​​Fellowship Chair — The Fellowship subcommittee plans activities and opportunities for the times and spaces between speakers, workshops, and meals. Fellowship is mostly focused on fun activities and social interactions between conference attendees, but also does the planning for availability of PRGs over the weekend. Fellowship also plans the Friday and Saturday evening social events and helps plan the closing ceremony (usually cooperatively with Spirituality).

​​Facilities Chair — The Facilities chair is our primary liaison with our conference venue. In a perfect world, Facilities is the only subcommittee to give directions and make requests to the venue. Facilities meets with the venue contact as soon as possible and arranges for the first of several site tours. The Treasurer and Publicity also attend that first tour, often extending into a conference PRG and drafting the annual spending, income, and pricing plans together soon after. Facilities receives contracts from the venue, asks for input from the planning committee, and gets contracts signed by Conference Chair or Co-Chairs. As the service year progresses, Facilities:

  • Schedules multiple tours over the course of the year as the planning committee expands and more volunteers become involved.
  • Plans the menu for all shared meals, including taking care of special needs.
  • Maintains an archive of documented and verbal agreements with the venue and reconciles the needs of the planning committee with those of the venue.
  • Obtains event insurance.
  • Asks planning committee members what help they and their sub-committees will need from the venue during the conference weekend.
  • Plans signage and directionals, including costs. (Bastyr will take care of and pay for simple signage and directionals. See venue contact for details. We always need more than they provide.)
  • Gathers volunteers to help carry out the Facilities subcommittee’s action plan.
  • Maintains availability — both personally and via delegation to volunteers — to both conference participants and venue staff — throughout the conference weekend.

​​Program Chair — The Program subcommittee’s responsibilities are to find and engage keynote speakers, workshop leaders, and other activities to carry the message of Debtors Anonymous at the annual Northwest DA Conference. This includes monitoring the topic and content of all workshops, organizing and communicating with workshop leaders, and reporting to the larger planning committee. This also includes creating a spending plan for these activities and staying within that spending plan. Additional responsibility might be to find and engage a person to record the speakers and / or workshop leaders to share with conference participants the following year. Program creates additional opportunities for sharing of information and recovery over the weekend. Program works closely with Publicity to get both summary and detail information about workshops out to DA members as early in the year as possible.

​​Spirituality Chair — The Spirituality subcommittee works to develop a conference environment conducive to learning, growing, and recovering, using our theme for the year as a springboard for ideas and activities. Creating the environment includes primary responsibility for decorations, flowers, tablecloths, etc. Spirituality takes special care with the meditation or retreat room set aside for members to enjoy quiet time throughout the weekend. They also plan specific periods of meditation, including walking meditation through the grounds of our venue. Spirituality usually hosts the vision board space and sometimes a member art show or sharing of talents. Spirituality may also plan a period of prayer in the chapel and helps Fellowship plan the closing ceremony.

​​Publicity Chair — Publicity proposes communication and spending plans for review with the planning committee as soon as possible, focusing not only on the current year but also on outreach strategies for the next two or three years. Publicity gathers a subcommittee of interested DA members, takes on special projects as requested and available, and, specific to publicity, assists other committees with preparation of branded materials. Additionally, the Publicity team:

  • Updates and maintains conference website, representing the voice of the planning committee and best service to the needs of conference participants
  • Prepares the registration form and performs updates as necessary
  • Prepares and posts participant spending plans and pre-registration FAQs
  • Works closely with Northwest DA Intergroup to maintain positive awareness of the conference’s activities locally (as back-up to Conference Vice Chair)
  • Receives and responds to queries from website, distributing incoming emails to other subcommittees whenever possible and relevant
  • ​​Performs ongoing email outreach to past registrants, the regional DA community, worldwide Intergroups, and other potentially interested parties
  • Maintains and continues to build the conference email list
  • Designs primary publicity vehicles for the year (usually over-sized postcards) and distributes them based on communication plan and within spending plan
  • Continues to build interest and to generate new ideas for outreach throughout the year, seeking help from the entire planning committee, Northwest DA Intergroup, and all other advocates — this usually includes community outreach beyond the DA membership
  • Assists the Pre-Conference Registration Chair in creating, posting, and performing pre-conference surveys 
  • Creates and performs post-conference surveys, including analysis and reporting 
  • Creates post-conference phone and email list for registrants who agree to be on it

​​Volunteer Coordinator — The Volunteer Coordinator often joins the planning committee only a month or two before the conference weekend. However, getting an earlier start is helpful in cohesion on the committee and contributes to more fun and fellowship for the Coordinator. The Coordinator works with all of the officers and subcommittees to create a spreadsheet of help needed onsite, including description and location of service to be done, and times needed in blocks of one hour each. The Coordinator first approaches Service Award winners who have promised to fulfill one hour of service onsite for each day they are attending with a Service Award. Once those volunteer commitments have been made, the Coordinator approaches the rest of the pre-registered participants (with Pre-Registration's help) and offers open service opportunities. Along with an alternate or back-up, the Coordinator maintains availability throughout the weekend, especially to help if there are no-shows for service commitments or unexpected service needs.

The planning committee for the Northwest DA Conference is made up of four officer positions and eight subcommittees, each led by a Chair or Co-Chairs.

The four officer positions are Conference Chair and Vice-Chair, Conference Secretary, and Conference Treasurer.

