Conference Board Position Descriptions & By-Laws

Here are the HNS Conference Board official by-laws, which contain our Mission, our structure, and position descriptions (in Article V) for the Board Chair positions. If you have any questions about anything, please use the REPLY box below to let us know, and one of the current Board members will get back to you as soon as possible.  Thanks!

HNS Conference Bylaws

ARTICLE I

Name

The name of the organization shall be HNS Conference. It shall be a non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.

ARTICLE II

Purpose

The purpose of HNS Conference is to support educational and literary activities for increasing public awareness about historical fiction in North America. These conferences will provide opportunities for readers, writers, and publishers of historical fiction to meet with others who share their interests, and to learn more about historical fiction from experienced presenters. These conferences will also create opportunities for both published and unpublished writers to discuss their work with others, including professionals in the field. At its events, HNS Conference will also attempt to showcase some of the historical novels being published in North America.

ARTICLE III

Membership

Membership shall consist of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE IV

Board of Directors

Section 1:  Role and Responsibility.

The Board of Directors is responsible for overall policy and direction of the organization and delegates responsibility of day-to-day operations to its members and committees.

In particular, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for finalizing:

  1. a suitable conference location, venue, and date;
  2. setting registration fees for the conference;
  3. choosing the Guests of Honor;
  4. reviewing the programs to be offered at the conference;
  5. approving all contracts negotiated by the conference or its officers; and
  6. approving budgetary matters.

Section 2: Size and Compensation.

The Board will be made up of six members. The board receives no compensation other than reasonable expenses.

Section 3: Meetings.

The members shall meet at least once a year. Other meetings of all or any part of the Board may be scheduled from time to time. The members shall be empowered to transact business between annual meetings of the conference. Conference business may be transacted at the annual meeting, or by telephone, written correspondence, electronic mail, and any other means of communication. Only the members may count for a quorum at the annual or other meetings of the conference; and only the members may vote at the annual or other meetings, by mail, or electronically.

Section 4: Quorum.

A simple majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the annual or other meeting.

Section 5: Terms and Vacancies.

All board members shall serve on the board for a two-year term, term to begin on or before October 1 of the odd-numbered years when the conference is held. Once the board approves an incoming board member, the outgoing board member in that same position must resign.

Each board member has first right of refusal for the position he/she holds, subject to a majority vote by the rest of the board. Any board member who plans to continue on for the next term must notify the board of that intention by August 1 of the conference year. Each board member is eligible for re-election in the same position for up to three consecutive terms. After this, he/she should retire from the position and the board. He/she is then eligible to apply for a new position, either on the board or one of its committees, when the general call for application to a board position goes out to the Historical Novel Society’s membership at large, and subject to a majority vote by the board.

Should any member resign during his/her term of office or, for any reason is no longer able to serve as a board member, then the Board of Directors shall have the power to appoint a person to fill the unexpired term of such member.

Section 6: Elections.

At the annual meeting of the organization, the Board of Directors shall elect members to replace those whose terms will expire on September 30 of the conference year. Prospective members shall be North American members in good standing of the Historical Novel Society, an international literary organization. New directors shall be elected by a majority of directors present at such a meeting.

Section 7: Removal.

Any member guilty of conduct that, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, is injurious to the organization or willfully violates these bylaws or the established rules may be expelled from the Board of Directors. Expulsion shall require a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE V

Officers

Section 1: Names of Officers.

The officers of HNS Conference shall be: Conference Chair, Program Chair, Marketing Chair, Secretary & Communications Chair, Treasurer & Financial Chair, and Venue Chair. The Board of Directors assumes responsibility for designating any additional officer, depending on the needs of the organization in a given year (for example, Past Chair). The inclusion of any additional officer would be to serve in an advisory, non-voting, and honorary capacity, and shall be by majority approval of the Board. The duties of the officers shall be as their titles imply and the Bylaws state.

Section 2: Duties of the Conference Chair.

The Conference Chair shall have primary responsibility for:

  1. calling all meetings of the Board;
  2. setting the agenda for all meetings;
  3. presiding at all meetings of the Board;
  4. planning special workshops; and
  5. supervising the planning of the entire conference, subject to the control of the Board.

The Conference Chair shall also co-sign the hotel contract (along with the Treasurer & Financial Chair). The primary role of this position is to facilitate the planning and execution of the conference, and to stay informed of the broad activities of the other Board members so as to help as needed. The Conference Chair shall select the Guests of Honor and pre-conference workshop presenters, with the approval of the Board, and shall be their primary point of contact. The Conference Chair shall also be the primary point of contact for all inquiries from the public, and make announcements and special introductions at the conference. At the end of each term, the Conference Chair may be invited by the Board to serve in an advisory capacity for the next term. Any of these roles may be amended by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Conference Chair.

