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MCPP Board of Directors Meeting Minutes October 2020

September 20, 2020

Present by Zoom:  Peter Wood, David Freiband, Sonya Freiband, Shil Sangupta, Karen Weber, Eve Avrin, Lisa Larson, Mary Nowack, Art Brickman, Marybeth Atwell

Minutes of May meeting were approved.

 President:  Peter Wood

            Evaluating our next stage:  Peter reiterated that our ongoing goal this year will be to decide on a direction for the organization.  He reminded the Board that he had sent letters to the Founders, Analysts, and then to the Members of the organization last March, leading up to our meeting in June about the future of the organization.  At that meeting, a majority of participants raised various ideas about how we could refocus or rebrand ourselves in order to be more ‘relevant’ and attract more participants.  Others felt we are who we are, and need to find a way to continue more effectively in this direction.  People offered to help in limited ways towards these ends, but no one stepped forward to fill the open positions that would need to be filled to go forward in any direction.  Peter described talking with Jerry Brandell, who has expressed interest in taking on the Training director role and restarting the analytic training program.  This is still being considered, but has not yet moved forward.  Peter will send another letter to members to encourage taking on leadership positions that are needed after first vetting it with the board (the board discussed the challenge of making our case clearly while not discouraging the membership).

            Banquet: After a discussion of safety issues and the uncertainties of Covid and vaccines, the Board decided to try to hold an end-of-year banquet this year on June 21st, with the understanding that it might again have to be cancelled.  Sonya Freiband will continue as chair of the committee, and Marybeth Atwell offered her help.  Sonya will explore outdoor dining venues in Ann Arbor and report back to the Board.

            Registrar:  Rebecca Hatton has resigned this position.  The Board agreed there is no current need for a registrar as program registrations are being handled through the website and there is only one class being taught.

            By-law review:  Peter, Shil and Art will work on reviewing the bylaws with a particular focus on figuring what must be done if the organization dissolves.

            Webmaster position:  Reena Liberman will be stepping down as webmaster now that the new webpage is up and running.  She will see us through the changes and glitches as it gets started, and through the Solms conference.  Karen Weber has been learning this role and has been taking on some of the functions.  Peter would like to honor her at the banquet for all of her tireless work over the years.

Treasurer:  Eve Avrin

            Peter thanked Eve for clarity of her summaries.

            Total Net Worth is up due to Schwab investments and income from class. Class has generated $8,850 so far, with another $750 expected in January, more than covering payment to teachers.

            David Freiband will follow up with Eve about payments to UM for programs that are questionable, and Marybeth Atwell will follow up with the Social Work Collaborative about what appears to be a double-billing for our CEs.

            Zoom was upgraded to a HIPAA compliant level because of confidentiality concerns.  The cost of this upgrade was more than covered by us not needing to rent rooms for our programs.

            Eve reminded us that if MCPP does dissolve, we will need to determine what happens with our money – this will be included in the bylaw review and discussed on the Board if we get to that point.

Membership:  Lisa Larson

            The Board decided to wait until November to begin collecting membership fees for the coming year, since we do not yet know if the organization will be continuing.

Training:  Sonya Freiband

            Cases and Perspectives is currently running with 6 participants.

            We agreed to hold off on planning for next year until we have a clearer understanding of our direction.  We discussed the need for a coherent organizational structure and a clear board in order to be able to award CEs to Psychologists and Social Workers for participation in classes and programs.

Programs:  David Freiband

            David reports that Elaine Meadrow is able to create brochures for online use if desired.

            Discussion of nuts and bolts of conducting meetings via Zoom, including possibility of sending registrants a reminder link the day of the meetings, and noting in the confirmation emails that links for attending the meeting and for CEs are enclosed.  Karen Weber will check with Reena on these issues.

            David reports on collaboration with the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis for our January meeting.  We will be co-sponsoring their meeting featuring Jamieson Webster, entitled, “The Desire for Change: From Freud’s Conversion to Today’s Conversion Disorder”.  Offers to help pay for the meeting were generously declined and CEs will be available at no charge to our members.  The meeting will be held on a Friday evening rather than our usual Sunday time.  The Board agreed to offer a reciprocal arrangement for our next Sunday meeting featuring Mark Blechner.

            Art Brickman discussed ongoing plans for our February 20th Mark Solms Conference.  After discussion of safety and Covid issues it was decided to plan the conference as virtual, using Zoom.  Peter noted that we should be able to expand our Zoom capability to host a larger number of attendees.  6 CEs will be awarded for attendance, included in the cost of registration ($100 for students, $150 for members, $200 for non-members).  We discussed how and where to advertise so that we can get both local and distant participants.  David Freiband and Lisa Larson agreed to collaborate with Art on this question. Questions of whether CEs would be valid for people across state lines were discussed.  Art will suggest that participants check with their State boards if they have questions about this.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sonya Freiband

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