By Laws

BY-LAWS
NEW YORK CHAPTER OF THE HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA “H XEIMAPPA”

INTRODUCTION

The Himarriotans of America, motivated by their love of Himarra, the land of their native origin, and dedicated to the noblest ideals of their forefathers, have established the eponymous HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA, “H XEIMAPPA”, a successor organization to that society previously organized in Washington, DC, and, following in its precepts, aspire to

the cultivation and preservation of Himarriotic culture in America, to making a positive difference in the lives of its members, and to promoting the rights and interests of the Himarriotans in Himarra, through the realization of patriotic, charitable, philanthropic, educational and cultural endeavors.

ARTICLE I. NAME OF THE SOCIETY

The name of the organization is designated to be “H XEIMAPPA”. The word itself, on the one hand, will indicate the place of origin of the members, and on the other hand, will symbolize their faith in the principles of democracy, freedom, and equality upon which this small but glorious geographical area of Northern Epirus, situated between the Akrokeravian Mountains and the Ionian Sea in present day Albania, had for centuries based the foundations of a model society that had become an unconquerable citadel of Hellenism.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE OF THE SOCIETY

The Society is a non-profit organization, whose purposes are: First: To promote the general well being of its members and empower them to become effective and responsible citizens with faith and dedication to the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America. Second: To cultivate and preserve their unique cultural heritage as Himarriotans and descendants of Himarriotans, and to keep alive the traditions, customs, and moral principles inherited by their forefathers. Third: To advance by any legal, peaceful and democratic means the preservation of the unique status of Himarra as a bastion of Hellenism and Orthodoxy which has survived throughout the centuries. Fourth: To assist our fellow Himarriotans in Himarra, be they of Greek or Albanian ethnic descent, in their struggle to realize the full rights and freedoms to which they are justly due. Fifth: To promote acts of charity and philanthropy, with a main objective to assist the charitable foundations, the churches, and schools of XEIMARRA and those of the United States which benefit our members. Sixth: To cooperate with other Greek Organizations and the Epirotic Societies mainly for the purpose of the realization of our common goals.

ARTICLE III. SEAT OF THE ORGANIZATION AND SEAL

The seat of the Society shall be in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, and the offices will be located at a place selected by the officials of the Society until permanent offices owned by the Society are established. The Seal of the Society will be round in form and with the words – HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA – “H XEIMAPPA” – around it.

ARTICLE IV. NEW YORK CHAPTER

The Himarriotans of the New York City greater metropolitan area hereby establish their unique Chapter of the greater Himarriotan Society of America in accordance with the Constitution and by-laws of the parent organization, for the purpose of promulgating the goals and ideals of the Society and empowering the lives of their fellow Chapter members.

All Chapters of the Himarrioton Society of America are encouraged to pursue patriotic, charitable, philanthropic, educational and cultural endeavors: independently or in conjunction with the parent organization.

All political advocacy, lobbying, and judicial activities related to promoting the rights and freedoms of the Himarriotans in Himarra and the diaspora, will be coordinated and directed by the parent organization in order for the Himarrioton Society of America to present a united front in the pursuit of the Society’s goals and to maximize the effectiveness of activities. Chapters will be intimately involved and informed of the Society’s activities in these areas.

ARTICLE V. MEMBERSHIP

  1. Regular Members : a) All persons who are of Himarriotic origin (from Nivitsa to Palassa) through both or one of their parents, b) persons who are descendants of people who are of Himarriotic origin, irrespective of whether they are of the first or second or subsequent generations, and c) any persons friendly to the Society and who accept its aims even if Himarra is not their place of origin. Regular members are entitled to all rights and privileges conferred herein, provided they accept in good faith the aims and rules of the Society and pay their yearly dues.
  2. Life Members: A person can be designated a Life Member and entitled to all rights and privileges conferred herein, upon the donation of at least $500.00 (five hundred dollars) and approval of application by the Board of Directors.
  3. Honorary Members: Any person of Himarriotic or non-Himarriotic origin, irrespective of their place of residence, can be designated an Honorary Member by the Board of Directors and entitled to all rights and privileges conferred herein, for his/her exceptional services towards the realization of the goals of the Society.
  4. Right to Inspection: A complete list of the Society members, arranged in alphabetical order and showing the address of each, shall be maintained by the Secretary, and shall be open to the examination of any member.