The eight subcommittees are Facilities, Fellowship, Onsite Registration, Pre-Conference RegistrationProgram, Publicity,  Spirituality, and Volunteer Coordinator.

See More About the Planning Committee to find out how we do our work together.

See Opportunities to Help for open positions and other ways to be of service.

​​Conference Treasurer — The Treasurer is responsible for receipt of the conference's funds from the previous year and is the primary signer on the conference's accounts. The Treasurer facilitates and oversees creation of the annual spending, income, and pricing plans, including organizing a PRG, working with subcommittee chairs on individual spending plans and needs, and seeking plan approval from the full committee. The Treasurer receives regular reports on registrations from the Pre-Registration Chair (both online and mail-in), makes bank deposits, balances the bank accounts, keeps accurate records of income and expenses, pre-imburses or re-imburses subcommittee chairs for expenses, and pays invoices received by NWDAC in a timely manner. The Treasurer reports NWDAC’s financial activities and balances at monthly meetings, explains variances from expectations, and helps committee members to make solvent, practical financial decisions. CAUTION: Preparation for and participation at monthly meetings can be stressful. 

​​Pre-Conference Registration Chair — Pre-Conference Registration is the receiver of all registrations from both online and mail-in payments through whatever pre-conference cut-off is set by the planning committee. 

  • Proposes details for the service award program and seeks approval from planning committee
  • Works with Publicity to communicate service award program and pre-registration details to past and future registrants
  • Oversees the service award program, including informing recipients, and collecting payments due
  • Receives both online and mail-in registrations as they come in and provides documentation to Treasurer and Onsite Registration Chair within 72 hours, via both email and the master registration spreadsheet in dropbox, answering registrant questions, and looping other committee members in as necessary
  • Creates and performs pre-conference survey (with Publicity's help), analyzing and reporting the results to subcommittees as needed (especially Onsite Registration and Facilities, again via the master registration spreadsheet in dropbox)
  • Tracks both online and mail-in registration activity and gives summary reports at committee meetings

For information on any of the planning committee positions listed above,
​please send an email to promises@northwestdaconference.org

Onsite Registration — The Onsite Registration Chair leads the Onsite Registration subcommittee in preparing and proposing many of the policies and needs for the conference weekend including onsite registration hours, registration packets, registration sub-committee spending plan, refund and cancellation policies, onsite FAQs, and onsite payment methods. Onsite Registration handles interim communication with registrants (once registered and paid), although Pre-Registration usually handles the pre-conference surveys. The Onsite Registration Chair provides reports and updates at and between planning committee meetings. That person does the registration-related printing (nametags, handouts in packets, etc) and organizes the Onsite Registration subcommittee for assembling the registration packets. The Onsite Registration Chair brainstorms and plans onsite registration with subcommittee members, ensures policies and protocols are approved by the planning committee, and works with registrants to fill the registration schedule.

Planning Committee Structure


​​Conference Vice Chair — The Vice Chair assumes the responsibilities of the Chair whenever the Chair is unavailable, both during conference planning and at the annual conference. The Vice Chair ensures that we have a meeting space, with easy parking, for each of our face-to-face committee meetings. The Vice Chair works closely with the Chair to facilitate the work of the conference planning committee during the service year (from conference to conference) and is responsible for overseeing clear communication between NWDAC officers and subcommittees. The Vice Chair attends Northwest DA Intergroup, ensuring information about the conference is distributed to the DA groups and members throughout our region. The Vice Chair serves as coach and mentor to committee members whenever asked. The Vice Chair acts as a sounding board for the Chair and supports the Chair in creating a positive and productive committee environment. Some years the conference committee has elected Co-Chairs rather than a Chair and Vice Chair.

​​Conference Chair— The Conference Chair serves as moderator for committee meetings, encouraging all members to participate in discussions and decision making. The Chair prepares and distributes agendas, leads discussions, and guides healthy spending. The Chair works closely with the Vice Chair to facilitate the work of the conference planning committee during the service year (from conference to conference) and is responsible for overseeing clear communication between NWDAC officers and subcommittees. The Chair maintains a positive atmosphere even during difficult topics. The Chair serves as a sounding board for all committee members and supports rapid resolution of conflict during the service year. The Chair ensures that each committee member has an opportunity to serve as co-host and co-emcee for one of the major group activities during the conference weekend. The Chair leads or delegates the creation of keepsake program booklets, including editing, layout, and related tasks. Some years the conference committee has elected Co-Chairs rather than a Chair and Vice Chair. The Chair does not make motions and is a non-voting position. Our purpose in these distinctions is to hold our Chair as an unbiased facilitator.

Strength, Support, Serenity

​​Conference Secretary — The Secretary is in a good position to act as liaison between officers and subcommittee chairs (or co-chairs), following up with NWDAC planning committee members who miss monthly meetings and requesting reports from committee members ahead of time when relevant. The Secretary sends multiple announcements and invitations to NWDAC planning meetings and events, helping to increase attendance and participation whenever possible. Most importantly, the Secretary: 

  • Emails meeting minutes to committee members within one week of each meeting for feedback, additions, and corrections
  • Updates the minutes as appropriate and resends them to committee members prior to the next monthly meeting
  • Finds substitutes to take minutes whenever absent from meetings
  • ​If minutes are not distributed after one meeting, the individual will be asked to step down.