GAMFT Bylaws

BY-LAWS

 

of the

 

GEORGIA ASSOCIATION FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY

 

 

ARTICLE I

 

NAME, ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE, AND RELATIONSHIP

 

Section 1.   The name of this organization shall be the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (hereinafter referred to as GAMFT), an Affiliate of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (hereinafter referred to as AAMFT).

 

Section 2.   The GAMFT shall adhere to all policies lawfully established by the AAMFT that apply to its affiliates.

 

Section 3.   The GAMFT shall be incorporated as a Georgia non-profit corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

Section 4.   The by-laws of the GAMFT shall be consistent with the laws of the State of Georgia and with applicable United States Internal Revenue law.

 

 

ARTICLE II

 

PURPOSE AND GOALS

 

The purposes of the GAMFT are as follows:

 

  1. to promote common professional interests of those who are marital and family therapists;

 

  1. to represent marriage and family therapy as a mental health profession to the public and before government bodies in Georgia;

 

  1. to establish and maintain professional standards in marriage and family therapy in Georgia;

 

  1. to cooperate with other organizations and agencies for the furtherance of the marriage and family therapy profession; and

 

  1. to further the objectives of the GAMFT by meetings, clinical sessions, publications, research in the field, and other relevant activities.

ARTICLE III

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1.   All members of the GAMFT shall be members in good standing of AAMFT.

 

Section 2.   There are three classes of voting membership recognized by the GAMFT.  These are:

 

(1) Clinical Fellow

(2) Pre-Clinical Fellow

(3) Allied Mental Health Professional

 

Section 3.   There are three classes of non-voting membership recognized by the GAMFT.  These are:

 

(1) Pre-Allied Mental Health Professional

(2) Student

(3) Affiliate

 

Section 4.   All members shall be governed by and abide by the by-laws of the GAMFT and all rules and orders lawfully made thereunder.

 

Section 5.   All members shall pay both their AAMFT and their GAMFT dues.

 

 

ARTICLE IV

 

OFFICERS

 

Section 1.   The officers of the GAMFT shall be a President, a President-Elect, a Past President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.  These officers shall comprise the Executive Council.

 

Section 2.   The term of office for the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be two (2) years, and for the President-Elect and Past President one (1) year.  The President-Elect and Secretary shall be elected in even numbered years and the Vice-President and Treasurer shall be elected in odd numbered years. The terms of office shall begin on the January 1 next following their election.

 

Section 3.   The limitation on re-election to office in the GAMFT is that no person shall serve more than four (4) consecutive years in a particular office, nor shall any person serve as an officer on the Board more than six (6) years in a period of eight (8) years.

 

Section 4.   The duties of the officers of the GAMFT are:

  1. The President shall serve a term of two (2) years, following a term of one (1) year as

President-Elect.  The President shall be the Chief Officer of the GAMFT and of the Board and shall perform such duties as are customary for presiding officers, including making all required appointments with the approval of the Board.  The President shall also serve as a member ex-officio with right to vote on all Committees except the Elections Committee.  The President will orient each new officer and Committee Chairperson to the GAMFT By-laws.

 

  1. The President-Elect shall serve a term of one (1) year, succeeding to the office of President upon completion of that term. When the office of President-Elect is occupied, the President-Elect shall serve as Presiding Officer of the GAMFT and Board during the absence of the President.

 

  1. The Past President shall serve a term of one (1) year, upon completion of a term as President, to provide continuity for the Board. When the office of Past President is occupied, the Past President shall serve as Presiding Officer of the GAMFT and Board during the absence of the President.

 

  1. The Vice-President shall serve a term of two (2) years and shall be in charge of the planning and implementation of the GAMFT Annual Conference. The Vice-President is empowered to maintain a separate Conference Fund to cover expenses of the Conference. Any excess funds in this account shall be deposited into the GAMFT’s account through the Treasurer.

 

  1. The Secretary shall serve a term of two (2) years. The Secretary shall keep the records of all business meetings of the GAMFT, the Board, and the Executive Council.  The Secretary shall direct the distribution of minutes and reports as authorized by these by-laws and the Board.  The Secretary will maintain an archive library to keep a copy of all the records and publications of GAMFT.

 

  1. The Treasurer shall serve a two (2) year term. The Treasurer shall be Chairperson of the Finance Committee, shall oversee the management of funds for duly authorized purposes of the GAMFT, shall prepare the annual budget with the aid of the Finance Committee, and shall present periodic financial reports to the Board and an annual report to the membership. The fiscal year of the GAMFT shall begin on January 1.

