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Quarterly Report 2010 - July-Sept

Dear FA Members:

Please see your WSI contact or go to the FA website at www.foodaddicts.org to view, in its entirety, this quarter’s report from the World Service Board. Please allow me here to briefly share some highlights and action items that we feel warrant more immediate attention. 

  • First things first, I am moved to share a tremendous “thank you” to all who have contributed to the service work that is underway, with a very special thanks to the World Service Board for their invaluable dedication and willingness.
  • WSI (World Service, Inc.) is currently composed of 9 standing committees, 5 special committees and nearly 40 subcommittees. If you are looking to do service, please let the board know by sending an email to fa@foodaddicts.org. There is no shortage of ways to be useful! In particular, the PI committee is looking for someone to chair the new Healthcare Outreach Subcommittee.
  • Please mark your 2011 calendars. The next annual FA World Service Business convention will take place from Friday, June 3rd through Sunday, June 5th, in Danvers, Massachusetts at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The third FA Fellowship Convention will be held from Friday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 25th, at the Airport Marriott in San Francisco, California. More information is coming soon.
  • If you are a Web & Directory Contact for your meeting, please log-in to our website and follow the prompts to indicate whether or not your meeting is wheelchair accessible. Once the entry is processed by your intergroup or chapter, a symbol will appear on the meeting directory for those locations that are wheelchair friendly.
  • If you are a connection Rep or PI Rep, please ask your meeting’s Web & Directory Contact to register your name on the website. Once registered, you will receive information for this service position, including dates and times for quarterly conference calls to meet with others in these positions.
  • This summer’s PI survey yielded responses from 4,130 FA members from around the world. Thank you everyone!
  • The FA Fact File is now board approved and can be found online. This document will help to inform the media and others about FA’s history and purpose.
  • The FA Meeting Format is available online and now exists in three languages: English, Spanish, and German.
  • Four new CDs have been added to the CD library, now totaling 82 recorded stories that can be ordered online.
  • Please keep the newcomer in mind when making your meeting and AWOL announcements. Keep your announcements short and courteous.

Thank you to everyone for all that you do!

With gratitude, Elissa P.

WSI Chair

WSI CHAIR’S REPORT – July/August/September 2010

During this quarter the board has formally met on June 27th, August 29th, and September 26th, for two hours each time. General business at each meeting included the passing of minutes, the passing of each month’s treasurer report, and monthly check-ins from each member. The annual budget was passed as well.

Each committee chair on the board wrote a “charge” for his or her committee and subcommittees, providing a clear understanding of who is doing what and how. Charges for the 9 standing committees of WSI, the 5 special committees of the WSB, and nearly 40 subcommittees were added to a recently revised WSB Manual, which also includes general board procedures.

The board has established a committee called the Inquiry Response Committee (IRC) to help us better serve the fellowship. According to our bylaws, a special committee may be created by the WSB when needed to perform essential services for WSI. This new committee will help the board to reply thoughtfully and efficiently to incoming questions and concerns. Matters previously replied to in writing by either the WSB secretary or the Traditions Review Committee (TRC) will now usually be handled by a phone call from a member of the IRC. The TRC will still be involved when inquiries directly bear on the twelve traditions.

The Design Committee, another new board committee, has been working diligently these past three months to audit our current website and to suggest ideas for improvement. In the future the Design Committee will assist in the creation of a style guide so that all FA publications and our website will have a consistent and professional look and feel.  

Lengthy discussions took place and emails were exchanged among World Service Board members to define and prioritize topics to be discussed at the in-person board meeting on October 23rd and 24th in Woburn, MA.

