By Laws

April 24, 2015

1. CHARTER DATE AND NAME OF CHAPTER: The Chapter was chartered April 1, 1995, at Rohnert Park, CA. Charter membership shall be reserved for those members who joined the Chapter in calendar year 1995. The name selected at the WIT sponsored organizational meeting for this Chapter was “Chardonnay Travelers”. The Chardonnay Travelers shall be a chapter of the California State and the Winnebago International Travelers (WIT) Clubs until it is dissolved.

2. SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CHAPTER: The specific purpose of this Chapter is to promulgate camaraderie among fellow WIT members and encourage everyone to practice  and promote recreational vehicle (RV) safety. The safety aspect must include driving habits, maintenance requirements, quality and completeness of repairs performed by dealerships or factory, and do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs. Lessons learned in RV safety shall be shared with everyone. The Chapter will cooperate  with other organizations that are promoting the same ideas, concepts, objectives,  and goals adopted by  this Chapter. Objectives include supporting all legislation, Federal and State,  designed to protect and preserve our environment, and when possible, support the State and National  WIT functions by  attending their campouts, meetings, and functions.

3. NON-PROFIT STATEMENT: The Chardonnay Travelers does not contemplate pecuniary gain or profit to its members and is organized for non-profit purposes. The Chardonnay Travelers will be recognized as an unincorporated non-profit WIT affiliated RV Chapter. Individual members are prohibited from seeking personal craft sales during meetings.

4. LIMITATION OF POWERS AND AUTHORITY: Not withstanding any statements of purposes, objectives, and powers, the Chardonnay Travelers shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the specific purpose of this Chapter. The authority to govern this Chapter is derived from these Bylaws and WIT Bylaws will automatically supersede any conflicting Bylaws either already published or published in the future without recognizing there was a conflict. Voting for changes to these Bylaws may take place during any Executive Officer or General Membership meeting and will include any interpretations or rulings previously made at an Executive Officers or General Membership meeting. The amendments must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote by the members present. All future amendments must be read at two consecutive meetings, which will permit the members to become familiar with them, make changes, or cancel them before they are added to the Bylaws. After the amendments have been read at the second meeting and approved, the Secretary will incorporate them into the Bylaws with the current date, and they will supersede all previously dated Bylaws. The Secretary will prepare a cover letter outlining changes made and submit a copy of the revised Bylaws to the WIT Western Area Representative in Forest City, IA, for approval. After approval has been obtained, the Secretary will distribute a copy to the State WIT and one copy to each of the member families.

5. CHAPTER COLORS AND EMBLEM: Chapter colors and emblem were not selected during the initial organizing meeting. The members approved the colors Burgundy and White on September 23, 1995. The Chapter emblem approved by the members at this time was a circular patch depicting a wine bottle on wheels with the name “Chardonnay Travelers” surrounding the outside of the circle.

6. GUEST PRIVILEGE RESTRICTIONS: Guest privileges may be extended to owners of Winnebago Industries RV products by any member of the Chapter. Owners of other brands of RVs will not be offered guest privileges except for Friendship Rallies as defined by the National WIT Bylaws. According to the National WIT Bylaws, a Friendship Rally can be held once every 12 months. Executive Officers shall have the right or privilege to invite a worthy individual, such as a community businessman, as a one time only guest if it is in the best interest of the Chapter. Chapter funds will not be used to pay for guest speakers unless approved by the membership.

7. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES: Executive officer positions will include he President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the immediate Past President. WIT allows secretary and treasurer to be combined. Duties and responsibilities of each of the chapter’s officers are described separately next.

a. PRESIDENT: The President will preside over Executive officer and general membership meetings; act on all suggestions for Chapter improvement; appoint committees; act as Chapter chairperson to the State WIT Club at their Executive Officer meetings; and other duties as may be required to comply with WIT Bylaws or California State Club Bylaws. Prior to the election of new officers, the outgoing president shall appoint an audit committee, consisting of no more than three members, to audit the finances for the previous year. The audit committee is expected to complete its work during the meeting, campout or rally, before the new officers are installed.  The audit committee’s report will be made part of the record of the chapter.

b. VICE PRESIDENT: The Vice President will perform all the duties of the President in his or her absence; will chair and coordinate ongoing appointed committees; and assist the President with all of his or her duties as required. The Vice President will also plan and schedule all outings, and establish and maintain an 18-month calendar listing campout dates and locations, and seek Wagon Masters or appoint them if necessary.

