The AAMFT Board of Directors voted to end the existing charter relationship with HAMFT, Inc., which has been known as the Hawaii Division of AAMFT, effective May 31, 2011. This action was taken after several months and many interactions with the President of the HAMFT, who through this period has spoken on behalf of, and presumably with the authority of the HAMFT Board of Directors.
After extensive deliberations, the AAMFT Board reached the conclusion that the leadership of HAMFT had continued to act in ways that were in clear violation of the charter agreement between AAMFT and HAMFT. The actions of the HAMFT constituted not simple disagreement with a policy or action of AAMFT. Rather, the HAMFT continued to publish material that misrepresented AAMFT’s positions and actions, contained unproven allegations, and was defamatory. The continued actions of the HAMFT constitute what in a legal framework could be defined as “acts detrimental to the Association.”
Many AAMFT members in Hawaii have raised serious concerns about the actions of HAMFT leadership throughout this period. They have raised questions as to whether the actions of the spokesperson for the division are consistent with the duty of loyalty that all directors of non-profit organizations hold.
This question is particularly pertinent given that elected leaders of HAMFT have not only acted in a manner that brought about the end of the chartered relationship with AAMFT, but are also now openly discussing how to move the HAMFT into an official relationship with another organization. This public statement of intent by the HAMFT President is not in keeping with the purpose of the HAMFT as established by its bylaws, or its specific reason for existing—to be an affiliate of the AAMFT.
Because AAMFT members in Hawaii are expressing a desire to have a chartered affiliate of the AAMFT there, a total of four AAMFT leaders and staff will be working with the members on site in Hawaii in early June to examine all possibilities for ensuring that members are served by a chartered division in the state. AAMFT is committed to working with members in Hawaii in advocacy for the profession in Hawaii without interruption or diminishment, and to meeting members’ needs there with a dynamic and collaborative division of the Association.