MEANT BYLAWS AND POLICIES
MEANT - Mission
The primary mission of the organization is to provide an infrastructure for the professional and personal growth of present and future Malayalee engineers. The secondary mission is to foster social and cultural bonds among the members and families by providing a forum for interaction. We envision the organization becoming a professional establishment in the DFW metroplex area with a friendly atmosphere that a Malayalee engineer would be proud of being associated with.
Article 1 - Name
The name of the association shall be the Malayalee Engineers' Association of North Texas - MEANT .
Article 2 - Objectives
To bring together the engineers of Kerala origin living in the DFW Metroplex area. To assist engineers to obtain professional registration in the United States. To conduct seminars and other educational programs to enhance the skills of the members in Engineering, Management, and Personal Development Fields. To make contributions to educational and human service organizations and programs. To provide and promote mutual understanding and cooperation between this Association and other engineering and professional organizations in United States, Canada, and Kerala. To develop and maintain a directory of engineers of Kerala origin in the United States and Canada. To have a social forum of all engineers of Kerala origin and their families. MEANT is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501 C (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The activities of this organization will attempt to advance the common go and general welfare of the people of the community. This organization will not engage in a business for profit (2E). It shall not engage in any political activities either directly or indirectly. It shall not take part in any propaganda or otherwise influence legislation. A very substantial part of the organization's activities shall be for the social and welfare benefits of the engineers of Kerala origin it represents.
Article 3 - Membership
3.1 A member is a person with (a) an undergraduate degree in Engineering or Computer Science from an accredited university, or (b) a graduate degree in Engineering or Computer Science from an accredited university, or (c) with professional Engineering registration, or (d) a graduate degree in subjects other than engineering and more than 2 years of experience as an engineer/software engineer /computer consultant, or (e) an undergraduate degree equivalent to engineering/computer science and more than 5 years experience as an engineer/software engineer/computer consultant.
3.2 Student Member - Person who is currently enrolled in an accredited university towards an engineering or computer science degree .
3.3 Life Member - Life Members: Person complying the qualifications of Sec.3.1 and/or 3.2, and who makes a one-time payment of Ten times the annual membership fee.
3.4 Voting Rights - Only registered members shall have voting rights
3.5 Approval of Membership
The membership in the Association shall be by invitation only. Any member can propose the name of a prospective member who meets the criteria for membership. The Board of Directors shall review the candidate for eligibility and ethical standards, and approve by unanimous vote. Upon approval, the Board of Directors shall extend invitation. It is very important to keep in mind not to inform the prospective member of any decision until the board had the opportunity to consider the candidacy.
3.6 Revocation of Membership
(a) Membership may be revoked for violations of articles of the Constitution and/or Bylaws of the association etc. by the two-thirds of the Board of Directors after due notification. Such notification shall be made in writing thirty days in advance. Any member or officer may appeal such a revocation and may be re-installed by the two- third majority of the membership entitled to vote in a meeting constituted for that purpose.
(b) Proven and deliberate misrepresentation of membership eligibility will result in a life long denial of membership for the individual.
3.7 Membership Eligibility Enquiry
The Board of Directors may, by a unanimous vote, require a member to provide membership eligibility documents for verification.
Article 4 - Board of Directors
4.1 Eligibility Only voting members of the Association as described in Article3 with one year in go standing in the Association shall be eligible for nomination to any office with the exception of first year. The Board of Directors shall be composed of the Executive Committee members and two other members-at-large as defined in the Bylaws. The Executive Committee of the Association consists of the President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Communications Director. The terms of office of the President and the Executive Committee shall be one year. The President may be re-elected only once. The terms of office of the non-Executive members of the Board of Directors shall be one year. Any vacancies shall be filled by the President and ratified by the Executive Committee. If a member of the Board of Governors fails to participate in three consecutive meetings of the Board without an appropriate reason, he may be relieved from the Board by two-third votes of its members.
