developing people's abilities to resolve conflicts
 ...without resorting to violence

 Conferences Past Conferences 2007Annual Gathering  Minutes

Annual Membership Meeting

Day Spring Retreat Center, Ellenton, Florida

Minutes for May 27, 2007


Co-facilitators:  Donn Kesselheim and Susan Hefte


Susan Hefte opened the Annual Membership Meeting at 9:10 a.m., with 55 persons present.  The agenda had been included in the registration packets.



 Susan Hefte welcomed all, and led the group in singing, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. . .  ”  She reminded all to complete and submit the evaluation forms, for the program events and for the conference overall

What Is an AVP Annual Meeting? 

 The Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for the national membership to select officers, to give direction to these individuals, and to clarify committee goals for the coming year. 

This meeting fulfills requirements in the AVP/USA By-Laws.  Copies of these By-Laws were made available. 

 May 28, 2006, minutes for Membership Meeting - Rubye Braye

The minutes were reviewed.  There were no corrections.  The 2006 minutes were approved by the body. 


“Each committee posted one or more queries and will during the next year post them on the AVP-L listserv and in the Transformer.   2006 Minutes

In presenting the committee reports, clerks were requested to summarize responses to 2006-2007 queries, as seems applicable.

Candidates for AVP/USA national offices in 2007-2008

The proposed slate of candidates was as follows:

Susan Hefte, President                    nominated by the Committee of Local and Regional Groups
Peg Erlanger, Vice-President          nominated by the Committee of Committees
Rubye Braye, Secretary                  nominated to continue by the Communications Committee Joann Perry, Treasurer                    nominated to continue by the Finance Committee

No other nominations were offered for consideration.  A motion was made to approve the slate.  The slate of officers was approved.  The membership shared a “Hooray!” in support of the 2007-2008 officers.

Committee Reports - Susan Hefte


Finance Committee - Ann Ward (Joann Perry, reporting)

Joann asked that we thank Donn Kesselheim for serving as AVP/USA President for the last two years. He has ensured completion of a number of necessary tasks

Joann provided copies of the Finance Committee’s annual report.  It has been reviewed by the Committee of Committees.

One of the important projects planned for this next fiscal year is to work through CLARG to strengthen local groups with seed grants, and to assist regional AVP organizations.

Year-ending financial statements 

The 2006-2007 Statement of Income and Expense shows a deficit of about $15,000.  This is not a problem because, in earlier fiscal years, AVP/USA received donations totaling $25,000 that were not spent at the time they were received.  They were then spent in 2006-2007. 

The 3/31/07 Balance Sheet listed assets totaling a bit over $75,000.

The membership approved both year-ending financial statement.

Budget proposed for 2007-2008

The 2007-2008 Budget anticipates a deficit of at least $14,000. The gap between income and expense is caused by:

·        a deficit of $8,700 from the 2007 Conference;

·        the added cost of a special issue of The Transformer, publicizing the 2007 Conference;

·        an increase in the number of scholarships awarded for the 2007 Conference; and

·        additional committee expenses anticipated during 2007-2008. 

The Committee of Committees has reviewed this budget.  The expenses projected appear necessary.  The C of C recommends that a fund-raising campaign be initiated next fall, designed to raise enough money to offset the projected deficit, and to avoid setting a precedent for deficit budgeting.

The membership also discussed ways to close this gap.   Some ideas included:

·        employing a matching fund strategy (similar to that used on National Public Radio);

·        development of a fund-raising kit that can be used by local groups, and

·        auctions.

The membership approved the budget for 2007-2008, and a campaign for financial support, scheduled for October, 2008.

The Finance Committee urgently needs more members to make it stronger and better.  The intent is to generate more energy for AVP’s work. 

There is a need for an auditor.  Ideally, the person would live in St. Paul, MN, or Wheeling, IL  If you have suggestions, please see Joann Perry.

The membership accepted and approved the report of the Finance Committee.

Communications Committee - Diana Couch

Diana asked if there were AVP/USA members interested in serving as the national Secretary during 2008-2009, anticipating a need to replace Rubye Bray a year from now.

She also described plans for the immediate replacement of Alan Taplow, the current Publications Distribution Center Coordinator.  Terry Kayser and Joann Perry will assume responsibility for the Distribution Center, starting June 10, 2007, and working from a location in Minneapolis. 

