Important Directives For 69th Gathering
by Brigitte Jones
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 3b of Article IX (National Convention) of the BVA National Bylaws, all members of the Blinded Veterans Association in good standing are hereby notified that the BVA 69th National Convention will be held at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, NV 89431, from Monday, August 18, through Thursday, August 21, 2014.
Periodic updates regarding the convention will be posted regularly to the Convention page on the BVA website, www.bva.org/convention
BVA National Headquarters will host the 69th National Convention.
BVA members in good standing who wish to vote by proxy may request a form by writing or calling the Administrative Director at BVA National Headquarters no later than 45 days before the opening day of the 69th National Convention. Because the convention’s opening day is August 18, the deadline for requesting a proxy form is July 3, 2014.
In compliance with Section 2c of Article IX, the proxy form must be completed and returned to BVA National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director). To be considered valid, the envelope containing the form must be postmarked no later than 21 days before the opening date of the Convention. The due date is therefore July 28, 2014.
Crucial Dates and Deadlines
BVA National Headquarters distributed notices in January regarding nominations for Certificates of Appreciation, the Maas and Diener Awards, and the David L. Schnair Volunteer Service Award. These actions occurred in compliance with articles within the BVA National Bylaws.
A reminder was also mailed to regional group presidents and secretaries on March 18 regarding the due dates for submission of bylaw amendments for consideration at the Convention.
A mailing to all BVA members in good standing and residing in Districts 5 and 6 also occurred on March 22 (150 days leading up to August 18). The mailing called for nominations for District Director. Because of the need for a special election this year in District 3, an additional notice was sent to members of that district.
Three copies of the credentials form were also mailed on April 10 to all regional groups.
Both regional groups and individuals should refer to the following timeline in preparing for the Convention. Items listed include actions required of the Association’s national headquarters, regional groups, and individuals. Questions can be addressed by calling BVA National Headquarters at 800-669-7079. Asterisks indicate actions required by the BVA National Bylaws.
- Mid-May* -- 69th National Convention pre-registration package prepared and sent to printer.
- Mid-May* -- 69th National Convention proxy forms mailed but only by request of national headquarters Administrative Director.
- May 20 (no earlier than 90 days before Convention) – Earliest date to distribute ballots to Districts 5 and 6 members for regular elections and to District 3 members for special election.
- May 20 (no later than 90 days before Convention) – Envelopes containing proposed bylaw amendments must be directed to national headquarters and postmarked.
- May 20 (no earlier than 90 days before Convention) – Earliest date to mail proposed bylaw amendments to members in good standing.
- May 20 (90 days before Convention and 60 days following original mail call referred to above) – Nominations for regular elections of Directors of Districts 5 and 6 and special election in District 3.
- June 4 (no later than 75 days before Convention) – Latest date to mail pre-registration package and official convention notice from national headquarters.
- June 9 (no later than 70 days before Convention) – Latest date for national headquarters to mail ballots for regular elections of Directors of Districts 5 and 6 and the special election in District 3.
- June 13* -- National headquarters mails annual financial report forms (three copies) to treasurers of regional groups.
- July 3 (no later than 45 days before Convention) – Ballots for regular elections for Directors of Districts 5 and 6 must be postmarked no later than midnight (one day prior to actual required date since July 4 is a national holiday).
- July 3 (no later than 45 days before Convention) – Latest date to mail proposed bylaw amendments to members in good standing.
- July 9 (no later than 40 days before Convention) – Regional group meeting notices to elect Convention delegates must be mailed to group members. A copy of the notice must also be mailed to national headquarters at the same time it is mailed to the group membership.
- July 14 (35 days before Convention) – National headquarters counts election ballots for regular election of Directors of Districts 5 and 6 and for the special election in District 3.
- July 28 (21 days before Convention) – Completed delegate credentials forms and proxy forms must be postmarked no later than midnight.
Good Standing Requirements
Article XIV of the BVA National Bylaws outlines the criteria by which regional groups are deemed in good standing for national conventions. Groups must accordingly accomplish the following:
1. Meet at least once during the BVA Fiscal Year July 1-June 30 and submit a copy of the minutes to national headquarters within 60 days of such meetings (Section 13a).
2. Submit an annual financial statement to the Administrative Director on forms provided for that purpose no later than September 30 (three months following the end of Fiscal Year 2014).
Regional group officers should review the status of their groups to ensure that the above requirements have been met. Doing so will ensure that all BVA delegations are appropriately seated at the Convention.
Delegates, Alternates, And Credentials Forms
Article XIV of the BVA National Bylaws specifies that all regional groups intending to send a delegate to Reno must also hold a meeting to elect and instruct the individual.
Groups must inform all of their members in good standing, in writing, of the date, time, location, and purpose of the meeting no later than July 9, 2014. Notice of the meeting must be distributed to the regional group members no less than 10 days prior to the regional group meeting.
A copy of the notice must be forwarded to BVA National Headquarters at the same time the notice is distributed to the members. Failure to do so will render the group’s delegation unable to receive seating at the Convention.
A set of official BVA credentials forms was mailed in triplicate on salmon-colored paper to all regional group officers on April 10. The credentials must also be completed in triplicate, which includes a signature and dating of the signature by both the regional group president and regional group secretary. One copy should be provided to the elected delegate. A second copy must be mailed to BVA National Headquarters and postmarked no later than July 28, 2014. A third copy should be placed in the regional group files.
Regional groups must also elect alternate delegates to the National Convention at the same meeting. In addition, each regional group to be represented should elect a representative to the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee. The representative’s name should be placed in the appropriate blank at the bottom of the second page of the credentials form.