Executive Director Report for 2019

As we move into a new year, I want to share the Executive Director Report for 2019 with all of you, along with some appreciations.

I see 2019 as my first year fully serving as Executive Director for MAMFT, as specific “Ends” were set for me to accomplish by the board, in addition to my ongoing responsibilities.  These goals were:

  1. Increase Membership by 25%
  2. Increase Annual Conference Attendance by 20%
  3. Implement and Oversee Systems for Leadership Development
  4. Develop and Implement a Digital Marketing Strategy
  5. Development of Web-Based Trainings
  6. Implement the Option to Join Board Meetings Digitally
  7. Facilitate the Development of a 5-year Strategic Business Plan


I am happy to report that all of these were accomplished.  Here’s a brief summary of the outcomes:

  1. Membership increased by 25% – from 998 in 2018 to 1247 in 2019.
  2. Annual Conference attendance went up 44% from 2018 to 2019 (goal exceeded by over 2x!)
  3. An onboarding process for new board members was put in place and the entire board received training in board best practices from Propel Nonprofits for the first time.
  4. MAMFT’s Facebook page went from 400 to 2260 followers over the course of the year. A brochure for the public (“Why See an MFT?”) was created which can be distributed digitally or in person (numerous copies were handed out at this year’s State Fair!). It was decided that we best wait on creating a formal digital marketing strategy until the 5-year strategic plan gets rolled out, however we applied and were accepted into the University of St. Thomas’s Small Business Institute program (exceptional marketing research and consulting for only $400!) for spring of 2020.
  5. MAMFT offered its first webinar in September after exploring various methods for providing trainings digitally. 150 members purchased the webinar in its first three months and it will be available until June of 2020. Four new webinars will be offered in 2020.
  6. MAMFT had two online-only board meetings this year (a first for us!) and had board members who were unable to attend in-person meetings participate online at times. We will be switching to having board meetings at a consistent and tech-friendly venue in 2020 in order to maximize this option.
  7. A seven-person diverse and talented Strategic Task Force was assembled. One-on-one board interviews and a member/non-member survey were conducted, out of which 5 themes emerged.  A five-year strategic plan was presented to the board for review and was adopted by the board at the December board meeting. The plan will be shared with the membership in January!

All of the above would not have been possible (especially given my position is 20 hours/week) without the support of the following people:

  • Our Members. MAMFT is fortunate to have many loyal members who see the big picture importance of having a local professional home for MFTs.  They consistently support the association whether or not the association is focused on/offering something that is of specific value to their career at the time.  By and large our members are appreciative and positive, which really helps in keeping our volunteer board and staff energized.  Thank you all for being members and part of our collective strength!
  • Our Volunteers. MAMFT relies heavily on and owes a lot of its success to its volunteers.  It can be easy to forget that the board, those checking you in at trainings, those hosting events, etc. are volunteers who are freely giving of their time and benefitting all of us with their attitude of service.  I am profoundly grateful and honored to work with all of you.
  • Our Administrative Assistant, Ashley Baird Urbanski, works tirelessly for the association. MAMFT does not have full-time staff but Ashley does her best to distribute her 10 hours a week to make it appear as though we do.  Being able to rely on Ashley to manage a wide range of ongoing crucial and tedious tasks has made my job so much easier and enjoyable this last year.
  • A Cohesive Executive Committee (EC) and Passionate Board Members. I’m grateful for degree to which our board officers (EC) embraced their roles and worked as a team this past year. In addition, all of our At-Large board members (who also serve as committee chairs) brought passion and an important perspective/voice to the table and navigated differences in a skillful and constructive way.  I appreciate all of you and I think it’s safe to say the membership does as well!
  • The Strategic Planning Task Force. A talented group of members stepped up to serve on the task force.  It was a pleasure and honor working with all of you!  I look forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with the membership very soon!


Lastly, I want to specifically thank Megan Oudekerk, as her time as President of the association comes to an end.  I am privy to seeing all the ways that Megan selflessly gives of her time for the betterment of the association, in a way that others are not largely because Megan does not do it for recognition or self-gain.  She embodies an attitude of service and has a work ethic that is hard to come by.  Megan has not only been serving as President, she has continued to serve as Training Chair and Annual Conference Co-Chair during her Presidency.  She stepped up to improve MAMFT’s Facebook presence and regularly posts quotes and articles that foster engagement. She also formed a Past-Presidents’ Council and has played an integral role in organizing independent division leaders from across the country into a cohesive group that meets regularly.  MAMFT has hugely benefitted from Megan’s generosity, forethought, hard work and collaborative nature.  Her steadfast leadership was crucial in MAMFT getting off to a strong start as an independent association and being seen as the gold standard among other independent associations.  Megan will not like that I drew any attention to the work she’s done but I think it’s important to do so anyway.


I am honored to be serving in the role of Executive Director for MAMFT and am proud of how far we’ve come and our plan for taking things to the next level.  I look forward to sharing the 5-year strategic plan that will guide the work we do and programs we develop, starting in January of 2020.  I hope you will continue to be a part of our collective body in 2020 and if possible, find a way to get involved beyond membership! Happy New Year!


Sara Bidler, MS, LMFT

MAMFT Executive Director