Chapter Elections

SRW conducts elections in accordance with our RWA Uniform bylaws and, except where otherwise noted, our Chapter Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM). These documents are available to any chapter member using this link to our google document drive.  

Who Can Vote?

All general members of Saguaro Romance Writers can vote in our elections. Associate members — including members who have not “requalified” as general members by joining PAN, PRO, or submitting a completed and approved manuscript to RWA national, are ineligible to vote or run for office.

SRW Elections Overview

The election for the next year’s Board of Directors is held during our regular business meeting in November.

To be eligible to run, candidates must have been a general member of SRW for at least 6 months prior to taking office. Candidates for President and Treasurer must have been members for 18 months or must have completed RWA national training.

Board of Directors Position Summary

This is an overview of each elected position. Scroll down to see the  election rules from our Chapter Bylaws along with complete descriptions extracted from our Policy and Procedures Manual.

BOARD MEMBERS SHOULD BE PREPARED TO ATTEND THE 30-60 MINUTE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS THAT ARE GENERALLY HELD AFTER OUR REGULAR CHAPTER MEETINGS.

PRESIDENT

Please note: In recent years, the SRW budget has sometimes included a partial reimbursement for the President to attend the RWA National Conference. While this policy may continue in the upcoming year (if it is approved by both the Board of Directors and adopted as part of our annual budget) there is NO guarantee the amount will be allocated and no member should run for President based on that expectation.

The President provides the legal and public face of the chapter and is the primary policy setter (in conference with the board). The President oversees and manages contracts like the one we have with our meeting venue(s) and makes sure we fulfill our annual obligations to the IRS, State of Arizona, and to RWA Nationals. The President runs our monthly Chapter Business and Board of Directors meetings and supervises (directly or indirectly) all volunteer committees. The President is also responsible for making sure all essential chapter volunteer positions are filled and functioning smoothly.

VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMMING

The Vice President of Programming (in conference with the President and Board of Directors) books speakers for our chapter meetings and chapter special events, arranges speaker transportation and lodging, and optionally organizes any associated hospitality event, such as a Friday night dinner with chapter members. Additionally, the VP Programs provides the Director of Communications and/or webmaster with speaker bios and blurbs to be used on the website and publicity.

TREASURER

The Treasure keeps the chapter financial records (currently in Quickbooks), makes our monthly bank deposit, works with the Director of Membership to check people in during the thirty minutes before each chapter meeting or special event, and presents a summary of our chapter financial position during each chapter business meeting. The Treasurer handles the Chapter’s annual Tax reporting (currently a “nonprofit postcard”) with the IRS. Together with the Board of Directors, the outgoing Treasurer prepares  the next year’s draft budget for the incoming BoD. The incoming Treasurer updates the draft budget and prepares it for chapter approval.

SECRETARY

The secretary handles chapter correspondence (chiefly our annual letter transferring the bank account to the new BoD), takes business meeting minutes and BoD business meeting minutes, and prepares and presents the minutes during our chapter business meetings.

DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP

The Director of Membership assists new people in becoming members of RWA National and SRW, maintains all chapter rosters (including our chapter roster on the RWA National website), accepts reservations for chapter meetings, and works with the Treasurer to check people people in during the thirty minutes before each chapter meeting or special event. The Director of Membership maintains and prints name badges for each chapter member.

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

The Director of Communications oversees the distribution of chapter information such as meeting dates and speaker blurbs and bios to both the chapter and general public. In general, this includes supervising posts to our website and social media and coordinating the efforts of the Publicity chair/committee.

Election Rules from Uniform Chapter Bylaws

According to the Uniform Chapter Bylaws:

Section 5.2. Composition. The Board of Directors shall be composed of the Officers and Directors of the chapter. The duties and voting rights of all Officers and Directors must comply with State Law and be outlined in the chapter’s policies. The total composition of the chapter’s Board of Directors shall not exceed eight Officers and Directors.

Section 5.2.1. Officers. Officers of the chapter shall be the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President of Programs.

