2023 Division 49 Board Meeting

Attendees Present: 

Noelle Lefforge**, PresidentNathaniel Wade*, Domain Rep, Group Practice
Amy Nitza*, Past PresidentRita Rivera*, Student Rep
Francis Kaklauskas*, President-ElectMichele Ribeiro*, Council Rep
Amy Black*, SecretaryGiorgio Tasca, Editor, Group Dynamics
Debra O’Connell*, Treasurer Aziza Belcher Platt*, Domain Rep, Education Eric Chen*, Domain Rep, Diversity VACANT*, Domain Rep, ECP David Marcus*, Domain Rep, Group Psychology  Thomas Treadwell, Editor, The Group Psychologist Shala Cole, Membership Committee Vinny Dehili, Program Chair Leann Diederich, Chair, Foundation Committee  

*Voting member per division bylaws

**Voting member only in the case of a tie per division bylaws

In attendance at start of meeting:

Noelle Lefforge
Francis Kaklauskas
Amy Black
Vinny Dehili
Leo Wilton
David Marcus
David Chirko
Ronn Johnson  
Rita Rivera
Tom Treadwell
Nathaniel Wade
Eric Chen
Shala Cole
Les Greene
Debra O’Connell
Michele Ribeiro
Stacy Graves
Misha Bogomaz  

Dr. Lefforge

Dr. Lefforge welcomed the group. Dr. Kaklauskas led introductions.

Dr. Black (Minutes Approval)

Minutes for April, June, and August were voted on. Motion by Eric and seconded by Francis. Approved unanimously with no abstentions.

Dr. Lefforge (Board Staffing)

Dr. Lefforge stated our ECP position is still vacant. The board needs to fill the vacancy; the person would take over the remaining part of the term (remainder of 2023 + next two years). Dr. Wade discussed a potential candidate: Kayla Wang. Dr. Wade moved and Debra seconded to elect Kayla to the ECP position. It passed unanimously. Dr. Wade will reach out to her and will let Francis know if she is willing to move forward.

Dr. Lefforge revisited the topic of hiring a paid staff member for the board, such as an ED. Dr. Kaklauskas discussed his findings based on the research he has been doing on this since the last board meeting. He noted many other divisions use a paid ED and indicated he recommends we do so as well. Dr. Ribeiro added it would free up time for the president especially, which would help with the transition to the two-year presidency. Dr. Bogomaz asked about the cost of an ED to the board; Dr. Kaklauskas noted with the agencies he spoke to it is generally about $45-50/hr with a minimum of $20k billed per year. He noted some boards pay up to $70k per year. Dr. Kaklauskas noted that we could also hire someone ourselves, though the agencies do have some benefits. Dr. Marcus expressed concern that the “buffet” option may make the board hesitant to utilize them and recommended creating a job description. Dr. Lefforge suggested timeline/deadlines, election administration, awards administration, website administration, file keeping and archives, and assisting with convention planning would be minimum duties. Dr. Chen added help with CE administration would be useful. Dr. Johnson noted an ED would be helpful with institutional memory for the division. Dr. O’Connell expressed that we likely have room in our budget, though our return to in person events will likely mean an increase in some of our expenses compared with pandemic years. She checked the budget and confirmed the board does have room in the budget. Dr. Lefforge noted that if the ED helped to increase membership and CE events, it could help pay for itself to some extent. Dr. Kaklauskas suggested forming a committee to discuss job description. Dr. Lefforge suggested the board approve up to $30k to start. Board discussed. Dr. Wade motioned and Dr. Ribeiro seconded to approve $30,000 for a year, with the intention of getting this person started sooner than January. The motion passed unanimously. Drs. Kaklauskas, Lefforge, and O’Connell agreed to form a committee to discuss the job description. Dr. Kaklauskas agreed to chair. They will send a proposed job description to the board via email.

