Constitution of the H.E.L.P. Group
Adopted:  18 Oct. 2002

Article I – Name

The name of this organization is H.E.L.P. Group.  H.E.L.P. is an acronym for Health, Environmental, Safety and Laboratory Professionals.

Article II – Duration

The duration of this organization is perpetual.

Article III – Purpose

Paragraph 1.  The purpose of this organization is to foster intercommunication between health, safety, environmental and laboratory professionals within the Pacific Northwest’s biotechnology and biomedical community.

Paragraph 2.  The organization accomplishes its purpose by providing a forum for its members.  This forum promotes sharing of information, group problem solving, networking and interaction, discussion of common regulatory issues, and education.

Article IV – Affiliations

H.E.L.P. Group is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association.

Article V – Membership

Paragraph 1.  Voting members consist of individuals responsible for ensuring the health, safety and/or environmental compliance of their employer’s facilities.

Paragraph 2.  Associate members consist of individuals employed by consultation, service, and product companies, or regulatory agencies.

Paragraph 3.  A person is eligible for voting or associate membership regardless of their race, nationality, political position, sex, age, religious belief, disability, sexual preference, or marital status.

Paragraph 4.  A person becomes a member by (1) attending one meeting, (2) registering with this organization’s Secretary, and (3) paying the annual dues fee (pro-rated) as established by the Steering Committee.

Paragraph 5.  Non-members may attend no more than two meetings per year.

Paragraph 6.  In the event that an individual qualifies as a voting member and an associate member, that individual is recognized as a voting member.

Paragraph 7.  No member, speaker, or guest may use this organization for the purposes of solicitation, marketing, or sales, unless requested by a majority of the audience.

Article VI – Officers

Paragraph 1.  The officers of this organization consist of voting and associate members holding one of the following elected positions:  President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Paragraph 2.  The term of any officer is one year.  An officer may not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same position of responsibility.

Paragraph 3.  Powers and duties of each position are as follows:

(a) President.  This position is responsible for overseeing the actions of the officers and Standing Committees and acting as meeting manager at Steering Committee meetings.

(b) Vice-President.  This position is responsible for assisting the President and acting as meeting manager at general meetings.  The Vice-President is responsible for ending general meetings on time.

(c) Treasurer.  This position is responsible for collecting dues, paying bills, and maintaining account records.  The Treasurer is responsible for reporting the organization’s financial status on a quarterly basis.

(d) Secretary.  This position is responsible for coordinating club communication, generating meeting minutes, and maintaining membership rosters and records.  The Secretary is responsible for notifying members of meetings via email and the organization’s web page.

Paragraph 4.  An officer may be removed from his or her position.  This requires a two-thirds majority vote by membership present at a general meeting.  Notification that such vote will take place must be sent to all members and officers not less than one month prior to the vote.

Article VII – Elections

Paragraph 1.  Election of officers is conducted in the month of July by the acting Secretary.  Nominations and elections are conducted via email.  Candidates may volunteer or be nominated to a position.  Voting and associate members are allowed five business days to participate in the nomination process.  Following the nomination process, voting members are allowed five business days to participate in the election process.

Paragraph 2.  Vacancies are filled in the same manner as described in Paragraph 1 of this Article.  The President may appoint an interim officer until the selection process is complete.

Article VIII – Meetings

Paragraph 1.  General meetings are held once every two months.  These meetings occur on the third Wednesday of the month, between the hours of 9:00AM and 10:30AM.

Paragraph 2.  A quorum consists of 25% of voting members present at any regular meeting.

Article IX – Steering Committee

Paragraph 1.  Management of this organization is vested in a Steering Committee.  This Committee shall establish or abolish Standing Committees, create and manage the organization’s infrastructure in support of the Group’s purpose, and report its activities to the membership at every general meeting.

Paragraph 2.  The Steering Committee consists of all officers as well as any willing member and is not limited in size.

Paragraph 3.  Steering Committee meetings are held once every two months, on months that do not include a general meeting.  These meetings occur on the third Wednesday of the month, between the hours of 9:00AM and 10:30AM.

Article X – Dues

Paragraph 1.  Members shall pay dues on a yearly basis.

Paragraph 2.  The dues amount shall be determined by the Steering Committee on an annual basis.

Paragraph 3.  The fiscal year for this organization begins July 1st and ends June 30th.

Paragraph 4.  Members who are delinquent in their dues payment on July 1st shall be granted a thirty day grace period before their membership is terminated.

Article XI – Constitutional Amendments

Paragraph 1.  The constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds majority at any general meeting.

Paragraph 2.  Notice of amendments must be given at least ten business days prior to the next general meeting.

Article XII – Dissolution

Upon dissolution or final liquidation of the organization, the assets of the organization are distributed in the following order of priority:

(a) All debts to nonmembers are satisfied.

(b) All debts to members are satisfied.

(c) All surplus assets are given to not-for-profit organizations as designated by the Steering Committee.