GAMFT 2022 Bylaws Revision Results

The final results from the proposed bylaws revision vote, which occurred from March 10th to April 14th 2022, are reviewed below. A total of 92 ballots were cast, which represents approximately 24% of the voting membership of GAMFT. The voting results are as follows:
Adopting the recommended Bylaws revisions:

  • Yes, I approve adopting the recommended bylaws revisions:  98.9%
  • No, I oppose adopting the recommended bylaws revisions:  1.1%

As a reminder, the bylaw changes were recommended primarily due to three factors:

  1. Recent adoption of new membership categories in AAMFT,
  2. New roles deemed necessary due to staff changes in GAMFT, and
  3. Updates in language and role descriptions for board members and board procedures.

The following paragraphs will briefly describe the need for these changes and the location in the current bylaws where language is being updated.

New Membership Categories for AAMFT
In 2020, the AAMFT board of directors proposed a change in membership categories. This proposal was approved and went into effect in June 2021. The primary change that occurred is the dissolving of the multiple levels of membership and the creation of only two membership categories: student member and professional member. The clinical fellow designation was also moved from a membership category into a special badge, only available to those who meet the criteria as defined by AAMFT.

As an independent affiliate, AAMFT has recommended that GAMFT shift towards the same two-level membership system that was adopted by AAMFT in June 2021. The primary location where these changes occur is in Article III, Section 2 and Section 3. The language was selected from the AAMFT bylaws in order to be consistent. This language is also reflected in Article IX, Section 1 and Section 2, to reflect the new membership categories.

One sentence was altered in Article V, Section 1, which now states that “at least half (50%) of the membership of the Board shall be Professional members”. This change allows for more student involvement in positions on the board than the previous version of the bylaws, which required 2/3 of the board be clinical fellows.

New Roles Necessary in GAMFT
Toward the end of 2019, the paid positions in GAMFT (Executive Director and Administrative Assistant) were no longer financially viable. Since that time, the GAMFT board of directors has been operating with only volunteers. As part of the transition out of paid staff to a purely volunteer board, it became clear that the Treasurer role was essential to the health of the organization. Therefore, GAMFT is recommending the creation of a new position, Treasurer elect, which will be modeled after the President elect position. In adding this role, knowledge that takes time to acquire and obtain as the treasurer can be more effectively communicated and passed onto the individual who will be assuming this important role. The language in Article 4, Section 4, define the new role of treasurer-elect and past- treasurer.

Currently GAMFT is not able to move back to a paid position role; therefore, the Treasurer elect role will be important for maintaining and moving the GAMFT board into the strategic goals identified in the next three to five years. When GAMFT is in a position to hire paid staff again, this will occur. For this reason, the language in Article XI was changed from “Executive Director” to “Paid Staff” to allow for flexibility in defining what the new paid staff role will become.

Updates in Language and Roles in GAMFT
Additional changes in the language and roles of the bylaws are primarily due to the recent changes to a volunteer board and streamlining duties/responsibilities. Most of these changes happen in Article VI, whereby standing committee titles are updated. For example, the Multicultural Issues Committee has been renamed the Diversity and Inclusion Committee; the Internet and Social Media Committee has been reorganized to be the Communications Committee. No standing committees were removed from the bylaws; however, many of the roles were better clarified to ensure volunteers were prepared for the expectations and responsibilities.

Language that discussed the “GAMFT Annual Conference” was removed and replaced with “conferences and events” to better reflect the strategic goals of GAMFT. As GAMFT moves into a space where more digital and online content is offered to members, this change is important.

The Public Relations Committee has been reimagined and moved away from a focus on only the GAMFT Annual Conference. This role will work closely with other committees, such as Events and Training Committee, Communications Committee, and Legislative Committee to highlight the accomplishments and state- wide efforts of GAMFT and membership.

Now that the bylaws revisions were approved by the voting membership, the next step will be to review and revise the Chapter Charters to ensure consistency in language across GAMFT documents. The GAMFT Board of Directors appreciates all voting members who took part in this process!