Dr. Cole (Membership Committee)

Dr. Cole shared that the membership is 402 members total currently; 74% are renewing members and 26% are new. We already have people renewing for next year. We have many exempt members who do not pay fees, but we are also getting a lot of new members. Dr. Cole reported she has closed the institute due to not having any new mentors. She requested the board forward interested mentors to her. Dr. Cole will be meeting with the new membership and DEIB reps to discuss the future of the institute.

Left meeting: Dr. Marcus, Dr. Cole, Dr. Green

Dr. Lefforge welcomed Dr. Graves as the incoming membership chair. Dr. Ribeiro encouraged board members to consider mentoring in the institute and noted it is not too heavy of a burden. Dr. Graves expressed eagerness to continue with the institute.

Left meeting: Dr. Dehili

Dr. Lefforge (EBGT Website, Research Domain Rep)

Dr. Treadwell noted the website is live at evidencebasedgrouptherapy.org. Dr. Lefforge will reach out to web services to link to our website.

Dr. Lefforge advised the board to consider adding a research domain rep, and this person could be the clear representative for the steering committee for the EBGT website. Dr. Lefforge indicated adding a research domain rep would be a bylaws change—must be approved by board and then approved by the membership. This does not have to be coordinated by APA. We could have the position filled the next election cycle (February, 2024). Board discussed potential duties for the position. Dr. Lefforge volunteered to draft bylaws language. She recommended it be approved by MWM, and noted the board could approve/finalize the duties at MWM and then submit candidates for election after MWM. The first person elected would start January 2025. We may be able to elect an interim person. The board discussed that this may be a time-consuming position and perhaps would be better as a paid, non-voting position. Dr. Lefforge suggested starting with a board position and considering alternatives in the future. The board expressed general support.

Dr. Lefforge (CE Committee)

As Dr. Belcher Platt was unable to attend, Dr. Lefforge reviewed the updates she submitted via email prior to the meeting regarding the speaker agreement draft that is ready to be reviewed, and the last CE of 2023, which will be given by Dr. Martyn Whittingham and his colleagues. Dr. Lefforge reminded the board we have set funds aside for CE honorariums.

Left meeting: Dr. Johnson, Dr. Bogomaz

Dr. Lefforge noted some divisions do ore-convention conferences before APA convention; this is something the board has explored in the past and may be interested in revisiting.

Dr. Kaklauskas

Dr. Kaklauskas thanked Dr. Lefforge for her service to the board; board members joined in offering thanks as Dr. Lefforge rotates off the board.

Left meeting-Dr. Lefforge

Dr. Chirko indicated he has an idea for a T-shirt design he would like to show the board; Dr. Treadwell agreed to forward the design to the listserv.

Dr. Kaklauskas (Publication Committee)

Dr. Kaklauskas reported on his research regarding various publisher options for the journal contract and stated that APA appears to be the best option in terms of reach and resources. He noted they agreed to increase the stipend for the editor, and will increase more if we get 100 submissions (last year we got 88). He expressed support for Dr. Marcus’s suggestion to sign the next contract for 7 years rather than 5 or 10. Dr. O’Connell moved to sign the new contract with APA for 7 years, Dr. Wade seconded. Motion was unanimously approved.

Dr. Kaklaukas (Midwinter Meeting)

Dr. Kaklauskas stated MWM will be held in Kansas City and expressed hope that as many board members as possible can attend in person. Expenses will be prepaid (room, flights, meals) and transportation to and from airport will be reimbursed.

Dr. Kaklauskas requested the board consider the group as specialty rep attend the MWM. Dr. O’Connell moved to fund and invite the group as specialty rep to attend the MWM. Dr. Wade seconded. Motion was unanimously approved.

Dr. Kaklauskas

The board said goodbye to Dr. Chen and Dr. Wade as they are rotating off the board.

