Board of Directors Meeting May 5, 2003

Opening

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:09 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, May 5, 2003, by President Ruth Luckasson.

Attendance

Members present—Ruth A Luckasson, president; Ann P. Turnbull, president-elect; David L. Coulter, vice president; Joanna L. Pierson, secretary/treasurer; Steven F. Warren, past president; Cathy Ficker Terrill; William C. Gaventa; Sharon C. Gomez; Stanley D. Handmaker; Amy S. Hewitt, Yves Lachapelle; Genevieve D. Pugh; Alison Alya Reeve; David A. Rotholz; Martha E. Snell; Frances E. Ulrich; Mark H. Yeager. Members absent—Brian Clukey, Robert H. Horner, Neil J. Ross. National staff present—M. Doreen Croser, Paul Aitken, Ana Montoulieu. Guests—Valerie Bradley; Stuart Goldman, auditor, Betz and Goldman.

Acceptance of Minutes

J. Pierson presented the minutes.

M/S/P (F. Ulrich, S. Handmaker): To accept the minutes of the Board of Directors conference call on March 17, 2003.

M/S/P (M. Snell, D. Coulter): To accept the minutes of the Executive Committee conference call on April 21, 2003.

Business

Dues Increase

The Executive Committee is recommending a COLA dues increase that would cover the last 2 years because there was no such increase last year. The last COLA increase took effect in 2001. There was much discussion about the cost that members pay compared to the true cost of membership, which is higher. D Croser will discuss this with the leadership in her State of the Association address at the Chicago conference. The Board will discuss it at its meeting as well.

M/S/P (S. Warren, D. Rotholz): To support a membership dues increase of 7.33% based on the COLA.

2002 Audit Report and Management Letter

Stuart Goldman presented the 2002 audit report and management letter to the Board of Directors. There was a loss of $81,332 compared to $327,797 for the previous year. He noted the diligence of AAMR senior staff and the Executive Committee in implementing difficult decisions to lower this deficit drastically. He noted that this year's budget is a breakeven one, which will not pay off past deficits. In the last 9 years, AAMR has lost almost $1,000,000. As a result, all extra revenues this year should be earmarked for paying down the debt that already exists. Projects for the future must come with funding. Any decrease in revenues must be offset immediately by a decrease in expenditures, and this must be monitored for rapid implementation. This current year is a critical one for the Association. We have to figure out new ways to raise monies. Everyone needs to pitch in and look for monies from new sources. There must be a match between goals, financial priorities, and work intensity in everything AAMR undertakes. R. Luckasson commented that this supports the idea that we need an organization that can structurally make decisions quickly.

M/S/P (F. Ulrich, M. Snell): To accept the audit report.

Reports

Constitution and Bylaws Revision

M. Yeager reviewed the changes that this committee has recommended in the constitution and bylaws of the Association. The proposed revisions would allow the Executive Committee to move quickly on financial issues, allow for a more timely modification of the constitution and bylaws, would decrease the size of the Board of Directors by four members, specify the roles of the speaker pro tempore of the Assembly and the Conference, eliminate the veto power of the Assembly and the Conference, allow the Board to define membership categories with the exception of active and fellow memberships, remove all standing committees with the exception of the Awards and Fellowship and the Nominations and Elections committees, allow for the creation of ad hoc committees assigned definite tasks and outcomes, and eliminate the specific names of the AAMR journals, referring to them as the journals instead. A draft of the changes will be sent to members of the Assembly and the Conference prior to their meetings in Chicago for a vote at that meeting. M. Yeager was thanked for his excellent work.

M/S/P (J. Pierson, C. Ficker Terrill): To adopt the revisions to the AAMR Constitution and Bylaws. All Board members passed this subject to a final review of the document by Friday at noon. If a Board member wishes to change a vote, he or she could e-mail a “nay” vote to D. Croser prior to that time.

