Bylaws of the New Jersey Chapter of the
PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF AMERICA, INC.
*Amended December 5, 2012
ARTICLE I – GENERAL
Section 1. Name. The name of this organization is the New Jersey Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA NJ), hereinafter called the “Chapter.” The Chapter functions as a regional division of the Public Relations Society of America, Inc., hereinafter called the “Society” or “PRSA.”
Section 2. Territory and Location. The Chapter will operate and serve members within the territory approved by the Society, and its principal office will be located in a place determined by the Chapter’s board of directors. The territorial limits approved by the Society for this Chapter is the state of New Jersey.
Section 3. Objectives. In accordance with the purposes of the Society as set forth in the Society’s articles of incorporation and bylaws, the objectives of this Chapter shall be to serve a diverse community of professionals, empowering them to excel in effective, ethical and respectful communications on behalf of the organizations they represent and the constituencies they serve, and advance the careers of its members by providing:
- Lifelong learning.
- Vibrant, diverse and welcoming professional communities.
- Recognition of capabilities and accomplishments.
- Thought leadership, ethics and professional excellence.
Further, the Chapter, its board, officers, and members shall support and adhere to the bylaws, purposes, code of ethics, and all applicable policies and procedures established by the Society.
Section 4. Restrictions. All policies and activities of the Chapter shall be consistent with:
- Applicable federal, state and local antitrust, trade regulation or other requirements.
- Tax-exemption requirements imposed on the Society under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(6), including the requirements that the Chapter shall not be organized for profit and that no part of its net earnings shall inure to the benefit of any private individual.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership Eligibility. Membership in the Chapter is limited to individuals in good standing with the Society, who are in compliance with the Society’s bylaws, member code of ethics, and applicable policies and procedures, and who have paid membership dues to the Chapter.
Section 2. Admission to Membership. Admission to membership in the Society shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of the Society’s bylaws and subject to the eligibility requirements set forth above in Section 1.
Section 3. Rights and Privileges of Membership. Membership carries with it a definitive obligation to pay all applicable dues, fees and other charges (collectively referred to as “financial obligations”), as provided in these bylaws and as determined by the board from time to time. Any payments by a member to the Society does not mitigate such member’s financial obligations to the Chapter.
Section 4. Resignation or Termination of Membership.
(a) Membership is automatically terminated without action by the board for failure to pay applicable dues for more than two months, failure to meet the eligibility requirements for membership, or when the membership to the Society has been terminated for any reason, including non-payment of dues.
(b) A member may resign by submitting a written resignation.
(c) Termination or resignation does not relieve a member from liability for any financial obligations accrued and unpaid as of the date of the termination or resignation.
Section 5. Dues. The amount of Chapter dues shall be fixed annually by the board. Any member whose Chapter dues are unpaid for two months shall not be in good standing, and shall not be entitled to vote, hold office or enjoy other privileges of Chapter membership, provided such member has been duly notified.
Section 6. Membership Meetings.
(a) There shall be an annual membership meeting each year held at such time and place as may be designated by the board.
(b) In addition to the annual meeting, there shall be regular membership meetings at least four times a year at such times and places as may be designated by the board.
(c) Special meetings of the Chapter may be called by the president, the board or on written request by 25 percent of the Chapter members.
(d) Notice of the annual meeting shall be given to each member personally by mail, electronic mail or other mode of written transmittal at least thirty days prior to the meeting. Notice of a regular meeting or special meeting shall be given to each member at least 10 days in advance.
(e) A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for all meetings of the Board present or by proxy. Voting at any membership meeting may be done in person or by proxy, with each voting member having a single vote. A majority of the members voting in person or by proxy where a quorum is present carries an action. Members may vote without a meeting in elections, or on any matter presented by the board where a quorum participates and the votes are submitted in writing by postal or other delivery, facsimile, electronic mail or any other electronic means.
ARTICLE III – OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. Scope. The affairs of the Chapter are managed by its board of directors. It is the board’s duty to carry out the objectives and purposes of the Chapter, and to this end, it may exercise all powers of the Chapter. The board is subject to the restrictions and obligations set forth in these bylaws, the Society’s bylaws, policies and procedures, and code of ethics.
Section 2. Board Composition. The governing body of the Chapter shall be a board of directors consisting of the president, president-elect, vice president, secretary, treasurer, immediate past president, PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate(s) and at least three directors-at-large. Directors and officers shall be members in good standing with the Chapter and the Society. *The president, president-elect, and vice president shall be elected by the Chapter membership for a term of two years, subject to affirmation by the Board prior to the start of the second year. Directors and officers shall be elected by the Chapter membership at its annual meeting for a term of one year, beginning Jan. 1 and ending when their successors are elected and installed. The board shall set forth the nomination and election procedures and make such procedures available to the membership.
Section 3. Chapter Officers. The officers of the Chapter shall be a president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer. The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined and held by the same person at the discretion of the board. The officers shall be elected by Chapter membership at its annual meeting for a term of one year, beginning Jan. 1 and ending when their successors are elected and installed. No officer having held an office for two successive terms shall be eligible to succeed himself/herself in the same office.
Section 4. President. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter and of the board. He/she shall appoint all committees with the approval of the board and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, unless otherwise provided by the board. The president shall perform all other duties incident to the office. The president or his/her designee shall serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate.
Section 5. President-Elect. The president-elect, in the absence or disability of the president, shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the president. He/she shall assist the president and perform other duties as shall be prescribed by the board. The president-elect or his/her designee shall serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate.
Section 6. Vice President. The vice president shall, in the absence of disability of the president and the president-elect, exercise the powers and perform the duties of the president. He/she also shall assist the president and perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by the Board of Directors.
