Board of Directors

 

Fast Facts 

  • The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall management of the Association. The Board transacts general business, determines long range goals and objectives, prepares the annual budget, and oversees the expenditure of funds. (Please see Article VI. Board of Directors. Section 1 of the AMTA Bylaws.)
  • The Board of Directors consists of nine voting members: President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Vice President, Vice President Elect, and four (4) delegates elected by and from the Assembly of Delegates.  The Secretary/Treasurer, Council Coordinators, Historian, Regional President Representative, and Executive Director are ex officio members without the right to vote. (Please refer to the AMTA Bylaws, Article IV. Officers.)
  • Business is conducted typically via two face-to-face meetings each year, conference calls and emails.
  • Board of Directors meetings, other than when in executive session, are open to any/all members of the AMTA.  Please know that you are always welcome to attend.
  • The Presiding Officer of the Board of Directors is AMTA President Deborah Benkovitz Williams.

Current Business

On behalf of the AMTA Board of Directors, we want thank everyone for their service to the Association whether serving on the Assembly or Board, being a Regional President, Chairing a Committee, serving as a Committee member or managing to combine several of these leadership roles. Your investment in the future of the profession is invaluable and your contribution of time and energy is greatly appreciated.

June 12-14, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Mid-Year Meeting

Highlights from the Mid-Year meeting of the AMTA Board of Directors, June 2020

The AMTA Board of Directors held their annual Mid-Year 2020 Board meeting virtually on June 12-14, 2020, for the first time, in response to the pandemic.   The meeting lasted 13 hours over three days, and much was accomplished.   After writing and publishing a statement regarding the recent racism and violence in America, the Board approved several motions regarding diversity, equity and inclusion education for the Board, national office staff, and AMTA leadership, to complete this fall.   The pandemic and the CEO search were also major topics of discussion, as well as and updates from committees.

Search Committee Update

The AMTA Search Committee has meet via Zoom and worked to create a four-question questionnaire to be given to each candidate as part of their application process for the new CEO position. The Candidate Review Process will begin in mid-July narrowing the candidates from the top 10 to the top 6 to the top 3. The interviews will all be via Zoom calls. The top three candidates will be given to the Board of Directors by early August. The membership will be given the top three candidates’ answers to the four-question questionnaire through an anonymous review by late July. Along with the candidates’ questionnaire, the membership will be given a survey to rate the candidate’s answers using the same rubric used by the Search Committee. The survey results from the membership will be given to the Board of Directors after the final interviews of the final candidates has taken place. The National Office Staff will have the opportunity to meet each of the final three candidates and provide feedback to Shira Lotzar, our Executive Search Consultant, who will share the information with the Board of Directors. The Board will use information from the interviews, membership and staff to make the final decision.

Members of the Search Committee: Laura Beer, Akash Bhatia, Lori Gooding, Susan Hadley, Ed Kahler, Freddy Perkins, Amber Weldon-Stephens, Chair

Nominating Committee Update

The Board of Directors approved the AMTA Nominating Committee for the 2021 elections. For the first time, each region is represented on the Nominating Committee. A call for nominations will go out to the membership in July via the website and social media. If interested in running for either Vice President Elect or President Elect, please send a letter of interest and CV to any member of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will present two candidates for each office to the Board of Directors by the Annual Conference in 2020.

Members of the Nominating Committee:

  • CharCarol Fisher, MWR
  • Michele Forinash, NER
  • Lisa Gallagher, GLR
  • Elizabeth Schwartz, MAR
  • Daniel Tague, SWR
  • Eric Waldon, WR
  • Amber Weldon-Stephens, Chair, SER
Finances

Treasurer Ed Kahler presented the Board of Directors with an update to the transition to QuickBooks which has occurred over the past 12 months. He outlined how the transition from the old software to the new software occurred. Kahler also updated the Board on the monies approved to assist Regions with the losses incurred due to having to cancel regional conferences. Two regions and the AMTAS submitted requests and have been approved to receive money from the Disaster Relief fund.  Kahler presented the FY 2020 income and expenditures through April 30, 2020. Although a ($41,500) deficit was projected for the FY 2020 budget when it was approved, Kahler predicts there will be a surplus. The exact amount is difficult to predict due to the current pandemic.  Kahler reminded the Board that AMTA has applied for and received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the Small Business Administration and a grant from Montgomery County Maryland.  Because of these monies, AMTA has been able to meet expenses.  AMTA’s revenue has decreased and we need to continue to watch cash flow.

Treasurer Kahler informed the Board that all regions have passed all the necessary bylaw changes and are prepared to move the fiscal year to match the calendar year starting in January 2021. AMTA and all regions will have a six-month July – December 2020 budget. In addition, all regions have agreed to move to an online QuickBooks software to assist them with regional budgeting and competing the Affiliate 990. Treasurer Kahler presented the proposed draft Six Month Budget: July – December 2020 to the Board of Directors which was prepared by the Financial Advisory Committee (FAC). The AMTA Board subsequently approved the Six Month Budget July – December 2020 as presented with an estimated income of $842,700, estimated expenses of $841,700 and a projected $1,000 net income.

Kahler reminded the Board even though AMTA may currently look financially sound as of today, there are certain factors to keep in mind.  First, cash flow is down. Revenue, in terms of membership is down, especially with student membership. Second, with the major change in conference rates, Kahler anticipates a decrease in membership as we move forward. We need to find ways of encouraging and providing incentives for joining AMTA. Lowering conference rates to help our members and non-members was a wise, compassionate, and correct decision, but AMTA needs to consider other sources of revenue in both the short and long term.

Additional Boards

The Ethics Board, co-chaired by Carol Shultis and Janice Schreibman, continues to manage ongoing ethics cases, develop educational materials, and clarify ethics case procedures.  The Judicial Review Board, chaired by Minda Gordon, continues to work on updating policies and procedures. Their full report can be found on page 61 in the Board Book.  The Education and Training Advisory Board, (ETAB),  chaired by Annette Whitehead-Pleaux,   continues to gather and analyze information from music therapy scholars and health experts, and the Board is developing a white paper for future distribution. SAAB, under the leadership of Jeffrey Wolfe and student President Fiona Riso, continues to address student needs in innovative ways. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, SAAB hosted a series of AMTAS Virtual Cafés and provide online resources. This work will continue as needed.

COVID-19 Task Force

The COVID-19 Task Force was formed to support the music therapy community during the coronavirus pandemic. The Task Force has developed a resource web page in conjunction with AMTA staff and continues to develop resources, statements, and advisories related to infection control practices, telehealth, copyright, education and clinical training, self- care, and other aspects of music therapy impacted by COVID-19. The Task Force has worked with a wide range of music therapists, AMTA staff, subject matter experts, AMTA committees, and others tocoordinate and disseminate info. This includes posting info to the COVID-19 page on the AMTA website and sending out bimonthly updates. Work will continue as needed.

Council for Association Services

The Council for Association Services is comprised of 7 committees that work throughout the year to support the mission and members of AMTA. The services and resources provided by each committee reflect the dedication of the organization to support members, provide opportunities for networking, have open dialogue, and encourage equity and cultural competence.

Clinical Practice Networking Committee: Gabriela Asch-Ortiz, Chair

  • The committee is developing a process to provide mentor-mentee networking opportunities for members.
  • In collaboration with the 2020 AMTA National Conference planning committee, the committee members are working to create online platforms to encourage continued networking opportunities at the virtual conference.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee:  Melita Belgrave, Chair

  • The DEI committee reviewed applicants for the CEO Search Committee and nominated 4 applicants.
  • The DEI committee worked with the Board of Directors on language related to the search for the CEO and the Diversity Consultant.
  • The Board of Directors approved the appointment of “at-large” committee representatives when needed to support DEI committee work.

Interprofessional Collaborative Resources Committee:  Kory Antonacci, Chair

  • The committee is reorganizing and working on the revision of the AMTA fact sheets.  
  • Committee members are in the process of analyzing data from the Interprofessional Education survey for AMTA-Approved degree programs.

International Relations Committee:  Erin Haley and Yu-Ling Chen, Co-Chairs

  • IRC is communicating with COVID Task Force to figure out the best way to distribute the International

Students/Intern Corona Virus Needs Assessment Survey.

  • IRC is preparing for the Global Perspectives Session proposal submission guidelines in response to the consideration of pandemic such as telehealth and online conference format.

Membership Committee: Angie Elkins and Jennifer Hicks, Co-Chairs

  • Co-chairs focusing on communicating with marginalized music therapists/groups to build relationships and to ensure representation in the #MembershipMonday #CheckInChallenge features.
  • The committee continues to “check in” with members and non-members during COVID-19 to share resources and support options available through AMTA.
  • The “Research Review: An AMTA E-Course Series” member benefit was introduced at the 2019 AMTA National Conference. Currently opportunities exist to earn 30 CMTE credits through this program, with 6 of those credits eligible to satisfy CBMT’s ethics requirement. https://www.musictherapy.org/careers/continuing_music_therapy_education/

Professional Advocacy Committee:  Leslie Henry & Tracy Wanamaker, Co-Chairs

  • The committee is continuing efforts to create a plan to develop guidelines to respond to the development of Music-based Apps that relate/overlap with music therapy in collaboration with a representative from the Technology Committee.

Workforce Development and Retention Committee: Jessica Fletcher and BriAnne Weaver, Co-Chairs

  • Successfully held informative panel presentations for students interested in the field of music therapy at two regional conferences.
  • The committee is in communication with 2020 AMTA National Conference planners to implement an online student presentation and Q&A for those interested in learning more about music therapy as a career choice
  • In the process of disseminating a Retention Survey to membership.
Council on Professional Practices

Government Relations Committee:   Judy Simpson and Rebecca Preddie, Co-Chairs

The Government Relations continues to actively engage in state representation through advocacy events and hill days.  In 2020, nineteen (19) states have had some form of legislation (license, title protection etc.) and 15 states have had participation in hill day, advocacy training and/or committee presentations. On January 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A2183, the “Music Therapist Licensing Act.” The bill creates a music therapy license under the newly-established State Board of Creative Arts and Activities Therapies. On March 3, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law HB 1562, which creates a music therapy license under the Board of Social Work, and establishes an Advisory Board on Music Therapy to assist the Board in matters concerning the music therapy license.  The Committee is encouraging collection of media coverage and success stories of music therapy services provided during COVID19 pandemic, through telehealth/therapy and socially distanced sessions. National survey being created to help gather this information.

Reimbursement Committee:   Judy Simpson and Rebecca Preddie, Co-Chairs

The Reimbursement committee is working to provide updates to reimbursement resources for member use such as: sample telehealth forms, updated CPT codes and COVID related reimbursement resources. They have shifted focus to gathering information and answering questions regarding payment for services, specifically telepractice.

Standards Committee:  Ellary Draper, Chair

The Standards committee completed a spreadsheet detailing the document structure of related fields (physical therapy, social work, counseling, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance therapy, and international music therapy). The Committee awaits a new charge from the board.

Research Committee:  Cindy Cowell, Chair

 The Research committee is coordinating and expanding research poster opportunities for the 2020 Virtual Conference.

Technology Committee:  Grace O’Leary and Noa Ferguson, Co-Chairs

The Technology committee is working with the COVID task force to facilitate access to technology resources, and to provide technology assistance for music therapists and support to AMTA for technology needs during the 2020 virtual conference.

Council on Education and Clinical Training

Academic Program Approval Committee (APAC): Rebecca Engen and Mike Zanders, Co-Chairs

Since the 2019 annual conference, the Academic Program Approval Committee (APAC), approved 3 new programs (2 Master’s programs; Southwest Oklahoma State University, and Cleveland State University, and 1 undergraduate and equivalency- University of Arizona. and made 1 program re-approval-University of Miami (BM, MM, Grad Equivalency).  APAC is also reviewing re-approval application and materials. Several developed subcommittees are addressing concerns, i.e. pre-internship hours, tele-health, etc. The committee is also proposing a number of revisions to the AMTA Standards for Education and Clinical Training document.  Five (5) new undergraduate degree applications, and one new graduate degree application are currently in review. APAC collaborated with AIAC to send memos providing guidance to Academic Institutions and NR Internship Sites regarding responses and responsibilities during COVID-19 pandemic

Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC):  Lauren DiMaio and Eve Montague, Co-Chairs

Since the 2019 Conference, the Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC) has approved 12 new National Roster Internship Programs, 7 Supervisor requests, 6 Change of Internship Directors, 3 exception requests. Seven (7)  new applications are in review, with 2 of those in revision.  The AIAC updated the AMTA Intern Supervision CMTE. AIAC collaborated with APAC to send memos providing guidance to Academic Institutions and NR Internship Sites regarding responses and responsibilities during COVID-19 pandemic.  AIAC created and distributed a survey for National Roster Internship Directors to complete to document how COVID-19 has impacted their internship programs.