Adjustment of Board Terms

The SIGN Implementation Committee report required an extension of three Board members terms for one year to align correctly with the new length of Board terms determined by the SIGN Committee. All five Board members who were eligible agreed to extend their terms. Based on the approved report of the SIGN Implementation Committee, the three names were drawn randomly from the five by J. Pierson, who chaired the SIGN Implementation Committee. The three Board members who will extend their terms an extra year are William Gaventa, Robert Horner, and Genevieve Pugh.

Power of One Campaign

Currently there are 50 pledges according to W. Gaventa, who initiated this campaign and is purchasing buttons to support it. All of the leadership needs to continue to expand the campaign. The campaign will continue for the next year, at least until the Philadelphia conference.

Adaptive Behavior Scale

D. Croser reported that the contract for selling the current Adaptive Behavior Scale to ProEd for $150,000 and 12% on future products is being reviewed by AAMR attorneys.

Conference Update

A. Turnbull asked Board members to encourage people to attend the Chicago conference. Current registration is behind that of previous years. She noted that we will need to re-think the conference based on the more limited resources that staff have to devote to this and the need to utilize their time on matters more productive for AAMR's future.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:38 p.m. (EDT).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR

Secretary/Treasurer

Chicago Board Open Forum May 22, 2003

Ruth Luckasson chaired.

List of comments:

  • Ruth Luckasson's speech was fabulous, one of the most moving ever.

  • Great conference

  • Upset regarding VOR tagging on to Pennhurst Medical Group booth; much discussion regarding this; recommended that we send VOR a bill for having a booth, discussion about how unethical VOR is; well-organized presence and disguise of their views. VOR hired the Jefferson Group (high powered lobbying fund). We need to have counterpresence.

  • VOR wants to create “Centers of Excellence” in institutions to provide medical care for people with developmental disabilities.

  • Do we only welcome exhibitors with particular principles?

  • Letter to Pennhurst Medical Group that they are banned from AAMR presentations and exhibits at next conference in Philadelphia.

  • Using our journal to fight for us; use our position statements to fight this; have a commentary in the next issue of Mental Retardation; joint response from AAMR and The Arc to all newspapers with position statements whenever this appears with a list of contacts.

  • Have an Ad Hoc Committee on communicating with the media or planning a counter attack and be across organizations (work in partnership with The Arc). Call this the Media Education Committee. Looking too hostile reinforces their positions.

  • Exciting to move to the action realm, giving Regional Chairs a more active role, what are issues and themes in their regions; three regional board members to assembly to be very active in getting regions to work on action goals and benchmarks about what they hope to accomplish and same active strategic agenda within Divisions and SIGs.

  • Assembly: focus on how to build stronger chapters, regions, and membership.

  • Conference—should be leader on issues of substance in the field.

  • Differently empowering both groups, change our philosophy regarding what these groups contribute.

  • Old avenue to do this was through conference planning, so need to design new ways to bring forth issues of substance to create products.

  • Look at history to see what it was that brought people to the annual meeting in the past; it was discipline-specific, so each Division must have enough sessions to make it worth attending. Interdisciplinary approach began approximately 15 years ago; over time there became less to market (little information about the program and little professional content and not much interdisciplinary sessions); AAMR organized first professional standards for institutions; now must deal with meaty issues of content; think about what were our winners rather than a new innovation.

  • How to make regional groups as powerful as possible: they can develop regular state of the art reports on school-age children, adults, families; political action pamphlet from LASI Committee; each region should focus on what they believe are top three or four issues from that; how this links up at national meeting with the Board needs to be determined.

  • Use time to come together in leadership meetings. Need a facilitator to lead the groups through issues, a.m. preparing what are issues in your states and regions and then p.m. discussing these issues with each other.

  • Need for time management at the Board, Assembly, and Conference meetings.

  • If subgroups want to seize their agendas they should, but should not decrease their representation on the Board.

