BRIDGES Bylaws

BRIDGES is a growing business networking organization located throughout the Portland Metro area. We believe business relationships built on friendships lead to more referrals. Join us today and watch your business grow!

Our Bylaws

BYLAWS OF BRIDGES Networking L.L.C.

ARTICLE I – NAME, PURPOSE, COMPONENTS

Section 1 – NAME

The name of the organization shall be BRIDGES NETWORKING LLC and shall hereafter be referred to as BRIDGES or BRIDGES NETWORKING LLC interchangeably.

BRIDGES is an acronym for Building Relationships Involving Development Growth Expansion and Support.

Section 2 – PURPOSE

The BRIDGES Networking organization is exclusively formed for the purpose of positive business networking and collaboration, including, but not limited to, lead generation, camaraderie and business education.

Section 3 – COMPONENTS

The components of BRIDGES include:
• Various Groups composed of members holding unique categories
• Elected officers within each Group – President, Membership Chairperson and Board Representative – who act on behalf of the membership at Governing Board Meetings
• A Governing Board, composed of elected officers from each Group
• Committee members within each Group, including Board members, website manager, and any other specially designated duty appropriate for the Group.

ARTICLE II – STRUCTURE

Section 1 – GROUPS

A) Definition: Regional collection of business persons who will have exclusivity in their business classification. Groups consist of a minimum membership of eight business professionals.
B) Locations: Geographic establishment for individual groups shall be approved by the Board of Directors. Any changes of venue must also be approved by the Board.
C) Meetings: The official Group meeting shall convene on a weekday at times designated to work for the entire Group and shall be approved by the Board of directors.

Section 2 – MEMBERSHIP

A) Definition

Membership shall consist of business persons in and around the community.

B) Qualifications

1) Membership shall belong to persons or business entities that pay the membership fees and yearly dues.
2) Members shall be principally involved in the promotion of their represented business. While it is not necessary to be engaged “full-time” it is expected that the represented business will be the member’s primary classification.
3) Membership shall be at the approval of the individual Group Board. Membership shall be determined on the basis of how each new member will contribute to the overall benefit of the Group as a whole, and to the furtherance of the BRIDGES purpose statement.
4) Membership shall not be denied on the basis of sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, or political affiliation.

C) Responsibilities

1) It is the responsibility of each member to attend at least 75% of the meetings per quarter, generally accepted as 3 out of 4 meetings per month to remain ACTIVE. It is encouraged for members to prioritize attendance on a regular basis and schedule BRIDGES networking into the calendar as a part of doing business.
2) It is the responsibility for each member to inform their Group of absence preferably by text or phone call to the Group President or Secretary.
3) It is the responsibility of each member to participate with respect and support for other Group members.
4) It is the responsibility of each member to engage in building relationships with other members,
5) It is the responsibility of each member to promote BRIDGES as they see fit, toward the expansion of BRIDGES by extending invitations to prospective, positive, compatible individuals who may become members.
6) It is the responsibility for each member to represent only their unique category in their Group, respecting any potential conflicts with other members who represent their own unique categories.
7) It is the responsibility of each member to meet with 2 members of the membership committee to apply for and claim their unique category and be admitted as a member for a particular Group. If a member chooses to change the category he/she represents, then it is the responsibility for that member to get approval once again from the Board.
8) It is the responsibility of each member who intends to suspend membership or take a leave of absence to inform a member of the Board in writing. For up to 6 weeks only. After 6 weeks it is the responsibility of the member to return to the meetings or resign from BRIDGES
9) To remain an active member, it is the responsibility of each member to pay their annual Group membership dues of $48 no later than January 31st of the calendar year. All dues must be paid through the website portal

D) Activation/Application process

Prospective members must:
1) Attend a minimum of two BRIDGES meetings, and a maximum of 6 meetings
2) Speak with, in an interview process, 2 membership committee members
3) Fill in an application available through the BRIDGES website
4) Upon approval of the Board, submit an application fee in the amount of $50 to BRIDGES Networking at which point members are considered ACTIVE. Membership dues are non-refundable.

