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June 25, 2022

INTRO: The meeting was brought to order by Tim Campbell, CE member and Campaign Manager. Present: Afua Forson, Rich Mohrmann, Tina Iler, Richard Coleman, Dan Campbell, Ula Szyszka, and Ruth Campbell. Absent: George Ramos, Lynne Rachlin. Description of progress in the areas below follows:
CAMPAIGNS: The ASWB has approved 16 of our courses for another two years and is letting us offer more credits for most of these courses. Because of that approval, we can offer courses nationwide (and in Canada) to social workers. Delays in campaigns are because of the structural changes needed for the website to become more user-friendly, and everyone agrees it’s most useful to get it right the first time. Research on Ethics and SBIRT will be continuing for 2 years. Money-making campaign will be started by the end of July.
Research: Study on Facilitation of Latino substance use treatment study with CASAC subjects – with 470 participants is COMPLETED. Social Workers’ use of Screening and Brief Interventions as it relates to the opioid epidemic ¼ complete with about 80 participants. Ethics study – how do social workers make ethical decisions ¼ complete with about 80 participants.
Money-making: Goal for 2022  is to use email campaigns to market educational materials (16 ASWB approved courses) to mental health professionals, then use revenue from the sale of those courses to facilitate BPTI’s future goals. We had expected to accomplish this goal by the end of April; We will possibly have the campaign begun by the end of July.
MARKETING UPDATE: Ula demonstrated how Zoho allowed us to keep track of how many emails were sent out and how many bounces there were. She emphasized that Zoho eliminated the re-sending of emails to addresses which didn’t respond or were bad. This has kept us out of the black-listed category. Ula also showed what the process of getting the courses from the website now looks like. This process has yet to be finalized.
NEW DIRECTIONS: We have the capability of extending courses to social workers nationwide, and in Canada. In New York, we have the capability of offering courses to social workers, LMHCs, and CASACs. Afua spoke about  the decision process for beginning to offer courses for Marriage and Family Therapists. Afua said that the National organization cannot offer MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) coursework, it would have to be an application state-by-state.
To Rich for Back-end work: Enabling the changes in the website to be actualized; Coming up with a system that allows the webinar courses to become more available (tiles); Allowing Zoho to be updated from the database; Working on the links which will allow people to choose courses from the website; Better communication in the future will be enabled with the use of Jira.
To Ula for Front-end work: Putting together the email campaigns; Collecting data on the response rates to the campaigns; Preparing the website; Providing guidance about decisions about the best time to send the email campaigns; How the emails should be structured to increase the likelihood of participation; How to deal with problems related to the platform we’re using (Zoho).

  1. Tina – Have a place for people to give feedback – Ula suggested that the feedback process could be automated with Zapier, they can get an email asking them about their experience. Ruth explained  that there is a place to give feedback in every posttest.
  2. Tina agreed to supervise the new U.S. research assistant, Charles, to gather feedback from the posttests.
  3. Afua – For people in the medical field, they need to be able to take the courses quickly. It needs to be fast, and word of mouth is important
  4. Tina – Bunching courses for a sale might be a good idea.
  5. Dan – For feedback, maybe keep things as simple as possible?
  6. Ruth – can a user pause the webinar course? Or the AV course? Rich said he would need to research that. Dan suggests that they can be mentally bookmarked simply if the user notes what slide they were on or what minute of the webinar course they were on. Dan believes that a bar on the bottom or top of the webinar course or AV course to allow the user to pause the presentation would be difficult to implement, and our time and money would be better spent on other things.

The meeting was adjourned by Tim Campbell.

