Bylaws

Bylaws

VaAGC LogoArticle I. Name and Location

Section 1. Name

The name of this association is The Virginia Association of Genetic Counselors (hereafter known as the VaAGC).

Section 2. Location

The mailing address of the VaAGC is VaAGC, c/o Wendy DiNonno, MS, CGC, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Dept of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, 500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Bldg. G, Suite 200, Newport News, VA 23601.


Article II. Mission and Vision

Section 1. Vision

The vision of the VaAGC is to maximize the quality of genetic health care and to improve and promote the practice of genetic counseling in the state of Virginia.

Section 2. Mission

The mission of the VaAGC is:

  • To increase our profession’s visibility within Virginia
  • To improve collaboration and networking opportunities among genetic counselors in Virginia
  • To mobilize Virginia genetic counselors who wish to take action on issues relevant to our profession
  • To encourage professional growth and continuing education among genetic counselors in Virginia
  • To increase accessibility to and provide a centralized location for relevant information regarding genetics in Virginia

Article III. Members

Section 1. Membership

There shall be three classes of members of the VaAGC: “Full Members”, “Associate Members”, and “Student Members”.

Section 2. Full Members

Full Members of the VaAGC shall consist of any genetic counselor living or working within the state of Virginia. A genetic counselor is defined as a masters-level trained health professional holding the professional title of genetic counselor who is either board eligible or board certified. A genetic counselor living and/or working in Virginia shall automatically be considered a member of the VaAGC unless he/she electively opts out of membership. Automatic renewal of membership will occur each calendar year unless he/she opts out of membership. Full members are eligible to hold a position as a Board of Directors member, an Officer, and/or a Committee Chair.

Section 3. Associate Members

Associate Members of the VaAGC may consist of any individual with a professional interest in genetics who shares the Mission and Vision of the VaAGC, as stated above. Interested individuals may submit an application and upon approval by current VaAGC Officers, associate membership may either be granted or denied. Associate Members shall not be granted a vote on topics or elections opened to the general membership. Associate Members will be able to serve on one or more VaAGC Committees but will not be eligible to hold a position as a VaAGC Board of Directors member, an Officer position, or a Committee Chair position.

Section 4. Student Members

Student Members of the VaAGC may consist of any student enrolled in an accredited genetic counseling program who is interested in living or working within the state of Virginia and shares the Mission and Vision of the VaAGC, as stated above. Interested students may submit an application and upon approval by current VaAGC Officers, student membership may either be granted or denied. Student Members shall not be granted a vote on topics or elections opened to Full or Associate Members. Student Members shall not be eligible to hold a position on the VaAGC Board of Directors, an Officer position, or a Committee Chair position. Student Members will be eligible to serve on one or more VaAGC Committees.

Section 5. Membership Dues

It was decided by the first elected Officers of the VaAGC not to initiate membership dues at the inception of the VaAGC. However, subsequent appointed Officers of the VaAGC may elect in the future to establish membership dues in the VaAGC as operating costs increase. Once established, failure to pay membership dues will result in exclusion from benefits of membership in VaAGC.

Section 6. Membership Rights and Privileges

Each Full Member of the VaAGC shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the general membership. Items to be voted on will include, but not be limited to, VaAGC Board of Directors elections and certain VaAGC business. On matters involving voting of the general membership, a majority of votes by VaAGC members will decide the stated question or election. Each Full Member of the VaAGC in good standing will be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors (as defined in Article V), serve as an appointed Officer (as defined in Article VI), serve on a VaAGC committee, and serve as a VaAGC Committee Chair. Associate and Student Members shall not be granted voting privileges on topics submitted to the voting by the membership.

Section 7. Membership Roster

A directory of VaAGC members will be maintained and updated in a database managed by the VaAGC Secretary/Treasurer and coordinated through VaAGC Regional Representatives (as described in Article VI). Members will be responsible for notifying the VaAGC of changes in contact address or place of employment. The Secretary/Treasurer and Elections Committee will ensure that an updated directory of VaAGC members is available to members when the VaAGC calls for nominations to its Board of Directors and at the time of the annual meeting. The directory may also be made available on an as needed basis for professional use by one of the membership upon approval by the Officers. Every effort shall be made to keep information supplied to the VaAGC directory confidential and private.


Article IV. Meeting of the Membership

Section 1. Annual VaAGC Membership Meeting

A meeting of the members shall be held each calendar year, as fiscally possible, at a date and a place as shall be designated by the Officers and State Education and Meeting Committee. Efforts will be made to convene the VaAGC membership meeting at the Annual Virginia Genetics Education Conference. Notification of the meeting shall be made electronically no later than 60 days prior to the meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the membership may be convened with the approval of the VaAGC Officers. Written and/or electronic notice of such meeting shall be given to the general membership not less than 10 days from the meeting date.


Article V. VaAGC Board of Directors

Section 1. Elected Board Members and Terms of Office

There shall be three elected members of the Board of Directors. These members will be elected by the VaAGC general membership through a nomination and voting process. Members of the Board of Directors are elected to serve two year terms, starting in December of the election year and ending on November 30th two years later.

