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 members,
It is my pleasure to share with you the highlights from the July 2019 Board Week. Along with this letter, you will be receiving updates from the Policy Chairperson, a Finance update from the Treasurer, and an update from the Conference Leadership Team (CLT).
The International Coordination Committee met on Monday, October 14 and among other topics, spent time working on the 2020 International Al‑Anon General Services Meeting (IAGSM) theme. Using a combination of an idea brought back from the 2019 European Zonal Meeting and the upcoming 2020 World Service Conference (WSC) theme, the ICC arrived at the 2020 IAGSM theme: “Practicing Universal Principles with 20|20 Vision.” The IAGSM will be held in London, England in October 2020. Also, during the ICC meeting an update from the European Zonal Meeting (EZM) was reported. The EZM was held in Ankaran, Slovenia on September 20‑22, 2019. It was attended by 15 countries, 17 structures, 32 Delegates speaking 30 languages. The Associate Director—International and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees attended from the WSO. This meeting is conducted in English, as a common language. Discussions included the General Service Office (GSO) KBDM on the topic “Representation, through voice and vote, for international groups at the World Service Conference.” The deadline for submission of the KBDM was extended to December 1, 2019 as several GSOs were requesting additional time. The ICC will compile all the responses and discuss the findings at the January ICC meeting. On October 25‑27, 2019 the Director of Programs and a Spanish‑speaking Trustee will be attending the Ibero American Zonal Meeting in Mexico City, and we look forward to hearing their report. Unfortunately, we are not able to attend, either in person or virtually, the Central American Zonal Meeting which will be held in El Salvador in November this year. Our hope is that by the time this meeting occurs again in two years we will have found a way to overcome all the obstacles blocking us from participating.
The Nominating Committing met for a full day and reviewed all the resumes which had been submitted for Trustees at Large, for Regional Trustee for US Northwest, US South Central, US Southwest, and for the Executive Committee for Real Property. The Nominating Committee works in a confidential and spiritual atmosphere and the sole purpose of the committee is to aid the Board of Trustees in discharging its primary obligation in filling all vacancies within the Board of Trustees or its Executive Committees with those of the greatest possible competency, stability, and industry. The Nominating Committee works in cooperation with the confidential work of the Conference Committee on Trustees and the Regional Committees on Trustees, all of which are Delegate‑only committees. The Nominating Committee makes recommendations that will determine, to a large extent, the continuous success of our services and refuses to accept casual recommendations in its selection of candidates. Members selected to move forward for further consideration in the Trustee nomination process will be invited to meet with the full Board in January. Names of those nominated to serve will be announced in the January COB letter.
Executive Committee At‑Large member resumes are due by January 1, 2020. The Executive Committee is composed of three Al‑Anon members ‑ preferably not Trustees ‑ elected by the Board, the Executive Director, an Al‑Anon member from the administrative Staff of the WSO, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, a member of the Board of Trustees (often the Policy Chairperson), and the Chairperson of the Board who serves in an ex‑officio capacity with voice but no vote. The Chairperson of the Executive Committee is elected by the Board of Trustees. In order to accomplish the duties bestowed on them, the Executive Committee meets monthly, either face to face or through web conferencing. For more information on the duties and responsibilities of this Committee, please see Concept Eight in the 2018‑2021 Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P-24/27). If you feel you possess the skill sets and you have the time to serve, please consider submitting a resume as an At‑Large member of the Executive Committee.
At‑Large Committee members can live anywhere in the WSC Structure which incorporates the United States, including Puerto Rico, Canada, and Bermuda. The WSO is currently accepting résumés for the following Committees. Click on the link to review each Committee’s Guideline.
The deadline for résumé submission for all At‑Large Committee members is January 1, 2020. To be considered for a position as an At‑Large Committee Member, please submit this résumé. New At‑Large members begin their assignment in May and serve through April.
The purpose of the Proactive Trustee Visits is to personally connect with the Areas so that Area members realize how important they are as part of the worldwide fellowship of Al‑Anon Family Groups and to share with them how they are served and supported by our Board of Trustees and our World Service Office, Al‑Anon’s service center, i.e., clearinghouse.
Four Areas have received Proactive Trustee Visits this year: Wyoming, Ontario North, Alaska, and Ontario South. The only Area remaining which is eligible for a Proactive Trustee Visit is Quebec West, and that is scheduled to be held in either June or October of 2020. Thank you to all the Areas for your warm hospitality and enthusiasm which has been demonstrated during these visits. We sincerely hope that all members have benefited in some fashion from this connection, as I know the Trustees have.
In 2018, a Board Task Force was formed to look at restructuring TEAM Events. The Task Force was made up of WSO Volunteers and Staff. During the time the Task Force was working on improvements to TEAM Events, the WSO Staff was looking into ways to more efficiently use its resources. One of the ways they suggested was to not have Staff members participate in planning TEAM events. Given that there were up to nine TEAM Events per year and Staff were planning and participating in all of them, it would free up Staff time for other valuable Al‑Anon work. During follow‑up discussions, the Board decided to discontinue TEAM events and began to look at options for a new way for members to interact with Staff and Volunteers. Following our July 2019 Board Meeting and a KBDM exercise by the whole Board, a Task Force was created to come up with the next exciting, engaging, and energizing mode of connecting WSO Staff and Volunteers with other Al‑Anon members. The Task Force has been working on a variety of ideas and we hope to be able to tell you more by the time we reach the 2020 WSC.
The Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) International Convention with Al‑Anon participation is being held in Detroit, Michigan on July 2‑5, 2020. Online registration has been open since September 9, 2019 and we currently have 1,064 Al‑Anons and 28 Alateens registered. It is with great pleasure that we announce the Program includes two large Al‑Anon speaker meetings which will be provided with interpretation in Spanish and French. We are excited and looking forward to seeing you there.
It is with great relief that we are able to announce the availability date for printed version of the 2018‑2021 Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P‑24/27) version two (2). The online version two (2) Manual in all three languages is on schedule to be posted on November 22, 2019 as committed to the World Service Conference (WSC) members earlier in the year. The printed version will be available for shipping in all three languages on January 31, 2020. The new version will be identified with version two (2) on the title page and will contain changes approved at the 2017 WSC and corrections based on previous WSC motions.
Version two (2) includes extensive changes across all sections of the Manual; therefore, change pages will not be available to download for this version. Those wishing to have a current printed copy of the Service Manual will need to purchase version two (2) from their local LDC or the WSO.
As I stated at the 2019 World Service Conference, I regret the challenges we have experienced in publishing and apologize for the long delay in the delivery. I’m grateful to report that we now have systems, checks, and balances in place to ensure these issues don’t occur in future. Thank you again for your understanding and patience.
Recognizing the difficulty imposed on Spanish and French groups in not having a Spanish and French version of the 2018‑2021 Al‑Anon/Alateen Service Manual available, the Board of Trustees approved a motion to send a complimentary printed copy of version two (2) in the appropriate language to groups registered with the WSO as Spanish‑ and French‑speaking. These printed copies will be mailed in February 2020. We regret the delay and appreciate these groups’ patience and interest in having access to current World Service Conference decisions and policies.
In 2018, the Board formerly approved a new Strategic Plan. As a result of the work done by the Board, the World Service Office Strategic Leadership Team, and At‑Large Executive Committee members—with the assistance of a strategic planning consultant— identified the forward direction for the organization and WSO operations. It was clarified that the Board is responsible for the “What,” strategic direction, and the Staff is responsible for the “How,” implementing the “What”.
During the October 2019 Board meeting, the Staff provided the Board of Trustees updates on the 2019 Strategies which they had been, and in many cases, continue to work on. They also provided insights into how these Strategies impact members, Staff capacity, and/or budget. Following this presentation, Staff provided the Board with a picture of the 2020 Strategies on which they will focus. Among these are:
- Enhanced trilingual communication through s and a proposal to begin clearing the backlog of translation for CAL in Spanish and French;
- A needs assessment into how best to support and communicate with International structures;
- A competitive analysis to identify ways to help the public understand why Al‑Anon is the most effective resource for recovery for those effected by the family disease of alcoholism;
- Expansion of our International meeting search locator;
- Increased protection of our Al‑Anon name from trademark and copyright violations.
Of course, many Strategies started in 2019 will be ongoing such as continued translation of the Annual Report in all three language, the development of an Al‑Anon mobile app which we hope to launch in the first half of 2020, launch of the improved Al‑Anon LinkedIn page, and increased Al‑Anon YouTube presence. The WSO has been working at a full-on, rapid pace, and we are seeing evidence of this effort in the many changes which are occurring. The Board of Trustees is currently identifying its priorities for 2021 and these will be presented to the Staff at the January Board meeting.
At the end of October Board Week, we held the sixth annual Road Trip! You and Your Board Connect event in Seattle, Washington. This event provides members with an opportunity to spend an interactive day with the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee members. There were presentations, personal sharings, roundtable discussions, and lots of fellowship—and I’m pretty confident in adding some fun! On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee members, I would like to thank the Washington Area for hosting this event. Registration for the day totaled 126 and a huge thank you to all the members who attended. It is always so uplifting to be in a room full of Al‑Anon members, whether local or with those who travelled from far and wide, to join together and experience that spiritual connection. The flow of information and strength is what happens when we meet. As is often the case, the Board of Trustees and At‑Large Executive Committee members feel they came away with much more than they shared.
We are now already thinking about next year: Road Trip! You and Your Board Connect will be held on October 31, 2020. We will be unveiling the location after the January 2020 Board Meeting. In order to make this event as successful as possible, we urge everyone who was in attendance in Seattle to fill out that evaluation form and submit it. Thank you again.
Two weeks following the posting of this letter, the Trustees will begin contacting their assigned Delegates. The purpose of this contact is to allow Trustees to offer clarification of any information contained in the letter. If so desired, they will provide an opportunity for the Board to hear Delegate comments on topics we are looking at. If Delegates prefer not to have a Trustee phone them, they can let the Trustee know when initial contact is made, and we will honor that. We do appreciate how busy life can be; however, in the spirit of unity, we do seem to have the most success when we talk to each other and reason things out. Everyone’s opinions, comments, and insights are important. Therefore, we are asking current Delegates to share their responses to the following questions when they are contacted by a Trustee in the upcoming weeks:
- Do you find the quarterly Delegate Questions useful?
- Would you like to see a synopsis of the Delegate calls on AFG Connects?
I would like to close this letter with a declaration of appreciation to the Panel 57 Delegates who will soon be leaving their current roles. We not only appreciate, but we value your commitment and dedication plus all the service which you have provided to the Al‑Anon Family Groups. We wish you the best, and our hope would be for you to find your next avenue of continued growth and strength. (Of course, we can supply you with a list of opportunities, if you wish!!)
Best wishes to all,
Gail G., Chairperson
Board of Trustees, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.