Annual Report - 2012
Chair’s Report - Elissa P.
The World Service 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.
The in-person board meeting in October resulted in the creation of four small working groups. These groups met separately, outside of regular board meetings, to discuss issues related to the Book, Design, the Frontier/Meetings, and planning for a more effective convention. The working groups presented their progress at the monthly board meetings for all to discuss. This proved to be a very useful and productive process.
In short, this has been an exciting year! As you all know, thanks to some very dedicated individuals, our website went live in January. Simultaneously, thanks to many other dedicated individuals, the FA book was thoroughly vetted and printed copies are now en route to Massachusetts and will be ready for purchase on June 7th. Wow!
And that’s not all. . . The remainder of this report gives a detailed overview of the incredible work that has gone on all year long. The combined efforts of each committee chair and his/her committee members clearly demonstrate the meaning of “gratitude in action.” All have served so graciously. As a fellowship, we are truly blessed. No doubt, we will continue to reach the still suffering food addicts.
Serving as chair is an absolute privilege. Seeing ideas emerge and develop by individuals who are whole-heartedly invested in bettering FA as a whole, completely fills me up. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve. This experience is in many ways intangible and indescribable, and I sincerely look forward to doing it again in the year ahead.
Vice-Chair’s Report - David I.
The work of the vice-chair is predominantly to support the chair and the various board committees in carrying out their respective responsibilities. The vice-chair sits on the executive committee, the finance committee, and chairs the personnel committee. This year I also have been sitting on the WSB book publishing and distribution committee.
Weekly calls with the chair enabled her to gain perspective and support in her continued extensive responsibilities.
This year saw the organization launch a new website and publish the new FA book. I was able to give the office staff support in managing the web project and the myriad of responsibilities that this entailed, and help out the interim Office Chair in the completion of the web site.
On the Book Committee, I assisted in locating and securing a publisher and helped appoint a committee chair responsible for the publishing and distribution of the new FA book.
The Personnel Committee, which I chair, is in the beginning stages of finding another paid position for a variety of administrative and editing duties. We help provide the hiring guidelines to the chair responsible for hiring this person.
I chaired a committee that is responsible for providing the organization with the Meeting Guidelines, a guide to help keep meetings strong.
It’s been a wonderful year with an amazing, hard-working Board and Board committees. We have accomplished an unbelievable amount as an organization this past twelve months, and I am proud to be a part of this growing, maturing fellowship.
Treasurer’s Report - Rosa R.
- Provided monthly financial reports and analysis to WSI Board. Worked with Finance Committee in reviewing the monthly financial reports and the budget. Applied the FA WSI financial methods: 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 projects such as the FA Book, participation in national health fair events, the new FA logo, the new FA website design, and literature translations. Budgets for the projects were also reviewed and monitored.
- Worked with WSI committee chairs to review the budget for the next fiscal year (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).
- Worked with FA Book Publishing Committee to support publication, release, and sales planning for the new FA Book.
Bylaws Committee - Sue H., Chair
The Bylaws Committee began writing three proposals for motions for the 2013 Business Convention. After some consideration, it was decided that the motions were not needed after all. The changes that were being put forth had already been approved at previous conventions through acceptance of previous motions and would have been redundant. Therefore, at this 2013 Business Convention, there will be no motions to vote on.
The WSB Manual has been updated and loaded onto the new website.
The Standing Committee Procedures are in the process of being edited and will be loaded when completed.
Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee - Misch E, Chair
Over the past year, the Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (CISC) meetings have followed a format that was begun four years ago – one of informative meetings on subjects pertinent to developing strong local meetings, chapters and intergroups. This format was helpful not only in highlighting successful activities but in also bringing to light areas that needed revising. The following bullet points will map the evolution this has brought to this committee:
- Over the past four years, three chapters have closed their doors – the Central Florida Chapter, the South Florida Chapter, and now the Michigan Chapter.
- Groups in areas distant from an intergroup attempted to organize as pre- chapters, hoping to evolve into a chapter. They had so many problems they abandoned the idea of pre-chapters and, upon the recommendation of this committee, opted to form local service groups.
- In light of the challenges of the pre-chapters, work on The Chapter Manual was halted pending future re-evaluation. Future work on this manual will probably evolve from the intergroups as they guide the local service areas.
- Intergroups are stepping up their support of the local service areas and existing Chapters. The former Southeastern Area Intergroup transitioned from being an intergroup to becoming a chapter and was well assisted by the Eastern Area Intergroup.
- The new FA website now provides comprehensive information for meetings, individuals and public information. It is user-friendly and groups and individuals formerly relying on the CISC meetings to share best practices and answer questions may now access the information easily on the website. This is in addition, of course, to participation with their intergroups and chapters.
This has brought the Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (CISC) to a new paradigm. Beginning in the 2013-2014 year, the CISC will meet every other month and the format will be determined by the CISC chair and chairs of the intergroup Chapter Support Committees. This partnership with the intergroups will allow the content to be pertinent to the work being done by the intergroups with chapters and local service areas. The CISC chair will assist these intergroup committee chairs and be the point person for communication to and from the World Service Board. If there is a need for collaboration between the intergroups and chapters, the CISC chair will call a meeting of the intergroup and chapter chairs to discuss issues; these meetings will not be scheduled except on the basis of need. The CISC meetings will continue to be open to anyone who would like to attend.
connection Committee - Anna B., Chair
- Last fiscal year (7/1/11-6/30/12), connection showed a net loss of $4,424. As of March 1, connection’s finances have improved. We may even break even this fiscal year (7/1/12-6/30/13). We only need 149 new subscribers to reach that number. If you would like to support the magazine -- subscribe today at www.foodaddicts.org. Need help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to give you a hand!