c. SECRETARY: The secretary will establish and maintain all Chapter official organizational files (minus financial files); record all meetings and prepare minutes of the meetings; maintain membership rosters and records; maintain copies of the Bylaws; send revised Bylaws to WIT; send a list of newly appointed officers to WIT and to the California State Club not later than 20 days after they are duly elected (WIT  requires the report of elections not later than 30 days); send campout information, anniversary, and memorial information to the WIT Club News representative; assist Wagon Masters by preparing their invitations; handle all incoming and outgoing correspondence for the Chapter; keep other officers informed of upcoming events; and other duties as may be required to comply with WIT Bylaws or California State Club Bylaws.

d. TREASURER: The Treasurer will establish and maintain Chapter financial files; prepare the monthly financial reports; ensure disbursements are made only for authorized projects; collect dues; make timely deposits; keep accurate record of finances; and other duties as may be required to comply with WIT Bylaws or California State Club Bylaws. If the Chardonnay Travelers chapter has less than $50,000 in gross revenue, and the fiscal year continues to be from January to December, the chapter treasurer is responsible for obtaining and maintaining the chapter EIN, Employer Identification Number. He or she is responsible for filing an electronic IRS Form 990-N e-Postcard by May 15th each year or in accordance with federal law. If the chapter has revenues greater than $50,000, then a different statement is required that can be obtained from the WIT Club Western Area Reps.

e. IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: The immediate Past President serves as an advisor to the President.

f. EXECUTIVE BOARD: The Executive Board consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Immediate Past President. Executive Board may rule on matters not covered in these Bylaws and may make suggestions for changes to the Bylaws. Their ruling will stand unless over ruled by a majority vote of the membership. Any misunderstanding of the Bylaws may be referred to the Executive Board for interpretation, recommended changes, and rulings. Their ruling on these matters will stand unless over-ruled by a majority vote of the membership.

8. ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS: Executive officers will be elected at the November meeting by a majority vote of the members present and will be installed at the next meeting. Elected officers will serve for one (1) year commencing at the end of the December meeting. Officers may be retained in their elected position if no other member seeks that position if they are willing to continue to serve. Sudden vacancies in any elective office shall be filled by the President subject to a majority vote by the members at the next general meeting. Any officer absent for three (3) consecutive meetings without a legitimate excuse may be dropped from office with a two thirds (2/3) vote from the membership. Any officer not performing their duties or causing a detrimental effect to the Chapter may be voted  from office with a majority vote from the membership.
Under ordinary circumstances, all Executive terms of office will be for a one year period, running from January to December of the year following their election. All Executive officers will be elected or re-elected at the November meeting by a majority vote of the members present. All newly elected officers will be sworn in at the December meeting, and take office at the end of the December meeting.
To prevent any conflicts in officer changeover process, the President will be informed and approve of any altering of duties by incumbent officers. Officers may be retained in their elected position if they are willing to continue to serve, and if no other member seeks that office. The President may not hold office for more than two consecutive terms. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Vice President shall be the president for the remainder of the elected President’s term. If a vacancy occurs in any other office, the Chapter will elect a successor who will complete the remainder of the unexpired term only. They may run for another full term if they are willing and if they are re-elected by the membership.
Any officer absent for three (3) consecutive meetings without a legitimate excuse may be removed from office with a two thirds (2/3) vote from the membership. Any officer not performing the duties for the office to which they were elected, or causing a detrimental effect to the Chapter, may be voted from office with a two thirds (2/3) vote of the membership.  

9. MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must comply with the following requirements to become a Chapter member. They must own (or be paying for) a Winnebago Industries RV product and shall be at least 21 years of age and attend a Chardonnay Traveler campout. Membership will not be denied because of advanced age, race, creed, color, marital status, religion, or nationality.
All prospective members must already be members of the WIT Club and California State WIT Club, or join them at the same time they join the Chardonnay Travelers.  Guests may attend no more than two outings before joining. 
A quorum must be present at the meeting to elect new members. If it appears an applicant may be rejected, a secret written ballot process may be used to either accept or reject the prospective member. If it appears the applicant will most likely be accepted, a “yea” or “nay” vote may be taken in lieu of a show of hands for approval or disapproval. A vote of 51% of the active members at the meeting will be required to approve a new member. Voting to accept or reject new members is a democratic process. Reasons for accepting or rejecting any prospective member need not be revealed. The President will explain this democratic process to each prospective family during the meeting at which the voting process will take place. The Secretary will record the acceptance or rejection of new members in the minutes of the meeting in which they were accepted or rejected for membership.

10. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS. All members will be held financially responsible for paying the Wagon Master for RV Park reservations after they have made a commitment, either verbal or written, to attend a campout or meeting. If the Wagon Master pays out funds for a member’s RV Park reservations and the member fails to show for the campout, then the member will be required to reimburse the Treasurer for monies paid to the RV Park at the next membership meeting. If the member fails to attend the next membership meeting, the Secretary will notify the non-paying/non-attending member that he (she) must reimburse the Treasurer for the monies due within a 30-day period from the date of the notification letter.
Failure to comply may result in an expulsion by majority vote of the membership present at the next meeting, even though the member may be absent. The Secretary will notify the expelled member in writing of the action taken under provisions of this paragraph. A copy of the letter of notification will be retained in the members file. The expelled member’s $20.00 Chardonnay Travelers membership fee will be forfeited.

11. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS. Chapter meetings will be held anytime there is a Chardonnay Travelers campout, or when the Chapter attends a State Club meeting or rally. Chapter campouts will generally be for a two (2), three (3), or four (4) day weekend. A General membership meeting will be scheduled for Saturday morning during a campout if a quorum of members attends. See paragraph 15 for exceptions. If any member discovers he or she cannot be present at a scheduled meeting, then the member will notify the Wagon Masters so they can adjust all matters accordingly. The Wagon Masters will relay the absent members information to the President at the next scheduled meeting. All meetings will be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. Campouts were originally approved by the members to be scheduled on the fourth (4th) weekend of each month. A new weekend selection was approved by a majority of the members in attendance at the May 6, 1995 meeting. The campout and meeting weekend was changed to the third (3rd) weekend if there were holidays on the fourth (4th) weekend, or any other weekend of the month based on maximum attendance of the members. This versatility would permit the Chapter to attend  California State WIT meetings or rallies which are often held the first two (2) weeks of the month. Chapter meetings may be held at these meetings or rallies if a quorum of members are in attendance. See exceptions in paragraph 15. The May outing will not be on Memorial Day Weekend (approved 5/2000).

12. HANDLING URGENT MATTERS BETWEEN GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS. In those instances when new information or requirements have just been discovered that require immediate action before the next Chapter Membership meeting, the Executive Board should meet either in person, via telephone and/or email to discuss the matter and take necessary action. A majority vote of the Executive Board members is required to take action affecting the Chapter. Their action shall be presented at the next general membership meeting and confirmed by a majority vote of members present.

13. NON-GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS. Gatherings of two or more members at times such as at WIT or State Club events or other Chapter outings are encouraged to promote fellowship and camaraderie amongst Chapter members. Discussions about Chapter matters are encouraged but no vote may be taken which would enforce actions for the Chapter unless a quorum of members is present. If a quorum of members is in attendance, minutes will be taken and read at the next regularly scheduled membership meeting. When a quorum of members is not present, those members in attendance may agree to present written recommendations at the next regularly scheduled membership meeting.

14. INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP STATUS. “Inactive” membership status will be assigned to those members
who fail to support the Chapter or the State WIT by not paying their dues or not attending scheduled
campouts and meeting. Inactive status may be assigned, as defined in Clause 17, to any member who has an unexcused absence for three (3) consecutive months and/or has not served as wagon master or co-wagon master for a two year period. Inactive status assignment will be determined on an individual basis and voted upon by a majority of members present at the meeting if a quorum is present.
If the voting members approve an inactive status for the member, the Secretary will send written notice to the member informing them (him/her) of the action. The inactive member may request to be reinstated before any of the provisions contained in Paragraph 16 apply. The member may be reinstated by a majority vote of members present at the meeting if a quorum is present.

15. CAUSE FOR TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP. Any of the following actions may result in termination of membership: remaining on the inactive membership rolls for twelve months; or remaining absent without just cause for twelve months.  A membership must be forfeited if a member fails to pay dues to WIT by the end of the month when their dues are to be paid.  A recommendation for Termination of Membership will come from the Chardonnay Travelers Executive Board. Termination will be determined on an individual basis and must be approved by two thirds (2/3) of the membership in attendance at the meeting if a quorum is present. If the members vote for termination, then the Secretary will send written notice to the member informing them of the action. An appeal may be made to the President to set aside the termination if the member can show cause for doing so. Membership may resume if the member requests to be reinstated within the calendar year and pays any funds due to the Chapter.  
Membership will be forfeited if a member in good standing with the Chapter can show cause against a member during a meeting. Improper conduct such as drunkenness, fighting, vulgarity, incarceration, or other serious infractions of the law shall result in automatic termination of membership unless member can show cause why this action should not be taken. Termination will be determined on an individual basis and voted upon by 51% of the active membership in attendance at the meeting.

