Constitution & Bylaws

Effective 1 January 2014

Name
Section 1. The name of the organization shall be the Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers.
Mission
]Section 2. The mission of the Organization shall be to promote the management and conservation of natural resources by facilitating technology and information exchange among managers of fish and wildlife information.
Purpose
] Section 3. The Organization is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
Memberships
Section 4. The Organization has four membership categories:

Individual Member: a person with an interest in the Organization and its objectives. The annual membership fee of $30.00 is for the Calendar Year in which dues are paid. Payment of the annual membership fee entitles an Individual member to one (1) vote.

Retired Member: a retired person with an interest in the Organization and its objectives. The annual membership fee of $10.00 is for the Calendar Year in which dues are paid. The individual need not have been an OFWIM member prior to retirement to qualify for the retired member rate. Payment of the annual membership fee entitles an Individual member to one (1) vote.

Student Member: a person currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at a college or university, who has an interest in the Organization and its objectives. Student membership requires the signature and email address of an advisor at the institution where the student is currently enrolled. The annual membership fee of $10 is for the Calendar Year in which dues are paid. Payment of the annual membership fee entitles a Student member to one (1) vote.

Organizational Member: a government or non-government organization with a mission that involves the management of fish and wildlife populations or habitat. The annual membership fee of $150 is for the Calendar Year in which dues are paid. Payment of the annual membership fee entitles each Organizational member to the equivalent of six (6) Individual memberships, with all of the rights and privileges of full membership. An organization may purchase more than one Organizational Membership per Calendar Year.

All voting members are eligible for the following membership benefits: 1) to hold office in, serve on committees of, or act as a regional representative in, the Organization; 2) to apply for travel grants to attend the Organization’s Annual Meeting; 3) to participate in any Organization website that is restricted to OFWIM members; 4) to receive quarterly newsletters; 5) to participate in web-based training opportunities conducted by the Training and Education Committee; 6) to participate in networking opportunities conducted by the Organization throughout the year; and 7) to be eligible for the Member reduced registration fee for the annual conference.

Membership Fee
Section 5. There shall be no initiation fee, but all members of the Organization shall pay the annual membership fee specified in Section 4, per Calendar Year or part thereof. The annual membership year is January 1st to December 31st. The full membership fee is payable upon joining the Organization for the Calendar Year specified or part thereof.
Reinstatement
Section 6. If an Individual or Student member fails to pay the full membership fee for a period of six (6) months after the same is due and payable, he or she shall ipso facto, cease to be a member of the Organization and his or her name shall be stricken from the Registry; however, an Individual or Student member may be reinstated on full payment of the annual membership fee.

If an Organizational member fails to pay its annual membership fee for a period of six (6) months after the same is due and payable, it shall ipso facto, cease to be a member of the Organization and its individual member names shall be stricken from the Registry. Organizational Members and their associated individual members stricken from the registry after failure to pay dues will no longer be eligible for membership benefits as specified in Section 4. However, the Organizational member may be reinstated on full payment of the annual membership fee.

Officers
Section 7. The officers of the Organization shall consist of a President, a President-Elect, a Treasurer, a Secretary, the Past President and a Member-At-Large. The term of office shall be approximately one year for the President, President-Elect, Past President, and Member-At-Large, and approximately two years for the Treasurer and Secretary. Officers are installed in office during the Organization’s annual business meeting, immediately following the election. At installation, the current President-Elect assumes the role of President, and the current President becomes the Past President; both officers shall serve in these positions until the next annual business meeting.

If an elected officer cannot complete the term of office, the Executive Committee may appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.

An officer assigned as Vice-Chair of a committee will perform the duties of the Chair of that committee until a Chair has been selected by the committee. An officer also may be directed by the Executive Committee to assume the Chair position if it is vacant.

President

Section 8. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Organization and chair the Executive Committee. He or she shall have general charge and supervision over all affairs of the Organization and make appointments to committees as hereinafter authorized. The President acts as spokesperson for the Organization and serves as Vice-Chair of the Elections, Nominations, and Awards Committee.

President-Elect

Section 9. The President-Elect shall be nominated and elected by majority vote from the members in good standing (i.e. the annual membership fee is paid in full). The primary duty of the President-Elect is to coordinate all aspects of the annual Organization meeting (including logistics, arrangements, and program) as Chair of the Annual Conference Planning Committee. The President-Elect also assists the President as necessary in carrying out the business of the Organization. The President-Elect shall succeed the President during the year following his or her term as President-Elect.

Past President
Section 10. The President shall serve as the Past President during the year following his or her term as President. The Past President shall act as an advisor to the Executive Committee and assist the President as requested. The Past President serves as a nonvoting member of the Executive Committee. The Past President will also serve as liaison between the Executive Committee and all other committee chairs, hosting committee chair meetings as necessary.
Treasurer
Section 11. The Treasurer shall monitor and report on the finances of the Organization, its bank account and collection of annual dues. The Treasurer will also provide the President with a list of paid up members at the beginning of the annual business meeting. The Treasurer is responsible for filing a tax return with the IRS if OFWIM revenues exceed the threshold amount that requires filing in any given year.
Secretary

Section 12. The Secretary prepares the minutes of the annual business meeting and Executive Committee meetings of the Organization. The Secretary shall also maintain the Organization’s mailing list and on-line Membership Registry and provide updated lists to the newsletter editor prior to each newsletter mailing; to Committee Chairs for special announcements and membership drives; and to the Executive Committee and Meeting Planning Committee for correspondence related to the annual business meeting. The Secretary serves as the Vice-Chair of the Communications, Membership, & Outreach Committee.

