By-Laws of Virginia Hunter Education Association, Inc.
SECTION 1. Principal Office: The principal office of the Association in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall initially be located at Holiday Lake 4-H Center Appomattox, VA. The Association may have other offices as the Board of Directors may determine or as the affairs of the Association may require from time to time.
SECTION 2. Registered Office: The Association shall have and continuously maintain in the Commonwealth of Virginia a registered office, and a registered agent whose office is identical with such registered office, as required by the Virginia Non-Profit Corporation Act. The registered office may be, but need not be, identical with the principal office in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the address of the registered office may be changed from time to time by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 3. Purposes: The purposes for which the Association is organized are to form an association of persons interested in promoting Hunter Education by providing a medium for the exchange of views and experiences; to foster cooperation between the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Hunter Education Instructors, and the Hunter Education Association; to constantly strive to enhance Hunter Education Programs and instructors; to cultivate the characteristics of honesty, self-discipline, self-reliance, mutual consideration, essentials of good sportsmanship, and good citizenship; to promote programs to prevent hunting accidents and hunting-related accidents; to uphold the image of hunting both as a legitimate tool of wildlife management and a recreational sport throughout Virginia and beyond; and to affect the presentation and dissemination of the purpose and goals.
To do and engage in any and all other lawful activities that may be incidental or reasonably necessary to any of the foregoing purposes, and to have and exercise all other powers and authority now and hereafter conferred upon charitable, and educational corporations under laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia consistent with these articles and the by-laws of the Association.
Provided that in all events and under all circumstances the following provisions shall apply:
(A) This Association shall not have or exercise any power or authority either expressly, by interpretation, or by operation of law, nor shall it directly or indirectly engage in any activity, which would prevent this Association, described in section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954, contributions to which are deductible for income tax purposes; and
(B) Neither the whole, nor any part or portion, of the assets or net earnings of this Association shall be used, nor the Association ever be organized or operated for purposes which are not exclusively charitable, or educational within the meaning of said Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but the powers and purposes of this Association, shall at all times be so construed and limited as to enable this Association to qualify as a corporation organized and existing under the provisions of the Virginia Revised Statues and amended from time to time.
SECTION 1. Member (Voting) —– membership in the Association shall be limited to members who are Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia and who are in good standing with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Association.
SECTION 2. Associate member (non-voting) —– any person or organization who supports the Virginia Hunter Education Association (VHEA) and any full time employee of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries who in their job description participates in the Hunter Education Program may become an associate member.
SECTION 3. Charter membership —– The first 125 persons joining the Virginia Hunter Educational Association shall be known as charter members.
SECTION 1. Officers: The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, and Director of Public Affairs and Marketing and such other officers as may be elected in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
All Officers and Region Directors shall be elected from the membership, shall be a VHEA Annual or Life Member in good standing for at least the previous 2 years, are required to maintain membership in the VHEA for the entire term of service as an Officer or Region Director, and must maintain a current, active status as a Virginia Hunter Education instructor with the VDGIF.
SECTION 2. Term of Office and Election Process:
(A) Each Officer shall hold office for a period of two years and until his or her successor shall have been duly elected and shall be and remain qualified for their term of office. Exception to this is the Director of Public Affairs and Marketing (See Director of Public Affairs and Marketing description in Section 4).
(B) The Term of Office shall begin January 1 following the election. The offices of President and Secretary shall be elected in even years. The offices of Vice-President and Treasurer shall be elected in odd years.
(C) The process of election of officers will proceed according to the following schedule:
i. The Board will appoint a Nomination/Election Committee of one (1) Regional Board member and one (1) elected officer (not running for office that year) by the first scheduled Board meeting of the year normally in conjunction with an Advanced Training Weekend (normally in March). Notice to all members of the offices to be filled, Nomination/Election Committee members and due date for nominations to be received, will be communicated to all members at the spring informational meeting held in conjunction with an Advanced Training weekend, by email, and posted to the website by May 1.
ii. The Nomination/Election Committee will qualify (member is good standing) all nominees and report to the Board a list of candidates for each open office by July 1.
iii. The Nomination/Election Committee will announce the slate of candidates and voting process to the entire membership in good standing (dues paid and life members) by email, written letter (if so indicated by the member) and posted to the website by August 1.
iv. The election will be held from August 1 to August 31 by mail-in ballot or by email. The election is open to all currently active members and life members as of July 1 of the same calendar year. Any ballot post marked after August 31, or any email submitted date stamped after August 31 will not be counted.
v. The Nomination/Election committee will count the ballots and announce the results of the election at the annual meeting of the Association.