E) Suspension/Leave of Absence

Members may suspend their membership or take a leave of absence due to extenuating circumstances.
Suspension or Leave of Absence may be for a period of 6 weeks ,after which time the member must resubmit a request in writing for Leave of Absence. It is at the discretion of the Board to continue or extend the Leave of Absence period or to actively pursue replacement of that category.
Members may reinstate their membership to Active Status after a leave of absence at the approval of the Board. If the leave of absence has been longer than 90 days, the position will become open and inactive members must reapply for membership, including membership committee interviews, resubmitting an application fee and membership dues.

F) Termination/Resignation

1) Member Initiated Termination (Resignation): Membership may be terminated by the individual at any time.
2) Default Resignation: In the event a member is unable to make the attendance requirement they shall be considered resigned by default. Provided there are no other issues regarding their membership, they shall not be considered dismissed from membership and shall be eligible for reinstatement. The Board shall make exceptions with good cause
3) BRIDGES Initiated Termination: Membership may be terminated by BRIDGES Board if it is determined that membership responsibilities are not being met. Conditions shall include, but not be limited to:

a) Excessive absence – It is expected that members attend a minimum of 75% of meetings quarterly unless notification has been made for excused absence.
b) Engaging in behavior that is flagrantly disrespectful and/or embarrasses the Group or other members
c) Failure to pay dues
d) Failure to respect the categories of other members with whom they have potential cross-over.

G) Procedure for Removing Members

Any member in good standing with the Group may bring concerns against another member by presenting his/her concerns to the Board. The member identified in the concern must be notified via e-mail or telephone by the Board. Both parties will be heard by the Board and a decision by the Board will be final.
If the member against whom the Concern is brought, is a member of the Board, that member cannot vote and will not be allowed in the process except to state their case.
If the Board Votes to remove the Member, the category in that Group will open and the Member will not be invited to return to any BRIDGES group.

H) Reinstatement

All reinstatements shall be reviewed by the local Group with recommendations to be ratified by the Board.
1) Resigned members
All members who have previously resigned will be required to go through the entire membership process and interviews from the beginning.
a. If a resigned member wishes to return to BRIDGES and an existing member of any Group has concerns as to the appropriateness of the return, they may request a review of reinstatement by the Board. All Board Decisions will be final
2) Dismissed members
The process for dismissed members is the same as resigned members. The Board shall decide the appropriateness of any dismissed member returns.

3) Transfers

In the event that an existing member wishes to change Groups, they shall be required to follow all existing criteria for a new member of that Group, minus the application fee.

ARTICLE III – GROUP LEADERSHIP

Section I – OFFICERS

Officers shall consist of the Group President, Membership Chairperson and the Group Delegate or Representative. Each officer shall serve for a one-year term. The Membership Chairperson will roll up to the office of Group President the following year to insure continuity on the board if possible.

Section 2 – DUTIES

The Group President shall be responsible for the weekly oversight of the Group meeting and may make appointments to committees and other assignments as deemed necessary.
The Group Delegate or Representative shall have oversight of the weekly presentations and shall make assignments as deemed necessary for the successful flow of the Group.
The Group President, Membership Chairperson and the Group Delegate/Representative shall serve on the Board of Directors, also called the Governing Board if schedules permit. All members are encouraged to serve on the board after at least 6 months membership.

Section 3 – QUALIFICATIONS

Group President shall be a member in good standing for a minimum of at least 6 months. The Membership Chairperson and Group Delegate shall be a member in good standing for a minimum of six (6) months. Newly formed groups are exempt for the first year.

Section 4– SELECTION

The President, Membership Chairperson and Group Delegate shall be elected by majority vote at the regular Board meeting, that shall be done at the Annual Meeting.

Section 5 – COMMITTEES

Each local Group shall have authority to establish committees as are necessary for their individual functioning. Each local Group shall have as a minimum a Board comprised of 3 members. Local Groups are encouraged to rotate Board members periodically. The Board will provide interview meetings for new groups
The Membership Chair will serve for one year and then roll up to the office of President of the Group. If unable to roll up to the President, another person will be elected by the Group membership.

Section 6 – VACANCIES

In the event an officer is unable to fulfill the term of their office, local Groups shall elect a replacement for the remaining term at a regular Group meeting not less than two weeks and not more than 4 weeks after the vacancy.

