Bylaws of the Austin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America

Article I – General

Section 1. Name. The name of this organization is the Austin Chapter (“Chapter”), and is a chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Inc. (“Society” or “PRSA”).

Section 2. Territory and Location. The Chapter will operate and serve members within the territory approved by the Society, and its principal office will be located in a place determined by the Chapter’s board of directors. The territorial limits approved by the Society for this Chapter are the City of Austin and surrounding communities not within another Chapter’s jurisdiction.

Section 3. Objectives. In accordance with the purposes of the Society as set forth in the Society’s articles of incorporation and bylaws, the objectives of this Chapter shall be to serve a diverse community of professionals, empowering them to excel in effective, ethical and respectful communications on behalf of the organizations they represent and the constituencies they serve, and advance the careers of its members by providing:

    • Lifelong learning.  
    • Vibrant, diverse and welcoming professional communities.  
    • Recognition of capabilities and accomplishments.  
    • Thought leadership, ethics and professional excellence.
    • Collaborative environments for sharing of best practices across markets and industries.
    • Open discussion of industry happenings and issues.

Further, the Chapter, its board, officers, and members shall support and adhere to the bylaws, purposes, code of ethics, and all applicable policies and procedures established by the Society.

Section 4. Restrictions. All policies and activities of the Chapter shall be consistent with:

    • Applicable federal, state and local antitrust, trade regulation or other requirements.
    • Tax-exemption requirements imposed on the Society under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(6), including the requirements that the Chapter shall not be organized for profit and that no part of its net earnings shall inure to the benefit of any private individual.

Article II – Membership

Section 1. Membership Eligibility. Membership in the Chapter is limited to individuals who are members in good standing with the Society, who are in compliance with the Society’s bylaws, member code of ethics, and applicable policies and procedures, and who have paid membership dues to the Chapter.

Section 2. Admission to Membership. Admission to membership in the Society shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of the Society’s bylaws and subject to the eligibility requirements set forth above in Section 1.

Section 3. Rights and Privileges of Membership. Membership carries with it a definitive obligation to pay all applicable dues, fees and other charges (collectively referred to as “financial obligations”), as provided in these bylaws and as determined by the board from time to time. Any payment by a member to the Society does not mitigate such member’s financial obligations to the Chapter.

Section 4. Resignation or Termination of Membership.

(a)  Membership is automatically terminated without action by the board for failure to pay applicable dues for more than sixty (60) days after payment is due, failure to meet the eligibility requirements for membership, or when the membership to the Society has been terminated for any reason, including non-payment of dues. 

(b) A member may resign by submitting a written resignation.

(c)  Termination or resignation does not relieve a member from liability for any financial obligations accrued and unpaid as of the date of the termination or resignation.

Section 5. Dues. The amount of Chapter dues shall be fixed annually by the board. Any member whose Chapter dues are still unpaid sixty (60) days after individual membership dues should be received shall not be in good standing, and shall not be entitled to vote, hold office or enjoy other privileges of Chapter membership, provided such member has been duly notified.

Section 6. Membership Meetings.

(a)  There shall be an annual membership meeting each year held fourth (4th) quarter at such date, time and place as may be designated by the board.

(b) In addition to the annual meeting, there shall be regular membership meetings at such times and places as may be designated by the board.

(c)  Special meetings of the Chapter may be called by the president, the board or on written request by twenty-five (25) percent of the Chapter members.

(d) Notice of the annual meeting shall be given to each member personally by mail, electronic mail or other mode of written transmittal at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. Notice of a regular meeting or special meeting shall be given to each member at least ten (10) days in advance.

(e)  A quorum for membership voting is twenty-fine (25) percent of the voting members present in person.

(f)   An electronic voting mechanism may be implemented upon discretion of the president, with approval of the board.

Article III – Officers and Board of Directors

Section 1. Scope. The affairs of the Chapter are managed by its board of directors. It is the board’s duty to carry out the objectives and purposes of the Chapter, and to this end, it may exercise all powers of the Chapter. The board is subject to the restrictions and obligations set forth in these bylaws, the Society’s bylaws, policies and procedures, and code of ethics.

Section 2. Board Composition. The governing body of the Chapter shall be a board of directors consisting of the president/PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate, president-elect/PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate, secretary, treasurer, past president, and four directors-at-large (committee members shall be considered extensions of directors-at-large). Directors and officers shall be members in good standing with the Chapter and the Society. Directors and officers, except for the president and past president, shall be elected by the Chapter membership at its annual meeting for a term of one (1) year, beginning Jan. 1 and ending when their successors are elected and installed. The board shall set forth the nomination and election procedures and make such procedures available to the membership.

Section 3. Chapter Officers. The officers of the Chapter shall be a president, president-elect, secretary, treasurer and past president. The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined and held by the same person at the discretion of the board. The officers, except for the president and past president, shall be elected by Chapter membership at its annual meeting for a term of one (1) year, beginning Jan. 1 and ending when their successors are elected and installed. No officer having held an office for two successive terms shall be eligible to succeed himself/herself in the same office.

Section 4. President. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter and of the board. He/she shall appoint all committees with the approval of the board and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, unless otherwise provided by the board. The president shall perform all other duties incident to the office of president. The president shall immediately succeed to the position of past president upon expiration of the president’s term of office.  The president or his/her designee shall serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate.

