Area 79 Secretary
The secretary records and distributes minutes of Area Meetings and General Service Committee meetings, and sends out area mailings. The secretary is in a good position to act as liaison between officers and committee members. The secretary responds to the messages left on the Area 79 answering service which include requests for meeting information and questions about AA and Area 79. Some messages are forwarded to the appropriate General Service Committee member or District Committee Members; the secretary responds to more general inquiries ensuring a quick response wherever possible. The secretary also responds to general email inquiries.
Secretary is an elected position on the Area 79 General Service Committee. For more information about the Secretary’s duties and responsibilities, please see the following Job Description .
See below for some additional information that may be helpful. The resources listed answer the most commonly asked questions that the secretary receives; the links are to pages on A.A.’s World Services Website (www.aa.org) from which they may be accessed:
- The A.A. Group . . . Where it all begins (pamphlet, pdf)
- Understanding Anonymity (pamphlet, pdf)
- Is There An Alcoholic in Your Life? (pamphlet, pdf)
- AA Guidelines: Conferences, Conventions and Roundups (guidelines, pdf)
Requests for meeting information are also common and can be found on this website under the “Find A Meeting” menu.
For those wishing to submit their resumes for either an elected or appointed position on the Area 79 General Service Committee, please download the suggested service resume form Service Resume . The link will reroute you to our elections section of our website. The use of the resume form is not mandatory for either elected positions or appointed positions. However, its use does assist both the candidate and the Fellowship in several ways. These include the provision of consistent information in an organized way and assisting candidates in adhering to time limits for presentation of resumes.
To let your name stand for an elected position please see: Elections Page
Secretary: Job Description
(See A.A. Service Manual, Chapter 5)
The secretary records and distributes minutes of area meetings and sends out area mailings and electronic mailings. The secretary is in a good position to act as liaison between officers and committee members.
Further, in BC/Yukon Area 79, the secretary:
- Must be sensitive to Grassroots deadlines and work closely with the editor to ensure that copy is received by the editor in time for preparation and distribution of the newsletter; work with the editor in determining the format in which the minutes are to be submitted. (This may vary from editor to editor.) Because reports are part of all minutes, ensuring that all reports are received in a timely manner is crucial.
- Is assigned to chair a committee for the Pre-conference Assembly in April.
- Is responsible for checking the Area 79 voicemail or receiving voice messages via email, and responding to general inquiries or forwarding messages to the appropriate General Service Committee member.
- Receives the email@example.com emailed inquiries and responds to the general inquiries or forwards the email to the appropriate GSC member.
- Collects and distributes mail from the drop box in the area office. If the secretary does not live in or near Vancouver, the duties can be assigned to another GSC member, although the secretary remains responsible for their completion.
- Ensures that office machines (photocopier, fax machine, answering machine) are in working order and have the necessary supplies (paper, toner, etc.). Again, this duty can be reassigned but the secretary remains responsible.
- Must have knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.
- Is responsible for capturing and storing all committee chair resources and materials via the Area 79 backup drive annually
- Is available to assist the Chair during the September Voting Assembly via visual slides, and/or spreadsheets as needed.
The secretary should have a “reasonable period of sobriety”, which might mean two years in an area where A.A. is still young, four or five years in an older area. Some service in group, central office or general service is useful. So is some background in general office work — more and more, computer knowledge is indispensable. An effective secretary needs to have a sense of order and the ability to capture the essentials of what is happening at a meeting. The job is time-consuming and needs to be carried out on schedule, and the secretary needs to be sure that ample time is available.
This position requires an ongoing, heavy time commitment. It would be prudent to discuss letting your name stand for secretary with your family and employer, since it will have an impact on your availability to them over the course of the term. This is a seven-days-a-week commitment.
Duties Common to all GSC Members
- Attend and participate in all regularly scheduled General Service Committee (GSC) meetings (held in Vancouver on the first Wednesday of each month). Meetings could also be held virtually when necessary.
- Reply to email, telephone and written questions. Willingness to learn and develop computer/technical skills as necessary.
- Attend and participate in all quarterlies and assemblies in-person or virtually as required.
- At each quarterly, assembly and GSC meeting, provide reports on activities since the previous event.
- Chair appropriate committee at quarterlies and assemblies. Assist with venue set up and tear down.
- Maintain contact with district and local committee chairs.
- Maintain contact with district committee members (DCMs) assigned to GSC member’s committee.
- Submit regular monthly expense reports to the treasurer.
- Participate in preparation for the General Service Conference by reviewing and summarizing the assigned agenda background material, providing information to DCMs, chairing the committee meeting at the Pre-conference Assembly, and providing the committee’s recommendations to the assembly and delegate.
- Facilitate workshops.
- Participate on Ad Hoc committees as required.
- Be available for travel assignments, including taking Area 79 archives and/or Grapevine kits to A.A. events.
- Review www.bcyukonaa.org content as it relates to the member’s position, providing updates and new materials to the website chair as needed.
- Prepare and assist for transition of your position at end of your rotation. Ensure flash drive is updated regularly and provided to Secretary annually.
- Maintaining blue boards/display boards and literature supplies for travel events.
- The time commitment required is substantial and will vary from position to position, and also with the particular skills possessed by the member. Generally, some time will be spent every day to check and respond to emails and phone messages. Some jobs have workloads that are heavier at certain times than at others.
- It is encouraged that you speak with members of the GSC (current or past) to ask more specific questions if you wish to put your name forward for a position.
- General Service Committee membership may sound demanding, but, as we so often find in A.A., the rewards are far greater than time and effort put in.