Section 5.2.2. Directors. Directors of the chapter shall be Director of Communications and Director of Membership.

Section 6.2. Qualifications. In order to be eligible for a Board position (whether elected or appointed), a candidate must: (1) be a General member of the chapter; (2) have been a General member of the chapter for a minimum of six months before taking office; (3) not have a material conflict of interest that would disqualify the person from holding the intended office, such as concurrently serving on the RWA Board or another chapter Board; (4) not have been found guilty of a Code of Ethics violation. Candidates for specific positions must also have the following qualifications:

6.2.1. President. Candidates for President must either: (1) have been a member of the chapter for a minimum of 18 months before taking office and have completed one full year of Board service OR (2) have been a member of the chapter for a minimum of 6 months and received verifiable leadership training from RWA within the past 18 months.

6.2.2. Treasurer. Candidates for Treasurer must possess strong business and financial skills and either (1) have been a member of the chapter for a minimum of 18 months before taking office OR (2) have been a member of the chapter for a minimum of 6 months and received verifiable leadership training from RWA within the past 18 months.

Section 6.3. Term Lengths and Limitations. An individual may hold only one position on the Board at any time. No candidate may run for more than one position at a time. Directors may run for office while serving on the Board. Terms shall be no longer than two years in length and commence on the first day of the fiscal year. An individual may serve no more than two consecutive full terms in any one office, except in such cases in which a replacement has not been elected or appointed and State law requires the individual to remain in office. Term limits must comply with State Law and be outlined in the chapter’s policies.

SRW Board of Directors Detailed Position Descriptions

The following detailed job descriptions are taken from our Policy and Procedures Manual.

5.2 President

5.2.1 The President represents the public and legal face of Saguaro Romance Writers. With the exception of speaker contracts and travel arrangements, only the President may enter into legal agreements on behalf of the chapter. This position requires excellent organizational and leadership skills and requires frequent monitoring and direction of chapter volunteers.
5.2.2 The President must be available to attend monthly board meetings after the regular chapter meeting and must be willing to moderate and participate in the board of directors Yahoo Loop.
5.2.3 The President organizes and submits the chapter’s annual incorporation papers with the Arizona Corporation Commission and serves as the chapter’s statutory agent. Note that changing statutory agents requires a paper (not electronic) annual document filing.
5.2.4 The President organizes and submits the chapter’s annual RWA chapter affiliation renewal.
5.2.5 The President ensures that the chapter adheres to RWA National Policies and to Chapter Bylaws and Policies & Procedures.
5.2.6 The President conveys to the members any communications, requests, suggestions, and information updates provided by RWA National Headquarters and the RWA board of directors .
5.2.7 The President maintains the contractual and professional relationship with the meeting venue. Such duties include the negotiation of each meeting’s menu and the communication of reservation numbers.
5.2.8 The President provides the chapter with a monthly written President’s report reviewing the activities of the Board and chapter business as well as pertinent information from RWA National. This report is also presented in the chapter business meeting.
5.2.9 The President provides the members of the board of directors with an agenda before each board meeting and chapter business meeting.
5.2.10 The President conducts chapter business meetings and board meetings.
5.2.11 The President brings to each meeting a copy of the chapter’s (a) Articles of Incorporation (b) Bylaws (c) Policy and Procedures Manual, and (d) Chapter Affiliation Agreement.
5.2.12 The President serves as ex-officio member of all committees except the election committee.
5.2.13 The President co-signs all contracts, checks, and reimbursement forms except in the case of reimbursements made to the President.
5.2.14 The President handles and/or supervises all external chapter correspondence.
5.2.15 The President appoints, with the approval of the board of directors, qualified members to fill any Board or committee chair vacancies on an as-needed basis.
5.2.16 The President may remove, with the approval of the board of directors, any committee chairperson.
5.2.17 The President announces the annual dues amount during the August business meeting, and distributes this information to the chapter.