Article 5 - Duties of Officers
The President shall be the chief executive officer of the association and shall perform all duties incidental to the office of the President and such other duties as may be designated by the Board of Directors. He shall preside at all the meetings of the association and of the Board of Directors. He shall make such appointments as are required or authorized by the constitution and/or by the Board of Directors. He may sign with secretary or any other proper officer of the association authorized by the board of Directors of any deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments which the Board of Directors has authorized to be executed, except in cases where the signing and execution thereof shall be expressly delegated by the Board of Directors to some other agent of the association.
He shall designate delegates or representatives to other groups; he shall appoint such special and Ad Hoc Committees as may be necessary to further the Association's objectives; and he may dissolve any such committee when its purpose has been served in consultation with the Executive Committee. In time of urgency and/or expediency the President may be vested with the authority to make decisions by consultation with the majority of the Executive Committee Members. The decision shall be conveyed to the Board of Directors and ratified at the next Board Meeting.
President Elect shall perform the functions of the President in his/her absence and other duties assigned by the Executive Committee. He shall succeed the President in case of death, disability or resignation of the President before the end of his term. The President Elect becomes the President in the succeeding year.
5.3 The Secretary
Secretary shall: Keep account of the minutes of all meetings Maintain an updated list of all members of the Association. Issue an agenda of all regular meetings. Keep copies of all official correspondence of the Association, including newsletters, program or brochures of the activities of the Association and reports submitted by the committees' chairpersons. Keep an attendance record of all meetings of the organization. Be custodian of the Constitution, Bylaws and Amendments of the Association. Notify Committee members of their appointments and duties they are to perform. See that all books, reports, statements, certificates and other documents and records required by law to be kept and filed properly. Be a member of the Executive Committee in the same capacity. Be responsible for transferring all the records of the organization within thirty days after annual meeting to the incoming Secretary.
5.4 The Treasurer
The Treasurer shall: Be responsible for issuing notice and collection of annual dues, and deposit the same in such banks or trust companies as the Executive Committee may designate. Shall have custody of all receipts and disbursements, which shall be open at all reasonable times for inspection by the Executive Committee Shall submit a financial report to the Executive Committee at it s annual meeting and regularly held Executive meetings. If the Executive Committee requires, he/she shall give a bond with such surety and in such amount as the Executive Committee may designate. Shall perform such other duties and exercise such other powers incident to the office of the Treasurer and as may be assigned by the Executive Committee as required by law.
5.5 Communications Director
The Communications Director is responsible for both Internal and External Communications of the organization.
Duties include: Publishing a newsletter to keep members informed on the developments. Maintaining web page / email etc. Liaison with other organizations in the metroplex as well as outside such as Engineers' Association at other places, NETIP, India Association, Kerala Association etc. Any other related responsibility assigned by the Board of Directors.
5.6 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall have the duties and powers as ordinarily delegated to the governing board of an association or corporation. It shall govern and direct the activities of the Association including the activities of the Executive Committee. The Board of Directors shall set the membership dues for the Association.
5.7 Executive Committee
The executive Committee shall be responsible for the day to day operation of the Association and implementation of the decisions of the Board of Directors. Executive Committee shall have the authority to create staff positions and assign appropriate titles thereto. It shall create all standing committees and direct their activities.
5.8 General Body
The general Body shall consist of all the registered members of the association and shall be the ultimate authority of the organization.
Article 6 - Meetings
6.1 General Body Meeting The annual general Body meeting shall be held in the month of January of every year. The President shall have the power to call a special General Body Meeting if required. If two-thirds of the members of Association request a special General Body meeting with thirty days advance notice and signed petition, the President shall convene such a meeting. All members shall be notified of all General Body meeting by mail at least seven days before each General Body meeting. The General Body meeting shall be attended by and open to all members. The quorum for General Body meeting is set at one-third of the membership or twenty which ever is lower. In the event there is no quorum for any general Body meeting or meeting of the Board of Directors, the number of attendees of the meeting which is adjourned for lack of quorum shall be the quorum for any subsequent meeting that is called for that purpose. The Board of Directors shall meet at least three times a year. Fifty percent shall constitute the quorum.
