AAWS Report for June 2013

June 21, 2013

The A.A. World Services board met on June 21, at the General Service Office in New York, NY. Newly elected chair of the AAWS Board, J. Gary L. opened the meeting.

Manager’s Report
General manager Phyllis H. reported that Adrienne B. will retire at the end of November of this year. We have moved forward with a search for an additional staff person to come on board later in the year – a communication regarding this matter was sent to Conference members and included in the summer issue of Box 459.

She extended thanks to the Support Services Team who have welcomed four large groups in May for a total of 135 people.

Because regional directories are not being printed, our Records staff is able to complete a sweep of the Primary and Secondary contacts in group records. The anticipated result of this project is to update our current group records to include valid group contacts, greatly reducing the amount of returned group mail, postage and printing costs.

Recently, the Archives staff began a project of photographing all of the early Big Book collection and a small number of other early AAWS books held in the Archives. The photographs are to be added to the Archives library catalog for the purpose of building a comprehensive Big Book catalog.

In early May, Mary Clare L., on the International assignment, and Phyllis traveled to the Ukraine for their 15th General Service Conference. Although there are fewer than 90 groups in all of the Ukraine, the energy and excitement of the membership has created a vital and growing A.A. structure.

The Northeast Regional Forum was held in June in Cromwell, CT, with 582 members in attendance. Highlights included a presentation on A.A.’s history made by GSO’s (nonalcoholic) Archivist, Michelle Mirza; and a presentation on “AA around the World,” by newly elected trustee-at-large/U.S. Bob W.

Staff
GSO staff is preparing to rotate In July. They are finalizing rotation memos, and sharing about responsibilities with the staff who will rotate into their assignments on July 15.

Following the 2013 General Service Conference, the 2013 Advisory Actions, Additional Committee Considerations and Floor Actions in English, French and Spanish were posted on the Conference Dashboard and distributed, via Email, to Conference members of the 63rd GSC. Additionally, the summer issue of
Box 459, which is the Conference issue, is posted on GSO’s A.A. website.

The summer issue of Sharing from Behind the Walls was published. Staff met with Canadian corrections committees to discuss extending the reach of GSO’s Corrections Correspondence Service to Canada (or to discuss implementation of a Canadian Corrections Correspondence Service.)

An Activity Update was sent to Central/Intergroup Offices providing information about this year’s General Service Conference, the annual Anonymity Memo to the Media, and recent AAWS Highlights.

A sweep is being conducted to update G.S.O.’s information about foreign language meetings (other than English, French and Spanish) in the U.S. and Canada.

Services
The Board approved the Services Committee’s recommendation that GSO’s A.A. website’s Quarterly Report (January – March 2013) be forwarded to the trustees’ Committee on Public Information.

The Board approved the Services Committee’s recommendation that a calendar function be added to the Daily Reflections page on GSO’s A.A. website, so that visitors can navigate to all dates/entries.

The Board approved the Services Committee’s recommendation that existing public service announcements be posted in a mobile-friendly format on the website, in order to make these items available on the widest number of digital platforms.

Publishing
Total gross sales through May 2013 were $5,596,016, which was $142,764 (2.70%) over budget and $133,306 over last year.

The AAWS Online Store site for bulk orders has been implemented and operational since May 8. The consumer online sales website is in progress; further testing scheduled for mid-summer; expectations are that this section of the store will be operational late summer. In accordance with the Advisory Action regarding the distribution of AAWS books through third-party vendors, the Publishing Department has discussed with a number of vendors their policies, terms and conditions for such distribution. No decision has yet been made on which distributor(s) will be engaged.

The Publishing Department is moving forward with the editorial and production requirements of the facsimile edition of the first printing of the First Edition of the Big Book, to be published in April 2014.

The Board priced the American Sign Language DVD of “A.A. For the Alcoholic With Special Needs” and the English, Spanish and French audio versions of this pamphlet on CDs at $5.00 each. The Board also recommended that the concept of a Souvenir Book for the 2015 International Convention be forwarded to the trustees’ Committee on International Conventions/Regional Forums.

Finance
For the first three months of 2013, contributions from A.A. groups and members of $1,580,530 were $64,302 under budget. Gross profit on literature sales of $2,058,435 was $105,836 over budget. Total expenses of $3,613,854 were $3,848 over budget. Net income totaled $25,216 compared with a three month budgeted loss of $12,380.

Other
The Board discussed the process for sharing group contact Email information with A.A. Grapevine, and will review a final procedure for approval at their July meeting. In addition, the Board reviewed the initiatives from the General Service Board plan pertaining to AAWS, and discussed implementation.