SECTION 3. Removal —– Any officer elected or appointed by the Board of Directors, may be removed by the Board of Directors whenever in its judgment the best interests of the Association could be served thereby.
SECTION 4. Vacancies —–A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or otherwise, may be filled by the Board of Directors for the unexpired portion of the term by appointment.
President: The President shall preside at all Board of Directors and membership meetings but the President shall not be on the Board but shall have Board voting power in the case of a tie vote and shall perform the day-to-day operation of the Association and the usual corporate duties. The President or his designee shall represent the Association at the International Hunter Education Association Conference with the said officer’s reasonable expenses being paid by the Association. The President or his designee shall on return at the next membership meeting, give a report of the conference to the General Membership. Trip expenses shall be documented by receipt and kept in the care of the Treasurer.
Vice-President: The Vice-President shall assist the President and shall report directly to the President in the performance of day-to-day duties. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in the President’s absence, illness, removal or incapacity.
Secretary: The Secretary shall attend and record an accurate account of all Association business. This officer shall make notes of all Board meetings and membership meetings in written form and communicate all Association business to the membership. This officer shall keep all records of membership and shall send notices of dues as needed. This officer shall issue all memberships cards and other items the Association may have in its possession.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for all accounts maintained by the Association and shall give up to date reports as required by the Board of Directors and at the annual meeting. If requested, this officer shall be provided a bond with the premium to be paid by the Association. This officer shall execute all Association checks and still have all other usual power associated with the office.
Director of Public Affairs and Marketing: Responsible for the development and implementation of the Virginia Hunter Education Association’s communications strategy and objectives. Develops communications plans and implements a broad range of public relations activities.
This position shall be by appointment of the Board of Directors; with no minimum or maximum term of office.
• Develop an effective communications plan that leverages the VHEA’s organizational goals
• Develop, integrate, and implement public relations activities designed to enhance the organization
• Work with the President/Vice-President/Association Officers by managing the communications and public relations plans as determined by the larger organizational strategic planning process in order to:
o achieve organizational goals and objectives
o advance the VHEA’s identity
o broaden awareness of its programs and priorities
o ensure consistency in internal and external communication content
• Cultivate and maintain strong media relationships
• Function as a liaison between the public and the Association on public relations matters, and work with the Board to resolve public affairs issues
• Serve as author and executive editor for the development, production and maintenance of the VHEA’s internal and external communication vehicles, specifically
o printed communications products including newsletters, flyers for Association events, advertisements, submissions to newspapers and periodicals, and other printed media
o electronic communications products including the main website, online communications, and social media sites. This includes serving as the sole interface between the website hosting company and the Association regarding site content, format and functionality, and acting as the primary contact for any issues pertaining to the web site.
• Work with the President/Vice-President/Association Officers to facilitate the distribution of internal meeting minutes and assist with the creation of annual reports for distribution to the membership
• Generate and present reports regarding public relations and marketing matters as required by the Board of Directors and at annual meetings
• Attend Board and General Membership meetings
• Create and launch new media and marketing materials
• Receive inquiries obtained through the web site and respond or forward, as applicable, based on the nature of the inquiry
Executive Board: The Board of Directors may create an Executive Board who shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the Director of Public Affairs and Marketing who shall manage the day-to-day business of the Association when requested by the President. Any Executive Board meeting must have three members for a quorum. Special Executive meetings may be held as needed. The Executive Board shall be allowed to spend up to $500 per project without membership approval. Executive Board members (officers of VHEA) may only serve in that capacity for which they were elected by the general membership. Example: Executive Board members (officers of VHEA) may not concurrently serve as Regional Directors, or as Regional Director Committee members during their tenure in office.
Board of Directors: The Board of Directors will consist of five members, one from each region and shall meet at least annually during and in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association. The Board of Directors shall have the power to transact all business necessary for efficient management of the Association.