- The EAI connection Committee has been holding 90-minute Writing Sessions throughout their area. Recently, we've held sessions in New Hampshire and Cape Cod, and our next session is scheduled for Western Massachusetts in late April. Fellows in Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, New York City, and Washington D.C. are also working on dates to bring members together to share their stories in print. The EAI Committee is now experimenting with ways to involve FA's visual artists in Design Sessions. The group dynamic and unique prompts encourage new and distinctive results - different than those we get from sitting in our homes, creating on our own.
- If you would like to write for the connection there are writing guidelines available at www.foodaddicts.org (under Magazine/Get Involved) and writing coaches happy to help you.
- The next connection rep conference call is Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 5pm PST/ 8pm EST.
- connection is also looking for artists, illustrators and photographers. There are artists’ guidelines at www.foodaddicts.org (under Magazine/Get Involved).
- For more information on any of the above, please email email@example.com.
Convention Planning Committee - Adrienne P., Chair
Planning for the 2013 World Service Business Convention, taking place from June 7th to 9th at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, (formerly The CoCo Keys Hotel and Water Resort) 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 May 10th. No meal plans will be available for purchase onsite, but onsite registration will be open (this will include a late fee).
Having spent the last several years laying the foundation of our organization, we have the unique opportunity this year to focus almost entirely on reaching the newcomer. There are many ways in which we can each do our part to get to the true business at hand -- helping to save the lives of those who are afflicted with the disease of food addiction.
In addition to our standard agenda items, (Friday afternoon qualifications, Friday night sharing meeting, committee meetings, elections, remarks, etc.) the convention will also be comprised of the following:
- The Saturday morning business session will include a walk-through of the newly-designed website, as well as an overview of the marketing plan for the FA book. Friday, June 7th, will mark the official private release to the fellowship! The book will be available for sale all weekend
- The Saturday afternoon business session will be devoted entirely to discussing the resources and programs that FA uses to support the fellowship. These will be reviewed, suggestions will be encouraged, and commitments to service will be sought in an effort to reach the food addict who still suffers. There will be three 50-minute sessions designed to create dialogue regarding:
- public information and reaching doctors and the professional community;
- activities for strengthening our fellowship at home and on the frontier; and
- making use of the supportive resources available to our
- The Sunday morning business session will include a 90-minute sharing All FA members with 15 or more years of continuous abstinence are invited to share regarding how service has helped keep them abstinent, expand their faith in a higher power, and strengthen their recovery. Members with continuous abstinence are not leaders, nor do they bring expertise of any kind. But, they do bring long-term experience. Many FA members do not have, and have never had, exposure to this kind of strength. Without it, it is easy to lose connection to our roots, and to those who helped FA become FA. Adding this to the main agenda of the Convention allows all FA members, and especially those who have traveled from remote areas, to experience this wisdom first-hand.
- And finally, please plan to attend the Saturday Evening ‘Mocktail’ Party, complete with mingling, background music, party games, and the after dinner delight of simply being with one another. Please come in your favorite festive attire for an evening of
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 will be emailed to all convention registrants.
If you have any questions prior to the convention, please contact the WSB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next year‘s Business Convention will most likely be held at the same location in Danvers, MA, dates to be announced.
2014 FELLOWSHIP CONVENTION
We are pleased to announce the next FA Fellowship Convention will be held on October 24th-26th 2014, at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel, in Santa Clara, CA.
All are welcome and we hope this gives everyone plenty of time to consider the possibility and make plans to attend.
Literature Committee - Jane M., Chair Accomplishments
- Secured speakers for the June 2013 Business Convention in Danvers, MA.
- CD’s withdrawn: “Honesty Brings Freedom”.
- While preserving anonymity, the committee has completed subtitles for all of the CDs recorded in English. These subtitles are posted on the website to provide FA members with more information when purchasing
- 4 CDs added from the 2012 Business convention: Leaving Despondency Behind, The Invisible Man, It’s Worth It, A Matter of Life and Death.
At the time of this writing, the entire book has been read and approved by the WSB and the Literature Committee. This includes the Introductory material, 31 stories, Twelve Steps section and Appendix.
Andrea Gray was hired as the graphic/book designer and Jill Mason was hired as the professional editor.
During this time, the book was reviewed many times over by the Writing/Editing Sub-committee and by an additional Literature Committee member as well as three readers outside of FA. All feedback was integrated and submitted for another round of reviews by the Writing/Editing Sub-committee. The sub-committee finished this editing process and submitted the text to Andrea Gray who designed the book. Following completion of the design process, the sub-committee, in addition to a member of the Design Committee, reviewed the book one more time, and all edits were sent to the professional writer. The writer has now gone through every single page of the book with the professional editor who did one last professional proof (as per the designer and editor’s recommendation), and the designer is now putting the finishing touches on the book. The professional writer will review the changes one last time and the book will be submitted to the printer by March 31.
The Writing/Editing Sub-committee worked with the graphic designer and presented a cover, interior text sample, title page, paper stock and cover material to the Literature Committee and WSB for approval.
The Design Sub-committee has selected the printer and distributor. Contract negotiations are still to be finalized. Five thousand copies of the book will be printed by May 15. The books will be ready for sale at the convention in June-G-d willing! The book will be sold on our website and at the convention for $12.00.
Pamphlets and New Literature Requests
New literature development is on hold pending completion of the FA Book.
Twenty-one pamphlets in three were re-designed with the new FA logo and look:
The Twenty Questions (English, Spanish, German), Anorexic/Bulimic There is Hope, Before You Take that Bite (English and Spanish), There is a Solution (English, Spanish, German); Are You Having Trouble Controlling the Way You Eat (English, Spanish, German); Just for Today (English and Spanish), Men in Recovery, Seventh Tradition, To Our Families and Friends; Teens and Twenties; Some Thoughts on Sponsoring (English, Spanish, and German)
The main activity from July-January included the launching of the new website. From January-March, the office work revolved around releasing the re- registration process to the body.