ARTICLE VI. DUES AND MEMBER RIGHTS

Membership dues shall be set by the Society Board of Directors and are payable by January of each year. Membership dues at the date of organization are $25.00 (twenty five dollars) per year for any member over the age of 21 (twenty one) years. Family membership, is $40.00 (forty dollars) per year. Any member not current in their dues up to the time of the Chapter’s General Assembly Meetings are deprived of the right to vote or to be elected as well as of every benefit as member of the Chapter. Such rights may be restored upon payment of previous membership dues.

ARTICLE VII. ADMINISTRATION

The Chapter is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five (5) members: The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and an at-large Regular member. A member is entitled to become a candidate for election to the Board if they are a member in good standing through payment of their annual dues. All the regular members who have paid their annual dues before the opening of the balloting are entitled to vote for candidates to the Board.

ARTICLE VIII. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  1. Procedure of Election: The elections of the five (5) Board members are conducted by secret ballot cast only by voters present during the elections, after nomination of the candidates by one of the regular members and seconding of such nomination. The Officers of the Board: the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer; are then elected by the members of the newly elected Board.
  2. Time of Election: Elections for the Board are held during the General Assembly meeting specifically called for this purpose.
  3. Term: Each Director shall hold office for two years, and until their successor has been elected and approved. Directors are not limited to the number of terms they may serve, although no member may hold the office of President for more than two successive terms.
  4. Meetings: A regular meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held annually during the third (3rd) quarter of each year. Additional meetings may be called by or at the request of the President or any three (3) Directors at a time and place so chosen.
  5. Quorum: The Board of Directors is considered to be in quorum for the transaction of business when at least three (3) of its members are present. The act of a majority of the Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the entire Board of Directors.
  6. Composition: No fewer than 3 of the 5 Board members shall be persons of Himarriotic origin, or descendants of persons of Himarriotic origin.
  7. Vacancies: Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining Directors, though less than a quorum of the Board of Directors. In the event of a vacancy of three (3) or more members of the Board of Officers, the totality of the Board of Officers is considered to be vacant and then the remaining Board of Directors shall call a special meeting of the Society with the agenda of immediately electing a new Board, irrespective of the period of service of the current Board.
  8. Resignation: Any member of the Board may submit his resignation in the form of a letter addressed to the Board. If the President resigns, his place is taken by the Vice President. In the event that three (3) members of the Board of Officers submit their resignation as a group, and one of them happens to be the President, the totality of the Board of Officers is considered as having resigned, and then the Secretary, or upon his refusal, the President, shall call a special meeting of the Society with the agenda of immediately electing a new Board, irrespective of the period of service of the resigning Board.
  9. Removal: Any officer or agent elected or appointed by the Board of Directors may be removed by the Board of Directors whenever in its judgment it deems that the best interests of the Society would be served thereby, but such removal shall be conducted without prejudice as to the rights of the person being removed.
  10. Compensation: Directors shall not receive any salary or compensation for their services.

ARTICLE IX. DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  1. President: The President exemplifies and promotes the ideals of the Society and its aims. He supervises and administers the functions of the Chapter and looks after the implementation of the decisions of the Board of Directors. He supervises and encourages the faithful performance of the duties of all officers and committees. He presides at all meetings of the members as well as meetings of the Board of Directors. He shall submit a report and an account of his activities to the annual General Assembly. He co-signs with the Secretary the minutes and with the Treasurer the checks. He can participate ex-officio in the meetings of all Committees but without the right to vote except when he is a member of them.
  2. Vice President: The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President when the latter is absent or unable to fulfill his duties. The Vice President in such cases has the same responsibilities, duties and powers, and is subject to the same restrictions, as the President.
  3. Secretary: The Secretary is the main assistant to the President. Under the direction of the President, he has the general and active management of expediting the business of the Association. His main duty is to keep in order the administrative books of the Chapter; keep regularly the minutes of the meetings; carry on the correspondence on behalf of the President; co-sign the correspondence with the President when this is possible; keep an orderly list of the Society members, their addresses and contact information; and on the advice of the President call regular or special meetings of the Chapter. He can participate ex-officio in all the meetings of all Committees but without the right to vote except when he is a member of them.
  4. Treasurer: The Treasurer has the duty to keep a regular picture of the financial situation of the society, and advise the Board of Directors with respect to all fiscal matters. He collects the dues of the members as well as any contributions or other monies received; provides receipts for all monies received; and deposits all such monies promptly in the name of the Chapter at the designated bank. He co-signs with the President the checks and keeps receipts for all disbursements or expenses of the Chapter. He presents a detailed report of the financial position of the Chapter and of his handling and administering of the monies at the annual General Assembly.
  5. Other Members of the Board: The other Board Members must participate in the meetings of the Board of Directors, and if so appointed, they lead and direct the Committees established by the Board or by the General Assembly.

