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Ch-Ch-Changes … As I type that word, I imagine David Bowie singing. A lot that happens behind the scenes of an organization doesn’t get seen. For the most part, it’s good to keep that curtain up. Every now and then, we need to pull open the blinds.

Over the next few months, as an organization, OCC/RWA will vote on some new proposed bylaw changes by the national organization of RWA. Some of these changes should be fairly painless; others may take some getting used to. We’ll need to restructure a bit. As of July, we officially open up the call for nominations for the 2014 Executive Board. Currently, we have 12 positions on the board, with two Co-Director positions: Programs and Ways & Means.

As of the 2015 board – one year in the future, if we adopt the proposed bylaw changes, the board will have a maximum of five members. The rest of the organization (i.e. work) will need to be done by volunteer committees.

The proposed changes will be discussed at the Chapter Leadership seminar at RWA Nationals, which I will attend along with our Vice President Maria Stefanopoulos. Following are the relevant sections from the Proposed RWA National Bylaws (subject to change):

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Section 5.1.    Officers.  The Officers of this corporation shall be the President, [President-Elect orVice-President or Vice President-Programs, Vice President-Communications,] Treasurer, and Secretary, and shall be elected according to the provisions set forth in these Bylaws.

Section 5.2.    President.  The President shall serve as spokesperson for the chapter; call, propose the agenda for, and preside over all meetings of the Board of Directors (except that meetings may also be called by a majority of the Directors as described in Article 9) and the membership; appoint, with the approval of the Board of Directors, chairpersons of and liaisons to all committees; serve as a nonvoting ex-officio member of all committees; execute chapter business as specified by the Board; appoint, with Board approval, qualified members to fill any officer or director vacancies; and fulfill any other obligations designated by the Board of Directors.

Section 5.3.    [President-Elect or Vice-President.] The [President-Elect or Vice-President] shall assist the President in the performance of the President’s duties; serve as a nonvoting ex-officio member of all committees; assume the duties of the President in the event that the President is incapacitated or otherwise unable to perform; preside over all meetings of the Board of Directors and the membership in the absence of the President; and fulfill any other obligations designated by the Board of Directors. 

[or alternative: Section 5.3.            Vice President-Programs.  The Vice President-Programs shall assume the duties of the President and preside over all meetings of the Board and members in the absence of the President; be responsible for planning and overseeing all program-related activities undertaken by the chapter, including those at regular meetings, workshops, and conferences; and fulfill any other obligations designated by the Board.

Section 5.4.    Vice President-Communications.  The Vice President-Communications shall be responsible for planning and overseeing all official chapter communications tools, including the chapter newsletter, website, and public relations; and fulfill any other obligations designated by the Board.

Section 5.4. [if two VPs: 5.5.]   Secretary. The Secretary shall be responsible for membership applications and an up-to-date list of chapter members; record attendance; record the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and the membership; keep chapter records, including copies of newsletters, RWA communications, chapter business correspondence, committee reports, and all other official documents; mail notices; and fulfill any other obligations designated by the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall comply with the Chapter Record Retention Schedule.

Section 5.5. [if two VPs: 5.6.]   Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting dues; notify the Board of delinquent members; supervise the collection and disbursement of chapter funds; keep the financial records of the chapter in good order; work with the Secretary in maintaining the list of chapter members; provide an accurate and up-to-date financial statement to the Board at least every six months; present the annual audited report to the members and, if required, to RWA; and fulfill any other obligations designated by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall comply with the Chapter Record Retention Schedule.

Section 7.2.    Qualifications. In order to be eligible for a Board position (whether elected or appointed), a candidate must: (1) have been a General member of the chapter for a minimum of two consecutive years immediately preceding filing for office; (2) not have a material conflict of interest that would disqualify the person from holding the intended office, such as concurrently serving on the RWA Board or another chapter Board; (3) not have been found guilty of a Code of Ethics violation. Candidates for specific positions must also have the following qualifications:

7.2.1.   President.  Candidates for President must: (1) have been a General member for a minimum of three consecutive years immediately preceding filing for office; and (2) must have completed one full year of Board service.

7.2.2.   Treasurer.  Candidates for Treasurer must possess strong business and financial skills.

Section 7.3.    Term Lengths and Limitations. An individual may hold only one position on the Board at any time. No candidate may run for more than one position at a time. Directors may run for office while serving on the Board.  Terms shall commence on the first day of the fiscal year. An individual may serve no more than two full terms in any such office. Nothing shall prohibit an individual from seeking a different office following two full terms in office, except no individual may serve more than two consecutive years as President.

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Why do we care now? Well, as you can see, there are certain qualifications required in order to serve on the board, and to serve in the office of President. Each position also has a maximum term limit of two years. So if you are one of those people who are thinking, “next year” you might want to become more involved. This is your time to do it.

Like always, if you have any questions … please bring them. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll certainly try to find it.
 — Louisa Bacio
2013 OCC/RWA Chapter President

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A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

2 Comments

  • Anonymous
    on July 3, 2013

    I had a feeling I *might* hear from you Ms. Lara president! 😉 Yes, challenges, but I don't think they will be too much!

  • Anonymous
    on July 3, 2013

    Excellent summary, Louisa. Yeah, we're looking at changes in the 2015 board. Can you say, challenges?

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