Chamber Bylaws

Article I


Section 1: Name

This organization is incorporated under the laws of the state of Ohio and shall be known as the West Geauga Chamber of Commerce, Incorporated.

Section 2: Purpose
The purpose of the West Geauga Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (the Chamber) shall be to promote, protect and serve the civic, social, and general business interests of Chesterland, Ohio, and the surrounding area. Additionally, the purpose of the Chamber is to encourage a unified public spirit within the community.Article II


Section 1: Eligibility
Any person, association, corporation, partnership, or estate having an interest in the objectives of the organization shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2: Application and Approval
Applications for membership shall be in writing, on forms provided for that purpose, and signed by the applicant.  Approval of members shall be by vote of the Board of Directors at any meeting thereof.  Any applicant so approved shall become a member upon payment of the regularly scheduled dues as provided in Section 3 of Article II. 

Section 3: Dues
Membership dues shall be at such rate or rates, schedule, or formula as may be from time to time prescribed by the board of directors, payable in advance.

Section 4: Termination
(1) Any member may resign from the Chamber upon written notification to the Board of Directors; (2) any member shall be expelled by the Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote for nonpayment of dues after ninety (90) days from the date due unless otherwise extended for good cause; (3) and any member may be expelled by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, at a regularly scheduled meeting thereof, for conduct unbecoming of a member or prejudicial to aims or repute of the Chamber, after notice and opportunity for a hearing are afforded the member complained against.

Section 5: Voting
In any proceeding in which voting by members is called for, each member in good standing shall be entitled to cast one (1) vote.

Section 6: Exercise of Privileges
Any organization holding membership may nominate an individual(s) whom the holder desires to exercise the benefits covered by its membership and shall have the right to change its membership nomination upon written notice.

Section 7: Orientation
At regular intervals, orientation on the purposes and activities of this organization shall be conducted for the following groups: new officers and directors and current officers and directors, committee chair, committees, and new members. A detailed outline for each of these groups shall be a part of the organization’s procedures manual.

Section 8: Honorary Membership
Distinction in public affairs shall confer eligibility to honorary membership. Honorary members shall have all the privileges of members except the right to vote and shall be exempt from payment of dues. The Board of Directors shall confer or revoke honorary membership by a majority vote.Article III


Section 1: Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the corporation, in compliance with state law, shall be held during the second quarter of each year. The time and place shall be fixed by the Board of Directors and notice thereof communicated to each member at least ten (10) days before said meeting.

Section 2: Additional Meetings
General meetings of the Chamber may be called by the President of the Board at any time, or upon petition in writing of any 25 of members in good standing: notice of special meetings shall be communicated to each member at least five (5) days prior to such meetings. The action at such special meeting will be limited to matters described in the notice; board meetings may be called by the President of the Board or by the Board of Directors upon written application of three (3) members of the Board. Notice, including the purpose of the meetings, shall be given to each director at least three (3) days prior to said meeting; committee meetings may be called at any time by the President of the board or by the committee’s chair.

Section 3: Quorums
For purposes of transacting official business of the Chamber, the following are considered the necessary quorums: (1) At any duly called general or special meeting of the Chamber members, a majority of the members in good standing shall be present in person or by proxy; (2) At a Board of Directors meeting, a majority of Directors must personally be in attendance; and (3) At committee meetings, a majority of committee members shall constitute a quorum.

Section 4: Voting
Voting at any regular or special meetings of the Board of Directors shall be by voice vote unless two (2) or more members of the Board request a secret ballot prior to a vote on the question.

Section 5: Notices, Agendas, and Minutes
Written notice of all Chamber meetings must be given at least one day in advance, unless otherwise stated. An advance agenda and minutes must be prepared for all meetings. A detailed outline for preparation of both shall be a part of the organization’s procedures manual.

Article IV

Board of Directors

Section 1: Composition of the Board
The administration and control of the activities and property of the Chamber shall be vested in a Board of Directors consisting of a minimum of three (3) members and a maximum of nine (9). The term of office shall be two years.

The government and policy-making responsibilities of the Chamber shall be vested in the Board of Directors, which shall control its property, be responsible for its finances, and direct its affairs.

Section 2: Selection and Election of Directors

(1) Nominating Committee. At the regular July Board meetings, the President of the Board shall appoint, subject to approval of the Board of Directors, a Nominating Committee of three (3) members of the Chamber. The President of the Board shall designate the chairperson of the committee.