February 12, 2022

Summary: The meeting was brought to order by Afua Forson, President. Rich Mohrmann, Tina Iler, Richard Coleman, Ruth Campbell, Dan Campbell, Tim Campbell, and Ula Szyszka were present. The progress in the areas below follows:
Tech Report: Rich outlined progress in making the webinars more prominent on the main page, making the sessions more stable so people didn’t get dropped, creating and API handshake with Survey Monkey so the link to each survey is maintained, creating a data interface for the marketing campaign, adding to the inventory of certificate templates and creating a manual interface. Upcoming plans are to expand the system to allow for multiple roles, and enhancing security protocols with stronger passwords.
Data and Marketing: With Zoho as the Client Relationship Manager (CRM), and Zoho Campaigns, BPTI will be able to track the effectiveness of the emails in producing a set of new contacts. Ula has cleaned the data from the mailing list, and designed the tiles on the training site. She believes that the website can be improved more before she can begin to design Google ads. She notes that the next move will be to create the content of the ads for the webinars, and the ad for the Latino study.
Campaigns: Tim was introduced as the campaign manager. He will be managing 2 research campaigns and 1 money-maker. He will help design the ad for the money-making (getting the webinars out there) campaign.
Moving forward with connections to other CE resources: Tina suggested a few other states as ones which might be resources for participants who need CEs. Another question is, now that we have more mailing capability, do we hire more speakers to provide webinars? Do we apply to become MFT providers? Do we apply to become nursing providers? Do we apply to become accepted as ASWB CE providers as an organization?
Meeting ended.

April 13

In our April 13  meeting we discussed: progress toward three research campaigns, progress toward understanding how “soft bounce” emails should be handled, progress toward changing the website to be more “user-friendly”. 

Minutes for BPTI meeting 2022-0421

         1.Discussion of Zoho campaigns. 

  1. Ula discussed the feedback from the campaign that was just sent out for the SBIRT and Ethics research. There was a good open number(30%). Ula is concerned that the open percentage is satisfactory, but the click to open ratio is lower. She proposed some ways to increase that, including sending it a different times during a day. She will probably try that with the money-making campaign. 
  2. The webinar pages have been largely completed by Ula. She will retain the old pages, but not include them in the menu. Ruth and Tim agreed to look over the webinar pages and make corrections if necessary. Ula sent out a list of suggestions on Thursday that offered guidance to correct problems with the webinar pages. 

2.  Ula demonstrated how to delete names from Zoho. 

Notes: the “drip” method is not free, but would cost $345 for a year to enable us to send out 250 emails a day. This is possibly an alternative to doing campaigns in the way we have been doing them. 

The next meeting is planned for noon New York time on Thursday 4/28.

‘Webinars’ needs to be changed everywhere in the websites. Changed to ‘courses’

Ruth will ask the ASWB whether it is okay with (1) having a blanket term ‘courses’ for all materials, and (2) is it okay to change ‘ethics for the counselling professions webinar’ to ‘ethics for the counselling professions seminar’

Things that don’t need to wait:

Descriptions of the AV courses can be made similar to the descriptions of what we now call ‘webinars’.

Next meeting: Tuesday, June 7. 


Ula added an ‘account dashboard’ homepage for users with accounts. 

Is it possible to have navigation buttons on all pages on the website? Rich says Yes. 

Logout button (needs script?)

‘All courses’ button ? (page doesn’t yet exist)

Rich will plug in homepage to the training site. 

Adjust training site for the new home page. 

Two types of links: redirecting links redirect people from website to a specific course page on the training site 

Links from welcome new user script (when they finish logging in) to a specific course page on the training site. 

Links that we send out will direct people to the account page. (course = ‘redirecting links’ (one where you pay one where you don’t). 

separately, there is an invite 

Having the money making campaign sent in September (and invitation to the live webinars) can happen at the same time. (in the same week). 

Application for NYSED for licensed marriage and counseling therapy. 

Rich: I need to do a lot of testing as I can. Charles (an assistant) also Dominica (Ula’s assistant). 