WSI VICE-CHAIR’S REPORT – July/August/September 2010

Over the past three months my activities as vice-chair were as follows:

  • Familiarizing myself with the WSB Manual, the committees represented on the board, and most specifically the WSB Financial Advisory Committee on which I sit.
  • As chair of the World Service Board’s Personnel Committee, I added one new member to the committee and studied the work of the committee over the past three years. The Personnel Committee advises or, at the request of the board or relevant committee chair, handles matters related to the employment of personnel working for WSI. We have been focusing on ensuring that chairs who have paid employees on their committees receive the needed support and guidance to hire and supervise these employees.
  • I have been developing a close working relationship with the Chair and the Executive Committee to ensure alignment in serving the WSB and the fellowship.

WSI COMMITTEE REPORTS – July/August/September 2010

Bylaws Committee (Sue H., Chair)

The Bylaws Committee has completed the WSB Manual and will distribute a copy of it to each World Service Board member at the in-person board meeting in October.

Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (Misch E., Chair)

The purpose of this committee is to provide support for the intergroups, chapters and pre-chapter groups. We accomplish this through the discussions and with the excellent minutes that document the discussions.  This quarter we changed the agenda for our committee meetings because the Office Committee was no longer going to be represented. The new agenda gives more time to pre-chapter groups for questions.

At each Chapter and Intergroup Support Committee (CISC) meeting we discuss a specific topic. The discussions provide an opportunity to share information and a venue for pre-chapter groups to learn good practices. The topics this quarter were:

  • What are weblinks, how are they helpful for reaching newcomers, and how can we help establish them?
  • How can we best use the Letter to the Health Professional?
  • How does your intergroup/chapter handle finances?

Diane O’H is now chair of the subcommittee working on editing the Chapter Manual. George M. resigned as chair of this subcommittee due to his new responsibilities as EAI Chair, but he continues with the subcommittee work, for which we are grateful. The intergroup and chapter chairs met to discuss intergroup standards for meetings wishing to form chapters. This information was needed for the rewrite of the Chapter Manual.

connection Committee (Anna B., chair)

  • The layout of the magazine has been redesigned.
  • Feedback from the fellowship has been integrated into the new look and feel of the magazine.
  • The connection Rep Network is underway, including a conference call for connection Reps. Please make sure that your meeting’s connection Rep is registered on the FA website.
  • The price increases for the magazine and the connection Collection have been implemented.

Convention Planning Committee (Adrienne P., Chair)

  • The 2011 FA World Service Business Convention will be held on June 3-5 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts.
    • o Reservations are available now at 978-777-2500. Please be sure to let them know you are attending the FA Business Convention in order to secure the special group room rates.
    • o Additional information about the convention will be sent out starting in January. Please stay posted for details.
  • Our third FA Fellowship Convention will be held on September 23-25, 2011, at the San Francisco Airport Marriott.
    • o Reservations will soon be available, and further information will be posted on our website.
    • o All are encouraged to come and have time to meet with members from all over the world to share experience, strength, hope, fellowship and good times! 

Literature Committee (Jane M., Chair)

  • A proposal to move forward with the development of the FA Book was presented to and approved by the WSB.
  • Three CD’s were withdrawn due to breaks in abstinence. Their titles are “Never Perfect Enough,” “Denial at Its Worst,” and “Analysis Paralysis.”
  • Four CD’s that were recorded at the business convention were added to our CD library. Their titles are “Rather Dead Than Fat,” “Doomed to Die Young,” “Just Leave Me Alone!,” and “The Story Was in Her Eyes.” 
  • Translated the qualification CD format into German for recording future CD’s in German.
  • German Meeting Format was created and approved.

Office Committee (Ruth M., Chair)

  • Implemented the “Web & Directory Contact” person for meetings. (Your WSI Contact will provide the details at your business meeting.)
  • Revamped the existing online “Meeting Change” form for clearer meeting information, easier changes, and with implementation of a wheelchair accessible button and print button.
  • Added a new form called “Register a New Meeting” to the website.
  • Added step-by-step directions on how to locate and use these two forms in two documents called “Directions for Submitting Meeting Changes” and “Directions for Registering a New Meeting.” These forms will be circulated to all WSI Contacts.
  • Updated website online ordering with new CDs and literature.
  • Supported the connection price revision and change of vendor. 