  • Assembly can tell the Board what the membership thinks of it; if Speaker leaves the afternoon meeting must still make them feel they have a voice in the organization; this is Val Bradley and Suzie's responsibility to make them feel they have a voice as an Advisory Group.

  • Need to re-think confusing “activity” with “accomplishment;” every individual membership organization is seeing a decline in membership; part of AAMR has been usurped by other specific organizations; don't need to go to AAMR to get the latest information (used to be the journals and conference). What should be the role?

  • Every disability now has its own organization; history tells you to get rid of dead sacred cows, need to find what our niche is now; much is about who was in power trying to keep it.

  • Organizations should not try to solve their problems by changing their structure.

  • We have become like public radio, many more people listen to us than are members, need to think about how to engage them.

  • Divisions: CEUs part of what attracts professionals to the conference, was difficult to provide them when did not know the program; need to know more about the schedule ahead of time (including the Academy sessions)

Board of Directors Meeting May 23, 2003

Opening

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 5:09 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, May 23, 2003, by President Ann Turnbull.

Attendance

Members present—Ann Turnbull, president; David Coulter, president elect; Valerie Bradley, vice president; Joanna Pierson, secretary/treasurer; Ruth Luckasson, past president; Sharon Coutryer; William Gaventa; Sharon Gomez; Robert Horner; Yves Lachapelle; Wendy Nehring; Frances Ulrich; Patricia Williams. Members absent—Amy Hewitt, Suzie Lassiter, Genevieve Pugh, Neil Ross, David Rotholz, Timothy Shriver. National staff present—M. Doreen Croser, Maria Alfaro, Paul Aitken, Bruce Appelgren, Betty Margallo, Anna Montoulieu, Anna Prabhala, Yvette Taylor. Guests—R. Dwain Blackston, Stan Handmaker, Mark Yeager.

Opening

Acceptance of Minutes

J. Pierson presented the minutes for information. They will be approved at the next Board conference call.

Business

Conference Wrap-up

A. Turnbull led a discussion of what to build on from the current conference and what to change. For next year, Divisions and Special Interest Groups will be told that they can develop their own programs on the day before the conference in Philadelphia. The Conference of Professional Interests needs to focus quickly on redefining the role of the Divisions to enable them to better serve the 90% of their members who do not attend the conference.

Young Professionals Discussion

V. Bradley provided an update of her session with young professionals. They felt the conference was too formal, and they did not like being asked for money at the first session. They noted that they attend to improve their craft and to be mentored and want the passing of the “baton” to some younger leaders, more fun things to do, more inexpensive events, more times to network, more choices for housing at the conference, and electronic communication. V. Bradley commented that she intends to continue a virtual dialogue with these individuals as well as changing the student web page to young professionals.

Strategic Plan Discussion

V. Bradley led the discussion. The Board agreed that the Number 1 goal should be to stabilize the organization. Additional ideas to pursue included enhancing of divisional and regional responsibility; deciding what to do about the annual meeting, including what would replace the annual meeting; exploring ways to make the Association and its conferences more affordable; integrating policy impact; making people aware of the numbers and power of AAMR; monthly monitoring of membership; aligning our resources to our values; and new products and information. The strategic plan will be based on the above information.

Philadelphia Conference in 2004

D. Coulter will have the “Call For Papers” out by Friday, May 30, 2003. W. Nehring reported that the CDC will be involved in a preconference for the 2004 conference that will cover 13 topics.

Constitution and Bylaws

There was much discussion about the Assembly and Conference ideas regarding the proposed changes to the current constitution and bylaws. It was felt that, although both groups endorsed the changes, there were strong concerns from both groups about the loss of two Board representatives from each group. The need for the Assembly and Conference to devote significant energies to moving the Association and field forward rather than devoting most of their energies to governance was discussed. The need to preserve the commitment of members of these groups as well as the general membership was discussed as well.

