April 10, 2017

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections

In our upcoming election, you will have the opportunity to both vote on filling two Board positions as well as on the amendments of GDUI Bylaws.

The Board of Directors of Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI) is asking GDUI members to vote for two open Director seats (term ending in 2020).

The candidates for these positions are:

Candidates for Director:

Brianna Murray, incumbent from South Carolina                

Maria Kristic, from New York                                                     

The 2017 GDUI Elections will commence Saturday, May 27, 2017 12:00 AM (EDT) and conclude on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:59 PM (EDT).

GDUI members who have paid their dues and are members in good standing by the record date of April 7, 2017 are eligible to vote in this election. Each member has one vote.

GDUI must receive the votes of fifteen percent of the members entitled to vote in this election, or at least seventy-five votes, for this election to be valid.

The two open director positions will be filled by the two   candidates who receive the largest and second-largest number of votes for director.

Any current GDUI member may request a copy of the candidate biographies from the Nominations Committee Chair at the following address: director5@guidedogusersinc.org.

In order for the proposed bylaw amendments to be considered for adoption, the Organization must receive the votes of 15% of the members entitled to vote on this question, or at least 75 votes. The bylaw amendments will be adopted if 2/3rds of the members voting on each proposal vote yes.

Voting System

Once again this year VoteNow will be handling our election.  GDUI members will have the option of voting either telephonically or online.

Your old voter ID number will no longer be valid.   In a few weeks, members will receive new voter ID numbers.  either by e-mail or postcard directly from VoteNow.  Please watch your inboxes and mailboxes for this important information.  No one else at GDUI will have access to your personal ID number so, if you misplace that new number, you may call a designated person at VoteNow to retrieve that information. You will also receive the number for telephonic voting and the link to the online ballot.

GDUI will hold two membership forums to interview the candidates running in this election. The first one will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums will be (712) 432-0075; access code: 919245.

Each forum will be recorded for playback via telephone, Drop Box or Send Space. The playback number is (712) 432-1085. The April 29 forum recording will be available only until the May 11 forum is recorded; after that the May 11 forum recording will be available on the playback number.

You may email questions for the candidates, to the Nominating Committee Chairperson, Dixie Sanderson, by April 16, 2017, with the subject field, “candidate questions.” Her email is: Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org.

GDUI has elected to proceed under Section 29.405.20(f) of the Nonprofit Code. If a member who is entitled to vote on these matters wishes to communicate with the membership about the subject matter of the vote, the member should contact the Nominations Chair. 

Dixie Sanderson

GDUI Nominations Committee Chair

Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org

Proposed Amendments to the GDUI Bylaws April 2017

The GDUI Bylaws and Resolutions Committee submits the following four (4) proposed amendments for consideration during the May 2017 Annual election.

In order to achieve a quorum, at least 75 members, which represents 15% of the membership, must vote.  Further, a two-thirds affirmative vote is required in order to adopt an amendment.

Members will have opportunities to ask questions about the proposed amendments during the Candidates/Amendments Forums which are scheduled on two separate dates prior to the elections.  The first will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, beginning at 1:00 P. M. (EDT) and the second will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 beginning at 8:00 P. M. (EDT). The call-in number for both forums is (712) 432-0075; access code: 919245 followed by the pound sign.

AMENDMENT 1: Non-discrimination and Freedom of Speech

Purpose: To acknowledge the principles of Freedom of Speech and non-discrimination.  Although technically not required because it is already included within the context of the existing provision, GDUI wishes to underscore its commitment to the principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech with the additional proposed language in the last sentence below.

ARTICLE 1.00:  NAME; GOVERNANCE; AFFILIATION

Section 1.03:  Affiliation

This Organization shall be a chartered special interest affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, and shall hence be subject to all requirements and obligations applicable to affiliates  of that organization.  GDUI embraces the principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech.

AMENDMENT 2: Clarification of Affiliate Voting

Purpose:  to amend the language of subsection 4.06 (1), which deals with Affiliate Voting, in order to eliminate ambiguity and to conform with related sections 4.06(4) and 7.02.

Below is the proposed revision of 4.06 (1) followed by the current 4.06 (1).

