Article I — Preamble
We the “National Organization of Professional Hispanic Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees” believe in the spirit of cooperation and support to the Natural Resources Conservation Service in its mission. We have elected to form an Organization in order to assist the NRCS deliver program benefits/services to the Hispanic community and showcase the value that Hispanics bring into any organization and the value that Hispanics will continue to bring to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. As a key component of a multi-culture and diverse workforce that provides for Hispanic employee representation at all levels in direct proportion to the population of Hispanic taxpayer/customers/stakeholders. We will serve as a strong link between NRCS and the Hispanic community. Membership in the Organization is open to all NRCS employees. With the following Charter and companion By-Laws, we will achieve our vision by:
- Assisting NRCS performance in the delivery of program benefits and services to the Hispanic community in the conservation of natural resources.
- Remaining a vital component of a multi-cultural workforce with Hispanics and NRCS as partners for success.
- Serving as the liaison between the Hispanic community and other NRCS colleagues.
- Assist Natural Resources Conservation Service in achieving equal representation of Hispanics in the workforce that leads toward a multi-cultural organization to improve the agency performance of assisting stakeholders in the conservation of natural resources.
This organization has been endorsed by the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, William Richards, by letter dated December 15, 1992.
Article II — Name of the Organization
- The name of this Organization shall be the “National Organization of Professional Hispanic Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees.” Hereafter, shall also be referred to as the Organization.
Article III — Organization Motto
“Hispanics — Partners for Success”
Article IV — Purpose & Goal
The purpose of the National Organization of Professional Hispanic NRCS Employees is to assist NRCS in the delivery of program benefits and services to the Hispanic rural/urban community by strengthening NRCS efforts in the recruitment, retention, development, and advancement of Hispanics. The goal is to assist NRCS in the technology transfer of information to the Hispanic community. The purpose will be fulfilled by providing a forum that:
- Serves as a partner between the Hispanic community and NRCS/USDA in addressing natural resource management issues.
- Assists NRCS/USDA identify Hispanic community leaders to assist in the delivery of program benefits and services for the conservation of natural resources.
- Assists NRCS become a leader in the development of bilingual natural resources information for the efficient transfer of information.
- Assists NRCS meet its mission, vision, and goals in the conservation of natural resources among Hispanic customers and stakeholders.
- Assists NRCS and its partners identify and provide leadership training for Hispanic community leaders to promote stewardship of the land.
- Assists NRCS develop bilingual visual images that describe the agency mission and challenges.
- Serves in an advocacy role for increased recognition of Hispanics as a viable part of our NRCS workforce.
- Promotes a greater sense of pride, professionalism, and unity among employees.
- Serves to increase awareness of Hispanic culture to leadership of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- Strengthens relationships of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and other Universities with NRCS resulting in enhanced recruitment.
- Develops a network that fosters a productive working relationship between employees and leadership of NRCS.
- Assists in the enhancement of technical and leadership skills of employees to meet NRCS current and future needs by sponsoring scholarships, workshops, seminars, field days, and similar events.
- Creates opportunities for employees to gain experience, visibility and recognition.
- Encourages a mentor program that is sensitive to cultural, individual, and professional needs of employees to aid in their retention, development and advancement.
- Assists NRCS obtain ideas from the local level on improving delivery of program benefits and services for a healthy land and quality environment.
- Assists NRCS hear and understand the concerns from the Hispanic community on natural resource management issues.
- Enhances employees knowledge of local, state, national, and international issues and concerns relative to USDA and NRCS.
- Serves as liaison between NRCS and the Hispanic Community in promoting the conservation of our nations natural resources.
Article V — Government
Laws — The laws of this Organization shall consist of the Constitution, the By-Laws, the Robert’s Rule of Order, and any additional regulations passed by the National Council.
Article VI — Membership
- Eligibility — Any person or organization subscribing to the constitution and bylaws of the Organization is eligible to apply for membership.
- Class — The membership in this Organization shall be the following classes as defined by the By-Laws:
Article VII — Membership Dues
Membership will cover the twelve month period of the calendar year and dues will be:
|Charter/Regular||$ 30.00 per annum*|
|Associate||$ 15.00 per annum|
|Life||$ 500.00 lifetime membership|
|Honorary||$ 10.00 per annum|
|Institutional||$ 250.00 per annum|
|Student||$ 10.00 per annum|
Dues will be prorated for new membership based on the remaining portion of the year in which the Organization is joined.