Public Information Committee - Kris M., Chair
- The new Social Media and Paid Advertising guidelines were distributed to the fellowship and posted on the new FA website along with the Anonymity Letter.
- The HealthcareWatch sub-committee sent letters to over 100 doctors, physicians, and treatment centers.
- Events: HealthcareWatch-supported events included:
- NEDA (National Association of Eating Disorders) walks in Tampa Bay, FL and San Jose,
- Diabetes Expos in Minneapolis, MN, Los Angeles, CA, Santa Clara, CA, and Seattle,
- Attended events included: The Southern Obesity Conference in Charlotte, NC, Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) Conference in Bethesda, MD, Toronto Nurse Practitioner Conference, and APHA – American Public Health Association,
- We researched or planned to attend or send giveaway bag inserts (trifolds) at the following: Multiservice Eating Disorder Association (MEDA) in Needham, MA, Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses in Woburn, MA, 11th Annual Primary Care Today in Toronto, NAATP – National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (sent for bag inserts) in San Antonio, TX, NCAD- National Conference on Addiction Disorders (sent bag inserts), Childhood Obesity Conference (provided a presence and poster), American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological
- WSI supported FA Atlanta’s connection to Dr. Charles Hill, a local ophthalmologist who refers patients to FA and asks FA members to speak with patients at his
- Press coverage: Additional articles were added to the “In The News” page on the website, including:
- Former Food Addicts Open Up About Struggles with Sugar (Dallas local ABC affiliate TV)
- Program Support Group Helps People with Food Addiction (Frederick News Post)
- Hampton Group Aims to Help People with Food Addiction (Herald Sun Leader, Melbourne, Australia newspaper)
- Drive with Tom Elliott (live interview on Melbourne’s 3AW radio)
- Cision: In terms of Cision requests, we researched and developed 20 to 30 media lists, mainly for public information session meetings. EAI’s PI Chair also learned how to access Cision and provided regional media lists across the EAI area.
- Paid Advertising: Ads were placed in newspapers in Maine, Florida (Florida Gulf Coast University) and California (Richmond Review in San Francisco). Barbara S. of Florida took on oversight of managing where ads are placed.
- Poster: FA developed a health conference poster as a submission for the abstracts to be used at national health conventions and conferences. The data was extrapolated from the FA survey and census by a statistician and developed into a poster suitable for the professional/medical community.
- MediaWatch: 230 emails, and 35 letters were sent to media authors, healthcare professionals, and other pertinent contacts regarding information about FA.
- As a result of regular responses to articles including an article by Dr. Kelly Brownell, head of the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2006, Dr. Brownell mentioned FA in the foreword of his book Food Addiction: A Comprehensive Handbook. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0199738165
- An example of the stories to which we responded is:60 Minutes/CBS News segment: “Hooked: Why bad habits are hard to break,” with Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
- BlogWatch: The BlogWatch sub-committee under MediaWatch now has an informational blog comment containing a brief description of the program to post on appropriate blogs. The comment has been posted on over 10 blogs.
- WebLinks signed on new colleges and professional sites including:California State University-Fresno, Central Michigan State University, University of Colorado
- Magazine editorial calendars: Two PI committee members took on the task of checking magazine editorial calendars to determine when certain publications (i.e. Ebony, Vogue) may be running stories on topics relevant to FA.
- Documentary. FA in the US and in Australia was approached by various documentary producers. In New York and Sacramento, California, mock meetings were held and filmed to preserve anonymity. There has been no follow-up on whether these documentaries materialized in France. In Australia, the documentarians decided to conduct 1:1 interviews.
- Outreach tool: the Committee discussed how to better promote the Healthcare Outreach tool, and it was decided this would be highlighted at the WSBC.
- Blogs and Facebook posts: It was discussed whether we could ask for inappropriate posts about FA to be taken down. Administrators of an unauthorized Facebook group were contacted to remove the list as members no longer in FA were listed and their anonymity was violated in others’
- Facebook friends’ groups (knowingly or unknowingly). The administrator of this Facebook group appropriately talked to a lawyer and had the Facebook group removed.
- “Would you like to read more about food addiction?” continues to be utilized at health fairs and conferences.
- The new German web page was launched on the new FA website.
- Waiting room booklet. The EAI fellowship continued to test out the waiting room booklet and improved and edited the design during this pilot phase.
- Pharmacy bags. The WSI PI committee voted not to pay for advertising on prescription bags given out at Kmart pharmacies.
Traditions Review Committee - Dan B., Chair
Individuals, meetings, chapters, intergroups, or the World Service Board may submit Traditions related inquiries by email to the Traditions Review Committee (TRC) at email@example.com.
The TRC reviewed six issues during the past quarter, referring two to other WSB committees, and held a conference call in March.
Select Traditions issues reviewed this quarter:
- Issue: A member asked whether videotaping qualifications onto DVDs for use at smaller meetings or feeding a live internet video broadcast of a qualification by an experienced member into a meeting on the FA Frontier raises Traditions related issues.
- Response: The TRC felt that videotaping qualifications, assuming the speaker’s face was visible, brought up anonymity issues and would be an uncomfortable situation to put a speaker in. In recent years, FA has gone to lengths to remove identifying features from the CD qualifications based on this principle. For similar reasons, live video qualifications broadcast over the internet would fall into the same category, as the speakers’ anonymity would be in jeopardy. The TRC acknowledge the scenario that small groups face with listening to CDs while “staring at the wall”. Although this situation can feel awkward, it can be a great way for FA members to practice patience, improve listening skills and focus for many of us who tend to spend much of our lives multitasking.
- Issue: Can a second separate basket be circulated at a meeting (in addition to the 7th Tradition collection) to be used as a special fund to fly in a specific speaker for an FA Information Session?