Another change for the Communications Committee involves working with CLRG to provide articles for The Transformer.  Already, AVP/California, AVP/New England, and AVP/Florida have volunteered for the next three issues.  Please send articles to Doug Couch.

To support the entire AVP/USA network, especially CLRG, the national database of facilitators has been moved on-line.  The reports of the AVP regional coordinators will also be made available online, at the AVP/USA website <>.  Diana asked that members help ensure that the database is kept up to date. 

Diana thanked Webmaster Rick Krouskop, Transformer editor Doug Couch, and activist member Pat Hardy warmly, for their exceptional contributions to the ongoing work of the Communications Committee.

The membership accepted and approved the Communications Committee report.

Conference Committee –Terry Kayser, Ray Rios, and Susan Hefte

Terry thanked all present for attending the 2007 Conference.  He has served as the National Conference Coordinator for the last four years, and will be succeeded in this role by Ray Rios. 

Terry invited the membership to get involved in the national Conference Committee’s work, as a way to learn more about AVP’s history and future plans.

The Committee’s functions are:

·        to ensure that each local conference committee benefits from the experience of previous conferences;

·        to recommend future conference sites;

·        to identify and groom future conference leaders;

·        to assist with conference program-planning;

·        to help plan transportation logistics; and

·        to assist with building a budget for each successive annual conference.  

Most of this teamwork is accomplished between January and May, by means of telephone conference calls that include both national and local Conference Committee members.

            2007 Conference

Susan expressed her positive feelings about the competent local planning and support for this conference.  She expressed hope that future local conference committees would find the experience equally rewarding.

Ray Rios assumed responsibility as the national Conference Committee Coordinator.


2008 Conference site

AVP/Washington State has offered to host the conference for 2008; AVP/New York has offered to do so for 2009; and AVP/Minnesota has offered to do so for 2010.  

Ray asked if the extra day (Thursday arrival) was helpful.  Many affirmed that this was a good idea, so the extra day will be a consideration for future conference committees.

2006 query: “How can the annual conference be more accommodating to the diversity of AVP facilitators in the future?”

For the Conference Committee, Terry spoke on the query, saying:

                        RESPONSE LOST

The membership accepted and approved the Conference Committee’s report.

Light and Lively

            John Michaelis led “Here I sit.”

Committee of Local and Regional Groups (CLRG) - Ann Ward (Marge Schlitt, reporting


Marge reported that CLRG is working on several initiatives. Each committee member is helping:

·        to improve the national mailing list for facilitators;

·        to encourage persons in the network to write articles for the Transformer;

·        to send in articles to the Transformer;

·        to request seed grants to fund new, struggling groups at the local level;

·        to support traveling facilitators who run workshops;

·        to support T for T workshops;

·        to support outreach and cross-fertilization; 

·        to encourage regional newsletters;  and

·        to record local history. 

These are the CLRG priorities for the next year. 


Donn asked Marge to encourage people who are functioning locally and regionally, to consider functioning nationally.

 Alan Taplow asked if any group within CLRG is working to up-date the organizing kit.  He is not willing to edit it, but he will format it into book form, to ensure that it is appropriate for all facilitators.   Nancy Shippen agreed to serve on the organizing kit team.  Marge said that she will accept the material submitted, and work with Alan and Nancy.   Lolya asked if the current information in the kit is useful.  Diana said that Ann Ward has used the kit’s list of facilitators and local groups for grant-writing and fund-raising.

 The membership accepted and approved the CLRG report.

Education Committee - Grace McGrath


Grace said that the current project for the Education Committee is to revise the Training for Facilitators manual.  The national committee has met, and there were many good ideas offered.  These ideas will be shared with Cynthia McBain, who is clerking the revision of the Training for Facilitators manual. 

 The next major project planned is the Special Topics for Advanced Workshops manual. 

 The Committee will meet again today.  Those interested in the work of the Education Committee are invited to attend the meeting.

 John Shuford asked how to disseminate new exercises.  Grace said there are three ways:

·        post to the AVP/L listserv;

·        post to the website, and

·        submit an article to The Transformer.

 Query -  “Should the role of Education Committee be more than just revising manuals?”

 The committee will meet over lunch today to discuss ideas regarding this query.

