First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Winterfest #19
thatlee
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by thatlee » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:13 am

Hookay...here goes!

I would recommend a club structure based on Robert's Rules of Order. At first glance, this set of procedures may seem like overkill, but RO has many advantages – they are professional, the rules set is widely available (any bookstore should carry a copy), and they apply to a wide variety of situations from town meetings to corporate board meetings to club meetings. Another advantage is that RO does not have to be strictly followed, it is a flexible structure that can be adapted to fit needs.

The basic idea is to create a set of Bylaws, which are the governing structures for the club – who gets to vote and for how many officers, how long do officers serve, what are the duties of officers, their limits of power, etc

How Winter Fest Club might be organized
1) For the rank and file club members, the annual meeting (held during the Fest) is the most important meeting of the year. The business to conduct would include a financial report, presentation of minutes, vote on proposed changes to the Bylaws, along with other action items. Most importantly, this is the meeting for the election of new officers.

2) During the rest of the year, the officers are responsible for preparing for a successful Winter Fest. They may hold meetings (for decisions), assign committees (to study alternatives), and take actions to set up for the Fest. The officers should present to the membership a written record of decisions taken (minutes).


Club Membership
This brings up the first important question – who is the membership? Who can vote and hold office in other words? Some possibilities

-anyone in attendance at the meeting that has paid for at least that day
-anyone in attendance that has paid membership dues (could be $2 per year or some token amount)
-anyone in attendance that has been to at least 2 previous Winter Fests
(I would not recommend allowing proxy votes)

Members need to be in good standing (whatever that means). What about minimum age for officers, who may have to sign legal documents? Can younger members vote?

In my next post, I will include a sample set of Bylaws. Enclosed in brackets “[ ]” are items that the membership will need to define.

Lee Hamer

thatlee
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by thatlee » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:16 am

Sample Bylaws (rough draft)


ARTICLE I: name
The name of this organization shall be [Winter Fest War Gaming] Club

ARTICLE II: purpose
The Purpose of this club is to [hold an annual week long war gaming convention in northeast Ohio during the winter season]

ARTICLE III: Membership
The membership of the Club will be comprised of [anyone in attendance that has been to at least 2 previous Winter Fests is a member, furthermore a member must be in good standing]

ARTICLE IV: [Dues] and Rental Assessments
[The Club will levy dues as determined by the Officers.] Rental Assessments are yearly general reimbursement for the gaming venue as determined by the Club Officers.

ARTICLE 5: Regular Meetings
Section 1. Meetings of Officers may be called by the President to decide on Club matters at any time throughout the year.
Section 2. Quorum shall consist of [2 if 3 Officers or 3 if 5 Officers] Officers.

ARTICLE 6: Officers
Section 1. Officers. [I recommend either 3 or 5 officers, for example President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Member at Large. If the Club consists of 3 Officers, then President, Treasurer, Secretary].
Section 2. Officers are elected [yearly] at the Annual Meeting [no limits on how many terms may be served]

ARTICLE 7: Duties of Officers
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all principle functions of the Club; to represent the Club in dealings with outside agencies; and to transact business in the name of the Club in accordance with the Bylaws.
Section 2: It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to act in the place of the President if necessary
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect all dues and assessments; to care for the funds of the Club; to make financial reports as required by the Bylaws
Section 4: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a correct and accurate account of the minutes of all meetings of the Club; to maintain a record of all material, photographs, or archival material and provide an accessible file of same for use and inspection of the Club
Section 5: The President shall assign duties to the Member at Large

ARTICLE 8: Annual Meeting and Election
Section 1. The Officers shall present the yearly minutes and financial statement
Section 2. The Officers shall report on committee activity
Section 3. The President shall call for a vote by membership on any agenda items, or on items brought forward by motion of members.
Section 4. Nomination and election of Officers. [At the annual meeting to be held during the Fest, any member may nominate a member in good standing to be added to the ballot. Furthermore, the nominee must be at least 21 years old. ]
Section 5. Voting. Any member of good standing present during the annual meeting may cast one vote for up to [3 or 5] nominees. [The voting results will be tabulated at least 1 member, who may not be currently an officer or nominee. ]The nominees with the highest number of votes will serve as officers with their term beginning after the Fest.

ARTICLE 9: Committees
Section 1: The President shall determine committees as well as appoint members to the committee. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
[Section 2: There shall be the following standing committees of the Club:
a) financial committee
b) website committee
c) table space/game schedule ]
[I'm not real clear on the needed standing committees, if any, Merv would have a better sense than anyone what the Club needs]

ARTICLE 9: Procedures
The Club shall follow Parliamentary Procedures as outline in Robert's Rules of Order unless otherwise superseded by the Bylaws

ARTICLE 10: Amendments
The Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the membership during the Annual Meeting


Fire away with any comments or suggestions.