M/S/P (R. Horner, P. Williams): To accept the Council and the Assembly vote to move forward for membership vote on the changes in the constitution with the exception of withholding the changes in board membership. There was one vote against the motion. R. Luckasson cast a dissenting vote because of her belief that these changes are part of a larger picture of systems change that is needed in the Association.

Power of One Campaign

W. Gaventa commented that he has received 60 more commitments to the Power of One Campaign.

Planned Giving Campaign

A. Turnbull mentioned that H. Mann has volunteered to conduct a Planned Giving Campaign for AAMR.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m. (CDT).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR

Executive Committee Conference Call May 30, 2003

Opening

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:02 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, May 30, 2003 by President Ann Turnbull.

Attendance

Members present—Ann P. Turnbull, president; David Coulter, president-elect; Valerie Bradley, vice president; Joanna L. Pierson, secretary/treasurer; David Rotholz, Conference of Professional Interests; Suzie Lassiter, Assembly of Geographic Interests. National staff present: M. Doreen Croser, Maria Alfaro. Guest: Ruth A Luckasson.

Business

Conference Planning

There was an extensive discussion of the conference, including how to reduce the impact on staff time because this planning takes away from their work on AAMR's other priorities, ways to involve the Divisions and Special Interest Groups, how to make the poster sessions even more effective, fundraising efforts related to conducting the conference, and the use of the conference to continue to have the Association's leadership meet.

Executive Committee Retreat

D. Croser will put together revised budget information for the retreat. The June 20 Board of Directors conference call will be used to prepare for the retreat.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:08 p.m. (EDT).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson

Secretary/Treasurer

Board of Directors Conference Call June 20, 2003

Opening

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:07 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, June 20, 2003, by President Ann Turnbull.

Attendance

Members present—Ann Turnbull, president; David Coulter, president-elect; Valerie Bradley, vice president; Joanna Pierson, secretary/treasurer; Ruth Luckasson, past president; Sharon Coutryer; Sharon Gomez; Amy Hewitt; Robert Horner; Yves Lachapelle; Suzie Lassiter; Wendy Nehring; Genevieve Pugh; David Rotholz; Patricia Williams. Members absent—William Gaventa, Neil Ross, Timothy Shriver, Frances Ulrich. National Staff present—M. Doreen Croser.

Business

Strategic Plan Discussion

A. Turnbull asked each Board member to actively participate in implementing the strategic plan. Submit a paragraph elaborating their background, focus in association activities, and include a photo for the website. The three goals in the strategic plan are (a) stabilizing the Association, (b) improving and rejuvenating internal governance, and (c) developing a viable policy agenda. Each group in the Association needs to determine accomplishable priorities in the next 12 months and focus on those efforts. There was a specific discussion of what activities are occurring and need to occur, which will be incorporated in the strategic plan by V. Bradley. R. Horner reported that the Publications Committee has discussed the development of monographs and papers organized for use in courses based on journal articles as a new product of AAMR. W. Nehring is doing a core curriculum in health and is giving the royalties to AAMR. The development of Continuing Education Units modules for the new definition has been discussed. The Power of One Campaign will go on the website and an e-mail about this will go to all members. This needs to be promoted in all groups in AAMR. The national level Power of One Committee will need to provide support to the regional coordinators of the campaign. W. Gaventa and G. Pugh will work on this. A. Hewitt, V. Bradley, D. Rotholz, and S. Gomez will work on recruiting younger members and helping making the Association relevant to them.

Y. Lachapelle has a proposal for 2006 conference, in which AAMR would participate in Montreal on an International Conference on Social Inclusion as part of a larger group. For the Philadelphia conference, S. Gomez talked about involving Assembly members in conference planning as part of a standing committee because many of them have been involved in planning the regional and chapter conferences. The preconference workshops have been well-received as a way to involve the Divisions and Special Interest Groups. There are many other ways that the Divisions and SIGs and the Regions and Chapters will be involved in addition to the conference planning. They will be considering the development of a new product. At the Midwinter Leadership Meeting, January 23–25, 2004, there will be time for presentations from leaders in these groups to discuss their accomplishments.

