Article I: Election of Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Independent Achievers (IA) shall consist of:
Publicity/Social Media Coordinator
Executive Members would be expected to attend monthly Executive Meetings if possible, as directed by the Chairperson (or provide a report if not available).
Election of the Chair
The Vice-Chair shall be a candidate for the position of Chair. This person, along with any others who may be nominated from the floor, shall constitute the list of candidates for the Chair. Individuals nominated from the floor must have been members of Independent Achievers for one full year.
Method of Elections: Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Independent Achievers (IA) shall be elected using the following format:
During the May meeting all nominees previously disclosed to the Chair will be openly disclosed to the IA group. The floor will be opened to nominees who are interested in any board positions via the statement: “Are there any (more) nominees for (each position individually stated)”. This formal request shall be clearly stated to all present during the IA meeting. All nominees for each position are to be recorded by the administrator. In the case where there are two or more interested parties in any one position, a discreet paper vote will be taken, with one board member organizing and storing the votes in sealed envelopes marked with the position name. Two board members need to be present during tallying of votes, which will be done after the May meeting, and announced at the following June meeting. Between the May and June meeting all nominees may either withdraw or change their nominations to a different position as deemed necessary and appropriate between the nominees and the current board (in order to obtain a smooth transition and to fill as many positions as possible). All board members previously holding a position will be asked to bring all items used within the position and officially offer them to the person stepping into the position during the June meeting. The chair will announce only the people who won each board position at the June meeting, the previous board member will officially hand the new person all items used in the position, and they will take effect immediately following the June meeting.
Term in Office
The Chair may serve for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years in that office.
Removal or Disqualification from the Board
IA may, by resolution passed by a simple majority vote of members present at a special meeting held for that purpose upon proper notice, remove any member of the Board of Directors before expiration of her term of office and appoint another person in her place to hold office until the next elections if that Board member:
1. becomes of unsound mind or mentally incompetent, or dies;
2. is convicted of an indictable offence;
3. resigns her office by written notice, served upon IA members;
4. is absent from Board of Directors meetings for three months without leave.
The newly elected and appointed Board of Directors members shall be installed into their respective offices at the June meeting and shall assume the duties thereof immediately following the June meeting.
Article 2: Duties of the Board of Directors and Committee
The Chairperson will:
Act as the main contact for the IA Group;
Oversee the Executive Board;
Schedule and preside over Executive Meetings;
Preside over, or delegate someone to preside over, IA Luncheons and Events;
Ensure all Executive Board Positions are filled, and that duties are fulfilled;
Ensure that the Website is updated, whether herself or as a delegated task; and
Ensure that Bylaws are upheld, and updated as necessary in accordance with the Bylaws;
The Vice Chairperson will:
Complete all duties of the Chairperson, should she be unable to for any reason;
Assist the Chairperson with all of her duties as requested; and
Prepare to replace the Chairperson when she decides to retire from the position.
The Administrator will:
Record minutes at Executive Meetings;
Send copies of the minutes to all board members (whether present or not at the meeting) within one week;
Bring several copies of the previous minutes to each meeting to be read and accepted during the meeting;
Retain a binder of all Executive Meeting minutes;
Retain a box of all Historical documents to be shown or displayed as requested; and
Perform any other administrative task for the Chairperson as requested.
The Treasurer will:
Be responsible for controlling and recording the flow of money to and from the IA Bank Account, members, guests, and any other transactions as deemed necessary by the Chairperson, and securing documents from the past 6 years.
The duties would include the following:
Write cheques to pay legitimate IA expenses (as determined by the executive); Create a monthly report for the executive; approved at the executive meeting;
Accept payment & secure money (lunch payments, 50/50, $100 float, etc.);
Write receipts for money received (luncheons, memberships, etc.);
Deposit money into Servus Account promptly after the luncheon;
Transfer money from Pay Pal once per month if there is any to be transferred;
Record expenses and income on some form of computer spreadsheet that is
“Layperson-friendly” to be presented to the executive in June, and passed on to the next Treasurer;
Retain a binder containing all paper copies of financial information (ie. Servus
Statements, bills, monthly reports, etc.);
Retain a tote bag containing: Treasurer’s binder, receipt book, cheque book,
and deposit book;
Purge the old financial records (shred and/or burn them) from prior to 6 years
Before being allowed access to the bank account or any of the Treasurer’s items, the new Treasurer must sign on with Servus. This process is done by appointment, and requires a current signatory to be present during the meeting with Servus. Allow at least an hour for this process, and bring picture identification.
The Newsletter Coordinator will:
Gather information for the monthly newsletters;
Prepare the newsletters; and
E-mail the finished copy to the Chairperson for distribution prior to the end of each month so that there is a newsletter prepared for September through June.