16. MEMBERSHIP DUES. Dues shall be determined per year, payable in December of the current year and become delinquent on January 31st of the next year. All dues will be deposited into the Chardonnay Travelers Fund. Membership will be forfeited if dues are not paid by January 31st. A new member application may be required if dues are not paid by January 31st of the current calendar year if the member seeks reinstatement.

17. GENERAL FUND REQUIREMENTS. The General Fund shall be used to cover administrative operation expenses such as envelopes, faxes, phone calls, paper, reproduction, stamps, and other supplies or equipment used for or by the Chapter. The Treasurer will keep a complete record of cash receipts and expenses. The Treasurer will read the monthly financial report to the membership at the monthly meeting. A copy of the Treasurer’s report will be available for those members who desire one.

18. WAGON MASTER APPOINTMENTS. The Vice President will be empowered to appoint Wagon Masters if there are no volunteers. No member will be excused from Wagon Master duty except new members will be given six (6) months before being selected as Wagon Master. The Vice President will ensure Wagon Master duty is shared on an equitable basis.  Generally, there will be a Wagon Master from one rig and a Co-Wagon Master from another rig at each outing.
A Wagon Master will not be used when the Chapter elects to attend State WIT campouts and rallies or when a majority of the Chapter members attend a campout sponsored by another Chapter. This action will reduce the total number of times members will be required to act as Wagon Master during the year. Active members who are absent from the meeting may be selected for Wagon Master duty and will be informed of their selection by the Vice President. The Vice President will ensure absent members are selected far enough in advance for them to become aware of the Wagon Master duty dates.

19. CAMPOUT AND WAGON MASTER LISTING. The Vice President will establish and maintain an 18-month calendar listing of campouts and Wagon Masters. At regularly scheduled meetings, the Vice President will seek volunteers to perform Wagon Master duties as needed to maintain a continuous 18-month listing. An early and timely volunteer/appointment process will help members plan for campouts and will permit sufficient lead-time for the dates to be printed in the WIT monthly magazine.

20. COMMITTEES. The President may appoint committees for specific functions during a regularly scheduled meeting. All committees will consist of at least three (3) members. The President will give the committee a title that is related to the purpose of the committee so their reports may be tracked while they are in existence. The President will give the committee explicit instructions as to why or what they have been appointed to control or investigate. The President may dismiss committees without cause.
The committee will prepare interim and final reports (may be hand written) to the President. To ensure accurate reports are maintained, all reports will be passed to the Secretary for inclusion in the Chapter’s records. Unless otherwise directed by the President, the committee’s mission has been completed and will be permanently dismissed with a final report is submitted to the President.

21. STATEMENT OF AUTHENTICITY. All Chardonnay Travelers Bylaws with a date prior to May 17, 2014,
are null and void. A total of twenty-three (23) paragraphs and seven (7) printed pages were used for current Bylaws. Receipt of a copy of Bylaws without this date, number of paragraphs, and pages, should be considered null and void. Future revisions to these Bylaws will require that this paragraph be amended to reflect appropriate date, number of paragraphs, and number of pages.
Note: Original document signed and dated 11/15/2002 by Norm Silva, President; George Madsen, Vice
President; Art Schipper, Secretary; and Judy Silva, Treasurer. This document was amended by the
Chardonnay Travelers Chapter and approved by Rick and Christy Burke, WIT Western Representatives,
and Denise Yeager, WIT Consumer Engagement Manager, on 4/24/2015.  Copies of this document can be obtained through the current President or Secretary of the Chardonnay Travelers.
At the March 2000 meeting of the Chardonnay Travelers, the membership present approved the idea of
standing rules that would supplement the Chapter bylaws. This amendment was accepted at the September 2000 meeting.
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Standing Rules:

Standing Rule 1: Proposed changes to the Bylaws must be distributed in writing prior to the meeting at
which they are voted upon.
Standing Rule 2: Financial records shall be kept for a period of three years. Treasury reports and bank
statements shall be kept for seven years as recommended by the Audit Committee.  After records have exceeded their retention date they shall be shredded.
Standing Rule 3  The Vice President should try and book the 3rd weekend of the month if possible and the dates would be at the discretion of the vice president depending upon availability.
Standing Rule 4. Maximum decoration expense for each events will not exceed $50.00. 3/24/18