Public Information (Kris M., Chair)

Several articles were uploaded to the media section of our FA website home page, including articles from the Boston Herald; a journal in Medicine Hat, Canada; The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida; and the Ken-Ton Bee in Buffalo, New York.    

The FA Fact File was approved by the board and will be posted on our website.    

The FA membership survey was completed with a total 4,130 responses.  Results are being tallied.   

Banners, tablecloths, booth signs, and blow-up foam-backed 20 Questions signs have been developed in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. Anyone who has designed any of these is being asked to please send a photo of them to pi@foodaddicts.org so we can show them to the Design Committee.    

Instructions for the Letter to the Healthcare Professional are being clarified so that FA members understand they need to insert their a name and contact information. A local number and contact is preferable to someone from a chapter or intergroup who may not be local.  Some meetings have chosen to list the person in their meeting who has longer-term abstinence and is willing to field calls from healthcare professionals. 

A new Healthcare Outreach subcommittee was established. We are looking for a new volunteer to serve as chair. This subcommittee will look for national conventions where FA could provide literature, a booth, or speakers and for websites in the healthcare field that might want to connect with the FA website in conjunction with the Weblinks subcommittee’s efforts.  Finally, it will help manage how to send letters to the doctors and other healthcare professionals who are frequently listed at addiction conferences and conventions.

This month FA in Los Angeles had a display table at the Walk for Obesity. As a result, members were invited to speak to the UCLA Bariatric Center physicians. In Charlotte, North Carolina, FA has been invited to speak at the Carolina Surgical Bariatric Center.  

The Weblinks team contacted over 15 websites to inquire about including the FA website link to their sites. This includes websites for colleges in California, Texas, and Iowa.  

German FA members have requested their own German-language FA website and that the official FA website be translated. Members do not always have enough fluency in English to understand our website.

Traditions Review Committee (Sue G., Chair)

The committee responded to traditions-related inquiries about the members survey conducted by the PI

Committee and the new FA pamphlet “Some Thoughts on Sponsorship,” a meeting’s wish to spend up to $400 for a radio announcement about FA, circulation of a men’s phone list, and whether it is proper for a meeting’s treasurer to put 7th tradition funds in interest-bearing bank accounts. 

Those who inquired were communicated with following dialogue among the committee members on each of these questions. The committee felt that no changes needed to be made to the survey or the pamphlet, that the decision to spend funds for a radio announcement is one to be made by the individual meeting and does not affect FA as a whole or violate any traditions, that circulating official phone lists separated by gender would not foster unity, and that meetings should not hold onto excess funds. 

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.  If you are not registered, do it today! 

Thank-a-thons, special FA meetings held on U. S. Thanksgiving day with shares focused on gratitude, are being planned by all three Intergroups. A flyer listing all Thank-a-thons was recently distributed to WSI Contacts.

The Frontier Phone List and the Frontier Sponsor List are being sent monthly to members with no FA meetings and to FA WSI Contacts for meeting literature tables. Recent Frontier Phone Lists have been accompanied by special e-letters on the following subjects:  telephone as FA tool,  meetings, staying connected, and starting a meeting in an area that has no meetings. Please remember to call the FA members on this list!

The Universal Language List is being sent quarterly to WSI Contacts for meeting literature tables. Beginning in December, anyone on the list who does not respond to a call requesting confirmation that they want to stay on the list will be removed from it.

The Meeting Accessibility and Safety Sub-Committee is expanding its mission to include meeting health or effectiveness. Members seeking assistance with issues relating to meeting health can email 12thStep@foodaddicts.org with questions.  

A planning committee has been formed to present facts to the WSB on the advisability of holding an FA Forum at the 2011 WSI Fellowship Convention. The WSB will discuss this at its October meeting.