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Alcoholics Anonymous in Southern Wisconsin
Alcoholic’s Anonymous – Area 75

Alcoholic’s Anonymous – Area 75

9:00 a.m. Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fall Conference Assembly Meeting

Holiday Inn, Manitowoc



OFFICERS PRESENT: John B., Area Chairperson; Ron B. Alt. Chair; George P., Delegate; Stu E., Alt Delegate/Literature; Nancy B., Secretary, ; Mark C., Alt Secretary; Nancy H., Treasurer; Cynthia H., Alt. Treasurer; Nancy S., Archivist

STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON PRESENT: Cheryl M-J., CPC Chair; Nancy G., Grapevine Chair; Matt Z., PI Chair; John W., Special Needs Chair; Chris C., Treatment Chair; George D., Area 75 Registrar; Howard P., Conference Advisory Chair,

DCM’S PRESENT; D1-Art B.; D2 Denise E.; D3-Jim K.; D7-Elizabeth K.; D13-Kane B.; D15-Mike B.; D16-Randy R.; D17-Linda N.; D20-Doreen H.; D22-Carl H.; D24-JD O.; D25-Cindy B.; D27-Gary C.; D28-Ken N.; D29-Gary E.; D31-Benjamin B.; D32-Chris E.; D34-Todd U.; D36-Paul H.

GSR’S & DISTRICT COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS PRESENT; D-1 Brad B.; D-2 Bob T. Jim DeB.; D-3 Larry A., Marv S.; D-7 Mike R.; D-8 Edna T.; D-12 Mary R. Terry H., John H.; D-13 Mark G., Rachel B. Mark L., Bob M. Mark G. Rick S., Leslie F. Dolly H.; D-14 Frank S.; D-15 Clay K.; D-16 Theresa W., David K.,; D-17 Darrel S., Dick K.; D-20 Felesha R., Scott J.; D-22 Theresa S.; D-25 Jeff Z., Marian B., George B., Barb S.,; D-28 Greg L., Rick H.; D-29 Gary E. Dennis D.,; D-32 Bill S.; Ryan S., Rachel B., Donald D., Nealy R.; D-34 LeeAnn U., Drew A.

OTHERS PRESENT: Past Delegates: John B., Bob B., Karen K., Bill H., Joan J., Bill A., Leo M., Nancy G., Jo McL, ; 2008 Fall Conf - Annette D.; 2010 Spring Conference Chair – Bob S.; Others: Dagmar Z. Area 33 Website Chair, Dean G. Area 20 Registrar

Secretaries Report - Nancy B.

Reviewed minutes from Pre Conference Assembly Meeting held Sunday Sept 16, 2007, which were subsequently approved unanimously.

Treasurers Report – Nancy H.

A total of 377 groups, Districts and Individuals have contributed to the area this year thru September 30th. There have been 7 contributors to the Count-On-Us fund and 39 to the Rainbow Fund. Actual number of contributions is higher as some groups contribute monthly while others may be once during the year. Totals are on the financial reports included with the minutes of this meeting. A listing of the contributors with contributions received by month is available for review at all area meetings including this one.

I want to thank all those who use the contribution form when sending in your contributions. It makes my job much easier. I have found that many groups do not know what their GSO number is or what district they are in. If you look at the listing of contributors I only report the information I was given. If you are aware of any incorrect or missing information on the report please let me know. Contribution forms are sent as part of the acknowledgment for all contributions received. Additional contribution forms are available online at www.area75.org.

Nancy H., Area 75 Treasurer

Balance Sheet as of 9/30/07


Current Assets

Cash in Checking-M&I


Prudent Reserve-M&I


Cash-Count On Us


Cash - Rainbow Can


A/R-Conference Seed Money




Equipment Depreciation



Total Current Assets



Total Assets




Current Liabilities


Total Current Liabilities



Total Liabilities



Retained Earnings


Net Income



Total Capital



Total Liabilities & Capital





Income & Expense Statement Ending 9/30/07

This Year

Last Year

Year to Date
This Year

Year to Date
Last Year


Group Donations





Group Donations - Rainbow





Group Donations - Count On Us





Conference Proceeds





Other Income









Total Revenues










Bank Charges





Conference Loss





Conference Booth Fee










GSO Fees















Literature - Rainbow/COU




















Misc/Office Expense















Registration Fees










Archives Rent










Web Site














Total Expenses









Net Income










Budget vs. Actual


2007 Actual YTD

2007 Total Budget

2007 Variance YTD












Alt. Delegate/Lit.

























Budget Trans $500 to Treatment
















Public Info.










