.
The Board held an in-depth discussion on what level of training is optimal for Staff representing the legal entity of AFG, Inc. considering the liability and financial risks. The Board agreed the WSO Staff should demonstrate the best possible standard going forward and approved a motion to authorize the WSO to establish an Al-Anon Member Involved in Alateen Service recertification and training program (“WSO AMIAS Program”) for all WSO Staff members who may be required to work with teenagers in a capacity representing AFG, Inc., including voting members of the WSC Administrative Staff and WSO Staff whose roles involve guiding Areas within the WSC Structure as relates to Alateen. The WSO AMIAS Program shall minimally comply with the Minimum Safety and Behavior Requirements stipulated in the 2003 Alateen Motion from the Board of Trustees.
Each year in January, the BOT meets with the Regional Trustee and Trustee at Large candidates. For the second year, the “interview luncheon” was held at the WSO, allowing candidates to meet the BOT, to demonstrate their basic technology skills, and to tour the WSO. Each candidate shared a ten-minute talk and presented a brief technology presentation. This was followed by a luncheon with the entire Board and all candidates, providing them an opportunity to mingle. Following lunch, five roundtable interviews panels were conducted providing the candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their assets and capabilities. The Board is responsible for ensuring that “This [Nominating] Committee aids the Trustees in discharging their prime obligation to see that all vacancies within the Board of Trustees or its Executive Committees are filled with those of the greatest possible competence, stability and industry” as stated on page 205 of the 2018-2021 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual version two (2) (P-24/27). We sincerely appreciate the talents of all the candidates and applaud the courage of all who came forward.
The list of nominees to be presented to the World Service Conference for traditional approval of Regional Trustees, Trustees at Large, and Board Officers are:
Diane B., US South Central (First three-year term)
Cindy M., US Southwest (First three-year term)
Trustee at Large:
Teri M. (Second three-year term)
Jeryl W. (First three-year term)
Lynette K. Chairperson of the Board
Rosie M. Vice Chairperson
Cathy T. Treasurer
Debbie G. (Second one-year term)
Karen W.-P. (Second one-year term)
Terry F. (First one-year term)
Chairperson of the Executive Committee:
Debbie G. (One-year term)
Chairperson of the Executive Committee for Real Property Management (ECRPM):
Katherine R. (One-year term)
Following Traditional approval, the Board may elect the nominees at the Annual Meeting following the WSC.
Once again, a special appointment process will be utilized for a member of the ECRPM. The Nominating Committee is asking for your help in finding a suitable candidate for an At-Large member to serve on the ECRPM. The term will begin following the Annual Board Meeting in April 2020. Résumés are due to the WSO by March 15, 2020.
The Executive Committee Member Skills & Résumé Task Force presented their report to the Board in January. After this document was reviewed by the entire Board and suggested changes were implemented, a motion was approved to accept the revised At-Large Executive Committee résumé as amended. This new résumé will be utilized for the upcoming applicants.
The ICC has met several times via web conferencing including, for the first time, its quarterly meeting which is held just prior to Board Week. Much discussion and work has revolved around preparation for the International Al-Anon General Services Meeting (IAGSM) which will be held in October 2020 in London, England. The theme for the IAGSM will be “Practicing Universal Principles with 20|20 Vision.” The agenda is now close to completion, and the invitations to speakers and presenters will be issued shortly.
The Strategic Planning session opened with the Executive Director presenting an update on the 2019 Strategies and the milestones achieved—and there have been many. The Board has been given access to the 2019 Strategies in Asana, which is the program Staff are using to track Strategies’ progress. The Board will also be given access to the 2020 Strategies. Further discussion was held on revisiting the demand on Staff capacity and the importance of existing and critical WSO programs and services. Following these discussions, the Board presented the Staff with their top 2021 Objectives. This timely presentation allows Staff the opportunity to develop Strategies and evaluate the capabilities required to achieve them before bringing them to the Board for consideration and approval. The work continues.
The past practice of the Board has been to conduct Delegate calls two weeks following the posting of this letter. These calls were initiated to allow Delegates the opportunity to ask questions or solicit more clarification, if it was required, after reading the letter. It was also hoped that these calls may aide in forming closer relationships between the Trustees and Delegates by fostering communication and sharing of information. In this last quarter, we received 53 responses and 14 non-responses to our calls.
The Delegate Questions included in the Chairperson of the Board (COB) Letter each quarter were intended to provide an avenue for the Trustees to receive input from the Delegates on matters pertaining to the Board’s work.
During the October Board meeting, a consensus was taken to ask the Delegates if they find the quarterly Delegate Questions useful. From the responses, we realized we have been delinquent in providing clarification on the intent of those questions. Following a lengthy discussion, the Board felt it was not beneficial to continue with the Delegate Questions each quarter and elected to end this practice. A motion was approved to eliminate the Delegate questions in the COB Letter. Thank you to everyone who provided the Board with so much valuable information through the years.
The Board and the WSO have experienced and continue to experience many great changes. Change is not always comfortable for everyone and can bring about mixed emotions and sometimes conflict, but without it we cannot grow. “Growth cannot occur without change, and our history as a fellowship is a long, continual series of changes.” from Many Voices, One Journey, (B-31) page 391. I am so proud and grateful to all our members, trusted Volunteers, and our Staff who work tirelessly and who demonstrate their courage to change the things they can. I believe “Dreaming Big with 20|20 Vision” is much more than just a motto—it has become our reality.
Gail G., Chairperson
Board of Trustees, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.