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

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