Budget Trans $500 From BTG

Spcl. Needs










Alt. Chair





Alt. Secretary





Alt. Treasurer





Archives Chair










COU Literature


Rainbow Literature




Conference Seed Money

Fall 2007


Spring 2008


Fall 2008


Spring 2009


(Hotel deposit)

Delegates (Panel 57) Report - George P.

A short report was given by George.


Letter from the Area Chair regarding our Area Inventory:

October 13, 2007

Dear Fellowship,

Our Area business plan is modeled after the annual General Service Conference in New York. It was Bill and Dr. Bob’s vision that change to the structure of AA be slow, well thought out and agreed upon by substantial unanimity (2/3 or greater). On the surface it would appear that our Area is set up in that manner yet attendance at our Area business meetings is poor. Where are we failing?

It is my hope that these inventory questions generate discussion along those lines. The Area’s purpose as described in our service manual is to connect the AA group to the Area delegate so that the AA group remains the voice and conscience of AA as a whole. It is our legacy as trusted servants to find a means to connect with a greater portion of our fellowship.

I would ask that each discussion group choose a moderator and a recording secretary. An hour and a half will be devoted to discussion and an hour for a brief summary/presentation of your conclusions. The details of the combined discussion will be presented in the Area minutes (please write legibly).

Answer as many of the questions as you choose or come up with your own topics (blank pages have been provided). If it were possible to redesign our Area meetings from the ground up, how would you do it? How can our meetings be made interesting, so that our future DCM’s and GSR’s will want to participate?

If our Area structure does not serve the AA group, it’s up to you to change it. Apathy does not promote change, action and involvement does… Please keep this in mind as we approach the agenda planning meeting in Madison on January 20, 2008. Make a difference!

In service,

John B – Area Chair

Below are the 10 questions with responses resulting from discussions of 10 separate discussion groups.

  1. How do unannounced visits from the Area representatives promote feelings of unity among Districts, Groups & the Area? How could these be better handled? Granted most Districts invite visitors, however, if the visitors are planning a presentation of any sort or are planning to take up the Districts time than that should be taken under consideration with the DCM. Also how does this affect the Area from a financial stand point?

George – Delegate is rarely invited to Districts to share his report. Time given to give report is very short when invited and he will not go to a District unannounced.

Districts rarely invite visitors. Unannounced visits take up time, announced visits would allow more planning for time and scheduling. Showing up and expecting a block of time is inappropriate. DCM’s should contact Delegate for report and visits. If visits are unannounced then there is no reason for the visit and is inappropriate use of AA budget.

Let the DCM know announced visits can be put on the Districts agenda. It’s good for Area people to attend District meetings – announced and planned, this does/would promote unity.

Area people attending District meetings can be an educational resource: Map of Area 75, Service book, Concepts.

Having Area People come can attract people to District meetings when planned.

Expenditure to Area: Carrying the message. E-mail is a great way to get people to attend District meetings.

Unannounced visits do not create unity, feels it’s a burden on District’s time and financial burden on Area. Let DCM schedule visits. The District’s need to do more out reach to the groups.

People may feel intimidated by unannounced visits.

Mileage does not affect the Area from a financial standpoint.

Visits from the Area can produce enthusiasm.

Yes, we should be responsible to them prudently and financially. We should contact DCM first or are invited.

Area Committee Chairs should be careful about attending our own District meetings and being too vocal.

If we go uninvited you should not expect to be reimbursed by the Area.

Dark District’s (Districts not represented) need to be contacted and visited.

Find out what committee chairs do and invite them to the District’s to visit.

Counter productive and time consuming.

Area people should be pro-active and let District know in advance to arrange visit.

Joint planned events with other Districts would cut down on expenses. 4-5 District’s together.

This lacks courtesy.

It’s a concern that the Area Reps just show up, would be better if it is planned and expected.

Area reps should not be unannounced, should keep discussion in a timely manner. Advantages to District are information on what’s happening at Area level, financially not much of an impact.

Area should hold/plan workshops at Districts, Districts promote within groups, w/fliers, announcements through GSR’s, get the word out.

Have District chairs contact Area Chairs Individually.

Save money, by not paying unnecessary mileage.

  1. So often we hear at the group level that it’s the same people involved in Area service...  Isn’t it really everyone’s responsibility to be involved? Don’t we owe it to our sobriety? Do we have the right to complain if we are unwilling to participate? Concept #1 describes this problem (page 7 of the service manual): “The average member, preoccupied with his group life and his own “twelfth stepping,’’ knew almost nothing of A.A.’s world services. Not one member in a thousand could tell who our Trustees were. Not one in a hundred had the least idea what had been done for A.A.’s general welfare. Tens of thousands already owed their chance at sobriety to the little noticed activity of our Trustee and general services. But few realized that this was true”. It’s clear that the average A.A. member continues to be uninformed. How can we as an Area raise the level of awareness and ignite a passion for service? Are we truly keeping A.A. service a secret?

