Hi! My name is Beth B. and I’m a compulsive overeater. I also find myself serving as the new Region 6 trustee, to my surprise! A trustee from another region encouraged me at WSBC to apply for the position, which I was willing to do, and since then things have been moving very quickly! Yesterday marked my third week as trustee. In the past three weeks, I have been on many conference calls and seen hundreds of emails – luckily, relatively few require a response from me… One of the emails, however, informed me that the trustees article for the Messenger was due, so here I am! Right now I’m definitely in learning mode, so will not be dispensing words of wisdom. Instead, I’d like to describe what my first three weeks have been like.
First, I’m extremely grateful to have participated in two separate orientations for trustees, with a third scheduled this morning. The first was led by Cyndy L., Region 4 Trustee and Chair of the OA Board of Trustees, and Sandra Zimmerman, the Associate Director and Member Services Manager of the OA World Service Office, and included two other new trustees besides myself. Cyndy went over the “how-tos” of being a trustee – check email daily, reply as soon as possible, there are templates (and deadlines) for reports and motions, responsibilities of committee trustee co-chairs, quarterly meetings in Albuquerque, the Board Reference Manual, informal and formal trustee meetings. Sandy explained the specific duties of each staff member, the process of serving OA members, and the trustees’ role in that service.
The second orientation on all things financial was provided by Sarah Armstrong, the OA World Service Executive Director. Sarah explained the process for reimbursement, the “corporate” credit card provided to each trustee for approved expenses, the overall OA budget and each trustee’s budget, as well as the Conflict of Interest policy. A third orientation, on OA publications, will take place later today. These orientations are informative, timely, and helpful, and have given me a chance to start to know the staff.
I’ve also participated in myriad other conference calls: as a liaison with Region 6’s Convention 2018 in Portland ME committee, as well as the Convention 2019 in Westchester NY committee and as the trustee co-chair of the World Service Young Person’s committee. And I’ve been fortunate to speak to a number of region trustees, including my trustee mentor (a seasoned trustee from another region) and our former R6 trustee, the Region 6 chair and OA members from our region. They’ve all been wonderfully kind and helpful. I’ve had four “situations” to deal with so far, and my mentor and others have been priceless in guiding my responses. Keep it simple, be encouraging, no need to be officious, we’re not the OA police – all wise words to help me slow down, listen and learn, let go and let God.
A terrific resource for incoming trustees is a compilation of trustee responses to questions from members and the public. Reading through them (no, I haven’t read them all…), I was immediately struck by the kindness and the simplicity of the responses. I feel a longing to learn that skill and, with the help of my Higher Power and the guidance of other trustees, I have hope that I will. Until then, I’ll keep coming back – and I hope you will too!