Continuing Education Committee:  Julie Andring and Dawn Iwamasa, Co-Chairs

The Continuing Education Committee (CEC), continues working to ensure that continuing education courses adhere to the guidelines established by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, and promote the value of Board Certification by providing opportunities to meet the educational needs of AMTA members. Key action items are supporting continuing education offerings for the National conference to an online platform; regularly reviewing common websites frequented by music therapists who are looking for ideas or posing clinical questions, entering the discussion and referring to the AMTA Pro-Podcasts as a source of information when appropriate; CEC co-chairs are working with the National Office to adjust relative processes for the 2020 virtual conference.

Assembly of Delegates

Speaker Angie Snell reported engagement and input from Assembly Delegates has continued to increase as compared to the previous year due to evolving needs of the profession and the Association. Both the Board and the Assembly of Delegates are focusing efforts to serve as a reliable voice and source of information between members, prospective members, clients/client advocates, and the Board. Highlights include the following:

  • The Assembly held a Virtual Practice Meeting Feb. 26 search process.
  • Information for the Assembly continues to be distributed via Speaker Quick Take communications.
  • Thus far, Delegates have received 7 Quick Take updates.
  • Other upcoming issues include filling the vacant 4th Assembly Representative Alternate position and potential collaboration between the Assembly Bylaws Task Force and President Elect Gooding.
  • The Draft Assembly Meeting Schedule for the 2020 AMTA Conference (Nov. 19-22), will be adjusted to accommodate the new virtual conference schedule, as well as the different regional Time Zones.

The Assembly leadership team, Speaker Angie Snell, Assistant Speaker Debbie Bates,

Assembly Rep Gary Verhagen, Assembly Rep Eric Waldon, along with Assembly Rep Alternates Brian Abrams, Kevin Bock, and Nicole Hahna continue to encourage members and prospective members to keep reaching out to the Assembly leadership team, Regional Delegates, and other Board members in order to participate in this commitment.

Board of Directors Board Book, 2020 Mid-Year Meeting

DRAFT AMTA Mid-Year 2020 Virtual Board Meeting Motions
June 12-14, 2020
Friday, 6/12/20 Motions

Agenda:

Motion #1: Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended.

Approval of Minutes:

Motion #2: Resolve, to approve the minutes from the November 2019 annual meeting.

            Author: Weldon-Stephens                            The motion carried

Motion #3: Resolve, to approve the minutes from the 6-2-20 virtual board meeting as amended.

            Author: Weldon-Stephens                            The motion carried

Executive Session:

Motion #4: Resolve, to move into executive session.

            Author: Weldon-Stephens                            The motion carried.

Saturday, 6/13/20 Motions:

DEI Committee Updates:

Motion#5: Resolve, that the AMTA Board of Directors and National Office Staff complete their first annual diversity Education &Training by the 2020 annual meeting in November.

            Author: Generally-Kirk                               The motion carried.

Motion #6: Resolve, that all current and future members of the AMTA Board of Directors, AMTA standing committees, and other Board approved entities (including, but not limited to, councils, task forces, work groups, additional boards, and commissions) be required to complete annual Diversity Education & Training beginning in 2020.

            Author: Generally-Kirk                               The motion carried.

Motion #7: Resolve, that the Board approve the appointment of an at-large member or members to the DEI Committee.

            Author: Generally-Kirk                               The motion carried.

Motion #8: Resolve, that the Board request a proposal from Nicole Robinson for Diversity education for the Board and National Office Staff.

            Author: Dalton                                              The motion carried

Past President’s Report:

Motion #9: Resolve, to approve an Executive Personnel Committee consisting of President Deborah Williams; Past President, Amber Weldon-Stephens; Treasurer, Ed Kahler; Speaker, Angie Snell; and President elect, Lori Gooding, as chair.

            Author: Williams                                          The motion carried.

Motion #10: Resolve to appoint the following members to the Nominating Committee representing all 7 regions: Michelle Forinash (NER), CharCarol Fisher (MWR), Lisa Gallagher (GLR); Elizabeth Schwartz (MAR); Daniel Tague (SWR); Eric Waldon (WR); and Amber Weldon-Stephens, Chair (SER).

Author: Weldon-Stephens                            The motion carried.

Sunday, June 14, 2020 Motions

President Elect’s Report:

Motion #11: Resolve, to approve the proposed By-Laws amendment adding the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Chair as a non-voting, appointed member of the AMTA Board of Directors to be sent to the membership for vote at the 2020 AMTA Conference.

            Author: Gooding                                           The motion carried.

Journals Report:

Motion #12:  Resolve, to endorse and adopt the revised mission statement of MTP as follows: “Music Therapy Perspectives (MTP) promotes the development of music therapy clinical practice through the dissemination of scholarly work that
serves as a resource and forum for music therapy clinicians, students, educators, and related professionals to
engage in essential critical discourses. MTP publishes all forms of reports regarding music therapy practice including, but not limited to, clinically focused research reports, clinical portraits, case studies, educational research, and theoretical articles.”

            Author: Else                                                  The motion carried.

Approval of the Budget:

Motion #13: Resolve, to approve the six-month (July-December) budget as presented.

            Author: Kahler                                             The motion carried.

Old Business:

Motion #14: Resolve, that the DEI committee move forward with developing procedures for hiring a DEI consultant. Steps will include, but are not limited to: Recruiting individuals, developing a rubric for evaluating the applicant, proposal review, additional information requests (interviews), and reopening the RFP process if needed.

            Author: Generally-Kirk, Leonard, Belgrave         The motion carried.

Motion #15: Resolve, that the members of the Board of Directors engage in critical self-reflection using publicized resources, including but not limited to the recent online materials provided by MAR CHADI. Additionally, the Board will discuss the materials at regularly scheduled Board Meetings.

            Authors: Generally-Kirk, Leonard, Belgrave        The motion carried.

Motion #16: Resolve, to charge the Pediatric Work Group to develop resources that can be used in advocacy work supporting the use of music therapy in pediatric healthcare.

            Author: Williams                                           The motion carried.

Motion #17: Resolve, that the 2020 conference planners work with the Safe Spaces Technical Advisory Group to develop and follow procedures to provide safe spaces at the 2020 AMTA Virtual Conference.

            Author: Snell                                                 The motion carried.

New Business:

Motion #18: Resolve, to thank the National Office Staff for all of their hard work.

            Author: Weldon-Stephens                            The motion carried.

Motion #19: Resolve, to commend President Deborah Williams for successfully running the first virtual Mid-Year meetings.

            Author: Weldon-stephens                            The motion carried.

Motion #20: Resolve, that the wonderful Mid-Year Board Meeting is complete.

            Author: Weldon-Stephens                            The motion carried.

June 2, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I. WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams called the Conference Call meeting to order at 9:04 PM ET.

Present: President Deborah Williams; Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens; President-Elect Lori Gooding; Vice President Wendy Woolsey; Vice President-Elect Andrea Dalton; Treasurer Ed Kahler; Secretary Jean Nemeth; Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell; Assistant Speaker of the Assembly Debbie Bates; Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Eric Waldon; Regional President Representative Heather Wagner; Council Coordinator for Council on Education and Clinical Training Hakeem Leonard (late); Council Coordinator for Council on Professional Practices Amy Smith; Council Coordinator for Council on Association Services Natalie Kirk-Generally; and Historian/Parliamentarian Michael Silverman. 

AMTA Staff Present:  Jane Creagan, Cindy Smith, Dianne Wawrzusin, Angie Elkins

Guests Present:  Melita Belgrave, Chair DEI Committee

II. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda.

Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens  The motion carried.

III. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Board of Director minutes from 4/26/20 as amended.  

Author: Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

IV. NEW TASK FORCE (Williams)

Williams informed the board that discussions with Covid-19 Task Force Chair Gooding & APAC Co-Chair Becky Engen had made clear the need for a new Education & Training Resources Task Force to address the overwhelming inquiries/needs of students, faculty, interns & intern directors faced with dislocations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This Task Force (ETRTF) would work in collaboration with APAC, AIAC, CBMT, Standards, & the Covid-19 Task Force to gather resources and creative ideas pertaining to successful completion of education & training requirements (e.g., practicum hours; halted internships; etc.) during the pandemic. Creagan echoed this need in stating that national office has been attempting to gather information from faculty & internship sites as to their present status. Williams announced that Dr. Andrew Knight has agreed to act as chair; he will assemble the remaining members. Waldon questioned whether a timeline or limit needed to be placed on the ETRTF’s work. It was agreed that while the work is immediate in nature and initial posting of gathered information should occur by mid-July to enable better planning for the fall semester, time frame flexibility should be afforded the ETRTF. Gooding indicated that the ETRTF would be working closely with the Covid-19 TF and report to her in most cases. Exact posting location of the gathered resources (not on the Covid-19 page) will depend upon the needs of the submitted content (e.g., YouTube).  Joy Schneck (CBMT) has agreed to work with AMTA on dissemination of an email seeking resources from faculty/practitioners & will provide access to CBMT’s email database. Since AMTA is responsible for the Education & Training of music therapy students, Waldon felt strongly that AMTA take ownership of this email request. Williams & Creagan will work this out with CBMT.

MOTION: Resolve, move that we establish an Education and Clinical Training Resources Task Force, chaired by Andrew Knight, to work in consultation with the Covid-19 Task Force, APAC, AIAC, Standards, and CBMT, in order to collect, vet and organize resources for faculty, internship directors, and supervisors that will assist interns and students in navigating the pandemic restrictions and completing their educational and clinical training requirements. 

Author:  Deborah Williams   The motion carried.

V. CEO JOB PROFILE APPROVAL (Weldon-Stephens)

Weldon-Stephens informed the board that the newly formed CEO Search Committee met last Thursday evening and thoroughly vetted the CEO profile document. Along with a few minor edits submitted by board members, she presented it back to the board for vote. The intended timeline is as follows:

  • Board approval of the Profile tonight
  • Shira Lotzar to provide a mini press release to Elkins by tomorrow morning
  • Announcement of the Post with list of Search Committee members & contact information
  • Formal Job Posting

MOTION: Resolve, move to approve the position profile for the 2020 search for the AMTA Chief Executive Office position.

Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens     The motion carried.

President Williams thanked everyone for their work with this document. Weldon-Stephens noted her excitement to be working with the dynamic CEO Search Committee members.

VI. CONFERENCE RATES APPROVAL (C. Smith/Woolsey/Kahler/Dalton)

Williams reintroduced the topic of conference rates which had been tabled at the last meeting and asked the board for and additional thoughts. Snell stated that she had contacted all of the regional presidents to poll regional sentiment. She noted that all appreciated hearing context for the upcoming board decision (e.g., $100,000 to Harrods; member hardship; etc.). Feedback included: moderate pricing (under $250/perhaps a sliding scale); importance of providing a high quality conference; ‘pay it forward’ opportunities to assist those in need. They stressed the importance of AMTA providing clear messaging about pricing decisions and the need for a forum for staying connected during these difficult times. The regional presidents also expressed appreciation for AMTA’s work toward changing our culture and diligence in supporting the health of our profession.

Bates reported that she polled a wide variety of colleagues to solicit feedback. Consistently, they felt pricing in the $200 range was most desirable. They also offered many ideas pertaining to conference & revenues (e.g., a post-conference rate to access content) which she will pass along to the conference planners.

