Bylaws

Bylaws

Article 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:

15639 1100 Battlefield Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23328   

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 Commonwealth of Virginia.

Section 2.  Mission

The mission of the VaAGC is to:

  • Increase our profession’s visibility within Virginia
  • Improve collaboration and networking opportunities among genetic counselors in Virginia
  • Mobilize Virginia genetic counselors who wish to take action on issues relevant to our profession
  • Encourage professional growth and continuing education among genetic counselors in Virginia
  • Increase accessibility to and provide a centralized location for relevant information on genetic counseling  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 Member is granted to any genetic counselor living or working within the Commonwealth 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 by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) or American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG).  A genetic counselor living and/or working in Virginia can register for full membership on the VaAGC website. Automatic renewal of membership will occur 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 member.

Section 3.  Associate Members

Associate Member is 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 or an Officer position.  

Section 4.  Student Members

Student Member is any student enrolled in an accredited genetic counseling program who is interested in living or working within the Commonwealth of Virginia and shares the Mission and Vision of the VaAGC.  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 Members.  Student Members shall not be eligible to hold a position on the VaAGC Board of Directors or an Officer 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 VaAGC membership.

Section 7.  Membership Roster

A directory of VaAGC members will be maintained and updated in a database managed by the VaAGC Secretary 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 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 majority vote of the Officers and Board of Directors. 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 Meeting and Education Committee.  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

There shall be three elected members of the Board of Directors.  These members, who must be VaAGC Full Members, will be elected by the VaAGC general membership through a nomination and voting process. A term shall be designated as two years from the date of original appointment, unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Officers. The date of original appointment is the annual education conference (AEC) meeting, unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Officers.  

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 appoint the new Officers every year on a rotating basis. Board of Director members attend the VaAGC officers conference call and have full voting privileges in official VaAGC business. 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

The Board of Directors shall meet either in person, by telephone or by teleconferencing for the purpose of appointing Officers for the upcoming service term.  Additional Board of Directors meetings may be called as needed.

Article VI.  VaAGC Officers

Section 1.  Officers and Terms of Office

There shall be eight appointed VaAGC Officers:  Past-President, President, Secretary, Treasurer, Western Regional Representative, Northern Regional Representative, Central Regional Representative, and Eastern Regional Representative. The Board of Directors is responsible for the appointment of the aforementioned eight Officers.  At the end of the appointed term, the outgoing 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. A term shall be designated as two years from the date of original appointment, unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Board of Directors. The date of original appointment is the annual AEC meeting, unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Officers.  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 meeting of Officers and the Board of Directors shall be held 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 and Board of Directors.

Section 3.  Duties of Officers

All Officers will work to uphold and promote the VaAGC Vision and Mission, foster education for genetic counselors in the state of Virginia, represent the VaAGC at regional meetings, and assist with VaAGC publications.

The Past-President shall assist the Officers in the maintenance of continuity from one administration to the next.  The Past-President serves as liaison between committee chairs, the Officers, and the Board of Directors.

The President will become fully knowledgeable about duties of elected officers and subcommittees and activities deriving from each.  The President will chair conference calls and meetings of the VaAGC Officers and meetings of the general membership. 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. The President will co-chair the Bylaws and Public Policy Committee along with a member of the Board of Directors.

The Secretary will ensure that upcoming meetings/conference calls of the Officers and the general membership are scheduled and inform the membership and/or Officers of these meetings.  The Secretary shall keep minutes from meetings and conference calls of the Officers and Board of Directors. The Secretary shall act as the primary communications contact for updates to the VaAGC membership list and informational website updates. The Secretary will co-chair the Website Design and Maintenance Committee along with a member of the Board of Directors.  

The Treasurer will keep accurate and updated records of VaAGC’s current balance as well as anticipated incoming and outgoing transactions. The Treasurer is responsible for paying all bills incurred by VaAGC as well as documenting and filing appropriate taxes. The Treasurer will plan and implement funding of the VaAGC’s key activities and projects. The Treasurer will co-chair the Membership Committee along with a Regional Representative.

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 Officer and Board of Directors as well as regional membership updates as needed. Two Regional Representatives will co-chair the State Meeting and Education Committee, one Regional Representative will co-chair the Membership Committee, and one Regional Representative will co-chair the Communication and Outreach Committee.  

Section 3.  Officer Orientation

Newly appointed Officers will be requested to review the VaAGC bylaws and Officer duties.  These items can be viewed on the VaAGC website or can be mailed electronically to the individual by a standing Officer.  Outgoing Officers should serve as mentors for incoming officers with regard to orientation on policies, procedures, and ongoing projects.  