Proposed revision of 4.06 (1):

4.06(1) Affiliate voting shall be limited to caucuses and business sessions taking place at the annual convention  where such business shall be strictly limited to matters coming before the ACB convention on which GDUI may wish to adopt positions or take specific actions.  At such a meeting, the membership may, by majority vote of those present and voting, call for a roll call vote on a specific matter of business.  When affiliate voting is authorized, each affiliate shall be entitled to one (1) vote for each seven (7) affiliate members, or major fraction thereof; however, no affiliate may have more than twenty-five (25) affiliate votes.

The current language of 4.06(1) is:

Affiliate voting shall be limited to caucuses and other activities authorized by the Board of Directors, with the exception that the membership at a properly called meeting, may, by majority vote of those present and voting, call for a roll call vote  on a  specific matter of business.  When affiliate voting is authorized, each affiliate shall be entitled to one (1) vote in any annual or special  meeting of the membership  or properly called telephonic or electronic election/meeting for each seven (7) affiliate members, or major fraction thereof; however, no affiliate may have more than twenty-five (25) affiliate members.

AMENDMENT 3: Designating a Seat on the Board for Immediate Past President

Purpose: designate the position of Immediate Past President as a seat on the Board.  This would involve the following changes.

5.03:  Immediate Past President 

The position of Immediate Past President shall be designated as a seat on the Board. 

  (1)The Immediate Past President shall have full voting privileges and shall serve until there is another Immediate Past President.

  (2) The designated position of Immediate Past President shall become available when the person serving as President in June of 2017 shall be duly qualified to succeed  to that office.

The present section 5.04 shall become 5.05 and read as follows:

5.05:  Board Of Directors

The Officers, Directors, Immediate Past President, and the three (3) additional members who are elected or appointed to the Board shall constitute the Board of Directors of this Organization, (hereinafter the Board).  All Officers shall be considered to be Directors as that term is used in the DC Nonprofit Code.

The current section 5.05 shall become 5.06 and shall read:

Section 5.06:  Locales of Directors

Of those Director positions that are elected to the Board, no more than three (3) members occupying those positions shall be from the same state, district, or possession.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Publications Editor, the Affiliate Liaison, the Guide Dog School Liaison, and the Immediate Past President are not elected positions on the Board.

AMENDMENT 4:  Eliminating Provisions for Run-off Elections

Purpose: Due to the costs of conducting elections, propose eliminating the provision for run-off elections (second elections).

The proposal involves eliminating sub-section 5.09 (3), which deals with second elections, and merging sub-sections 5.09 (2) and 5.09 (4), which deal with majority and plurality voting.

Changes to 5.09 Election and Tenure.  Propose elimination of sub-section 5.09(3) which reads: “In the event there are more than two candidates for any Officer position  and following the election, no candidate has received more than fifty percent of the votes cast for such office, a second election will be held immediately following the conclusion of the first election.  The two candidates receiving the most votes in the first election shall be candidates in the second election.  If either of the top two candidates elects not to stand for the second election, the candidate with the next highest vote total shall be a candidate for office in the second vote.  No additional nominees will be accepted for such office.”

5.09(2) reads “Officers will be elected by a majority  of the members present at the meeting.”  and

5.09(4) reads “Directors will be elected by a plurality of the members present at the meeting.”

Propose combining both into a new 5.09(2) to read, “Officers and Directors will be elected by a plurality of the members present at the meeting.”

End of proposed Amendments

GDUI has elected to proceed under Section 29.405.20(f) of the Nonprofit Code. If a member who is entitled to vote on these matters has any questions, please feel free to contact your Bylaws Committee members at Bylaws@guidedogusersinc.org .

Respectfully submitted,

Maria Hansen, Chair, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee

Lynn Merrill, Member

Ellen Telker, Member

Rick Roderick, Member

Maria Kristic, Member

Penny Reeder, Member

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections

Announcing the GDUI 2017 Elections Beginning Saturday, May 27th 12:00 AM thru Sunday, June 4th 11:59 PM (EDT) for Seeking candidates for two Director Seats (3 Year Term)

The 2017 GDUI Elections will commence on Saturday, May 27 at 12:00 A.M. EDT,  and run through Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:59 PM (EDT).

GDUI is seeking candidates for two (2) positions in our May 2017 elections: 2 Director Seats (3 Year Term)

GDUI members in good standing are eligible to run for a position on the GDUI Board. Interested candidates should submit an application, resume and cover letter to the Nominations Committee Chair, Dixie Sanderson Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org by the deadline of April 1, 2017.

GDUI members who have paid their dues by this year’s record date of April 7, 2017 will be eligible to vote in the May elections.