Section 2. Duties of the VaAGC Board of Directors

All members of the Board of Directors will work to uphold and promote the professional Vision and Mission of the VaAGC and diligently appoint the new Officers every year on a rotating basis. In addition, if it were to be voted upon by the general membership to dissolve the incorporation status of the VaAGC, then the Board of Directors members would be responsible for the disbanding of the corporation.

Section 3. Meetings of the VaAGC Board of Directors

A meeting of members of the Board of Directors shall be held the first week of December and then, as needed, either in person, by telephone, or by teleconferencing. The purpose of the annual December meeting is to appoint Officers, on a rotating schedule, for the upcoming service term.


Article VI. VaAGC Officers

Section 1. Officers and Terms of Office

There shall be seven appointed VaAGC Officers: Past-President, President, Secretary/Treasurer, Western Regional Representative, Northern Regional Representative, Central Regional Representative, and Eastern Regional Representative. At the end of the appointed term, the immediate President will become the Past-President and the newly-appointed member will assume the office of the President. If an officer is unable to serve out the duration of his/her term, another appointment by the Board of Directors will be made to fill the vacancy. Members may serve only one term in the same office or position unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Board of Directors as well as the Nominations and Elections Committee. A term shall be designated as two years from the date of election, unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Board of Directors and Nominations and Elections Committee. An appointed Officer may hold only one position at any one time during one term; however, an Officer may hold the position of Committee Chair while serving a as an Officer.

Section 2. Meetings of the Officers

A regular meeting of Officers and members of the Board of Directors shall be held monthly or bi-monthly, as needed, either in person, by telephone, or by teleconferencing. Officers shall meet face-to-face at least one time per year, with more frequent meetings as decided by the Officers.

Section 3. Duties of Officers

All Officers will work to uphold and promote the professional Vision and Mission of the VaAGC, foster education for genetic counselors in the state of Virginia, represent the VaAGC at all regional meetings, and assist with the publication of any VaAGC newsletters/reports.

The Past-President shall assist the Officers in the maintenance of continuity from one administration to the next. The Past-President will be responsible for oversight and mentoring of new committee chairs and continuity of past committee projects. The PastPresident serves as liaison between committee chairs, the Officers, and the Board of Directors and assists the current president with the publication of the VaAGC annual newsletter/report.

The President shall carry out decisions on behalf of the Officers and serve as the primary spokesperson and representative for VaAGC members through media, legislative, and other public interactions, with review from the Officers. Upon assuming office, each newly-elected President shall review the VaAGC Bylaws to determine the need for revision and amendment. The President shall attend or delegate appropriate VaAGC representation at key professional meetings throughout the state and nation. The President will communicate with VaAGC members on a regular and/or as needed basis via listserv, website, or VaAGC newsletter. The President will become fully knowledgeable about duties of elected officers and subcommittees and activities deriving from each. The President will also chair conference calls and meetings of the VaAGC Officers and meetings of the general membership.

The Secretary/Treasurer will ensure that upcoming meetings/conference calls of the Officers and the general membership are scheduled and remind the membership/Officers of these meetings. The Secretary/Treasurer shall keep minutes from the Officer meetings and make these available to the membership via the website. The Secretary/Treasurer shall act as the main communications contact for updates of the membership list of the VaAGC and informational website updates. The Secretary/Treasurer will plan and implement funding of the VaAGC’s key activities/projects. The Secretary/Treasurer will aid in preparation, compilation, and distribution of the quarterly newsletter to the general membership.

The Regional Representatives shall act as liaisons between genetic counselors in their region and the VaAGC Officers and serve as the contact for regional resources and educational opportunities. The Regional Representatives shall contribute regional informational updates to the VaAGC Secretary/Treasurer quarterly, as well as regional membership updates as needed. The Regional Representatives will organize biannual meetings of regional genetic counselors for networking and/or educational purposes. The Regional Representatives shall also provide the State Meeting and Education Committee with information regarding regional educational opportunities.

Section 3. Officer Orientation

Newly appointed Officers will be requested to review the VaAGC bylaws and job descriptions. These items can be viewed on the VaAGC website or can be mailed electronically to the individual by a standing Officer. Newly appointed Officers are encouraged to join at least one committee. Outgoing Officers should serve as mentor for the incoming officer with regard to orientation on policies, procedures, and ongoing projects.


Article VII. Standing Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees

The four standing committees of the VaAGC shall be the Licensure and Public Policy Committee, State Meeting and Education Committee, Nominations and Elections Committee, and Communications, Marketing, and Web Design Committee. Any full VaAGC member in good standing can serve on one or more committees of his/her choice. Each Committee member will have one vote on business relating to that committee. A member of a standing committee serves a one-two year term, with a minimum of a one year commitment. Any Full Member of the VaAGC may serve as a chair of a committee on which he/she serves. Committee chairs shall be elected by the corresponding Committee members. Committee chairs may serve more than one consecutive term.

