NAIFA–NYS Bylaws

Adopted June 6, 2019

Article I – Name, Territory, and Principal Office

Section 1: The name of this Association shall be the “National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-New York State, Inc.”  The Association shall also do business as NAIFA-NYS (referred to herein as the “Association”).

Section 2: The territory of the Association shall correspond to geographical boundaries of the State of New York.

Section 3: The principal office(s) of the Association shall be located as determined by its Board of Directors.

Article II – Mission and Restrictions

Section 1:  The mission of the Association is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of our members.

Section 2:  All policies and activities of the Association shall be consistent with applicable federal, state, and local antitrust, trade regulation, or other legal requirements; and applicable tax exemption requirements. The Association is formed exclusively for purposes for which a corporation may be formed under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law of the State of New York and not for pecuniary benefit or financial gain.  No part of the assets, income, or profit of the Corporation shall be distributable to, or insure to the benefit of, its members, Trustees, or officers except to the extent permitted under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.  The Association shall not take steps which will serve to facilitate the transaction of specific business by its members or promote the private interest of any member, or engage in any activities which would constitute a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit.

Article III – Powers of the Association

Section 1: The powers of the Association shall be those provided in these Bylaws.

Section 2: The powers of the Association shall be:

(a)  to elect individuals to membership, and to suspend or revoke such memberships, and to appoint NAIFA local chapters, and to suspend or revoke such appointments.

(b)  to create and have affiliated units.  Such units, having a mission or objectives consistent with those of this Association, shall fulfill the needs of certain specialized groups in the membership.

(c)  to manage, supervise, direct and control the business, property, and funds of the Association.

(d)  to take all actions necessary to carry out the mission of the Association.

Article IV – Purpose

Section 1: This Association is an appointed state chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (“NAIFA”) and shall be an association of individual members and appointed local chapters whose purpose is to promote and advance the mutual interests of the members engaged in the business of life and health insurance and related financial services, and to further the best interests of the institutions of life insurance, health insurance, and financial services.

Section 2: All members of this Association must be members of NAIFA, and all members of local chapters in this state shall be members of this Association.

Section 3: As an appointed NAIFA state chapter, this Association shall organize, direct, and coordinate statewide and local-area programs, activities, and groups.

Section 4: The Association, together with NAIFA, may appoint one or more local chapters of NAIFA within the state, which agree to adhere to a NAIFA chapter agreement, as prescribed by the NAIFA Board of Trustees, and which shall have such responsibilities and privileges as provided in such chapter agreement. NAIFA local chapters shall organize, direct, and coordinate local-area programs, activities, and groups, in a manner consistent with the NAIFA mission and with the terms and conditions of the NAIFA local chapter agreement. If a local chapter fails to conform to provisions of its chapter agreement it may have its appointment as a chapter suspended or revoked by the NAIFA Board of Trustees as provided in the chapter agreement. A local chapter may resign as a NAIFA chapter, provided that all financial and other obligations of the chapter to the Association and to NAIFA have been fulfilled, and such resignation shall become effective when accepted by the NAIFA Board of Trustees, and by such resignation the local chapter shall surrender all right to use the NAIFA name and all other NAIFA property.

Article V – Membership in the Association

Section 1: Membership in this Association is available to qualified individuals in the active, associate, or honorary class, who agree to adhere to these bylaws, to the NAIFA Code of Ethics, and to other applicable membership rules and policies of NAIFA and the Association.

Section 2: Active Membership. (a) Active members of the Association shall be insurance and financial advisors licensed to sell life, health, or property-casualty insurance, or securities, such as agents, brokers, supervisors, general agents, managers, and others engaged in local management and distribution. Individuals shall not be eligible for active membership unless they are clearly identified with the agency field as distinguished from the home office.

(b)  The Association Board of Trustees may designate a category of membership for individuals (Emeritus Members) who otherwise qualify for active membership and have reached a specified age.

(c)  Active members must be members of NAIFA and live, work, or be licensed in or near the state of the Association. Active members who join the Association as a second (or additional) state chapter may be required to pay a second-chapter fee.

(d)  Active members shall pay membership dues as determined by the NAIFA Board of Trustees and shall be entitled to all of the privileges of the Association, including voting and holding office.

(e)  The Association Board of Trustees may define other subcategories of the Active category of membership, including their qualifications, privileges, and obligations.

Section 3:  Associate Membership. Associate members of the Association shall be individuals affiliated in any capacity with the home office or agency office of an insurance company or those affiliated in any capacity with a profession or a publishing house, trust company or any other business organization related in any manner to the insurance and financial services industry. These may include, but are not limited to, accountants, attorneys, authors, editors, educators, publishers, trust officers and others in related fields of endeavor. The Association Board of Trustees may define other subcategories of the Associate category of membership, including their qualifications, privileges, and obligations.

