The Board of Trustees is the service arm of the World Service Conference (WSC). It exists as the legal entity, S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc., incorporated in the State of Tennessee as a 501©3 non-profit corporation. The BOT is responsible for making administrative, legal, and financial decisions for the fellowship of S-Anon. Each individual member of the BOT is asked to follow the spirit of S-Anon’s Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Twelve Concepts in all actions taken on behalf of S-Anon.
The BOT is comprised of the Officers of the Board (The Executive Committee), 8 Regional Trustees, BOT Trustees at Large (members who chair Standing Committees, and who are not also serving as Regional Trustees), and the WSO Executive Director. The business of the BOT is conducted by means of monthly conference calls, the minutes of which are available from the WSO.
• The Officers of the Board are elected by the BOT itself.
• Regional Trustees are elected (in Regions that are sufficiently organized to conduct elections). Where elections cannot be conducted, Regional Trustees are individuals who have volunteered as trusted servants and have subsequently been elected by the BOT. (Additional information regarding the selection of Regional Trustees can be found below.)
• If a Regional Trustee is elected to serve as an Officer on the BOT, ideally a new Regional Trustee for that region is elected.
• Current Standing Committees of the Board of Trustees are: Executive, Finance, Literature, International Conventions, World Service Conference, Public Information and Outreach, Archives, S-Ateen, and Policy and Service Communications.
Purpose and Functions of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is considered the legal entity of S-Anon. The Executive Committee directs the day-to-day business matters of S-Anon at the World Service Office. The Board is responsible for S-Anon’s funds and services, makes policy and procedure suggestions for approval by the fellowship of S-Anon through its World Service Conference, and publishes S-Anon Conference Approved Literature and Service Literature.
Specifically, the BOT performs the functions shown below:
• Serves as guardian of S-Anon’s Twelve Traditions, Twelve Concepts of Service, and the Conference Charter.
• Provides guidance in matters of policy.
• Serves as custodian and guarantor of good management of the WSO.
• Appoints Trustees-at-Large.
• Monitors and supports the accomplishment of the strategic goals of BOT committees.
• Approves the annual budget and maintains a prudent reserve.
• Ensures documentation of official proceedings of its committees, which are maintained in the Official Corporate Record Book at the WSO.
BOT Standard Operating Procedures
Tradition One states that “…progress for the greatest number depends upon unity,” and we have found that it often takes time to achieve “unity.” The time necessary for service boards or committees to move through their processes in a thoughtful manner, whether considering structural changes, recovery and service literature pieces, letters to groups, or other matters, may at times seem unreasonably long but there are two considerations to keep in mind.
First, our processes have been developed based on the experience, strength, and hope of our fellowship over time. Experience has shown us that when we rush through revisions or circumvent procedures that have been successful in the past, the outcome can be potentially damaging, both for S-Anon members and for S-Anon as a whole. We believe that changes to our standing operating procedures are best made after prayerful consideration based on the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts. Our processes are in place to help assure as much unity as possible in the way we conduct S-Anon business. When we ask a Higher Power to guide us, we trust that the decisions we make will be in the best interests of our fellowship.
The second consideration is related to the resources available to the BOT. The BOT and its Committees are aware of the many needs of the fellowship. Because we have limited financial and human resources, both of time, and skill set, we must prioritize our needs accordingly. Service within the Traditional and Legal service structure teaches us about patience, working together, timing, and reminds us that recovery is a process.
Requirements for Service as a Trustee
The most important requirement for service on the BOT is a strong desire to serve the S-Anon fellowship. In addition, it is suggested that any S-Anon member interested in serving on the BOT has been regularly attending the S-Anon program for at least 5 years. They must be solidly committed to S-Anon and recognize that there is a commitment of time and effort involved that goes beyond participation in the monthly conference call. Trustees contribute their ideas and service as needed by the BOT. The BOT may express a specific need, or a Trustee may see an opportunity to contribute in a way that draws upon their own skills and experience. Trustees also make themselves available to members to share experience, strength, and hope on questions or problems that cannot be resolved at the group level. If you are interested in serving as a Trustee, please contact the World Service Office.
Bylaws of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is governed by the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees. The initial version of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees was developed and approved by the Board in August 2001. The BOT is obligated by the Charter of the World Service Conference to present any changes made to the Bylaws at the following World Service Conference. There have been several amendments to the Bylaws since 2001. The document containing the “Bylaws of the S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc. Board of Trustees” appears in Appendix F
The work of the Board of Trustees and the World Service Office is supported entirely by the Seventh Tradition donations of individual groups, by sales of literature, and by voluntary donations of time and material by members of the fellowship.
Updated November 2018