Treasurer Kahler stated that he had put a great deal of thought into this issue: the importance of sensitivity to peoples’ needs as well as AMTA’s financial health while providing a satisfying conference experience. Fiscally, he cited 6/1/20 membership numbers: -296 (professional & student) for a revenue decrease of $37,000. A typical conference nets $450,000 profit. However, in light of the current situation, he was prepared to propose a 2-rate conference registration structure (Early Bird & Regular) as follows:

  • Professional:    $199/250
  • All Students:    $100/100
  • Non-Members: $250/350
  • Daily Rate:       $300
  • Neuroscience track: $150

Total projected revenue: $221,500 Registration + Additional Revenue = approx. $271,000

(Figures based on 600 professionals/10 nonmembers/100 students)

Attendance/Revenues: Lengthy discussion centered on the accuracy of predicting attendance in the virtual format (hopefully much higher than projected) and increasing revenues through sponsorship, advertising, etc. Woolsey noted the high potential for increased non-member participation with lowered pricing; conversely, high prices would give the appearance that AMTA is out of touch. Bates commented that these prices coupled with quality content could engender most positive attendance outcomes. Creagan & Cindy Smith stated that numerous marketing plans & outreach to bigger donors were already under consideration.

Student rates: Waldon queried whether student registration at $100 was too high given the present situation. Belgrave supported the single rate structure for students and wondered if it would be possible to implement time restricted ‘specials’ (hard to administer/often result in negative feedback from others) or ‘perks’ for students. Several ideas centered on drawing in high school students as an additional revenue source (low cost of $25) while introducing them to the field (a special track; teachers using content for student projects). Cindy & Weldon Stephens noted that ongoing high school student outreach has regularly been part of conference for several years; however charging a fee would be new. Woolsey cited the highly successful Facebook Live session provided for high schoolers last year. Cindy cautioned that over-enrollment by high schoolers could result in overage charges from the platform (contracted enrollment limit of 1800/$10pp above that); this will require monitoring and potential cut off limits if necessary. Offering a ‘student track’ was felt best option.

Registration Deadlines: The original dates of August 7 (EB) & 10/10 (Reg.) would need to be altered to fit a 2 tier structure & virtual format needs. Mid-September & Early November were suggested. Cindy cautioned that extending Early Bird would result in lower that normal revenues over the summer; Kahler felt this could be absorbed. Gooding suggested that the earliest registrants could receive an incentive; Cindy & Elkins preferred packet inserts (e.g., discount coupons/a drawing) which are less labor intensive for staff. Given the virtual format, final registration cut off will need to occur 2 weeks before conference launch to enable dissemination of access codes/instructions to the registrants. On-site registration will not be possible. Waldon reminded the board that no formal announcement about terminating the Atlantic City site had occurred; Cindy stressed that this statement needed to be carefully worded to avoid legal complications with Harrah’s.

While noting that the discussion had generated many good ideas, Verhagen asked to redirect attention to tonight’s task of providing the conference planners with a rate structure. Silverman’s suggestion to decrease the college student rate to $99 & Snell’s proposal of lowering the non-member Regular rate to $325 garnered agreement.

MOTION: Resolve, to set the virtual November annual conference rates as follows: Professional $199/250; Professional Non-Member: $250/325; College Students: $99/99;

Daily Rate: $300; Neuroscience Track: $150; High School Student Track: $25.

Author: Ed Kahler     The motion carried.

VII. NEW BUSINESS

Snell spoke to all the constructive ideas generated during the discussion and requested that board members send them to the conference planners; she thanked the board for all their hard work.

Waldon wished to express his appreciation for how quickly and effectively the board came together to compose a statement of support for black & marginalized communities in response to the recent tragic event in Minneapolis and ongoing racism in our country. AMTA’s Support Statement is now posted prominently on the AMTA website.

VIII. ANNOUNCEMENTS & ADJOURNMENT

President Williams stated that the next meeting of the board would be the Virtual Mid-Year Meeting 6/12-14/2020.

MOTION: Resolve, to adjourn.

Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:08 PM ET.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD., MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

 

May 26, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I. WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams called the Conference Call meeting to order at 9:04 PM ET.

Present: President Deborah Williams; Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens; President-Elect Lori Gooding; Vice President Wendy Woolsey; Vice President-Elect Andrea Dalton (late); Treasurer Ed Kahler; Secretary Jean Nemeth; Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell; Assistant Speaker of the Assembly Debbie Bates; Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Eric Waldon; Regional President Representative Heather Wagner; Council Coordinator for Council on Education and Clinical Training Hakeem Leonard; Council Coordinator for Council on Professional Practices Amy Smith; Council Coordinator for Council on Association Services Natalie Kirk-Generally (late); and Historian/Parliamentarian Michael Silverman.

AMTA Staff Present:  Jane Creagan, Cindy Smith, Dianne Wawrzusin, Jenny McAfee

Guests Present:  Melita Belgrave, Chair DEI Committee

President Williams opened by conveying a message from Dr. Sheri Robb who commended the Board for doing fabulous work during this unprecedented time and thanked everyone for their service.

II. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended.

Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens  The motion carried.

III. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Board of Director minutes from 5/5/20. 

Author: Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

IV. ELECTRONIC VOTING UPDATES (Gooding)

Gooding reported that all four ballot initiatives (sanctioning electronic balloting; title change from ED to CEO; use of inclusive language; clarify BofD. agenda timelines) passed with overall 92% voter approval; 27 % of the members (570+) voted. The process was generally very smooth. Email feedback indicated that people were responsive & all questions were able to be answered.

V. Approval of the Financial Advisory Committee (Kahler)

Kahler explained that, historically, the treasurer has formulated a committee to review the proposed budget and audit prior to sending it to the board. This Financial Advisory Committee serves a two year term coinciding with the presidential tenure. In the past, the regional presidents’ representative served on this committee. However, Kahler decided to replace that position with the VP or VP elect to ensure that a conference planner is familiar with budgetary concerns. This year, he has proposed that the committee be comprised of the President, Past President, President Elect, Parliamentarian/Historian; Vice President, Assembly Speaker & Assistant Speaker, 2 Regional Treasurers, and the AMTA Treasurer as Chair.

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the appointment of President Deb Benkovitz Williams, Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens, President Elect Lori Gooding, Parliamentarian/ Historian Michael Silverman, Vice President Wendy Woolsey, Assembly Speaker Angie Snell, Assistant Speaker Debbie Bates, Southwestern Regional Treasurer Alix Brickle, Midwestern Regional Treasurer Becca Kurtz, and Treasurer Ed Kahler as chair to the AMTA Financial Advisory Committee for the 2020-2021 term.

Author: Ed Kahler  The motion carried.

VI. APPROVAL OF CEO SEARCH COMMITTEE; CEO POSITION PROFILE

(Weldon Stephens)

CEO Search Committee: Weldon Stephens announced that the 4 at-large members of the CEO Search Committee had been identified through a process conducted by the DEI Committee: Laura Beer (MW); Susan Hadley (SER/MAR); Freddie Perkins (SER); Akash Bhatia (SER). DEI Chair, Melita Belgrave, explained that 18 applicants had been vetted by committee member individually according to a 3 level rubric; final selections resulted from collective committee discussions. She noted that this well-rounded group (MTP Editor; Program Head; 2 younger members) are all active in AMTA. Verhagen queried as to whether there was full regional representation on the Selection Committee. Weldon Stephens responded that 5 of the 7 regions were represented (No NER; WR). 

MOTION:  Resolve, to appoint Laura Beer, Susan Hadley, Freddie Perkins, Akash Bhatia, Lori Gooding, Ed Kahler, and Amber Weldon Stephens as chair to the AMTA CEO Search Committee.

Author, Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

CEO Position Profile: Weldon Stephens referenced the CEO Position Profile, crafted by Shira Lotzar, which had been sent to the board today. She noted that this extensive, 6 page document was the result of information drawn from 100+ constituent interviews conducted by Lotzar. Her expectation for the process was board vetting followed by CEO Search Committee review prior to formal posting next week (possibly 6/1). Nemeth commented that the sections in the first part of the document could benefit from re-ordering to place strengths over challenges; Weldon Stephens explained that Lotzar felt it important to place challenges early in the document to quickly identify those candidates who were not deterred by them. Both Verhagen & Waldon stated that more time was needed for board members to review and process the document. Since the document is going to represent our profession, it was too important to push to a quick vote. Bates noted that the board has a responsibility to membership to be thorough. In response, Weldon Stephens acknowledged that the board needed more time; she proposed moving the vote to a meeting next week. She asked board members to send her any comments/edits by Thursday; she will resend the finished document back to board members on Friday for final review. The vote will occur next Tuesday and posting will be pushed out to approximately 6/3/20 which was still within an acceptable timeframe.

VII. CONFERENCE UPDATES/REGISTRATION RATES (C. Smith/Woolsey)

Overview: (Woolsey) While the format was will be new/different, the conference will include highly valuable content along with familiar AMTA conference features (e.g. exhibit hall; poster session; etc.). There will be add-ons (25 CMTEs) throughout the conference with 70 recorded and 30 live sessions. The recorded sessions will include a chat box so attendees can interact with presenters in real time. Of special note:

  • An all-live Neuroscience Track: Nina Kraus as the Keynote Speaker; 4 additional sessions pairing neuroscientists & music therapists; 2 add-ons (intro to neuroscience; latest research). 
  • Saturday: Keynote by the Executive Director of The Angel Band Project and sessions presented by MT-BCs who work with the Angel Band Project
  • We are working on a One Voice performance to raise hope and awareness of victims of sexual assault

The conference will be recorded for later access by attendees which will allow for extensive content consumption.  The virtual platform holds 2.1 state of the art rating for accessibility. AMTA will collect data/metrics for use in planning any future virtual conferences.

Conference Registration Rates: (C. Smith) President Williams informed the board of extensive ongoing discussion with the conference committee & treasurer centering on how an online format compares with live conferences and appropriate conference registration rates.

            Cindy Smith referenced a Conference Registration Rates Recommendations document board members had received which listed 5 different level proposals for conference registration rates (ranging from $395-190 prof/early). She reminded the board that this conference will not require attendee expenditures for hotel/travel/meals etc. which represents a significant savings. While this year’s World Congress rates appear very low ($107/67/32.50 for students), she noted that AMTA’s conference will be much more expansive and the content will remain available for 6 months. Cindy was recommending option #2 or #3.

            Treasurer Kahler was asked how different rates would impact the overall budget. He explained that while fiscal 2020 & AMTA overall is in good shape, another deficit like last year

(-$200,000) would be very difficult to absorb. Dues income is presently lower; membership numbers are down approx. 300 from this time last year. Other issues could also impact the conference revenues as well (pandemic; members’ unemployment; potential of Assembly meeting outside of conference platform & not registering; students dislocated & not attending; etc.) He also reminded the board that due to the realignment of the fiscal year to match the calendar year (1/1-12/31), the second half of this year would be shortened. Kahler stated that to meet a projected balanced budget, the conference would need to generate approximately $360,000. Overall, AMTA’s net worth is decreasing, an issue that must be addressed, regardless of what is decided this year.

            Lengthy discussion centered on member need/value vs. financial security. Leonard cited the new CEO hire as potential momentum. Dalton saw ability to earn extensive CMTE credits through this format as of greater importance to members. The board agreed that quality content was imperative. Strong sentiment was expressed that the needs of members in this unsettling time should be fore fronted. Members are struggling & AMTA should be there to support them, even if that entails lower revenues. Snell cited conference as an excellent support/sense of community for struggling members.

            Good attendance was witnessed at the recent virtual regional conferences. Wagner stated that Midwestern Region attendance was over 700 vs. 130-150 past participation/Western saw 247 enrollees. Nemeth commented that it comes down to finding the price point that is a balance between financial solvency and member support. Generally Kirk agreed that the price point is important and cautioned not to forget students’ needs; a lower price point could engender greater attendance by students. Kahler stated that the regions are financially healthy and could be another source of support for financing member attendance (Nemeth: especially if AMTA leads by example.) Williams affirmed that the level of unknowns make financial decisions difficult.