DaveM1
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by DaveM1 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:08 pm

Looks good to me.

While it'd be great to stay informal and not have to go here, it seems like a good time to take this step. After all, we're still the same people and we'll still handle things the same way....but now inside a clearly communicated structure.

And that's the real benefit. With structure we can make it clear to everyone that "this is how our group of guys likes to do things." Clear expectations, clear lines of communication, less ambiguity when folks not as familiar with our culture have different expectations.

Racine
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by Racine » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:23 pm

Good job Lee. A lot to chew on at the meeting.
Dave Nelson

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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by MTierney » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:12 am

Very nice job Lee! I would like ask we move up the meeting to perhaps sometime on the first weekend so Shawn can participate. He is only there through Monday.
Merv

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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by Madison » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:41 pm

thatlee wrote:Sample Bylaws (rough draft)


ARTICLE I: name
The name of this organization shall be [Winter Fest War Gaming] Club

Winterfest War Gaming Club (WWGC) ? I also think we need a brand or logo which will attach to our marketing materials such as letterhead, website, T-Shirts and business cards, etc.

ARTICLE II: purpose
The Purpose of this club is to [hold an annual week long war gaming convention in northeast Ohio during the winter season]

I'd would not pin this to NE Ohio only. I would go as far to say as the purpose is to hold an annual week long war game convention, centrally located to the majority of good standing members, traditionally held near along the north coast of central Ohio. (If our rental deals falls through with Best Western for X reasons, the membership/office can propose alternative locations for the future) Another issue is what if by chance a majority of members come from Michigan or Indiana or someplace not central to the Ohio players here? Are they all going to drive to Ohio even if the minority of players are Ohio natives? This is just a hypothetical but nonetheless a possibility, perhaps not today or next year but still possible in the future if membership grows. Hell me may outgrow the Best Western... then what?

ARTICLE III: Membership
The membership of the Club will be comprised of [anyone in attendance that has been to at least 2 previous Winter Fests is a member, furthermore a member must be in good standing]

Define good standing: paid dues? Can we revoke membership? If so who can do this? We have to have a mechanism to get rid of bad apples.

ARTICLE IV: [Dues] and Rental Assessments
[The Club will levy dues as determined by the Officers.] Rental Assessments are yearly general reimbursement for the gaming venue as determined by the Club Officers.

I think there needs to be annual dues to pay for non related Fest expenses (I'm thinking of marketing costs (flyers/business cards) and web hosting expenses and anything that needs to be covered which helps up prepare to host Winterfest. Say $10.00 annually. Winterfest expenses are separate from dues and that expense is shared fairly by all participants as determined by the Treasurer.

ARTICLE 5: Regular Meetings
Section 1. Meetings of Officers may be called by the President to decide on Club matters at any time throughout the year.
Section 2. Quorum shall consist of [2 if 3 Officers or 3 if 5 Officers] Officers.

ARTICLE 6: Officers
Section 1. Officers. [I recommend either 3 or 5 officers, for example President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Member at Large. If the Club consists of 3 Officers, then President, Treasurer, Secretary].
Section 2. Officers are elected [yearly] at the Annual Meeting [no limits on how many terms may be served]

ARTICLE 7: Duties of Officers
Section 1: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all principle functions of the Club; to represent the Club in dealings with outside agencies; and to transact business in the name of the Club in accordance with the Bylaws.
Section 2: It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to act in the place of the President if necessary
Section 3: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect all dues and assessments; to care for the funds of the Club; to make financial reports as required by the Bylaws
Section 4: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a correct and accurate account of the minutes of all meetings of the Club; to maintain a record of all material, photographs, or archival material and provide an accessible file of same for use and inspection of the Club
Section 5: The President shall assign duties to the Member at Large

ARTICLE 8: Annual Meeting and Election
Section 1. The Officers shall present the yearly minutes and financial statement
Section 2. The Officers shall report on committee activity
Section 3. The President shall call for a vote by membership on any agenda items, or on items brought forward by motion of members.
Section 4. Nomination and election of Officers. [At the annual meeting to be held during the Fest, any member may nominate a member in good standing to be added to the ballot. Furthermore, the nominee must be at least 21 years old. ]
Section 5. Voting. Any member of good standing present during the annual meeting may cast one vote for up to [3 or 5] nominees. [The voting results will be tabulated at least 1 member, who may not be currently an officer or nominee. ]The nominees with the highest number of votes will serve as officers with their term beginning after the Fest.

