By Madeline Burke

AzABA catapulted out of the COVID-19 pandemic with a tremendous year of growth and sense of purpose. The organization prioritized several strategic objectives designed to improve internal functioning and external stakeholder engagement. All efforts to these ends were grounded in our mission and values. AZABA’s values form the organizing principle of this report.

Be a community resource:

     AzABA will strive to present learning opportunities and professional development across a wide variety of interests, and seeks to maintain a pulse on the needs of those it serves.

In 2022, AzABA recorded 697 members and proudly offered 36 CEU opportunities. For the first time AzABA allocated a line item in the budget to empower all Special Interest Groups and Committees to seek content for AzABA membership. The budget was developed such that special efforts were taken to create transparency in speaker fees and to provide generous honorariums to all speakers irrespective of other factors. This aligned with AzABA’s commitment to treating all speakers equitably and captured the spirit of promoting diversity and inclusion. Events were led by one of five special interest groups (Feeding, ACT/RFT, Expanding the Scope, Coordination of Care, and ABA in Schools) or its five committees (Ethics, Program, Marketing & Outreach, EDI, and Public Policy and Programs).

AzABA also had a strategic priority in 2022 to engage and empower students, Behavior Analysis Trainees, and Registered Behavior Technicians. The organization initiated its first year of providing a stipend and mentoring opportunity for four interns. The interns were provided with the opportunity to participate in every facet of the Association’s general business. The culmination of the internship was the integration of a new Special Interest Group supported by the Past President to generate additional programming for these important stakeholders.

Advance our ability to practice: AzABA will fight for the integrity of behavior analysis in political and legal doings within our state.

Since its founding in 2011, the AzABA has been a national leader in promoting the ethical expansion of the behavior analytic scope. The Public Policy Committee engages in regular stakeholder meetings with representatives from government and state health plans to address barriers to care and preserve the ability to practice transdiagnostically.

In 2022, AzABA grew its participation and support of the Behavior Analysis Subcomittee under the Board of Psychologist Examiners. AzABA was invited to provide guidance on proposed rule revisions for the practice.

AzABA has been following public discontent with the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis. One of AzABA’s largest undertakings in 2022 was in response to requests from its membership to issue a public statement on Contingent Electric Skin Shock (CESS). AzABA participated in national discussions on this topic with other affiliates and ultimately released a statement after collecting and analyzing data from various local stakeholders and members. The Association endeavored to model compassionate, thoughtful, and databased
leadership through the process.

Purposeful Governance:

AzABA commits to process-driven, data-supported decision making and careful financial planning. The organization maintained a strong financial position, due largely to stable membership, high conference attendance, and sponsorships. With the recent expansion of board seats, internships, committees, and SIGs, AzABA looked to transition from being a primarily volunteer-run organization to one with paid employees. The Association did have a part time staff in 2022, and the staff member’s hours increased significantly to account for demands in SIG and committee work. One of the strategic priorities for 2022 was to consider the point at which an Executive Director was viable. This will continue to be a consideration in 2023. As is the case with any expanding volunteer-run organization, governance is critical. 2022 saw the development of a number of policies and procedures to crystalize core functions and processes of the organization. 2022 also saw the creation of an Executive Committee to support the efficiency of board meetings. Perhaps the greatest achievement of 2021–22 was the development of a comprehensive Group Leader Handbook that supports adherence to processes and guidelines essential to leaders of SIGs and committees. ted in the first board retreat whereby an expert facilitator was paid. The facilitator was contracted to support the development of a strategic plan and also to deliver a comprehensive training on best practices in Board Governance. Special attention was paid to the unique features of a nonprofit professional organization.

     AzABA works to create a place where the behavior analytic community can come together to connect with each other, other professionals and/or community stakeholders. AzABA values the inclusion of its entire membership and the recognition of every voice. AzABA continued to connect inside and outside of Arizona. Inside of the state the organization supported Arizona’s Interprofessional Behavioral Health Collaborative which includes all other medical and allied health professional associations in the state to promote interprofessional collaboration. AzABA continued its meaningful collaboration and reciprocity efforts with the Black Association for Behavior Analysis (BABA) and Latino Association for Behavior Analysis (LABA). In collaboration with other ABAI affiliates, AzABA continued the previous year’s commitment to host culturally responsive events. The organization is grateful for its connection to BABA and was very proud that BABA supported 34 student and RBT scholarships to AzABA’s Annual Conference! AzABA’s Annual Conference on October 28th and 29th had a total attendance of 480 participants. Of our inperson attendees 171 were AzABA BCBA Members, 71 were AzABA Affiliate Members, 39 were nonmembers. For our virtual offerings, 50 were BCBA Members, 16 were AzABA Affiliate Members, and 18 were non-members.

Integrity of Action:

     We evaluate all AzABA work through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion and ensure our actions represent our values in every objective. Integrity in Action is a new value that the AzABA Board of Directors voted to adopt in an effort to perpetuate the organization’s legacy with respect to DEI. The Board found it necessary to add this lens to all mission- focused actions. In 2022 this value was expressed through an ongoing DEI assessment conducted by the Board of Directors, the addition of this value, a guiding statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as well as, the adoption of a policy on discrimination and harassment. Three subcommittees were formed in 2022 to advance activities in support of this value under the leadership of the EDI Committee. They include: Equal Access to Services, Informing & Impacting Legislation & Policy, Training & Education.2022 was certainly a very active year for AzABA. The Board of Directors, staff, members, and volunteers expect a similarly busy and values driven 2023. The Missouri Association for Behavior Analysis (MOABA) is an organization founded to support and promote scientific research on basic principles of behavior and the effective and ethical application of those principles across the great state of Missouri.

     This year we welcomed Dr. Jordan Belisle (president-elect), John Guercio (Member at Large), Madison Imler (Student Representative), and Sadiqa Reza (Member at Large). Returning board members included Miin-An Hošić (secretary), Andresa DeSouza (treasurer), Madeline Burke (president), and Ali Cooper (past president). We thank Alan Lowe (former student representative), Megan Boyle (former Member at Large), and Dr. Jennifer Weyman (former past president) for their commitment to MOABA and the practice of behavior analysis in Missouri.    

Last year we held our annual MOABA conference in St. Louis, Missouri in November 2022. To ensure the safety of our members, we provided the opportunity to attend in-person or virtually. We offered six presentations and four workshops. Our invited presenters included Scott Herbst, Abigail Kennedy, Kirk Kirby, Julie Kornack, Bryan Middleton, Leslie Neely, Maegan Pisman, Chardae Rigdon, Becca Tagg, and Noor Syed. We selected presentations to highlight the importance of culture and diversity in behavior analysis such as, “Cultural Adaptations in the Application of Applied Behavior analysis: Lessons Learned” by Leslie Neely and “Biases and Self-Reflection: Shaping Cultural Contingencies” by Noor Syed. In 2022, MOABA also held a summer workshop entitled, “Getting Shift Done: Our Journey to Happy, Relaxed, and Engaged” by Erik Jacobson, Mara Vanderzell, Jon Horn, Brianna Elsasser, and
Kelly Gallagher.

     During the annual conference, the MOABA board continued to offer a student poster contest. This allowed students to receive feedback on posters from our notable presenters and two students were selected to receive free admission to the annual 2023 conference. MOABA will continue to provide opportunities to support student research in the future. 

     MOABA continues to be committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The board of directors will continue to include presentations related to culture and diversity during future workshops and conferences.

              We are thankful for our members and their dedication to using behavior analysis to improve the lives of others. In the future, we will continue to support behavior analysts across Missouri.

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