            Board members brainstormed ways to generate added income from the conference (corporate sponsorships; non-member attendees; leverage of Neuroscience Track beyond the MT community; ala cart registration for tracks; universities buying content for use in their courses; post conference revenue generation from the saved content.) Creagan stated that staff is working on a number of these types of initiatives and possibilities engendered by the virtual format.  Nemeth noted that messaging is important since there’s a danger that offering very low rates could result in members expecting this every year; Verhagen stressed the need to be transparent in stating AMTA’s willingness to forego income this year in support of members while making them aware of our financial imperatives.     

            Stating that she perceived the board’s need for more time to research and ponder the appropriate approach to setting registration rates, President Williams tabled the discussion and vote until next week’s meeting. She noted that we are probably looking at proposals #2-5 or some combination thereof; Kahler commented that he is not comfortable with either #1 or #5 in terms of the budget & supporting members. Dalton observed that there is a tipping point where price will drive increased attendance. Williams asked the board to think about ‘what would draw you to this conference?’ as another guidepost in their decision making.

VIII. COVID-19 TASK FORCE UPDATES (Gooding)

Gooding provided highlights of the latest initiatives:

  • Email blasts will be used to provide bi-monthly updates (1st & 15th) of new information
  • Addressing increasing faculty concerns will now be facilitated by the Task Force as it is too much for APAC to handle alone
  • The Task Force is looking to engage with the research surrounding the spread of Covid-19 through singing and wind instrument play and will seek more involvement for AMTA
  • Addressing concerns about providing advisories vs. guidelines: Legally, AMTA is not able to provide Advisories, only offer suggested guidelines.

Gooding closed by commending the hard work of the Task Force members, stating that they have all been fabulous to work with.

IX. NEW BUSINESS

Covid-19 support funds: Treasurer Kahler informed the board that, to date, Covid Support Funds have been requested & received by AMTAS, NER, & MAR. Presently, a request is being submitted by SW.

Montgomery County Grants: Wawrzusin & Creagan informed the board that the process of receiving a $12,000 Covid Response grant from Montgomery County is moving toward approval

X. ANNOUNCEMENTS & ADJOURNMENT

President Williams announced that the next Board of Directors’ conference call meeting will be 6/2/20 at 9:00 PM ET.  She again thanked the board for all the time they volunteer to AMTA and expressed appreciation for the kindness, understanding, and generosity she’s witnessed among board members and staff.

MOTION:  Resolve, to adjourn the meeting.

Author, Amber Weldon Stephens  The motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 10:49 pm EST.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

May 5, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams called the Zoom Call meeting to order at 9:01 pm EDT.

Present: President Deborah Williams; Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens; President Elect Lori Gooding; Vice President Wendy Woolsey; Vice President Elect Andrea Dalton; Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell; Assistant Speaker, Debbie Bates; Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Eric Waldon; Treasurer, Ed Kahler; Secretary, Jean Nemeth; Regional Presidents’ Representative, Heather Wagner; Council Coordinators Amy Smith, Hakeem Leonard & Natalie Generally-Kirk; Historian/Parliamentarian Michael Silverman.

AMTA Staff: Jane Creagan; Cindy Smith, Angie Elkins, Tawna Grasty, Dianne Wawrzusin

Guests: Melita Belgrave, Chair, DEI Committee

Williams welcomed the AMTA national office staff who were present to assist/test the Zoom Webinar platform being introduced tonight. This platform will be utilized for the upcoming Mid-Year Virtual Board Meeting.

II. Approval of the Agenda

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended.

            Author: Deborah Williams   The motion carried.

III. Approval of Minutes

MOTION: Resolve, to approve the 4/14/20 minutes.

            Author:  Deborah Williams    The motion carried.

IV. APAC Recommendation

MOTION: Resolve, to approve the Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy and Equivalency Program at the University of Arizona.

            Author: Deborah Williams    The motion carried.

V. National Conference Updates (Cindy Smith/Woolsey)

Cindy referred the board to the document pertaining to selection of a virtual platform company for the upcoming AMTA conference in November. Of the 5 platforms examined by national office staff, 3 were being brought to the board for consideration: Vision Virtual, Blue Sky, & Community Brand. She described the capabilities of each and noted, that although all 5 platforms (also CVents & Webinar) were highly rated, the conference planning team & national office staff were recommending Vision Virtual (VV). The stated cost for this platform is $52,000 based on 2400-2500 attendees (fee charged pp above the contracted number), though Cindy felt this figure is negotiable dependent on AMTA’s needs/features. This platform appears to be the most versatile—able to track CMTEs, provide large & small meeting spaces (e.g., opening; chat rooms), accommodate interactive Research Poster Session/Exhibit Hall (20 booths; additional per booth fees above that figure), etc. VV utilizes already familiar Zoom & Webinar technology. In addition, their tech support can build whatever we feel is need.

Verhagen queried about the platform’s ability to meet the needs of our disabilities community. Woolsey noted that these platforms possess requirement ratings (2.0 is acceptable; VV holds the present standard of 2.1.) Barb Else & her team will further explore actual presentation set ups & visual accommodations to ensure accessibility. Williams asked whether the content access will be available post conference. VV can hold conference content for up to a year, though Cindy felt AMTA will seek closer to 6 months of content retention.

Weldon-Stephens inquired about pricing for attendees; Cindy/Woolsey indicated that these decisions were dependent upon platform choice & other factors; conference fees will be determined by the end of May with the conference launching in early June. The conference team is presently working on a marketing plan highlighting the value of the conference as well as ways to use the content with an intent to draw large numbers of attendees. Williams noted that the recent Midwestern Region virtual conference drew over 800 participants with students attending for free. Platform security (all are good), registration after the event is over (probably for a period of time up to a clearly stated cut-off date) were also discussed.

Board members questioned whether it was prudent to approve a platform without knowing all the financials/costs/fees. However, the conference planning cannot move forward until a platform is identified. Nemeth/Weldon-Stephens noted the long history of national office/planning teams effectively executing conferences within budget. Generally Kirk/Verhagen also noted that regardless of registration prices, this conference will be cheaper for attendees (i.e., no travel/ hotel/food/etc. costs.) However, given the present employment situation, it was felt important to remain sensitive to hardship currently experienced by membership. With the time-sensitive nature of onboarding a platform, as well as better ability to lock in desired dates & avoid price increases, it was decided to move forward with a motion.

MOTION: Resolve, to approve entering into a contract with Vision Virtual to provide the platform for our November 2020 Virtual Conference.

            Author: Deborah Williams           The motion carried.

Cindy will bring the financials back to the board at the next meeting on May 26, 2020. She closed by stating when it was announced that the conference was going virtual with an extended Call for Papers, the number of submissions increased from 97 to 297; people seem excited about the virtual format.

VI. Search Committee Updates (Weldon-Stephens)

Weldon-Stephens announced that the DEI Committee chaired by Melita Belgrave has sent the invite letter to affinity groups. Angie Elkins posted the applicant survey yesterday (5/4) and it will remain open until Friday, 5/15 (2 weeks).  The DEI Committee is creating a qualification rubric to assist with member selection. They expect to finish vetting applicants and submit their selections to the seated Search Committee members (Weldon-Stephens; Kahler; Gooding, & Lotzar) by Friday 5/22. The board will then approve the entire search committee as well as the job description being created by Shira Lotzar (Purposeful Hires) at the 5/26 Board Meeting. Lotzar expects to post the position by June 1st & identify 10 candidates by mid-July. Six will be chosen for interview by the Search Committee. Three finalists will then be submitted for interviewing by the Board in August (in person/virtually) with expected hiring to take place by the end of August. Melita noted that there are already 13 search committee applicants as of yesterday.

VII. Bylaws Changes (Gooding)

Williams cited two documents that had been sent to the board: Four Proposed Bylaws Amendments with rationales authored by Gooding & a Parliamentary Review completed by Silverman in consult with previous historian/parliamentarian Bryan Hunter. The review was felt necessary to clarify the best means of effecting bylaws changes electronically and ways to respond to the constraints caused by the present pandemic. Silverman expressed sincere gratitude for the guidance that Hunter was able to offer. 

Gooding presented the four proposed Amendments:

  1. Agendas: There is presently no language in the bylaws concerning conducting business outside of the Mid-Year & Annual meetings.
  2. DEI Language: Updating the language to align with DEI sensitivity—change he/she to they/them throughout the Bylaws document
  3. Electronic Voting: Add a provision for online voting on issues other than officer elections
  4. Title change from Executive Director (ED) to Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Reflect updated practice in non-profit world; emphasis on a visionary leader vs. a manager

Discussion centered on the best means of presenting this information to membership. Waldon cautioned against a potential negative membership response to a switch from ED to CEO since several of our parallel organizations continue to be led by EDs (e.g., ASHA, OT—these organization have long standing EDs; those with newer hires have CEOs). He wondered if the increased quality of the potential applicant pool Lotzar anticipates as a result of this change is worth the possible negative reaction/malcontent from members who equate EDs with nonprofits & CEOs with for-profit corporations. Generally Kirk noted that it will be important to relate to membership how the board works in relationship to our ED/CEO. Messaging will be important. Nemeth suggested that a pre-roll out to important constituents (e.g., Regional Presidents/ Assembly/Affinity Groups) would be beneficial. It was decided that the ballot should be accompanied by an email ‘cover letter’ highlighting the issues prompted by the pandemic (electronic voting), the rationale for the ED/CEO change (industry standard; strategically engaged; better applicants), and the cost effectiveness of a single use of Balloteer (approximately $400/use) for all four bylaws changes. The order of the amendment presentation was altered to Electronic Voting/ED-CEO/DEI Language/Agendas to highlight the most time sensitive & potentially problematic changes. (Note: If the electronic voting fails, the remaining amendments are rendered moot.)

Weldon-Stephens offered a time line for completion of this vote: Email cover letter containing Ballot with included rationales & a link to the full Amendments document to go out either Friday 5/8 or Monday 5/11 with the vote closing on 5/22. Time is short due to the proposed job posting by June 1st. Elkins questioned the tight roll out timing and will contact Balloteer to be sure this is possible. In the meantime, Gooding, Waldon, & Silverman will perfect the cover letter language for board feedback by Thursday, 5/7.

MOTION: Resolve, to approve the four proposed bylaws amendments to be sent to membership for vote through Balloteer with a target date of 5/11/20.

            Author: Deborah Williams     The motion carried.

VIII. Covid-19 Task Force Update (Gooding)

Gooding conveyed that the Covid-19 Response webpage is continually being updated. As Barb Else & Angie Elkins add new information, an asterisk is placed next to this content. The telehealth statement is presently being translated into formal Spanish by Alejandra Ferrer & her husband. A Spanish language café will be added to the AMTAS Student cafes (diverse topics for students). Accessibility for marginalized member communities is important. Elkins announced that she is seeking to add the ability to translate Covid-19 webpage content into other languages through addition of a translation bar at the top of the webpage as soon as possible.

IX. Disaster Relief Funds Update (Kahler)

Kahler announced that, to date, AMTA has received disaster relief fund requests from AMTAS (for student cafes) & two regions (MAR & NER) for shortfalls ensuing from loss of conference revenue and regional conference cancelation expenses. AMTA stands ready to assist regions & constituent groups as necessary to mitigate Covid-19 dislocation.

X. Mid-Year Meeting Dates/Times (Williams)

Citing informal consultations with several board members, President Williams announced that the virtual mid-year board meeting will remain on the original dates of June 12-14. She offered two scenarios for possible schedules and asked the board to consider these for the next meeting. Williams noted that the meetings may not require all the allotted time (13-14 hours) since submitted reports will not be read. A final decision on the format (days/times) will be made at the 5/26 board meeting.

XI. ASD Updates (Williams)

President Williams was pleased to announce that the new report from the National Clearing House on Autism Evidence & Practice now lists music therapy as evidence based practice (EBP) for children ages 0-14 under music mediated interventions. This citation is critical for practitioners working in schools and private practice as it validates the importance of their services. Nine papers were cited in support of this; three by Dr. Petra Kern. For the first time, the use of music therapy in schools for children with ASD has officially been validated.

XII. New Business

New Research: Gooding informed the board that ACDA NATS Course/American Barbershop is presenting a webinar focused on Singing & Covid-19 which may indicate that singing/chorus participation can spread the virus. Additionally, a study concerning whether playing wind instruments spreads the virus will be conducted this summer/fall by a number of organizations including NAfME (Music Educators). The Covid-19 Task Force will continue to seek updates on these issues.   