The Speaker/Event Coordinator will:
Find & book speakers of interest to business women for luncheons/events;
Ensure that the speaker understands how much time will be allocated;
Ensure that the speaker is presenting on an appropriate topic for the group;
Set up appropriate networking activities for luncheons/events; and
Plan luncheons/events two months in advance, with September booked by June.
Tasks that could be included in Speaker/Event Coordinator Position if desired:
Find an appropriate venue for the luncheon/event;
Request particular seating or table arrangements to suit the activity;
Pre-order the food for the group (including special diets for some people);
(These tasks could be done by another executive member)
The Publicity/Social Media Coordinator will:
Maintain a file of all contacts for community advertising;
Submit an appropriate advertisement for IA events to free listings two weeks prior to any luncheon/event, and paid advertisements as approved by the executive;
Update weekly the various forms of social media the group has created, including Face Book, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Remuneration of Officers
No remuneration shall be paid to officers other than reimbursement of expenses incurred in the conduct of IA businesses.
The Board members agree not to divulge, publish, or otherwise make known to any unauthorized persons or to the public, any information collected about IA members except for that information which is contained on the member’s business card. Yearly on its membership form, IA will obtain consent from its members to disclose the personal information given throughout the year as needed for IA to perform various networking and club functions.
Article 3: Luncheon Meetings
Meetings are usually held on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The meetings begin at 11:30 am and end at 1:30 pm with networking available afterwards for those who wish to stay.
Meeting fees cover the cost of food and are paid by members and guests at each luncheon at a price predetermined by the Board.
Members are required to confirm attendance for themselves and their guests by registering on the website before the meeting date.
Promotional Materials will include all member handouts and/or promotional items. Members may place these on the designated promotional table provided at each meeting and NOT on each meeting table. Members are requested to pick up any excess literature/items at the end of the meeting or they will be disposed of.
All members are encouraged to bring guests. Guests may only attend twice before making a membership commitment. After that, they will be required to join IA and pay the membership fee. Members are reminded to advise their guests accordingly.
IA members who have invited guests to the Luncheon meetings will be given the opportunity of doing a 20 second introduction of themselves and their guest(s). Any other introductions of IA members will be at the discretion of the Board.
Members in good standing are allowed to showcase their business for three minutes. Requirements for this are to bring a door prize and notify Spotlight Committee that they would like to be in the spotlight. Members giving a spotlight that goes beyond their three minutes will be given a “time’s up”.
Tickets are sold at the beginning of the meeting. Prices are predetermined by the Board of Directors. One-half (1/2) of the proceeds will go to the winner of the 50/50 draw and the other one-half (1/2) will go to charity chosen by the Board of Directors each year.
Special Events occur from time to time and are planned by the Board of Directors or a selected subcommittee.
Members are encouraged to submit any articles that would be of interest to the group. Please contact the Newsletter Editor for further information. The Newsletter Editor will establish publication deadlines.
Article 4: Terms and Conditions Of Membership In Independent Achiever’s
Any woman directly engaged in trade, commerce or economic welfare of the community is eligible for membership in Independent Achiever’s. Memberships are offered on an individual basis. You may register one business in the directory per membership; however, an individual eligible for membership may purchase more than one membership to register further businesses.
To be considered a current member, dues must have been received by the membership coordinator. Membership fees are annual. Members joining mid-year pay a pro-rated fee.
See Schedule’ A’ – Membership Application- for current fees.
Membership fees are subject to change from time to time to meet ongoing financial demands of the group. These fee changes will be submitted to the general membership for approval. Potential fee changes will be announced and a simple majority vote of members in attendance shall be deemed acceptable for a fee change.
Purpose and Use Of Membership Directory
The membership directory is designated to be a vehicle for members to promote networking in every sense of the word. Through the directory, you will have access to women who can provide a wide array of information, advice, products and services. By utilizing the directory, you should be able to connect with other women for business or personal reasons.
Please remember that networking involves a willingness to share within the bounds of common courtesy.
In order to protect the privacy of the information contained in the directory, they will be distributed to MEMBERS ONLY. We cannot ensure against possible misuse of the information, but we can try to control it. If you receive calls or mail that cannot be traced directly to a member, or that you consider inappropriate, please let us know. Remember your name is in here too, so please ensure your directory always stays with you.
Should you wish to correct or update the information in the directory, please advise the membership coordinator as all additions and changes are published regularly in the newsletter. If you move, change jobs, earn a promotion, or find a new interest, please let us know.
Termination of Membership
A member who fails to pay annual dues automatically ceases to be a member and will be removed from the register.
Members may resign from Independent Achiever’s at any time. Membership fees are nonrefundable.
Membership is subject to review of the Board. Independent Achievers reserves the discretionary right to cancel or refuse the membership of a member if the conduct of such member, in the Board’s opinion has legal or ethical implications detrimental to Independent Achiever’s. In the event that the board contemplates such action a letter of intent will be provided to the member in question. This letter will provide the specific concerns of the IA Board, set a time and date for a meeting to discuss these concerns.