Article 7 - Amendments
Amendments to the Constitution and BylawsAmendments to this constitution shall be brought before the General Body meeting in the form of resolutions, which should be submitted in advance to the Secretary. Copies of this resolution shall be sent to the members at least 15 days in advance of the General Body meeting. Approval of all amendments shall be by a 2/3 majority of the members present and voting. All approved amendments shall become part of this constitution.
Article 8 - Committees
The President with the approval of the Board of Directors shall appoint all committees. Special and Ad Hoc Committees shall be created by the President and shall be dissolved by the President upon completion of their functions. The purpose of these committees is to ensure active and responsible participation by all members. It is in the interest of the organization to give opportunity for all members who are willing to participate actively.
Article 9 - Management of Finance
No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall be used to the benefit of, or be distributed to, its members, trustees, officers or other private persons except that the corporation shall be authorized to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered.
9.1 Accounting year
The official accounting year shall be the calendar year.
9.2 Bank Accounts - General
The funds of the Association shall be kept in three accounts, a special account for the life membership fees alone, a regular savings account and a regular checking account for other funds in a Commercial Bank or Credit Union.
9.3 Special and Savings Accounts
The signatories of the special and savings accounts shall be five members of the Board (the Treasurer, Secretary, President and two other Board members). The signatures of any three of the five shall be sufficient for withdrawals.
9.4 Checking Account
The signatories of the checking account shall be the Treasurer and the President. Any one signature shall be sufficient for the operation of this account. The Board of Directors decides the maximum amount that can be kept in the checking account may.
Article 10 - Clause of Dissolution
Dissolution of the Association shall be effected only by a 2/3 majority of the General Body with the concurrence of majority of life members. Upon dissolution of the Association by decision of the General Body, in conformity with Federal and State Laws applicable to not-for-profit organizations, all asset of the Association shall be donated to any not-for-profit organization named by the General Body.
Article 11 - Bylaws
Election shall be held in the month of November every year under the control of nomination committee. The nominating committee shall consist of three members including the immediate past President as the chairperson of the committee, the President, and the President-elect. The nominating committee shall submit its slate to the Executive Committee at least three weeks prior to the election. Alternate slate (slates) may be submitted by any active member by mailing a completed nomination paper to the president of the nomination committee. In case of multiple nominations for any position, the nominating committee shall mail the ballot papers to all members with a copy of brief summaries of candidates, and a return addressed envelope. The brief summary shall not exceed 1 page, and is to be submitted by the candidate and approved by the nominating committee. Any other form of canvassing shall be discouraged. The members must be given at least 2 weeks to send in the completed ballot papers If a member of the Nominating Committee is nominated for any office, he/she shall then abstain from the proceedings of the meeting when his/her nomination is being discussed. The results of the election will be announced at the annual General Body meeting. The newly elected officers shall take office at the conclusion of the General Body meeting. The essence of the whole process is professionalism and ethics. In any year only one candidate alone gets elected to a position. All other candidates should extend wholehearted support to the elected candidate in the spirit of unity. Also, every member should be willing to serve the association in any capacity. For example, the President of this year should be willing to serve as a Treasurer at a later date. All positions are equally important to the Association.
The Quorum for any meeting of the Board of Governors shall consist of a simple majority. The Quorum for any meeting of the General Body shall be one-third of the total membership or twenty whichever is smaller.
11.3 Parliamentary Procedure
In the absence of any provision in the Bylaws of this Association, Board of Governors and all Committee Members shall be guided by the Parliamentary rules as contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order .
