From Area 53 Delegate Dave C.
REPORT from the General Service Office
The AA World Services Board met on Friday, June 13, 2014, at the General Service Office in New York, NY. Newly-elected Chair of the AAWS Board, Billy N. opened the meeting and welcomed all in attendance, including new director Beau B. and new trustee director Chet P., Southeast Regional Trustee, and Joe D., newly-elected trustee director.
General Manager Phyllis H., extended appreciation to Mary C., the Conference Coordinator, and Nay W., her assistant, for their hard work in organizing the 64th General Service Conference. Phyllis also thanked the entire GSO Staff for the wonderful support that is the foundation of a well-run Conference. Responding to a number of requests, a new feature, “Recurring Contributions” was introduced in April to the Contribution Online portal of our website.
Then on June 2, we celebrated the successful launch of our newly redesigned website www.aa.org. and the accompanying mobile site. On June 10, GSO joined in gratitude for AA’s 79th Anniversary, sharing our history and giving special recognition to our “Big Book” which marked its 75th year in April.
Records – The newly published Domestic Intergroup and Central Office directory has been distributed. We anticipate that the International AA Directory and the directory of Central Offices and Intergroups Overseas will be printed and distributed in July, 2014. Proofing and editing is in process for the regional directories, with plans for distribution in the Fall.
Archives – The Archives staff have completed the preservation phase of our photograph and negative collection and will now be creating a detailed catalog. Efforts continue to preserve and scan the collection of early group correspondence (1939 through 1960s) with approximately 50% completed.
Support Services – A new “Welcome” kit for visitors to GSO has been created. The new kit is less bulky, more cost effective, and a welcome improvement!
Employee Updates – Yee T., staff assistant to the Director of Staff Services, retired on May 23, 2014 after 25 years at GSO; and a retirement party in her honor was held on May 15, 2014. We will miss Yee and wish her well. Following Mary D.’s retirement in August 2014, Mary Clare L. will move from Regional Forums to the Literature assignment. Clay R. will take over the Regional Forums responsibilities and continue to oversee the Nominating assignment, as well. Recruitment for the newly-created position for an AAWS Information Technology Manager is well underway. The position has been posted internally and on external websites. We anticipate a September 2014 hire date.
Staff Preparations are underway for the World Service Meeting, which will be held October 12-16, 2014 in Warsaw, Poland. Work continues on the 2015 International Convention registration brochures that are scheduled for the August 2014 mailing to over 64,000 AA members, groups and service entities around the world. Registration and housing will open on September 3, 2014 and members will be able to register online. Through the Registration process attendees will be able to preorder AAWS’s 2015 International Convention Souvenir Book and Grapevine’s 2015 Convention Commemorative Book. They will also have the option to subscribe to the Grapevine and La Viña.
The AAWS Board approved the following recommendations from the Technology/Communication/Services Committee:
- That the 2014 First Quarter Report on GSO’s AA Website activities be forwarded to the trustees’ Public Information Committee with the addition of a note to the “history” section, indicating that the Services Committee name had been changed to “Technology/Communication/Services,” and all subsequent committee references use the new name.
That the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the Comp/Scope/Procedures of AAWS Committees be reconvened to work with the staff secretary to review the Composition, Scope & Procedure of the renamed AAWS Technology/Communication/Services Committee and bring back a draft to the committee at their next meeting.
That the video “Hope: Alcoholics Anonymous” be posted on aa.org.
Publishing Sales – For the first five months, through May 2014, total gross sales are $7,031,867, which is $166,326 (1.09%) over estimate for the year to date. May itself saw sluggish sales: $1,224,416 actual vs. $1,424,400 estimated, which was $199,984 (14%) below budget. The month of April 2014 was unusually robust, totaling $2,558,097, because monies for presales of the 75th Anniversary edition of the Big Book were taken in this period (the month of publication), putting us ahead of budget for the month by $514,406 or 25.17% over the estimate of $2,043,691.
Special tri-lingual publication – Work continues on a special publication to highlight the impact of the book Alcoholics Anonymous and commemorate the first Spanish and French Language editions in the narrative, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first printing of the first edition of the Big Book. We have planned to distribute this publication as a supplement to the next edition of Box 4-5-9 (scheduled for mailing in August 2014), which will feature stories of how the Fellowship in the US and Canada has celebrated the milestone of the April 10, 1939 publication during the past Spring.
Digital Publishing Program – Following the General Service Conference, the digital publishing program has added new titles from our literature catalog and has seen steady sales. Currently, Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and Daily Reflections (in English, Spanish and French) are published on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iTunes stores. Living Sober is scheduled as the next title to be published in the three languages, to be followed by Came to Believe. Additionally, the AAWS Board approved that the new Conference-approved pamphlet, “Many Paths to Spirituality” be priced at of $.30, in English, French and Spanish.
The unaudited GSO financial update for the period January 1, 2014 – March 31, 2014 reflected:
- Net sales $3,262,530
- Gross Profit (Literature) $2,079,433
- Contributions $1,671,562
- Total operating expenses $3,692,983
- Net Income $ 58,121
Want to see the calendar of activities your 21 Trustee General Service Board? Here is the link: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/aa-general-service-board-calendars. Just paste it in your url and tell me what you think.
Dave C., delegate[at]area53aa[dot]org