MEMBERSHIP

Posted on October 28, 2020

Section 1. Classes of Membership. There shall be three (3) classes of membership in GONA:
a) Life Member: $1000.00 (per Family – Husband, wife & children below 18)
b) GONA Donor Member: $2500.00.00 (per Family – Husband, wife & children below 18)
c) Foundation Donor Member: $10,000.00 (per Family – Husband, wife & children below 18)
d) Regular Member: Free

Section 2. Eligibility. Any Gujarati speaker or any person or family of Gujarati origin or the lineal descendants of such person or family, residing in North America including students and person with legal work permit, shall be eligible to be a member of GONA provided that such person: (a) is over 18 years of age, (b) subscribesto the objectives of GONA; (c) abides by the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of GONA; (d) submits an application in the prescribed form setting forth the applicant’s full legal name, regular mailing address, electronic mailing address, and telephone number; (e) is approved for membership by the Executive Committee of GONA; and (f) pays the prescribed dues, fees, and assessments prescribed from time to time by the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. GONA reserves the right to specify acceptable methods of payment of dues. GONA reserves the right to verify the information provided and the qualifications for membership of any applicant. Such verification may include requesting additional supporting documentation from some or all of the applicants for membership.

Section 3. Spousal Membership. For the purpose of membership, the spouse of a member shall also be deemed to be a member in the same class of membership. Each member shall promptly notify the GONA Secretary of any change in marital status.

Section 4. Contact Information. It shall be the responsibility of each GONA member to keep on file with the Secretary such member’s current valid regular mailing address, telephone number, and electronic mail address to which all notices and other communications of GONA, including GONA Newsletter, the magazine published by GONA, may be sent. GONA reserves the right to remove any electronic or regular mail address or telephone number which is no longer current from GONA’s files. GONA also reserves the right to stop mailing any materials, including the GONA Newsletter to such member.

Section 5. Validity of Notice. Notice posted at the GONA website or in the GONA Newsletter or sent either to a member’s regular mailing address, postage prepaid, or to such member’s electronic mail address on file with the Secretary shall be deemed to be good and sufficient notice for all purposes under these Bylaws.

Section 6. Privileges. The privileges of each membership category shall be as stated herein:

a) Life Members. Life Members shall be entitled for life to the rights and privileges only:
i. to receive the GONA Newsletter by email in the United States or Canada;
ii. to vote in GONA elections once they become qualified members as defined in Article XIV, section 1.e.
iii. to serve on committees,
iv. to stand for office in GONA elections subject to eligibility criteria specified in Article XIV, Section 8, v. to enjoy the special honorific title of “Life
Member”, and
vi. to receive any and all discounts offered only to Life Members.

b) GONA Donor Members. Any person eligible for membership in GONA Article V, Section 2, that donates to GONA in any one calendar year, $5,000, shall be classified as a GONA Donor Member. For the purposes of this Section 6(b), any person who either by himself or herself, or together with the person’s spouse, is (a) the owner of one hundred percent (100%) of the issued and outstanding shares of stock in a closely-held corporation or (b) the owner of one hundred percent (100%) of the membership interests in a limited liability company when such corporation or limited liability company makes a donation to GONA in the amount required in the preceding sentence shall be eligible to be classified as a Donor Member. Any person who is a Donor member on the date of adoption of these bylaws will remain a Donor Member. Donor members shall be entitled for life to all of the rights and privileges of a Life Member plus the right to:
i. enjoy the special honorific title of “Donor Member”,
ii. receive any and all discounts offered only to Donor Members of GONA,
iii. to be elected a Donor Member of Board of Directors, subject to eligibility criteria specified in Article XIV, Section 8, and
iv. to vote for Donor Members of Board of Directors, after the prescribed waiting period specified in Article XIV, Section 8.

c) Foundation Donor Members. Any person eligible for membership in GONA Article V, Section 2, who meets the specific requirements of Article X, Section 1(b)
shall be classified as a Donor Member and shall be entitled for life to all of the rights and privileges of a Life Member plus the right to :
i. enjoy the special honorific title of “Foundation Donor”,
ii. receive any and all discounts offered only to Donor Members,
iii. to be elected a Foundation Donor Trustee, subject to eligibility criteria specified in Article XIV, Section 8, and
iv. to vote for Foundation Donor Trustees, after the prescribed waiting period specified in Article XIV, Section 8.

