CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE MISSISSIPPI GOURD SOCIETY
(Last amended on September 20, 2014.)
ARTICLE I – Name
The Society shall be known as the Mississippi Gourd Society (MSGS), a chapter of the American Gourd Society, and shall be a Non-Profit organization.
ARTICLE II – Purpose
The purpose of the Society shall be to educate, promote, and encourage the culture, use, history, and/or craftsmanship of gourds.
ARTICLE III – Membership
Section 1. Individual or family memberships shall be open to all persons who are interested in the activities of the MSGS and pay membership dues.
a. Family membership shall include those members of a family living at one address.
b. Each person 18 years or older included in a family membership shall be entitled to vote and to hold office.
Section 2. Membership entitles all members to be able to vote, hold office, and participate in all Society activities.
Section 3. Membership year shall be October 1 through September 30 of the following year. Annual membership dues shall be due on October 1. Dues shall be the same amount for renewing members and new members, regardless of the month in which new member joins and pays dues–no proration of dues.
ARTICLE IV – Officers, Directors, and Executive Board
Section 1. The officers shall be: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Secretary. The offices of Secretary, Treasurer, and/or Membership Secretary may be combined when circumstances warrant. Additional officers will be selected as required by membership vote.
Section 2. Three (3) Directors shall be elected from the membership.
Section 3. The Officers and Directors shall constitute the Executive Board.
Section 4. In the event a vacancy should occur in any of the offices, except President, the Board of Directors shall appoint a member to fill the remaining term.
ARTICLE V – Meetings
Section 1. There will be at least one (1) business/membership meeting per year. Other meetings may be called by the Board of Directors. Any and all meetings will be open to all members and interested visitors.
Section 2. The Executive Board will meet as often as necessary to conduct the business of the Society.
Section 3. Eight (8) members shall constitute a quorum at a membership meeting.
ARTICLE VI – Amendments
The Constitution may be amended by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present at any membership meeting, provided the entire membership has been notified of the proposed amendment at least 30 days prior to the meeting.
ARTICLE I – Objectives
Section 1. The objectives of the Society are to promote the culture and crafting of gourds; to provide informational and educational services to its members; have all members involved in the promotion of gourds and gourd crafting; and to provide an annual show for the promotion of gourds, gourd crafting, the sharing of ideas, and general fellowship with other members.
ARTICLE II – Dues
Section 1. Membership dues per individual or family membership shall be assessed on an annual basis. The amount of dues shall be established by the Executive Board, subject to membership approval.
ARTICLE III – Terms of office
Section 1. Terms of office shall be two (2 years). All officers shall be eligible for re-election if they are willing to serve.
Section 2. The President, Secretary, Membership Secretary and two (2) Directors shall be elected in even years. The Vice-President, Treasurer and one (1) Director shall be elected in odd years.
Section 3. In the event of a vacancy in any of the offices, except President, the Executive Board shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term.
ARTICLE IV – Officer’s duties
Section 1. The President presides over all meetings of the Executive Board and the general membership. The President shall establish any committee deemed necessary and appoint chairs for such committee with the approval of the Executive Board. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees unless she/he appoints someone to assume the responsibility.
Section 2. The Vice-President shall assist the President and assume all duties of the Presidency in the absence of the President and shall continue to do so until his/her return, or until the next elected President takes office.
Section 3. The Secretary is the recording officer of the Society, historian, and the custodian of its records. The Secretary shall keep records of all Society activities and conduct necessary correspondence. As historian, the Secretary keeps a scrapbook of pictures, clippings, etc., that tell of activities and Society accomplishments.
Section 4. The Treasurer shall receive all monies belonging to the Society and keep accurate records of all receipts and disbursements. All bills or expenses incurred must be presented to the Treasurer for payment. All monies must be deposited in a bank located convenient for the Treasurer. A written report of receipts and disbursements shall be presented at the annual business/membership meeting. Upon membership vote, the Society may require the Treasurer to be bonded and shall pay for such bond.
Section 5. The Membership Secretary shall maintain an up-to-date list of all members and notify them before their membership expires. Upon receipt of dues, membership cards and other appropriate literature are sent to the member. Provides membership list to other Board members upon request.
ARTICLE V – Executive Board
Section 1. The Executive Board shall consist of all elected Officers and Directors, and shall have the authority to conduct the business of the Society.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall meet as often as necessary at the call of the President to conduct Society business.
Section 3. The Executive Board shall meet prior to the Annual Business Meeting to prepare a budget for submission to the membership. This meeting may be conducted by e-mail or telephone if meeting physically is inconvenient.
ARTICLE VI – Committees
Section 1. Committees may include, but not be limited to Nominating, Auditing, Fundraising, and Publicity.
Section 2. Additional committees must be approved by the Board.
Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall consist of 2 members. This committee prepares a slate of nominees for presentation to membership and must have had personal contact with each nominee before presenting their names to membership.
Section 4. The Auditing Committee shall consist of 2 members. This committee shall audit the Treasurer’s records at the end of each fiscal year and whenever a new Treasurer takes office. The Audit Committee will provide a written statement of approval and/or comments.
Section 5. The Fundraising Committee will consist of 2 members. The duties of the committee are to provide plans and activities throughout the year to supplement the income of the society through raffles, etc.
Section 6. The Publicity Committee Chair shall select all committee members necessary to the performance of his/her duties. The Publicity Committee shall announce all Society functions and promote the objectives of the Society through all media (print, audio, video, electronic, etc.), as well as other organizations. This may include, but not be limited to, publication of a newsletter, press releases, appearances on television programs, and creation of a website or blog.
Section 7. The Show Committee chair shall be named by the President. The Treasurer and the Publicity Chairman shall serve as members of the show committee. The selected chair shall appoint other members to be responsible for all activities in planning and conducting the annual festival and encourage member participation and involvement in all aspects.
ARTICLE VII – Amendments
The By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present at any membership meeting, provided the entire membership has been notified of the proposed amendment at least 30 days prior to the meeting.
ARTICLE VIII – Dissolution
In the event of the dissolution of the Mississippi Gourd Society, all debts must be paid. Any remaining assets of the Society shall be presented to the American Gourd Society.
1. All membership and executive meetings will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
2. A standing rule will continue in force until rescinded.
3. Standing rules may be suspended at any one meeting by a majority vote provided it pertains to the business of that meeting.
4. The fiscal year shall be January 1 through December 31.
5. The order of business shall be:
A. Call to order
B. Reading and approval of the minutes
C. Treasurer’s report
D. Approval of bills
E. Communications and announcements
F. Committee Reports
G. Unfinished business
H. New business