Board of Directors Meeting Crystal City, Virginia, January 25, 2004


The meeting was called to order at 8:02 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, January 25, 2004, by President-Elect David Coulter.


Members present—David Coulter, president-elect; Valerie Bradley, vice president; Joanna Pierson, secretary/treasurer; Sharon Coutryer; William Gaventa; Sharon Gomez; Yves Lachapelle; Suzie Lassiter; Wendy Nehring; Tia Nelis; David Rotholz; Frances Ulrich; Patricia Williams. Members absent—Ann Turnbull, president; Ruth Luckasson, past president; Amy Hewitt; Robert Horner; Genevieve Pugh; Neil Ross; Timothy Shriver. National staff present—M. Doreen Croser, Paul Aitken, Maria Alfaro, Bruce Appelgren, Ana Montolieu. Guests present—Hank Bersani, Richard Garnett, Bernard Wagner, Mark Yeager, Warren Zigman.

Acceptance of Minutes: J. Pierson presented the minutes. She thanked S. Gomez for taking the minutes of the Board of Directors conference call on November 17, 2003.

M/S/P (F. Ulrich, W. Nehring): To accept the November 17, 2003, Board of Directors Meeting minutes.

M/S/P (S. Gomez, F. Ulrich): To accept the December 15, 2003, Executive Committee Meeting minutes.


November 2003 Financial Statement: D. Croser noted that this statement shows a slightly larger projected surplus in 2003 because some publications marketing that was to occur in 2003 will instead be completed in 2004. The Board congratulated staff and the Executive Committee for their efforts to turn the deficits of the past into a surplus in 2003.

2004 Proposed AAMR Budget: J. Pierson presented the proposed budget for 2004. She noted that the overall budget has a small surplus, but membership and the annual conference both have a deficit. The surplus in publications covers these losses. The Board discussed the need for sponsorships to be raised for the conference, the importance of targeted marketing to increase attendance at the conference, and the need to increase membership. There was discussion about the Divisions and Special Interest Group (SIGs) allocations, and D. Rotholz was asked to discuss guidelines for use of these allocations at the next Board conference call.

M/S/P (S. Gomez, V. Bradley): To accept the proposed 2004 budget.

M/S/P (S. Lassiter, S. Gomez): To increase staff salaries now, to approve the Divisions and Special Interest Groups Allocations at the Board conference call in 2 months if budget revenues and expenditures remain at least as positive as budgeted, to approve the Regions and Chapters rebates in November if the finances are as budgeted, and to examine webpage enhancements if additional monies become available.

Investment Option: J. Pierson explained that the money from the sale of the Adaptive Behavior Scales needs to be invested.

M/S/P (J. Pierson, S. Gomez): To accept the Association's financial advisor's recommendation for investment of the monies from the sale of the Adaptive Behavior Scales.

Melwood Inquiry and Fundraising Proposal: D. Croser had a discussion with Melwood about a proposal they have for joint fundraising with AAMR. This would involve sales of donated vehicles. D. Croser reported that she is on the Board of Directors of Melwood and, therefore, would recuse herself from the discussion of the Melwood proposal. There was support for this idea because, although a different type of venture for AAMR, it could assist with the finances of the Association.

M/S/P (S. Lassiter, V. Bradley): To request that Doreen Croser pursue discussions with Melwood on the vehicle donation program.

Nominations and Elections Committee Election Results: D. Croser presented the Association election results. The proposed changes to the Constitution and By-laws passed by a 7 to 1 margin. Those elected to leadership positions are Hank Bersani, Jr., vice president; Joanna Pierson, secretary/treasurer; Susan Havercamp and Wayne Silverman, Board of Directors; Leonard Abbeduto, Communication Disorders Division president; Krista Wilkinson, Communication Disorders Division president-elect; Andrea Lack, Down Syndrome SIG chair-elect; Howard Miller, Creative Arts Therapies SIG chair-elect; Nina Scribanu, Genetics SIG chair-elect; Paul Kolstoe, Mental Health Issues SIG chair-elect; Donna Lockner, Nutrition and Dietetics president; and Barbara Hanley, Social Work Division president-elect.

Awards & Fellowship Committee Report: W. Zigman announced the 2004 Awardees. There was discussion of the 2004 AAMR Fellows.

M/S/P (J. Pierson, D. Rotholz): To promote Wil Buntinx, Edward Carr, Robert Fletcher, Sheryl Larson, and Richard Rader to AAMR Fellow status.