 

Section 5.  GAMFT’s officers shall be assumed to have resigned from office at such time as they move outside Georgia’s geographic boundaries.  If any officer ceases to be in good standing by reason of non-payment of dues, or by reason of misconduct or neglect of duty in office, the Board shall declare his/her office to be vacant.

 

Section 6.   If any office, other than President or President-Elect becomes vacant, the Board may appoint a successor to fill the office for the unexpired portion of the term of office.  In the event that the President is unable to complete the current term of office, either the President-Elect shall assume the presidential duties and office, or, if there is no serving President-Elect, the Past President shall assume the presidential duties and office, and a special election shall be called to elect a new President through a mailed or electronic ballot by the voting membership.  In the event that the President-Elect is unable to complete the current term of office as President-Elect, a special election shall be called to elect a successor through a mail or electronic ballot by the voting membership.

 

 

ARTICLE V

 

THE BOARD

 

Section 1.   The Board shall consist of the Officers, the Chairpersons of Standing Committees, and the Chairpersons of the Local Chapters.  At least two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of the Board shall be Clinical Fellows.

 

Section 2.   The Board shall exercise all powers of the GAMFT, except as specifically prohibited by these by-laws.  The Board shall be authorized to adopt and publish such policies,  procedures, and rules as may be necessary and consistent with these by-laws, and to exercise authority over all GAMFT’s business and funds.

 

Section 3.   The Board shall meet quarterly at the call of the President, or at the written request of at least three (3) members of the Board to the Secretary.  A quorum shall consist of no less than one-half the membership of the Board at any given time, a majority of which must be Clinical Fellows.  Each member shall be entitled to one (1) vote and may take part and vote in person only.  The meeting shall be governed in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order(the most recent available edition).

 

Section 4.   If a position becomes vacant, the position may remain vacant or the President may appoint a successor with approval of the Board to serve the remainder of the unexpired term, except that vacancies in the offices of President and President-Elect shall be filled in accordance with the provision of Article IV, Section 6.

 

 

ARTICLE VI

 

STANDING COMMITTEES

 

Section 1.   The Standing Committees of the Board shall include the following: Ethics, Elections, Membership, Finance, Continuing Education, Legislative and Governmental Affairs, Public Relations, Approved Supervisors, Student, Multicultural Issues, Personnel, Internet and SocialMedia, and other such Standing Committees as shall be authorized by the Board.  The Standing Committees are responsible to the Board.

 

Section 2.   With the exception of the Elections Committee, all Standing Committees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board.  Terms of office shall be two (2) years, and shall begin on the January 1 next following their appointment.  Committee members shall be appointed from the voting membership of the GAMFT with the exception of the Elections Committee which will be elected from the Clinical Fellow membership, and the Student Committee which shall be appointed from the Student membership.

 

Section 3.   The members of the Elections Committee shall be elected by mail or electronic ballot by the voting membership of the GAMFT and shall serve a term of three (3) years, staggered so that one (1) member shall be replaced each year.  The term of office shall begin on the January 1 next following their election.  The Elections Committee, which shall consist of three (3) members, shall choose its own chair who will report to the President.

 

Section 4.   The President, with the approval of the Board, shall appoint a Chairperson for each of the Standing Committees, except that the Treasurer is Chairperson of the Finance Committee and the Elections Committee shall choose its own Chairperson.  The appointed Chairpersons may be Clinical Fellows, Pre-Clinical Fellows, or Allied Mental Health Professionals, provided the Allied Mental Health Professional has been a member of AAMFT in any membership category for five years, except that the Chair of the Committee of Approved Supervisors shall be an Approved Supervisor, the Chair of Personnel Committee shall be a Clinical Fellow, and the Chair of the Student Committee shall, when appointed, be a Student.  At least one Chairperson shall be a Pre-Clinical Fellow.  Co-chairs may be appointed at the discretion of the President.  A person may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms as Chair.

