Wisconsin Geographic Interest Network: FAQ

On this page you'll find some answers regarding the change from WAMFT as a State Division, to WAMFT as a Geographic Interest Network. Please continue to submit comments so we can answer more of your questions!
Q: Why is this happening?
A: In summer 2017, AAMFT presented a ballot to the voting members of the organization that asked if the association bylaws could be changed from a 2-tier system (e.g. when you joined AAMFT you automatically became a member of the state division in which you lived), to a 1-tier system (e.g. you can join AAMFT and choose whether to also become a member of another group, previously called Divisions and now known as Interest Networks). The vote passed with over 70% in favor of changing the system.
Q: Will WAMFT cease to exist?
A: Nope, we'll still be here! The change to the bylaws changes the way we do business at the leadership level, but doesn't change what our members will see! We'll still have the conferences you enjoy - and we'll be adding more opportunities to network and learn together. To stay a member, you just need to remember to select WAMFT as an option to join when you renew your AAMFT membership.
Q: When will the new WAMFT interest network start?
A: The process for the new interest network started last year when WAMFT began assessing our goals and performing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. We formally submitted an application to become a Geographical Interest Network shortly after the annual conference, where we were able to meet with AAMFT legal to get clarification of the process. At this point, we will be continuing the process of dissolving the state division while building the interest network so the handoff is seamless to our members. This transition will happen sometime this spring, depending on when approvals occur. While we don’t anticipate this change interrupting any services, we do hope that you will join us in celebrating our successful launch!
Q: When will the WAMFT state division end?
A: (See more above). The exact “end” date of the current structure of WAMFT as a Division of AAMFT will end once the process of dissolution has been completed. This process requires some steps including a member vote to dissolve the division, filing with the state, and providing AAMFT with proof that our division has been dissolved according to Wisconsin state law. During this process, we will also be reviewing and ending or transferring existing contracts. Regardless of this process, by April 30th, 2018 AAMFT will no longer recognize state divisions, and WAMFT will cease to exist as a state division.
Q: Will we get to keep our lobbyist?
A: AAMFT has stated in multiple meetings with us that we will be able to keep a lobbyist. The AAMFT Family TEAM might help support the cost if our state is working on foundational goals as identified by AAMFT, or if our license is under threat. As part of the transition, AAMFT is required to complete a call for bids and review available lobbyists and fees. Our existing relationship with our lobbyist is strong and she’s worked closely with us for the past 3 years to keep us informed and connected to the people in the capitol that we couldn’t reach without her.
Q: Who is leading the interest network?
A: You’ll see familiar faces on the leadership committee of the interest network! WAMFT’s current President-Elect, Christopher Wirth, will be stepping into the role of the Chair for the interest network. Current Director-at-Large, Melissa Bleiler, will be serving the Chair-Elect position. Current Secretary Stephani Storkson will remain as Secretary of the interest network, and Treasurer Andrea Mueller will serve as interim Treasurer of the interest network. Additional leadership opportunities will be served within the subcommittees (Education, Networking, Advocacy) and the Family TEAM. All of these roles are filled by volunteers. Leadership Committee members will be elected following the staggered terms the current members are serving in.
We need members who are interested in moving the profession forward to step up and fill positions in these committees and subcommittees. Your ideas, your voice, and your time are needed to make WAMFT thrive. Consider giving back to the organization by volunteering for an event, offering to host an online discussion, serving in a subcommittee and/or running for an elected position in the leadership committee!
Q: Do I need to do something different to stay connected here in Wisconsin?
A: The next time you renew your AAMFT membership, you will have a choice to sign up for your Geographic Interest Network. Select the box for "WAMFT". That's it! If you are current with your membership, you will be enrolled automatically until the next time your membership is up for renewal.