Next Steps to Implement the New Constitution and Bylaws: M. Yeager detailed his proposed next steps to strengthen the Association, which were presented at the MidWinter Leadership Meeting. The Board spent a significant amount of time discussing how to ensure that AAMR moves programmatically along with being fiscally responsible. One of the concerns discussed was how to provide a way for experts in the field who are elected to use their offices to promote important issues instead of having to devote all of their energies to addressing the business needs of AAMR. The discussion also focused on ways to provide many arenas for involvement by people in the field without having everyone devote most of their energy to governance issues. Communities of interest will have ways to get together in this new structure. The key question in designing this structure is how to have appropriate checks and balances to enable the programmatic work to be paramount without the fiscal impact to the Association being ignored. The best use of people's talents is to be the focus of next steps. M. Yeager will modify his proposal for discussion during all Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings through May, with a proposal finalized during the May Board of Directors conference call.

2006 Meeting in Montreal: Y. Lachapelle presented a proposal for AAMR to have its 2006 Annual Meeting in Montreal. The Board of Directors felt that this was an excellent idea. He will provide D. Croser with a business plan that outlines the financial and other involvement required from AAMR.

M/S/P (V. Bradley, S. Gomez): To support the concept of the Montreal meeting serving as the 2006 AAMR Annual Conference and to develop a business plan with a report to the Board of Directors at the March Board meeting.


Conference of Professional Interests: D. Rotholz reported that the meeting included a discussion of the supports paradigm, with an example prepared jointly by the Education Division and Region V. Each Division and SIG now has its own listserv. They must update their webpage by March 1. Those not updated will be removed from the AAMR webpage.

Assembly of Geographic Interests: S. Lassiter reported that the Assembly spent their meeting sharing information from their locales, including many creative efforts. They discussed how each Chapter and Region will work on the strategic plan. Communication issues, specifically how to determine on an ongoing basis who is the leadership contact for each Chapter and Region, was discussed.

National Quality Caregiving Coalition Dues: W. Gaventa has represented AAMR on this group. He explained AAMR's involvement in the group, mentioning their website and professional caregiver award. The dues are $625.

M/S/P (V. Bradley, S, Coutryer): To pay dues to be a member of the National Caregiving Coalition.

Ad Hoc Membership Committee: The larger leadership group at the MidWinter Meeting discussed the draft ideas from the committee. S. Gomez plans to incorporate the ideas from yesterday in discussion with the committee. Recommendations will be available for the next Board conference call.

Ad Hoc Committee on Positive Behavior Supports: D. Rotholz reported that the committee members will present at conferences to publicize the Positive Behavior Supports Curriculum. Because some purchasers have requested the overheads be available in PowerPoint, work on this will be discussed with AAMR staff.

International Committees Activities: Y. Lachapelle elaborated the goals of this committee. These include learning how the definition of mental retardation is applied in different nations, contacting all recipients of the International Awards, and contacting all international members by e-mail.

Health Promotion and Prevention Committee: D. Coulter presented the new mission statement of the committee to “identify and promote healthy lifestyle choices and best practices healthcare towards optimal health outcomes and the reduction of secondary health conditions in persons with mental retardation.”

Power of One Campaign: W. Gaventa discussed the need to provide specifics as to the use of the contributions that people are being asked to make. There was discussion about focusing the monies on advocacy and public policy efforts, including the Amici Briefs, maintaining the progress that AAMR has made in bettering the lives of people with disabilities. He and V. Bradley will work on wording this effort. W. Gaventa raised $4,500 for the Power of One Campaign at the MidWinter Meeting. He will do a progress report in FYI next month.

Agency Support Campaign: J. Pierson noted that S. Gomez has agreed to assist with this effort, which she believes will lead to greater success.

Ad Hoc SIS Implementation Committee: V. Bradley reported that the committee is targeting presenting at meetings that likely purchasers attend. She is exploring the idea of having conference calls or other means available to develop a community of SIS users. She mentioned the need to tailor our message to the different groups that may use the tool, anticipating differing questions from each group.

MidWinter Leadership Meeting: The Board of Directors expressed its appreciation to AAMR President A. Turnbull for her excellent design for this year's AAMR leadership meeting. Everyone who attended complimented the program and noted that they felt they were asked to participate throughout in meaningful ways. The agenda was sufficiently strong that it was successful even though A. Turnbull was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.

Credentialing Direct Support Staff: This issue was strongly supported by attendees at the MidWinter Meeting as an important area in which AAMR should move quickly. V. Bradley will contact A. Turnbull to discuss specific efforts in this area.

Newsletter for Health Research: D. Coulter said he is recruiting a board of contributing editors for this effort. The reports will present reviews and summaries of cutting-edge health research as it relates to people with developmental disabilities.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m. (EST).

Respectfully submitted,

Joanna Pierson, PhD, FAAMR