ARTICLE I NAME
The name of this organization shall be Houston Genealogical Forum.
ARTICLE II MISSION STATEMENT
The Mission of the Houston Genealogical Forum is to promote the study of family history and genealogy in the Greater Houston area by:
1. sponsoring lectures and discussions on genealogy and family history research sources and methods.
2. providing opportunities for genealogists in the Houston area to meet and share their family stories and research techniques.
3. fostering select projects related to collecting, preserving, evaluating, and disseminating local and state history and genealogical records.
ARTICLE III MEMBERS
Section 1. Admission.
A. Membership shall be open to anyone interested in subscribing to the purpose of Houston Genealogical Forum and in accordance with these bylaws.
B. Application for membership in this Forum:
- Online: Submitted online on the HGF website with payment electronically.
- In person or by mail: completed membership form submitted to the Membership chair and accompanied by the appropriate dues.
C. Upon receipt by the Second Vice President, Membership Chairman, of the completed membership form(s) and receipt of the appropriate dues, the applicant for membership shall become a member of the Forum, with all the rights, privileges, and duties thereof.
Section 2. Dues and Terms of Membership:
Number of Members
Member with one email address
Members who live at the same address but have separate email addresses
Awarded to members for significant long-term service to HGF
The membership term is 12 months, commencing with the date dues are received.
Memberships not renewed after a 30-day grace period will become inactive.
Membership can be reinstated by payment of annual dues.
ARTICLE IV OFFICERS AND ELECTION
Section 1. Officers:
The elected officers of the Forum shall be a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, a Technology Director, a Genealogical Record Editor, and one (1) Director.
Section 2. Term of Office:
Officers shall be elected for a term of one (1) year or until their successors are elected. No elected officer, except the Treasurer, Technology Director, and Genealogical Record Editor shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same office. No officer or director may simultaneously serve in more than one (1) elected office. The Treasurer, Technology Director, and Genealogical Record Editor may serve up to six consecutive terms in their offices.
Section 3. Vacancy in Office:
Should a vacancy occur in the office of the President, the First Vice President shall become President, and the vacancy thus created in the office of the First Vice President and any other vacancy shall be filled by vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 4. Nominations and Election:
A. The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members. Four (4) members shall be elected by ballot at the regular meeting in March. Prior to the March general meeting, the HGF Board shall elect one Board member to serve on the Nominating Committee, and that person's duties shall be to call the first meeting and set a meeting location. If there is but one (1) nominee for each of the remaining four (4) committee members, the election may be by voice vote. At the first meeting, the committee shall elect a Chairman.
B. the Nominating Committee shall submit one (1) name for each office to be filled at the regular meeting in April. Nominations may be made from the floor at the April meeting following the report of the Nominating Committee preceding the election. No name shall be placed in nomination without the consent of the nominee.
C. The election of officers shall be by ballot at the regular meeting in April. If there be but one (1) nominee for any office, the election may be by voice vote. Members attending online will be able to vote by online poll.
D. Any elected officer absent from three (3) consecutive Board of Directors meetings shall be automatically suspended from office.
ARTICLE V DUTIES OF OFFICERS
The President shall:
1. preside at all meetings of the Forum and Board of Directors
2. perform such duties as set out in these bylaws and the adopted parliamentary authority, directed by the membership
3. appoint all committees
4. serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee
5. prior to each meeting, prepare an agenda showing all items of business to be addressed.
6. sign with the Treasurer or other officer authorized by the Board of Directors all checks to disburse money of the Forum
7. serve as the Houston Genealogical Forum delegate or representative to affiliate genealogical societies.
8. perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office of President
B. First Vice President
The First Vice President shall:
1. preside at meetings of the Forum and Board of Directors in the absence of the President
2. perform such duties as may be requested by the President of the Forum
3. in the event of a vacancy in the office of President, succeed to the office of President for the unexpired portion of the term
4. serve as Chair of the Program Committee
5. sign with the treasurer or other officer authorized by the Board of Directors all checks to disburse money of the Forum.
C. Second Vice President
The Second Vice President shall:
1. preside and perform the duties of the President in the inability or absence of the President and First Vice President
2. perform such duties as may be requested by the President of the Forum
3. serve as Chair of the Membership Committee
4. notify all members in accordance with the bylaws.
D. Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary shall:
1. record the proceedings with a copy to the President of all meetings of the Forum and the Board of Directors
2. comply with the duties outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised
E. Corresponding Secretary
The Corresponding Secretary shall:
1. conduct correspondence
2. In the event of the death of a member, coordinate with the treasurer to make monetary memorial donations to Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research or other genealogical repositories as appropriate.
3. notify the family that a donation has been made in memory of the deceased.
4. perform such duties as requested by the President and Board of Directors and as directed by the Forum
The Treasurer shall:
1. receive and be the custodian of all funds and keep an itemized account of receipts and disbursements.
2. maintain an inventory of all items of value belonging to the Forum.
3. sign, with the President or other officer authorized by the Board of Directors, all checks drawn on the funds of the Forum.
4. prepare a monthly financial report available to the membership and prepare any special reports as requested by the President and the Board.
