USATAA held a general membership meeting at the International TA Conference on August 9, 2007.  Here are the minutes submitted by Bobbie Barry, coordinator of communications.

Present: Over 40 members (the quorum is 10% of the membership, or 13 members)

The meeting was called to order at 5:05

Introduction of Council Members – General Coordinator Lucy Freedman greeted the participants and reported that the Council has restored staggered terms for members.

Lucy then introduced the Council members and asked them to check in.

Present were Members At Large Lucy Freedman, Bobbie Barry, Vern Masse, Toppie Lincicome, and Suzanne Wilson, Past General Coordinator Dianne Maki, Regional Representatives Marian Weisberg, Abe Wagner, Suzanne Wilson, Chuck Holland, Phyllis Jenkins and Ad Hoc Members Val Chang, Angela Berquist, Felipe Garcia, and Fanita English.

Ad Hoc Member Denton Roberts was unable to attend.

Marian (NE Rep) reported that she is also president of the Eastern Regional TA Association, which many of us might be familiar with from the conferences they have run every few years. She said they are appreciative of what USATAA is doing and are considering a cooperative or merger relationship with us in the future.

Chuck (SW Rep) announced that there will be a Gathering sponsored by the USATAA Southwest Region on April 11-13, 2008, to which everyone is invited.

Following these introductions, the election of the five At Large Members was approved by acclamation.

The minutes from the Membership Meeting in Nashville, TN on October 29, 2005, were also approved by acclamation.

Lucy reminded us that four of the people who were present at the first meeting proposing the formation of USATAA were present at today’s meeting—herself, Fanita English, Muriel James, and Felipe Garcia.

Finance Report – Vern Masse, Coordinator of Finance, gave a summary financial report. As of the end of 2006, we had over $50,000 in income and 24,000 in expenses. giving us net assets of about $26,000. Part of those assets were from the grant from ITAA to support our educational activities. As of June 30, 2007, our assets were $167,916.27. This number is large because it includes the income from the conference but not most of the expenses. He does expect that we will have positive net earnings at the end of this year.

Overview of Council Structure – Felipe Garcia provided historical background that USATAA’s aim from the beginning was to have a flat organizational structure, run from the regions, rather than a hierarchy of officers. We envisioned not a lack of structure, but a different type of structure, governed by consensus and cooperation. Lucy pointed out that this is now a preferred structure in organizations.

Lucy Freedman expressed the Council’s thanks to former Ad Hoc Council member Bill Krieger, for helping us do strategic thinking and to define ourselves as “The US organization of professionals who use Transactional Analysis in their practices.”

In the following discussion, she clarified that this definition is not meant to exclude anyone but simply represents the need for any organization to prioritize in its efforts to build membership. We decided that the most rapid way to spread TA in the US was to focus on counseling and psychotherapy, for which we could offer the benefit of Continuing Education credits for attending educational events. Due to the work of Mary Westphal, we can also offer college credits for conference attendance. Later we can expand by providing CEUs or other benefits for organizational or educational members.

Communications Report – Bobbie Barry reported that her duties include creating minutes and handling correspondence. In the interest of providing transparency to the membership, the Council has agreed that the Coordinator of Communication should also post a summary of Council actions (and, as Felipe reminded us, actions under consideration) on the USATAA website. Because of the press of conference-related business that Bobbie has also been involved in as Chair of the CEU Committee, she has been unable to do so yet, but intends to start after the conference. The Highlights of Council Business that Lucy prepared as a handout for this meeting are a summary of Council business so far this year. (see previous post in membership news)

The website committee and the NET newsletter committee also fall under the purview of the Coordinator of Communication, and are handled by Lucy Freedman (website) and Angela Berquist (NET). Angela reported that the next edition of the NET will have a theme of articles about the conference, and the deadline for submissions for the Fall NET is September 15. She has been soliciting contributions from non-US as well as US attendees at the conference. Everyone is also encouraged to submit any other news items, including workshops they have conducted. She requested that people submit articles as soon as possible, and not worry about the writing. Angela is available to help with rewriting, especially if she gets the material early. Her aim has been to choose topics that will be of interest to both us and the general community. The theme for the Winter 2008 NET is Nurturing and Parenting, and the deadline for submissions in January 10, 2008.

Education Committee Report – We reviewed the structure of Education activities. Toppie Lincicome is Coordinator of Education. Val Chang is Chair of the TA Certificate/Practitioner Committee and Bobbie is Chair of the CEU Committee.

We also have a proposed Vision and Strategies Committee, for which a Chair and members are needed. The Education Project has been headed by Denton Roberts. It was under the Coordinator of Education and is now under the Coordinator of Programs, Suzanne Wilson. As the Project moves out of the pilot stage Denton would like to turn over the ongoing administration to someone else.

