EAPA's governance structure is defined by the governance documents of the Association. These documents include the corporate code of the State of Wisconsin, EAPA’s Articles of Incorporation, the EAPA Bylaws
, and other subordinate documents adopted by the Board of Directors and other duly constituted member or staff bodies.
The governance documents establish an EAPA Board of Directors, which is the governing and policy-making body of EAPA and has overall responsibility for supervising the activities of EAPA. Additionally, the governance documents allow members to form local chapters and branches
to foster the purposes of EAPA and to provide opportunities for members to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is comprised of the officers of the Association, seven directors at large (four who live in the United States and three who live outside the United States), and the chair of the Employee Assistance Certification Commission (EACC).
The officers of the Association are the president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary-treasurer, and chief executive officer (CEO). Together, they comprise the executive committee of the Board.
The voting members of the Board are all elected every two years by the entire voting membership from a slate of candidates prepared and selected by EAPA’s nominations committee to have the skill sets needed to lead EAPA into the future. The CEO and EACC chair are both ex officio, non-voting members of the Board.
Brief history of the current Board structure
EAPA’s Board of Directors began as a governance body constructed to represent various constituencies within the Association. As EAPA grew, so too did the number of constituencies represented, until at one point in the late 20th century, the Board was comprised of well over 20 members, each representing a different sub-group.
In the late 1990s, it became increasingly clear that for EAPA to thrive in the 21st century, the Board would have to evolve from a “representational” board to a more strategically focused “skill based” board, comprised of directors who saw their constituency as the entire EAPA membership and EA profession and who collectively had the experience and skill set needed to lead a complex organization into the future.
The transition to this new board structure began in 2001 and 2002, with the elimination of most representational board titles, including internal director, external director, diversity director, etc., and the consolidation of ten regional director positions into five district director positions. In 2008, the Board formed an organizational review task force (ORTF) to review the then current structure and make recommendations "regarding the Board composition and the duties and responsibilities of Board members that will enable EAPA to function most effectively as it grows into the future."
In 2011, based on the ORTF’s recommendations, and after three years of further study and discussion, the Board continued its evolution away from representational titles by eliminating the district director titles in favor of directors at large to emphasize every director's responsibility to all EAPA members instead of to a particular geographical region. Finally, in 2014, the Board completed its long evolution by phasing out the labor director title, which was the only remaining representational title.
In making this last change, however, the Board continued to recognize the historical and current importance of labor members to EAPA. Therefore the requirement (that had been attached to the labor director title) that at least one member of the Board be a member of a labor union and work in a labor EAP, has been retained and transferred to one of the U.S. director at large positions.
EAPA’s Bylaws allow members to form subordinate units ("chapters" within the United States; local, regional, or national "branches" outside the United States) to foster the purposes of EAPA and to provide opportunities for members to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest. The formation, structure, and operation of EAPA chapters and branches are subject to approval by the Board of Directors and compliance with established EAPA procedures.
A chapter/branch leader toolkit
is available online to help members form, build, manage, and operate their respective chapters and branches.