President's Corner: The Governance of NAADAC

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Advances in Addiction & Recovery.

By Diane Sevening, EdD, LAC, MAC, NAADAC President

NAADAC’s governing body, the body that determine the direction of NAADAC and how NAADAC can best serve its constituents, is the NAADAC Board of Directors. The NAADAC Board of Directors is made up of the State Affiliate Presidents, the Executive Committee, and an Organizational Delegate. The State Affiliate Presidents are elected by their respective State Affiliate associations, and the Executive Committee is comprised of NAADAC’s directly elected officers: the President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and eight Regional Vice Presidents (RVPs). NAADAC’s Board of Directors meets in-person once a year at the NAADAC Annual Conference. The Executive Committee, joined by the non-voting NAADAC Executive Director and National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) Chair, meets on a monthly basis.

State affiliates, by and through their respective presidents, provide the framework for NAADAC. State affiliates are run by professionals with their feet on the ground who represent national and state initiatives. Each state’s addiction professionals have specific needs, wants, and goals regarding credentialing standards, reimbursement challenges, workforce needs, and other issues. They are the voice that guides NAADAC in guaranteeing membership needs are being met for the addiction profession and professionals, along with advocating at their state and national levels for legislative changes.

The president of each of the affiliates is the official representative to the NAADAC Board of Directors and these presidents have the opportunity to express their state concerns and have a vote in determining what is needed in the best interest of NAADAC. Each NAADAC board member has a fiduciary, legal, and ethical responsibility to act in a way which ensures that NAADAC operates in the best interest of its membership. By including Affiliate Presidents on the Board of Directors, each member is directly represented on the board. Members of the Board of Directors bring to the attention of NAADAC the recommendations, ideas, suggestions, and concerns of the persons they represent and in turn bring to the attention of all the members they represent to NAADAC’s policies, decisions, and opportunities available through membership. Each Affiliate President attends the annual Board of Directors meeting at the NAADAC Annual Conference and votes on various matters affecting NAADAC and its members.

All NAADAC State Affiliates require their members to also be NAADAC members, and when anyone joins NAADAC, he or she automatically becomes a member of his or her State Affiliate. Each State Affiliate has a board of directors that is required to meet regularly and to submit an affiliate contract and associated materials to NAADAC. Once a state becomes an affiliate of NAADAC, the benefits are numerous.

Each State Affiliates provides an annual submission of its organizational bylaws that coincide with the NAADAC bylaws, applicable policies and procedures, a copy of the latest audit report, and a list of the affiliates officers and committee chairs. This helps to guarantee consistency on the national and state levels and ensures the affiliated associations are operating within the rules and overall goals and objectives of NAADAC.

Some State Affiliates hold annual state conferences and/or periodic trainings. As a recognized NAADAC affiliate, they often receive discounts for speakers, some that are nationally renowned, and a “care box” from the NAADAC office that includes all updated promotional materials about membership and programs, flyers, the latest NAADAC magazine, Advances in Addiction & Recovery, and NAADAC goodies to giveaway or auction off.

NAADAC’s eight Regional Vice Presidents (RVPs) are elected by members within their respective regions: Northwest, North Central, Mid-Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Southeast, Mid-South, and Southwest. RVPs serve on the Executive Committee to represent the State Affiliates and members with their region. They are responsible for communicating any concerns or recommendations from their region to the Executive Committee and vice versa. RVPs are required to hold monthly regional calls with the State Affiliate Presidents in their region to discuss national happenings and connect with each state for updates about conferences, trainings, and legislative issues. RVPs offer assistance with trainings and conferences in their states as a speaker, mentor, and facilitator while making suggestions or recommendations for membership recruitment and retention. They are also required to submit a quarterly report of the progress in their regions to the Executive Committee and an annual report at the NAADAC Annual Conference for the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. Quarterly calls are scheduled with the NAADAC President, President Elect, and the Executive Director, during which all RVPs get the opportunity to discuss what is happening in their regions, address areas of concerns, and seek guidance and support.

Some regions have “quiet” states, which are states that have NAADAC members but no organized or active State Affiliate. RVPs encourage chartering of local, state, and regional chapters and affiliates, and assist new chapters and affiliates during their formation.

NAADAC assists these states and the RVPs in those regions by suggesting and supporting the development of an advisory council. Members within the quiet states are periodically contacted by the RVP to see if anyone is interested in taking a leadership role in developing an advisory council and offering a training or “lunch and learn” for the members and assist with creating better understanding of the benefits of a NAADAC affiliation. Regional conferences are also scheduled with the assistance of NAADAC and the RVP to assist with notifications, registration, conference materials, and speakers. Often times people are unable to attend the NAADAC Annual Conference and find the regional conferences informative and beneficial.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as a NAADAC State Affiliate President in South Dakota, where NAADAC was very supportive in assisting with the state corporation, state conferences, and licensure successes. I was also honored and privileged to be elected the NAADAC North Central RVP and became more knowledgeable about the concerns of other states and all the great benefits NAADAC provides with their support from staff, caring about the needs of each state, and maintaining standards for the addiction professional and profession. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality,” and that is exactly what we do as addiction professionals and NAADAC does as an association that meets our needs.

Diane Sevening, EdD, LAC, MAC, is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota (USD) School of Health Sciences Addiction Counseling and Prevention Department (ACP), has over 35 years of teaching experience, and is a faculty advisor to CASPPA. In addition to serving as NAADAC President, Sevening is also a member of the SD Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (BAPP) and Treasurer of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE). Her clinical experience involves seven years as the Prevention and Treatment Coordinator Student Health Services at USD, Family Therapist at St. Luke’s Addiction Center in Sioux City, IA for one year, and two years as clinical supervisor for the USD Counseling Center. Sevening has been the NAADAC Regional Vice President for the North Central Region, the NAADAC Student Committee Chair, a National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) Evaluator, and is currently on the NASAC Board of Commissioners.

Posted by Caitlin Corbett at 17:16