Region Directors: The Region Directors (RD) shall be elected from the membership. The Regions shall coincide with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Law Enforcement boundaries as modified from time-to-time and Region Directors shall live within the district represented. (Where Regions are modified based on boundary realignment by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, one Region will remain designated by the VHEA as an “At Large” Region in order to maintain an odd number of Regions for Board voting purposes). Region Directors shall be nominated and elected from the membership within respective districts to include the designated “at large” regional district. If there are no nominations from a given Region to include the “at large Region,” that directorship shall be filled by the Board of Directors who may appoint any member of the Association from said region. Region Directors shall serve a two-year term. They may be re-elected. Even numbered Region Directors shall be elected on the even numbered years and odd numbered and “at Large” Region Director shall be elected on odd numbered years. All offices shall be filled at the Association’s annual meeting. He/She shall serve as the elected VHEA representative within the district and statewide or beyond as appropriate.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: Attends VHEA statewide meetings and Regional events (example: at scheduled DGIF Advance Training events or as required). Presents written and oral reports of progress, events attended and needs at all board meetings. Notifies the President when unable to attend board meetings and provides a written report to be delivered by a co-director or another representative. Schedules and presides over a minimum of 2 district VHEA meetings per year. Records the minutes of those meetings and provides a copy of said minutes to the Association Secretary within 30 days after the district meeting date(s), and presents the report at the next scheduled Board Meeting for historical documentation. Serves as a role model to other instructors. Works with VHEA committees. Represents VHEA at meetings of other conservation related organizations (i.e.; IHEA, NRA, NWTF, RMEF, QU, DU, local sport clubs, etc…) Notifies the President when unable to continue service so a replacement may be appointed.
Region Directors (RDs) serving as Board members may occasionally have to conduct business via email. For motions not voted on during a regular Board meeting, RDs will have ten (10) calendar days to respond to the email to vote. A non-response from the RD within the ten (10)-day limit will be considered a non-vote, in the event of a tie vote, the President will be the tie-breaker vote. In his absence the Vice President will be the tie-breaker.
Region Directors who have volunteered/been appointed to research projects/cost estimates/draft procedures, etc will have thirty (30) working days to draft and submit a status report to the Vice-President/Secretary for action tracking purposes.
Region Directors not performing their duties satisfactorily may be subject to removal from their office by the Executive Board. Within sixty (60) days after removal, the Board of Directors shall appoint a replacement from the respective Region to complete the term of Office.
Regional Committee: A Regional Committee shall consist of three members,-the Regional Director and two other committee members from the same region and elected by members of the Association residing in the region represented. Committee members shall be elected in a timely manner after the appointment of the Regional Director per Article III, Section 4. Committee member elections shall be completed no later than January 31 of the first year of the Regional Director’s term of office. The Regional Director will document the Committee Members names and provide a copy to the Secretary of the Association for historical documentation. The Regional Coordinator shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Regional Committee to provide guidance as to the needs of the region. It shall be the duty of the Regional Committee to carry out any responsibilities assigned to it by the Board of Directors. A Regional Committee Member shall serve as an alternate for the Region Director if the Region Director cannot attend a VHEA function. As such, he/she shall have full powers, including, making motions, participating in discussions, and voting for the Regional Director.
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the National Hunter Education Association, the National Rifle Association, the International Bowhunter Education Program, or other organizations or agencies supportive of this Association, may sit as ex-officio members of any board as advisors. Ex-officio members shall not have voting powers.
All members and officers of the Association shall remain members in good standing, neither convicted of any Virginia Game Law violation, nor any felony.
When an officer of the Association is no longer eligible for membership, declines to serve, or vacates said office, the office held by said officer shall be declared vacant and the Board of Directors, upon majority vote, shall remove them from office. The Board of Directors shall appoint any voting member to fill said vacancy for the remainder of the officer’s term.
Any officer of the Association may also be removed by a 51% vote of the membership at a valid membership meeting.
A. A donor shall not have a membership dues requirement, but may consist of any person, group, or organization. Donors shall neither have a vote nor be eligible to hold office. Donors will be allowed to donate any item or items, money, land or valuables at any time.
B. Honorary memberships may be granted to an individual organization, business, or corporation by the Board of Directors. Honorary members may have the right to attend activities of the Association, but shall neither have voting powers nor be allowed to hold office.