- Response: The TRC felt it would be best if groups simply earmark a portion of the 7th Tradition collection (if they could afford to do so) through a business meeting group conscience, for the purpose of partially funding FA Information Session costs. Additionally, the meeting could apply to their local Intergroup to for assistance with FA Information Session funding. Who a group chooses to have speak is a matter of group conscience. Announcing the name of a specific speaker and/or collecting specific funds to pay for their costs at a meeting is not healthy and gets into personalities rather than principles.
- Issue: Does earmarking 7th Tradition collections (at a meeting held at a hospital that donates the space at no cost to FA) towards a specific program that supports employee health, rather than a general donation, raise Traditions-related concerns?
- Response: Although it may be a good idea to earmark the money for healthier options in line with the principles of FA, the TRC thought it would be best to simply give the money to the hospital and let the hospital decide how to spend it. A directed donation could appear to be a financial endorsement of a specific program and we are cautioned by Tradition 6 to avoid this in any guise.
- Issue: A member asked if a “Men’s Only” meeting conflicts with the Traditions and noted that other 12 Step fellowships hold “Men’s Only” meetings.
- Response: The TRC postulated that other more established 12 Step fellowships may interpret Tradition 4 from the belief that, due in part to the wide variety of available meetings, at their stage of maturity the practice of segregating meetings would not affect their fellowship as a whole. FA is a relatively young fellowship and at this point in our evolution, the TRC felt that meetings which exclude members, for any reason, are not in the best interest of FA as a whole. Tradition 3 guides us that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating addictively. Tradition 1 focuses on the principle of unity which guided the fellowship in enacting meeting requirements and standards which require only “open” meetings and do not leave the option to segregate based on gender, weight loss amount, sexual orientation, etc. As a result, the FA registration process and website do not provide the functionality to denote segregated meetings. Therefore, new female members could arrive at a meeting found on the website only to discover that it is a “Men Only” meeting, and they are not welcome. Tradition 5 reminds us about the importance of welcoming and speaking to the newcomer.
- Issue: If the majority of events listed on a particular event calendar are religious in nature or financially support Christian religious institutions, could publicizing an FA event on such a list imply Christian affiliation? If the FA event is not held in a religious venue, is this sufficient to remove any appearance of religious affiliation?
- Response: The TRC and the Public Information Committee agreed that posting an FA event on this type of calendar did not imply a religious affiliation. Groups around the world have placed announcements in places such as churches, synagogues and hospitals, in an effort to educate the public and not affiliate with the organization. Weblinks to the FA website have been posted on many outside websites. These links and listings do not show an affiliation but rather they are a resource to attract newcomers and provide public awareness of FA.
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 and to WSI contacts for distribution at meetings
- The Frontier Phone List is being sent monthly to members who are 100 miles or 161 kms. or more from an FA meeting, and to FA WSI contacts for distribution on meeting literature tables. Emails to members include special messages of experience strength and hope. Recent lists now include intergroup association, to help facilitate communication between Frontier members and their intergroup.
- The Frontier Sponsor List is being sent quarterly to members who are 100 miles or 161 kms. or more from a FA meeting, and to FA WSI contacts for sign-up and for distribution on meeting literature tables. The FSL is also sent monthly to all Frontier members.
- The Universal Language List (ULL) is being sent quarterly to WSI contacts for distribution and sign-up on meeting literature tables.
- The Meeting Effectiveness, Safety and Accessibility Subcommittee meets as needed to address members‘ concerns about meeting issues. The Subcommittee receives and catalogs suggested changes to the meeting guidelines and format for timely consideration, according to the guidance of the Conference.
- Conversations among the chairs of the two Intergroup 12th Step Committees and Chapter 12th Step Committees are being encouraged and facilitated.
Eastern Area Intergroup - George M., Chair(EAI)
There have been several changes in the Eastern Area Intergroup over the past year. After having been its own Intergroup for many years, the North Carolina FA organization instead became a chapter of EAI; we welcomed them gladly. The Florida Chapter closed in May 2012. And this May, the Michigan Chapter is holding its final chapter meeting.
In the face of these changes, EAI continues to focus on outreaches and looking at ways to serve the meetings in our defined area from Chicago to Frankfurt - whether these meetings are relatively isolated, in clusters of pre- or post-chapter Local Service Committees, or in organized chapters, such as Maine. Our Committees and Executive Board strive to offer programs that benefit: (a) our meetings, chapters, and Local Service Committees; (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.
Within EAI, there are approximately 300 meetings registered. There are approximately 2000 members spread across the United States in 23 states (DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, and WV) and the United Kingdom, Eastern Canada, Israel, and Germany.
Theme of 2013:
The overriding goal of 2013 for EAI is:
To strengthen our Fellows and meetings through improved communications using phone, internet, email and face-to-face events, so that we can better support each other as we strive to reach the suffering food addict.
The Purpose of EAI remains:
- To further the FA program in accordance with the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of FA;
- To maintain a communication center for all FA Meeting Groups, Local Service Committees, and Chapters affiliated with FA-EAI;
- To provide unity for all FA Meeting Groups, Local Service Committees, and Chapters affiliated with FA-EAI;
- To educate the public about the FA
The Bylaws Committee updated the Bylaws Committee Chair service positions and dates that service began. The dates of the 2013 Intergroup meetings were also determined and presented to the body for approval. In addition, the Bylaws Committee drafted the motion to include credible body size as a requirement for board level service at the Intergroup and Chapter levels. In March of this year, the proposed change was passed by the body of EAI with a 2/3 majority and will be incorporated into the EAI bylaws. The Bylaws Committee will also support the 2013 election process. 2013 Goals and Objectives are being collected from the EAI Committees and will be compiled by the Bylaws Chair.
