Lehigh Valley Turkish American Association Bylaws

Article I

Name, Location, Purpose, and Function

1.1. Name: The name of the association is Lehigh Valley Turkish American Association, Inc. (LVTAA).

1.2. Principle office: The Board of Trustees of the Association may establish an office at any place where the Association is qualified to conduct its business activities.

1.3. Function: The Association is a nonprofit public benefit organization organized under Pennsylvania Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation Law for public and charitable purposes. LVTAA is organized to be compliant with Federal Tax Exemption under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law). LVTAA is not organized for profit and no part of its income, if any, will nourish the benefit of its Members, Officers, Directors, Members of the Audit committee, or any other committees because of their services.

1.4. Purpose: The purpose of the Association includes but is not limited to the following: to increase, improve, and promote public knowledge and understanding of Turkish culture, history and people; to foster friendship and communication among the American and Turkish communities; to promote the exchange of the arts, culture, music and cuisine of the United States and Turkey; to provide humanitarian assistance; to educate the members of the Association and the general public by providing lectures and seminars in keeping with the Turkish heritage; to encourage members to teach the younger generation the Turkish language, customs, morals, and the Turkish cultural heritage; to solicit funds from the public and receive gifts from the public for the foregoing purposes; to plan, design and develop cultural, educational and religious activities, including but not limited to Bayram celebrations, iftar dinners, 23 Nissan, 29 Ekim celebrations. The Association is to perform all of these duties with the beliefs and teachings of Ataturk, Founding Father of Modern Secular Turkey.

1.5. Seal: The seal of the corporation shall be as follows: The Lehigh Valley Turkish American Association

Article II


Individuals who are interested in becoming members of the Association shall apply directly to the Board of Trustees by filling in the prescribed form. The Association does and will not discriminate against any potential members on the basis of religion, race, creed, or color.

Membership shall be comprised of the following categories:
    a) Founding Members
    b) Family Members
    c) Regular Members
    d) Student Members
    e) Honorary Members

Definition of Members:
    a) Founding Members shall be those individuals who initially participated in the creation of this corporation and who made a financial contribution established by the Founding Assembly at the time of the original adoption of these By-Laws. The Founding Members will comprise the initial Board of Trustees of this corporation.
    b) Family Members shall comprise of both spouses of the family. Both spouses shall have separate voting powers and shall pay one family dues, which will be decided by the Board of Trustees.
    c) Regular Members will be that person who contributes the annual dues, which will be decided by the Board of Trustees.
    d) Student Members shall be those persons who are duly enrolled at the recognized institutions of higher learning such as a University or College.
    e) Honorary Members shall be those persons whom the Board of Directors will nominate and the Board of Trustees will decide on being worthy of such recognition.

The Board of Trustees shall have authority from time to time by appropriate resolution to vary the categories of members and determine or change annual contributions of members, and create new classifications of members or create special membership.
All members of the various categories specified above may be referred to as "members". Each member shall have one vote at the general membership meeting and all members shall be guaranteed equal rights to participate in the business of this corporation. All members shall be bound by the terms and provisions of these By-Laws.

2.1. Qualification: Members shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age.

2.2. Suitability to Membership: The Board of Trustees shall review each application for suitability of membership within a reasonable time from the date of application submittal. If the Board of Trustees does not approve an application of a member, the exact reason(s) for its disapproval shall be conveyed to the applicant and the applicant shall be allowed to make personal representation to the Board of Trustees to plead his or her case.

2.3. Members in Good Standing: Only the individuals who have paid the required membership dues for the current year or any other fees and assessments in accordance with the LVTAA Bylaws shall be considered Members in Good Standing.

2.4. Resignation: Any active member can resign from membership by giving a written notice to the Secretary of the Board. Membership fees are not refundable.

2.5. Termination of Membership: Membership will end under the following circumstances:
    a. Written resignation;
    b. Death; or
    c. Expulsion from membership. A member can be expelled on the good faith determination by the Board of Trustees, or a committee authorized by the Board of Directors to make such a determination that the activities of a member are found to be inconsistent with or contrary to the goals and objectives of LVTAA. Such acts may be including but not limited to, consistently and adamantly opposing majority decisions, unauthorized public statements on behalf of the LVTAA, etc.
2.6. Term of Membership and Dues: The amount of the dues for membership shall be decided from time to time by majority votes of the Board of Trustees. The annual membership period shall be from October 1 thru September 30.

2.7 Meetings: A five percent (5%) of the voting power shall constitute a quorum of the transaction of the business at any meeting. If a quorum is not present at any meeting of members, a majority of the members present may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice.
    1. Regular Meetings: Regular meetings take place once in every calendar year and shall be determined by the Board of Trustees. Notice of the meeting shall be given by the Board of Trustees, in writing, and will be mailed or sent by other means such as e-mail and/or fax at least twenty-one (21) calendar days in advance of the meeting to each member.
    2. Special Meetings: The General Assembly may be called to a Special Meeting by the Board of Trustees or by written request. Reasons for this request must be submitted by one-third of the LVTAA members in good standing to the Board of Trustees. Within thirty (30) calendar days of such request, the Board of Trustees will arrange the Special General Assembly meeting.

2.8 Voting: Each member is entitled to cast one vote. Those that are registered as family members are entitled to one vote for each spouse. Members may authorize other members to act as their proxies for purposes of this provision. Members who are unable to attend may cast their vote via e-mail.

Article 3

Body of the Association

The association shall have the following components:
    1) General Assembly
    2) Board of Trustees
    3) Board of Directors
    4) Auditing Committee

3.1 General Assembly: The General Assembly shall consist of all members in good standing.

3.2 Board of Trustees: The Board of Trustees shall consist of all founding members. Board of Trustees shall have the following officers:
    a. Chairman
    b. Vice Chairman
    c. Executive Secretary
    d. Executive Treasurer

The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for the periodic amendment and reexamination of these bylaws. The Board of Trustees shall formulate a general financial policy, and shall have final authority for any purchase, sale, gifts, and allocation of money. The Board of Trustees shall also be responsible for approving persons nominated to be new members of this Association. The Board of Trustees may remove those members not in good standing and or who do not abide to the purpose and basic policies of the Association.

3.3 Board of Directors: The Board of Directors shall be elected by the General Assembly for a period of two (2) years. The Board of Directors shall consist of the following officers:
    a. President (the President shall have the general power and duties of a management usually vested in the office of the President of an Pennsylvania Non-Profit Association)
    b. Vice President (during the absence or disability of the President, the Vice President shall have all the powers and functions of the President)
    c. Secretary (the Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Board of Directors and shall have custody of the seal of the Association)
    d. Treasurer (the Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all the funds, when authorized by the Board of Directors, sign and execute all contracts in the name of the Association

Any General Member in good standing shall be eligible to be nominated to the Board of Directors.

3.4 Auditing Committee: The Auditing Committee shall consists of the Treasurer of the Board of Directors, the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, and one other member of the General Assembly. Their responsibility will be to audit financial and report this to the General Assembly.