 

Section 5.   The duties of the various Standing Committees are as follows:

 

  1. The Ethics Committee shall be responsible for educating the membership and the public regarding the AAMFT Code ofEthicsand the Code of Ethicsof the Licensure Board. The Chairperson of the Ethics Committee shall assist individual members in understanding and interpreting these codes, and shall assist the Vice-President in planning ethics training at the GAMFT Annual Conference.  The Committee shall not issue or render advisory opinions regarding ethical matters.  Nor shall the Committee conduct investigations or consider allegations of violation of ethical principles made against members, but shall refer such matters to the AAMFT Ethics Committee and the Licensure Board.  The Committee shall function in accordance with the guidelines set out in the AAMFT Procedures for Handling Ethical Matters.  The Chairperson of the Ethics Committee shall also serve as Parliamentarian and assist the Presiding Officer at each meeting of the GAMFT or the Board to guarantee that the rules of order of the GAMFT are followed.  As Parliamentarian, the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee shall assist with proposed revisions to the by-laws.

 

  1. The Elections Committee shall consist of three (3) members. This committee shall conduct a call for nominations and prepare a slate of nominees to be reported to the membership at the Annual Meeting.  The committee shall prepare the ballot, conduct the elections by mail or electronic ballot, and report the outcome of the vote to the membership.

 

  1. The Membership Committee shall oversee the recruitment and retention of members, and shall be responsible for promoting member involvement in GAMFT. The activities of the committee shall include outreach to non-members at GAMFT conferences and marriage and family therapy academic programs, overseeing the mentoring of new members, and hosting events at AAMFT and GAMFT conferences to encourage member involvement in the GAMFT.

 

  1. The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by the Board at the first quarterly Board meeting of the year. The Treasurer serves as chairperson of the Finance Committee.  This committee shall be responsible for making recommendations to the Board and membership in matters pertaining to the finances of the GAMFT. This committee will develop guidelines and forms for budgets and financial statements.

 

  1. The Continuing Education Committee will certify and register qualifying continuing education programs, conferences, or workshops in Georgia.The committee will also apply for certification by other mental health professional groups of the continuing education programs offered at the GAMFT Annual Conference.  The committee will keep the membership informed as to changing continuing education requirements for renewal of the Marriage and Family Therapist license in the State of Georgia.

 

  1. The Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee shall be alert to proposed state regulatory policies and proposed laws in the Georgia Legislature that would affect the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.The primary purpose of this committee will be to educate and inform the members concerning Georgia legislative and governmental matters, to represent GAMFT before legislative and other governmental bodies, and to encourage member participation in the political process.  The committee will also work cooperatively with AAMFT on national legislative issues.  This committee will serve as liaison to the Licensure Board.

 

  1. The Public Relations Committee will strive to place GAMFT before the public in positive news related releases.They shall strive to further public awareness of the goals and purposes of the GAMFT.  The Chairperson of the Public Relations Committee shall assist the Vice-President in obtaining sponsors for the GAMFT Annual Conference. This committee is also charged with recognizing those who make an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Public Relations Committee shall propose to the Board nominations for awards to be made at the Annual Conference. The awards are for Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy, Contribution to the Professional Association (in consultation with the President), and for Legislative Service (in consultation with the Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee).

 

  1. The Committee of Approved Supervisors shall support the GAMFT’s Approved Supervisors in performing their responsibilities as supervisors. This committee will encourage and support Clinical Fellows in pursuing the Approved Supervisor designation, and work to ensure that qualified supervision is available in every Local Chapter of the Division.  The Chairperson of the Approved Supervisors Committee will assist the Vice-President in planning and making available at the GAMFT Annual Conference the training programs necessary to renew the Approved Supervisor designation. This committee will also encourage the development of educational programs necessary for Marriage and Family Therapist licensure in colleges anduniversities throughout Georgia, and encourage non-accredited programs to apply to the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education for recognition.

 

  1. The Student Committee will be responsible for encouraging Student participation in GAMFT through attendance at chapter meetings, annual meetings and other events. The Student Committee will encourage activities that will help socialize Students into the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy.  This committee will encourage Students, when eligible, to transfer to Pre-Clinical Fellow or Pre-Allied Mental Health Professional membership in GAMFT.  The Chairperson of the Student Committee shall assist the Vice-President in obtaining student volunteers and in planning programs for Students at the GAMFT Annual Conference.

 

  1. The Multicultural Issues Committee functions to increase and maintain an awareness and a sensitivity to multicultural issues as they relate to the overall mission of the GAMFT. The Committee will facilitate the organization’s commitment to promoting racial, ethnic and cultural diversity within the profession and serve as a vehicle for increasing the membership, participation and visibility of ethnic-minority Marriage and Family Therapists within the state.  The Committee shall develop guidelines and forms, review applications, and award a minority student fellowship annually.