The Chapter and Region Support Committee (CSC) hosted the annual Chapter, Region, and Meeting Support Weekend at the Holiday Inn in Dedham, MA on November 3rd and 4th. Approximately 150 members attended: 60 FA members from Texas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Michigan, and Maine, and another 90 members from the local area. Saturday included an orientation, a discussion regarding the Waiting Room Booklet, a Chapters meeting followed by the Regions meeting and a Liaisons meeting. A plated dinner was served at the Holiday Inn in Dedham. An FA sharing meeting completed the night. Sunday included the EAI board meeting to which all fellows were invited. Simultaneously, the Connection Committee facilitated a writing session. The Board meeting was followed by an introduction of the Executive Board and Committee Chairs at the general EAI assembly quickly followed by committee meetings. Upon completion, Committee Chairs gave a brief report to the general assembly followed by lunch. The day ended with break-out sessions focusing on two topics related to service and unity. Closing remarks were made by the Chair of EAI. One outcome of the weekend is the strengthening of the liaison program with all members of the CSC being assigned a counterpart in a chapter, local service committee, or outlying area.
In April 15, 2012, the CSC also planned with the Michigan Chapter a reach-out for their membership, attended by approximately 80 participants. Members of the EAI connection Committee facilitated a Writing Session with the whole group, after which there was a panel of speakers followed by discussion.
Next year, the CSC will be holding another Chapter and Region Support weekend on November 2-3, 2013, at the Holiday Inn in Dedham, MA where all our activities can be under one roof.
The connection Committee has held Writing Sessions across the area, to encourage members throughout EAI to do service through writing and submitting their stories. In the course of working with meetings to facilitate these writing sessions, Committee members have helped to establish new writing teams, welcomed new writing team leaders, and increased subscriptions to the magazine. Meanwhile, they have increased participation on the committee itself by holding our monthly meetings via conference call. Now, the committee is developing a format for Design Sessions, to encourage more fellows to understand the visual needs of the magazine, and submit photographs, paintings, drawings, cartoons and other two-dimensional art to further enhance the look of connection.
The Convention Resource Committee has changed its name to the Financial Aid and Resource Committee as they will now be providing aid for Chapter Support Weekend and will also be reviewing applications for aid for PI sessions. The committee has awarded financial aid to 10 applicants for the 2013 Business Convention. They will also be assisting the World Service Convention by organizing greeters, and will be updating and maintaining the Ride and Lodging List.
The Office Committee has completed the task of developing the â€—Secretary Kit‘ for local FA EAI meetings‘ secretary service position. The Secretary Kit is currently posted on the EAI web page on the FA web site (IG/Chapters > Eastern Area Intergroup > Office > EAI Documents and Information > EAI Secretary Kit). Continuing responsibilities are to support WSO in development and implementation of the new FA website:
- register new meetings;
- register meeting changes;
- respond to all telephone and email requests for service or information requested by the public or fellow FA members;
- support the Treasurer in the achievement of the Treasurer‘s objectives; and
- continue to offer support to Chapters in helping them serve our Fellowship
The Public Outreach Committee has been responsible for the supervision and evaluation of the Waiting Room Booklet. (WRB). The WRB Pilot Project came to a close at the Chapter and Region Support weekend, as three speakers initiated the telling of their experiences of passing on the WRB to members in their community. Over 1000 booklets were placed at that time in a variety of offices, mostly medical offices. Other FA members at the Chapter Support Weekend shared similar positive feedback. The PI chair, Public Outreach chair, WSO chair and EAI chair agreed that the booklet was a success as measured by the numbers in distribution and the personal experiences shared by FA members. The WRB is undergoing a name change to the â€•FA Information Bookletâ€– and preparing for review by the WSO Literature Committee. The chair‘s role in the Public Outreach Committee has been to support and guide the Chairs of the PI and Teens and Twenties, as their two committees work collaboratively and independently in coordinating and attending outreaches.
The Public Information Committee developed trifolds in conjunction with existing trifold developers in 22 areas, helped to determine and share best practices and consistent formatting, and insured the accuracy of web and directory listings. We determined that the new PI Vice Chair will support trifold generation and oversee the fulfillment of area contact requests. Our committee established CISION Data Base contacts in 25 areas, and provided data on radio contacts to those areas. We established an area coordinator for Weblinks, and served as a conduit for WSI weblink training for 22 people across EAI.
We found technical support for FA‘s graphics person, and trained two people to deliver web requests to the EAI office in the requested form. The large number of web requests and the associated communications challenges that these present suggest that we may need to establish our own web space in order to interact well with our many PI areas.
The PI Committee distributed thousands of Information Booklets and tens of thousands of Meeting Directories in every area served by EAI. We have established a system to deliver half a dozen services to 33 EAI areas, involving several subcommittees and 100 service positions. We are now training National Event Coordinators to support sixteen national events in nine EAI areas.
The Region Outreach Committee was formed in July 2012 to serve as a resource for other committees to explore how their activities/projects can be more accessible and relevant to individuals, meetings, local service organizations and chapters in the region, especially those that are geographically distant from the EAI office. To that end, the committee helped to reframe the 12th Step Committee‘s orientation guide, now named â€•Resources Available to EAI Meetings,â€– to present the many ways that EAI can help meetings access documents, conference calls, and events in addition to attending the monthly EAI meeting. We also assisted with the merger of the new North Carolina Chapter with EAI, with the PI Committee‘s work to disseminate the Information Booklet, and with the participation of EAI Board members in the Maine Chapter‘s Meeting Support Day. In the coming year, we expect to participate in the 12th Step Committee‘s new meeting orientation conference calls, planning the Chapter and Region Support Committee‘s weekend event in November, and to assist with the dissolution of the Michigan Chapter and the building of EAI support for the local service organizations that will now exist in Michigan, and other opportunities that arise throughout the year.