There was discussion of the top priorities for focus. Funding, training for professionals, and self-determination/inclusion/self-advocacy were all seen by members as the three top issues when they were surveyed last year. Importance of the Supports Intensity Scale was mentioned. Health was mentioned as another issue to be pursued.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:12 p.m. (EDT).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR

Secretary/Treasurer

Board of Directors Conference Call July 21, 2003

Opening

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:03 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 21, 2003, by President Ann Turnbull.

Attendance

Members present—Ann Turnbull, president; David Coulter, president-elect; Valerie Bradley, vice president; Joanna Pierson, secretary/treasurer; William Gaventa; Amy Hewitt; Robert Horner; Yves Lachapelle; Suzie Lassiter; Wendy Nehring; Genevieve Pugh; David Rotholz; Timothy Shriver; Frances Ulrich. Members absent—Ruth Luckasson, past president; Sharon Coutryer; Sharon Gomez; Neil Ross; Patricia Williams. National staff present—M. Doreen Croser, Ana Montoulieu, Paul Aitken.

Acceptance of Minutes

J. Pierson presented the minutes.

M/S/P (F. Ulrich, D. Rotholz): Unanimously to accept the May 20, 2003, Board of Directors Meeting minutes with a note that the Health Promotions Committee has been writing articles for Exceptional Parent magazine since October 2002; the May 23, 2003, Board of Directors Meeting minutes, the May 30, 2003 Executive Committee Conference Call minutes, and the June 20, 2003, Board of Directors conference call minutes.

Reports

Financial

J. Pierson discussed the need to raise $100,000 this year to avoid a deficit. The fiscal problems are in the Supports Intensity Scale publication date of late November when June was projected, the journals bankruptcy issue of $25,000, and a decrease in membership. She noted that this is not time to be cutting staff anymore. Instead, the leadership needs to raise revenues and increase membership by December 31.

President

A. Turnbull reported on the Executive Committee Retreat, noting that the Strategic Plan resulted from this and earlier discussions. The Board of Directors discussed and modified the plan including individuals responsible for activities. There was discussion about organizing AAMR based on support areas rather than the current Division structure. The need for all groups in AAMR to report on their work on the Strategic Plan at the MidWinter Meeting in January was discussed. A. Turnbull expressed appreciation to Valerie Bradley for compiling this document and modifying it based on the Board of Directors discussion.

M/S/P (D. Coulter, F. Ulrich): To adopt the Strategic Plan currently proposed.

President-Elect

D. Coulter reported on the 2004 conference. The call for papers will be posted on the website. The conference will be about the community supports model of health. He is working on invited speakers and is planning to put the abstracts online as well as having tapes of plenary speakers online but will require a volunteer to do this. He discussed renegotiating the contract with the Philadelphia hotel now.

Vice President

V. Bradley mentioned that she and S. Lassiter are jointly sending a letter to the Assembly and holding conference calls with the Assembly divided into groups. She described the importance of students being able to vote in AAMR elections. She spoke of their desire to vote and the fact that most student members of the Association are graduate students.

M/S/P (V. Bradley, D. Rotholz): To allow student members of AAMR to vote in AAMR elections.

Executive Director

D. Croser discussed the upcoming environmental summit at Wingspread funded by the Merck Fund. It will include representatives from the community representing the interests of people with developmental disabilities and the environmental community, developing plans at this summit on the disability prevention agenda. It will bring together communities that have not worked together in the past, and it is a groundbreaking effort. The proceedings will be on the website and in a publication.

Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore

S. Lassiter reminded Board members that short timeframes are a problem in activating the chapters and regions to become involved in any plan or effort of the Association.