Member-at-Large

Section 13. The Member-At-Large serves as advisor to the Executive Committee and coordinates special projects at the direction of the President or Executive Committee. The Member-at-Large serves as Vice-Chair of the Data Standards and Technology Trends Committee and is a member of the Annual Conference Planning Committee to assist with coordinating technology needs for the Hacker’s Ball and other conference duties.

Meetings

Section 14. The Organization shall meet each Calendar Year for the purpose of electing officers, conducting official business, and planning future meetings. Each member or delegate in good standing shall be entitled to one vote, in person, by authorized proxy, or by pre-meeting ballot. Electronic ballots will be made available for voting prior to the meeting, and hardcopy ballots will be made available for voting at the meeting. Members and delegates may participate in discussions and are eligible to vote on business matters and election of officers.

Ten percent (10%) of the members in good standing constitute a quorum for transacting Organization business at pre-announced annual or special meetings, excluding regional meetings.

The order of business and parliamentary procedures at meetings of the Organization shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order.

Decisions at meetings shall be made by a simple majority of members and delegates in good standing who vote in person, by authorized proxy, or by pre-meeting ballot.

Before an annual business meeting, the Executive Committee shall email or web post a ballot bearing nominations for President-Elect and Member-At-Large to all members and delegates in good standing. Every second year, the Executive Committee shall also email or web post a ballot bearing nominations for Secretary and Treasurer to all members and delegates in good standing. There must be a least one nominee for each officer. Members will be allowed at least 30 days from the date of the correspondence to vote online. The nominee who receives the largest number of votes for each office is elected. If a tie occurs, the Executive Committee makes the selection by majority vote.

Outreach
Section 15. The Executive Committee may allocate OFWIM funds to support members performing outreach for the Organization such as giving a presentation about OFWIM, staffing an OFWIM information booth, or another activity that actively promotes the Organization with the intent of increasing participation in the annual conference or recruiting membership. Outreach at a regional event near the upcoming OFWIM annual conference location or at a location that does not incur travel cost to the OFWIM member performing the outreach, such as within his or her home state, should receive preference. The Executive Committee may use OFWIM funds to provide outreach materials at events that an OFWIM member cannot attend but that could promote attendance of the OFWIM annual conference or OFWIM membership. The Executive Committee may also use OFWIM funds for other outreach opportunities not described above.
Committees

Section 16. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-At-Large. The President serves as Chair of the Executive Committee.

The President shall appoint and direct committees that have general charge and supervision over matters of the Organization entrusted to their care. The President may also appoint temporary committees as deemed necessary. The standing committees shall be:

  • Communications, Membership, & Outreach
  • Training and Education
  • Data Standards and Technology Trends
  • Elections, Nominations, & Awards
  • Conference Planning

Committees that do not have an assigned Chair should select a Chair from within the committee membership as soon as possible. In the absence of a selected Chair, such as between committee signups at the annual conference and the first meeting of the new members of the committee, the officer assigned to be the Vice-Chair of that committee will temporarily perform the duties of the Chair.

Dissolution
Section 17. Upon dissolution of the Organization, the Executive Committee shall distribute the assets of the accrued income of the Organization to one or more organizations that subscribe to the objectives of the Organization. Assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes set forth in IRC Section 501 (c) (3) or a corresponding section of any future Federal tax code; or distributed to the Federal, state, or local government organization for public purpose.
Amendment of Bylaws
Section 18. The Constitution and Bylaws should be reviewed every five (5) years by the Executive Committee or by an individual or ad hoc committee delegated this task by the Executive Committee. Any member may also propose an amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws by submitting it to the Executive Committee or by presenting it during an annual Business Meeting. The Executive Committee will seek input from the full membership on the intent and implications of any proposed change(s).

If either 5 percent of the voting membership provide a written petition, or if the Executive Committee approves by majority vote, then the draft amendment(s) will be provided to the membership in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting. Voting on the proposed amendment(s) may be in person, by authorized proxy, or written/electronic ballot and will close at the annual Business Meeting. Proposed amendments approved by at least two-thirds of those members who vote on the amendment and by a majority of the Executive Committee will be accepted.

Limit of Powers
Section 19. No part of the net earning of the Organization shall be used for the benefit of, or distribution to, its members, trustees, representatives, officers or other private persons, with the following exception: the Organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions for the purposes set forth in IRC Section 501 (c) (3). No substantial portion of the Organization’s activities will be conducted for the purpose of spreading propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The Organization shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office (including the publishing or distributing of statements).

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution and Bylaws, the Organization shall not conduct or carry on any activities that are not permitted under IRC Section 501 (c) (3), IRC Section 170 (c) (2), or a corresponding section of any future Federal tax code.


Originally approved and adopted by the membership, September 6, 1995, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Revisions approved and adopted by the membership at the annual business meeting, Tallahassee, FL, on October 17, 2005.

Revisions approved and adopted by the membership at the annual business meeting, Seattle, WA, on September 17, 2009.

Revisions approved and adopted by the membership at the annual business meeting, Schoodic Point, ME on October 2, 2013.

Signed and Officially Recognized by:
Danny Lewis, President
Jeanette Jones, Secretary