The same people volunteer, not enough people young in sobriety are willing to do the service work. People get excited about new people in service work. GSR;s are surrounded by “slackers” with all service work the same people tend to do the same things all the time. It is difficult to get people to stay for any length of time. Need to get more people involved! Be known for service. Be out there, be known, encourage new service members. Complaints of same old people, continue to encourage new people to do service. A service sponsorship is the answer to encourage service work. Encouragement and reinforce service info in service manual. Lead by example showing patience & tolerance.

Informative workshops, 1 day mini conference, bring in Area people to your own District to talk about service.

Education is the key – bring the Area to the District & groups.

Have workshops based on service – Area sponsored weekend.

Get more people involved in service – Grapevine reps, etc.

DCM goes to each meeting in District & informs group. Gets a contact/GSR.

Break off Groups at Area meetings are effective so GSR’s, DCM’s and Area Chairs can openly share ideas, like we did today.

Sponsors need to take an active role and encourage sponsees to do service. Workshop on sponsorship should promote service involvement.

Current service people should pass it on to sponsee & new people.

Get a service sponsor.

Dispel the myths i.e. Policies, too time consuming the value of service is not being stressed at the one to one basis. GSR’s seem to fear of responsibility at District level.

Yes, we are keeping AA service a secret. Our job is to teach. Workshop sponsored by the Area to talk about the different service opportunities available.

We must lead by example as we were lead. (Shut up – get in the car.)

Perhaps we need to let groups/Districts fail for our common welfare.

District should consider not scheduling anything on Assembly weekends.

We elect GSR, etc. and then we don’t tell them what is expected of them.

Don’t enable.

As a District chair we are so happy to have chairs filled we don’t hold our chairs accountable.

The message of the conference is not getting back to the groups.

Keep conference separate from business.

Service Sponsor’s are important.

Attraction rather than promotion, let’s make it fun.

New people willing to get involved should be allowed to make mistakes.

Always keep in mind unity, service, and recovery & balance the three. Sponsorship is the key; expand the knowledge, education of sponsorship.

Area could focus on Old-timers (as well as new comers) involved in service.

Get into service thru sponsorship.

Can’t inspire participation from afar, get back to basics.

Area could provide panel on sponsorship – bring to Districts.

Learn job by doing (GSR’s & DCM’s) and by example.

Service is the Answer”

No discussion at group level.

Why do we have panels during Area Inventory? Why do we have other activities during Trustee Report?

It’s sponsor’s responsibility to explain about service.

Problems with GSR;s not following through i.e.. Selfishness/self centeredness is the root of our problem. Remind people that you get out of it what you put into it.

Rotation is good – new faces, not just going from one position to another. Need new blood.

Lead by example.

GSR School is a good tool.

People do not think this is important work, around the country it is pretty much the same. Groups need to take back control and stress that service work is important. Washington & New York have a different format. Sponsorship, very important way to carry service message to sponsees, currently there’s not a lot of enthusiasm at the group level.

Sponsorship with Service

  1. If the basic purpose of the Area Committee is to reach out to the “still suffering alcoholic”, are we achieving this objective? If not, what can be done to change it?

Help the still suffering newcomer & old timer, how can we keep both coming back.

Can the Area Chairs & Officers be helpful in this Area – go to District’s & educate, mentor the District chairs to carry the message?

DCM’s & GSR’s report back to groups on what District committees (treatment, CPC & Corrections, etc.) and Area do for the groups.

Area should encourage Districts to keep its meetings/contacts up to date.

DCM’s invite Area chairs, workshops, combine Districts and have workshops.

We have to go out and see what other Areas are doing to succeed.

Educate the members.

Basic purpose of Area Committee is to support the groups in their efforts to fulfill our primary purpose.

Service Fair Concept

General Consensus is that: that is not the basic purpose of the Area Committee.

We encourage, we communicate, and we facilitate.

Service should always be directed toward the still suffering alcoholic.

In some area’s we’re doing well such as corrections and in some areas we’re not, disabled & elderly.

Area may be too focused on their own agenda instead of how they can help Districts & groups.

Just because we’re not getting attendance or people responding etc., Doesn’t mean we’re not doing our job.

Is that the Area’s basic purpose?

Area facilitate or lay ground work so one alcoholic can talk to another. Set up frame work for that to occur.

Meetings at different geographic areas is a good idea.