 

  1. The Personnel Committee shall develop, revise and recommend personnel policies to the Board, and will be responsible for implementing personnel policies approved by the Board. This committee will see that personnel issues are resolved in accordance with personnel policy guidelines. The Committee shall also review and recommend candidates for the position of Executive Director to the Board.

 

  1. The Internet and Social Media Committee shall oversee GAMFT’s internet presence. The committee will recommend which electronic platforms GAMFT should participate in, supervise the design of GAMFT’s website and social media pages, develop profiles and content for these sites, and regularly participate in and monitor the conversations within these networks in order to assure that all postings are accurate, appropriate, and consistent with GAMFT’s professional and ethical standards.

 

Section 6.   Other committees as deemed necessary to the functioning of GAMFT shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board.

ARTICLE VII

 

LOCAL CHAPTERS

 

Section 1.   Local Chapters of the GAMFT may be chartered at the discretion of the Board. The Chapter Charter shall establish the Local Chapter’s structure and function, and shall conform to GAMFT by-laws principles with regard to membership, voting, holding office, serving on committees, and related matters. The geographic boundaries of the Local Chapters shall be established by the Board.

 

Section 2.   The purpose of the Local Chapters shall be for members to meet for professional collegiality and for continuing education and to transact such business as may be appropriate to further the goals of marriage and family therapy in a specific region of the State of Georgia.

 

Section 3.   A Local Chapter shall be chartered when a given area petitions for this status and the petition is approved by the Board.  There must be a potential membership of ten (10) votingmembers, of which six (6) must be Clinical Fellows, in a given area. A Local Chapter can be disbanded by the vote of the Board based on evidence of inactivity or because it is operating in violation of its Chapter Charter or the by-laws or policies of GAMFT.

 

Section 4.   Local Chapters may receive funds from GAMFT. The amount is to be determined by the Board.  The Treasurer of each Local Chapter shall submit an annual financial statement to the Finance Committee prior to the first quarterly Board meeting of the year. No funds shall be disbursed to a Local Chapter until a financial statement has been received and approved by the Finance Committee.

 

Section 5.   Local Chapters shall elect a Chairperson, Treasurer, and other officers as specified in the Chapter Charter.  The Chairperson and Treasurer must be Clinical Fellows in good standing of the GAMFT who reside within the geographical boundaries of the Local Chapter.

 

Section 6.   When the Local Chapters’ Chairpersons accept their office, they automatically become GAMFT Board members with the same responsibilities as those described in Article V,

Section 3.

 

Section 7.   The GAMFT shall ensure that the Local Chapters follow all policies lawfully established by the AAMFT that apply to the chapters of its affiliates.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII

 

MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1.   The Annual Meeting of the membership shall be held at date and location to be determined by the Board.

Section 2.   Special meetings of the membership may be called by the President, the Executive Council, or a majority of the Board.

 

Section 3.   Notice of all Annual and special meetings shall be sent to all voting members of the Georgia Division at least forty-five (45) days in advance of the meeting by the Board.  Action(s) at such meetings shall be limited to those agenda items contained in the notice of the meeting.

 

Section 4.   A quorum at all Annual and special meetings of the GAMFT shall be ten (10) percent of the voting membership present in person at the meeting, a majority of which must be Clinical Fellows.  No proxies shall be permitted.

 

Section 5.   All meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order(the most recent available edition).

 

 

ARTICLE IX

 

NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

 

Section 1.   The nomination and election of Officers shall be conducted annually.  Nominees must be Clinical Fellows in good standing of the GAMFT.  All voting members of the GAMFT shall have the right to vote in the election which must be conducted by a mailed or electronic ballot. Discrimination in election and nomination procedures on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, age or sexual orientation is forbidden.

 

Section 2.   The voting membership shall be comprised of the Clinical Fellows, Pre-Clinical Fellows and Allied Mental Health Professionals in good standing of the GAMFT.

 

Section 3.   The Elections Committee will have an open call for nominations which indicates the eligibility requirements for all offices. The Elections Committee shall prepare a slate containing at least two (2) nominees for each position and shall determine the eligibility and willingness of each nominee to stand for election.  However, when an incumbent is willing to serve a second term in the office of Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer, the Elections Committee may, at its discretion, submit a slate which nominates only one (1) candidate for that particular office.Write-in voting shall be allowed, provided the write-in candidates are eligible for election and have agreed to serve if elected.  The candidate who receives the majority of votes for each office shall be elected.  Ballots shall be counted by the Board or by tellers designated by the Board.

