EXPATRIATE ASSOCIATION OF SUZHOU BYLAWS
A. Expatriate Association of Suzhou, hereafter referred to as the “Association” or EAS
A. The organization is established to:
1. Provide opportunities for members to participate in social, cultural, sporting, and educational activities on a non-profit basis.
2. Help members get to know each other.
3. To promote expatriate interest in China.
A. Expatriates, and their families, living in Suzhou or any expatriates having an interest in Suzhou will be eligible for membership.
B. Expatriate is defined as a holder of a non-Chinese passport.
C. Membership includes the immediate family members of the expatriate, defined as spouse, children, parents, and siblings that are living with the expatriate.
D. A copy of the bylaws will be available to all members online.
E. The family’s Ayi may only attend a “members-only” function in lieu of an adult member at a family function.
F. Persons attending a “members-only” function must be listed on the membership application form.
A. Membership dues will be the amount determined by the current board.
B. Dues will be payable on or before the first of April, or upon membership application.
A. The Board will consist of EAS members.
B. A member may not serve on the Board in the same position for more than three consecutive elected years but may stand for re-election after the lapse of one year.
C. The Board will be responsible for management of the Association.
D. Any vacancy in the Board after the AGM may be voted on after the vacancy has been announced to the membership at the first Meet and Greet after the vacancy happens, is published in the EAS newsletter and is advertised on the EAS website in the News Headlines. Once a candidate steps forward they will be voted on by the Board in a closed Board meeting.
E. No financial commitment will be made on behalf of the Association without approval of the Board. Urgent financial matters require approval by at least three Board members and must include one Co-Treasurer, one Co-President and one Board member.
VI. Meetings/ Functions
A. There will be a minimum of six board meetings of the Association each year or as needed.
B. The Annual General meeting will take place in March of each year, for the presentation of committee reports, the election of the Board, and any other business brought forth at that time.
C. Voting will be qualified by a 2/3 vote of the members present at the Annual General Meeting. A member may request to vote by written proxy.
D. Only members in good standing may attend an event designated as “members-only.”
E. A member must pay for any reservation made and not canceled by the published closing date.
F. There are no guaranteed refunds for purchased tickets or reservations to EAS functions. Tickets cannot be resold by the member but must be returned to the chairperson, who will try to find new purchasers.
G. Tickets to some events will only be available on a first come/first serve basis. To give all members an equal chance to purchase tickets, reservations cannot be made, nor tickets purchased before the published date. Tickets will be held for 24 hours after a phone call, to allow the member time to pay and collect the tickets. If not collected within 24 hours, they may be sold to another member.
H. EAS Board reserves the right to charge different prices for members and non-members to attend EAS subsidized and or sponsored events.
VII. Board Elections
A. Board members will be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
B. All members are entitled to vote.
C. The President will appoint a nominating committee who will present a slate of officers at the February Board meeting. The slate of officers will be published in the newsletter.
D. Nominations may be accepted from the floor at the Annual General meeting provided the consent of the person nominated has been obtained.
E. Voting will be made by secret ballot if more than one candidate stands.
F. The newly elected Board will assume office April 1st.
VIII. General Rules
A. A notice will call the Annual General Meeting no later than end of February.
The Bylaws may be amended at the General Meeting by a 2/3 vote of the members present. Dissolution of the Association can be made by calling an Extraordinary General Meeting.
B. A notice of the motion must be publicized in the newsletter. An approval vote by 2/3 of the members present at the Extraordinary General Meeting is required for dissolution.
C. Any member may call an Extraordinary General Meeting by notifying each member in writing. The notice must include the exact purpose of the meeting, the date, time, and venue of the meeting.
I. The Association
A. The Association will consist of the Board and the general membership.
II. The Board
A. The Board will consist of the following elected positions: Co-Presidents; Co-Treasurers; Co-Secretaries; Co-Chairpersons of Activities, Web Administrators, Co-Chairpersons of Membership, Co-Chairpersons of Vendor Relations and Co-Newsletter Editors. Tai Tai Coordinator and Charity Committee Chairperson form the Standing Committee.
