Our history is a story of adaptation and survival to keep our community connected.
The following begins an account of the Association’s evolution from 1998? to today – many years and over 400 members later, we continue to evolve. Throughout the many changes, the commitment of board members and volunteers to keeping our community alive has been consistent even as we sometimes struggle with the paradox of maintaining a virtual connection.
2016 continued the webinar focus, with Dave Jamieson (faculty) facilitating a webinar on use of self and Bob Marshak (faculty) on dialogic OD & coaching.
In addition, the Association began Action Research cycles to uncover how best to engage with members and our community. Jasmeen Waliany (C71) worked with us on the first cycle during her practicum.
2015 marked the launch of our webinar series, with our first session featuring ODN Chair, Matt Minahan (faculty), on the topic of consulting skills in the spring. Mark Sachs (C30) then facilitated a boundaries session, followed by Ross Gruebel (C59) on the Association’s technology.
Back-end member-management processes automation was completed in 2015, which means that members can register and renew with little to no board intervention. This speeds up the time members can get online and take advantage of the jobs and discussion boards, as well as the events calendar.
2014 kicked off a two-year focus on technology and back-end process automation to enable volunteers to spend more effort on the actual work of our community and less time managing data-entry. Our new and improved www.auntl.org was launched on the WordPress platform (the old site was based on Groupsite), which provides greater flexibility to expand our site and include more ways to connect, learn, and grow together. We also published our first Annual Report to provide more transparency into our operations and financial health, as well as recognition of our community’s accomplishments.
In 2013, we saw record membership numbers, with 142 paid members.
In 2007, with Cliff Kaiser (C50) and Ellen Greenberg (C49) at the helm, a website designer was hired to help build the most previous website that would become the main medium of communication for members and the Board. The Association sought to balance a stronger online presence with opportunities for members to learn and interact in person at events with Bob Marshak in Philadelphia, and with Edie Seashore and Michael Broome in DC. In addition, the decision was taken to discontinue payment of membership dues in favour of asking for financial donations to support the work of the Association.
2005 and 2006 saw significant transformation for the Association. There were several new Board members and Ka Flewellen (C38) took over as interim Board President from Gerri Eggleston (C38). The Board began its partnership with the Seagal-Seashore Fellowship committee, and formed several new committees of its own such as Communication and Fundraising. The role of Co-Chair was also created to share leadership of the Association’s increasing responsibilities.
During this time, the Board decided to administer a survey to better understand and respond to members’ expectations. Member feedback led to a new mission statement:
The AU•NTL Association is committed to connecting the AU•NTL Community virtually & physically by promoting professional opportunities to share learning and best practices.
The survey also revealed that the Board’s most important responsibility was to connect the AU•NTL community which became the tagline:
Connecting the AU•NTL Community.
In keeping with this responsibility, greater effort was put into developing the website and a newsletter was launched as the first formal communication to all members in two years.
2003 was a busy year for the Association. The Sunset Seminar series was launched in April with a panel discussion for internal OD practitioners and another was held in July on dealing with resistance. The Coaching series also began in October and the website was launched to offer members a new medium to interact with and learn from each other.
Although the AU•NTL Association was originally incorporated in 1988 (or ’98??), very little is known about when the idea first originated and who was involved from inception. By 2001 however, under the stewardship of Judy Bowen (C40), the Association was clearly on its way to becoming a vibrant organization with close to 200 members and a healthy bank account.
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