Associate members shall pay membership dues as determined by the Association Board of Trustees and shall be entitled to all of the privileges of the Association, except those of voting and holding office.

The Association Board of Trustees may create a category of associate member known as “student associate member” for individuals enrolled in an accredited university, or such other academic institution which may be approved by the Association Board of Trustees, and who have an interest in insurance or financial services. Persons who are eligible for active membership shall not be eligible for student associate membership. Student associate members shall pay membership dues as determined by the Association Board of Trustees and shall be entitled to all the privileges of the Association except those of voting or holding office.

Section 4:  Honorary Membership. Any person who has performed distinguished public service in the field of insurance and financial services, or in the community, and who is not an active or associate member of NAIFA may be elected as an honorary member of the Association for the period of one or more years. An honorary member shall pay no membership dues and shall be entitled to all privileges of the Association except those of voting and holding office.

Section 5: Membership Admission, Resignation, and Discipline. Admission to membership in the Association shall be according to rules prescribed by the NAIFA Board of Trustees. Any member may resign by submitting written notice of resignation to NAIFA and the Association; however, resignation does not relieve a member from liability for dues accrued and unpaid as of the date of resignation. Failure to pay dues or to meet the criteria for membership is presumed to be adequate reason for expulsion from membership and does not require advance notice to the member. Any member proposed for expulsion from membership or for other discipline for any reason other than failure to pay dues will be given notice of the proposed discipline, an opportunity to respond to the proposed discipline, and final notice of the decision, pursuant to the membership disciplinary process prescribed by the NAIFA Board of Trustees and duly adopted by the Association Board of Trustees.

Article VI – Officers

Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, an Immediate Past President, a President-Elect, Vice Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer (or a Secretary-Treasurer), a National Committeeperson, and an Association Executive (ex officio, without a vote). Officers shall be selected with due consideration to geographical distribution to ensure representation of members from throughout the state.  The authority and duty of each officer shall be such as is defined in these bylaws.

Section 2. Each officer, except the Association Executive, shall be an active member in good standing of NAIFA.  No person may hold more than one officer position in the Association at the same time except for the positions of Secretary and Treasurer, which may be combined.

Section 3.  All officers except the Association Executive shall serve without compensation, except that the officers may be reimbursed for expenses in the performance of their duties.

Section 4.  The Board of Directors shall appoint the Association Executive and fix the Association Executive’s salary or fee.

Section 5. The President-Elect, the Vice Presidents, the Secretary, the Treasurer (or the Secretary- Treasurer), and the National Committeeperson shall be elected by the Delegate Council at the time of the Association’s annual meeting, for a term of two years or until their successors are elected, in the manner prescribed in these bylaws, except for the National Committeeperson, who shall serve a three-year term or until a successor is elected. At such time the then current President-Elect and President shall automatically succeed to the offices of President and Immediate Past President, respectively, for a term of two years.

Section 6. The President shall preside at all Association Delegate Council and annual meetings and at all meetings of the Association Board of Directors and shall perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office of President. The President shall appoint and be an ex officio member of all standing and special committees of the Association.

Section 7. The Association Executive shall be the active managing officer of the Association under the supervision and direction of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors and shall perform such duties as are specified or implied in these bylaws or as may be assigned by the Executive Committee or Board of Directors. The Association Executive shall be in executive charge of the Association offices and shall be responsible for the selection and supervision of the staff personnel subject to the direction and control of the Board of Directors.

Section 8. In the event of the resignation of or the inability of the President to perform the President’s duties, the President-Elect shall perform the duties of, and have the same authority as, the President. The President-Elect shall also perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office, or as may be assigned by the President or the Board of Directors. The President-Elect, with the advice of the Board of Directors, shall anticipate the duties of the President during the next association year and prepare committee appointments no later than fifteen (15) days after advancement to the office of President.

Section 9.  The Secretary shall sign official documents issued by the Association when appropriate; shall affix the corporate seal of the organization when required; and shall perform such other duties as are requested by the President or the Board of Directors.

Section 10. The Treasurer shall submit all financial statements, audits, and reports to the Board of Directors, and shall perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office, or as may be assigned by the President or the Board of Directors.

Section 11. The Immediate Past President and Vice President(s) shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the President or the Board of Directors.

Section 12. The National Committeeperson shall serve as the liaison between the Association and NAIFA, and between the Association and any local chapter in the state, and shall report back to and take counsel with the Association with reference to matters arising in and referred to the NAIFA National Council, the NAIFA Board of Trustees, and the various standing and special committees of NAIFA.