Giving Tuesday Initiative: Treasurer Kahler informed the board that AMTA is currently participating in the Giving Tuesday initiative (today). He noted that, while the board had signed a contract to complete a fundraising campaign by the end of 2019 was delayed; the company has been flexible and the current initiative is the result. Kahler asked that board members participate if possible, but more importantly reach out to constituent/friends/associates to urge them to support AMTA’s mission as well. Weldon-Stephens noted that board participation in support of AMTA’s mission (at whatever level individually possible) is viewed very positively by members and stated that, last year, the board reported 100% participation.  Elkins informed the board that national office staff had completed their own giving this morning. She also informed the board that a number of giving campaigns will be forthcoming—a Covid-19 Response campaign will possibly roll out next week.

XIII: Announcements & Adjournment

President Williams announced that the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26 at 9:00 pm EDT. She thanked the national office staff, especially Angie & Dianne, for assistance with the Webinar format of tonight’s meeting and noted how hard staff have been working in the absence of an ED. She also offered her personal appreciation for the Board’s efforts and support during these busy and difficult times.

MOTION: Resolve to adjourn.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens           The motion carried

The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 pm EDT.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD., MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

Apirl 14, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams, called the Zoom Call meeting to order at 9:01 pm EDT.

Present: President Deborah Williams; Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens; President Elect Lori Gooding; Vice President Wendy Woolsey; Vice President Elect Andrea Dalton; Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell; Assistant Speaker, Debbie Bates; Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Eric Waldon; Treasurer, Ed Kahler; Secretary, Jean Nemeth; Regional Presidents’ Representative, Heather Wagner; Council Coordinators Amy Smith, Hakeem Leonard & Natalie Generally-Kirk, Historian/ Parliamentarian Michael Silverman.

AMTA Staff: Jane Creagan; Cindy Smith

Guests: Melita Belgrave, Chair, DEI Committee

II. Approval of the Agenda

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.

III. Approval of Minutes

MOTION: Resolve, to approve the 4/7/20 minutes as amended.

            Author: Deb Williams      The motion carried.

IV. Committee Chair Approval

MOTION: Resolve, to approve Gabriela Asch-Ortiz as chair of the Clinical Practice Networking committee.

            Author: Deb Williams      The motion carried.

V. Telehealth Document

President Williams referenced the Telehealth Therapy Statement document sent to the board prior to the meeting, noting the addition of the word ‘assessment’ in paragraph 3, sentence 1. In response to requests from State Departments of Education for professional organizations’ position statements concerning the viability of telehealth services, Judy Simpson & Barb Else drafted AMTA’s Telehealth Therapy Statement. The board was asked for feedback on the document prior to its posting on the AMTA Website Covid-19 Response page. Members discussed the importance of adding a clause about the inequality of access to technology that could hamper this delivery format. Issues about security/safety of clients were deemed to be covered by AMTA’s Code of Ethics & Standards of Clinical Practice. Parliamentarian Silverman advised that the document could be approved with the caveat that a clause pertaining to inequity be added.

MOTION: Resolve, to approve AMTA’s Telehealth Therapy Statement pending addition of a clause pertaining to inequity with regard to access to technology.

            Author: Jean Nemeth        The motion carried.

President Williams will reach out to the drafters to request addition of this wording. The board asked that the document be re-sent to the entire board once completed.

VI. Conference Updates (Cindy Smith & Wendy Woolsey)

Hotel Contract: Cindy Smith relayed that she had reached out to Harrah’s (contracted site for 2020 conference) to discuss potential cancellation/postponement. The hotel offered to push the cancellation date to 5/15/20 at which time the $100,000 fee would be due regardless of whether AMTA cancels or postpones. Options for postponement ranged from a 25-75% loss depending on which year/type of booking(s) chosen. Cindy stated that her recommendation would be to simply cancel given the present climate of uncertainty. Board members also viewed this as an opportunity to move away from a site that had drawn opposition from some members; members would feel that their voices had been heard.

MOTION: Resolve, to move that we cancel the 2020 conference contract by May 15th with Harrah’s in Atlantic City and not negotiate with Harrah’s for another year.

            Author: Wendy Woolsey                 The motion carried.

Virtual Platforms: Cindy related that she continues to explore virtual platforms for the 2020 conference with one more proposal outstanding. She, Angie Elkins & Jenny McAfee will then decide on the best option and bring that proposal to the board for approval in the coming weeks.

Cindy also informed the board that the formal announcement of the Virtual Conference would take place tomorrow, 4/15/20. The call for papers will be extended to 4/28/20 & presenters who had already submitted proposals will be asked to consider how/whether they can still present within this format. The full conference needs to roll out by 6/1/20. The national conference planning team has met with the local committee to inform them of the change; their work will continue. President Williams voiced the need to provide information to all the conference stakeholders (e.g., Committees; Assembly; Affinity Groups). Cindy noted that a FAQs document is being formulated which should address many questions and asked that everyone be patient as we move through this new process.

VII. Search Committee Updates (Amber Weldon-Stephens)

Weldon-Stephens referenced a three-part document that had been sent to the board within the past couple hours which delineates a process for moving forward with identifying the 4 at-large members of the ED Search Committee:

  • Part One: Email to Membership: Update on ED search progress/timeline; Announcement of formulation of the ED Search Committee. (Link to website for those interest in more information)
  • Part Two: AMTA Website Posting: Longer explanation/rationale for process of selecting at-large members to the Search Committee with a focus on marginalized/minoritized membership
  • Part Three: Posting to Affinity Groups/Marginalized Membership: Description/rationale of the selection process & a 5 question survey to ascertain fit-to-serve qualities.

Weldon-Stephens noted that once the surveys are received, the DEI committee will make the final selections of the at-large members of the Search Committee. Discussion included questions about whether members who are not part of any Affinity Groups should be included, if there was any legal risk in limiting selection to particular part of the membership. Belgrave explained that these groups (19 in all) represent committed, engaged members with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. The board expressed support for this process as proposed.

Weldon-Stephens asked that any suggested edits to the document be sent to her by the end of business tomorrow (4/15/20), noting that all selected participants must hold AMTA membership. Kahler asked that the finalized document be sent back to the full board if any changes are made. Weldon-Stephens stated that the full search committee needs to be in place by mid-May.

Gooding shared that, based on extensive stakeholder input, Shira Lotzar will now be developing the language of a Job Posting which she will share with the board. Once the Search Committee completes its work, the 3 finalists will meet with the full board & national office staff. Nemeth asked whether a decision had been made on posting for a CEO vs. an ED. Weldon-Stephens stated that no decision has been made; she will ask Lotzar for Pros/Cons on this topic since the full board must decide this issue; Verhagen noted the possibility that a By-Laws change would be required. 

VIII: Mid-Year Meeting Plans

President Williams opened a discussion on the logistics for a Virtual Mid-Year Meeting. She noted that her plan was to schedule approximately 10 hours of meeting time over the course of a week or weekend; retaining the original time frames (around 6/12-14/20) may be preferable since members had already set that time aside. She noted that the recent CBMT meeting had been held virtually over 2 days (11:30-6:00 ET) to accommodate time zone differences. Williams then asked the board to inform her of their ideas/preferences/conflicts in the coming days.

Williams also stated that the request for Mid-Year Reports will be sent out by Dianne Wawrzusin this week; Generally-Kirk & Waldon will assist the new council coordinators with administering this process.

IX: New Business

Student/Intern Safety: Weldon-Stephens asked to revisit the proposed charge concerning the safety of students during practicum/internship. Gooding noted that Title IX/other issues have occurred which have placed students in vulnerable positions; she stressed the need for an enforceable way to protect them. Title IX Training and Contracts/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Universities & University Affiliated sites had been cited as possible means of action. However, AMTA lacks the legal standing to effect such measures as our Code of Ethics/Standards only apply to our members. (Note: National Roster sites already fall under AMTA Codes/Standards.) CBMT has taken a stronger stance on these issues; their website now provide a means of determining whether a supervising MT-BC is in good standing. Verhagen wondered how requiring contracts/MoUs would affect practicum/internship sites and whether sites would abide by these increased regulations. Gooding & Creagan noted that AMTA cannot mandate but only recommend guidelines (vs. standards) and that this has been a long-discussed issue that needs to be explored further.

MOTION: Resolve, move that the board of directors charge APAC, in consultation with AIAC, to develop language to be integrated into the Standards of Education & Clinical Training designed to protect practicum students and interns (National Roster & University Affiliated.)

            Author: Lori Gooding        The motion carried.

Midwestern Conference: Dalton announced that the Midwestern Region is presenting its online conference this weekend. Registration closes tomorrow night (4/15/20). President Williams and VP Elect Dalton will be presenting a virtual town hall. All are invited to register & attend.

X: Adjournment

President Williams announced that the next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, 4/28/20, though this may be subject to change as necessary.

MOTION: Resolve to adjourn.

            Author: Past President Weldon-Stephens     The motion carried

The meeting was adjourned at 11:06 pm EDT.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

April 7, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams, called the Zoom Call meeting to order at 9:01 PM ET.

Present: President Deborah Williams; Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens; President Elect Lori Gooding; Vice President Wendy Woolsey; Vice President Elect Andrea Dalton; Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell; Assistant Speaker, Debbie Bates; Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Eric Waldon; Treasurer, Ed Kahler; Secretary, Jean Nemeth; Regional Presidents’ Representative, Heather Wagner; Council Coordinators Amy Smith, Hakeem Leonard & Natalie Generally Kirk, Historian/ Parliamentarian Michael Silverman.

AMTA Staff: Jane Creagan; Cindy Smith

II. Approval of the Agenda

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens     The motion carried.

III. Approval of Minutes

President Williams referred to four sets of draft minutes previously sent to the board and asked for any additions/corrections.

MOTION: Resolve, to approve minutes as corrected from 2/25/20, 3/3/20, 3/10/20, & 3/17/20.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens      The motion carried.

IV. APAC Recommendation

President Williams noted a recommendation she had received from APAC that required board approval:

MOTION: Resolve, to approve the APAC recommendation for approval of the Master of Arts in Music Therapy program at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH.

            Author: Deborah Williams                 The motion carried.

V. Board Education/Whistleblower & Conflict of Interest Policies (Silverman)

President Williams stated that the advent of monthly board conference calls afforded the opportunity to address board education/orientation in manageable segments, alleviating the need for a full segment during the Mid-Year agenda. She also noted that board members should have received & must return signed copies of the Whistleblower & Conflict of Interest Policies. She then asked parliamentarian Silverman to address these documents and board education.

Whistleblower & Conflict of Interest policies:

Silverman explained that it is standard policy for board members to sign Whistleblower & Conflict of Interest statements which are designed to ensure that board members are acting ethically. They guide appropriate board member behavior/actions & serve to protect board members, AMTA, and membership. Specifically, a Whistleblower is anyone who exposes activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or inappropriate. AMTA’s Whistleblower Policy aligns with the 1989 Federal Whistleblower Act and provides the avenue for anyone with such information to contact the AMTA Executive Director, President, or Treasurer. A task force would then be appointed to investigate the complaint.

The Conflict of Interest Policy is also designed to protect board members and AMTA by disallowing any situation in which a person derives personal benefit from actions made in their official capacity (e.g., Board members cannot apply for the Fultz Award). It disallows relationships that are in conflict with each other and protects against using one’s position on the board for personal gain.

Board Education: Executive Session

Silverman then spoke to the function of Executive Session (ES). He explained that these sessions are generally employed to conduct confidential business which often requires a degree of sensitivity. A motion & 2/3 majority vote is required to enter/leave Executive Session and while minutes/motions may be taken, these can only be revisited within another E.S. It has been the AMTA board’s custom not to take minutes or act on motions within E.S (note: the advent of a Secretary position on the board allows for this to change if deemed necessary). Though usually attended only by board members, other people can be present if they have information pertinent to the topic to be discussed. AMTA’s Board of Directors has generally used these sessions to process, brainstorm, or collaboratively problem solve. Practice has been to move out of E.S. to entertain any needed motions, thus ensuring these actions are noted publically in the minutes for transparency. Topics deliberated during executive session can only be discussed within E.S. Violation of the confidentiality of E.S. by any participant can result in loss of membership.

