By Maureen Stott
This was the first year of the Assembly of Delegates (AOD) and also the first year for the Assembly of Delegates Advisory Committee (AODAC). Prior to this year, delegates gathered for the House of Delegates (HOD). Transitioning to the first AOD meant lots of changes.
When AOD Moderator, Lee Stang, appointed me to the AODAC I felt very honored. I was keenly aware that creating a smooth transition to the new format was going to be a daunting task and that the work was mostly behind the scenes. Plus, this year’s convention was early, which meant that we had a shorter time to implement the change. I was ready for the challenge.
What did the AODAC do?
We worked in conjunction with the AMTA National staff on all aspects regarding the planning and execution of the activities of the Assembly and revamped existing or created new training materials for the delegates.
Each committee member was assigned 20 delegates who we contacted with calls and/or emails. It was great to be able to meet many of them in person.
We looked over the Proposed Position Statement Topics and the Proposed Discussion Topics as they were received. We checked that they met the criteria and provided feedback before the documents were sent to the National headquarters and their legal team, who decided which Proposed Topics to continue to process, which would not be considered, and which, if any, needed to go back to the author(s) for more work or tweaking. They ultimately decided which would be presented to the AOD.
In our monthly AODAC conference call we would discuss various details. A few examples:
- What are the requirements to be a facilitator in the AOD?
- Should the tables be square or rectangular? How many people per table are too many? Should the delegates stay at the same table for all of the discussions or change tables for each topic? How can we change tables with the least amount of disruption?
- What can we do to make sure that each prepared delegate will be able to voice their point of view and to make sure that the discussion wasn’t dominated by one or two delegates?
- What do we do to ensure delegates understand that their term continues beyond the AOD meeting. (In our chapter our term ends in April.)
and much more…but this will give you an idea of the work of this committee.
The feedback that I have received is that this first year had a few things to evaluate and tweak before next year, but overall it went very well.
If you would like more information about the AOD or the AODAC, feel free to contact any of your delegates or the board members/committee chairs that were at the convention.