 

Section 4.   The slate of nominees shall be reported to the membership at the annual meeting.  Additional nominations may be submitted at the annual meeting by ten (10) members with the consent of the nominee, and shall be included in the slate of nominees after the Elections Committee has determined that the candidate is eligible for office.

 

Section 5.   The Elections Committee will mail or transmit electronically the ballot to each voting member (using first class postage to guarantee delivery when the ballot is mailed) at least thirty(30) days prior to election.  The executed ballot must be received by the tellers or the Board no less than ten (10) days prior to the third quarterly Board meeting of the year.  The election results will be announced at this third quarterly meeting of the Board.  Newly elected officers will take office on January 1 of the following year and serve through December 31 of the year completing their term of office.

 

 

ARTICLE X

 

FUNDS

 

Section 1.   Dues for the GAMFT shall be established by a majority vote of the voting members of the GAMFT conducted by mail or electronic ballot. All dues billings, dues collection, and dues disbursements will be performed by AAMFT.  When forwarded to the GAMFT, the portion set aside for the GAMFT will be deposited in the account(s) of the GAMFT.

 

Section 2.  Non-members may subscribe to the publications of GAMFT.  The fee for a subscription will be established by the Board on the recommendation of the Finance Committee. This amount shall be large enough to cover the costs of printing and mailing, etc., for each subscription.  Each year subscribers will be notified of the fee by mail.  These fees will be required during the month of December and will be effective for one calendar year beginning January 1 of the next year.

 

Section 3.   The Finance Committee will submit an annual budget to the Board for adoption at the first quarterly Board meeting of the year. The Treasurer of each Local Chapter shall submit an annual financial statement to the Finance Committee prior to the first quarterly Board meeting of the year.

 

Section 4.   The Treasurer shall be bonded for an amount of no less than ten thousand ($10,000.00) and no more than fifty thousand ($50,000.00) dollars.

 

Section 5.   The funds of the GAMFT will be managed in a manner as to provide the most secure protection reasonable to be expected consistent with standard practices.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the fiscal management of the GAMFT’s funds consistent with the policies of the Board.

 

Section 6.   The tax exempt status of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Inc. shall be maintained by strict adherence to the following procedures:

 

  1. The Corporation is not organized and shall not be operated for pecuniary gain or

profit.  No part of the property of the Corporation and no part of its net earnings

shall inure to the benefit of any director or any private individual.  The Corporation

shall never be authorized to engage in a regular business of the kind ordinarily

carried on for profit or in any other activity except the furtherance of the purposes

stated above for which the Corporation is organized.

 

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this Corporation shall not

carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation

exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue

Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal

Revenue law.

 

  1. In the event of the dissolution of the Corporation, then the Treasurer shall remit all assets, after all bills have been paid, to the AAMFT, which is itself a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

  1. In the event the GAMFT terminates its relationship, or is terminated by the AAMFT, as an affiliate of AAMFT, GAMFT shall continue as a tax exempt corporation and shall retain all its assets.

 

 

ARTICLE XI

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

The Board shall have the power to hire an Executive Director to carry out the necessary business of GAMFT and to perform such other duties and functions as designated by the Board. The Executive Director shall be responsible to the Board and shall hire and direct such other employees as the Board authorizes.  The GAMFT and its employees shall be bound by the personnel policies established by the Board.

 

 

ARTICLE XII

 

AMENDMENTS

 

These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members voting by a mailed or electronic ballot.  The executed ballot must be received by the Board or by tellers designated by the Board within thirty (30) days of the date by which members can reasonably be presumed to have received the ballot.  Amendments may be proposed by the Board on its own initiative, or upon petition by twenty (20) percent of the voting members addressed to the Board. All such proposed amendments shall be presented by the Board to the membership with or without recommendation.

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE XIII

 

DISSOLUTION AND TERMINATION

 

Section 1. Dissolution of GAMFT shall be authorized if:

 

  1. approved by the Board; and

 

  1. approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members voting by a mailed or electronic ballot; the executed ballot must be received by the Board or by tellers designated by the Board within thirty (30) days of the date by which members can reasonably be presumed to have received the ballot.

 

Section 2.  GAMFT may terminate its relationship as an affiliate of AAMFT if:

 

 

  1. approved by the Board; and

 

  1. approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members voting by a mailed or electronic ballot; the executed ballot must be received by the Board or by tellers designated by the Board within thirty (30) days of the date by which members can reasonably be presumed to have received the ballot.

 

 

Revised 3/18