Conference Chairperson Pro-Tempore

D. Rotholz held a conference call with 16–18 participants from the Conference. Topics discussed included increasing services to members, the low membership in some divisions, the importance of clinical content at the conference, and product development. A. Hewitt sponsored this conference call. The Conference wants to have quarterly calls to accomplish their work.

Power of One Campaign Update

W. Gaventa mentioned that they are presenting campaign buttons to supporters. This campaign will be successful because of the enthusiasm it generates and by people promoting this in new ways. He noted that a fourth grade at a Montessori school has donated money to this campaign; he will put their letter on the website. A list of contributors will be on the website.

Note: All Board members were asked to send their biography information to Ann Turnbull prior to the next Board of Directors conference call.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:09 p.m. (EDT)

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR

Secretary/Treasurer

Executive Committee Conference Call August 18, 2003

Opening

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, August 18, 2003, by President Ann Turnbull.

Attendance

Members present—Ann Turnbull, president; David Coulter, president-elect; Joanna Pierson, Secretary/Treasurer; Suzie Lassiter, Assembly of Geographic Interests; Members absent—Valerie Bradley, vice president; David Rotholz, Conference of Professional Interests. National staff present: M. Doreen Croser; Maria Alfaro; Paul Aitken. Guests: Ruth Luckasson, past president; Wendy Nehring.

Reports

Wingspread Conference Highlights

W. Nehring distributed a report from on the Wingspread Conference that will be presented to the Board of Directors. This conference was coordinated by AAMR. She reported that it was a phenomenal conference, providing a basis for future education and action steps. D. Croser will convene a task force of participants to work on a report and a manuscript for the journal, develop a fact sheet of known and suspected environmental toxins and mental retardation, and disseminate information at our national conferences including the policy forum. The visibility of this task force is very important. The report will be available on the AAMR website and distributed to the leadership at the January meeting.

Finance Committee

J. Pierson reported that the committee is being sent names of corporate members and possible sponsorship opportunities for fundraising for AAMR. She also reported that AAMR is making significant progress on its finances. The Executive Committee reviewed a June cash flow analysis. Last year the Association had to borrow money in July; this year this will not occur until September. Revenues are higher than last year, and expenses are lower.

Fundraising Efforts

For the Power of One Campaign, which is chaired by W. Gaventa, a letter from V. Bradley and S. Lassiter was sent last Tuesday asking chapters and regions to appoint a coordinator. S. Lassiter feels this may be hard to get off the ground by the end of the year, and the campaign may generate more next year than this year. The 2004 dues mailing will include a Power of One Campaign donation line. A committee is being formed to solicit pharmaceutical and other health companies. There is not yet a chair for this group. The Finance Committee discussed how it can raise monies from provider agencies and other groups and is designing a plan to do so.

There also is an effort for building up Association reserves. There was a conference call meeting with Pamela Baker, Hank Mann, Ann Turnbull, and Doreen Croser to discuss this effort. A letter will be mailed after Labor Day to past presidents asking for a $2,500 contribution as well as for a longer term commitment.

Business

Niche Statement

Executive Committee members were asked to review the statement. Its purpose is to provide a single message by which AAMR will become known. It will be used in our publications and otherwise disseminated. The language should not be highly technical. Executive Committee members were asked to send feedback by end of the week.

Proposal for a Children's Version of the SIS

There was discussion about various versions of the Supports Intensity Scale. James Thompson and Michael Wehmeyer have been contacted about a children's version. J. Thompson said the committee had some concerns about a version to be utilized by nursing homes because the tool is about community inclusion and independence rather than significant health issues. There was discussion about designing a handbook on creative supports to build on the SIS assessment tool.

Philadelphia 2004 Conference

D. Coulter reported that he has many of the key speakers. He now is waiting for submissions.

Membership and ABS Committees

A. Turnbull reported that these committees have been started.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:16 p.m. (EDT).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR

Secretary/Treasurer