Minutes for BPTI meeting.2022-10-26

  1. October and November plans for Marketing?
    1. A/V course management
      1. 3 choices for the “Green Button” dropdown menu include “start course” (operational), “resume course” (operational) and “start over” Rich will follow, and install an “Are you sure?” comment before dumping all the records of the progress in the course. The progress bar will be removed. 
      2. Do we have descriptions for all A/V courses? Yes, and Ula will send them to Ruth. Ruth will modify them and upload them. 
    2. If Rich is on target for completion by mid-Nov,, that means no more advertising until November? Testing will be important, after the modifications are complete. Ula is suggesting that no advertising be done until late Nov, maybe early Dec. because of the testing needed. 
  2. Website been searched for inappropriate email addresses? It’s on the list of todos for Dominika
  3. SEO news
    1. Ula has done a lot of testing to see if Google Ads might be an appropriate way to go. After her search, she is conveying:
      1. At our current rate of ~$40/webinar, we are competitive, but we’d be making only about $5 per webinar with Google ads. She thinks that is too low a profit margin. 
      2. She is suggesting that packages are the way that many are handling the fact that the response rate determines much of the profit. So, if we packaged things, it might be better, b/c we’d be making more money per response. Ruth said she would come up with a few packages that might be attractive. 
      3. Other ways of increasing the effectiveness of the campaign strategy are keywords for SEO searches and Facebook. She would like 10 ideas for keywords that she could plug into the website to enhance  Google and the SEO searches. 
      4. subscriptions are another thing that is being used by various companies that do continuing education
      5. Ula is suggesting that a newsletter or blog would be something that would generate brand awareness. Practical or inspirational blogs could be written. Ruth suggested that Charles Woodard might be able to do that for us.  
  1. HOme page has free adverts which – some are working, some aren’t. Rich said he would fix if a JIRA ticket is made. Ruth said she’d make the JIRA ticket.
    1. the SW access to SBIRT requires payment
    2. the CASAC access to cBT IS working, doesn’t require payment. 
    3. the CBT and Ethics for out of state SWs doesn’t work
  2. The registration for CASACs with ends up in an error, reads “REDIRECT COURSE [] NOT FOUND” Rich said he would fix with a JIRA ticket, and Ruth said she’d make one. 

2023 addendum

Ula requested a raise at the beginning of the year. The board decision, handed down on Jan 30 follows:

Approved proposal concerning salary raise of Ula Szyszka

Connections Counseling will cover a $5/hr (=$30/hr total) increase in salary until the marketing can pay for the $10/hr increase that Ms Szyszka is requesting. 

When the marketing first reaches $100/month revenue, Ula’s salary will go up to $35/ hour, and then the entire salary increase of $100/mo will be paid for by the marketing of the courses. 

In order to help increase the amount coming into Best Practice Trainers, Inc, account this proposal approves an increase in the BPTI course charge to $19/CE 

Thank you for your hard work, Ula. It is valued by all of us. 

Feb 1, 2023

Ula officially resigned.

Feb 6, 2023

Afua officially resigned on Feb 6, with this note:

As BPTI continues to face inevitable challenges, I have come to the conclusion that my professional work and personal commitments prevent me from allotting the necessary time and investment to fulfill the obligations of my current position. I am therefore resigning as president of BPTI. 

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of BPTI. BPTI has a burgeoning vision that has promise and continues to be an asset to the mental health community in New York and beyond.

Thank you for this opportunity and for all the work we have accomplished together. I wish you the best in all your future endeavors. 



Friday, February 17, 2023

The remaining members of the Board unanimously voted to dissolve BPTI.

To the Board – the record will show that the Board unanimously voted to dissolve BPTI with this statement: BPTI will transfer rights and responsibilities for courses (including survey research questions in pretests) created by Ruth Campbell, Richard Coleman and Timothy Campbell to Connections Counseling Psychotherapy LCSW, PLLC. All other rights and responsibilities of the non-profit will be included in the dissolution as voted on by the Board members. Individual course creators for BPTI have rights to keep their courses and use them as they wish. Copies of the course materials will be returned to creators as requested. The non-profit Best Practice Trainers, Inc. will be dissolved as per the rules of New York State concerning the dissolution of the non-profit status.