Virginia Press Women Inc. Bylaws
Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be Virginia Press Women
Incorporated. It is an affiliate of the National Federation of Press
Article II. Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the
highest ideals in journalism, to provide exchange of journalistic ideas
and experiences, to offer continuing educational opportunities to
members, and to serve the public's right to know.
Article III. Membership
Section 1. Eligibility
Any person who qualifies as a professional journalist or
journalism educator actively participating in journalistic service for
remuneration shall be eligible for member ship.
Section 2. Classes
1) Active. Persons employed in the field of journalism on a
full-time or part-time basis or freelance for remuneration of at least
$1,000 per annum. They shall enjoy all rights and privileges of
2) Journalism educator. Any person who is actively
participating in journalistic service as a teacher or faculty member at a
high school, college or university, for remuneration of at least $1,000
per annum, may be eligible for membership. Journalism educators shall
have full voting privileges.
3) Retired. Persons who have enjoyed active membership in
VPW Inc. at any time may make a written request for retired status when
they have officially retired from full-time or part-time employment and
are engaged in free-lance work for no more than $999 remuneration
annually. Members who choose retired status will not be eligible for
reinstatement to active status. They may attend all general meetings,
but shall nave no right to vote or to hold elected office.
The honorary membership is bestowed periodically on a person
who has contributed to any great humanitarian cause and who is selected
for the honor by the VPW awards committee under guidelines adopted by
the board of directors. The honorary member is invited to all VPW
meetings but has no voting or other membership privileges.
Any student enrolled in a college or university, any recent
graduate who is actively seeking employment in the communications field,
or any VPW active member who returns to school full time may be
eligible for student membership.
Student members, who would also be NFPW student members, may
attend meetings and speak to motions, but may not propose, second or
vote on motions, or be counted for quorums or in membership totals for
delegate allocation, or hold office.
They shall be eligible for the VPW active member
communications contest. They shall be listed in the VPW and NFPW
directories and shall receive the VPW newsletter and NFPW publications.
Section 3. Admission to membership
a. Applications for membership shall be submitted in
writing. Three samples of the applicant's work within the year prior to
application (one book published within three years for book authors)
shall be submitted with the application. These shall carry an
administrative signature verifying the originality of the applicant's
work, unless bylined.
An applicant may choose to apply for membership by
submitting a letter from someone familiar with the applicant's
professional qualifications, in lieu of three writing samples. The
letter should discuss the applicant's employment record, skills and job
b. Approval and process. An application fee and dues shall
be submitted to the first vice president at any time. Any application
fee and dues will be returned within four weeks if the application is
c. Student members may change to active member status when
they become eligible.
Section 4. Dues
a. Annual dues for active professional members shall be
assessed, which shall cover NFPW membership and VPW membership. The
latter shall include an amount determined by the membership to cover
expenses of speakers. Dues increases must be approved by the membership
at a business meeting. By majority vote, the board of directors may
adapt VPW dues to take advantage of NFPW membership incentives.
b. Reduced annual dues for members granted retired status
shall be assessed to cover NFPW membership and VPW membership. Retired
members who do not wish to continue membership in NFPW may pay only VPW
c. Reduced annual dues for student members shall be assessed
to cover NFPW membership and VPW membership.
d. Dues shall be payable beginning October 1 and shall be
considered delinquent after December 1.
e. The treasurer shall send out late notices in March,
informing delinquent members that a late fee has been added to their
bills and warning them that they will be dropped from the rolls on March
f. Individuals who wish to reinstate as members must submit a
letter to the first vice president stating that they meet
qualifications for active membership. Upon acceptance, they will pay
current VPW dues and NFPW dues.
g. A VPW member who returns to school full time may revert
to student status.
h. New members joining VPW during the first six months of any
calendar year shall pay full dues. Half of VPW dues shall be excused for
new members joining between July 1 and September 30 of any year. New
members joining between October 1 and December 31 of any calendar year
shall pay full dues, which shall also cover the following year.
Article IV. Officers
Section I. Names
The officers shall be president, first vice president, second
vice president, third vice president, secretary and treasurer.
Section II. Eligibility for office
Any professional or charter member in good standing is
eligible for an office except that no officer having served a full term
shall be eligible to serve a second consecutive term in the same office.