Left meeting- Dr. Ribeiro, Dr. Rivera, Dr. Wilton, Dr. Chen

Future Items:

Return to Board Minutes




2023 Division 49 Board Meeting

Αug 4, 2023

APA Conference – Live attendance – Marriott Marquis Hospitality Suite

Board Members: 

Noelle Lefforge**, PresidentNathaniel Wade*, Domain Rep, Group Practice
Amy Nitza*, Past PresidentRita Rivera*, Student Rep
Francis Kaklauskas*, President-ElectMichele Ribeiro*, Council Rep
Amy Black*, SecretaryGiorgio Tasca, Editor, Group Dynamics
Debra O’Connell*, Treasurer Aziza Belcher Platt*, Domain Rep, Education Eric Chen*, Domain Rep, Diversity Katie White*, Domain Rep, ECP David Marcus*, Domain Rep, Group Psychology  Thomas Treadwell, Editor, The Group Psychologist
Shala Cole, Membership Committee Vinny Dehili, Program Chair
Leann Diederich, Chair, Foundation Committee  

*Voting member per division bylaws

**Voting member only in the case of a tie per division bylaws

Meeting Minutes

Attendees present at start of meeting:

Board Members:

Noelle Lefforge

Aziza Belcher Platt

Francis Kaklauskas

Shala Rae Cole

Debra O’Connell

Eric Chen

Vinny Dehili

Leann Diederich


Misha Bogomaz

Martyn Whittingham

David Songco

**send out minutes**

EBGT-Dr. Lefforge

Dr. Lefforge indicated that we do need to host our own independent website for this purpose; we can link it to APA’s division website. Page Crafter would cost us $300 per year to host. We could also use this same platform to host the newsletter. It can’t go live until we purchase the domain.

Francis motioned, Eric seconded to approve Page Crafter hosting: all present voting members voted in favor. Motion passed.

Next step is to form a steering committee to take over development; Dr. Lefforge indicated we need to think about who to nominate to represent the division on the steering committee. There is not time in the board meeting to discuss this, so it will be a future meeting item.

CE PROGRAMMING-Dr. Belcher-Platt

Dr. Belcher-Platt noted we did get CESA approval. Dr. Belcher-Platt has drafted a speaker agreement and would like feedback. She noted that one speaker is lined up, and we are hoping for 1-2 more by end of year.

Dr. Diederich noted that we could use content from past popular division Facebook posts to create easy to produce CEs. Dr. Whittingham added that there seems to be a hunger for basic information and training that could be relatively easy for us to generate but well-attended.

Dr. Lefforge reminded us that CEs must be above graduate level, so we need to be careful in the marketing of “basics” CEs.

Dr. Dehili noted that convention programming seems to have been well-received and well-attended so far. The demo group went well, and volunteers were eager to participate. The board briefly discussed ideas for future CE events and convention programming.


Dr. Lefforge expressed that we are far behind on this; the new and old contracts need to be compared to see if the terms have changed significantly. We needed to make sure that the pay rates haven’t decreased etc.

Attendance Change:

*Giorgio Tasca joined on Zoom*

Dr. Tasca does not have any information on the new contract, but noted he has encouraged the board to look into this. He agreed with Dr. Lefforge that we may end up wanting to stay with APA, but it is important for us to do due diligence to be sure we are happy with the conditions of the contract.

Dr. Tasca sent the most recent version of the contract to Dr. Marcus; Dr. Kaklauskas requested a copy sent to him and Dennis Kivlighan as well. Dr. Tasca was not sure if inaction would result in the contract being automatically renewed, but cautioned against this strategy as this would not allow us to negotiate. Dr. Tasca indicated that he would distribute the most recent version of the contract to the whole board.

Dr. Diederich wondered if there’s anything other than more funding that we would want to negotiate for; Dr. Tasca indicated that Dr. Kivlighan might have some ideas about this, but agreed that funding seems to be the main issue.


Dr. Tasca reported the committee has met; we have put out a call and got two great candidates for the position. Either would seem to be qualified for the position. The committee will meet again 8/7/23 to discuss interview questions and set up interviews for late August/early September to hopefully come up with a recommendation soon after. The committee has yet to discuss recommendations for increasing editor stipend but plans to do so.

