Exclusivity of Business/Industry Category
Each Member of the Professional Networkers Association holds exclusivity to a business/industry category. Each member is also responsible to ensure that guests will not provide any conflict of interest for existing members. A business/industry category is to be declared on a members approved application. If a current member believes that a guest or prospective member would represent a conflict in regards to their business interests, they are bring it to the attention of the Executive Directors, who will record and assist with a resolution. In cases of overlapping memberships (matters of “grey” area) the business category will be in favour of existing members. Should existing members infringe on each other’s business/industry category, a written letter will need to be submitted to the Executive Directors for conflict resolution. Conflict of interest cards are available to members to help simplify the process and professional come to a resolution.
The nature of the Professional Networker’s Association is to create referrals and become better educated on each other’s products and services; which makes attendance an integral part of our process. If a member is aware that they will be absent, they are to inform the executive in a written format (letter, fax, email). In the event that a member is unable to attend a meeting, the member should, when possible, send a representative in their place. If there is an instance where a member has missed two consecutive meetings, they will receive a letter from the executive to notify them of their attendance commitment and to request a response as to why the absences were necessary. The explanation will be presented to the board at the following meeting. Extended Leave of Absences will be dealt with on an individual basis. The Professional Networkers can sympathize with those who require a leave of absence for personal reasons (health, family, etc.) and would support the member to reprise their role at an appropriate time.
Annual membership dues are currently in the amount of $150 per year (A membership year/term commences on April 1st and ends the following March 31st). Membership payment terms are net 30 days. If a member’s dues are not paid by the 30 day invoice terms, said member cannot participate in meetings and/or events until their account is in good standing. New members’ dues are for one year’s membership plus an initiation of a pro-rated amount to complete the current year’s membership. The initiation fee includes the following year’s membership renewal dues. The board will evaluate all memberships continuously and may discontinue a membership based on conflict of interest, negative character, or payment delinquency. Membership dues are non-refundable in all circumstances.
Code of Conduct
Regular attendance at meetings, payment of dues, the consistent sharing of leads and the timely follow-up and professional delivery of goods and/or services to referrals received are crucial to the success of each member and the success of the group as a whole. Accordingly, members shall adhere to the following Code of Conduct.
A. Absences should be “announced” by sending out an email to the Executive Directors prior to the meeting.
B. Members should arrive at meetings on time and stay for the entire meeting.
C. In the event that a member is unable to attend a meeting, the member should, when possible, send a representative in their place.
D. Members are encouraged to notify the group of any extended absence, such as vacation, extended business related conflicts, or illness. Under special circumstances such as serious illness or extended business trip, the board may grant a maximum of a 3 month leave of absence. All of the above are subject to board review and approval.
E. Given the importance of regular attendance at meetings, it is expected that members will not miss more than 3 consecutive regular meetings without reason. If so, their membership will be automatically cancelled without refund.
F. It is expected that members will develop and deliver warm and legitimate referrals (the goal is to average 1 referral per month). Remember, the exchange of qualified referrals is our primary purpose.
G. It is further expected that members will follow-up timely on referrals received and deliver promised quality and pricing.
H. Members should look for opportunities to bring guests/prospective members to the Professional Networkers meetings.
I. Members must maintain high standards of integrity in business conduct, interaction with other members and referrals.
J. Rules and Regulations: The board shall have the power to adopt and amend rules and regulations covering details of the operation of Professional Networkers Membership. If revised, Bylaws will be presented to all members and signature acknowledging the changes accepted. If a member refuses to sign the revised bylaws they will not be asked to return as continuing member after their paid Membership Year is completed.
Expulsion of Members
The board of directors may suspend or expel a member for cause and may, by a majority vote of those present at any regularly constituted meeting of the Board of Directors, terminate the membership of any member who is in default in the payment of dues, who has failed to attend three regular meetings in a row, or who fails to fulfill any of the obligations imposed by these. The Professional Networkers Association prides itself on having a positive atmosphere that nurtures relationships, growth and referrals. There is zero tolerance policy for negativity against fellow members. If the board determines there is an issue, both parties will be brought together for an immediate resolution. If none can be reached, the board may vote one or both of the members out of the Professional Networkers Association.
Renewal of Membership
The board will vote on all renewing members, and if reason is found to not continue membership, said member will be informed. For renewing members, failure to timely pay renewal dues will result in the member’s immediate expulsion from the group. Member may resubmit an application if business category has not yet been filled, and the new application will be subject to board review and vote.
Reinstatement of Membership
Upon written request, signed by the former member and filed with the Chairperson, the board of directors may, by a majority vote, reinstate said former member to membership on such terms as the board of directors deems appropriate.
Officers and Directors
A. Board of Directors:
The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the:
- Vice Chair
- Secretary Treasurer
- Past Chair
B. Non-Director Officers:
The Board of Directors shall appoint the following non-voting officer positions:
- Visitor Host
- Educational Team
- Special Events Committee
- Membership Welcoming Team
C. Rules and Regulations: The board shall have the power to adopt and amend rules and regulations covering details of the operation of Professional Networkers Membership. If revised, Bylaws will be presented to all members and signature acknowledging the changes accepted. If a member reuses to sign the revised bylaws they will not be asked to return as continuing member after their paid Membership Year is completed.
Description of Director
A. Prepares for meetings and runs them.
2. Vice Chair:
A. Reports and maintains the list of referrals.
B. Emails all members prior to the meetings.
C. Reports on members numbers – provides a list of members and their categories.
D. Maintains attendance reports
3. Secretary Treasurer:
A. Collects and deposits membership dues.
B. Maintains a running account balance.
C. Prints off and distributes speaker list.
D. Advises members of our future speakers and reminds speakers to bring a gift.
Description of Officer Positions
1. Visitor Host:
A. Provides a report at each meeting of the past guests.
B. Greets all visitors and introduces them to the other members.
C. Provides the visitor with a list of what is expected of new members as well as giving them an application to join.
D. Ensures the table has an adequate amount of referral slips.
E. Goes through the process of what a member should do.
2. Educational Team:
A. Shares ideas on marketing to the core group.
B. The keepers of the marketing library.
C. Rotates speakers each meeting.
3. Special Events Committee:
A. Organizes several professional events a year.
B. Advise the core group once a month of any special events that may be happening around the city that may complement the members.
Election of Officers
The Professional Networkers Board of Directors is comprised of three positions.
Each of the above serves for a one year term.(April 1st through March 31st). Nominations shall be accepted throughout the month of March.( Elections to be held the first scheduled meeting in April.) The outgoing Chairperson shall sit on the board for a further one year term in an advisory capacity.
In the event there are no acceptable nominated candidates the directors who are finishing their term may then become eligible for nomination.
To be eligible for nomination the candidate must be in good standing with the Professional Networkers Group as determined by the current Board of Directors and must have been a member for a minimum of one year. Voting to be conducted by secret ballot with each member of the Professional Networkers casting one vote.
While serving as a director of the professional Networkers Group the current board members shall not be required to pay the annual membership fee. Should a director resign for any reason but continue to be a member his annual membership would be calculated on a pro rated basis until March 31. This provision does not apply to the past chair position.