Lowcountry Libations Bylaws
last Approval date: November 2012
ARTICLE I - PURPOSE
The purpose of this club is an educational non-profit, whose goals include:
- To engage in social activities focused on homebrewing as a common foundation.
- To learn more about beer, beer tasting, beer judging and brewing techniques, based on sharing knowledge and experience.
- To promote the hobby and enjoyment of homebrewing; including beer brewing, vintners, mead makers etc.
- To promote the responsible use of alcoholic beverages.
- To support local charities through club activities.
Dissolution Clause: In the event of dissolution, all of the remaining assets and property of the organization shall, after payment of necessary and outstanding expenses, be distributed to such charitable organization as shall qualify under Section 501 C (3) of the internal Revenue Code of 1986, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal Tax Law or to the Federal Government, a State or Local government for public purpose, subject to the approval of a court of competent jurisdiction within the State of South Carolina.
Nondiscrimination Clause: Lowcountry Libations shall not permit in their conduct of club affairs, any restriction or limitation whatsoever based upon race, color, creed, gender, and national origin or employment status.
ARTICLE II - AREA
The area served by the organization shall be the area primarily adjacent to and including Charleston, South Carolina; commonly referred to as The Lowcountry.
ARTICLE III - DUES
- A. Annual Dues - Annual dues are $ 20.00 for a single member and $30.00 for a family membership and are payable on January 1st of the current year. Dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors. Members who hold office are exempt from dues pending approval from the Board of Directors. All dues are non-refundable. Family membership is defined as the member and his/her spouse, significant other or offspring.
- B. Penalty for late payment - Members who are over 30 days in arrears will be suspended until their dues are made current. Suspended members will lose all membership privileges. Suspended members may be reinstated only upon payment of the annual dues or approval of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP
- A. Eligibility - Individuals who are at least 21 years of age, who have paid annual dues and have a significant brewing interest in the area served by the organization, shall be eligible for membership. New members must agree to and sign a liability release.
- B. Duration - Membership shall be on an annual basis beginning January 1st. Those who join during the year will pay pro-rated dues until year end.
- C. Charter Member - A charter member is appointed by the Board of Directors using the following criteria in their approval process.
- Past President
- 5 year member
- Consistent and active participation
- D. Liability - Members recognize that participation in Lowcountry Libations activities is entirely voluntary. Participation in these activities may involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages which may affect perception and reactions. Members at all times accept individual responsibility for their conduct and behavior. Lowcountry Libations will neither assume nor accept responsibility for an individual’s actions. Also, members agree that driving while intoxicated is a serious violation of law and of expected behavior during club events and agree that they will find alternate transportation if they are unable to safely and legally operate a motor vehicle. Members agree they alone are responsible for their actions before, during and after club events, including, but not limited to, decisions about driving after consuming alcoholic beverages and waive any claim, legal or otherwise, against the club and its members, hosts and guests stemming from any club-related activities.
- E. Suspension or Expulsion of membership - If a member’s behavior is of such an offensive or abusive character that his or her continued presence at club events is deemed detrimental, that member either may be suspended or permanently expelled. It takes a majority vote of the Board of Directors to do either, the vote must be taken at a Board of Directors meeting after notice of the action has been given to the member in question. In the case of suspension, the committee will decide the length of suspension from club activities. At no time will dues be refunded.
- F. Honorary Members - These members are selected by the Board of Directors and usually include brewers or others in the craft beer profession. These members have no voting rights and are exempt from dues. Honorary members should be recognized as VIPs at any meetings or functions they attend.
- G. Member Benefits- All current members will receive a membership card which may entitle them to discounts from participating sponsors. Members and a guest are welcome at all club sponsored events at no charge. Some events may require a charge due to circumstances (i.e. for food or entry into a festival). Non-members will be charged a fee to attend club sponsored events. There is no fee to attend the normal monthly business meeting.
ARTICLE V - VOTING
Voting Rights - Each member shall have one vote per person in the affairs of the organization. Only members whose dues are current may vote. Voting will be held via an online form within a time frame allocated by the Board. A quorum of 25% of current members is required make the vote official.
ARTICLE VI - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- A. Definition - The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers of the association, the immediate Past President and all charter members. The elected directors shall serve for a term of one (1) year.
- B. Responsibility - The Board of Directors shall have full power to manage this organization, the responsibility for carrying out its purpose and the establishment of rules for its operation.
- C. Vacancies - The Board of Directors shall fill vacancies of elected officers through appointment by the remaining members of the Board by simple majority. Each person so appointed shall be a Director for the remaining period of vacancy and until a successor is duly elected.
- D. Meetings - The Board of Directors shall hold regular board meetings and may hold special board meetings. A quorum of the board shall consist of a majority of the elected directors and any charter members present.