Section 3. Term or office
The term of office shall be two years and shall begin upon the
adjournment of the meeting at which officers are elected.
Section 4. Nomination and election
a. Nomination. The nominating committee shall present one
candidate for each office. Other nominations may be made from the floor.
b. Election. If there is more than one nominee for an office,
the election shall be by secret ballot. There must be a plurality vote
if there are two or more nominees.
Section 5. Vacancy
Should a vacancy occur among the elected officers, it shall be
filled by a majority vote of the board of directors for the period of
the unexpired term.
Section 6. Duties
a. The president shall preside at all meetings and shall
issue all calls for such meetings; shall appoint the historian,
parliamentarian, and all chairmen of standing and special committees
except the membership and publicity chairmen; shall sign all contracts
in the name of the organization; shall be a member ex officio without
the right to vote of all committees except the nominating committee; and
shall perform all such other duties as usually devolve upon the
president of a corporation, unless specifically provided for herein. The
president shall be empowered to fill from the membership of the same
district in which the vacancy occurs, an unexpired term of a director or
member of the membership committee.
b. The first vice president shall perform the duties of the
president in the officer's absence and shall be membership committee
c. The second vice president shall serve as publicity
chairman and edit the newsletter.
d. The third vice president shall serve as executive
committee liaison with committees dealing with awards and competitions.
e. The secretary shall record minutes of all meetings of the
organization and of its board of directors and executive committee and
shall be custodian of such records.
f. The treasurer shall receive the account for all monies
belonging to the organization. Deposits shall be in the name of Virginia
Press Women Incorporated. The treasurer shall be bonded in an amount
equal to all the assets of VPW; shall present written reports at all
annual meetings and meetings of the board of directors; shall be a
member of the budget committee; and shall certify eligibility of members
to hold office and to participate in state and/or national contests.
g. Each officer shall be assigned as liaison for appropriate
standing committees, which will be detailed in an organizational chart.
h. All officers shall deliver to their successors all records,
accounts, papers and other property belonging to the organization
immediately following the election of new officers. They shall perform
any additional duties outlined in the procedures manual as adopted or
revised by the board of directors.
Section 7. Removal
If an officer fails to carry out the duties listed in Section
6, that officer may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the board of
directors. The board members not present may be polled by telephone.
Section 8. Registered agent
VPW is incorporated through the Virginia State Corporation
Commission. VPW's registered agent is the organization's treasuer, and
that person's business office is the same as VPW's registered office.
Article V. Meetings and Quorums
Section 1. Annual meetings
The organization shall hold an annual business meeting at the
time and place of the annual convention. The call to the annual
convention shall be issued in writing in the official publication of the
organization and/or in a letter to each member at least thirty (30)
days prior to the convention.
Section 2. Regular meetings
The organization shall hold a spring awards luncheon.
Section 3. Special meetings
A special meeting of the organization shall be called at the
request of a majority of the board of directors or a petition signed by
ten (10) percent of the membership addressed to the president. The
president shall issue a notice in the official publication and/or in a
letter to each member at least thirty (30) days in advance of the
special meeting listing time, place, date and purpose of meeting. No
business other than stated in the notice shall be transacted at the
special meeting. Minutes of the special meeting shall be transacted at
the next annual or regular meeting.
Section 4. Quorum
Ten (10) percent of the members who are eligible to vote shall
constitute a quorum of the organization.
Article VI. Governing Bodies
Section 1. Membership
The membership shall be the chief governing body of the
Section 2. Board of directors
The board of directors shall consist of elected officers,
district directors, historian, parliamentarian, immediate past
president, the registered agent if that person does not hold another
board position, and chairmen of all standing committees. Chairmen of
special committees and standing sub-committees shall be ex officio
members of the board, without vote. Any member may attend board meetings
but may not vote.
The board of directors shall meet at the call of the
president or upon written request directed to the president and signed
by a majority of the board, stating the purpose and including the agenda
for the meeting.
The board of directors shall promote and supervise the
affairs of the organization; establish standing committees; transact its
business in the interim of state conventions and report at each
convention the business transacted by the board since its previous
convention. The board shall determine boundaries of the four VPW
One more than half of the voting members of the board of
directors shall constitute a quorum of the board.