Dr. Tasca added a quick update on the journal–impact factor for past two years remains above 3. Will likely drop a bit next year due to content. We have seen an uptick in submissions. APA has not sent their most recent journal report to us, so he does not have further information at this time. Drs. Tasca and Lefforge will work to schedule a meeting with the APA rep.

Dr. Diederich suggested inviting authors of most valuable paper nominees to do 1-hour CE presentations. Dr. Tasca will send the list to Dr. Belcher-Platt.

Dr. Tasca is in his position until the end of the year, with the new editor starting at the beginning of 2024 for a transition year. Dr. Tasca will be fully done at the end of 2024.

Dr. O’Connell noted our royalty payment was over $57k this year, which is higher than past years.

Attendance Change:

*Giorgio Tasca left meeting.*


Dr. Lefforge led the board in discussion of hiring an executive director and noted this would help take the administrative load off the president and also assist with continuity from year to year. When other organizations she has been a part of have used EDs, she has seen this be very helpful. We seem to be in a financially secure position enough to consider this.

The board discussed how having an ED could help to take administrative load off of many board members, and could also help the board be more efficient and profitable. Dr. Lefforge recommended forming a small ad hoc committee to take a look at options and consult with other similarly sized boards that have paid staff. She will send out an email after convention to recruit committee members; Drs. Bogomaz and O’Connell both expressed interest.

Dr. Cole noted we are growing and currently have over 400 members; we need to think about how this will mean increased organizational tasks.

Dr. Chen raised possibility of grad student as paid ED; board discussed briefly pros and cons of this and suggested perhaps ED could have a grad student assistant.

The board agreed to meet for one more board meeting in the fall.

Dr. Songco recommended starting to create lists of administrative tasks.

Dr. Whittingham reminded the board that we can pay APA to have a few national press releases per year through their news wire.

TOWN HALL- Dr. Lefforge

Dr. Lefforge expressed one of her main interests in the town hall is exploring relationship between group psychology and group psychotherapy, especially given that our major revenue comes through the journal while our leadership tends to be psychotherapy.

Town hall is not in the program, but is on facebook and on our flyers and will be held in the suite.

SOCIAL-Dr. Lefforge

We are feeling prepared for the social; raffle has changed a bit to encourage first time attendees and returning/new membership in the division.


We can use this to provide updates and take questions. Dr. Dehili noted that there may be some confusion in the materials about the town hall vs. business meeting; Dr. Lefforge indicated she would facilitate the meeting and adapt to what is needed based on who attends.

Dr. Cole added that people can now opt in to sharing demographics with their membership applications, but a lot of people aren’t filling it out yet. We can see that we have at least 2 research-based psychologists in the division based on that data.


Dr. Kaklauskas is considering Atlanta as a location; the board did not express any objections to this location.

*Non board members left for closed session, as did Leann*


Noelle briefly reviewed order of presentation of awards.

As Drs. Dehili and Kaklauskas both attended the poster sessions, the board agreed that Drs. Dehili and Kaklauskas could review submissions and select winners after the board reviewed available submissions. Board reviewed eligibility requirements for the awards.

2023 Division 49 Mid-Winter Meeting

Denver, CO January 28-29

Attendees Present: 

Noelle Lefforge**, PresidentNathaniel Wade*, Domain Rep, Group Practice
Francis Kaklauskas*, President-ElectRita Rivera*VP, Student Rep
Amy Black*, SecretaryMichele Ribeiro*V, Council Rep
Debra O’Connell*V, TreasurerGiorgio TascaVP, Editor, Group Dynamics
Aziza Belcher Platt*, Domain Rep, Education Eric Chen*, Domain Rep, Diversity Katie White*, Domain Rep, ECP David Marcus*VP, Domain Rep, Group Psychology  Thomas TreadwellVP, Editor, The Group Psychologist Shala Cole, Membership Committee Vinny Dehili, Program Chair  