If you have not renewed your membership, now is the time to do so.  This will allow you to vote in our universally accessible elections this coming May.

GDUI is proud of our universally accessible voting system in which each member of GDUI is entitled to a voice in the election of our GDUI Board.

 A membership in GDUI costs $15.00 per person per year, and includes an annual subscription to PawTracks, our quarterly magazine. 

Dues/subscriptions may be paid online by going to http://guidedogusersinc.org/join/ or by credit card by calling 1-866-799-8436 or by mailing your check to the above address and made payable to GDUI. 

Important dates to remember:

In order to be eligible to vote in the 2017 GDUI election your 2017 GDUI dues must have been received on or before the record date of April 7, 2017.

We will hold 2 candidates’ Forums prior to the election.  Phone numbers for these calls will be publicized closer to the dates. 

Candidates’ Forum 1.  Saturday, April 29, 2017, 1:00 PM EDT.

Candidates’ Forum 2.  Thursday May 11, 2017 8:00 PM EDT

Between the dates of April 2, 2017 and April 16, 2017, we encourage members to submit questions for your candidates.  Please submit your questions to the Nominations Chair, Dixie Sanderson Director5@GuideDogUsersInc.org  and include “Forum Question” in the subject line of your message.

Election dates: Saturday, May 27 12:00 A.M. Eastern through Sunday, June 4, 2017 11:59 PM.

Application for Candidacy:

GDUI has three major responsibilities:

  1. To promote the acceptance of guide dog teams by all agencies, employers, educational institutions, commercial establishments, and the general public;
  2. To work for the expansion, standardization, and enforcement of legal provisions, both civil and criminal, governing the rights and responsibilities of guide dog users in the areas of public access, employment, housing, personal injury to dog and handler, transportation, and recreation; and
  3. To work in cooperation with guide dog training providers by contributing constructive input concerning selection, training, health care, and accommodations for both canine and human students, and providing constructive suggestions that will improve the quality of the training experience.

With these goals in mind, please answer the following questions:

Date:  

Position for which you wish to be a candidate:

Applicant’s Name:

Street Address:

City/State/zip code:

Phone number

E-mail Address:

Are you a guide dog user?

Describe your background (Educational, occupational and general experience.

Why do you WISH to serve on the GDUI Board?

Which of your skills and experiences would most support Board activities?

Please describe a time when a group of which you were a part accomplished its goal(s).

What caused the group to be successful?  How did you contribute to this success?

The GDUI Board of Directors uses e-mail to communicate with one another.  Are you able to communicate effectively using this medium and do you have access to e-mail?

The GDUI Board of Directors meet every other month by telephone. Meetings last from 2 to 3 hours.  Other ad hoc telephonic meetings are sometimes called as well.

Board Members are often asked to chair and serve on committees and perform tasks on behalf of GDUI as directed by the officers and committee chairpersons.

Will you be able to find time to perform the tasks described above?

Position Description for GDUI Board of Directors

All GDUI officers and Directors must:

Be willing and able to participate in regularly scheduled meetings and e-mail discussions.

Always act in a dignified manner and interact respectfully with fellow directors and Officers and agree to abide by GDUI’s current code of conduct for board members,

Work as a team member to maintain and protect GDUI and its mission,

Become well verse with GDUI’s Bylaws,

Respect the authority of the GDUI Bylaws and work within the guidance therein, and the requirements of the GDUI Articles of Incorporation, and other GDUI governing documents

Be a collaborative participant in the democratic process –respecting the outcome of votes of the membership and votes of the board,

Possess sufficient computer skills to participate in e-mail work,

Be flexible for scheduling meeting times.

(The GDUI Board meets by phone conference bi-monthly for two or more hours, with committee meetings or other special meetings scheduled separately.

GDUI Director Position Description

Responsibilities and criteria for GDUI Board of Director position

Each member of the GDUI Board of Directors must be willing and able to accept the legal, fiduciary and ethical responsibilities of an organizational director, in accordance with standard nonprofit practices and procedures.

Board members are expected to attend all board meetings.

Members of the GDUI Board of Directors shall inform the President, in advance, if unable to attend a particular board meeting.

A GDUI board member shall not be absent from three consecutive board meetings in any year.

A majority of Board members will be guide dog users.

Respectfully Submitted,

The GDUI Nominations Committee

Nolan Crab

Charlie Crawford

Pauline Lamontagne

Deanna Noriega

Dixie Sanderson (Chair)