Thursday, August 4, 2011

FRUA National Board Meeting Yields Progress Toward Delievering Hope, Help and Community to Adoptive Families

"Each year, the FRUA National Board of Directors holds an annual meeting at the end of FRUA's fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). This is the only time during the year this all-volunteer Board holds an in-person meeting, although we 'meet' via conference call approximately every 6 weeks. In an effort to reach out to as many regional chapters and members as possible, the Board holds this meeting in different locations across the country. This year, we met July 22-23, 2011, in Colorado. Previous recent meeting locations include Columbus, OH, Minneapolis, MN, Arlington, VA, New York City, NY, and San Francisco, CA.

The Board meeting's purpose is to discuss organizational goals and strategies, financial health, membership trends, outreach efforts, and orphan support programs, among other topics. For many years, the Board met for a single day; in 2008, we expanded the meeting to a day and a half to accommodate all the business we had to cover. Starting in 2010, we expanded the meeting to two full days. These are hugely busy, productive, rewarding, and somewhat exhausting meetings! For 9 hours straight each day, we go over every detail of the organization to discuss what works and what doesn't, look for improvements and efficiencies, propose new initiatives and perhaps delay or reshape others. Ideas fly around the room like lightning bolts and the energy among board members is intense! Keep in mind that everyone there has taken time off work, and time away from families, to focus on the mission of FRUA to meet hte needs of our member families.

Along with our meeting time, we schedule social events to meet and greet FRUA members and representatives from the local adoption community. Because FRUA has two Colorado chapters, we held the first day of our meeting in Colorado Springs and then met members for dinner in a lovely historic restaurant nearby. For our second day, we met in Denver's Technology Center and hosted a dinner in downtown Denver for FRUA members and a few special guests from a non-profit orphan support organization. Both events were delightful - it's so great to connect with members each year in a social setting!

Over the next couple of months, you'll read more about the outcome of our Board meeting and the status of the organization. Details about the meeting and new initiatives will be presented in upcoming issues of The Family Focus, our wonderful membership journal. A thorough review of FRUA activities, as well as summaries of our membership and financial data, will be published in our Annual Report, due out in mid-Oct. Until these summaries arrive in your mailbox, know that FRUA's National Board is working hard to ensure the organization's success now and for the future!"

Sue Gainor
National Board of Directors
Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption
Hope, Help and Community for Adoptive Families