Proposal 6: GROW will develop a plan for covering the duties of the Business Meeting Chair while that position is vacant.
Rationale: As the group is aware, we repeatedly struggle to fill a small number of key TS positions. This time, the Business Meeting Chair position is vacant, and some of her duties are critical to GROW’s performance. While the position has a very light workload most of the time, it is a demanding job during business meetings and in the weeks preceding the business meeting.
The Business Meeting Chair’s main duties include:
- moderating the business meeting and keeping attention focused on the business at hand;
- monitoring and reporting on all discussions;
- tracking, recording, and reporting the results of all votes;
- assuring clarity for proposals and motions, assuring they are stated clearly for participants;
- setting the meeting agenda;
- providing minutes for the business meeting and summaries for GROW membership after each 3-day session;
- working closely with the Secretary and Webkeeper;
- participating in the “Mini Steering Committee” and reporting their activities to the business meeting;
- being knowledgeable about AA’s Traditions and Concepts; and
- understanding GROW’s Group Conscience Guidelines and AA Guidelines on the Group Conscience.
The Chair’s duties are focused on facilitating group decision-making and fall within a two-month period twice a year in March-April and September-October (except for Mini Steering Committee efforts that arise between meetings). In the month preceding a business meeting, the Chair reminds and, if necessary, supports the Secretary in announcing Trusted Servant vacancies. She also sends out invitations to the GROW membership each week before the meeting, including outlining the Agenda as it develops.
In the week before the meeting begins, the Chair will likely be busy preparing documents that open the meeting, assuring that TS reports are formatted properly for email. She may also provide the documents to the Webkeeper so they can be posted timely on our website.
During the business meeting, she must review all emails to the grow-business mailing list and take appropriate action, which might include revising proposals being discussed. On the first day of every 3-day session, she presents a new set of documents (minutes, revised proposals, summaries of discussions, and results of voting).
I have prepared two documents in Microsoft Word. One contains notes on each phase of the process for proposals, from introduction to final decisions based on participants’ votes. The second contains templates and samples of documents, including proposals, summaries, and announcements of results. I plan to put these on the website in the position description and make them available for download.
There are probably several ways to see that these duties are covered by our current Trusted Servants; but we need to have a plan for fulfilling the Business Chair’s role if no one has volunteered by early March 2023. It’s assumed that we will continue to announce the vacancy every month until it is filled or the next business meeting come along.
Unfortunately, these duties are not as discreet as those of the Secretary. I couldn’t break them down into separate areas that individuals could cover, although that might be possible to some degree. For example:
- preparing opening documents and sending the emails;
- working with members on Proposals;
- preparing minutes and summaries; and
- recording and counting votes.
This would require, I think, that one person be responsible for coordinating everyone, making sure that tasks are done within 3-day session process, and being the contact point for the activities.
Fortunately, working with the Webkeeper will not be a significant issues since I am now the Webkeeper. I can copy emails, format them, and post them on our website without having to rely on the ‘team’ to provide it to me – as long as they get the needed documents out timely.
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I look forward to your comments.
GROW Business Chair