Look at changing structure perhaps fewer Area meeting with more contact.

Have annual convention with NO business.

No, we are not reaching still suffering alcoholic, bad average out of 900+ groups.

Zoning & workshops improved, but needs a lot more work.

Need more group representation at the Area Level?

Some Reps not attending meeting at District and Area Level, getting District/Area minutes off internet and reporting to group from internet reports.

This question is directed at Group level. If this does not start at Group, where will it go (carrying the message)? Group’s responsibility is to carry the message to still suffering alcoholic. Service sponsor is needed at District level to Area level.

Yes, this is the basic purpose.

  1. Are positions as Area Officers and Area Committee chairs only for the “elite few” due to monetary concerns? If so, what can be done to change it?

Are people reimbursed for what they do? Primary purpose of conference? Stretching out time interferes with assembly is the main focus. It starts at the group level 7th tradition.

The perception is that the group is elite.

Have Area people find their own replacement/become service sponsor, pick them and mentor them.

District, DCM’S and GSR’s need to pass it on and ask and suggest.

Yes, Due to current budgetary restraints, reimbursements are not in timely manner. Voice this concern to the Area Assembly and Area Treasurer.

No. Maybe we should have more casual dress. Some people may feel like they can not afford to dress in suits. We are alcoholics. They may be intimidated.

Ride together to cut down on expenses, exercise prudence.

Reimbursement. Turn in your reimbursement, whether or not you need the money. It doesn’t seem that people are being excluded because of monetary concerns. If anything people aren’t committing because of fear and level of responsibility.

No – Not elite few!

New comers may feel intimidated because don’t know what’s going on. Same people involved because they care enough to be involved.

Money should have nothing to do with holding and Area chair position. It is excuse or legitimate (justifiable). Consensus – not for elite – people make excuses for not holding positions!

No, these positions are not only for “elite”.

  1. If the Area DCM’s and GSR’s are bored by the business conducted by the Area meetings, what can be done to change it?

Nothing, it is what is. Need a timer at meeting to keep people from going over time. Microphone can be shut off.

Keep all reports brief and to the point. Limit time of presentation 3 – 5 minutes.

DCM reports are good, shows how we are doing service work and carrying the message.

Streamline the meetings, maybe time restraints on reports.

Less reading of the business issues.

More information, ideas, reports on carrying the message.

Instead of coffee commitment, give them a panel commitment.

(Shut up and get in the car) Speaking as GSR, I want to learn at assemblies how to carry the message as a treatment facility committee member or corrections committee member. Have committee work in morning and business in afternoon.

Not everyone has to go to everything at assemblies.

One member shared I need to hear and experience the whole thing.

Have GSR & DCM Sharing session in small groups like today’s inventory groups.

DCM’s can and should submit proposals. Keep it simple.

We’re supposed to be bored! This is a service commitment. Chair should be firm in keeping with time.

Limit on all reports.

Need to make reports lively!

Egg timer to allow people to give their report within time allowed. People tend to go on & on & on…

Area lead chairs meet with District chairs for 1 hour, then general meeting 1 hour, then DCM reports.

Condense Area meeting to ½ day.

Service isn’t limited to good times & convenience.

We do not need proposals for everything we do. We have trusted servants that can make decisions. We need to get down to the primary responsibilities what we’re here for – carrying the message (or aiding in). Consensus: we need to become more responsible not lay it on others.

Stick to 3 – 5 minutes

Keep discussion on the topic.

  1. If the delegate has the most exposure to the committee process within Alcoholics Anonymous, why is their last service assignment the GV chair? Wouldn’t their experience and background make them better suited to serve as Area chair?

Why? To give Delegate something else to do to continue service – is that keeping someone else from doing service work? It feels good to get egos’ stroked. At the end of 4 years, they are ready to give up after 2 years. Delegate may want to retire. Is it the ping pong thing for 4 years?

Area chair should be elected. Delegate should be elected (everyone including GSR’s can be elected as Delegate.) What is the value of make appointment? Would it be better & promote more involvement?


We should consider having our delegate come back as Area Chair.

Consider electing Committee Chairs.

Need to rotate off delegate to a position of less “power”.

No, to being chair after delegate.

Delegate probably knows too much.

Make GV chair position an option, leave position open to others if wanted. This could be a chance for others to do service work.

Area chairs should be rotated in – more experience. Consensus: Look at outgoing delegate. Rotate - Experience

Not necessarily.

  1. Why are past Area Delegate’s no longer allowed voting participation in Area business? How does this practice serve the “still suffering alcoholic”?

Some positions are time limited. Delegates only have responsibility for that time. Past Delegates are a great resource and they will continue to serve and vital rotation.

