Bylaws & SOP

Constitution – Bylaws


PREAMBLE
Where as over the years the number of Havyakas in America has been growing; and whereas the interest in maintaining the Havyaka tradition is significant among the Havyakas; and whereas it is deemed desirable to form as association with a view to serving their common interest; such an association is formed by such persons.

ARTICLE 1

Section 1 – Name
The association shall be Havyaka Association of Americas, hereafter to be referred as Association.

Section 2 – Non-profit
The Association shall be non-profit organization and shall always remain so during its lifetime.

Section 3- Religious
The association shall initiate, sponsor and support religious activities of common interest to the membership.

Section 4 -Tradition
The Association shall strive to rekindle courage and confidence in the members as believers in the Havyaka tradition

Section 5- Harmony
The Association shall promote friendship, fellowship, and mutual understanding among the members and between the members and the community.

Section 6 – Ties to India
The Association shall set up cultural ties with Havyaka Association in India.

Section 7- Vegetarianism
The Association shall promote vegetarianism, and Havyaka style cooking.

Section 8 – Culture
The Association shall actively encourage the members to preserve and promote the valuable Havyaka traditions such as (a) speaking Kannada language at home and teaching Kannada language to children, (b) daily worship and study of our scriptures, (c) abstention from alcoholic beverages, (d) activities that promote self-development.

Section 9 – Charity
The Association shall try to raise funds on a voluntary basis by direct mail contacts. When the Association has adequate funds at its disposal, the Association shall establish loan facilities for needy students here and abroad. Informed of such activities by mail to their address of record.

ARTICLE II – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1 – Composition
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Governing Body and at least two members to be nominated by the Governing Body and elected by the general membership. Each geographic region shall have directors for the following categories: (a) publicity and communication, (b) cultural activity, (c) sports and arts activity.

Section 2 – Qualifications
Only one person of the family can be a member of the Governing Body at any time. A person must have been an Association member for at least six months before his election or appointment to the Executive Committee.

Section 3 – Succession
The president shall be the head of the Executive Committee and the Association. The General Secretary shall assume responsibility in the absence or resignation of the president. If both offices of the President and General Secretary are vacant, the Executive Committee shall elect a President from among themselves at a special meeting to be called by any member of the committee.

Section 4 -Responsibilities
Each office holder or his representative by proxy shall attend Executive Committee and the membership meetings.

ARTICLE III-DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1 – President
The President shall coordinate the activities of the various officers, head all meetings, enforce all decisions of the Executive Committee, policies, rules and regulations of the Association, and make provisions for discharging the duties of absent officers.

Section 2 – Vice Presidents
The Vice-Presidents shall act as deputies to the President, and will be responsible for organizing and managing all the activities of their regions, and report and coordinate such activities to the Executive Committee. Each Vice-President is responsible to appoint the regional directors.

Section 3 – Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be in charge of collecting all the revenues of the Association, keep an account of incomes and expenditures, present a report of the accounts at each Executive Committee meeting, keep orderly records of all the transactions for auditing and other matters, help the auditors as necessary, collect all the membership dues, present accounting of membership to the Executive Committee, keep proper membership records and prepare directory of membership.

Section 5 – Functions of Directors
(a) Publicity and Communication: magazine and newsletter editing and publishing (b) Cultural and Spiritual Activity: To plan and arrange all the social and spiritual and cultural activities of the Association and report plans to the Executive Committee, and explore new ways to encourage members to preserve Havyaka traditions. (c) Sports and Arts Activity: To plan and arrange sports for the members and develop artistic interests of the members.

ARTICLE IV – ELECTIONS

Section 1 – Elections
There shall be two elections, one for electing office holders of the Governing Body, the other for electing additional members of the Executive Committee as defined in Article V, section 2. The Governing Body elections shall be held every two years in the month of June; the subsequent election of additional Executive Committee members shall be completed by September. Each office holder may be re-elected for the same office for three consecutive terms.

Section 2 – Nominations-Election Committees
The existing Executive Committee shall appoint the nomination – election committee consisting of two members of existing Executive Committee and two members of general membership. This committee shall be appointed in the first week of April. No one on this committee shall be a candidate in the election. The committee shall elect its own chairman.

Section 3 – Functions of Nomination-Election Committee
The committee shall be responsible for inviting and soliciting nominations from the general membership at large and conduction of elections according to guidelines:

I. Till the membership increases to one hundred in number, the nomination committee shall seek nominations by personal contacts and the voting will be done in a general body meeting by casting and counting secret ballots. II. When the membership increases over one hundred in number: (a) The nomination committee will invite the nominations for the Governing Body office holders from the general membership by mail in the month of April. The nomination may also be sought by personal contact. (b) The nomination committee shall place on ballot names of all the candidates who meet the qualifications as per Article II Section 2. Provision should also be made for possible write-in candidates. (c) The nomination committee shall send out ballots by mail at least three weeks before the election. (d) The voting shall be carried out by mail and in a general meeting. The nomination committee shall institute proper procedure to avoid accounting for a member’s vote more than once. (e) The nominating committee shall announce the results of the election before June 30.

