We began with an organizational meeting back in March of 1999 sponsored by USDA APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service). USDA's purpose was to bring together organizations within the state of Georgia to initiate awareness and strategy in combating invasive and exotic pest plants. The featured speaker at this meeting was Randy Westbrooks, an Invasive Plant Liaison with USDA. Randy discussed what was being done on a national level regarding invasive and exotic plant species and the need to develop strategies on the state level as well. After some comments and discussion the group decided there was a need to form a state council to focus attention on management and awareness of exotic pest plants.
Our next meeting was held in June, and the first topic of discussion was what we would call our organization. We had some discussion of what was being done in neighboring states and the southeast with invasive and exotic pest plant organizations. Both Tennessee and Florida had formed Exotic Pest Plant Councils and have collaborated to form a Southeastern Exotic Pest Plant Council. We looked at our goals for developing an organization and decided that the aforementioned councils had some of the same focus as we desired. Thus the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council was formed. Once we had decided on a name, committees were formed to develop a mission statement, by-laws, and an exotic pest plant list. An additional committee was formed to put together a symposium that would allow the Council to deliver its mission, provide an educational forum and encourage membership for this new organization.
In subsequent meetings we finalized our mission statement, developed "working by-laws", established a Georgia exotic pest plant list and are promoting The First Annual Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Symposium. In addition the Council nominated a "working" board of directors to steer this organization in its goals and objectives of exotic pest plant management.
The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council would like to take this opportunity to solicit your help by becoming a member of this organization and further developing the Council's mission.
Annual membership is $20.00. Student membership is $10.00
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
November 5, 2009
Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Article II. Objective
The objective of this organization shall be:
Article III. Members
Section 1. The membership of this Council shall consist of the following members:
Section 2. Any person or institution shall be eligible for membership provided that such prospective member pays the required membership fee, and provides all requested background information necessary to ascertain consistency with the membership categories listed above in Article III, Section 1.
Section 3. Any member desiring to resign from the Council shall not be entitled to a refund of their membership fee.
Section 4. Members are in good standing provided all required membership fees are paid. Members who are delinquent in fees for more than three months shall be dropped from membership rolls.
Section 5. A member of this corporation is not, as such, personally liable for the debts, liabilities, or obligations of the corporation.
Section 6. Membership fees shall be based on a time frame of one calendar year.
Article IV. Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Council shall be President, President Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these Bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Council.
Section 2. A Nominating Committee appointed by the President shall nominate candidates for all positions. Nominations from the standing membership shall be accepted. Elections shall be held by vote at the annual meeting, with results announced at the annual meeting. The candidate for each position receiving the largest vote shall be elected.
Section 3. All officers shall serve two-year terms of office, which shall begin at the close of the annual meeting following the election.
Article V. Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the four (4) officers, the immediate past president, and seven (7) voting members elected at large for a total of twelve (12) Board Members.
Section 2. The members at large shall be nominated by the Board and ratified by the voting membership at the annual meeting.
Section 3. Members at large shall serve for two year terms. Vacancies on the Board of Directors shall exist (1) on the death, resignation or removal of any Director, and (2) whenever the number of authorized Directors is increased. Any Director may resign by giving written notice to the President, the Secretary, or the Board of Directors.
A Director may be removed from office, with or without cause, as permitted by and in accordance with the laws of this state. Vacancies on the Board may be filled by the Board of Directors. Vacancies so filled must be ratified by the voting membership at the annual meeting. If the number of Directors then in office is less than a quorum, a vacancy on the Board may be filled by approval of a majority of the Directors then in office or by a sole remaining Director. A person elected to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office until the next election of the Board of Directors or until his or her death, resignation or removal from office.
Section 4. The Board of Directors is empowered to conduct business of the Council between business meetings. Actions and decisions of the Board of Directors as recorded in the minutes shall be made available to the Council at each business meeting.
Section 5. A simple majority of the current board members or their proxies constitute a quorum of the Board of Directors.
Section 6. The Board of Directors shall meet at least two times per year. Between meetings the Board can make decisions by mail or by electronic means.
Section 7. Special meetings or conferences of the Board may be called by the President and shall be called upon written request of three standing members of the Board. Two weeks prior notice shall be required before all special meetings or conferences.
Section 8. The Directors shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities, or other obligations of the corporation.
Section 9. The Directors of the corporation shall be indemnified by the corporation to the fullest extent permissible under the laws of this state.
Section 10. Directors who fail to attend 3 consecutive board meetings will be automatically removed from the board.
Article VI. Meeting of the Council
Section 1. Business meetings shall be scheduled and held at least once annually by the President.
Section 2. Written notice of business meetings shall be sent to standing members at least 60 days prior to such meetings.
Section 3. Meeting agenda and format shall be coordinated by the President.
Section 4. A two-thirds vote of voting members who are present shall be required to allow the introduction of a motion that falls outside the Council's objective as outlined in Article II.
Article VII. Committees
Section 1. The Board of Directors may, by a majority vote of its members, designate an Executive Committee consisting of three (3) Board members and may delegate to such committee the powers and authority of the Board in the management of the business and affairs of the corporation, to the extent permitted, and except as may otherwise be provided, by provisions of law.
By a majority vote of its members, the Board may at any time revoke or modify any or all of the Executive Committee authority so delegated, increase or decrease but not below two (2) the number of members of the Executive Committee, and fill vacancies on the Executive Committee from the members of the Board. The Executive Committee shall keep regular minutes of its proceedings, cause them to be filed with the corporate records, and report the same to the Board from time to time as the Board may require.
Section 2. The corporation shall have such other committees as may from time to time be designated by resolution of the Board of Directors. These committees may consist of persons who are not also members of the Board and shall act in an advisory capacity to the Board. The President shall be an ex officio member of all committees.
Article VIII. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules or order the Council may adopt.
Article IX. Amendment of Bylaws
The voting members may, at any business meeting of the Council, amend the corporation's Bylaws by a two thirds vote of those present.
Article X. Finances
Section 1. The collection and accounting of funds shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer.
Section 2. The Treasurer shall maintain all records of funds collected and dispersed by the Council. Such records shall be available for review by any individual upon adequate notice. Reasonable fees may be charged to reimburse expenses incurred for making copies of documents.A financial report shall be given at the annual business meeting.
Section 3. The signature of the Treasurer and one other officer shall be required for the disbursement of funds of the Council.
Section 4. The Board of Directors shall establish a membership fee schedule for each of the membership categories in accordance with the provisions of Article V. The Board may, at its discretion, amend or revise the membership fee schedule from time to time. Membership fees are due annually.
Section 5. The Board may solicit voluntary contributions, in-kind services, grants, or donations to augment membership fees in order to pay for the activities and functions of the Council.