B. Standing committees may be added or deleted by the Board as needed.
III. Board Positions Descriptions
A. Co-Presidents chair the Board and Meetings, act as Association representatives when necessary and coordinate and direct Board activities. They will adhere, enforce and update the Association By-laws. They will also appoint and oversee a Charity Sub-Committee, who will be responsible for researching needs and distributing, earmarked EAS funds, to decided charitable organizations. They will also appoint a Christmas Bazaar Committee, an EAS Calendar Committee and any other special committees that may be required. They will also oversee the EAS Discount Program.
B. Co-Treasurers receive and disburse all funds, keep accurate books and accounts, and prepare a financial statement for presentation at the AGM. The Board will assign an auditor to verify the annual financial statement.
C. Co-Secretaries prepare minutes of board meetings with copies being delivered within two weeks to the Board members. They will take minutes of AGM and all Extraordinary General Meetings.
D. Co-Chairpersons of Activity Committee arrange regular group activities and organize larger events held throughout the year.
E. Co-Chairpersons of Web Administration will maintain the Association website in a timely and informative fashion.
F. Co-Chairpersons of Membership and Hospitality coordinate all membership activities, including introduction of new members, maintain a current membership database.
G. Co-Chairpersons of Newsletter will publish a newsletter. The newsletter will include information about Association functions and events and other articles of interest to the membership. Their responsibilities will also include arranging distribution of the newsletter.
H. Tai Tai Coordinator is a Board position and will work with the appropriate officials to organize and coordinate all the Tai Tai tours and trips.
I. Charity Committee Chairman is a Board position and coordinates the efforts of the EAS Charity Committee to research needs and distribute funds to chosen organizations, facilitate a monthly meeting appointing one member to write and distribute meeting minutes, coordinate the efforts to plan annual fundraising events and compiles periodic updates for the newsletter as well as the End of Year Report.
J. Co-Chairpersons of Vendor Relations contact local businesses in Suzhou to join the EAS Vendor Discount program. Vendors renew their contracts once a year and give a discount on products/services to all EAS members.
IV. Board Responsibilities and Directives
A. Board members must attend board meetings on a regular basis. Co-Chairpersons must ensure representation of their committee at board meetings. When more than one Co-Chairperson is present, only one report will be given. Recurring absences may result in loss of board position. Notification of an absence must be given in advance to one of the Co-Presidents or Co- Secretaries.
B. Board members may request assistance from other members in the execution of their duties.
C. The Board may call upon any member to attend a Board meeting. An Association member may ask to attend a Board meeting with prior notification.
D. Board member is not allowed to spend or commit EAS funds without prior approval from the Board. The individual responsible must cover any unauthorized spending.
E. Each committee will be responsible for their correspondence.
F. A Membership Directory will be updated, and only available for official EAS use. The membership directory will not be distributed. The Directory will list each member’s name, home and E-mail address and phone number. For reasons of security, the phone directory is for only EAS use.
G. Copies of the Association Bylaws will be available from the Membership/Hospitality Co-chairpersons. The Bylaws will be distributed to new members and as needed.
A. Money raised by any means under the EAS name or sponsorship is the property of the EAS to be disbursed only at the discretion of the Board. Disbursement will include such items as activity expenses, costs for official EA. functions, and incidental and refreshment costs incurred by the Board during the execution of official Board duties.
B. All income (for example, ticket sales) must be given to the Treasurer; no deductions shall be made. A receipt will be issued to the person submitting the money. The Treasurer in the presence of the money giver must count the money.
C. The Treasurer, who will collect the expense receipt and issue a cash-out receipt with reimbursement, will reimburse all approved expenses. No expense money will be given out of the treasury without an expense receipt.
D. The Treasurer can give approved expense advances. A receipt for cash advances will be signed by both the Treasurer and the receiving member and must be reconciled as soon as possible.
E. Money must never be out of the possession of the EAS Treasurer/Board Member when paying for functions. Money must be counted in front of the Treasurer and/or another Board member.
F. In the absence of one of the Co-Treasurers, a Board member will be appointed to be responsible for Treasurer activities.
G. All money remaining with any committee must be accounted for and returned to the EAS treasury by February for inclusion in the AGM financial report.
H. EAS funds are only to be used for EAS members. All non-members will pay at least the cost price to attend any EAS event.
Reviewed and Revised: March 2016
Changes approved at March 2016 AGM