Section 5. President-Elect. The president-elect shall assist the president, perform all duties incident to the office of president-elect and, in the absence or disability of the president, shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the president. The president-elect shall immediately succeed to the office of president upon expiration of the president’s term of office, and in the event of the death, resignation, removal, or incapacity of the president. The president-elect or his/her designee shall serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate.

Section 6. Past President. The past president shall advise on matters of Chapter protocol and counsel the president if necessary on issues pertinent to the Chapter. The past president shall perform these duties and immediately roll off of this position after one year.

Section 7. Secretary. The secretary shall keep records of all meetings of the Chapter and of the board, issue notices of all meetings, maintain or cause to be maintained the roll of membership, and perform all other duties customarily pertaining to the office of the secretary.

Section 8. Treasurer. The treasurer shall receive and deposit all Chapter funds in the name of the Chapter, in a bank or trust company selected and approved by the board. He/she shall issue receipts and make authorized disbursements by check after proper approval by the president or board. He/she shall prepare the Chapter's budget, make regular financial reports to the board, render an annual financial statement to Chapter membership and perform all other duties incident to the office of the treasurer.

Section 9. Leadership Assembly Delegates. The PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate(s) shall serve as the Chapter's representative(s) at meetings of the PRSA Leadership Assembly, and as a liaison between the Society and the Chapter. The Chapter president and/or president-elect or his/her designee shall serve as a PRSA Leadership Assembly delegate. In the event that additional Assembly Delegates are required, the Chapter president will appoint delegate(s) as needed.

Section 10. Vacancies. In the event of death, resignation, removal or expulsion of any officer or director, other than the president who shall be succeeded by the president-elect, the board shall elect a successor who shall take office immediately and serve the balance of the unexpired term, or until the next annual election.

Section 11. Removal or Resignation.

(a)  Any director who misses more than three (3) consecutive board meetings without an excuse acceptable to the board may be given written notice of dismissal by the Chapter president and replaced in accordance with Section 10 above.

(b) Any officer may be removed from his/her position by: (1) two-thirds (2/3) of the members voting where a quorum is present, or (2) three-quarters (3/4) of the full board, excluding the officer proposed to be removed. Any officer proposed to be removed from his/her position shall be provided with advance written notice, including the reason for the proposed removal, and must have an opportunity to respond to the proposed removal in writing or in person.

(c)  Any director or officer may resign at any time by providing written notice to the board.

Section 12. Board  Meetings. There shall be regular meetings of the board at such times and places as it may determine. It shall meet at the call of the president, president-elect or past president. Notice of each meeting of the board shall be given personally by mail, electronic mail or other mode of written transmittal to each director at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Proxy voting is prohibited at board meetings.

Section 13. Quorum. A majority of the directors in office shall constitute a quorum for all meetings of the board.

Section 14. Compensation and Reimbursement. No director or elected officer of the Chapter shall be entitled to any salary or other compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the performance of their duties.

Article IV – Committees

Section 1. Appointment and Dissolution of Committees. Committee members shall be considered extensions of directors-at-large. Each director-at-large shall serve as a committee chair and/or as a liaison to at least one committee. The board may appoint and dissolve committees to carry on the affairs of the Chapter as the board deems necessary or advisable. The board shall determine the duties of any such group, as well as its size and tenure. All committees established under this section shall be subject to the authority of the board.

Section 2. Committee Reports. The chair of each committee shall report its activities regularly to the board. All committee activities shall be subject to approval by the board.

Article V – Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at the annual meeting (4th quarter), provided such proposed amendment(s) has been approved by the Chapter's board, and at least thirty (30) days' notice has been given to all members of any proposed amendment(s). Amendments adopted in accordance with this provision become effective only after approval by the Society's board.

Article VI - Miscellaneous

Section 1. Charter. The Chapter, its officers, directors, and agents must conform with and maintain its charter and all Chapter affiliation requirements imposed by the Society.

Section 2. Books and Records. The Chapter must keep books and records of its financial accounts, meeting minutes, and membership list with names and addresses. The Chapter will make its books and records available to the Society at any time. 

Section 3. Annual Report to the Society. The Chapter will submit an annual report to the Society each year, as well as any other document or report required by the Society. 

Section 4. Conflict-of-Interest Policy. The board will adopt a conflict-of-interest policy and annual disclosure process that applies to all officers and directors of the Chapter.

Section 5. Assets of Chapter and Dissolution. No member of the Chapter has any interest in, or right or title to the Chapter’s assets. Should the Chapter liquidate, dissolve or terminate in any way, all assets remaining after paying the Chapter’s debts and obligations shall be transferred to the Society or, in the event that the Society ceases to exist, to such organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes and exempt under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue law), as the Chapter board shall determine. In no event may any assets inure to the benefit of or be distributed to any member, director, officer, or employee of the Chapter.

Section 6. Nondiscrimination. In all deliberations and procedures, the Chapter will subscribe to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, disability, sex, age, color, national origin or sexual or affectional preference.

Section 7. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Chapter will be the calendar year.

Section 8. Remote Communications. To the extent permitted by law, any person participating in a meeting of the membership, board, or committee of the Chapter may participate by means of conference telephone or by any means of communication by which all persons participating in the meeting are able to hear one another and otherwise fully participate in the meeting. Such participation constitutes presence in person at the meeting.