5. prepare the annual financial report and submit it within ninety (90) days of the close of the year-end books or as soon thereafter as possible
6. coordinate with the Hospitality Chair to purchase lunches at all-day HGF seminars.
7. prepare the annual tax return.
G. Technology Director
The Technology Director shall:
1. create, manage, maintain, and administer the content and organization of the website, keeping the website updated as necessary.
2. set up and maintain the audio/visual equipment used at monthly meetings.
3. manage and administer the system for webcasting the Forum’s meetings to online participants.
4. manage, maintain, and administer the system for distributing email to all Forum members.
5. manage contacts with website vendors and prepare an annual budget for the website.
6. serve as Chair of the Technology Committee.
7. perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the President.
H. The Genealogical Record Editor
The Genealogical Record Editor shall:
1. maintain the quality and standards of The Genealogical Record.
2. recruit and accept submissions of articles or other content.
3. appoint a reviewer from the editorial group to provide feedback to an author.
4. direct the editorial group reviewers on how to make, explain, and justify any issues and/or changes that would strengthen the article.
5. serve as Chair of the Editorial Committee.
6. work closely with the Technology Director to ensure that the Genealogical Record is distributed via website, email, and/or mail.
7. publish The Genealogical Record twice a year.
The Director shall assume responsibilities as assigned by the President.
ARTICLE VI MEETINGS
The regular meeting of the Forum shall be held on the first (1st) Saturday of each month from September through May unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors.
The Annual Meeting shall be the regular meeting in May. The Annual Meeting shall be for the purpose of installing officers, receiving annual reports of officers and committees, and for any other business that may arise. Officers shall be installed as the last order of business at the May meeting and shall assume office at the close of the May Meeting.
Special meetings may be called by the President or the Board of Directors or upon the written request of ten (10) members of the Forum. In the event the President does not call the meeting within five (5) days after being requested by the Board of Directors or upon the written request of ten (10) members, any elected officer may send out the call for the meeting. The purpose of the special meeting shall be stated in the call, and at least three (3) days notice shall be given to the entire membership.
Twenty-five (25) members shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VII BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The officers of the Forum, including one (1) Director, shall constitute the Board of Directors. The immediate past President may serve as an ex-officio non-voting Board member.
The Board of Directors shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Forum between its business and regular meetings, fix the hour and place of meetings, make recommendations to the Forum, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these bylaws. The Board shall be subject to the orders of the Forum, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Forum.
Special meetings can be called by the President or the Board of Directors and shall be called upon the written request of three (3) members of the Board of Directors.
A quorum of the Board of Directors shall consist of five (5) members.
The officers and directors may vote via email or internet-based communication. A majority of officers and directors shall prevail. All email votes should be approved at the next regularly scheduled board meeting and recorded by the Recording Secretary in the meeting minutes.
ARTICLE VIII COMMITTEES
The Finance Committee is composed of the Treasurer and other members appointed by the President after the Annual Meeting in May. This Committee shall be responsible for preparing a budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1 and ending December 31. Any proposed expenditure in excess of the approved Budget must have prior Board approval. The Finance Committee can, from time to time, submit supplements to the Budget for the current fiscal year. The Treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee.
The First Vice President shall be the Chairman of the Program Committee. The President shall appoint other members after the Annual Meeting. Its duty shall be to plan the annual programs of the Forum.
The President shall appoint an Auditing Committee after the Annual Meeting. The duties of this Committee shall be to audit the Treasurer’s accounts for the fiscal year ending December 31 after publication and to report as soon after that as possible.
The President shall appoint a Membership Committee after the Annual Meeting. The duties of this Committee shall be to advise ways and means of increasing the membership of the Forum and such other duties as requested by the President or by the Second Vice President. The Second Vice President shall chair the Committee.
The President shall appoint a Publicity Committee after the Annual Meeting. Publicizing general and special meeting information shall be the duties of the Committee. The Publicity Committee shall work with the First Vice President, who shall be responsible for disseminating information.
The President shall appoint a Hospitality Committee after the Annual Meeting. The duties of this Committee shall be the welcoming and introduction of visitors and new members and the provisioning of each meeting.
The President shall appoint an Editorial Committee after the Annual Meeting. The committee shall work with the Editor, who shall serve as the Committee Chairman. The duties of this Committee shall be the publication of The Genealogical Record of the Houston Genealogical Forum.
The President shall appoint a Technology Committee after the Annual Meeting. The duties of this Committee shall be to support and enhance the Forum's technology, including its website, webinar capabilities, and audio/visual equipment, and train other Forum members in its use. The Technology Director shall chair the Committee.
ARTICLE IX. DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of the organization, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the organization, dispose of all the assets of the organization to the Houston Public Library, Houston, Texas, specifically for the acquisition of books and other materials related to Texas genealogy and history or for special equipment for use in the Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus.
ARTICLE X PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Forum in all cases they apply and are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Forum may adopt.
ARTICLE XI AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
These bylaws can be amended at any regular meeting of the Forum by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting and posted on the Forum’s website. Members attending online may vote by online poll. The proposed bylaws may not conflict with the Articles of Incorporation as amended in April 1978.
Revised: 3 February 2024