Sponsorship Acceptance Policy BOD will decide which event will be given for sponsorship and the sponsorship fee. In order to make the business fast and fair, Treasurer will be authorized to deal sponsorship related businesses. Treasurer will have the right to form a Sponsoring Committee to discuss the sponsorship related issues. Treasurer will be the chair of this committee. The other members in the committee are 1. the chair person of the committee which conducts the event and 2. a member from the committee which conducts the event. This committee will have the right to negotiate on the sponsorship fee with interested sponsors. The Sponsoring Committee will have the right to make decision on any form of sponsorships. For example gifts. Every Meanter will be asked to search for interested sponsors. Once a sponsor is found, the Sponsoring Committee will be acknowledged about this sponsor for further business talks. A contract will be signed by the sponsor for every deal and the sponsorship fee will be collected. MEANT receipt will be issued to the sponsor for the amount (if any) collected. In the case of a gift, the monetary value of the gift will be calculated, and receipt will be given to the sponsor. The BOD deserve/deserves the right to cancel or reject any sponsorships without any notice. In the case of cancellation, the signed contract will be settled appropriately. Good relationship with the sponsors should not lead to any kind of commitment to the sponsor. MEANT policy is very clear- "Sponsorship is given not taken". Post the sponsorship policy/rules on the web site.
Web Policy Registered members shall pay annual dues, which shall be determined and reviewed by the Governing Board. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year. Annual dues shall be due and payable on or before December 1 of the preceding year. If the dues are unpaid after January 15 of the fiscal year, a notice will be sent. After February 28 if dues remain unpaid the membership with all rights and privileges shall be suspended until such dues are paid in full.
Sponsor of the month will have to pay the advertising fee in advance as decided by MEANT BOD to be displayed on the web site. Other businesses can advertise by being added to the "links page" under the title - "These organizations supported MEANT web site". They need not be the sponsor of the website for the month. In either case, the businesses will not underwritten by MEANT or any office bearers. (or like..). See Sponsorship Policy for more details. MEANT web page is for the benefit of all Malayalee Engineers. So we will give the first priority for MEANT members to advertise their sites. If more than one member or their immediate relatives wish to sponsor MEANT web for the month and are involved in the same kind of business, the web will host their banners in consecutive months. The BOD will provide guidance to the Communications Director by a majority vote in case of any disputes involving web site banners and priority for supporting agencies. The Communication Director will add links to other web sites at his discretion in the better interest of MEANT. MEANT web will add links to any site which provides useful information to members. Any member can recommend a site to be linked by MEANT. The Communication Director will also try to get MEANT webpage removed from those sites which portray MEANT in an objectionable manner. If more than one member or their immediate relatives, who are involved in the same kind of business wants to be linked by MEANT web page, we will add links for all of them with the MEANT disclaimer. There will not be any prejudice for adding links to useful websites. MEANT web will try to provide a column where the members can exchange ideas and questions among themselves on interesting topics. The language and content of the material exchanged on the net will be monitored by the Communication Director and the BOD.
The following is a resolution passed by Annual General Body meeting of Feb.11, 2012. This is not part of MEANT bylaws.
"MEANT VIP List" as a general body resolution and not as bylaw amendment.Any person or family (a) who believes in the missions and continuously supports the activities and projects of MEANT with an annual contribution equivalent to at least 30 times of the prevailing single member dues for 2 consecutive years, and(b) whose family has malayalee roots, is eligible to be added to the MEANT VIP mailing list. The person shall have no voting rights, no say or interest in MEANT governance, and cannot lead or hold any position in any of the Association committees.
Any individual or family who has supported MEANT activities at the above levels for 2 normal consecutive calendar years will get placed on the mailing list in the second year.
Any contributions or sponsorship towards promotion or advertisement in any media will be excluded from these criteria. If the support is not received in a timely manner from third year onwards, as stipulated by the board, the name shall be taken off the list.
Being on this list, allows the person or family to participate in all social activities of the Association for that calendar year. This list is maintained by invitation only. For a person or family being on this list, should neither be treated as any form of MEANT membership nor as an offer to give membership at any time in future.
At any time, the list shall contain less than or equal to 5% (five percent) of the general membership numbers for that calendar year. The Board of Directors shall review the contributions for eligibility and ethical standards, and approve by unanimous vote. Upon approval, the President shall extend the invitation to the person or family.