VI. Nominating Committee Chair

President Williams noted that the AMTA Bylaws require that the Nominating Committee be approved by the mid-year board meeting. The board appoints the Chair who then forms the committee. Customarily, the Past President serves as chair of this committee; Amber is willing to serve in this capacity.

MOTION: Resolve, to appoint Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens to the positon of chair of the AMTA Nominating Committee.

            Author: Deborah Williams       The motion carried.

The board was then asked to send recommendations of potential good candidates for this committee to Amber.

VII. Covid-19 Task Force Updates (President Elect Gooding)

Gooding stated that the purpose of the Covid-19 Task Force is to support the MT community during the C-19 crisis (Chair: President Elect Gooding; Members: Heather Wagner, Andrea Dalton; Barb Else; Rachelle Morgan; Seneca Block). Gooding announced the addition of David Knott in response to the need for Telehealth expertise and stated that membership will continue to be fluid to address needs as they arise.

Work to Date: A Covid-19 Response Resource Page is now posted on the home page of the AMTA Website, containing extensive information pertinent to C-19 response and member support needs. Kudos to the national office staff & Barb Else for all aspects of this resource’s rollout. Content includes tips for educators, telehealth, recorded zoom calls & information that supports all aspects of the MT community during the pandemic. Feedback indicated that navigating all this information can be difficult; Gooding announced that links have now been placed at the top of the page to more efficiently direct users to the information they seek.

Next Steps

  • Creating virtual “cafes” to promote student interaction/community
  • Navigating complicated Copyright Issues-Presently no clear guidelines in this area; seeking best information available
  • Updating CEC Guideline Changes: Recommendations around masks/droplet-air transmission (singing?). Reaching out to get information to guide ethical/safe clinical practice during pandemic
  • Email blasts to improve communication with the MT community

Gooding noted that the Task Force is addressing questions/requests as they arise & anticipates longer term needs that will evolve/change over time.

VIII. Small Business Loan Application (Treasurer Kahler)

Kahler announced that as part of the recently passed federal CARES Act, small business protection plan (PPP) loans have become available. In consultation with AMTA’s bank and accountant, AMTA has submitted an application for a forgivable loan of $200,292 which was received by the bank today. Though precise guidelines have not yet been disseminated, the program is meant to offset 2.5 months of expenses based on information from the last 2.5 months of operation. If the expenditure guidelines of 75% to payroll & 25 % to utilities/rent/general operating expenses are met along with retention of current staffing levels (from 2/15/20-6/30/20), the loan will be totally forgiven. The bank encouraged AMTA to move quickly as it expects this fund will be quickly depleted. Benefits to AMTA include providing a cushion through this uncertain time. In terms of income, Kahler noted watching membership numbers closely with student membership presently down by approximately 151 and a slight decrease in professional membership as well (about -20). It appears that there is no downside to seeking this loan & it is probable that AMTA can refuse to accept it if undesirable conditions arise.

MOTION: Resolve, to approve accepting the Cares Act PPP loan if approved.

            Author:  Ed Kahler               The motion carried.

IX. National Conference Updates (VP Woolsey)

Vice President Woolsey referenced a document that was sent to board members today. In monitoring the Covid-19 outbreak as it evolves across the country/world, she noted that lasting effects will be present. The conference committee has been monitoring the situation closely and trying to ascertain what would be most valuable/beneficial for music therapy stakeholders (nationally & internationally) by November. With that in mind, the conference committee asked the board to 1) Support a virtual conference for 2020; 2) Support the expenditure for engaging a virtual platform for conference conveyance; 3) Decide the best way to handle cancellation of the hotel contract (cancel at $100,000 cost vs. move it to 2022).

Smith enumerated the expenses involved in staging a national conference: On site expenses for this conference would approximate $110,000 ($70,000 in hotel expenses, $22,000 for added AV, $7,000 equipment rental, + shipping/misc. expenses) whereas the virtual format high end expense would probably be closer to $90,000. She noted that the Bitcon & Sears funds as well as sponsorship/exhibitor income could offset a good portion of the expense. By comparison, last year’s conference netted $400,000 with $174,000 in expenses. She also stressed that it is imperative that the conference launch by June, whether in on-site or virtual format.

In terms of benefits to members, Woolsey & Smith noted the uncertainty surrounding travel & how long the current outbreak will last, how lost wages that members are currently experiencing that could preclude conference attendance, and the potential for the virus to re-emerge after this round ends. Given these factors, the consensus of the board was that moving now to a virtual format is expeditious. Moreover, Smith felt that it is also likely that a virtual format will attract larger attendance (perhaps double) given no travel/hotel/food expenditures for attendees. She also noted that some of the platforms hold the content for 6 months, thus allowing attendees to consume significantly larger portions of the conference content over time. Concerns ranged from determine how the AMTA ‘business’ usually conducted at conference will be handled, the need for attendee instruction on how to interact with a virtual format, how CMTE credit monitoring/ signatures will be addressed; the need to readjust attendee cost structures that were already decided upon. President Williams noted that give an early decision to move to the virtual format, time remained to address all these concerns.

MOTION: Resolve, to change the 2020 AMTA Conference presentation to a Virtual Conference format and re-evaluate previously determined conference rates.

            Author: Wendy Woolsey               The motion carried.

A second motion was presented by VP Woolsey concerning allocating funds to purchase a Virtual Conference Platform. However, after discussion as to the need for options to be brought back to the board, this motion was withdrawn by the author. The board also felt strongly that Smith needed to explore options with the hotel (cancellation vs. move to a future date) and return with more information before a decision on how to handle the hotel cancellation was made. Smith stressed that this determination must be made before 4/30/20 or the cost of cancellation would rise. Consensus of the board was that another meeting needs to be held next week (4/14); at that time, Smith/Woolsey will return with the information on the hotel options and, if possible, more information on the virtual platform.

X. Mid-Year Meeting Updates

President Williams informed the board that the Maritime Center (site of mid-year meetings) is presently closed. As a result, she received consensus from the board to move to an online format for the mid-year meeting & proposed retaining the same dates (6/12-14/20). Issues concerning agenda & time frames (given time zone differentials) will need to be worked out. Bates asked that an option be included to allow open attendance for any non-board member interested in attending all/part of the meetings. Wagner noted that scheduling/focus will be more difficult from home. Jane Creagan informed the board that there will be no cancellation fees from the Maritime Center.

XI. Search Firm Updates

Past President Weldon-Stephens reported that Shira Lotzar (Purposeful Hires) has now canvased nearly all AMTA stakeholders to inform her understanding of our organization’s culture and what is of importance to the membership. Based on her findings, her next step with be to draw up a job description that will guide the candidate selection process. Search Committee membership still needs to be identified. Shira will be sending out a questionnaire to assist in finding members whose qualifications fulfill various areas of broad/inclusive representation. She will work Melita Belgrave to incorporate the DEI Committee’s input as well. Potential members will be asked to submit a short statement indicating their area of expertise/what they could offer to the process.

President Williams reported that extensive discussion has centered on altering the previously decided membership of the Search Committee—from 4 Board members/3 general member to 3 board members/4 general members. Williams has removed herself from the search committee (Weldon-Stephens, Gooding & Kahler will remain) which opens another non-board member seat to ensure broadened diversity/perspectives within the committee.  Both Williams & Weldon-Stephens have been impressed with the amount of work and how deeply Lotzar has delved into understanding our organization.

XII. New Business

DEI Consultant: Bates queried whether there are any updates on the hiring of a DEI consultant. Williams noted that focus on the current health crisis has slowed that process somewhat. Presently she is allowing more time for returns from the surveys that have been disseminated. The make-up of the group who will evaluate the DEI Consultant RFPs (currently 4) will then be identified with input from the DEI Committee.

Assembly Updates from Committees: Snell asked that Council Coordinators convey to their committee chairs recognition that the Covid-19 impact has affected their work & the brief updates they are required to provide to the Assembly in March/September were understandably delayed. She asked that, if possible, the committees provide a very brief update in time for the next Assembly virtual meeting in late April/early May. Williams suggested that these updates may end up being folded into the upcoming mid-year reports. Generally Kirk will be scheduling a Zoom call with her committee chairs to assess their needs/issues/concerns. She also noted that committee chair appointments came nearly a month late this year which has also affected committee functioning/progress.

Appointments: Nemeth questioned whether the Clinical Practice Networking Committee chair-ship had been filled. Williams responded that Gabriella Asch-Ortiz has accepted the appointment, and the board will vote on this appointment at our next meeting when her short bio statement is available.

XIII. Adjournment

President Williams announced that the next meeting will be now held on Tuesday, 4/14/20 at 9:00 pm EDT. She asked that Cindy/Jane express the Board’s thanks to national office staff for all their hard work during this unsettling time.

MOTION: Resolve, to adjourn.

            Author: Past President Weldon-Stephens     The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:42 pm EDT.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

March 3, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams called the Conference Call meeting to order at 8:32 PM EST. She noted that this was a special meeting with the only agenda item being approval of national conference registration & hotel rates.

Present were: President Deborah Williams, Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens, President - Elect Lori Gooding, Vice President Wendy Woolsey, Vice President-Elect Andrea Dalton, Treasurer Ed Kahler, Secretary Jean Nemeth, Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell, Assembly Delegates Eric Waldon, Brian Abrams (for Asst. Speaker Bates), & Kevin Bock (for Gary Verhagen), Nicole Hannah (Assembly Alternate), Regional President Representative Heather Wagner, Council Coordinator for Council on Professional Practices Amy Smith, Council Coordinator for Council on Association Services Natalie Generally Kirk, and Historian & Parliamentarian Michael Silverman.

AMTA Staff Present: Cindy Smith (left meeting at 8:43 pm)

II. CONFERENCE REGISTRATION & HOTEL RATES

President Williams referenced a document previously sent to board members which proposed the registration & hotel rates for the 2020 AMTA conference in Atlantic City along with projected income from the conference. She asked Cindy Smith, AMTA Conference Coordinator, to address the rates proposed by this year’s conference committee:

            Professional Members: $395 (Early)/$495 (Regular)/$595 (Late)

            Student Members: $260 (Early)/$260 (Regular)/$295 (Late)

Smith explained that these rates comprise a $15 increase over last year. She stated that this was the first registration rate increase in 2-3 years and expects these rates to hold for the next 2-3 years. She also noted that the registration rates were comparable to other conferences of similar size. The board then asked questions & discussed issues pertaining to the rate increase:

  • Kahler queried as to why the projected numbers for students (500) so low. Smith responded that she prefers to use very conservative numbers in all her projections but expects the actual numbers to be higher.
  • Abrams commented on the optics of the rate increase and queried whether membership would view the higher expense as resulting from the cost of the repeated ED searches. Nemeth observed that the messaging must be well managed. Gooding was concerned that members will compare these rates with music conferences; Smith countered that these organizations are much larger than ours. Williams stated that it is important to keep the board’s fiduciary responsibility in mind and noted that the board has already reconciled search expenses within our finances & is not seeking to recoup these expenses from members.

President Williams thanked Cindy Smith for all her efforts especially in light of the passing of Conference Coordinator, Al Bumanis. Smith then left the meeting at 8:43 pm.

Discussion turned to Smith’s decision not to apply a hotel rebate to the suggested room rates. Newer board members expressed surprise that this had been AMTA’s practice in the past. Woolsey noted that this year’s hotel was not in favor of rebates as it would price the rooms out of the crowded area market. Wagner cautioned against exposing this practice, but board members felt it would be counter to our emphasis on transparency. Nemeth advised the board that historically, while AMTA had engaged in this practice in the past, it did so in accordance with standard practice in the conference industry. This is no longer accepted practice, however. In light of time constraints, further discussion of this issue was postponed to a later meeting.

MOTION: Resolve, move to approve the 2020 Conference Registration Rates of Professional Members: $395/$495/$595 & Student Members: $260/$260/$295 as presented.

            AUTHOR: Deborah Williams.    The motion carried.

MOTION: Resolve, move to approve hotel rates for the 2020 Conference at $105-$129 + taxes and resort fees.