5.3 Vice President of Programs

5.3.1 The Vice President of Programs is responsible for organizing speakers for chapter meetings and has oversight of special events. This position requires good communication skills and a commitment to locate and follow up with high-quality speakers for chapter meetings.
5.3.2 The Vice President of Programs must be available to attend monthly board meetings after the regular chapter meeting and must be willing to monitor and participate in the board of directors Yahoo Loop.
5.3.3 The Vice President of Programs coordinates speaker honorariums, travel and housing. All expenditures are expected to fall within the approved annual programs budget.
5.3.4 The Vice President of Programs arranges speaker travel to and from the hotel and meeting venue during the speaker’s visit.
5.3.5 The Vice President of Programs coordinates an optional Friday or Saturday night chapter dinner for the speaker. When space is limited, places at the dinner should be offered to the board of directors first, then committee chairs, and finally to chapter members as a whole.
5.3.6 At least 60 days before a meeting, the Vice President Programs provides information about upcoming speakers and topics to the Director of Communications for distribution to publicity, the chapter website, etc.
5.3.7 The Vice President of Programs acts as liaison between speakers and chapter members and introduces speakers at each chapter meeting.
5.3.8 The Vice President of Programs prepares projected venue requirements for the president and board of directors to use in contracting meeting space.
5.3.9 The Vice President of Programs is responsible for Audio/Visual equipment and room setup before chapter meetings. If there is an A/V chair, the VP Programs informs the Chair of equipment requirements (projector, whiteboards, etc.) for upcoming meeting.
5.3.10 The Vice President of Programs may invite speakers to bring pictures, bookmarks, book covers, and/or other publicity items to the meeting at which the speaker will be speaking or to send such items to arrive in advance of the meeting. The Vice President of Programs may also invite speakers to bring books for signing and purchase at the meeting or for the chapter raffle.
5.3.11 The annual chapter budget may include a fixed maximum reimbursement for the Vice President
of Programs and/or his or her designated stand in for expenses incurred while entertaining out of town speakers. Appropriate reimbursements include the meals the Vice President of Programs takes with the speaker and reimbursement for gas.
5.3.12 The Vice President of Programs assumes the role and duties of the President if the President leaves office or is unable to serve.

5.4 Treasurer

5.4.1 The Treasurer maintains the chapter’s financial records and oversees the receipt and disbursement of funds in keeping with RWA National policies outlined in the Chapter Affiliation Agreement. This position requires a working knowledge of excel and a willingness to learn basic accounting procedures.
5.4.2 The Treasurer must be available to attend monthly board meetings after the regular chapter meeting and must be willing to monitor and participate in the board of directors Yahoo Loop.
5.4.3 The Treasurer, together with the Director of Membership, tracks payments and checks members in before each meeting.
5.4.4 The Treasurer handles the Chapter’s annual Tax reporting with the IRS.
5.4.5 The outgoing Treasurer provides the incoming President with Profit and Loss information sufficient to fill out the annual Chapter Affiliation Renewal and the AZ Corporation Commission renewal.
5.4.6 The outgoing Treasurer prepares an annual chapter budget to serve as a guideline for the incoming board. The incoming Treasurer finalizes this budget and presents it to the chapter.
5.4.7 The Treasurer monitors bank accounts to verify that all charges against the accounts are authorized. In the case of online charges, the Treasurer verifies that the board member making the purchase (President or VP Programs) forwards an electronic receipt to be archived.
5.4.8 The Treasurer presents a report detailing the previous month’s financial transactions, bank reconciliation, and financial balances for approval during each chapter business meeting.
5.4.9 The Treasurer prepares checks to cover chapter payments such as honorariums and reimbursements. Checks are signed by chapter officers in accordance with the Chapter Affiliation Agreement (as of 2015, two board members other than the Treasurer.)
5.4.10 The Treasurer verifies that all reimbursement requests fall within the approved chapter budget and are accompanied by a valid receipt. In the event no receipt is available, the reimbursement requires a majority vote of the board of directors.
5.4.11 The Treasurer saves a snapshot of each month’s financial report on the chapter archives (Google Drive).
5.4.12 The Treasurer works with an Audit Committee at least once per year to facilitate an audit of chapter finances.