ARTICLE V – GOVERNING BODY

Section 1
The newly elected Governing Body shall meet the existing Executive Committee to participate in planning and procedures in order to promote continuity.

Section 2
The Governing Body shall place in nomination at least three additional members to function in their Executive Committee. The ballots for this election will include provision for the write-in candidate and should be mailed by August 15. The formation of the new Executive Committee shall be completed by September.

 

Section 1 – Membership The membership meetings may be called by the Executive Committee by giving three weeks notice and purpose. Membership meetings must be called within a month of written request of 20% of membership.

The membership shall be restricted to all Havyakas and those who have belief in Havyaka tradition, and who shall abide by the rules and regulation laid down in this constitution, the Association bylaws and the Association procedures and practices.

Section 2
Membership categories shall be defined by the Association bylaws and membership shall be non-transferable.

Section 3
The Association membership is voluntary and no member shall have right to sue the Association or the Association officers in a court of law.

Section 4
No member shall speak politically or take political stand on behalf of the Association.

ARTICLE – GOVERNANCE

Section 1
There shall be a governing body for the management of the office of the Assocation, which shall include at least an elected President, General Secretary, Treasurer and three Vice presidents. The three vice presidents shall be one for each regions of the United States: East, Midwest and the West.

Section 2

The composition of the governing body, the elections of the office holders, their duties and designations not specified in Section 1 and related subjects shall be defined by the Bylaws.

ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS

Section 1
The membership must be given a notice three weeks for the meeting along with the proposed amendments.

Section 2
This constitution can be amended by participating members of the Association at a meeting or by postal ballet.

Section 3
A simple majority of those voting shall be required to pass the amendments, which shall become effective immediately.

ARTICLE VIII – BYLAWS
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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


1. PRESIDENTThe president of Havyaka Association of Americas (HAA) will make sure that there is proper communication among the members of the Governing Body (GB). The Governing Body consists of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Director (CD), and elected Executive Committee members (ECM).The President will conduct the ECM meetings at least 4 times a year or more as per constitution (Via telephone, if necessary). President will implement the decision of the ECM, while not violating the HAA constitution. The President will make efforts to communicate with the members of the local chapters (any means deemed necessary such as e-mail, telephone etc.) during at least once in two years so that there is direct contact between the HAA member and the President.2. VICE PRESIDENT (VP) OF THE LOCAL CHAPTER:

A LOCAL Chapter and a VP will be appointed if there are more than two Havyaka Life Memberes living with in a 200 square mile area or as per the convenience of the life membrs. The ECM will approve the formation of the local chapter and initiallly a vp will be appointed for the first two year period. Then after two years the VP will be elected by the Election Committee (EC) as per constitution. The VP will organize at least three meetings per year (Ugadi, Ganesh Chaturti, Deepavali, Nararathri) and a picnic/camp. The VP will collect membership dues and mail the dues with the signed application forms of the membership to the treasurer. The VP will plan budget of the local chapter for two years and mail them to the treasurer by the 1st week of February. Typically the postage and mailing expenses will be reimbursed by the HAA. The picnic/camp or other expenses should be paid by the local chapter through the member contribution/donation etc. The VP will plan the yearly events by February of every year and inform CD to publish via email.

3. SECRETARY
The Secetary will be responsible for updating HAA directory at least once a year or more. Secretary is responsible for implementing the ECM decision, while not violating the HAA constitution, with the help of Governing Body. The Secretary will prepare the annual reports for the preceding year and get it approved by the President and Treasurer by the 1st week January next year. The Secretary will send the application forms for membership with the annual reports by February 28th of each year. The Secretary will make arrangements for the annual audit for HAA program by an independent member (Audit checklist attached).

4. TREASURER
The Treasurer will receive all the HAA funds from the local chapters of the HAA and deposit them within a month after the receipt. The Treasurer will also reimburse the bills submitted bby the GB within a month. Any check (s) more than $1000 will need to signed by the Tresurer and President of the HAA and will be delivered to the respective party with in 45 days. The Treasurer will update the membership list quarterly and publish it through the CD via email, if possible. The treasurer will get the HAA financial acounts audited between November and December of each year. The audit report will be presented to the President/Secretary within the end of the year.

5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS (ECM):
As per Constitution of the HAA, the ECM consists of the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the East, Midwest and West Coast VPs along with two members nominated by the GB and elected by the members.

The ECM will have overall knowledge and history of the HAA. The ECM will advice the President in Policy matters. There should be at least Four or more meetings per year (preferably 1st Sunday of February, May, August and November of the year). The highlights of the ECM meetings will be published by the Secretary (via email or by Post) to the members. This will become part of the permanent record, of there are no objections by the GB. The ECM should read the draft of the minutes before the aforesaid publication and should bring any discrepancies to the attention of Secretary who shall own correcting the minutes abd getting approved by the President before the aforesaid publication.

