Association of VA Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals
 
 

Bylaws

ASSOCIATION OF VA VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PROFESSIONALS

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

March 10, 2013, Rev 4/11/17

SECTION I. NAME OF ORGANIZATION

The organization shall be known as the Association of VA Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (AVAVRP) hereinafter referred to as the Association, or AVAVRP.

SECTION II. PURPOSE

The purpose of the Association is to encourage development of comprehensive Vocational Rehabilitation services to veteran beneficiaries through education and training, leadership, promotion, and member collaboration to enhance practice effectiveness. The Association will advocate for the recruitment, retention, and recognition of VA Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals. To further its objectives, the Association may collaborate with established Vocational Rehabilitation organizations and other organizations that are relevant to Vocational Rehabilitation practice in health care settings.

SECTION III. MEMBERSHIP

1.  Full  Member: Any person employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) whose job title is classified as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor or whose current responsibilities are designated as providing professional services within the Vocational Rehabilitation discipline. This includes supervisor’s, program managers, and staff in national positions under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program located at the Veterans Health Administration and/or the Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

2.  Honorary Member: Any former member of AVAVRP shall be eligible for election to honorary membership, this includes current and retired employees . Honorary membership shall be available to other persons who have distinguished themselves in promoting the purpose of AVAVRP and who are nominated for such membership by a member of the Executive Committee. Honorary members shall be able to participate in the activities of AVAVRP and shall receive all general mailings, but they may neither vote nor hold elected office. Honorary members may fill vacant positions on the Board as appointed by the President, including:  Congressional Liaison, Website Manager, Newsletter Editor, and Conference Planner.

3.  Student Affiliate Member: Any Vocational Rehabilitation Intern within the Veterans Health Administration or the Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, shall be eligible for election to student affiliate membership in AVAVRP.  Student members shall be able to participate in the activities of AVAVRP, including membership on committees and special interest groups, and shall receive all general mailings. However, student members may neither vote nor hold elective office. Student member expires at the end of the membership year in which he/she ceases to function in a Vocational Rehabilitation Intern role at Veterans Health Administration and/or the Veterans Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

4.  To become a member a person must complete an application and pay dues for one year. Membership is normally renewed annually.

 

SECTION IV. OFFICERS

1. Officers of the Association must be Full members, are elected by the voting members, and serve a term of two years beginning the first day of the calendar year.

2. Officers are President, Vice President/President Elect, Past President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Nominations Chairperson. The Vice President/President Elect will serve two years, then two years as President, then two years as Past President.

In general, the duties of the elected officers are:

3. Past President – acts in behalf of the President if requested. Participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and email.

4. President – sets the agenda and presides over meetings of the membership and Executive Committee conference calls. The President represents the Association to the Director, VA Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals, and with other VA Central Office personnel who may have a relationship or liaison with AVAVRP or who are relevant to VA Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals.

5. Vice President/President Elect – acts as President in the absence of the President. Participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and email. May lead special projects or task forces.

6. Treasurer – manages the funds of the Association, including paying Association expenses. Answers inquires from members and prospective members regarding their

status and/or the criteria and procedure for joining AVAVRP or renewing membership. Provides regular financial reports to the Executive Committee. Participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and email.

7. Secretary – Keeps records (minutes) of membership and Executive Committee meetings and conference calls. Participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and email.

8. Nominations Chairperson – contacts members who are potential candidates for elected office. Receives inquiries from members who are interested in running for elected office. Participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and email.


SECTION V. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Members of the Executive Committee, elected and appointed, must be voting members of the Association. It is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to carry out the functions and purposes of the organization. The Executive Committee includes the elected officers of the Association and the following members:

A. Members-at-large

Three at-large members are elected to represent members who are staff vocational rehabilitation professionals (full members) and previous employees (honorary members). The at-large members are voting members of the Executive Committee. At-large members are elected for two year terms which begin the first day of the calendar year.

In general, the duties of the members-at-large include: Participating in the Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and emails; promoting AVAVRP with their constituents and inviting AVAVRP membership; polling the members they represent regarding issues or proposals resulting in actions or positions to be taken by the Association; and special projects determined by the Executive Committee.

B. Appointed Members

Members appointed by the President are voting members of the Executive Committee with duties as follows:

1. Congressional Liaison – Collaborates with other professional associations and elected officials to support the goals of the Association. The Congressional Liaison participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and emails.

2. Website Manager – Serves as webmaster for the AVAVRP website. The webmaster will manage the online membership database in collaboration with the Treasurer. The Webmaster participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and emails.

3. Newsletter Editor – Oversees the content of, and publishes, the Newsletter. The Executive Committee acts as the Editorial Board for the Newsletter. The Newsletter Editor participates in Executive Committee meetings, conference calls, and emails.

4. Conference Planner(s) – Serves as meeting planning advocate and liaison to all operational departments. Manages the execution of all aspects of events to include planning, day to day coordination and exit strategies.

Removal & Resignation

1. Removal: Appointed members of the Executive Committee may be removed at any time at the discretion of the President. The President may, at their discretion, replace the terminated appointed member. Elected officers who do not uphold the responsibilities of their office may be removed from office and the Executive Committee at any time by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The President will appoint a replacement for the terminated officer until an election is held to elect a replacement.

2. Resignation:

An officer or appointed member of the Executive Committee may resign by giving notice to the President. If an officer resigns, the President will appoint a replacement until an election is held to elect a replacement. If an appointed member resigns a replacement may be appointed by the President. If the President resigns the Vice President/President Elect will become President.

SECTION VI. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE VOTING and QUORUM

1. Each member of the Executive Committee member has one vote. The member may appoint a proxy or designee for specific votes.

2. The presence of a majority of installed members on the Executive Committee is necessary to constitute a quorum at any conference call or meeting.

3. Action on any issue or proposal requires an affirmative vote by the majority of the quorum present at a meeting or conference call.

4. The Executive Committee will periodically review the Constitution & Bylaws, make changes if indicated, and will make the Constitution & Bylaws available to the members for review and/or recommendations for changes. The Executive Committee has final responsibility for changes to the Constitution & Bylaws.

SECTION VII. DUES

The amount of the annual dues will be set by the Executive Committee. Sufficient dues will be set to pay for the costs of operating the Association.

SECTION VIII. NEWSLETTER

The Association will regularly publish a Newsletter. The Newsletter Editor, in collaboration with the Executive Committee, will establish publication dates.

SECTION IX. WEB SITE

The Association maintains a website available to members and non-members. The website contains information regarding continuing education opportunities, resources that may be used in behalf of veterans, and publications and documents available to the members on a variety of topics relevant to vocational rehabilitation practice in the VA. Parts of the website will be available to the general public, other parts will be available only to members.

SECTION X. ELECTIONS
  1. The Executive Committee will authorize elections to elect officers and three members at large to the Executive Committee, to poll the membership and/or to decide other matters relevant to the purpose of the Association.
  2. Candidates for elected positions who receive the most votes will be elected.
  3. Full Members of the Association are eligible to vote for elected members of the Executive Committee and to vote on issues brought to the membership by the Executive Committee. Elections will have a published closing date. Members who vote by the closing date will determine the election outcomes.
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