The Teens and Twenties Committee had a productive year. We initiated a connection with Methuen High School and did two outreaches; one in the spring and one in the fall, speaking to the multi-level health classes. We did an outreach for the fourth year this fall at Andover High, speaking to freshman health classes, with another one possibly coming up in April. We twice attended North Shore Community College â€•table timeâ€–, setting up a table with literature and two FA members outside the cafeteria at the Lynn and Danvers locations. We were able to speak again at a Health Psychology class at Emmanuel College and held an outreach for RADs (residence assistance directors) at Clark University. A new high school teacher in Rockport, MA is considering hosting us for an outreach in their health classes. New members have joined our committee on the conference call including those from international. Our plans for Weblinks were implemented, and as the result of our efforts to contact IT staff at colleges, we have been able to put up links to our FA website on their college sites. Our chair, Jennifer L., will be discussing the project and its issues at the board level. We also hope to hear from the members at WSI level who are trying to connect with colleges to put up our weblink. The re-organization of the PI Teens & Twenties subcommittee is working well under the coordination of Jennifer L. Christine W. is able to focus on helping out when she can, but also works on many projects with the PI committee as well as random requests that come in to the FA office regarding public information.
The 12th Step Committee had commitments to support meetings in: (1) W. Roxbury, Quincy, Concord, and Braintree MA; (2) Nashua, NH; and (3) Providence and East Providence, RI. We created the following new service positions: Resource Guide Conference Leader, Intergroup Orientation Chair, and Thank-a-thon Coordinator. We wrote new Thank-a-thon guidelines that were inspired by the WSI Twelfth Step Committee‘s Thank-a-thon Timeline Manual. We had more Thank-a-thons this year, two in Massachusetts, and one each in Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, Maryland, Maine and Michigan. About 400 fellows attended these Thank-a- thons. We formed a sub-committee called Intergroup Orientation to organize the Orientation that is done at EAI each month and update the Orientation guide. We helped write the guide of Resources Available to EAI Meetings. We worked with members of the EAI Board to create this document and sent it out to all EAI contacts. We planned our first conference call in April 2013 in which we will refer to the Resource guide. We are maintaining a list of new meetings so that we can invite them to future conference calls. We held three home meetings for a fellow in Dedham MA, we organized a 12th step call to a homebound man in Michigan, and arranged for a fellow from England who is unable to get to her meetings to receive support from her sponsor and fellowship via conference calls. We continued to collect names of fellows willing to do service, (12th Step List), willing to sponsor people in outlying areas (WSI Sponsor List) and continued helping to distribute copies of the WSI Frontier List. We no longer administer Travel Funds; that is now done by the Convention Resource Committee.
The Executive Board:
The Vice-Chair’s focus remains on two main projects—the EAI Report and the EAI Contact Conference Calls. The Vice-Chair continues to work on streamlining the monthly EAI Report for increased readability and maintaining a consistent format for ease of delivery. Having WSO distribute the report has been highly successful, with far fewer EAI Contacts reporting that they haven‘t received it. In this, its second year, the EAI Contact conference call has been a robust and effective tool for engaging the larger EAI fellowship. Every call includes one or more first-time call participants alongside more seasoned members, and the conversations are always nourishing and meaningful.
Our Treasurer will be stepping down this June after serving five years (the balance of the prior Treasurer‘s term plus two full two-year terms). One of our top priorities this past year was to identify potential candidates for the Treasurer‘s position. We have recently identified a willing candidate and will begin training them shortly in the use of Quickbooks Online, Online Banking and the other Treasurer duties. To facilitate the training and to assist future Treasurers, our Treasurer is creating a detailed Treasury Policies and Procedures Manual for this position.
The data collection and preparation of EAI‘s second combined tax return, which includes the Chapters‘ financial information, went very smoothly this year with the wonderful assistance of the Chapter Treasurers. The return was filed successfully last November.
This past year we saw a record number of EAI affiliated meetings whose landlords required proof of liability insurance. We were happy to accommodate all these meetings with Certificates of Insurance on a timely basis. We also worked closely with Philadelphia Insurance Company and our new North Carolina Chapter (formerly Southeastern Area Intergroup) to insure that the new chapter and all its affiliated meetings were covered immediately under EAI‘s General Liability Insurance Policy. As a reminder, all EAI affiliated FA Chapters and meetings are covered automatically under our liability insurance policy with the Philadelphia Insurance Company wherever they meet in the US, Canada and certain US Possessions. Contact our Treasurer to obtain proof of coverage if necessary.
We assisted our new chapter with the transition from an intergroup to an affiliated chapter of EAI. We continued to give guidance upon request to chapters and meetings on record keeping, use of bank accounts and general duties of the office of treasurer .
For the 12 months ended 3/31/13, total revenue was $39,475.13, total. Expenses were $30,181.26, net income was $9,293.87. As of 3/31/13, our cash balance was $25,936.76 which approximates a 10 month prudent reserve. We are still $5000 short in creating a prudent reserve, which needs to be equal to a full year's operating expenses.
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, my last year.
Annual Report of the Western Area Intergroup
Prepared by Marti M.
Approximately 237 meetings are registered with Western Area Intergroup (WAI) and are listed and updated monthly in the WAI Meeting Directory posted under the Intergroup section on the FA website www.foodaddicts.org. WAI serves meetings in Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Australia, Canada-British Columbia, Canada-Alberta, and New Zealand. WAI meets monthly on the second Sundays of the month for one and one half hours with an average of 275 members in attendance. There are four main committees: Public Information, Twelfth Step, Office, and Conference Resource. Members meet in separate committees for the first segment of Intergroup. PI and 12th Step committees periodically break off into several sub- committees to report and move projects along. Then all gather as a general group to hear board and committee chair reports, ask for available sponsors, volunteers for health fairs and share other service opportunities.
This year the WAI Convention Resource Committee granted six applicants financial aid for the Business Convention. Many WAI members were instrumental in planning and executing the September FA Fellowship Convention in San Francisco.