Section 3. District directors
a. One director shall be elected for each of four
geographical districts of the State of Virginia: North, East, West,
b. The district directors shall be elected at the same
annual meeting at which officers are elected and shall serve for two
years. Only those voting members from a district are eligible to vote in
the election of director for that district.
c. In addition to serving on the board of directors,
district directors shall ensure that at least four projects and
activities take place on the district level each year, shall recruit new
members within their districts, shall act as liaison between district
members and the state president, and shall serve on the membership
committee as specified in Article VII, Section 1 a (2).
d. With the concurrence of the president, each district
director shall appoint one or more associate district directors.
Associate district directors shall help the district director organize
projects and activities and are ex officio members of the board of
directors without vote.
Section 4. Executive committee
The executive committee shall be composed of the president,
the first vice president, the second vice president, the third vice
president, the secretary, the treasurer and the immediate past
president. It shall be authorized to take emergency action and act as an
advisory group to the president in the interim between board of
directors' meetings. All executive committee actions shall be ratified
at the next meeting of the board of directors.
Article VII. Committees
Section 1. Standing committees
Hospitality and member involvement, budget, finance, awards,
meetings, competitions, bylaws, freedom of information and such other
standing or special committees as established by the board of directors.
1) All standing committee chairmen, except membership, shall
be appointed by the president.
2) The membership committee shall consist of the first vice
president and the district director from each of the other three
districts. This committee shall be empowered to pass on all
applications, and its decision shall be final. If an application
contains no questionable credentials, it can be approved automatically
by the first vice president. In the event that a member of the
membership committee is unable to attend a meeting, the first vice
president is empowered to ask another VPW board member from the absent
member's district to fill in at that meeting.
3) A three-member nominations committee shall be elected by
the members no later than the spring meeting before the election. At
least one member must be a past president. The president shall choose
the nominations chairman from among the committee. The report of the
committee shall be included in the call to the business meeting of the
b. Term of office
All standing committee chairmen, unless otherwise specified
herein, shall be appointed for two-year terms.
All chairmen shall submit written reports to the board of
directors at each meeting. If monies are involved in the chairmen's
activities, a financial report shall be submitted to the treasurer sixty
(60) days after completion of assigned duties or thirty (30) days
before the annual convention.
Section 2. Special committees
Special committees shall be established as the president
shall deem necessary.
Special committee chairmen and members shall be appointed by
All special committee appointments shall be at the
discretion of the president.
All special committee chairmen shall submit written reports to
the board of directors at each meeting and, if monies are involved in
their activities, shall submit a financial report to the treasurer
thirty (30) days before the annual convention.
Article VIII. Funds and Finances
Section 1. Fiscal year
The fiscal year shall be October 1 through September 30.
Section 2. Funds
a. General Funds
Monies collected for general purposes of the organization
shall be deposited in a checking account by the treasurer. At the
direction of the board of directors, the treasurer may invest savings
account monies in saving certificates or other interest-bearing funds.
b. Special Funds
1) Agnes Cooke Scholarship Fund. Monies received for the
Agnes Cooke Scholarship Fund shall be maintained in a special savings
account and/or savings certificates. Only the interest may be used to
award scholarships at the discretion of the board of directors.
2) Convention Speakers Fund. Monies received from dues
earmarked for the convention speakers fund shall be a designated part of
the general fund. Unused funds from the convention speakers fund shall
revert annually to the general fund except for a sum set by the board of
directors, which may be retained by the district sponsoring the
convention for use in district activities.
3) Ruth Barner Memorial Fund. Monies received for the Ruth
Barner Memorial Fund shall be maintained in a special savings account
and/or savings certificate. Only the interest from the fund shall be
used each year for the special educational seminar designated as the
Ruth Barner Seminar, which will be held as part of the spring meeting
each year. Any unused interest from the memorial fund shall be
transferred annually to the general fund for offsetting costs of the
seminar at the spring meeting for the next year.
Section 3. Budgets and audits
A budget shall be adopted at the annual convention covering
the ensuing fiscal year.
The treasurer's accounts shall be audited at the completion of
the treasurer's term of office.
Article IX. Parliamentary Authority
For procedure not covered in the bylaws or rules of this
organization, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall be the
Article X. Amendments
These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the
organization by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present and voting,
provided the proposed amendment has been sent in writing through the
official publication and/or by letter to each member at least thirty
(30) days in advance of the meeting.