            AUTHOR: Ed Kahler.   The motion carried.

President Williams then instructed board members to quickly transfer to the upcoming Zoom Call with Marginalized Membership & adjourned the meeting at 8:57 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

February 25, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams called the Conference Call meeting to order at 8:59 PM EST.

Present were: President Deborah Williams, Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens, President - Elect Lori Gooding, Vice President Wendy Woolsey, Vice President-Elect Andrea Dalton, Treasurer Ed Kahler, Secretary Jean Nemeth, Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell, Assistant Speaker of the Assembly Debbie Bates, Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Eric Waldon, Regional President Representative Heather Wagner, Council Coordinator for Council on Education and Clinical Training Hakeem Leonard, Council Coordinator for Council on Professional Practices Amy Smith, Council Coordinator for Council on Association Services Natalie Generally Kirk, and Historian & Parliamentarian Michael Silverman.

AMTA Staff Present:  Jane Creagan, Acting Executive Director

Guests Present:  Shira Harrington Lotzar from Purposeful Hire (Joined call at 9:11 pm)

II. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as presented.

  Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens.  The motion carried.

III. & IV. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Board of Director minutes from 1/28/20 as presented. 

  Author: Deborah Williams.  The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Board of Director minutes from 2/13/20 as presented (with clerical corrections).

  Author: Deborah Williams. The motion carried. One Abstention.

V. APPROVAL OF COMMITTEE CHAIRS

President Williams presented the roster of nominated Committee/Board chairs for the 2020-21 term as follows:

Academic Program Approval Committee: Becky Engen; Mike Zanders

Association Internship Approval Committee: Eve Montague; Lauren DiMaio

(Clinical Practice Networking Committee: Position not filled—awaiting final acceptance)

Continuing Education Committee: Julie Andring: Dawn Iwamasa

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee: Melita Belgrave

Education and Training Advisory Board: Annette Whitehead-Pleaux

Ethics Board: Carol Shultis; Jan Schreibman

Government Relations: Judy Simpson; Rebecca Preddie

International Relations Committee: Yu-Ling Chen; Erin Haley

Interprofessional Collaborative Resources Committee: Kory Antonacci

Judicial Review Board: Minda Gordon

Membership Committee: Angie Elkins; Jennifer Hicks

Professional Advocacy Committee: Leslie Henry; Tracy Wanamaker

Reimbursement Committee: Judy Simpson; Rebecca Preddie

Research Committee: Cynthia Colwell  

Standards of Clinical Practice Committee: Ellary Draper

Student Affairs Advisory Board: Jeff Wolfe

Technology Committee: Gracy O’Leary; Noa Ferguson

Workforce Development and Retention Committee: Jessica Fletcher; BriAnne Weaver

President Williams stated that all nominees (new & returning) must be approved by the board.

MOTION: Resolve, to appoint the roster of committee & board chairs as presented.

  Author: Deborah Williams.    The motion carried.

VI: SEARCH FIRM UPDATES/CONTRACT

Treasurer Kahler updated the board on the contract drawn with Purposeful Hires. Per the terms negotiated with Shira Harrington Lotzar, AMTA will pay her firm $60,000 plus expenses in 3 payments: Retainer at signing; when the interim report is submitted; upon hiring of the new Executive Director. AMTA attorney, John Hazard, has reviewed the contract. Kahler stated that Lotzar was flexible her requests and the terms are quite favorable to AMTA.

MOTION: Resolve, move to extend a contract for conducting an Executive Director search to Purposeful Hires with the terms of $60,000 plus expenses paid in three installments: A retainer at signing; when the interim report is submitted; upon the hiring of a new Executive Director.

   Author: Ed Kahler. The motion carried.

VII: INTORDUCTION OF SHIRA HARRINGTON LOTZAR, PURPOSEFUL HIRES

Shira Harrington Lotzar joined the call at 9:11 p.m. After introductions of all the board members, she spoke to the parameters of the upcoming search and gave a brief explanation of her holistic outlook for the process. Priorities include a commitment to understanding AMTA’s culture through conducting individualized, confidential interviews with all stakeholders (board, staff, Assembly, focus groups, Affinity groups, marginalized voices, general membership) prior to the search. She stressed that this search will look very different from prior searches AMTA has undertaken. Notably, she underscored that this very important time for AMTA is not lost on her and stated the need for an intentional/inclusive lens which is respectful of multiple perspectives and all the relationships that need to be bridged. She will seek to discern a commonality about where AMTA needs to go and has strong DEI background/emphasis in her work. In addition, she will draw on her 25+ years knowledge of this field to identify candidates whose goals and qualifications align with our culture in an effort to find a good fit for both the ED and AMTA.

President Williams commented that Shira is versed in DEI consulting as well & will seek to work with the DEI consultant we hire. Speaker Snell noted that the ED search will be an important topic at upcoming regional conference and board members should seek to emphasize Lotzar’s approach. Lotzar offered to send talking points to the board to assist in this endeavor:

  • Inclusive approach of this search
  • Diversity/multiple perspectives considered
  • Emphasis on developing a unifying process for AMTA.

VIII: AFFINITY GROUPS COMMUNICATIONS/DISCUSSION OF PLANS/ZOOM CALL

President Williams referenced an open letter received by the board from Marginalized AMTA Members and Allies expressing concerns about the process for hiring a DEI consultant. She proposed organizing a large Zoom call meeting for Tuesday 3/5 to provide an open forum for discussion of the issues raised in the letter. Leonard disclosed that he was a signing member on this letter, but did not consider himself their spokesman.

Generally Kirk informed the board about the history of the recently formed Affinity groups: people felt not heard & formed online forums as a place for discussion. In an effort to begin gathering information from these Affinity Groups, Generally Kirk shared that she had developed a google form survey in hopes of focusing future discussions and discerning the trends & themes being expressed by marginalized members of AMTA. Board members offered feedback on the content of the survey (perhaps too long/open questions will require analysis/potential desire for anonymity/wide survey dissemination) and the need to proceed quickly with this information gathering. Leonard shared that the Affinity Groups are also working on a survey. Kirk & Leonard will work to combine and finalize them for distribution prior to the Zoom call.

President Williams then brought the discussion back to her thoughts about the proposed Zoom meeting: An open format of approximately 90 minutes; the need for this to happen quickly since regional conferences start next week; Lotzar’s intent to involve the DEI consultant in the ED search process. Board members offered thoughts about the meeting format: allowing the Affinity groups to take the lead (we need to be the listeners); the desire for open, sensitive, respectful conversation; the importance of slowing down our process to ‘hear the voices,’ and strong emphasis that this is only the beginning of important, ongoing conversations. Weldon-Stephens reminded the board that this issue originated from our attempt to find appropriate DEI proposal readers and the importance of being sensitive to the Affinity group’s concerns. Gooding commented on a two-fold opportunity provided by this meeting: DEI needs and exploring improved communication.  It was noted that the Affinity Groups already have an effective meeting process that is sensitive to all participants, and we should allow them to take the lead on organizing this meeting if they desire to do so.

It was decided that President Williams will reach back out to the authors of the open letter to affirm that AMTA sees communication with marginalized stakeholders as a vital process which needs to move forward quickly and ask them how to best proceed with a meeting for 3/5/20. Waldon noted that we need to define the purpose of the meeting (listening). Generally Kirk stressed the importance of multiple note takers to provide multiple perspectives and an accurate, transparent account of what transpires. Lotzar asked if it would be appropriate for her to participate as a silent observer. Leonard will contact the Affinity groups and get back to her.

In terms of the timeline for hiring the DEI consultant, President Williams informed the board that four proposals have already been received. Lotzar noted that the ED search should be completed by the end of the summer which would necessitate hiring the DEI consultant by the end of March if collaboration is to occur. Board members expressed concern about rushing the process; however, it was felt that the needs of the organization, national office staff, and general membership dictated getting a new ED in place as soon as possible. Williams stated that the DEI consultant and ED search are both priorities and can be accomplished in tandem. Leonard stressed that the DEI process goes far beyond being involved in the ED search; DEI needs to become woven into the fabric of AMTA.

IX: REGIONAL CONFERENCES & STATE OF THE ASSOCIATION

President Williams referenced the list of Regional Conference coverage sent to board members prior to the meeting. She noted that the State of the Association address will be briefer than in the past to allow for town hall discussion at each region. Williams will be attending Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southwest Regions and will deliver those State of the Association addresses. Speaker Snell will cover Great Lakes Region, Vice President Woolsey will address the Western Region, Vice President Elect Dalton will preside at the Mid-Western Region, & Past President Weldon-Stephens will speak at the New England Region. President Williams requested that other board members also come to the front of the room at their respective regions to assist the speakers in addressing town hall meetings and questions that arise from membership. Talking points for opening Town Hall discussions will be provided. The State of the Association address will be ready later this week.

X. NEW BUSINESS

Chief Operating Officer (CEO) vs. Executive Director (ED): President Williams noted that in developing the highest quality candidate pool for our next ED, Lotzar is inclined to advertise for a CEO vs an ED as this usually results in a higher level applicants. Trends in nonprofit leadership are currently moving away from EDs (considered administrators) toward CEOs (viewed as strategists who administrate—what AMTA really needs). Nemeth noted that this change would require a by-laws revision, which usually only occurs at annual conference. Weldon-Stephens noted that we could use Balloteer to conduct an online voting process if necessary. Kahler remarked about the perception of CEOs as heading profit organizations while EDs lead non-profits. Lotzar commented that this is a messaging issue. Silverman cautioned that our messaging to membership needs to be done carefully. Weldon-Stephens stressed that member perception and transparency are important. Bates stated that getting the Assembly involved would probably be prudent. Town Hall meetings at regionals could also offer good opportunities to explain needed change in this area. Williams stated that we have time to further consider this potential change.

Practice Zoom Assembly Meeting: Speaker Snell announced that a practice Zoom Assembly meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 26 at 9:00 pm EST. All assembly members and alternates (100+) have been invited to attend. Board members are welcome to monitor the meeting as well. Snell expressed concerns about the size of this meeting, given the limit of 100 on the Zoom forum. An agenda has been sent to Assembly members.

Press Release on Contracting of Purposeful Hires: Lotzar will ready a press release for the announcement by AMTA national office, hopefully by Thursday.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Kahler noted that Jenny McAfee is now back from maternity leave at national office. The board welcomed her back.

The next Zoom call meeting involving Board of Directors’ participation is tentatively set for Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. and will consist of a proposed town hall with AMTA Affinity Groups and marginalized membership to discuss increasing communication/voice, plans to hire a DEI consultant, and the process of involving stakeholders in the search for a new Executive Director.

MOTION:  Resolve, to adjourn the meeting.

  Author, Deborah Williams.  The motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:07pm EST.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

February 13, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams, called the Zoom Call meeting to order at 9:00 PM ET.

Present were: President Deborah Williams; Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens; President Elect Lori Gooding; Vice President Wendy Woolsey; Vice President Elect Andrea Dalton; Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell; Assistant Speaker, Debbie Bates; Assembly Delegates Gary Verhagen & Brian Abrams (for Eric Waldon); Ed Kahler, Treasurer; Jean Nemeth, Secretary; Heather Wagner, Regional Presidents’ Representative; Amy Smith, Hakeem Leonard & Natalie Generally Kirk, Council Coordinators, Michael Silverman, Historian/ Parliamentarian

II. Approval of the Agenda

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.                                                                        

President Williams noted that since this was a special meeting of the board, the agenda would not include approval of the minutes or old/new business but instead focus only on the specific topics this meeting was called to address.

III. Conference Announcements from Vice President Woolsey

1. The call for papers 2020 is now live. Staff has instituted a new platform for submitting proposals which is intended to simply the submission process. An Educator Track is also new this year.

2. Vice President Woolsey asked for guidance concerning the motion passed in November by the previous Board of Directors concerning the setting of a February 15, 2020 deadline for Committee Chairs & Boards to submit their conference meeting needs & a request to limit during-conference meetings to enable members’ increased participation in the conference. Discussion centered on whether this request had been disseminated to the appropriate parties by the council coordinators or the incoming president and whether the previous motion needed to be amended. Ultimately, it was felt best to offer a new motion with a slightly altered timeline:

MOTION:  Resolve, in an effort to facilitate leadership involvement in continuing education at national conference, I move that the AMTA President, Chair of the Ethics Board and Chair of the Judicial Review Board, Speaker of the Assembly, Council Coordinators and Committee Chairs identify their meeting times for the 2020 national conference by March 1, 2020.