Amy Nitza*, Past President

Leann DiederichVP, Chair, Foundation Committee

Sean Woodland, APA Services Inc. Liason

Division Membership Present:

David Chirko

*Voting member per division bylaws

**Voting member only in the case of a tie per division bylaws

VAttended by Zoom

PAttended Partial Meeting

Saturday, January 28

Welcome (Dr. Lefforge)

President (Dr. Lefforge)

Past President (Dr. Nitza)

Attendee Changes:

Treasurer (Dr. O’Connell)

Attendee Changes:

Fellows Committee (Dr. David Marcus)

Journal (Dr. Giorgio Tasca) (This part of the meeting was recorded to enable Dr. Kaklauskas to view it later).

Elections (Dr. Noelle Lefforge)

Attendee Changes:

Education and Training (Dr. Aziza Belcher Platt)

Newsletter (Dr. Tom Treadwell)

Board members should reach out to folks to ask to provide content for newsletter.

Council (Dr. Michele Ribeiro)

Membership-Dr. Shala Cole

Program committee—Dr. Vinny Dehili

FINAL program: Nathaniel moves, Eric seconds. Passes unanimously (though probably not really needed)

6 hours submissions

1 hour donated

1 hour fellows

1 hour town hall

2 hours demo group

1 left over flex: for town hall, +1 fellow or extra submission

+3 for board/business mtg

              1 hr board

              1 hr presidential address/awards

              1 budget

+2 for posters

+1 hour official social


Noelle—how we are storing accounts/using

E&T- Aziza

Working Sessions (Dr. Lefforge)

CESA workgroup

Nathaniel indicated he is willing to do 4-8 hour group training week of APA (group foundations and experiential) for CE. In person or possibly hybrid. Associated costs would be reserving suite earlier. How much would we charge? Nathaniel to talk with Aziza

Offer Youtube training for free but charge for CEs

President workgroup-Amy Black

What happens to past president duties

When is president elect elected and is it 1 or 2 years

What we found:

Pres elect is 2 years

Pres is 2. Years

No more past pres

We need to elect another president elect this year, Francis will serve 1 year as pres-elect and 2 as president

Francis is now chairing the two committees, Amy Nitza will serve on the committees. +1 past pres for awards and +2for elections

If it doesn’t work to find a 4 year pres then Nathaniel suggests we consider getting rid of president elect and give duties to the rest of the board, or Noelle says maybe make it a 1 year “in training” with no duties, just shadowing.

Vinny indicated he has some info back from APA—looks like no cost for the program listing, just have to use the catering, can choose the cost more.

Michele to check in with Rita about whether she will be able to attend tomorrow’s meeting

Discussion of burnout and accessibility, how best we can support each other and be more inclusive, perhaps be more intentional about checking in with each other in future meetings

Important to know about systemic issues so we can advocate for systems that work for everybody

Aziza suggests a “how I work best” form and may have a template for us to look at tomorrow

Desire for chance to process the experience of these meetings

Day 2

In person:








Amy Black


Debra O’Connell



Schedule next meeting: April? With a check in before convention?


Zoom: joined David Chirko (member)

Paused to do introductions

Checking in with each other and how we work

Aziza brought the template and read it

Sharing reflections of the meeting

Michele shared council SoA response

Reviewed and made minor edits

Michele motioned, Amy Black seconded. Passed unanimously:

Michele will submit on behalf of div 49 at 5pm EST

Nonsubstantive wordsmithing edits ok after vote


Debra raised suggestion of division credit card. Equity in leadership issue.

-Tom’s request for website funds ($1400 initial and $100/hr maintenance): perhaps plan for $500/yr maintenance after first year (2000 total)

-George requests increase of editor and associate editor stipends (doubling) as we are one of the lowest paying journal. We are also smaller/fewer submissions. We just tell the journal to pay the editor more.