No, we don’t want them to vote, we still need their experience. Groups run AA, this is good. They make great counters, and we need counters.

We don’t know.

How does that practice benefit the still suffering alcoholic?

We should just be ad hoc committee members as past delegates.

Concept 4 (Right of Participation vs. responsibility)

Teaches past delegate humility, elder states man has voice, show by example of rotation, not power driven.

Appears that they are running things, in some cases this may be true.

Past delegates have and hold very important info – they’ve held and been through a lot. They are there to share experience. Past delegates themselves don’t feel they need to vote – I x S. Consensus: up to us at groups for voting.

They served their term.

Why do we have 2 terms for president?

  1. Does the current location for our Area business meeting allow for maximum participation? If not, what would work better?

Distance is great concern. Madison is the central Area and we don’t need to move. Car pools help!

Participation is great.

No. Rotate the location so they are not always in the same location.

Madison is Central.

Consider: where are most people coming from, where are the most Districts. After all pros & cons, Madison is best place.

Need to be centrally located, or maybe rotate around, Area business. We may get more local interest when the meeting travels around. Consensus: Rotate Area business or drop a meeting. Possibly condense meetings.


  1. Has the electronic distribution of Area minutes and Area Assembly actions removed the sense of secrecy associated with Area business? How can we reach additional members of our fellowship?

Was there any secrecy? Enables GSR’s to not have to go to meetings. It can be pro-active or used as an excuse. Easy access.

There should be no secrets in AA.

Protect anonymity, don’t put in last names.

There’s the perception of secrecy so the more disclosure the better.

Hard copies should still be available to those without internet.

Groups vote on proposals & take to District, DCM’s follow.

We didn’t know there was secrecy.

Minutes are confusing, don’t understand terms used.

Need proposals in layman’s terms that people understand.

Yes, it has helped. Still need to have paper copies available for those without internet. Also need to spread word of web site, make it known.

Sending minutes out electronically does help, there are no secrets. Consensus: We can electronically leave the info out there, it’s up to the individual to retrieve it and use it.

Canvassing with the active members of the District to promote unity, service and recovery.

10. What is the purpose of the Agenda Planning meeting? Would the Area be better served by returning to the practice of the Area chair selecting the items to be placed before the fellowship for voting purposes?

Every proposal should be put on agenda. Agenda planning is often felt as a wasted day by GSR with no vote. DCM should get all info and vote. GSR’s attend so they don’t feel the wool is pulled over their eyes.

Is the Agenda planning a waste of time? We think so. The agenda can be changed from the floor at the assembly meeting. Discussion is important.

When was it like this? We have to protect autonomy. DCM’s and Committee Chairs bring agenda items and proposals. AA works from the bottom up not top (chair) down. Our leaders do not govern, but are trusted servants. This allows small group’s proposal to be heard. This also helps get GSR’s & DCM’s involved.

The DCM’s bring in a proposal from the GSR’s as to what need to be done.

Discontinue as an Agenda Planning meeting.

Agenda Planning Committee should be formed.

Why choose – put everything on. One person should not decide what goes on agenda. Agenda planning is important to discuss items as those that should be considered. Agenda item sent in by 1 person should have discussion before being put on agenda.

Use egg time for placing thing on the agenda. As what has been repeatedly stated, we should not be discussing the merits of the proposal, only whether to put it on the agenda or not.

Would like to see service conference/workshops.

Problem is groups are not doing the business through DCM. We don’t need agenda planning meeting the way it’s set up. The groups should present info, bring it to DCM, then discuss and take it to Area level. Consensus: change the way business is run. Restructure how GSR & DCM can submit stuff.

Like it the way it is.

Would like to see GSR’s be able to vote.

  1. Miscellaneous comments:

One group commented they liked having a round table discussion, it got more people involved!

When anyone, anywhere reaches out, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there, and for that; I am responsible!”

Upcoming events:

East Central Regional Forum – November 9-11, Chicago, IL

Agenda Planning Meeting – January 20, 2008 at the Madison Senior Center

Delegate’s Workshop – March 30, 2008 at the Madison Senior Center

Pre-Conference Assembly – April 20, 2008 at the Madison Senior Center

Area 75 – 2008 Spring Conference – May 16 – 18, Oconomowoc, WI (Delegate’s report)

Agenda Planning Meeting – June 22, 2008 at the Madison Senior Center

Pre-Conference Assembly – September 7, 2008 at the Madison Senior Center

Area 75 – 2008 Fall Conference – October 3 – 5, Fond du Lac, WI (Elections)


Fall Conference Minutes 10/13/07