d) Non-Mutually Exclusive Classes of Membership. The classifications of GONA Donor Member and Donor Member are not mutually exclusive if requirements for each class of membership are separately satisfied. Satisfying the requirements of one of these classes of membership does not automatically qualify a member for the other classification. Free Membership : Any and all Gujarati member can become free member of the organization Free community newsletter Can join GONA as a volunteer and take a part in Regional organization

Section 7. Dues, Fees, and Assessments.

a) Obligation to Pay. All members shall pay the dues, fees, and assessments established for their class of membership by the Executive Committee as they may be amended from time to time, and approved by the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee will publish the current schedule of dues, fees and assessments on GONA’S web site at www.gonausa.org which shall be deemed as notification to all of the members.

b) Dues Non-Refundable. No membership dues are refundable for any class of membership.

Section 8. Membership Verification Committee.

a) Composition. There shall be a Membership Verification Committee (“MVC”) comprised of the Executive Vice President and two other Life members not then currently sitting on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, or and nominated and appointed by the President, with the consent of the Executive Committee. The nomination of these two additional members shall be completed within thirty (30) days of the Installation Date, as such term is defined
in Article XIV of these Bylaws. The President shall be a non-voting member of the Membership Verification Committee. Any person serving on the Membership Verification Committee for any length of time during the term of the Executive Committee is not eligible to contest for any position in the elections conducted during that term.

b) Verification Procedure.

i) No later than the last day of each calendar month, the Treasurer shall forward copies of all membership applications and payments (if any) received within the preceding calendar month to the MVC .

ii) The MVC shall review each application to determine

1. whether the applicant has provided sufficient information in their application to enable the MVC to make a determination that the applicant is eligible for membership in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of GONA and these Bylaws; and

2. whether the proper membership fee has been paid. ( 1st two years membership is free, after that executive committee will decide).

iii) The MVC shall complete the application review process within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the application from the Treasurer.

iv) The MVC shall have the right to require any applicant to provide such additional documentation as the MVC shall, in its sole discretion, determine to be necessary to enable the MVC to verify the applicant’s eligibility. Such documentation may include, but shall not be limited to: a) photo identification, b) birth certificate, c) a then current utility bill, d) valid driver’s license, or e) passport. If the MVC requests such additional documentation from an applicant, the time limit set forth in sub-paragraph

(iii) above shall be extended by an additional fifteen (15) days. If the applicant fails to provide the requested documentation within the additional fifteen (15) days, the MVC shall reject the application.

v) Notwithstanding the rejection of any applicant’s application, the membership application fee paid with such application shall be nonrefundable and deemed to cover GONA’s membership verification costs.

Section 9. Revocation.

a) Substantial Violation. Membership of any member may be revoked for substantial violation of the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws of GONA. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it shall be a violation of the Bylaws of GONA for any member to knowingly or intentionally engage in conduct which is
intended to compete with or cause harm to GONA or which, in the opinion of the Executive Committee in its sole discretion, is likely to substantially injure the reputation of GONA. Any member of the Board of Directors or a minimum of 25 members in good standing of GONA may submit a petition outlining the charges to the Chairperson of the GONA Board of Directors by registered/certified mail, return receipt requested or by electronic mail addressed to bodchair@GONA.org. The Board of Directors shall investigate the charges and if, in the opinion of a majority of the Board of Directors, there is probable cause to believe that a asis for revocation of membership may exist, the Board of Directors shall place the petition for removal on the agenda for hearing at a BOD meeting specially called for such purpose and shall provide the affected member with written and electronic notice of the petition and the hearing date so that such member may have an opportunity to be heard in opposition to the petition. If no quorum is present, the hearing on the petition shall be continued to the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors or a special meeting called for such purpose at which a quorum is present and voting. The Secretary of the Board of Directors shall notify the affected member of the date, time and place of the continued hearing. After the hearing at which a quorum is present, the Board of Directors shall
decide by two-thirds affirmative vote of those present and voting whether to revoke the membership under question. The President shall notify the affected member of the action of the Board of Directors both electronically and in writing. The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final and binding.

b) Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude. Conviction of a member for any criminal offense involving moral turpitude shall constitute reason for automatic revocation of membership. The President shall notify the affected member of the revocation both electronically and in writing.