Board of Directors and Committees
The Fort Worth Paralegal Association Board of Directors is made up of elected officers and non-elected, standing committee chairpersons. All elected officers have board voting privileges (with the exception of the current President who votes only in a tie) and vote on all matters concerning policy making of the Association. The non-elected positions of the board make up the majority of our standing committees (committees that continue from year to year) and are a vital necessity and importance to both our organization's board and FWPA members. Although not allowed to vote during board meetings, all committee chairs are allowed and encouraged to give opinions and participate fully in discussions on the FWPA policy making by the officers.
In order to hold their respective positions on the board, both elected and non-elected board members are required to meet the requirements for voting-member status in the Association. Open floor nominations for officer candidates are held at our August and September general membership meetings. In addition, any voting member of the Association may submit to the board of directors a written statement of intent to run for office, prior to the October general membership meeting. Elections are held each November for offices in the upcoming calendar year. Standing committee chairpersons are appointed by the President and presented to the board at the January board of directors' meeting for approval.
In addition to standing committees, it is sometimes necessary to create ad hoc committees to handle certain situations and/or ideas that either have a limited "life" or that are in their infant stages of development and thus, their success as a perpetual, standing committee is unknown. Ad hoc committee chairs have the same rights, duties and responsibilities as the standing committee chairs, but any ad hoc committee must be renewed from year to year.
FWPA operates on a calendar year and all offices and committee appointments run from January 1st to December 31st.
Presiding officer of the Association and presides over all membership and board meetings. Elected into the President-Elect office for the first year, then moves automatically into the President office the second year and finally serves as the Association's Parliamentarian the third year.
President-Elect and Education Committee Chair
In the absence of the President, this office presides over all membership and board meetings. In addition, this office doubles as the Association's education committee chair, coordinating all CLE events throughout the year. The Education Committee is responsible for conducting a CLA Review Seminar and a Fall CLA Study Group to assist paralegals in preparing for the CLA examination given by NALA.
First Vice-President and Programs Committee Chair
This office is responsible for securing programs and speakers for each of the Association's twelve monthly membership meetings, which includes engaging the speaker, creating and mailing notices, handling reservations, introduction of speakers and many other related tasks.
Second Vice-President and Membership Committee Chair
The membership committee implements FWPA's membership plans and procedures according to the Association bylaws. Along with various board responsibilities, the second vice president of membership receives and processes applications for membership, welcomes and announces new members at monthly general membership meetings and serves (as do all board members) as a public relations spokesperson for FWPA. The membership chair is always on the lookout for members who will both benefit from membership in FWPA, as well as be of benefit to FWPA. The membership chair devotes time to telephone calls with new and prospective members, and to current members regarding address changes, questions or concerns. The chair maintains a membership roster database and is also responsible for providing membership information to officers and committee chairpersons upon request in a variety of formats and membership classifications. The membership chair provides mailing labels for monthly luncheon notices, for distribution of the bimonthly newsletter and for all other written communication with the membership. It is the responsibility of the membership chair to plan, initiate, and complete annual membership renewals. Potential and new members can always count on receiving FWPA membership information from this chair, as well as information on current local education programs of interest to paralegals. In short, the membership chair is a vital link from potential and new members of the organization, as well as a source of information to current members.
The secretary is required to attend every FWPA board meeting and general membership meeting to record the minutes of the meetings. It is the responsibility of the secretary to remind the president of any unfinished business from previous meetings which need to be addressed and added to the agenda for the next meeting. The minutes are maintained in notebooks designated for each year. The secretary also maintains the FWPA Procedure Manual which contains the specific responsibilities, guidelines and duties of each officer and committee chair. Each year the board reviews the procedure manual and necessary changes are made upon approval by the board.
The treasurer serves as a voting board member and officer of the Association. In addition to serving as a public relations spokesperson, the treasurer performs a number of essential duties on a daily basis. Responsibilities include paying expenses, making regular deposits, reconciling accounts and preparing financial statements to present at the monthly board of directors' meetings. The treasurer maintains a permanent file of all correspondence, financial statements, invoices, receipts, reimbursement requests, deposit requests and income tax filings relating to the financial records of the Association. Additionally, the treasurer is responsible for coordinating and preparing a yearly budget for the Association to be presented to the board of directors each January for approval.