There is always a new focus for the Office Committee in its efforts to make things more efficient for members and more accurate for newcomers trying to locate meetings. Members regularly contact the Office Committee for assistance with how to submit changes for meetings, make changes to their personal profile, navigate the website, etc. This role has increased with the launch of our new website in January of this year. Many updates have been needed to insure the accuracy of the new website. Members have been required to update their personal profiles, and all meetings have been asked to re-register. The Office Committee continues to help with this process.
The 12th Step Committee continued its efforts to connect outlying area meetings with Intergroup services utilizing The Target Area Resource (TAR) Sub-committee. Currently 63 meetings now have TAR Contacts who make calls monthly, offering service in a variety of ways. The Partner Meetings Subcommittee encourages members from larger meetings to partner with smaller meetings to make outreach calls to each other and help strengthen healthy meeting practices. Thirty meetings are currently partnered with larger meetings.
Home meetings are requested by members who are ill or are recovering from surgery that prevents them from attending meetings. There are eight coordinators in place and 20 homebound meetings were held. The Spanish-Speaking Meeting Support Liaison continues to serve as a conduit between bilingual meetings and Intergroup, and between the 12th Step Committee and the PI Committee. There are currently three bilingual meetings, two in San Francisco and one in Oakland. The 12th Step Committee maintained the Frontier Phone List, Frontier Sponsor List, Universal Language List, and the Bay Area Outlying Area Speaker List. The Speaker Travel Fund gave assistance to speakers allowing them to travel from afar to bring their experience, strength and hope across the miles to information sessions in several areas. Ten Thank-a-thons were organized and held throughout WAI on U.S. Thanksgiving Day with 663 in attendance. The connection Subcommittee encourages articles and artwork for the FA magazine utilizing Writing Team Leaders from 6-7 areas in the WAI region. Hands-on assistance is provided at monthly WAI meetings to help with online subscriptions.
The Public Information Committee has a number of subcommittees committed to getting the word out about FA. The Weblinks Subcommittee linked more than 30 new sites with FA‘s website. Their hope is to link FA with sites throughout the world in the coming year. The Teens and Twenties Subcommittee spread the word while manning booths at 19 community health fairs at universities and high schools. The Community Outreach Committee sent out brochures to social workers, staffed booths at 11 community health fairs and gave qualifications at a Rotary Luncheon and a Mom‘s Club gathering. Many were made aware of the existence of FA and the possibility for recovery through its program.
There has been a lot of activity and positive response due to all of our efforts with MediaWatch work. Article links are consistently being sent to us by FA members. Over the course of the last year, 336 emails, and 55 letters were sent to media authors, healthcare professionals, and other pertinent contacts regarding information about FA. Response has been positive – many healthcare professionals are aware of FA already, and some have stated that they regularly refer their patients to the program. Many articles have been written about FA over the past year, and some have been written as a direct result of MediaWatch efforts. A sampling of some of the articles and radio interviews included: (1) a paragraph on FA and a link in a UC Berkeley publication, (2) an article about FA published in the Frederick News Post in Maryland, and (3) the interview of a member by a family radio station called Community Involvement.
When BHO‘s documentary â€•the Weight of the Nationâ€– aired, approximately 30 emails with information about FA were sent to healthcare professionals, experts and producers with ties to the show. Several positive responses were received including an acknowledgment by Dr. Kelly Brownell from Yale in his book, Food and Addiction: A Comprehensive Handbook. The intention of the newly-formed Corrections and Transitions Subcommittee is to carry the FA message to women in, and transitioning from the corrections system throughout Northern California. The Subcommittee is in the process of defining its goals and scope.
Trifold racks continue to be placed and monitored at colleges and other facilities in the communities.
- Income: $48,297.98
- Donations to FA/WSI: $12,500.00
- Expenditures: $31,701.66
Western Area Intergroup continues to provide steady and continued service in getting out the FA message to communities, schools, and individuals while providing support for the many areas under its umbrella. 2012 brought an in-depth review and updating of the WAI Bylaws and the election of a new Chair. With the inspiration of our Higher Power and a strong commitment to service, it is our hope to continue to carry the message to the food addict who still suffers.
Maine Chapter of EAI
Steve A., Chair
The Maine Chapter has experienced much growth and change over this current year. Patty B., the previous chair, served for two consecutive terms and stepped off the board to join in EAI endeavors. We moved the location of the monthly Chapter meeting from Portland to Augusta. This was initiated as a pilot program but has been successful, and the meeting currently remains in Augusta. Attendance has increased from 17-20 members monthly to the current average of 27 people at each meeting. Chapter meetings continue to provide support to affiliated meetings in both Maine and New Hampshire, pay attention to local needs, and offer area specific assistance, guidance and support in our primary goal of bringing the message of recovery to all.
- Twelve members of the Maine Chapter attended the 2013 Business Convention.
- We held our board retreat in June to explore Chapter issues, review by-laws governing the functioning of the Maine Chapter, consider ways of mentoring others to participate at the board level and explore ways to build and maintain recovery while doing service.
- We made Chapter meeting changes including:
- o changed the time of the meeting orientation session to begin at the same time as the other Committee meetings;
- o increased our focus on building fellowship (connection) and recovery by instituting a regular fellowship lunch following the Chapter meetings;
- o revised the planning format of our annual Meeting Support by forming an Ad Hoc Committee chaired this year by the Chapter Vice Chair and worked all year long to plan and prepare for the event; and
- o piloted a time change for the Chapter meeting agenda with the goal of building more inclusion and participation in goal setting, planning and creating outreach
- Maine Meeting Support Day – We held our sixth annual Maine Meeting Support Day on March 17, 2013. The theme was “From Isolation to Connection; Personal Recovery Depends on FA Unity.” Approximately 58 people attended from every meeting in the Chapter as well as from Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Canada. The agenda included a full Chapter meeting, a panel, and large and small group discussions. With the assistance of EAI and WSI, online registration was made a reality using access through the FA website.
- Wrote monthly Chapter Highlights to be distributed to meetings, with separate sections to be read during meeting announcements and more detailed service information written for announcement during the business meetings.
