Summer 2023 President's Message

Saturday, July 01, 2023 4:13 PM | Anonymous

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by Dominique Yarritu, PhD, LMFT

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday 12 June at 7pm, your chapter board members and myself held a virtual town hall meeting. In the two weeks prior to this event, we sent email blasts calling your attention to the fact that we are looking for you, members and non-members, to participate in this ongoing conversation regarding our need for volunteers and to urge you to pass on the message to those who may be interested in volunteering their time and expertise. Not only for events and other punctual missions, but also to replace board members whose term is ending in the last quarter of this year. Here are some bullet points of what I shared during that meeting.

  • We have three open positions at the moment, president-elect, director of programs and director of technology and communications,
  • Between October and December 2023, five more board members will step down from their position (see the list here),
  • In April 2024, the director-at-large position will be open as well,
  • Remaining on the board will be the treasurer and the director of support groups.
  • For those of you who have been following us in the last 2.5 years, you may know that when I joined the board, first as president-elect and then as a president, part of my vision for the chapter was to build a board that would do its best to energize the chapter, organize and strengthen various processes to leave a place that would be easy to take over. I was very lucky to meet some fantastic colleagues who shared that vision and joined me in this adventure. During that time we have done quite a lot of work. (If you are interested in knowing what we did, you can access a PowerPoint HERE).
  • The fundamental piece of our vision was to ensure that board members (and committee volunteers) would not stay longer than their one term: 2 years. It seems only fair to volunteer our free time to this and any other organization for the time one has contracted for and not stay for the simple reason that nobody else is coming forward to take the baton. A new board could decide to shorten the terms if necessary by updating the by-laws and making sure that their position would be filled at the end of their term.
  • Although we have made many efforts to find volunteers over the years through coffee talks and other events and yet, we are still in dire need of some of you to take the lead.

Our chapter is in a good financial position, our program schedule is on its way to be confirmed for 2024, we have great speakers willing to talk for us, and the new board will have much of the processes already set up in place to come in and start work with few glitches. There will be punctual support from past members when necessary and very possibly from State CAMFT.

As a board director, you do not need to do the work on your own: enroll your friends, colleagues, and maybe even students/supervisees, who can support you and have them be part of a committee. This is a teamwork endeavor: the more the merrier and the more people to share the work, the less is left on the shoulders of one volunteer.

We are doing well and yet, the life of the chapter is at risk if we cannot find new board members. I have myself loved this adventure, getting to know many of you, seeing a different aspect of the field of mental health, and working with my boardmates over the last couple of years, but I will step down from my position of president at the end of 2023. I hope one of you will be willing to take up my or any other role at the board.

Wherever you are when you read this newsletter, I wish you a very happy summer. I hope you will find time to rejuvenate, build memories with family and friends, and enjoy some free time.

Best wishes from a sweltering Paris .


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