Howard County (Maryland) Genealogical Society
Howard County
Genealogical Society
Helping you discover your family history
HCGS Bylaws
As amended in December 2019
(Replaces Bylaws as amended in June 2014)
The name of the Society shall be: the Howard County Genealogical Society, Inc. (HCGS).
Section 1. The object of this Society, incorporated in the State of Maryland and organized as a nonprofit organization as defined in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, is educational in character and shall be:
1.  to promote genealogical research through lectures and discussion groups;
2.  to aid in the preservation and perpetuation of the records of our ancestors;
3.  to collaborate with libraries and historical societies in our community to maintain and preserve access to any collections of  genealogical value;
4.  to encourage and instruct members in the art and practice of genealogical research and compilation;
5.  to maintain and elevate genealogical standards.
Section 2. No attempt will be made by the Society, as a substantial part of its activities, to influence legislation or participate to any extent in a political campaign for or against any candidate for public office.
Section 1. Any person shall qualify as a member of this Society upon the payment of annual dues as established by the Executive Board. Only members may hold office, be eligible for the Executive Board, or vote.
Section 2. No monies shall inure to the benefit of any member or members of this Society, except to pay a speakers fee to members who are also professional genealogists and present at outside venues.
Section 3. Memberships shall be on an individual or family basis, with the family membership defined as individuals sharing the same address and receiving one mailing. Each individual is entitled to one vote with no proxies allowed.
Section 4. Membership dues are payable immediately upon joining the Society. Thereafter, dues are payable on the anniversary month in which the member first joins. Members will be notified of a membership lapse if dues are not received.
Section 5.  The Society will not restrict membership or activity by reason of age, citizenship, color, disability, gender, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.
Section 1. There shall be an Executive Board composed of the officers, two elected members‑at‑large, the chairpersons of the standing committees, and the immediate past President. Each Board member shall be entitled to only one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at any Board meeting regardless of the number of positions on the Board that he or she might hold.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall have supervision of the affairs of the Society between its general membership meetings, determine the program for the coming year, establish the annual dues, fix the hour and place of meetings, make recommendations to the Society, and shall  perform other duties as are specified in the Bylaws.
Section 3. The Executive Board shall specify the duties and responsibilities of the committees.
Section 4. The Executive Board shall meet in a minimum of five months of the Society's fiscal year, as established by the President in consultation with the Board. The meetings shall be held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise decided by a majority vote of the Board. The Board shall determine the time and place of the meeting. Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President OR shall be called upon the written request of four members of the Board. A special Executive Board meeting shall be convened to consider only items of business specified in the call of the meeting.
Section 5. A quorum of the Board shall consist of six persons.
Section 6. All Board meetings shall be open to the members of the Society. Members shall be free to participate in the discussions, but voting is limited to the Executive Board members.
Section 7. At the Board meeting immediately following the elections, the out‑going Board will meet with the newly‑elected Board to acquaint the new Board members with their duties and responsibilities and to turn over all records and useful information.
Section 8. The Executive Board, at its August meeting, shall review the duties and responsibilities of the committees and revise as needed.
Section 9. The standing committees of the Society shall be the Education, Library Liaison, Membership, Newsletter, Program, Publications, and Records Preservation Committees.
Section 10. The Executive Board shall appoint such special committees as it or the Society deems necessary. The President shall be ex officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
Section 1. In an election year, a Nominating Committee of three persons shall be appointed before March 1 by the Executive Board. This committee shall present, at the general membership meeting in April for the election in May, a slate of candidates for the four officers of the Society and the two members‑at‑large. Additional nominations from the floor shall be permitted providing consent of the nominee has been given.
Section 2. The officers of this Society shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Each officer and member‑at‑large on the Board shall be elected by a majority of all votes cast by the members present at the general membership meeting in May of each election year.
Section 3.  The term of office for all elected officials shall begin on July 1, and be for 2 years with a limit of 2 consecutive terms in the same position.
Section 4. The newly‑elected officers and the two members‑at‑large shall select the chairpersons of standing committees.
Section 5. An interim vacancy in an elective office other than the President shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Board. A vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the Vice‑President for the remainder of the term.
Section 6. The duties of the officers shall be as follows:
A. The President shall
1.  preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Board;
2.  have general supervision over the affairs of the Society;
3.  maintain a written record of the duties and responsibilities of each committee, and provide a copy to the committee chairperson;
4.  appoint a Resident Agent of the Corporation, as required by the State of Maryland.
B. The Vice President shall
1.  perform the duties of the President in his or her absence or inability to serve;
2.  provide publicity for the Society's activities;
3.  develop projects to create and promote member participation in Society activities;
4.  assume any other duties that the President might delegate to the office.
C. The Secretary shall
1.  take the minutes of both the general membership meetings and the Executive Board meetings in a concise form and keep them in a book;
2.  present the minutes of the general membership meeting and any action taken by the Executive Board at its meeting at the next general membership meeting;
3.  present, at each Executive Board meeting, the minutes of the preceding Executive Board meeting;
D. The Treasurer shall
1.  maintain a general ledger of all monies received and disbursed;
2.  deposit all funds in a bank approved by the Executive Board;
3.  make disbursements as authorized by the Executive Board and keep all financial records;
4.  present a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Board and each general membership meeting;
5.  prepare a year‑end financial statement to be read at the September general membership meeting of the Society;
6.  submit a proposed budget to the Executive Board preceding the June general membership meeting.
7.  provide financial records for audit as called upon.
8.  file Federal and State tax returns as necessary.
E. Checks shall be signed by the Treasurer or by the President.
F.  The Members-at-Large shall
1.  represent the interests of members at board meetings and general meetings.
2.  assist other board members when necessary.
The general membership meetings of this Society shall be held the second Wednesday of each month unless otherwise ordered by the Board. No general membership meetings will be held in July and August. No fewer than 15 members present at a meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Exceptions are amendments to the Bylaws which, by providing for absentee ballots, do not require a quorum.
Section 1. The fiscal year shall begin on the first of July each year and shall end on the last day of June of the following year.
Section 2. The Board shall appoint a committee of two persons to audit the books of the Treasurer during July or August, and report back to the board at the August Executive Board meeting.
Section 3.  Prior to the June General Membership meeting, the Treasurer shall submit to the Executive Board a proposed annual budget for approval. The Executive Board must approve any line item expenditure which exceeds the amount specified in the approved budget.
The rules contained in a current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws and any special rules of order the Society may adopt.
The Society upon dissolution shall dispose of its funds and other assets to the Howard County Historical Society after all just and due bills are paid. However, if the named recipient is not then in existence or no longer a qualified distribute or unwilling or unable to accept the distribution, then the assets of this Society shall be distributed to a fund, foundation or corporation organized and operated exclusively for the purpose specified in Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
These Bylaws may be amended at any general membership meeting of  the Society by two‑thirds of the votes cast by members, either in person or by written or electronic absentee ballots, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing physically or electronically to all members two months prior to the vote.