ARTICLE IV – ANNUAL AND SPECIAL MEETINGS

Section 1 – ANNUAL MEETING

The date and location of the regular annual meeting shall be set by the Board of Directors for the fourth (4th) quarter of the calendar year.

Section 2 – SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings may be called by the Board President.

Section 3 – NOTICE

Shall be announced to the membership and posted on the website (if possible). Other online sources such as Meetup.com shall be utilized in order to grow the Groups online presence.

ARTICLE V – EXPANSION

The BRIDGES Networking organization is unique in its conception and establishment. From time to time the desire to establish new Groups may arise from within or without an existing Group. Therefore, in an attempt to keep the integrity of the original intent of the organization and preserve the atmosphere which is so unique, certain guidelines should be observed. They are the following:

Section 1 – PROCEDURE

A) Approval
Prospective Groups shall gain the approval of the official Board. All prospective Groups involved in the expansion of BRIDGES shall be directed and overseen by The Board President. In addition to these members the support and oversight of the expansion shall be obtained from an existing Board member who shall serve temporarily as the Expansion Group President until the Group is filled and can nominate and vote on a President and Delegate.
B) Location
Some consideration shall be given to the geographic proximity of existing Groups so as not to detract from existing Groups. Individual Groups may pay for locations as necessary from the Group itself. Bridges is Not responsible for paying for Groups meeting places.
C) Schedule
All expansions will follow the prescribed schedule for BRIDGES
D) Launch
The launch for all expansions shall be approved by the Board.
E) Charter
There shall be no fewer than 12 active members to obtain an official charter. The Expansion Group shall maintain a minimum of 12 active members for no less than 30 consecutive days or 4 consecutive meetings. The Expansion Group shall have held no fewer than 8 consecutive meetings. Groups will not be added to the website, becoming official Groups, until the membership meets or exceeds 12 members

ARTICLE VI – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1 – BOARD ROLE, SIZE AND COMPENSATION

The Board is responsible for overall policy and direction of BRIDGES Networking LLC. The Board shall consist of not less than one member from each Group. The board receives no compensation.

Section 2 – MEETINGS

The Board shall meet at least once per calendar quarter, at an agreed upon time and place.

Section 3 – MEMBERS

Board members shall consist of local Group Presidents, Membership Chairpersons, Delegates, and general Membership.

Section 4 – TERMS

All Board members shall serve one year terms, but are eligible for re-election.

Section 5 – QUORUM

A quorum must be attended by at least 3 of the Board members or Board members at large in order to conduct business

Section 6 – OFFICERS AND DUTIES

The Board of Directors shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Officers shall be selected from BRIDGES Groups. The office of Secretary and Treasurer may be filled by a single individual. Any member in good standing can be in an Elected Board Position.

Duties of the Board

The President shall convene regularly scheduled Board meetings, shall preside or arrange for other members of the executive committee to preside at each meeting in the following order – Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President shall establish and prepare the agenda for the regular Board meetings as well as any Specially Called Board meetings. The President shall communicate the agenda to the Secretary for distribution to the Board members.

The Vice President Will support the president of the Board and step in as President, if the President cannot fulfill their duties.
The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping records of Board actions, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all board meetings, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each Board members, and assuring that corporate records are maintained.

The Treasurer shall make a report at each Board meeting. Treasurer shall assist in the preparation of the budget and make financial information available to Board members and the public.

Section 8 – VACANCIES

Vacancies in the Board will be filled on an As Needed basis. Board members will be asked to step up from general membership if other Board members are unable.

Section 9 – RESIGNATION, TERMINATION, AND ABSENCES

A) Resignation from the Board must be in writing and received by the Secretary. A Board member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote of the remaining directors.

Section 10 – SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings will be agreed upon by 3 members of the Board

Section 11 – BUDGET AND FINANCES

The Board must approve the budget, and all expenditures must be within the budget. Any major change in the budget must be approved by the Board. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.
Annual reports are required to be submitted to the Board showing income, expenditures and pending income. The financial records of the organization are public information and shall be made available to the membership, Board members and the public.

ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES

Committees will be appointed as necessary by the Board President.

ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws may be amended when necessary by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors after presenting them to the general membership. Negative feedback will be discussed and changes made if necessary.

Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Secretary to be sent out with regular announcements.