ARTICLE VII. - OFFICERS
OFFICERS: The officers, whose terms shall be one year, and their respective duties are as follows:
- To uphold the Bylaws of the club
- To interpret the Bylaws of the club
- To set the theme and agenda for the meetings
- To call meetings to order and conduct them in an orderly manner
- To call for special meetings if necessary
- To preside over all committees
- To manage storage of all club equipment and property.
- To assist the president with his duties
- To head the committee to coordinate and organize the Colonial Cup homebrew competition
- To present certificates of achievement
- To, in the absence of the president, assume the president’s role for that meeting. And to assume the role of President if the current President is unable or unwilling to perform duties described in the bylaws.
- To arrange for registration and recording of attendance of the members at all membership meetings
- To take the minutes of Board of Directors meetings and membership meetings
- To maintain a file of all meetings
- To chair meetings, if the president and vice-president are both absent from a meeting
- To maintain a current roster and issue membership cards
- To proctor nominations and elections
- To maintain a record of all loaned club equipment to help ensure availability when needed.
- To administer the club’s finances
- To collect and document monies owed to the club
- To manage the club’s check book and arrange to have the president, vice-president, and him/herself to have check signing authority
- To reimburse expenses incurred by members on behalf of the club approved by a board member.
- To submit a report to the Board of Directors on an annual basis, or as requested by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VIII. - COMMITTEES
The President may, subject to Board of Directors approval, appoint such committees and committee chairpersons as may be required for the conduct of the aims of the association and consistent with its purpose. Chairpersons may select members of the organization for the purpose of assisting them in their respective undertakings. All chairpersons and members of committees must be current members in good standing.
ARTICLE IX. - MEETINGS
- A. Monthly meetings – Regular business meetings of the club shall be held monthly. The presiding President shall set dates and times. Meetings will generally be held at a designated public facility but may also be held at a private location.
- B. Notification - The time, date, and location of all meetings shall be posted on the web site and emailed to all members no later than 15 days prior to the meeting. The President shall be responsible for notifying the membership of any change in time, date or location of the monthly meeting.
ARTICLE X. - ELECTIONS
- A. Nominations - Nominations for club officers will be held at the November meeting. One or more persons shall be nominated for each position at the meeting and nominations may be made from the floor by members in good standing.
- B. Elections - Elections for club officers will be held via an online voting form prior the December meeting. Results will be announced at the December meeting and the elected officers and directors will assume their respective rolls on January 1st.
- C. Removal - An officer or director may be removed for cause by a 2/3 vote at any meeting of the Board of Directors in which a quorum is present.
- Cause - Frequent absence from the membership meetings and Board of Directors meetings is sufficient cause for removal.
- Notification - Prior to taking final action on any motion to replace an officer or director, the Board of Directors shall give cause by written or electronic notice to the officer or director in question, giving reasonable notice of the date, time and place of the meeting at which such action is proposed to be taken.
- D. Vacancy - The Board of Directors may by majority vote of those present and voting, fill any vacancy caused by the death, resignation, removal, or incapacity of an officer or director.
ARTICLE XI. - BUSINESS
- Any matters of business brought before the club shall be presented to and acted upon by the Board of Directors.
- Any motion first made at a meeting of the general membership shall be referred to the Board of Directors and proper committee, if any, for action. The Board of Directors shall act on such motion within 60 days and report its action to the next meeting of the general membership.
If a motion has not been acted upon by the Board of Directors, the motion may be acted upon by the membership by popular vote at the meeting following the expiration of the 60 day period, or the first membership meeting after the membership is advised that the Board has failed to take action on the motion or has failed to enact said motion.
ARTICLE XII. - BUDGET
- Annual dues for each calendar year shall be set in the budget and payable on January 1st.
- The dues collected in any given calendar year shall constitute income for the remainder of that current calendar year.
The newly elected officers shall prepare and present to the Board of Directors at its first meeting of the fiscal year a budget showing the receipts already received for the fiscal year and the proposed expenses. This budget shall be approved by the Board and presented to the membership.
Upon approval, this budget shall be the authority of the Treasurer to disburse funds not in excess of the amounts budgeted.
In order to disburse any funds in excess of the amount budgeted, specific approval of the Board of Directors shall be required. In order to expend, during any fiscal year, funds in excess of receipts, specific approval shall be obtained from the Board of Directors and presented to the general membership.
The Treasurer shall, at each meeting of the Board of Directors, present a report of current and year-to-date expenditures of the association and report on the amounts remaining in each item of the budget.
ARTICLE XIII. - AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS
These Bylaws may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of a majority in the presence of a quorum, at any regular or special meeting of the membership called for that purpose, or by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Board of Directors at any regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors called for that purpose, provided, however, that notice thereof shall be given to each member in person or by electronic mail to his/her last known address at least twenty (20) days before the election is held.
ARTICLE XIV. - ACCESS TO BYLAWS
A current copy of these articles shall be available on the web site to all members.