5.5 Secretary

5.5.1 The Secretary records minutes of all chapter business meetings and board meetings and makes these minutes available to all members at the next regularly scheduled meeting. This position
requires working knowledge of approved word processing software.
5.5.2 The Secretary must be available to attend monthly board meetings after the regular chapter meeting and must be willing to monitor and participate in the board of directors Yahoo Loop.
5.5.3 The Secretary maintains the official electronic archive (Google Drive), saving chapter correspondence, receipts, and other materials in the appropriate folder. At the beginning of each year, the Secretary saves the entire archive in compressed (zip) format as a permanent snapshot of chapter records.
5.5.4 At least once per quarter, the Secretary reviews the official electronic archive to make sure key chapter documents (officer reports, meeting minutes, and agendas) have been saved in accordance with RWA National’s chapter record retention schedule, located in the Chapter Affiliation Agreement.
5.5.5 The Secretary keeps current and past copies of the Bylaws and Policies & Procedures Manual in the chapter archives and provides members with an electronic copy upon request.
5.5.6 At least once per month, the Secretary or designated chapter member checks the chapter’s P.O. Box for mail. Note that an official PO Box address is mandated by RWA National as of 2011.

5.6 Director of Membership

5.6.1 The Director of Membership maintains a record of the members of Saguaro Romance Writers, accepts new member applications, and verifies that each person who joins the chapter is also a member of RWA National. This position requires a basic working knowledge of electronic spreadsheets, document scanning, and the ability to interact with the RWA national membership report system.
5.6.2 The Director of Membership must be available to attend monthly board meetings after the regular chapter meeting and must be willing to monitor and participate in the board of directors Yahoo Loop.
5.6.3 The Director of Membership maintains two versions of the Chapter Membership List: a Board-only version containing each member’s contact information and personal details, and a General version containing only such information as each member wishes to disclose to chapter members.
5.6.4 The Director of Membership maintains our membership roster on the RWA National website. On a monthly basis, the Director of Membership verifies that each member has remained current with RWA National and verifies the classification of each member.
5.6.5 The Director of Membership accepts meeting reservations, answers inquiries about the chapter, provides the Treasurer with a list of reserved members (to use in check-in) and provides a reservation count to the President to pass on to the meeting venue.
5.6.6 The Director of Membership, together with the Treasurer, tracks meeting payments and checks members in before each meeting.
5.6.7 The Director of Membership solicits new memberships from visitors and conference participants.
5.6.8 The Director of Membership works with the Hospitality chair to make sure each guest is seated with a welcoming chapter member.
5.6.9 The Director of Membership provides guests with information about the chapter and introduces guests and new members during the chapter business meeting.
5.6.10 The Director of Membership adds new members and to the chapter forum (Yahoo loop), introduces them to the group, and removes members who have left the chapter.
5.6.11 The Director of Membership maintains individual badges for chapter members and transports badges to and from meetings.
5.6.12 The Director of Membership assumes the role and duties of the President if both the President and Vice President of Programs leave office or are unable to serve.

5.7 Director of Communications

5.7.1 The Director of Communications is responsible for planning and supervising the distribution of chapter information. This job requires good organizational skills with an emphasis on the ability to prioritize, and the willingness to interact with a variety of online media.
5.7.2 The Director of Communications must be available to attend monthly board meetings after the regular chapter meeting and must be willing to monitor and participate in the board of directors Yahoo Loop.
5.7.3 The Director of Communications works with the Vice President of Program & Publicity chair to produce appropriate blurbs and fliers for distribution to chapter communications, including publicity, the chapter website, the chapter loop and/or newsletter.
5.7.4 The Director of Communications works with Director of Membership to maintain a list of interested non-members and inform them about upcoming programs and special events.
5.7.5 The Director of Communications updates the chapter website with announcements and with program information, including full blurbs for at least the next two upcoming meetings/events whenever possible.
5.7.6 The Director of Communications works with the Social Media Chair to post upcoming meeting announcements to the chapter’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Romance Writers of America® Chapter 58