Section 7. Secretary. The secretary shall keep records of all meetings of the Chapter and of the board, send copies of such minutes to PRSA Headquarters and to the district
chair, issue notices of all meetings, maintain or cause to be maintained the roll of membership, and perform all other duties customarily pertaining to the office.
Section 8. Treasurer. The treasurer shall receive and deposit all Chapter funds in the name of the Chapter, in a bank or trust company selected and approved by the board. He/she shall issue receipts and make authorized disbursements by check after proper approval by the president or board. He/she shall prepare the Chapter’s budget, make regular financial reports to the board, render an annual financial statement to Chapter membership and perform all other duties incident to the office.
Section 9. Leadership Assembly Delegates. The PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate(s) shall serve as the Chapter’s representative(s) at meetings of the PRSA Leadership Assembly, and as a liaison between the Society and the Chapter. The Chapter president and/or president-elect or his/her designee shall serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate. Each additional delegate shall be appointed by the Chapter (president/board/executive committee/officers/etc.) for a term of three years beginning Jan. 1 and ending when his/her successor is appointed and installed. To be eligible to serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate, a member must be Accredited in Public Relations (APR), or be a current or former member of the Chapter’s board.
Section 10. Vacancies. In the event of death, resignation, removal or expulsion of any officer or director, including the PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate, the board shall elect a successor who shall take office immediately and serve the balance of the unexpired term, or until the next annual election.
Section 11. Removal or Resignation.
(a) Any director who misses more than three consecutive board meetings without an excuse acceptable to the board may be given written notice of dismissal by the Chapter president and replaced in accordance with Section 9 above.
(b) Any officer may be removed by: (1) two-thirds of the members voting where a quorum is present, or (2) three-quarters of the full board, excluding the officer proposed to be removed. Any officer proposed to be removed shall be provided with advance written notice, including the reason for the proposed removal, and must have an opportunity to respond to the proposed removal in writing or in person.
(c) Any director or officer may resign at any time by providing written notice to the board.
(d) Any removal or resignation of a person as an officer automatically results in that person’s removal or resignation from the board.
Section 12. Board Meetings. There shall be at least two meetings of the board at such times and places as it may determine. It shall meet at the call of the president or upon call of any three directors Notice of each meeting of the board shall be given personally by mail, electronic mail or other mode of written transmittal to each director at least seven days prior to the meeting.
Section 13. Quorum. A majority of the directors in office shall constitute a quorum for all meetings of the board.
Section 14. Compensation and Reimbursement. No director or elected officer of the Chapter shall be entitled to any salary or other compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the performance of their duties.
ARTICLE IV – NOMINATION AND ELECTION
Section 1. Nominating Committee. There shall be a Nominating Committee of no less than three members who are Accredited, appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors at least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Chapter.
Section 2. Nominations. The Nominating Committee shall name a qualified nominee for each office and for each Assembly Delegate and Director whose term is expiring. It shall ensure that each nominee has been contacted and agrees to serve if elected. Additional nominations, if any, shall be accepted from members at the Annual Meeting, provided the nominees have been contacted and agree to serve, if elected.
Section 3. Notice of Membership. The slate of officers proposed by the Nominating Committee shall be voted on by members in good standing and whose dues are paid. The secretary shall send out the ballots. Membership shall receive ballots by mail at least thirty (30) days prior to the Chapter’s annual meeting. The Secretary shall verify eligibility of the voter.
Section 4. Elections. Officers, Directors and Assembly Delegates shall be elected at the Annual Meeting of PRSA. Election shall be by majority vote of the members in good standing present and voting. Balloting in contested elections shall be by secret ballot.
ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES
Section 1. Appointment and Dissolution of Committees. The board may appoint and dissolve committees to carry on the affairs of the Chapter as the board deems necessary or advisable. The board shall determine the duties of any such group, as well as its size and tenure. There shall be standing committees on Membership, Professional and Chapter Development, Awards, Advocacy, Ethics, Student/Chapter Liaison and Accreditation. All committees established under this section shall be subject to the authority of the board.
Section 2. Committee Reports. The chair of each committee shall report its activities regularly to the board. All committee activities shall be subject to approval by the board.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any meeting in which a quorum is present, provided such proposed amendment(s) has been approved by the
Chapter’s board, and at least thirty days’ notice has been given to all members of any proposed amendment(s). Amendments adopted in accordance with this provision become effective only after approval by the Society’s board.
ARTICLE VII – MISCELLANEOUS
Section 1. Charter. The Chapter, its officers, directors, and agents must conform with and maintain its charter and all Chapter affiliation requirements imposed by the Society.
Section 2. Books and Records. The Chapter must keep books and records of its financial accounts, meeting minutes, and membership list with names and addresses. The Chapter will make its books and records available to the Society at any time.
Section 3. Annual Report to the Society. The Chapter will submit an annual report to the Society each year, as well as any other document or report required by the Society.
Section 4. Conflict-of-interest Policy. The board will adopt a conflict-of-interest policy and annual disclosure process that applies to all officers and directors of the Chapter.
Section 5. Assets of Chapter and Dissolution. No member of the Chapter has any interest in, or right or title to the Chapter’s assets. Should the Chapter liquidate, dissolve or terminate in any way, all assets remaining after paying the Chapter’s debts and obligations must be transferred from the Chapter’s bank account to the Society, as such assets are at all times the property of the Society. In no event may any assets inure to the benefit of or be distributed to any member, director, officer, or employee of the Chapter.
Section 6. Nondiscrimination. In all deliberations and procedures, the Chapter will subscribe to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, disability, sex, age, color, national origin or sexual or affectional preference.
Section 7. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Chapter will be the calendar year, January 1 through December 31.