Section 3: Duties of the Program Chair.

The Program Chair shall have primary responsibility over the programs, format, and timetable, subject to the approval of the Board. The Program Chair shall work with the Board in developing program content that will appeal to the intended audience, as determined by the Board, which can include new and established historical novelists, readers, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, and other industry professionals. The Program Chair shall communicate with the Agents and Editors Liaison to coordinate activities in which the agents and editors participate, such as Agent/Editor panels. The Program Chair shall issue a Call for Proposals regarding program talks, panels, and workshops, and shall present a recommended program to the Board for approval. The Program Chair shall communicate with those who submitted proposals, and serve as the primary point of contact for approved presenters.

The Program Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:

  1. Blue Pencil Café
  2. Cold Reads
  3. Costume Pageant
  4. Sex Scene Readings

The Program Chair may work on these events directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such events. The Program Chair may also select other assistants as needed.

The Program Chair shall preside at meetings of the Board in the absence of the Conference Chair. Any of these roles may be amended by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Program Chair.

Section 4: Duties of the Marketing Chair.

The Marketing Chair shall have primary responsibility for the overall publicity and public relations about the conference.

The Marketing Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:

  1. Advertising
  2. National Publicity
  3. Photography (onsite)
  4. Printed Conference Program
  5. Social Media Sites
  6. Website

The Marketing Chair may work on these duties directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such duties. The Marketing Chair may also select other assistants as needed.

The Marketing Chair shall be generally responsible for:

  1. communicating budgetary guidelines to his/her committees according to restrictions suggested by the Financial Chair and approved by the Board.
  2. working with committees under his/her direction to develop appropriate timelines for task completion, and convey those timelines to the Board.
  3. the successful completion of duties under his/her jurisdiction and maintaining constant communication with committees and other positions on the Board as conference preparations move forward.

Any of these roles may be amended by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Communications Chair.

Section 4: Duties of the Secretary & Communications Chair.

The Secretary & Communications Chair shall have primary responsibility for

  1. sending out meeting announcements to the Board;
  2. taking the minutes at all meetings of the Board and distributing copies of those minutes to each member of the Board in a timely fashion;
  3. maintaining the archive of all actions, minutes, and other documents pertaining to business taken by the Board;
  4. administering the Board’s E-List and making all documents contained therein easily accessible to all members of the Board; and
  5. overseeing the Board’s Bylaws, which includes making recommendations to the Board for revisions of the Bylaws, editing those revisions and keeping the Bylaws up-to-date, and disseminating them to members of the Board.

The Secretary & Communications Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:

  1. sending out E-mail Blasts;
  2. coordinating and communicating with Agents and Editors, as well as the Program Chair; and
  3. liaising with the Historical Novel Society.

The Secretary & Communications Chair may work on these duties directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such duties. The Secretary & Communications Chair may also select other assistants as needed.

Any of these roles may be amended by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Secretary & Communications Chair.

Section 5: Duties of the Treasurer & Finance Chair.

The Treasurer & Finance Chair shall have primary responsibility for all accounting, banking, financial reporting, and budgetary procedures. The Financial Chair shall meet all federal, state, and local filing requirements. The Financial Chair shall meet all federal and state tax requirements. The Financial Chair shall also co-sign the hotel contract (along with the Conference Chair).

The Treasurer & Finance Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:

  1. Registration
  2. Volunteers at the conference
  3. Sponsorships and tote bags

The Treasurer & Finance Chair may work on these duties directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such duties. The Treasurer & Finance Chair may also select other assistants as needed.

Any of these roles may be amended by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Treasurer & Finance Chair.

Section 6: Duties of the Venue Chair.

The Venue Chair shall have primary responsibility over all aspects pertaining to the conference venue.

The Venue Chair shall have secondary responsibility for:

  1. Hotel liaison
  2. Bookseller liaison
  3. Local printer liaison
  4. Local publicity
  5. Local shipping and receiving
  6. Signage at the hotel

The Venue Chair may work on these duties directly, or he/she may recruit and meet with skilled individuals who handle such duties, including the arrangement of any gifts for special guests. The Venue Chair shall communicate budgetary guidelines to his/her personnel according to restrictions suggested by the Treasurer & Finance Chair and approved by the Board. The Venue Chair shall oversee the negotiations for hotel and vendor contracts, and submit these contracts to the Board for approval. The Venue Chair shall develop appropriate timelines for task completion and convey those timelines to the Board and his/her onsite personnel.

The Venue Chair shall be responsible for the successful completion of duties under his/her jurisdiction and maintain constant communication with his/her personnel and other positions on the Board as conference preparations move forward. Any of these roles may be amended by the Board; the Board may also assign other duties to the Venue Chair.