At the September Board meeting, the Nominating Committee shall present to the President a slate of two (2) candidates to serve 2-year terms to replace the directors whose regular terms are expiring. Each candidate must be an active member in good standing and must have agreed to accept the responsibility of a directorship. No board member who has served two consecutive 2-year terms is eligible for election for a third term. A period of 1 year must elapse before eligibility is restored.

(2) Public Notice of Nominations. Upon receipt of the Nominating Committee’s report, the President shall immediately notify the membership of the names of persons nominated as candidates for directors and the right of petition.

(3) Nominations by Petition. Additional names of candidates for directors can be nominated by petition bearing the genuine signatures of at least ten (10) qualified members of the Chamber. Such petition shall be filed with the Nominating Committee within ten (10) days after notice has been given of the names of those nominated. The determination of the Nominating Committee as to the legality of the petition(s) shall be final.

(4) Determination. If no petition is filed within the designated period, the nominations shall be closed and the nominated slate of two (2) candidates shall be declared elected by the Board of Directors at their regular November board meeting.

If a legal petition shall present additional candidates, the names of all candidates shall be arranged on a ballot in alphabetical order. Instructions will be to vote for 2 (two) candidates only. The President shall distribute this ballot to all active members at least fifteen (15) days before the regular October Board meeting. The ballots shall be marked in accordance with instructions printed on the ballot and returned to the Chamber office within ten (10) days. The Board of Directors shall at its regular November Board meeting declare the two (2) candidates with the greatest number of votes elected.

(5) Judges. The President shall appoint, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, at least three (3), but not more than five (5), judges who are not members of the Board of Directors or candidates for election. One will be designated chairperson. Such judges shall have complete supervision of the election, including auditing the ballots. They shall report the results of the election to the Board of Directors.

Section 3: Seating of New Directors
All newly elected and appointed Board members shall be seated at the regular December Board meeting and shall be participating members thereafter. Retiring directors shall continue to serve until the end of the program year.

Section 4: Vacancies
A member of the Board of Directors who shall be absent from three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall automatically be dropped from membership on the Board unless confined by illness or other absence approved by a majority vote of those voting at any meeting thereof.

Vacancies on the Board, or among the officers, shall be filled by the Board by a majority vote.

Section 5: Policy
The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing procedure and formulating policy for the organization. It is also responsible for adopting all policies of the organization. These policies shall be maintained in a procedures manual to be reviewed annually and revised as necessary.

Section 6: Management
The Board of Directors shall employ a president and shall fix the salary and other considerations of employment.

Section 7: Indemnification
The Chamber may, by resolution of the Board of Directors, provide for indemnification by the Chamber of any and all current or former officers, directors, and employees against expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in connection with the defense of any action, suit, or proceeding in which any of them are made parties, or a party, by reason of having been officers, directors, or employees of the Chamber, except in relation to matters as to which such individuals shall be adjudged in such action, suit, or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of duty and to such matters as shall be settled by agreement predicated on the existence of such liability for negligence or misconduct.

Section 8:  Financial Self-Interest

No member of the Board of Directors, while so serving, shall participate in any matter or vote on any issues that come before the Board in which he or she has a financial interest either personally or professionally unless the same is fully disclosed at a Board meeting and the Board approves such relationship by the Board member.

Article V


Section 1: Determination of Officers
The Board of Directors (new and retiring) at its regular December meeting shall reorganize for the coming year. The Nominating Committee for Directors shall also nominate officers each year. Officers will be elected from members of the new Board. In addition to the nominees presented by the Nominating Committee, nominees will be accepted from the floor. At this meeting, the current President shall declare the President-Elect as President for the ensuing year. The Board shall elect the President-Elect, Vice President, Treasurer and the Secretary by majority vote. Directors present will vote by secret ballot should there be a contest.  All officers shall take office on the first day of the new fiscal year and serve for a term of one (1) year or until their successors assume the duties of office. They shall be voting members of the Board of Directors.

Section 2: Duties of Officers
(1) President. The President shall serve as the chief elected officer of the Chamber of Commerce and shall preside at all meetings of the membership, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee.

The President shall, with advice and counsel of the Vice President and Executive Committee, determine all committees, select all committee chair, assist in the selection of committee personnel, subject to approval of the Board of Directors.

(2) President-Elect. The President-Elect shall exercise the powers and authority and perform the duties of the President in the absence or disability of the President. The President-Elect shall also serve as head of the Long-Range Planning Committee of the Chamber. As such, the President-Elect and the committee will be responsible for determining that the program activities of the Chamber are of such duration as is required, at all times being alert to ensure that the activities of the Chamber are directed toward achieving business and community needs in the area served by the Chamber.