 The membership accepted and approved the report of the Education Committee.


Youth Committee - Darrell Hefte

 Darrell provided an extract from the 2006 Annual Meeting.  He shared two questions: 

 “Is there a place for youth facilitators?  Should the relationship between AVP and HIPP be supported?” 

Darrell reports that the AVP/HIPP relationship already exists.  This is reflected in the AVP/Youth manual.  Some time earlier, Tom Truitt convened a workshop to explore the nexus of AVP and HIPP.  It was determined then that “There is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two organizations.” 

 The Conference Committee developed an “access agreement” for the 2007 Conference.  It is anticipated that this agreement (found under “Safety” on the AVP/USA Website) will be used next year.

 Query:  “Should AVP and AFSC-HIPP continue on separate paths?” 


To address this issue, today the Committee of Committees approved the formation of a one-year study group to explore this relationship.  The study group will review the issues, provide options, and make recommendations regarding this relationship. Named AVP committee members are Darrell Hefte, Alan Taplow, and Grace McGrath. The study group has been asked to provide the names of the committee members during the July 2007 C of C conference call. 


The membership accepted and approved the Youth Committee report.


Restorative Justice Committee - Lolya Lipchitz


Lolya reported that the committee offers a different way to view crime and repair the harm done.  The goal is to determine how that concept interacts with AVP. 


Query:  “ How to incorporate into workshops the perspective of those who have been harmed by crime and the perspectives of communities affected by criminal actions?”



The Restorative Justice Committee report summarized responses to the query: 


The Committee would like to move forward with creating a three-day workshop, for use as an Advanced Topic.  This workshop will be shared with the Education Committee, and with Cynthia McBain for the new Special Topics Manual.  The Committee is also reviewing video clips showing testimonials from victims, for use on the AVP/USA website.


The membership accepted and approved the report of the Restorative Justice Committee.


International Committee - John Shuford


John reported that the latest major action of his committee was the request and receipt of $7,500 from the Draz Family, to cover transportation expenses for facilitators in remote locations to attend the 2006 International Conference in Johannesburg. 


The International Committee is requesting from AVP/USA $10,000 for the 2008 Gathering, which will probably be held in Kenya. 


John Michaelis mentioned that his university in New South Wales has prepared “The Transforming Conflict Course,” which has been completed by 45,000 students. This is an AVP workshop, re-designed for a classroom setting.  It has been taught for eight years.  Many productive AVP facilitators have been activated by taking this course.


Moreover, HIPP and AVP have been integrated in New South Wales, and joint workshops are offered in the public schools.  These workshops are conducted for both teachers and students.  Local residents have also developed the Rainbow Circle, a gentle workshop for children needing help.  The children are often from broken homes, and are referred to the Rainbow Circle by counselors and the agency called Lifeline.             


Local residents have an active Restorative Justice program, which refers offenders to AVP workshops. 


In New South Wales, AVP Manuals are not sold to generate income.   Instead, manuals are made available on the web, by including them in the user-generated encyclopedia called Wikipedia.  This strategy allows AVP facilitators to modify old exercises and add new ones.  Wikipedia employs a controlled-access system that is password-protected.  The system also allows for “structured up-dates” to existing entries.


John Michaelis will post sign-up sheets for access to “The Transforming Conflict Course” and the online AVP Manuals.  He will provide the log-on addresses to those interested.


Alan Taplow recommended close coordination with the Education Committee, regarding the online manuals.  John Michaelis said that he would work with Grace McGrath.


The membership accepted and approved the report from the International Committee.


Committee of Committees – Donn Kesselheim


Donn explained that the minutes from the Committee of Committees meetings for 2006-7 will be provided to Rick Krouskop, and will be made available on the AVP/USA website.  He also praised the work of two ad hoc committees convened during the year just past.  One was chaired by Pat Hardy; the other by Darrell Hefte.


The membership accepted and approved the report from the Committee of Committees.


Other matters


Terry Kayser asked about the status of the Technology Committee, convened by Toby Riley.  Donn explained that this committee was intended to function on an as-needed basis.  For an extended period, there were no requests made for it to be activated.    For this reason, Toby chose to lay it down.


Adjourned at 11:17 a.m.


Revised: 02/26/2014            © 2014 AVP/USA, Inc.