ARTICLE VI

Committees

Standing Committees, Special Committees, Task Forces, or other special groups shall be formed as needed and determined by the Board of Directors. Each committee shall have a specific charge; shall be headed by an officer of the Board of Directors; and shall be composed of persons appointed by that officer, on the advice of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VII

Amendments

These bylaws may be amended when necessary by majority vote of the Board of Directors. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Secretary & Communications Chair, to be sent out with regular board announcements.

ARTICLE VIII

Dissolution

Should HNS Conference be dissolved for any reason, any funds, materials, or other conference assets, after all legal debts and obligations are satisfied, shall be distributed as follows. First Book of Washington, D.C. shall receive all cash, certificates of deposit, checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and any other conference funds. The public library in the current conference city shall receive copies of all remaining books donated to the conference for publicity purposes. 

 

CERTIFICATION

These Bylaws were approved at a meeting by the Board of Directors by majority vote on August 18, 2005.

Amended by majority vote on January 24, 2008: Program Chair and Treasurer will co-sign contract with the conference hotel.

Amended by majority vote on June 16, 2011:

Article V: Officers, Section 1: Added the offices of Agent-Editor Coordinator and Registration Coordinator as members of the Board and listed examples of additional officers that may be added by the Board of Directors for each conference.

Article V: Officers, Section 6: Amended duties of the Publicity Coordinator.

Article V: Officers, Section 8: Added duties of the Agent-Editor Coordinator.

Article V, Officers, Section 9: Added duties of the Registration Coordinator.

Amended by majority vote on September 13, 2013:

Article IV, Board of Directors, Section 2: Changed the number of Officers of the Board of Directors. Amended the definition and duties of Past Chair. Section 5: Clarified when terms begin, how long a person can hold the same position, and how a past member can apply for a new position on the board. Removed Sections 7-10.

Article V, Officers, Sections 1-7: Re-organized the make-up of the Officers on the Board of Directors, amended their titles, and amended all duties that fall under each officer’s responsibility.

Article VI, Committees: Amended who appoints committee members.

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “Conference Board Position Descriptions & By-Laws

  1. Happy to work in the Communications area. I’ve been the President of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, and served for over 8 years on the Board in various other positions.

  2. I live in the Denver metro area (Broomfield) and would like to help. I’m particularly interested in the bookseller liaison position.

  3. happy to assist at committee level.

    I’m clued into agents and editor network in UK and some US so happy to co-ordinate, approach/help with the meetings…

    And I’m a communication professional so again happy to assist with editing or pitches…

  4. I am willing to help out. I am not tremendously well versed in social media, so that might not be a good fit. Wherever needed.

  5. If the conference is by any chance in Portland, OR, I would be glad to serve as venue chair or to serve on the venue committee. (I was a conference coordinator for a professional conference [Association for Women in Psychology] in Portland in 1996 and successfully hosted about 800 participants.) If the conference isn’t in Portland, I would be willing to assist on any other committee that needs help. My particular strengths are organizational and communication skills. In terms of computer skills I’m good with spreadsheets but have less familiarity with database management.

  6. I am interested in the Marketing Chair position. I served as a member, committee chair Vice-President and President of the Public Relations committee of the Junior League for five years and gathered much experience along the way in all aspects of Marketing and Public Relations. I began a social media campaign for the league that was so successful I travelled throughout the country instructing other non-profits and leagues about the effective use of social media as well as writing a guide to Social Media for non-profit use.

    In addition, I approved all design and copy for print, television and radio ad campaigns, organized press conference for all league events, wrote and distributed press releases for same and distributed media advisories ahead of large events to create an advance buzz.

    History and reading historical fiction are my passions and I would be honored to contribute to the HNS in this or any capacity.

    Thank you.

  7. Once I know where the Conference will be held (hopefully closer to MN.), I would be willing to help out in a sub=committee, like panel topics, Blue Pencil, costume pageant, sex readings?

  8. I am an accountant, but I have years of mgmt and marketing, sales experience. I live in Tampa. You can contact me to review your needs for this growing organization.

    Jeanne covington

  9. I’d love to volunteer to help out in some way! I don’t think I am able to commit to the time required as a chair (though we could talk about it), but in my previous professional life I was an advertising account executive and a marketing and social media manager. I do some freelance graphic design work now and I’m a pretty good photographer too. I’d also be interested in helping out with the blue pencil cafe, the costume pageant, and/or the sex scene readings.

  10. I would be very interested in the position of Secretary/Communications Chair. I have experience in similar positions for other large and/or complex organizations, most notably a political party in Colorado (Home of the most convoluted political nomination process in the country).

    Additionally, I am a proficient multi-taker and am familiar with maintaining email lists and Yahoo groups. I am also reasonably familiar with social media, a method of outreach that I believe would be shared between the Communications Chair and the Marketing Chair.

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