(3) Vice President. The duties of the Vice President shall be such as their title by general usage would indicate, and such as required by law, as well as those that may be assigned by the President and Board of Directors. They will also have under their immediate jurisdiction all committees pertaining to their general duties.

(4) Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the safeguarding of all funds received by the Chamber and for their proper disbursement. Such funds shall be kept on deposit in financial institutions or invested in a manner approved by the Board of Directors. Checks are to be signed by the Treasurer and the President or, in the absence of either or both, by any two (2) officers. The treasurer shall cause a monthly financial report to be made to the Board. The Treasurer should be a Certified Public Accountant or have a minimum of five (5) years of bookkeeping experience.

(5) Secretary. The Secretary shall be responsible for taking and maintaining the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and providing the same upon request to his or her successor or other appropriate representative of the Chamber as designed by Board of Directors. 

Section 3: Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall act for and on behalf of the Board of Directors when the Board is not in session but shall be accountable to the board for its actions. It shall be composed of the President of the board, Past President, President-Elect, Vice President, Treasurer, and the Secretary. The President of the Board will serve as chairperson of the Executive Committee.

Section 4: Indemnification
The Chamber may, by resolution of the Board of Directors, provide for indemnification by the Chamber any of its officers or former officers as spelled out in Article IV, Section 7 of these bylaws.

Article VI

Committees and Divisions

Section 1: Appointment and Authority
The President, by and with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint all committees and committee chairpersons. The President may appoint such ad hoc committees and their chairpersons as deemed necessary to carry out the program of the Chamber. Committee appointments shall be at the will and pleasure of the President and shall serve concurrently with the term of the appointing President unless a different term is approved by the Board of Directors.
It shall be the function of committees to make investigations, conduct studies and hearings, make recommendations to the Board of Directors, and carry out such activities as may be delegated to them by the Board.

Section 2: Limitation of Authority
No action by any member, committee, division, employee, director, or officer shall be binding upon, or constitute an expression of, the policy of the Chamber until it has been approved or ratified by the Board of Directors.
Committees shall be discharged by the President when their work has been completed and their reports accepted, or when, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, it is deemed wise to discontinue the committees.

Section 3: Testimony
Once committee action has been approved by the Board of Directors, it shall be incumbent upon the committee chairperson or, in their absence the individuals they designate as being familiar enough with the issue to give testimony or make presentations before civic and governmental agencies.

Section 4: Division
The Board of Directors may create such divisions, bureaus, departments, councils, or subsidiary corporations it deems advisable to handle the work of the Chamber.
The Board shall authorize and define the powers and duties of all divisions, bureaus, departments, councils, and subsidiary corporations. The Board shall annually review and approve all activities and proposed programs of such divisions, bureaus, departments, councils, or subsidiary corporations having bearing upon or expressive of the Chamber unless approved by the Board of Directors.

Article VII


Section 1: Funds
All money paid to the Chamber shall be placed in a general operating fund. Unused funds from the current year’s budget can be placed in a reserve account.

Section 2: Disbursements
Upon approval of the budget, the President is authorized to make disbursements on accounts and expenses provided for in the budget without additional approval of the Board of Directors. Disbursements shall be by check.

Section 3: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Chamber shall close on December 31st.

Section 4: Budget
By the October board meeting, the Executive Committee shall present the budget for the coming year and submit it to the Board of Directors for approval.

Section 5: Financial Review
The Board of Directors may engage an independent certified public accounting firm to compile, review or audit the annual financial statements of the Chamber. The financial statements shall at all times be available to members of the organization within the offices of the Chamber.

Section 6: Bonding
The President and such other officers and staff as the Board of Directors may designate shall be bonded by a sufficient fidelity bond in the amount set by the Board and paid for by the Chamber.

Article VII


Section 1: Procedure
The Chamber shall use its funds only to accomplish the objectives and purposes specified in these bylaws, and no part of said funds shall inure or be distributed to the members of the Chamber. On dissolution of the Chamber, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organizations to be selected by the Board of Directors as defined in IRS Section 501(c)(6).

Article IX

Section 1: Parliamentary Authority
The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the final source of authority on all questions of parliamentary procedures when such rules are not consistent with the charter or bylaws of the Chamber.

Article X


Section 1: Revisions
These bylaws may be amended or altered by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors or by a majority of the members at any regular or special meetings, provided that notice for the meeting includes the proposals for amendments. Any proposed amendments or alterations shall be submitted to the Board or the members in writing at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be acted upon.