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Board Bulletin #1: Next Steps for FGNA Board
February 8, 2013

By FGNA Board of Directors

About Board Bulletin. We have decided to communicate with members directly through a regular “Board Bulletin” that will be easily identified as coming from the FGNA Board of Directors. We welcome your comments.

From the FGNA Board of Directors

As is our custom, we just completed one of our two yearly face-to-face meetings. We met for three days at Elinor Silverstein’s house in Orange County, CA. Meeting at her house provides us an intimate location and also saves FGNA substantial hotel costs—and Elinor’s cooking is out of this world!

The first months. The Board and staff have been working intensely since the former Executive Director (ED), Susan Marshall, left on Dec 5th. The Board immediately appointed Andrea Wiener as Interim Executive Director to ensure continuity in the management of the organization. FGNA is fortunate that Andrea, with over 14 years of experience on FGNA staff, was willing to step into this role. The President is communicating regularly with Andrea, and Andrea joined the Board for the January in-person meeting. She has graciously agreed to continue until a new ED is selected and to support the new ED while providing continuity in her role with NATAB, certification, and other duties.  Immediately after the departure of Susan and Dwight Pargee, former President of the FGNA Board of Directors, the Board appointed Rob Black as the new President. Rob met with Andrea Wiener on the phone daily, the Executive Committee met as often as twice weekly, and the Board every other week. Since the New Year, operations are more in a “steady-state” mode. Much of this work was internally focused, but we are also very aware that members want to know more about how we are dealing with the challenges of this change.

Current. The Board has hired an independent consultant, Kay Sohl, to assess the strengths and limitations of our organization in relation to implementing the goals of the strategic plan developed by the Board of Directors in January 2012, and providing value and satisfaction to members. The assessment is well underway and will include recommendations regarding the key skill sets required in the ED position and priorities for the first six months of the new ED’s tenure. We anticipate receiving the consultant’s assessment in late February, which will allow us to initiate the ED search and begin the hiring process in March. If all goes quickly, we could be selecting a new ED as early as May. The Board is committed to selecting an Executive Director with strong skills in member engagement and supporting volunteer leadership.  The Board recognizes that it is extremely important to focus its energy on supporting practitioners and building recognition of the Feldenkrais Method. We also want to encourage qualified individuals to complete trainings and become practitioners. We understand that in order to focus more energy on these goals, we must streamline the routine operations of the Guild and provide user-friendly web-based opportunities for members as well as the public to retrieve information easily. Consequently, we are committed to achieving our long-term goal of improving the website, which will require that we also make significant improvements in our internal data management systems.

In the future. We are deeply committed to being sure that we use the Guild’s resources in ways that serve the members and support their volunteer efforts to advance our shared mission.  We look forward to sharing the details of the hiring process for the new ED with members, and to seeking your help in identifying great candidates.  This has been a very tough period in the life of the Guild. It has also been a period of emerging promise. We hear from practitioners that they are finding new interest in the Feldenkrais Method within their communities, and from trainers that they are meeting exceptional future practitioners in their trainings. The Feldenkrais Method is attracting serious interest from the scientific community and practitioners are gaining recognition for the power of our work to transform lives. And within our community, many practitioners have come forward to support the emergence of a stronger Guild which would be better able to meet the Strategic Vision.

Appreciation. The Board is enormously grateful to all our staff who have sustained our efforts and maintained member services despite the stress of transition in leadership.  We are also very appreciative for the volunteer leadership of the 2012 Conference Committee that enabled FGNA to hold its largest and most enthusiastically received conference this past summer, as well as the leaders who are now guiding the planning for the 2013 conference.  We also want to explicitly acknowledge the work of CORR (Council of Regional Representatives) in developing strategies to increase visibility of the Feldenkrais Method and for their development of tools to assist practitioners with their own promotional and educational efforts.  We are grateful to members for supporting our efforts to move the organization forward in order to realize the full potential of our work. We welcome your questions and comments. Please communicate your thoughts, questions, and suggestions directly to the Board by emailing President Rob Black at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by contacting any Board member.