Section 2. Licensure and Public Policy Committee

The Licensure and Public Policy Committee shall be responsible for monitoring relevant legislative activities in Virginia. Committee members will familiarize themselves with present and future legislation of state and federal government influencing the practice of genetic counseling in Virginia. This Committee may also establish a legislative contact in Richmond. Committee members shall become familiar with legislative updates relevant to other medical groups that could similarly impact the field of genetic counseling. The Licensure and Public Policy Committee will contribute to formal VaAGC position statements on various legislative issues and take action on those with the highest priority for our membership.

Section 3. State Meeting and Education Committee

The State Meeting and Education Committee shall be responsible for determining the date and location of the Annual Virginia Genetics Education Conference and for identifying corporate and educational sponsors to help defray costs of the meeting. The committee will be responsible for planning, organizing, and carrying-out the objectives, agenda, and speakers for the meeting. The State Meeting and Education Committee shall also maintain awareness of regional and state-wide educational conferences and meetings that members of the VaAGC may wish to attend. Regular updates regarding educational opportunities, including the Annual Virginia Genetics Education Conference, shall be communicated to the VaAGC through the website, newsletter, and email.

Section 4. Nominations and Elections Committee

The Nominations and Elections committee shall be responsible for preparing a slate of nominees for Board of Director elections and overseeing the process of voting including distributing ballots to the general membership and tabulating and communicating results to the general membership. The Nominations and Elections Committee will be notified of any vacancies for which nominations are needed. Vacancies occur when a term of office expires or when any incumbent cannot complete a term of office. In the event of an unexpected Board of Director vacancy, Committee members will be responsible for selecting an interim Board Member until a vote by the general membership is completed. An individual who is running for office cannot serve on the Nominations and Elections Committee in the same voting cycle.

Section 5. Communications, Marketing, and Web Design Committee

The Communications, Marketing, and Web Design Committee shall be responsible for the overall operation and appearance of the VaAGC public web presence.

Responsibilities include oversight of the website content, as well as the technical aspect of website design. A newsletter will be produced in three times each year for the VaAGC membership with updates about activities of the VaAGC and its members, as well as educational updates and items. This Committee will be responsible for the design of the newsletter and dissemination of this bulletin. As the Board of Directors foresee a need for marketing of the VaAGC, this Committee shall be responsible for determining the appropriate methods and actions required.


Article VIII. Nominations and Elections

Through a process and timeline set forth by these bylaws and the Nominations and Elections Committee, the general VaAGC membership shall elect the Board of Directors.

Section 1. Nominations

In mid September of each even calendar year, a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall be selected by fellow committee members to collect nominations electronically. A committee member will also be selected to create an anonymous online survey, using a tool such as Surveymonkey. On the first business day of October, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall submit a call to the general membership for nominations to the slate for Board of Directors member vacancies. Any Full Member in good standing can nominate either him/herself or another Full Member. Nominations shall be forwarded electronically to the email address elections@vaagc.org, which can be accessed at the following url: http://email.vaagc.org. The call for nominations shall remain open for a period of at least two calendar weeks after the first call notification. Upon the close of the call for nominations, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall review submitted nominations and create a slate of candidates to be ratified by the general membership. Nominees shall be contacted by the Nominations and Elections Committee to confirm acceptance of nomination. Upon acceptance, the nominee shall provide a brief professional biography to the committee. These biographies will be used to generate the online ballot.

Section 2. Voting

On the first business day of November of each calendar year, the slate of nominees with the accompanying biographies shall be released for voting by the general membership using the provided link. The membership will have two weeks to cast his/her ballot. No less than one week prior to the close of voting, a notice will be sent to the membership as a reminder to cast his/her ballot. At the prescribed close of voting, results shall be tabulated by the Nominations and Elections Committee. The top three nominees with the most member votes will be ratified to the Board of Directors. After tabulation, all participating nominees will be personally notified with results. After notification of new Board Members, the general membership will be notified of voting results. The term for newly elected Members of the Board of Directors begins on December 1st of the election year.


Article IX. Authority to Incur Expenses and the Fiscal Year

Section 1. Authority to Incur Expense

Relevant expenses may be incurred with approval of all Officers. At the time of the initial writing of the VaAGC bylaws, all expenses are paid by donation or professional reimbursement.

Section 2. The Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the VaAGC shall forthwith be the calendar year.


Article X. Ratification and Amendments to the Bylaws

Section 1. Ratification of Bylaws

In March of 2009, the original seven elected Officers of the VaAGC voted on and adopted the first bylaws as the official bylaws of this association. A copy of the current bylaws shall be made available on the VaAGC website for general membership and public viewing and comment.

Section 2. Amendment of Bylaws

The bylaws may be amended at any time with the approval of the Officers of the VaAGC.


*These Bylaws were last amended on 10/12/11 and approved unanimously by the Officers of the VaAGC.

WHO WE ARE

The VaAGC facilitates communication among counselors in Virginia and serves as a resource for delivering relevant information to the public.

Get in Touch

Address
PO Box 15639
1100 Battlefield Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23328

Email
info@vaagc.com

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