Article VIII — Organization
This Corporation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes within the section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the Articles, the Corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by a corporation contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law). **
- The Organization will consist of Officers and Regional Council Representatives. This body will be known as the National Council and will consist of five officers (President, Vice- President, Executive Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary) and one representative per region.
* Amended 1/21/98 ** Amended 11/20/97
- There will be seven regions. The boundaries of these regions will parallel those of the Natural Resources Conservation Service administrative regions for the East, Midwest, Northern Plains, West, South Central, Southeast and Caribbean Area. The NHQ will be included in the East.*
- Election officers will be in accordance with Article X of this constitution. **
Article IX — Chapter
There is one National Chapter of the National Organization of Professional Hispanic Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees.
Article X — Elections
- All officers and regional representatives will be elected for a two year term. The regional representatives will be elected by the membership of the region represented. The office of President, Executive Vice-President, Secretary, and Regional Representative from the Northern Plains, Midwest, Northeast and Caribbean Area will be elected in even numbered years. The office of Vice-President, Treasurer and Regional Representative from the South East, South Central and West will be elected in odd numbered years. The President will appoint a Chair for the Nominations committee, this committee will the have responsibility for the nominations process and will work with the Vice-President to conduct the elections for the organization.
- Election of all officers and regional representatives will be by membership ballot prior to the annual Organization meeting. The nominees receiving a majority of votes shall be elected.
- The terms of officers and regional representatives shall be from the date of entering office (the first annual meeting following the election) until the next election.
- Any officer or regional representative may serve up to two consecutive terms.
- In case of a vacancy, a replacement officer or regional representative shall be appointed by the president and approved by the National Council. Such appointee will serve only for the duration of the unexpired term of their predecessor.
- Anyone with current Charter, Regular, Life, or Institution membership in the Organization shall be eligible to vote in any election of officers and / or regional representatives. Anyone with Honorary membership shall have the rights and privileges of regular members excluding the right to hold office, make motions, and vote. *
* Amended 1/21/98 ** Amended 11/20/97
Article XI — Standing Committees
- Standing committees shall be designated and directed by the National Council and shall be defined in the By-Laws.
- The Chairperson of any committee shall report to the National Council through the Vice-President.
- Each Chairperson will be responsible for developing a plan of action to include issue, action(s), person responsible, and date for completion. The Chair will submit to the Vice-President a progress report (including a negative report if no action has been taken) on a quarterly basis. It is the duty and responsibility of the Chair to keep the Vice President informed of all activities within each committee.
Article XII — Finances, Books and Records
- No financial resources or net earnings of the Organization shall be used to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, officers, regional representatives, or other private persons, except that the Organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay a reasonable compensation for service rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article IV. The Organization shall not participate in the publishing or distribution of statements for any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Not withstanding any other provision of these Articles, the Organization shall not, except of an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities, or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the Organization. **
- Records and financial statements will be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
- Upon the dissolution of the Organization, assets will be distributed for one or more exempt purposes, to be determined by the National Council, within the meaning of Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to federal government, or to a state or local government, for the publics’ purpose. Any such assets not so disposed shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principle office of the Organization in located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. **
** Amended 11/20/97
Article XIII — Organization Publications
- The official publications of the Organization are:
- Organization Constitution
- Organization By-Laws
- Organization Directory
- Organization Newsletter
Article XIV — Dissolution of the Organization
- A. An affirmative, two-thirds vote, of Organization voting members will be required to dissolve the Organization. The organization shall be dissolved within sixty (60) days of the affirmative vote. A special ballot for this purpose shall be prepared and mailed to members.
- B. A special meeting of the National Council shall convene to implement dissolution. Such meeting requires written membership notification of at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
- Upon winding up and dissolution of this Corporation, after paying or winding up and dissolution of this Corporation, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the Corporation, the remaining assets shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable educational, religious, and/or scientific purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.**
Article XV — Meetings
- An annual meeting of the membership will be held. Special meeting(s) will be held as provided for in the By-Laws.
Article XVI — Amendments
- Amendments to the Organization Charter and By-Laws will be proposed in writing by any Charter, Regular, Lifetime, and/or Institutional member at any regular or special meeting of the Organization or at any time to their regional representative.
- Amendments require a two-thirds vote of the National Council.
- The amendment(s) shall become effective immediately upon adoption.
** Amended 11/20/97
Latest Revision Date: September 20, 2004