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Join Us On A Volunteer Day!

by | Oct 1, 2022 | ComLine, Fellowship News

Saturday, November 6th, 12:30 PM Eastern US Time

Volunteer Day will introduce you to some ACA World Service Organization (WSO) committees. We hope to inspire volunteering, ensuring our organization continues to grow.

In joining a WSO committee we identify both our talents and desires, as well as the needs of the organization. Our wants meet group needs. Often we can even identify new needs – new opportunities – as we strive toward our primary purpose: to carry the message of recovery to all who suffer from being raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family. 

As a preview of the Volunteer Day committee presentations, I would like to offer insights into the Nominating Committee, with its unique features.

First, a few fun facts:

  • Up through the 2017 Annual Business Conference (ABC), new Trustees were nominated either by existing Board members, or by the ABC Delegates. No standard requirements were in place.
  • A motion passed in 2017 formed the Nominating Committee, responsible for vetting applicants for Board Trustee. Specific requirements for Trusteeship were established. The candidate has to apply, and the Committee will assess their readiness for service.
  • The Nominating Committee may have a maximum of five members, requiring one from outside North America. Currently, there are only two members.
  • Nominating Committee members are, themselves, vetted, with requirements identical to those for Trustees. The time commitment for Committee members is significantly less.
  • Confidentiality is an essential attribute of a Nominating Committee member. They demonstrate the ability to respectfully participate in a group conscience and to support the outcome. 
  • Committee members, themselves, may apply to become Trustees, but only after a two-year wait after serving on the Committee. It is the same for the Board, but in reverse. 

NOTE: More information may be found at: Nominating Committee | ACA WSO 

In hopes of learning more about the Nominating Committee, I recently spoke with the Chair, Denise R. Here are excerpts of our discussion. You’re joining in, somewhere in the middle…

Denise R: Jim, you asked me about diversity… At the 2018 ABC there was a motion to focus on diversity in ACA. Our biggest challenge in this regard is only nominating from those members who actually apply to be on the Board.

We draw from WSO committees, given the six months of service requirement. Our intention is to vet qualified nominees who can work objectively and compassionately. And we ask questions, very carefully, about under-represented groups, even though the candidate may not share those identities. If under-represented members do not apply, we don’t hold up the applications of qualified members who do apply.

Our Committee is specifically looking for people who can participate in a group conscience in a respectful way and not only accept the outcome, but support it. This is key for both the role of Trustee as well as Nominating Committee members. Confidentiality is an essential attribute as well.

Jim R: I remember the 2017 ABC. Delegates were calling out names of members to be nominated to the Board, from the floor of the Conference… Can a person, nowadays, suggest someone else?

[DR] No. A candidate must submit an application, themselves, with references. It is just like a job application.

[JR] So, what would I say to someone I thought would be a good Board member?

[DR] Tell them, “You would be great”. We need to encourage our fellow members… to support them in applying; not only for the Board, but also for the Nominating Committee.

[JR] Would membership on the Nominating Committee be a good fit for members who serve on other committees? What is the time commitment like? 

[DR] Yes. In fact, Committee members must each have one year or more of combined service for an ACA Intergroup, region, or WSO Committee, with at least six months of active participation on a WSO Committee.

Typically the time commitment for Committee members is about two hours, monthly… except when we are actively vetting and nominating a candidate. Then, the time jumps to around ten or eleven hours, to complete the process. Of course, we work around our Committee members’ schedules. 

[JR] Are you happy being on the Committee?

[DR] I am.

[JR] Why is that?

[DR] I feel like I am doing really important work.

We have to have a Board – in order to have an organization. We need a Board that works well with other people… demonstrates emotional sobriety… can have a Group Conscience… and discusses things respectfully. And when it’s not the way someone wants… they can take a deep breath and say, “Oh, well”, and support it.

I just think it’s essential.

[JR] Committee work, in general, is noted for personal growth and recovery? Has that been your experience?

[DR] Absolutely. I have grown tremendously from being on the Committee with fellow travelers who have good recovery and emotional sobriety. My personal confidence has grown and my voice is stronger. And this opportunity for my growth has been quite a gift. 

I feel like I am reaching a potential that I never knew I had.

[JR] What else could we know about your Committee?

[DR] It’s fun – and we meet some wonderful people. We’ve done interviews on four continents and New Zealand.

I get a special satisfaction nominating Board members that are highly qualified, have emotional sobriety, and want to give back to ACA. I love watching them serve from a place of love, knowing that our fellowship is in good hands. 

Information at: Nominating Committee | ACA WSO 

The page links to an application for becoming a Trustee. And there’s an outline of the Trustee nomination process. Find the Statement of Intent on Diversity.

Don’t overlook the Nominating Committee Guidelines & Application form, which can be downloaded here. Consider applying for membership on the Committee… “You would be great”.

To volunteer on Volunteer Day, fill out this form. We want members to moderate a Zoom breakout room – call on people with questions, lower hands, mute the forgetful, hold space for discussion – for 15 minutes. Training support and a simple script will be provided. Please join us.

Jim R

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