Search committee can decide what editor pay rate is if it’s for future editor

Eric suggests instead of raising George’s stipend, find a way to honor him later. We could decide separately to give him a bonus honorarium. Appreciating/recognizing George’s contribution to the division.

We don’t know how much the editor honorarium is—we can ask George

Right now associate editor is 500 per associate editor

Eric proposes 50% increase (250) for 2023 and another 250 to 2024

Concern about remembering that

Double the associate editors from 500 to 1000

George bonus 2000 + plaque (50) (bonus honorarium)

APF payments

Add some money to special projects (reconsideration of awards)

Budget 7500 for social and raise suite to 4k

Give ECP and student committees 500 each

12,000 for institute

CE presenters—budget 3000 for 5ish CEs this year, needs to make money to pay out money so this is where to start

Debra suggested email poster first authors asking if people were students in order to compete for student poster award

Eric motions to approve budget, katie seconds. Passes unanimously.

Noelle–Should the division have any salaried positions

Can’t pay voting members

Paid staff can help with stability/continuity, administrative operations

Either hiring an ED or a management company

Could help with recruiting presidential candidates

Eric suggests hiring a grad student for 5-10 hrs a week?

Michele suggests we list out the duties

Need to figure out if it’s in the budget first?

Discussion about grad student/multi mission vs stability of professional

Do we bring back a research domain rep, is that the person who would keep the ebgt project website maintained—next meeting?

Review of action items

Check outs


2022 Division 49 November Minutes

Friday, November 11 3:00-5:00PM EST

     Amy Black PhD CGP

Joshua Gross*Past PresidentJanuary 2022 – December 2022
Amy Nitza**PresidentJanuary 2022 – December 2022
Noelle Lefforge*President-ElectJanuary 2022 – December 2022
Debra O’Connell*TreasurerJanuary 2021 – December 2023
Martin Kivlighan*SecretaryJanuary 2020 – December 2022
Aziza Belcher Platt*Domain Representative for Education & TrainingJanuary 2022 – December 2024??
Misha Bogomaz*Domain Representative for ECPJanuary 2020 – December 2022
David Marcus*Domain Representative for Group PsychologyJanuary 2021 – December 2023
Eric Chen*Domain Representative for DiversityJanuary 2021 – December 2023
Nathaniel Wade*Domain Representative for Group PracticeJanuary 2021 – December 2023
Mary Baggio*Student RepresentativeJanuary 2021 – December 2022
Michele Ribeiro*Council RepresentativeJanuary 2020 – December 2022
Giorgio TascaEditor, Group DynamicsJanuary 2019 – December 2024
Thomas TreadwellEditor, The Group PsychologistJanuary 2018 – December 2020??
Shala ColeChair, Membership CommitteeJanuary 2020, Open, serves at their pleasure
Vinny DehiliProgram ChairAugust 2021 – August 2023
Leann DiederichChair, Foundation CommitteeJanuary 2022 – ???
Sean WoodlandAPA Services, Inc. LiaisonOpen, serves at their pleasure

*Voting member per division bylaws

**Voting member only in the case of a tie per division bylaws

Notes. Quorum >50% of voting members, Passing > 50% of votes.

Members Present:

Martin Kivlighan

Eric Chen

David Marcus

Amy Nitza

Noelle Lefforge

Misha Bogomaz

Vinny Dehili

Shala Cole

Debra O’Connell

David Chirko

Tom Treadwell

Carlos Del Rio

Nathaniel Wade

Members Absent:

Josh Gross

Michele Ribiero

Aziza Belcher Platt

Mary Baggio

Dr. Nitza welcomed everyone to the meeting and members introduced themselves.

President (Dr. Nitza)      

President Elect (Dr. Lefforge)

Membership (Dr. Cole)

Additional time for continued discussion of items (Dr. Nitza)

DEIB Committee Updates (Dr. Chen)

Treasurer Update (Dr. O’Connell)

Fellows Committee Chair (Dr. Nitza)