ARTICLE X. MEETINGS

  1. Annual General Assembly meeting: Once a year and by preference during the third (3rd) quarter of each year, all the members of the Chapter are summoned to a General Assembly meeting, the location of which as well as the exact dates are determined by the Board of Directors. The General Assembly constitutes the ultimate authority of the Chapter. Following the opening invocation and call to order over which the President of the Chapter presides, the meeting agenda and subsequent matters will then be discussed and be acted upon.
  2. Special General Assembly meetings: Special meetings of the members may be called by the President, the Board of Directors, or by the President at the request of the membership of the Chapter entitled to not less than twenty-five (25%) of all the votes entitled to be cast at such meetings. Such request shall state the purpose or purposes of the meeting and the matters proposed to be acted upon.
  3. Notice of Meetings: Written notice for any General Assembly meeting shall be sent not less than ten (10) days before the designated date of the meeting, to each member of record entitled to vote at such meeting.
  4. Quorum: At least one-third (1/3) of the membership of the Chapter entitled to vote, represented in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum. When there is no quorum the meeting may be adjourned, and an invitation for a new meeting is issued.
  5. Proxies: At all General Assembly meetings, a member may vote by proxy executed in writing by the member or his duly authorized agent. Such proxies shall be filed with the Secretary of the Society before or at the time of the meeting.
  6. Voting: Each member in good standing and current in their dues shall be entitled to one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote of the membership.

ARTICLE XI. RULES GOVERNING THE MEETINGS

The meetings of the Chapter at all levels shall be held according to the rules of parliamentary procedure under the direction of the President and when he is unable, of the Vice President. The President determines the items of the agenda for every meeting.

The first item of the agenda of any meeting consists of the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting and the final approval of such minutes.

Any member has the right to speak on any item of the agenda but only after he has been recognized by the President.

Decisions and deliberations on any item of the agenda are taken by absolute majority, that is, by one half plus one vote of the members present.

Whenever this charter provides for secret voting, such voting is held by secret ballot. Otherwise voting is held either by raising of the hands or by voice vote.

The President has the right to make disciplinary observations to undisciplined speakers and to exclude from the meeting room any member who violates the basic rules of discussion or shows disrespect through violent expressions or provocations. Members, including members of the Board, who habitually show disrespect towards the rules of orderly behavior or whose actions and general behavior are in flagrant conflict with the ethical and moral precepts and goals of the Chapter can, at the President’s proposal and by a decision taken by two thirds (2/3) of the present members, be either temporarily or permanently expelled from the Chapter.

ARTICLE XII. RECORDS, DEPOSITS, CHECKS, CONTRACTS, LOANS

The main books and records of the Chapter are: 1) General Book of Membership, 2) Records of the Financial Transactions, Incomes, and Expenses, 3) Records of Payments of Membership Dues, and 4) Records of the Minutes of the Meetings.

All funds of the Chapter shall be deposited promptly in an account at a local bank designated by the Board of Directors.

All checks and disbursements from this account shall be signed by at least two (2) of the

following executive officers: the President, the Treasurer, or the Vice President.

The Board of Directors may authorize any officer or officers, agents to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of or behalf of the Chapter.

No loans shall be contracted on behalf of the Chapter and no evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless duly authorized by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE XIII. COMMITTEES

In order to expedite the goals and objectives of the Chapter, the Board of Directors may by resolution establish committees, the chairmen and the members of which are appointed by the Board. The duties, responsibilities and jurisdiction of each committee will be determined by the Board.

ARTICLE XIIII. AUDIT COMMITTEE

An audit committee may be appointed by the Board of Directors or the General Assembly to account for the financial management of the Society, when deemed necessary or prudent. After examining and auditing the books and records, the collections, the disbursements, and general expenses, the audit committee presents a report of its findings to the quorum of all the membership for approval.

ARTICLE XV. DISSOLUTION

In case of dissolution of the Himarrioton Society, its treasury funds as well as any other liquid or real assets, after payment of all debts and obligations, shall be appropriated by the last Board of Directors in support of the parent Society’s works and institutions in Himarra, or in the United States of America benefitting Himarriotans, or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese only.

THESE BY-LAWS ARE HEREBY ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CHAPTER AS OF MAY 15, 2016.