Article VII – Board of Directors

Section 1. The Association Board of Directors shall consist of the President, the Immediate Past President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer (or Secretary-Treasurer), the National Committeeperson, and the Vice President(s).

Section 2. The Board of Directors shall define the policies and have full administrative authority in all matters of the Association.

Section 3. The construction and interpretation of these Bylaws by the Board of Directors shall be final and binding except as set forth in Section 5 of this Article.

Section 4. There shall be an Executive Committee composed of the President, the Immediate Past President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer (or the Secretary-Treasurer), and the National Committeeperson, and delegated to it are the duties and powers of the Board of Directors  with such duties to be performed and powers to be exercised only in emergency situations when necessary because holding a Board meeting is not practical.  The Executive Committee shall maintain minutes of all action taken by it, which shall be reported to the Board of Directors at its next meeting following any such action. Unless disapproved by vote of the majority of the Board present at such next meeting, the action of the Executive Committee shall be final to the same extent as though taken by the Board of Directors under these Bylaws. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall consist of not less than four (4) members.

Section 5.  All decisions of the Board of Directors shall be final and binding upon the Association.

Section 6. The Board of Directors shall meet in person, by telephone conference or by other lawful means at such times and places as may be determined by action of the Board, by call of the President, or by the written request of four members of the Board; provided that there shall be at least four meetings each year. Advance written notice of the time and place of every meeting of the Board of Directors shall be sent to each member of the Board by the Association Executive.

Section 7. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business, except in cases where a larger vote is required under these Bylaws.

Section 8. If any vacancy occurs in any officer position, the Board of Directors shall fill such position until the next Association annual meeting. An officer may be removed from the Board for cause by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, provided such officer is granted an opportunity to be heard as determined by Board policy.

Article VIII – Delegate Council

Section 1. The Delegate Council shall consist of all officers, directors and past presidents who attend the Annual Meeting. The Board of Directors may provide for Delegate Council voting without attendance at an Annual Meeting in such a manner as the Board shall prescribe.

Section 2. The Delegate Council shall hold one meeting each year, to be known as the Annual Meeting. For this meeting, a quorum of the Delegate Council shall consist of one more than fifty percent 50% of the total members of the Council. Unless otherwise provided by the Bylaws, a majority vote of those members of the Delegate Council in attendance shall govern.

Section 3. The Delegate Council shall confer and advise with the Board of Directors on matters relating to this Association.

Section 4. The powers of the Delegate Council are:

(a)  to elect Officers and Directors of this Associatio

(b)  to suggest and recommend policy for consideration by the Board of Directors

(c)  to amend the bylaws of this Association

Article IX – Annual Meetings

Section 1. An annual meeting of this Association shall be held at such time and place as shall be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Special meetings of this Association shall be called by the President upon the request of 25% of the active members of this Association or upon the request of three-fourths (3/4) of the members of the Board of Directors. Special meetings may be held by means of the Internet or other permissible electronic communications, as the Board of Directors may direct. No business shall be transacted at a special meeting other than that specified in the notice of the meeting.

Section 3. The Association Executive shall give notice of the Annual Meeting to each member at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of the meeting, and an official call for any special meeting at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the same.

Article X – Committees

Section 1. The President, in consultation with the Board of Directors, shall appoint the standing committees (Government Relations, Membership, and Professional Development and Education) and such other committees as the Board may determine, with such duties and such terms of appointment as the Board may prescribe. Any member of any committee may be removed at the discretion of the Board.

Section 2. The Government Relations Committee shall examine proposed legislation and regulations affecting life and health insurance and related financial services introduced in this state and by the federal government. The Committee shall submit any recommendations concerning approval, disapproval or revision of such legislation or regulations to the Board of Directors and, where appropriate, shall present the view of this Association to proper committees of the Legislature and others and communicate recommendations to NAIFA. The Committee shall develop programs and activities to promote contributions to this Association’s PAC and NAIFAPAC and to aid individuals in becoming more knowledgeable and involved in politics and government. The Committee shall seek to enhance awareness of the purposes and opportunities of NAIFAPAC and this Association’s PAC by making contributions to selected candidates for state elective office. The Committee shall promote the involvement of this Association in the election of candidates for local, state, and national office, consistent with the legislative views of this Association. The Committee shall also identify and foster the creation of member relationships with elected officials. The Committee may carry out its duties through subcommittees or task forces on legislation, political action, and political involvement. One member of the Committee shall be appointed to the position of State IFAPAC Chair, to execute the political action functions of the Committee, and a different member of the Committee shall be appointed to the position of State APIC Chair, to execute the political involvement functions of the Committee, and the appointees shall be reported to NAIFA within 30 days of appointment.

