The name of this affiliate shall be Region 17 of the American Iris Society.

A. This affiliate shall be organized and operated exclusively for purposes described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future tax code.

B. The purpose of Region 17 shall be to develop the science of horticulture and any activities related to the study, propagation and culture of the genus Iris; to stimulate and foster interest in horticultural pursuits, conservation and protection of these plants; to cooperate with other organizations, public and private, in education, in the science of horticulture of all those interested in learning any phase of the genus Iris, by any and all means which may be determined from time to time by the Board of Directors of Region 17.

C. These shall include but are not limited to:
1. Encouragement and support of scientific research, including those pertaining to the solution of diseases related to, but not necessarily exclusive to the genus Iris, and investigation and conservation of the genus in the wild;

2. Collection, compilation, and publication of data concerning the history, classification, breeding, hybridizing, and culture of Irises;

3. Education of the public through exhibitions, public display garden, published standards for judging, and local, area, regional and national meetings open to the public.

A. No substantial part of the activities of this organization shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation except as otherwise provided by Section 501(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, and this organization shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. No part of the net earnings of this organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers, or other private person, except that this organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposed set forth in these articles. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these bylaws, this organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on:

1. By an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;

2. By an organization contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

A. All members of the American Iris Society in good standing residing within Region 17 shall automatically become members of the Region. AIS membership is the only qualification and no further requirements or dues may be imposed. Only individual members of AIS are entitled to hold regional office or to vote in a regional election.

B. Honorary membership may be conferred by vote of the Region membership at any annual meeting.

C. Honorary membership is automatically extended to members of the AIS who are commissioned Honorary Texans.

A. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers, the immediate past RVP and all standing Committee chairmen.

B. Any American Iris Society officer residing within the Region will automatically be a member of the Executive Committee without a vote.

A. The officers of this organization shall be: Regional Vice President (RVP), Assistant RVP, Secretary and Treasurer.

B. The Regional Vice President nominee shall be recommended to the Board of Directors of the American Iris Society for approval and appointment.

C. The Assistant RVP, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by the membership of the Region.

D. All officers shall assume their duties immediately on confirmation of the RVP and their terms shall run concurrently with that of the RVP.

A. The RVP shall perform all duties assigned by the Constitution and Bylaws of the AIS. The RVP shall preside at all meetings of the Region and the Executive Committee. The RVP shall appoint standing chairpersons. The RVP may appoint special chairpersons as needed. The RVP shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the nomination committee. The RVP shall appoint garden judges annually with the approval of the AIS Board of Directors and shall perform any other duties necessary for the good of the Region.

B. The Assistant RVP shall perform the duties of the RVP in the absence of the RVP and perform additional duties as designated by the RVP. The Assistant RVP shall promote goodwill for the Region.

C. The Secretary shall keep a permanent record of the minutes of all Regional and Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary shall take care of all correspondence designated by the RVP and keep a record of same. The Secretary shall maintain a roster of all Honorary Memberships, listing the date the honor was conferred. The Secretary shall perform any other duties assigned by the RVP.

D. The Treasurer shall receive and keep account of all monies of the organization, shall deposit and disperse same in the name of the organization and as directed by the RVP and/or the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall serve as Chairperson of the Finance Committee.

A. The Immediate Past Regional Vice President shall serve in an advisory capacity to the RVP and the Executive Committee. The Immediate Past RVP shall serve as chairperson of the nomination committee.

B. There shall be the following standing committee chairpersons: Historian, Judges Training, Legal Adviser, Membership, Newsletter Editor, Youth and others that may be appointed by the RVP. The RVP may appoint any special committee needed.

C. All Chairpersons shall assume their duties immediately upon appointment. The RVP may assign additional duties to chairpersons other than those designated in these bylaws.

A. Historian: The Historian shall secure and maintain a file of published articles, publications (including the Newsletter), pictures, etc. of historical value to the Region. The Historian shall provide articles highlighting Region 17 history to the regional Newsletter Editor for each issue.

B. Judges Training Chairperson: The Judges Training Chairperson in cooperation with the RVP shall coordinate the Judges Training Schools and perform other duties pertinent to the Judges Training Chairpersonship as designated by the RVP. The Judges Training Chair shall provide to the regional Newsletter Editor for each issue, news of upcoming judges training opportunities and informative articles geared toward current judges and to encourage Region 17 members to consider becoming AIS judges

C. Legal Adviser: The Legal Adviser shall serve as a consultant.

D. Membership Chairperson: The membership Chairperson shall maintain a current roster of AIS members. The Chairperson shall perform other duties necessary in the promotion of AIS membership. The membership chair shall provide articles about membership recruiting to the Newsletter Editor for each issue. The Membership Chair shall provide news of interest to the members to the regional Newsletter Editor for each issue

E. Newsletter Editor: The Newsletter Editor shall edit the official publication, namely, “Newsletter of Region 17 of the American Iris Society” and any other publication that may be designated by the Executive Committee. The Newsletter shall be published semi-annually (spring and fall).

F. Youth Chair: The Youth Chair shall provide youth news to the regional Newsletter Editor for each issue; encourage members and affiliates to write youth nominations for awards, and work to assure the continued interest of those in this age group.

G. The duties of all other standing chairpersons and all special chairpersons shall be designated by the RVP when they are appointed.

A. A Regional meeting shall be held at all locations designated by the Executive Committee. The date will be determined by the Executive Committee upon recommendation of the host group. The Host Area and/or Host Society shall be responsible for planning and conducting the meeting under the direction of the RVP.

B. Special meetings may be called by the RVP whenever deemed necessary. The Executive Committee shall meet at the time of the annual meeting of the Region, and for special meetings at the call of the RVP.