Procedures for this process will follow the principles outlined in the Complaints Management Procedures (Articles 6 and 7 herein), with the additional option that the board may refuse a membership application.
A member who has knowledge that another member has committed a violation of the Code, set out in Article 5 herein, which raises substantial questions as to the member’s honesty, or trustworthiness, shall promptly inform the Board.
Article 5: Code of Ethics for Members
Independent Achievers’ primary goal is to provide an opportunity for women of all walks of life to network for personal and professional growth. Our mission is to provide education and support to our members. To facilitate these goals we have adopted the following principles that guide the actions and activities of our group.
1. Respect for the law
2. Respect for others
4. Integrity and Professionalism
Respect for the Law
In all professional activities members shall perform services in accordance with: applicable laws, rules, and regulations of governmental agencies and other applicable authorities.
Respect for Others
All members are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect both during group functions and in public. Respect is treating others in the same fashion that you would want to be treated and is an essential trait of any professional.
Fairness All members shall perform professional services in a manner that is fair and reasonable to clients, principals, partners, and employers and shall disclose conflict(s) of interest in providing such services. Fairness requires impartiality, intellectual honesty, and disclosure of conflict(s) of interest.
Integrity and Professionalism
A member’s conduct in all matters shall reflect credit upon the networking group. A member shall behave in a manner that maintains the good reputation of the network.
All members expect to develop networking relationships based on trust with fellow members. To this end all members are expected to accurately represent their qualifications and experience in both oral and written communications to fellow IA members.
Article 6: Complaints Management Procedure (Members)
Whereas Independent Achievers wishes to have its members conduct the promotion of business enterprises using high standards of conduct; and
Whereas the Complaints Management Committee is formed to assist in promoting high standards of conduct; and
Whereas the Complaints Management Committee is not a disciplinary committee;
It is accepted that the following process will be used in managing complaints against IA members:
1. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Chair of IA will send a copy of the complaint to the Vice-Chair. Should any other Board member receive a written complaint, the Board member will duly forward the complaint to the Vice-Chair.
2. The Vice-Chair will forward a copy of the written complaint to the Complaints Management Committee, to be made up of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Past-Chair.
3. The Vice-Chair will mail a letter to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the written complaint.
4. The Vice-Chair will sign all correspondence on behalf of the Board ofIA.
5. A letter will be sent to the member involved advising of receipt of a written complaint. A copy of the written complaint will accompany the letter. A response, to be returned within 10 working days, will be requested from the member involved.
6. A date for a meeting of the Complaints Management Committee will be chosen. Failure on the part of the member to respond in the time allotted will not alter the meeting date.
7. At the meeting, the Complaints Management Committee will recommend one of 4 action paths:
a. The complainant will be referred to a regulatory body of the IA member or the head office of the IA member, if applicable; or
b. The committee will offer 2 hours of mediation to the member and the complainant;
c. The committee chooses to take no action as the issue is not one that involves IA;
d. The committee chooses to cancel or refuse an IA membership as per the terms outlined under the bylaw entitled Termination of Membership.
8. The Vice-Chair, on behalf of the Board, will communicate the results of the meeting to the member and the complainant.
Article 7: Complaints Management Procedure (Issues)
It is accepted that the following process will be used in managing all complaints by IA members (other than complaints against other IA members):
1. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Chair of IA will send a copy of the complaint to all members of the Board of IA. Should any other Board member receive a written complaint, the Board member will duly forward the complaint to the Chair for distribution to the other Board members as provided for herein.
2. The Chair will sign all correspondence on behalf of the Board of IA.
3. The complaint will be reviewed as an Agenda item at the first regular IA Board meeting following the receipt of the written complaint. The Chair will advise the complainant of when and where the IA Board meeting is being held and if the complainant wishes, the complainant may attend at the Board meeting to discuss the complaint.
4. The Board, at is sole option, may ask the general membership for comments regarding the complaint (also to be submitted in writing).
5. The Board, in camera, will make a decision regarding the complaint at a Board meeting.
6. The Chair will send a letter to the complainant advising of the decision ofthe Board.
7. If the decision affects other IA members the Board, at its sole option, may chose to announce the decision of the Board to the IA membership generally.
Article 8: Changes to the IA Bylaws
Any member may request in writing for a Bylaw to be added, changed or deleted. The written request must be submitted to the Chairperson prior to the next Executive Meeting, and will be discussed by the Executive Members at that time. If the Executive Members decide that the change is valid and reasonable then the proposed change will be written out as it will officially read, and sent via e-mail to the General Members for perusal prior to the next General Meeting. At that General Meeting members will vote to accept, reject, or modify the proposal. The Chairperson will then be responsible for ensuring that any Bylaw changes that are approved by more than 50% of the Membership are included in the Official IA Bylaws on the Website.
Bylaws have been accepted by IA Membership March 2016.