2022 Autumn President's Letter
“As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see.” ~Vincent van Gogh
During October, I had the amazing opportunity to drive through Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and upstate New York. The autumn colors were stunning and the pictures you see are from this trip. Autumn is traditionally a time of colorful vegetation, gathering, taking stock, abundance, preparation, and valuing time with family and friends. AIA has been involved in all of these autumnal activities.
The AIA board, representatives, and committees spent months gathering information from our member survey and considering themes and suggestions. We took stock of what we were currently doing and created action plans for the future from that information. We were grateful for all of the positive feedback we received about our work supporting our members. We realized that we were already in process of many of those valuable suggestions. Most of our action plans have now been completed. Each committee and the representatives discussed survey feedback and the past year’s accomplishments at the Annual Members Meeting on November 2nd. It was inspirational to see the excitement and contributions from the members who attended. We celebrated spending time together and sharing with our AIA community. Our Annual Open Board Meeting was November 10th. Members were able to see the process our Board goes through to share information and vote on routine reports or exciting new initiatives. We also voted to welcome a new volunteer.
We review new volunteer applications each month. I would like to thank each and every person volunteering for AIA. If you would like to join our diverse and energetic team of volunteers, simply fill out this application. We would especially welcome more members on our Membership, Nominations, Media, Conference, Business and Fundraising Committees. Descriptions and emails for the committees can be found on this webpage. Our AIA Representatives continue to increase in number, yet we still have plenty of spots to fill. If you wish to be a representative, you will find information and the application here. For questions, contact Mary Ellen Dorey, our dedicated and fun Global Rep at email@example.com. She would love to talk with you!
Following are the past year’s highlights discussed at our All Members Meeting
(Many thanks to our efficient, organized, and compassionate AIA Board Secretary Marnie Reven who organized this information):
Financial Report: Treasurer, Meredith Cheshire, provided a 2021 percentage Profit and Loss Report. About 50% of our income is made up by membership dues.
Business and Fundraising Committee: Meredith Cheshire, Chair, reported the Fundraising Committee supported the online auction during the 2021 conference to raise $1500.00. They will support our 2023 conference auction. The Business Committee goal is to add more members to the committee and focus on supporting members who are starting or growing a business or would like tips so their business runs more efficiently. More to come in January.
Membership and Nominations Committee: Sue Jordan, proxy for Nancy Lubin, Chair, reported that the Membership and Nominations committees have been combined to streamline activities. 2022 accomplishments include update to the Business Membership category and addition of a Student Membership category. The Advanced Practice Aromatherapist designation for Clinical category was revised. Based on a recommendation from the Representatives, the Membership Committee proposed that previous webinars be available for the duration of membership, and this was approved going forward. Handwritten Thank You notes have been sent to hundreds of new and renewing members.
Clinical Committee: Donna Audia and Michelle Cohen, Co-Chairs, reported that the committee has published both Pediatric Clinical Aromatherapy Safety Guidelines and Pediatric Non-Clinical Aromatherapy Safety Guidelines on the AIA website. They are working to launch a new project called The Aromatherapy Terminology Initiative.
Research Committee: Marnie Reven, Chair, reported several special projects have been undertaken including Energetics and Aromatics (a 3-part series in the AIA Journal), the Research Database with updated parameters, and updates to the AIA Research Grant application and process. The AIA Journal and Research FB page has 637 followers.
AIA Journal: Crystal Brothers, Editor, reported that the 2022 strategic plan included continued efforts to sustain and improve Aromatics in Action™ as a value-added benefit for members and contributors. Work continued with social media to build a conversation about the journal and to encourage submissions. Currently, in addition to articles, she is requesting more case studies for publication. Refer to the AIA Writing Guidelines for article and case study format.
Media Committee: Meredith Cheshire, proxy for Carol Scheidel, reported that prior to the committee disbanding, AIA had hired a social media company. The current Committee members review the posts prior to them being posted. Initially, there were a lot of grammar and topic corrections needed. The committee also shares exciting upcoming events to be posted with the social media company. AIA currently posts to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn on an almost daily basis.
Education Committee: Colleen Thompson, Chair, reported that the two main initiatives for the committee were to provide monthly AIA Webinars based on member feedback and needs for continuing education. They also have worked toward establishing criteria for Advanced Practice Educators.
Review Committee: Meredith Cheshire, proxy for Carol Scheidel, reported that the main function of the committee is to review and recommend approval for AIA recognized schools and providers. 2022 accomplishments include approval of three level 3 schools and approval of two CE providers.
AIA Representatives: Mary Ellen Dorey, Global Rep, reported that during 2022 they continued to grow and strengthen the State and Regional Representatives team. Expansion to the international work continues. An updated Representative chart was provided. This chart is used to update the AIA Representative webpage.
2023 Conference Committee: Amanda Lattin, Chair, reported the 2022 - 2023 Plan: This committee is hosting the first fully virtual AIA conference March 31st – April 1st, 2023. This virtual conference is a strategic plan coming from the AIA executive team and AIA board of directors to help AIA resume biannual in person conferences on alternating years, while still hosting a dynamic conference event for the AIA community in 2023. Registration is open for the 2023 Virtual Conference.
2024 Conference Committee: Marnie Reven, Chair, reported that efforts are underway for 2024 in-person conference. Breaking News: Save the date for September 26th - 28th + a post-conference event on 9/29/2024 in lovely, vibrant Nashville, TN, U.S.A.
Bylaws changes: Denise Joswiak, President, reported that two changes to the AIA Bylaws have been made since the last Annual Members Meeting including:
● November 2021 Advanced Practice (APAIA) designation changed to include an Advanced Practice general category with the first specific category of Advanced Practice Clinical Aromatherapist (APCA).
● February 2022 Student Membership category was added.
● Learning Management System (AIA Classroom) Marnie took us on a quick tour of the new addition to our Members-only section of our website. The AIA Classroom home page includes all events. The course list separates the list into previous monthly webinars and representative educational meetings.
It was wonderful to connect with so many of the members of AIA through our annual meetings. We are excited to connect again at our webinars and the virtual conference. I would like to thank every member for your support of AIA.
Another way to support AIA is through your purchases! ‘Tis the season for many to contemplate holiday shopping. Consider supporting our Business Members, AIA-Recognized Schools and CE Providers. We have our Essential Oil Therapy Booklets and Aromatics in Action Journals available in our member store. If you are purchasing from Amazon for gifts or any purchases, you could support AIA simply by naming Alliance of International Aromatherapists as your current charity on Amazon Smile. When you shop with AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same prices, selection, and shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to AIA. You have nothing to lose, and it could definitely benefit the members of AIA!
Connections and Collaboration: You can now find us on the International Clinical Aromatherapy Network (ICAN). We are listed under Sourcing and Supplies/Organisations and Foundations and our journal is listed under Journals and Publishers. Our 2023 Conference is listed under Events.
I hope you all have moments of joy as autumn transitions to winter.
With Love & Gratitude,