C. Five (5) members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee.

D. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to conduct official business between annual meetings by meeting, mail, telephone, and/or electronic mail, provided there are adequate standing rules in place to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

A. The Nominating Committee shall be composed of five (5) members. The Immediate Past RVP shall serve as chairman. Two (2) Region 17 members shall be appointed by the RVP and the other two (2) elected by the general membership. No more than two (2) members of the committee may come from the same affiliate.

B. The nominee to be recommended for the office of RVP to the AIS Board of Directors shall be made during the third year of each incumbent RVP’s term of office. In the event a vacancy occurs in the office of the RVP, the Assistant RVP shall assume the duties of the RVP, subject to the approval of the AIS Board of Directors.

C. Additional nominations may be made by petition of the general AIS membership. Any forty (40) AIS members, of who not more than fifteen (15) may be located in any one area, may submit a petition nominating one or more consenting candidates whose names with those submitted by the nominating committee shall be included in a ballot. These petitions must be received by the RVP on or before July 1 preceding the election. Officers shall be elected after the names submitted by the nominating committee and by petition have been submitted to the Regional AIS Membership. Ballots shall be published in the Fall Newsletter or otherwise distributed to the membership during August. Ballots must be returned as directed on or before September 15. If only one nominee is received for each office, no election shall be held, and the nominees will be declared duly elected. In the case of the RVP, the selected nominee will be recommended to the AIS Board of Directors for approval and appointment.

D. In the event a vacancy for any reason occurs in the office of Assistant RVP, Secretary or Treasurer, the RVP shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

A. These bylaws and the actives of the officers, chairpersons and members of this organization shall conform to the bylaws of the American Iris Society.

B. The regulation of these bylaws shall govern this organization when not in conflict with the bylaws of the American Iris Society

C. Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern this organization in matters not covered by the bylaws of the American Iris Society or these bylaws.

A. These bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of this organization, or by mail as designated by the Executive Committee, provided notice of the proposed amendment or amendments has been printed in the Newsletter or otherwise distributed to the membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the vote on the amendment or amendments.

B. A two/thirds (2/3) majority vote of those voting shall be necessary to pass any amendment of amendments.

Upon the dissolution of this organization, its assets remaining after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities of this organization shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

Adopted at the R17 Convention
August 15, 2015

Standing rules are the specific conditions or rules a nonprofit chooses to impose upon itself within the scope of the official nonprofits bylaws. Standing rules cannot be in conflict with the National AIS Bylaws. While the bylaws give identity to and define each local affiliate or region and the relationship between them and the National AIS, standing rules give identity to and define each affiliate or region and the relationship with their members. Standing rules should reflect the most important conditions which they wish to impose on themselves, conditions which would, generally be permanent. The purpose and policies of AIS R17 are fixed by its bylaws, as adopted by the membership. Its programs and its methods of operation are directed by the National American Iris Society.

Standing rules are adopted by the membership because they (the standing rules) govern the entire affiliate or region. They are founded on teamwork and voluntary cooperation for purposes mutually believed. Standing rules should be reviewed, updated (if necessary) and approved regularly.

Standing rules can be amended at any time. If the membership has been given notice prior to the date of the meeting of the intended change, then the change can be approved by a majority vote of the members present (if a quorum has been established). If no notice was given prior to the meeting, a 2/3 vote of the members present is required (if a quorum has been established).

The following rules are in effect and attached to the current Bylaws of AIS Region 17.

Rule 1. YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. A Youth Outstanding Achievement Award may be given annually at the Region 17 Annual Convention of each year, along with a check in the amount of $50.00. Other financial help may be given for expenses to attend the AIS National Convention with funds not to exceed $300 to be used at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The winner of the award will be nominated for the Clarke Cosgrove Award which is the National AIS Youth Award.

Rule 2. NEWSLETTER. There shall be two R17 newsletters per year. Deadline for information to be included for the spring newsletter will be February 15 and fall newsletter will be September 15.

Non-AIS members will pay $7 a year to receive a mailed copy of the two newsletters.

Each officer and committee chair is responsible for furnishing an article from their area to the newsletter chair.

Rule 3. REGIONAL CONVENTION. A Region 17 Convention shall be held each year. It will be hosted voluntarily by local societies. The hosting society will set the date of the regional convention. The local host will schedule the convention to not interfere with the National AIS Convention and consider show dates in Texas .

Rule 4. FINANCIAL. There shall be two elected officers of Region 17 that are granted check writing and signature authority on the R17 accounts. The officers are the Treasurer and the President.

The RVP will appoint a committee of three R17 members to audit the financial records every three years. No one who can sign on the accounts may be on the committee.

The region accepts donations from local affiliates in the name of deceased members. If an article is included, it will go into the next Region 17 newsletter. A thank you to the affiliate and an acknowledgement card to the family will be sent by the Treasurer.

Rule 5. TERMS OF OFFICE. All elected officers shall assume their duties following the confirmation of the RVP by the AIS Board at its fall board meeting. The term of office for elected officers is three years.

Rule 6. MEETINGS. Special meetings of the executive board may be called by the president or by a majority of the members of the board, at least three (3) days notice being given.

An executive board vote by phone, email, or other electronic means may be called by the president. A two-thirds vote of the entire board is required for passage, and the vote shall be ratified at the next R17 Convention general meeting.

Rule 7. OUTGOING RVP. If the outgoing RVP is not an AIS Life Member the region will contribute $750 towards the cost of a life membership. The Past RVP will solicit donations from the local affiliates to fund the balance of the cost of an AIS Life Membership to honor the outgoing RVP.

Rule 8. JUDGES TRAINING. Affiliate hosting and presenting the judges’ training class is allowed to set the fee for attending.