Article VII.  Standing Committees

Section 1.  Standing Committees

The five standing committees of the VaAGC shall be the Bylaws and Public Policy Committee, the State Meeting and Education Committee, the Membership Committee, the Website Design and Maintenance Committee, and the Communication and Outreach Committee. All committees will be co-chaired by two Officers and/or Board of Director members.  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. Committee chairs may serve more than one consecutive term.

Section 2.   Bylaws and Public Policy Committee

The Bylaws and Public Policy Committee is co-chaired by the current President and a member of the Board of Directors. This committee shall be responsible for editing and updating the bylaws as necessary and 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 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 is co-chaired by two Regional Representatives. This 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 implementing the meeting objectives, agenda, and speakers. 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 and email.  

Section 4.   The Membership Committee

The Membership Committee is co-chaired by the Treasurer and a Regional Representative. The Membership Committee is responsible for collecting nominations for the Board of Directors election as well as overseeing the voting process. This includes distributing ballots to the general membership, tabulating, and communicating results to the VaAGC membership. In the event of an unexpected Board of Director vacancy, this Committee will be responsible for selecting an interim Board Member until a vote by the general membership is completed. No Board of Director member can serve on this committee. If a member of The Membership Committee is nominated for the Board of Directors, their membership of this committee is immediately terminated. They may rejoin this Committee if they are not voted onto the Board of Directors. The Membership Committee is also responsible for performing an annual audit and expenditures report of VaAGC expenses. The annual audit shall be presented to the VaAGC Officers and Board of Directors and the expenditures report shall be made available to the VaAGC membership.

Section 5.   Website Design and Maintenance Committee

The Website Design and Maintenance Committee is co-chaired by the Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors. This Committee shall be responsible for the overall operation and appearance of the VaAGC public website presence. This includes oversight and accuracy of website content and technical aspects of website design.

Section 6. Communication and Outreach Committee

The Communication and Outreach Committee is co-chaired by a Regional Representative and a member of the Board of Directors. This Committee shall be responsible for VaAGC’s visibility on social media platforms such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This Committee will also work on identifying community events that are relevant to the VaAGC’s mission and vision statements and working with the larger Virginia community to increase the visibility of the Genetic Counseling profession and the VaAGC organization.

Article VIII.  Nominations and Elections

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

Section 1.  Nominations

No more than 90 days but no less than 60 days prior to VaAGC’s Annual Education Conference, the Membership Committee will designate a Committee member to collect nomination for the Board of Directors. This Committee member shall submit a call to the general memberships 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. The Membership committee member will communicate with the general membership how nominations are to be collected. 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 Membership Committee shall review submitted nominations and create a slate of candidates. Nominees shall be contacted by the Membership 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

No more than 60 days but no less than 30 days prior to VaAGC’s Annual Education Conference, the slate of Board of Director nominees with accompanying biographies shall be released to all VaAGC Full Members. The number of individuals elected on a given cycle will be dependent on the number of individuals rotating off of the Board of Directors. The online ballot shall remain open for a period of at least two calendar weeks once sent to VaAGC Full Members. Once the online ballot is closed, the Membership Committee shall tally the voting. When there are more nominees than Board of Director positions open, the individual(s) with the most votes shall be elected to the Board of Directors. In the event that the number of nominees is equal to the number of Board of Director positions open, each nominee must receive a vote of confidence by at least 50% of ballots cast. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for notifying the newly elected Board of Director member(s) and will subsequently communicate results to VaAGC membership, all within one calendar week of the closing of the online ballot. A term shall be designated as two years from the date of original appointment, unless a variance is approved by the VaAGC Officers.

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. All expenses over $500 incurred by the VaAGC must be approved by the current President and Treasurer. The current President and Treasurer shall co-sign for all VaAGC expenditures.

Section 2.  The Fiscal Year

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

The Membership Committee shall issue an annual  financial report at the end of each fiscal year which will be made public to VaAGC membership.

Article X.  Ratification and Amendments to the Bylaws

Section 1.  Ratification of Bylaws

A copy of the current bylaws shall be made available on the VaAGC website for general membership and public viewing and comment.

On May 8, 2018 the Bylaws were amended and approved by the VaAGC Officers.

On October 12, 2011 the Bylaws were amended and approved unanimously by the VaAGC Officers.

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.  

Section 2.  Amendment of Bylaws

The bylaws may be amended at any time with at least 75% approval of 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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