SECTION 1. Any voting member who is convicted of any Virginia Game Law violation shall lose membership for one year. Said member shall not be eligible to hold office for five years from the time of the conviction.
SECTION 2. No person convicted of a felony can be a member of this Association unless pardoned by the President of the United States of America or an appropriate State Governor. If convicted of a felony, a member’s dues shall not be refunded, and said membership shall be terminated.
A. Members shall be active instructors, having taught or assisted in at least one Hunter Education course within the last calendar year. Members shall have one vote each and be eligible to hold any office. Regular dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors, from time to time, based on current expenses necessary for the operation of the Association and being approved by the general membership at the annual meeting. Annual dues are to be paid by April 1st of the current calendar year and are current through March 31st of the following calendar year.
B. Life membership dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors, from time to time, based on current expenses necessary to the operation of the Association and being approved by the general membership at the annual meeting. Life membership dues are to be paid the current calendar year and are current throughout the life of the paid member.
C. Associate membership dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors, from time to time, based on the current expenses necessary to the operation of the Associated and being approved by the general membership at the annual meeting. Associate members shall neither have a vote nor be eligible to hold any office of the Association. Associate membership dues are to be paid by April 1st of the current calendar year and are current through March 31st of the following calendar year.
SECTION 1. The annual meeting shall coincide with the last Hunter Education Advanced Training Sessions (time, date and location to be determined and announced by the President). In the event that the annual meeting cannot coincide with the last Hunter Education Advanced Training Session, the annual meeting time, date and location shall be determined by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2. Informational meetings will be held at other Hunter Education Advanced Training Sessions.
SECTION 3. Special meetings shall be held as needed by the Executive Board, Board of Directors, members or a particular district with the Director or an Executive Board officer present.
SECTION 4. All meetings of the Association, annual and special of the Executive Board, Board of Directors, District Meetings and General Membership shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order unless otherwise dictated herein.
SECTION 5. The President may call for a vote by mail of the Executive Board, Board of Directors, or membership to resolve matters, which cannot be delayed. Petitions may be circulated by any member.
SECTION 6. A fifty-one percent vote of the membership shall constitute the highest authority of the Association, and said vote may be in the form of a mailed vote, or in person.
SECTION 1. The Association shall at all times work within the budget and may not borrow money without membership approval.
SECTION 2. Any item bought for the Association, or with Association money, shall be accompanied by a real receipt for said item and amount. No other type of receipt shall be accepted.
SECTION 3. All expenses shall be approved by the Executive Board in advance. No other payments shall be made, with the exception of Presidential or Secretarial expenses to run the day-to-day business of the Association.
SECTION 4. The Association budget shall be presented at the annual meeting.
RELATIVE TO ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
SECTION 1. Relative to the Article of Incorporation, the Virginia Hunter Education shall neither contribute to nor endorse any political party or candidate.
SECTION 2. Should this Association dissolve, the assets shall revert to the Virginia Hunter Education Program.
SECTION 3. The Association shall be incorporated.
SECTION 4. The Association shall be non-profit.
SECTION 1. The Executive Board shall be authorized to employ such firms or persons and to make such expenditures as are required to permit the orderly conduct of Association business. No financial obligations shall be incurred by the Executive Board in excess of the reasonably anticipated revenues without express consent of the voting members of the corporation.
SECTION 2. With the approval of the Executive Board, the Association may accept such assistance in personnel, services, data, materials, and funds as may be available from any appropriate source or sources.
All members of the Association shall adhere to the following Instructor’s Creed:
As an instructor, I will do my best to instill in students the need to become safe, responsible, knowledgeable, and involved re-creators and citizens in an attempt to promote responsible attitudes toward others, wildlife, and the environment.
These Bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed and new Bylaws may be adopted by a majority of the members voting. Bylaw changes shall be posted to the quarterly newsletter for review by the general membership. Bylaw changes shall be presented at general membership meetings. Recommended changes shall be discussed and voted on at the meeting unless tabled for further research/discussion at the next general membership meeting.
Approved by Membership: 31 March 2017
General Membership Meeting 3-
General Membership and Board Meetings 9-
General Membership and Board Meetings 6-
General Membership Meeting 3-