- Continued to coordinate the Meeting Liaison phone calls to connect with Chapter Contacts.
- Piloted quarterly Conference Calls in an effort to provide an additional opportunity for members of the Maine Chapter to access one another, build connections, share experience and coordinate to carry the message of FA recovery.
- BEGINNING BALANCE (6/1/12): $ 1,371.59
- Total Year Deposits: $ 6,456.21
- Total Year Expenses $ 6,432.68
- YEAR-TO-DATE BALANCE (3/21/13) $ 1,395.12
- Changed “Maine/New Hampshire meeting Directory” tri-fold to “Maine Chapter Meeting Directory.”
- Worked with EAI PI to create a uniform meeting directory template.
- Reviewed responsibilities of the Web & Meeting Directory Coordinator and divided into three service positions: Web Meeting Coordinator (responsible for effective on- line meeting changes and assisting with Chapter related website maintenance); Meeting Directory Coordinator (responsible for maintenance of the meeting tri-fold and creating monthly report); and Office Committee Proofreader (responsible for proofreading tri-fold and other documents prior to release).
- Assisted World Service with editing pages, troubleshooting functionality and cleaning up database on new website.
- Collaborated with World Service Office Director and Chapter Chair to create and maintain Maine Chapter information on the new website.
- Supported meetings with on-line meeting change procedures and assisted members to verify profiles on the new website.
- Developed Facilities Subcommittee responsible for signage, set up of meeting space and to liaison between the Maine Chapter and the University of Maine regarding usage of space for the monthly Chapter meeting and the annual Meeting Support Day.
Information Booklets: We have four regional information booklet coordinators: Roberta L. covers Southern Maine;
Reina covers Mid-coast Maine;
Howard W. covers Northern Maine; and Lenann C. covers Central Maine.
We have over 100 booklets in distribution with the most in Southern Maine. Tracking is done locally by each coordinator. We have participated in conference calls with the EAI PI Committee and contacts with the EAI PI Chair to keep the system clear and successful. We are working with the EAI PI Chair in the development of a Health Care Professional Letter to accompany the book.
- Researching area newspaper advertising;
- Gathering information on local radio stations which have been successful and cost effectively used by local meetings;
- A two-page information report appeared on March 7, 2013 in the Ellsworth American local newspaper. The reporter interviewed three members via phone and included all local meetings with the times and locations. The article can be viewed at: http://fenceviewer.com/site/index.php?option-comk2&view=item&id=79851:food-addicts- group-winning–followers&itemid-938
- Two of our members were interviewed by a reporter for the Bangor Daily News after a local Monday night meeting in Belfast.
Literature Racks: The Committee is working on keeping up-to-date information on the location and status of racks around the state. Racks have been placed in an estimated 27 locations including several hospitals, up from 11 locations in 2011.
Health Fairs: Multiple fairs this year included the Augusta Cancer Recovery Fair held on September 8, 2012; the Chateau Cousnoc health fair on September 25, 2012; the Family Wellness Fair in Belfast on April 13, 2012; and a health fair which will be held at the Alfond Center in Augusta in June 2013.
Information Sessions: In continuing outreach to professionals and those who work with food addicts directly, multiple information sessions were held during the year including two in September, two in October, two in January and three upcoming in the next few months.
Phone Line: Multiple voice mails are received and returned each month by volunteers who check for messages daily including such requests as: (1) a doctor’s office requesting more pamphlets; (2) a man asking for local meetings; (3) a call from a male shut-in weighing 500 pounds, in response to which the 12th Step Committee’s roadtrip brought a meeting to his home. NOTE: The PI Committee reviewed and edited the infoline’s message to be more welcoming - encouraging callers to leave a message and to expect a return call. The Infoline voice mail includes announcements of upcoming information sessions.
Literature Support: Collaborated with EAI PI on development of the new Health Professional Letter to accompany the Information Booklets.
TWELFTH STEP COMMITTEE
- Provided meeting support through FA Road Trips. FA Road Trips are a group of FA fellows with 90 days of abstinence traveling together to support FA meetings requesting help. Six meetings requested support.
- Created the new service position of Speaker List Coordinator within the Committee. This position manages the Speaker’s List that assists meetings’ speaker getters.
- Trained a small group of FA members to rotate monthly as leaders of the Orientation Meeting that takes place during committee meetings at the monthly Chapter meeting.
- Prepared a power point presentation of the Orientation guide that was used for Meeting Support Day.
- Developed a connection magazine subcommittee which will meet quarterly with the Twelfth Step Committee beginning with the June, 2013 Chapter meeting.
- Provided support as needed to the Westbrook Meeting organizing the Thanksgiving Thank- a-thon.
- Made a 12th Step call to a person requesting information about FA.
Motion Review for 2013 World Service Conference: In January, the Augusta Tuesday p.m. FA meeting presented the following motion for consideration: To strike the passage in the FA Meeting format, “Please give generously to the Seventh Tradition.” An ad hoc committee of three members was appointed by the Maine Chapter Chair to review the proposed motion and make a recommendation to the Maine Chapter Board on its merit. Following examination of FA and AA literature, the FA tri-fold, Your FA Seventh Tradition, and participating in an in- depth discussion, the committee agreed that the phrase “please give generously” is well within the spirit of the Seventh Tradition. A copy of the resulting ad hoc committee report and recommendation was sent to all members of the Maine Chapter Board. The Board voted not to consider this motion further for submission to the WSBC. The report and a letter explaining the process was sent to the original presenters of the motion.
Motion Review – EAI Bylaws Change: At the January EAI meeting, a motion was made to change the EAI bylaws to make them consistent with WSI bylaws. The proposed change would require that intergroup and chapter members who serve at Board level positions maintain “credible body size.” Several Maine Chapter members attended a discussion at the February EAI meeting to get a further understanding of the phrase, “credible body size&