SLAA Annual Business Conference/Meeting
San Diego, California
July 24-27, 2012
To: The UK Intergroup
Who represented UK?
Jonathan K – UK Intergroup – International Liaison Year 2 Delegate
Sue B – UK Intergroup – International Liaison Year 1 Delegate
What is the Annual Business Meeting / Conference (ABC/M)?
It is a four day event where the Board Members of SLAA, along with delegates meet once a year to conduct the business of the Fellowship. Up until this point, it has always been held in the US.
Who Attended This Years ABC/M?
In total, there were 48 people in attendance of which there were 39 voting members made up of 6 board members, 32 delegates and 1 CCC chair. Only 9 out of 50 US states were represented, there was one delegate from Canada and two each from Germany and the UK. There were also 2 FWS staff present, Pamela (FWS Book Keeper) and Hector, who prepares & fulfils all literature orders.
Highlights of the ABC/M:
1. Financial Health of SLAA FWS:
Financial stability has returned to SLAA after the turmoil caused by the actions of the General Manager the year before (see FWS Newsletter for further details). The prudent reserve which had been seriously eroded has been replenished ($20000) back up to $120500
Debt spending has been eliminated and expenses have been significantly reduced (mainly through shipping with USPS)
The main source of income for SLAA is in its literature sales (55%) – 13 Pamphlets and the Basic Text have to be sold in order to keep finances afloat and that is why they are so insistent on preventing the SLAA HOW beginners kit from being printed – they feel that this document discourages people from buying other conference approved literature.
On a cautionary note, 7th Tradition contributions have been falling across the board and the Board Finance and Operating Committee (BFOC) are very keen to explore new ways of raising finances of our fellowship such as:
Ebook publishing (the Basic Text has almost been fully converted to pdf)
Licensing Policy (charging a percentage and allowing local intergroups to produce their own conference approved literature)
BFOC have asked all Intergroups to discuss ways in which contributions can be increased. This would include fundraisers; talent shows; workshops / local recovery convention day; a ‘Generosity month’; one off general donation by an individual ($12000 max)
The Profit & Loss Statement for the period October 2011 – June 2012 along with the Balance Sheet as at August 13 2012 can be seen in Attachment 2 (The September 2012 FWS Newsletter)
2. Business Meeting Item Summary discussion and Voting:
Motion: To approve the Anorexia 1-2-3 “Working the Program and not the Problem” text as Conference approved literature: Passed (34-0-4)
Motion: To amend the Preamble (2nd sentence, 4th Paragraph)
Current sentence: “We find a common denominator in our obsessive/compulsive patterns which renders any personal differences of sexual or gender orientation irrelevant.”
Proposed revision: “We find a common denominator in our obsessive/compulsive patterns which transcends any personal differences of sexual orientation or gender identity” Passed (31-2-6)
Motion: To approve the language of the SLAA draft 12 Concepts and adopt them as the SLAA 12 Concepts: Passed (36-0-2)
See Attachment 1 for full results of the BMIS voting and discussions.
3. Conference Committee Meetings:
There were three meetings scheduled for each of the 20 standing Conference Committees within SLAA. A listing of the committees is as follows:
Conference Anorexia Committee (CAC)
Conference By-Laws Committee (CBC)
Conference Charter Committee (CCC)
Conference Concepts Adaptation Committee (CCAC)
Conference Diversity Committee (CDC)
Conference Finance Committee (CFC)
Conference Healthy Relationships Committee (CHRC)
Conference Interfellowship Committee (CIFC)
Conference Intergroup Communication Committee (CICC)
Conference Internet Committee (CIC)
Conference Journal Committee (CJC)
Conference Literature Committee (CLC)
Conference Members Retention Committee (CMRC)
Conference Prison Outreach Committee (CPOC)
Conference Public Information Committee (CPIC)
Conference Service Committee (CSC)
Conference Sponsorship Committee (CSPC)
Conference Steps and Traditions Committee (CSTC)
Conference Translations Committee (CTC)
Conference member Relations to the BOT and FWS (CMRBOTC)
Each delegate attending the ABC/M is encouraged to become a member of one or more of the standing committees, each of which meets once a month via conference call. Whilst last year I joined the Conference Public Information Committee (CPIC), this year I have joined the Conference Journal Committee and it is my hope that many more members of SLAA will subscribe to the journal as it contains some amazing current articles written by members in recovery from around the world.
4. Other Committee Reports:
Each of the 20 standing committees and Board of Trustee (BOT) committees were provided an opportunity to provide an annual report to the delegates. Included in the report from the Chairman of the BOT was an update on the current status of the FWS office and the former General Manager. Not all committees provided written reports but those that did can be viewed in the attached FWS Newsletter
5. Board of Trustees (BOT) Election:
During this past year the Board appointed Tom B. and Susan G. to the BOT. The delegates voted to confirm their appointments. Also, the delegates voted to retain Rick B. as a member of the BOT. Just prior to the ABC/M, Ayana P. submitted her resignation as a member of the BOT. At the conclusion of the ABC/M, 6 of 9 seats on the BOT were filled.
6. International Speaker Meeting:
Delegates from Canada, England and Germany shared their experience, hope and strength during an evening speaker meeting.
7. Live Auction and Raffle:
Each delegate was asked to bring a raffle item to the conference that was unique to their State or Country. Amazingly, a lot of not very expensive items raised over $3500 and one anonymous person donated $1000. All proceeds from this auction were given to FWS
8. 2013 & 2014 Annual Business Meeting (ABC/M) Venue:
The 2013 ABC/M will be held in San Antonio, Texas, for one year only. As the ABM generally is held at the same venue for two consecutive years, it provides a wonderful opportunity for the UK to bid for the right to host the ABM in 2014. In an attempt to guage opinion from delegates and the Board, I was allowed to put forward a last minute IFD on this which was given the green light and discussed at length. The overwhelming view of delegates was extremely positive, though all depends upon the costs involved. We have until November 1st to put forward a bid to the Board of Trustees and their decision as to the venue of the 2014 ABM will be made at next years ABM
Personal Reflections from the ABC/M:
As this was my second year as a delegate to this conference, I saw a lot of familiar faces in San Diego. The San Diego Intergroup did another great job of hosting and this year they had excellent volunteer participation from their IG to assist FWS staff at the conference.
In my discussions with other conference delegates, members of the BOT and other attendees, I heard how our fellow SLAA members reach out to strengthen their IG and local meetings and to welcome the addict that still suffers. Each person I spoke to stressed how giving service back to SLAA has strengthened their own recovery.
Given the number of meetings held within our Intergroup, we are authorized to send up to 4 delegates to the annual ABC/M. Depending upon finances, it would be my recommendation that the UK Intergroup send 2 delegates to the 2013 ABC/M in San Antonio. As it is recommended that each delegate serve a minimum of 2 consecutive years and not more than 4 consecutive years as a delegate, I would propose that IG set up a system whereby a new delegate is attending with an experienced delegate.
In closing, thanks again for placing your trust in me to be your voice at the conference for the 2nd consecutive year. It was a pleasure and an honour for me to be of service in this way