ARTICLE 9: Committees
Section 1: The President shall determine committees as well as appoint members to the committee. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
[Section 2: There shall be the following standing committees of the Club:
a) financial committee
b) website committee
c) table space/game schedule ]
[I'm not real clear on the needed standing committees, if any, Merv would have a better sense than anyone what the Club needs]

ARTICLE 9: Procedures
The Club shall follow Parliamentary Procedures as outline in Robert's Rules of Order unless otherwise superseded by the Bylaws

ARTICLE 10: Amendments
The Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the membership during the Annual Meeting


Fire away with any comments or suggestions.

Great start here Lee. I'd like to see the founding members who have been associated with Winterfest since the beginning have some weight on matters in comparison to someone who has attended 2 fests and paid dues. I encourage everyone to bring their ideas to the table this coming weekend and we should all prepare to sit for several hours and hash as much out as we can.

Thanks for your work on this, great stuff.

John

thatlee
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by thatlee » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:21 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Now, for a response to John, I'll take each point by Article number

A I – I mostly took the name from the website banner. That's great to think about marketing possibilities, so change is possible!

A II – Of course I should have written NW Ohio, not NE Ohio. Dang!
Your proposed alteration fits perfectly “to hold an annual week long war game convention, centrally located to the majority of […] members.”

As to the question of “then what?” if we have to rework the Bylaws, see Article X (Amendments). Dang! I just noticed I need to consistently use Roman Numerals on my Articles...

A III – We do have to define what is a member in good standing. In most clubs, a member in good standing is someone who has paid dues and has not lost membership due to disciplinary issues etc. We may want folks to also have participated at Winter Fest 1-2 years before trusting them with a vote.
Membership can be revoked – the authority to do so is already incorporated in RO- it would be done by the Board of Directors (in the draft I only use the term officers, but officers are the people and the Board is the deciding body, they are one and the same essentially). The Board could consider disciplinary action at a regular meeting during the year, or could do so at the annual meeting. Typically a Board will consider action against a member in closed (or executive) session...for privacy and so on, therefore no general members may participate...sometimes a hearing is held...then the firing squad...

A IV – sounds great! Under the current Bylaws (rough draft) the Board could vote anytime during the year to add or subtract from the annual dues. We may want to alter the Bylaws to have dues (for the next year) brought before the Annual Meeting for the entire membership to vote. Dues may also be locked into the Bylaws (ie, dues are $10) and if the membership wants to change this, see Article X. So, lots of options here.

(Note to self - under Article VII – “Duties of Officers” refers to the Board of Directors. I will need to change some wording so that the Bylaws use the term Board of Directors)

Regarding the “Founding Fathers” - I think that is an awesome idea to have the Founders involved as much as possible.
As of now, there is no formal club, Winter Fest is essentially an oligarchy run by the Founders (mind you, I'm not complaining!), so if there is a transition of power to be made, it should come from the Founders.
It would be great for the Founding Fathers to conduct the first meeting (as if they are elected officers) and set up the Bylaws...that would allow the club to start off with great tradition.
Think of the Bylaws as the constitution of the club...because that is what they are.

My understanding of my role in all this is just to advise the Founders on how to form a club based on parliamentary rules and procedures, of which I know something. But yeah, super cool to have the Founders make most of the judgment calls when formulating the governing documents...

Lee

Racine
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by Racine » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:33 pm

Once founded, you might want to consider becoming a 501(c) organization to keep Ohio and the Feds happy...... or not.

Dave Nelson

PS Don't make the mistake we at Navcon did and made it a C Corporation......................

mignered
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting: cross post

Post by mignered » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:18 pm

All,

As someone who is new to Winterfest I would like to offer a suggestion or two.

1. The real name of the poster should be listed. For those of you who have been here for 10 or 15 years I am sure that there is no
confusion.

2. People should be required to sign up for a game. That way a thread can be set up and all discussion clearly seen. Having a game captain or honcho is a good idea.

3. When people signup for a game they should be fully committed to it as long as any member of the group wants to continue. Side games should be viewed as just that and should never divert someone's attention from their main choice. If someone wants to do open gaming that should be an option on registration. To me this is ethical and courteous.

4. Read the game's rules and follow the concensus of fellow gamers at the table. I have seen people ignore rules that they disagree with at other cons. Hope that is not a problem here.

My $.02

Look forward to seeing everybody.

thatlee
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Re: First Annual Winterfest Club Meeting

Post by thatlee » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:06 pm

Great suggestions mignered! Worthy of serious discussion to be sure.

I was in the middle of LOL over your point #4 when suddenly I was seized by an overwhelming vision, a vision of wargamer hell. It was terrifying. My hands still tremble as I write, but this is what I saw:

gamers coming and going as they please; everyone playing by whatever rules they feel like at any given moment; and no food kitty. The horror! The horror!

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