Section 3. The Membership Committee shall assist with the development, coordination, and implementation of membership recruitment and retention campaigns of NAIFA and the Association.

Section 4. The Professional Development and Education Committee shall provide support for professional career development, educational, and other benefit programs for Association members.

Article XI – Revenue

Section 1. The NAIFA Board of Trustees shall establish rates for dues to be paid by each class, category, and group of members of NAIFA, including this Association, and shall allocate forty percent (40%) of such membership dues to this Association for the members of this Association. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for members who belong to NAIFA local chapters, NAIFA shall allocate twenty percent (20%) of such members’ membership dues to this Association and twenty percent (20%) of such members’ membership dues to the local chapter(s) to which such members belong.

Section 2. The Association Board of Trustees shall determine any procedure for the suspension and revocation of membership in NAIFA and in this Association for a member’s failure to pay dues. Dues are not refundable, except as may be prescribed by the Association Board of Trustees.

Article XII – Nominations and Elections

Section 1. At least three (3) months prior to the date of the annual meeting the President shall appoint a Governance Committee to consist of at least three (3) members of this Association, and with one (1) member, if possible, being a Past President of this Association who will serve as Chair. The duties of the Governance Committee are to seek, receive, and prepare nominations for officer positions and to have general charge of the election of officers and other matters brought to a vote of the Delegate Council.

Section 2. The Committee on Governance shall solicit recommendations of nominees for offices to be filled at the annual election and shall investigate the qualifications of all persons under consideration. No person shall be recommended for any office without the consent of such person being first obtained. The Governance Committee shall also prepare all resolutions to be brought before the Delegate Council during the annual meeting of this Association.

Section 3. No later than 60 days before each annual meeting, the Governance Committee shall select and announce for submission for the offices of President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer (or Secretary-Treasurer), one (1) candidate for each of these offices, and shall also select and announce one (1) candidate for submission for each vacancy for any other officer position.

Section 4.  The Governance Committee shall make its report to the Delegate Council at the annual meeting. Further nominations may be presented from the floor, provided that the name of any candidate for officer to be nominated from the floor must have been disclosed to the Secretary in writing no later than 30 days before each annual meeting.

Section 5.  At such time during the annual meeting as may be fixed by the Board of Directors, and according to the procedures prescribed by the Board of Directors, the Delegate Council shall vote upon and elect the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer (or the Secretary-Treasurer) and the number of other officers necessary to fill vacancies by reason of expiration of the terms of office of the incumbents in accordance with these Bylaws.

Article XIII – Finance

Section 1. The Association Board of Trustees shall adopt the fiscal year prescribed by NAIFA.

Section 2. The Board of Directors shall, from time to time, appoint a certified public accounting firm to express an opinion on the financial statements of the Association.

Article XIV – Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by these Bylaws.

Section 2. The rules of procedure may be suspended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting at any meeting.

Article XV – Amendment of Bylaws

Section 1. Amendments to these bylaws may be made at any meeting of the Delegate Council by a majority vote of the members present and voting, provided that there shall be a quorum present. A quorum for these purposes shall be as provided in Article VIII, Section 2 of these bylaws. The Delegate Council may amend these bylaws without a meeting, by regular mail, electronic mail, online voting, or other permissible methods, as directed by the Board of Directors, where an active quorum of the members of the Delegate Council participate in the vote and where the amendment is approved by a majority of votes cast.

Section 2. Proposed amendments that are to be considered by the Delegate Council pursuant to Article XV, Section 1 of these Bylaws shall be received by the Secretary at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of the meeting (or the date a voting period begins in the absence of the meeting). The Secretary shall send a copy of all proposed amendments to each member of the Delegate Council not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting (or the date a voting period begins in the absence of the meeting).

Article XVI – National Affiliation

Section 1. In recognition of the values of national fellowship and cooperation available to this Association through its privileges and rights of participation in the governance and activities of NAIFA, it is hereby declared a major policy of this Association to comply with its NAIFA State Chapter Agreement and to exercise fully those privileges and rights granted to it, and to discharge promptly all lawful obligations imposed upon it, by NAIFA. This Association shall conform to the accepted standards for NAIFA state chapters as set forth from time-to-time by the NAIFA Board of Trustees.

Section 2. The Board of Directors shall provide for the prompt review, approval and forwarding of all reports required or requested by NAIFA.

Section 3. The Board of Directors should provide for the prompt payment of any indebtedness to NAIFA.

Section 4. Insofar as possible, this Association shall be represented by its President and National Committeeperson, or their duly appointed alternates, at all appropriate meetings of NAIFA. Provision for the expense of representation at such conventions and meetings may be made by the Board of Directors in preparing the budget of this Association.