Education Project Report – Since Denton was unable to be present, Chuck Holland reported on the events so far. Chuck stated that one of the goals of the Project is to make it easier for people to begin a TA credentialing process without having to invest $2,000 to 5,000 right away. He said that the current structure is to have a mini 101 followed by four modules of 16 hours each. In Dallas, Jim Allen and Barbara Little Horse did the introduction, Denton and Chuck did the first module, Jon and Laurie Weiss will do the second module, and Val Chang will do the third module. Claude Steiner will do the introductory 101 in Boise at the end of September. Suzanne reported that we have received the first two portions of money from ITAA and decided not to ask for the third this year. Our original proposal had been to hold training sequences in all six regions of the US. We now need hosts for the remaining regions. Hosts do not need to act as presenters. In this initial stage, trainers have agreed to present with expenses paid but no fee, so that we can keep prices low for attendees.

M & M  Award – Lucy introduced the giving of the “M & M” Award. This award was named after Muriel James and Mary Goulding. Among their many contributions to the well being of USATAA, at the very beginning they put on a conference and donated the proceeds to USATAA. Dianne Maki introduced this year’s recipient, Jonathon Wagner. Jon has had a long career of contributions to ITAA and USATAA, putting tremendous energy into both organizations at great cost. He is past General Coordinator of USATAA and continues to work for ITAA . Jon was given an engraved silver bowl and a bag of M & Ms, which he put in the bowl and passed around for everybody to share!

TA Practitioner Certificate Report – Val Chang reported on progress in specifying the requirements for receiving a certificate for a “Transactional Analysis Practitioner Certificate: Foundational Level”.

A draft of the requirements and learning objectives for each module was circulated to those attending the meeting. We will need people to provide training and to be on all the Education committees. Several people announced TA training programs they are starting. Jo Lewis will start a training program in Oct./Nov. in Atlanta. GA. Fanita will start a twice monthly consultation group in San Mateo, CA, on September 15. It will meet 2 – 5 on Saturday afternoons. Felipe is also starting a group in San Antonio, TX, on how to cooperate. Jo requested information on how to coordinate with the Education Project/Practitioner’s Certificate program.

Fund Raising Progress Report – Steve Karpman announced that he had already made $375 from a half day of sales of his artwork on display at the conference. He will donate the total proceeds to USATAA.

Social Justice Report – Ken circulated a draft for the charter of a Social Justice Fund and asked for responses. He said our goal is to take action, not just raise awareness. We need to be institutionally, as a group, willing to create social justice by our actions. People can donate to the Fund for designated projects or make a general donation. The Council has also agreed to align ourselves with the United Nations Millennium goals (which can be found on their website) and to donate a small percentage of general donations to the Fund to the UN to forward those goals. We still need to set up guidelines for evaluating proposals and administering grants. Phyllis Jenkins and Vi Callahan agreed to join Ken in creating those guidelines. We are about making a difference, which we have already done by supporting part of the travel expenses of Jamaicans who have taken our module courses to attend the conference.

Regional Representatives – Lucy read the list of states included in each region. She announced that Abe Wagner has recruited Dan Cauble to run for the Rocky Mountain vacancy when Abe’s term expires at the end of the year. Lucy has also talked with Parvin Bonab about taking on the vacant Southeast Representative position, either by herself or jointly if someone else is willing to share the position.

Blog – Felipe brought up the question of how we can get input from members before the Council makes decisions. Lucy said that after the conference, the conference blog will be available for member communication with the Council.

Membership – Lucy reported that the ITAA has decided that, because of the attachment of individual members to ITAA, it will have only individual members, rather than also having organizational members with joint membership dues. It will facilitate cooperation among national or regional organizations as part of its role. Lucy reiterated ITAA President Gianpiero Petriglieri’s statement that we need our local TA home for roots, and our global TA home for reach. She reminded us that USATAA dues are included in the price for those attending our yearly Jamaica winter Gathering.

Conference – Lucy announced that 9 of our 10 scheduled preconference Institutes took place, with additional people signing up on site.
She said that USATAA had videotaped the TA 101 Theory and Practice of Transactional Analysis workshop. We will need to raise extra money to edit it. One way we can support that is to preorder the CD, at a 20% discounted price of $85.

We may also use some of USATAA’s money to edit the recording, to spread knowledge of TA and with the expectation that we will eventually receive income from the sale of the tape.

Lucy expressed thanks to Jo Lewis for facilitating the process for attendees at the 101, as more people attended than originally planned and the room had to be rearranged. She also said that Taibi Kahler has agreed to record a segment on miniscripts in his own studio, which can be added to the final version. The tape will not be distributed until there is a final edited version.

Steve Karpman also arranged for his two workshops, Game Free Communication for Couples, and Drama Triangle 2007, to be videotaped. They will be available from his website, www.KarpmanDramaTriangle.com.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 PM

Respectfully Submitted,
Roberta (Bobbie) Barry, Coordinator of Communication
August 23, 2007