            Author: Wendy Woolsey   The motion carried.

IV. Executive Director Search: Search Firm Information & Recommendations

Past President Weldon-Stephens updated the board on the interviews conducted at national office with the four of the six Search Firm Finalists she had previously identified: 

            McCormick/Crystal (New York City)

            Purposeful Hires (Shira Herrington-D.C.)

            Boardwalk search Consulting (John Sparrow-Atlanta)

            ??? (??? Chicago).

An Interview Committee comprised of Amber Weldon-Stephens, Deb Williams, Ed Kahler, Lori Gooding, & Hakeem Leonard met or video-conferenced with the four firms on January 31 and ultimately selected two (Purposeful Hires & Boardwalk Search Consulting) for the full board’s consideration. Background information was sent to the entire board prior to this meeting.  Amber then informed the board of the Interview Committee’s unanimous recommendation that Shira Herrington & Purposeful Hires conduct AMTA’s next Executive Director Search.

            Discussion followed concerning cost (1/3 of ED’s 1st year salary + expenses—negotiable), timeframes (approx. 6 months), DEI importance, and stakeholder involvement. Leonard noted that Shira intended to work with our DEI consultant. Nemeth spoke to Shira’s emphasis on laying strong front end groundwork to ensure a successful search. Generally Kirk stressed the importance of the focus groups & stakeholder involvement. Amber noted how excited Shira seemed about the prospect of working with AMTA.

MOTION: Resolve, move that AMTA hires Purposeful Hires as our Executive Search Firm.

            Motion made by Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens

            The motion passed.

V. Discussion of Make-up of AMTA’s Search Committee

President Elect Gooding passed this discussion to Past President Weldon-Stephens as she had greater involvement with this agenda item. Weldon-Stephens stressed the importance of AMTA’s Search Committee in working with the search firm to guide the process. The search firms all indicated that seven members was an ideal search group with the possibility of expanding to nine. Best practice involves having Past, Present, & Future Leadership and a Financial Person as Search Committee members with the remaining at-large membership being drawn from important constituent groups. Following this logic, the group would be comprised of Past President Weldon-Stephens, President Williams, President Elect Gooding, & Treasurer Kahler. Amber then offered a potential at-large list that the Interview Committee had brainstormed:

            Hakeem Leonard; Natasha Thomas; Adineke Webb; Meredith Pizzi; Jenny Swanson;

            Grant Hales; Nathan Mensa

President Williams then asked the board to ponder other individuals they viewed as appropriate and send those names and reasoning behind those submissions to Williams & Weldon-Stephens by Monday, 2/17/2020. Lengthy discussion then focused on important considerations surrounding the make-up of this new search committee and the ongoing search process: regional representation, concerns about having four board members out of the seven, the need to include disenfranchised/opposing voices, the importance of conducting a very different search than the previous one, the benefit of involving and informing the Assembly throughout the process, and the utmost importance of transparency, seeking membership input, and ongoing communication.

            The full board will revisit the appointment of the Search Committee at-large members at the next full board meeting. In the meantime, President Williams & Past President Weldon-Stephens will contact Shira Harrington to begin negotiations and the hiring process. The board provided ideas pertinent to the negotiations and will trust the leadership to pursue the most beneficial contract possible.

VI. Update on DEI Consultant Request for Proposals (RFPs)

Based on feedback from members, President Williams has sent three more RFPs seeking to engage a DEI consultant to guide the AMTA Board of Directors bringing the total to 10. To date, one has refused with nine potential submissions outstanding. Leonard stressed the importance of the affinity group leadership being involved with the selection process. President Williams has already asked DEI Committee chair, Melita Belgrave, to assist with reading the incoming proposals.  Leonard also noted that the hire should be a person of color with direct understanding of bias & institutional marginalization with a lens of equity. This topic will be discussed further at the next full board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 25 at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Motion to Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 10:43 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean M. Nemeth, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Secretary

January 28, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams, called the Conference Call meeting to order at 9:00 PM ET.

Present were: President Deborah Williams, Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens, President Elect Lori Gooding, Vice President Wendy Woolsey, Vice President Elect Andrea Dalton, Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell, Assistant Speaker, Debbie Bates, Assembly Delegate Gary Verhagen, Assembly Delegate Eric Waldon; Ed Kahler, Treasurer, Michael Silverman, Historian/Parliamentarian

II. Approval of the Agenda

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda as amended. 

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens  The motion carried.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Board of Director minutes from 1/14/20. 

            Author: Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

IV. Approval of Appointed Board Members

MOTION:  Resolve, to appoint Heather Wagner as Regional President Representative and Jean Nemeth as secretary of the AMTA. 

            Author: Deborah Williams   The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to appoint Natalie Generally Kirk as Coordinator of the Council on Association Services, Hakeem Leonard as Coordinator of the Council on Education and Clinical Training, and Amy Smith as Coordinator of the Council on Professional Practices

            Author: Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

Regional President Representative Heather Wagner, Secretary Jean Nemeth, Council Coordinator for Council on Education and Clinical Training Hakeem Leonard, Council Coordinator for Council on Professional Practices Amy Smith, Council Coordinator for Council on Association Services Natalie Generally Kirk joined the meeting at 9:11pm.

V.  APAC Recommendation

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the re-approval of the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Graduate Equivalency for the University of Miami at Coral Gables.

            Author: Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

VI. Board Meetings 101

Parliamentarian Silverman provided a brief orientation to the Board covering the following topics:  this is the second full term for using the Zoom Call format on a monthly basis, Zoom Call etiquette, and basic Zoom Call and Board meeting procedures.

VII. Request for Proposal (RFP) for DEI Consultants

President Williams shared her appreciation to those who have contributed to the development of the document.  Secretary Nemeth suggested adding the fact we are a 501(c) on page 2 bullet #4.  The RFP will go out January 31, 2020.  We will be sending it to 6 potential firms.  Any further suggestions are welcome.  It was suggested that President Williams reach out again to the DEI chair for any feedback.

MOTION:  Resolve, move to approve the RFP (Request for Proposal) as amended with allowances for feedback from the DEI chair. 

            Author: Deborah Williams  The motion carried.

A discussion followed concerning how we would share this information with membership.  It was suggested to do a social media post.  It was also suggested we reach out to those members who have contacted us previously with concerns.

VIII. Updates on Search Firms

Past President Weldon-Stephens informed the Board of her work in locating potential search firms.  She has had initial conversations and has four potential search firms to be interviewed on January 31, 2020.  President Williams, President Elect Gooding, Past President Weldon-Stephens, Treasurer Kahler, and Council Coordinator for Council on Education and Clinical Training Hakeem Leonard will participate in the interviews.  Past president Weldon Stephens asked for suggested questions for the interviews.  It was suggested we ask the search firms how we can involve the membership in the search process.  The concern is we want to be really sure we are getting the best candidate for our association that can be humble, handle conflict gracefully, and able to move the AMTA forward.  It was also discussed how to involve the search firms in our regional conferences.

IX. Updates on Safe Space/TAG

President Williams has reached out to the regional presidents to identify a person to serve on the TAG by mid-February.  She also informed the presidents of the RFP plan and asked for them to offer her or her delegates a brief State of the Association and a Town Hall meeting with regions.  It was also suggested that any Board Members in a region could participate in the Town Hall.

X.  Mid-Year Dates

The mid-year Board meeting will be June 12 – 14 at the Maritime Conference Center in MD.  Come in Thursday evening ready to start Friday Morning.

XI. Additional Business

Next meeting will be Tuesday February 25, 2020 at 9:00pm EST.

XII. Adjourn

MOTION:  Resolve, move to adjourn. 

            Author: Deborah Williams   The motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 10:42 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Edward P. Kahler II, PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Treasurer/Secretary

January 14, 2020 - American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors' Conference Call, Approved Minutes

I.  WELCOME AND ROLL CALL

President Deborah Williams, called the Conference Call meeting to order at 9:00 PM ET.

Present were: President Deborah Williams, Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens, President Elect Lori Gooding, Vice President Wendy Woolsey, Vice President Elect Andrea Dalton, Speaker of the Assembly Angie Snell, Assistant Speaker, Debbie Bates, Assembly Delegate Gary Verhagen, Assembly Delegate Eric Waldon

II. Approval of the Agenda

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the agenda. 

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.

III. Approval of Meeting Minutes

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the Board of Director minutes from 12/17/19.  Motion made by Author: Deborah Williams    The motion carried.

IV. Confirm Board of Director Appointments

MOTION:  Resolve, to appoint Dr. Edward Kahler as AMTA Treasurer

            Author: Deborah Williams    The motion carried.

MOTION:  Resolve, to appoint Dr. Michael Silverman as AMTA Historian and Parliamentarian

            Author: Deborah Williams    The motion carried.

Drs. Kahler and Silverman joined the meeting 9:05pm.

V.  Shared Governance

Treasurer Kahler discussed the process of developing the Transition Operational Plan over the past several weeks.  A discussion occurred concerning the Executive Personnel Committee, Executive Committee, and Leadership Meetings.  The discussion focused on the purpose of these meetings and the need to share information about these meetings.  Suggestions included making the Agenda’s available to the Board of Directors, renaming the Leadership meeting, and being more transparent.  Kahler was reminded to remove the two instances in the Transition Operational Plan where strike through still exists.

MOTION:  Resolve, to accept the Transition Operational Plan between the National Office Staff and the Board of Directors be approved effective immediately.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.

VI. CVENT Abstract Management Software

President Deborah Williams presented the information provided by Cindy Smith of the three vendors that could potentially provide the services that we require for conference planning.  Discussion focused on how this software will make it more efficient for both National Office staff and the Vice President.  It was determined that at this time CVENT is the best option, but a total reevaluation will be needed in two years when both CVENT contracts are concluded.

MOTION:  Resolve, to approve the purchase of the CVENT abstract management program as presented.  

            Author: Deborah Williams    The motion carried.

VII. Executive Director Discussion/Planning

Past President Amber Weldon-Stephens began the discussions surrounding whether or not to hire an Interim Executive Director (ED), when to reach out to other search firms to begin the search for a new Executive Director, or run a search internally.  Amber shared the information she learned surrounding these topics through readings and discussion with Dan Varroney, Potomac Core – Association Consulting.  Discussion followed as to the pros and cons of having an Interim ED.  Similar discussion focused on the value to the staff and the organization bringing in an MT to function as an ED for this period.  It was determined that the staff along with the Board of Directors, following the newly passed Transition Operational Plan, could effectively run the organization for 6 months. Amber shared Dan’s view of potential search firms.  Dan provided two search firms that he thought would meet the needs of AMTA.  The first was on our list two years ago – Vetted Solutions.  The second is Purposeful Hire.  It was determined that a group will interview these two firms and perhaps a third at the end of January.

MOTION:  Resolve, to move that the President appoint up to 5 people to interview possible search firms for our upcoming executive director search and approve funds not to exceed $5000.

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.

VIII. Brief update on an RFP for a DEI consultant

President Deborah Williams informed the board that the RFP is under development and has been reviewed by Eric Walden, Lori Gooding, Amber Weldon-Stephens, and Ed Kahler.  The RFP will be presented to the Board of Directors for approval at the January 28, 2020, board meeting.

IX. Announcements

President Deborah Williams informed the Board of Directors that the Mid-year meeting will be June 12-14, 2020 with potential extension either before or after.

Treasurer Kahler provided an update on the alignment of the Fiscal Year and Membership year.  This will happen on January 1, 2021.  A conference call will be planned with regional presidents and treasures to update them and help with rewording of regional bylaws to make this transition smooth.

Next meeting will be January 28, 2020 at 9:00pm EST.

X.  Adjourn

MOTION:  Move to adjourn. 

            Author: Amber Weldon-Stephens    The motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 10:53 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Edward P. Kahler II,  PhD, MT-BC, AMTA Treasurer/Secretary