6. ELECTION COMMITTEE (EC):
The president shall set up the Election Committee (EC) by the October of the even calender year (e.g. 1996) as per constitution. The EC should not have any present office-bearers of the HAA. Then EC will elect a Election Committee Chair (ECC) with the help of the President by the end of November of the current year (e.g., Nov 96). The ECC will nominate the new office bearers ((The President Elect, VPs, Secretary and Treasurer) for the next two years (e.g., 1998-1999), if possible by voluntary basis or by nominations. The nomination of the candidates should meet the qualifications as per the constitution Article ii, Section 2. The provisions shall also be made in the final ballot to all HAA members of record. The ballots should be returned to the ECC by the end of May (e.g., May 1997) The ECC will count the ballots (with two additional members as recommended by the President) and will ensure that the voting has been proper (Only one vote per member). The election results will be announced by the second week of June (e.g., June 1997) and also in the GB meeting during the July 4th weekend in the Convention (E.g., July 1997). The President Elect will assume the role of the President after two years (e.g., 2000 & 2001).

The ECC shall send the list of the elected new office bearers to the GB (e.g., 1998-99) office bearers to the present 1997 office bearers), New Jersey State Registration Office ( where HAA is registered) and to the HAA bank(s).

ECC should follow-up wit the Bank to ensure that the newly elected office bearers are authorized as per the Banks request to operate the HAA funds. If ECC does not get the required authorization from the Bank by the end of October ( e.g, October 1997(, then ECC will contact the president to take further action so as to have smooth transaction by the first of the year (e.g., Jan 1, 1998). The ECC with the help of the outgoing GB and the President will ensure that the transition is smooth and all required documents are made available to the newly elected GB members along with archiving the necessary documents.

7. BIANNUAL CONVENTION:
HAA holds a biannual convention during the first weekend (July 4th) of the Odd years (such as 1997, 1999, 2001 etc). The President of the HAA shall decide the place (Chapter) of the convention along with the ECM decided the place by July of the even year. Then the VP (or the President) of the local chapter where the convention will be held will elect or nominate a Chair of the convention Committee. The Chair Person will be responsible for setting up different committees for the convention, as needed.

Typically the convention will be held for two days. The first day will be picnic, sports activity, cultural or variety programs by the members and their children (outdoor activity) . Next day there will be a GB meeting , administrative meeting, seminar, lectures, entertainment programs, awards ceremony, recognition of young havyakas etc. (indoor activity). The convention committee should raise enough funds to cover all expenses of the convention. However, HAA will provide the necessary funds to cover the convention hall deposit, etc. as a loan to be paid to the HAA after the convention.

The convention announcements and details of the accommodations for those planning to attend should be distributed along with the annual reports, etc. by the end of February of the odd year. The convention committee chair person will update the preparation of the convention on a monthly basis or as needed to the President and the VP of the local chapter where the convention is going to be held.

The convention committee chair person will provide all receipts (anything more than $25) to the treasurer who will reimburse the expenses with in a month. In the absence of the receipts, convention committee chair will provide written statement duly signed before the notary public so as to facilitate proper auditing.

8. COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (CD):
The CD is responsible for the publication of email once a month and maintaining the email directory of HAA members. All VP’s will mail the meting notes notices, meeting minutes, picnic announcements directly to the CD. Other announcements such as fund raising activities for schools, temples or hostels in India should be directed through the President to the CD. The President shall consult the EC, if needed, then take a decision to publish such announcements in the email.

The CD will publish the annual reports, audit reports, etc. forwarded by the President in the email. All meeting announcements should reach the CD sufficiently in advance to be published in the email. Matrimonial/Job announcements/advertisements, which carry a fee, will be cleared through Business Manager/the Treasurer and the President to the CD for publishing in the email.

9. BUSINESS MANAGER (BM):
The BM will be nominated by the President and will be elected by the General Membership. The BM will be responsible for the Matrimonial Data Bank (MDB)/Job announcements and advertisements.

The BM will draft the format, fix the fee to be collected for the services and the business procedures for different activities and submit to the EC for approval. The BM will receive all the MDB details, job announcements and advertisement draft from the members along with the checks for service charges. The BM will be responsible for mailing the checks (service charges) to the Treasurer and the copy of the draft to be published to the CD for email/US post within two weeks after the receipt.

10. LOCAL CHAPTER MEETINGS:
Conducting the local chapter meetings are the responsibility of the VP and can be held in any of the HAA members residence. Strict Vegetarian and non-alcoholic beverages are served during the meetings and is usually a pot luck lunch or dinner. Before the meeting a 15-20 minutes prayer or pooja could be conducted by an experienced member. The kid coordinator makes arrangements for kids to participate in the pooja. The members conversant in English and sanskrit can explain the meanings of the pooja in English/Kannada. After the meals there is a business meeting and the VP of local chapter conducts the meeting, starting with the introduction. The kids coordinators conduct entertainment program from children and parents. Finally a vote of thanks by the VP and the host.

11. KID’S COORDINATORS:
These positions are created so that the children get involved in Havyaka activities and develop leadership and communication skills. They help in conducting pooja, picnic logistics, entertainment programs at the meetings. They help gather articles from the kids for the publication in the Havyaka net. The kid’s coordinators are elected or nominated at the local chapter meetings. Typically the coordinators are from six to 21 years of age.