Practices of Tennessee Valley Woodworkers

There are practices based on experience which the Club regularly follows. Governance of the Club is carried out within rules of order established in the By-Laws of the Club, but helpful practices have evolved from day to day operation of the Club. Codifying these into by-laws would encumber that document unnecessarily. Still it is valuable to have some of the more important of these documented.

Advisory members of the Executive Committee

Over the past several years Presidents have asked Club members having experience in governing the Club, or who have special skills, to join deliberations of the Executive Committee. Recent administrations have asked for a vote of the sitting Executive Committee to adopt them into the Executive Committee as Advisory Members.

The Constitution clearly establishes membership in the Executive Committee as the elected officers of the Club plus the immediate past President and Vice President. There is no provision in the Constitution or By-Laws for Advisory membership nor is there a prohibition against it, but the question arose about the voting rights of the Advisers. The 2007 Executive Committee adopted the following resolution without objection:

Votes of advisory members are accepted by the Executive Committee as advice (e.g. a Yes vote means “I advise we proceed!”, a No vote means “I advise we do not proceed!”). If a matter is, or becomes, contentious the President shall ask for the votes of only Constitutional members of the Executive Committee, and their votes alone shall determine the outcome.

This resolution is not codified in the Constitution nor By-Laws of the Club and is documented here as an option for Club administrations should they choose to use it.

Seminar Guidelines

These are recommended guidelines for committee chairmen – not hard and fast
rules. However, they should be exercised whenever possible to establish
consistency and fairness for future events with a bridge to past practices. The
chairman is given flexibility in operating practice to handle unforeseen issues as
they arise, but should exercise good judgment to avoid setting unwanted
precedents for future committees.


  • Presenters: Attendees should not be charged a fee for a club event in which they are a presenter.
  •  Committee members: In view of the committee member’s participation in
    planning and implementation, some consideration may be permitted. For
    example: Charge half price for committee members.
  •  General: All individuals who are not a part of a family membership should pay
    the full fee. Given a situation in which more than one member of a family
    membership attends an event, the committee chairman should set the fees such that one member of that membership will be charged half price. All other family members should be charged the full fee.

Note: All this has nothing to do with any humanitarian motivation exercised by the
Club. It has been, and will continue to be, advantageous to the Club to waive a fee
from time to time for club members who otherwise may not be able to attend. Since this is to the Club’s advantage, it should not be considered in the fairness equation, and rightfully be paid for out of Club funds. It should thus, according to the by-laws, be a decision approved by at least two members of the Executive Committee.

Limitations on Attendance:

The committee chairman should attempt to determine the likely size of
attendance. He/she should then select a venue suitable to that number. Once the venue is selected, he/she should set a limit on the number of people who can attend based on the size of the facility, comfort facilities, parking, the likelihood of people arriving at the event without prior reservation, and any other considerations related to attendance size. Registration and publicity strategies should take this into consideration stating a clear policy to affect the limit. The committee chairman should not place limitations on attendance based on anything other than venue accommodations except for cases specifically authorized by the Executive Committee.


The faster pace of business needs and convenience of using the Internet have led recent Administrations to conduct Executive Committee (EC) business using email in lieu of calling frequent group meetings of the EC. This practice will continue but should not exclude face to face meetings when appropriate.


The practice of the TVW Secretaries for the past several years has been to record minutes of regular Club meetings in an archive available on the website. For convenience, a link is provided on the Home web page to the latest minutes. Minutes of the Executive Committee meetings are posted only in the Minutes Archive. Some of the minor business of the Executive Committee is conducted by the use of email. Beginning in 2009, the Secretary will document email meetings as they conclude.

Club Membership List

Use of the Club’s membership list is restricted to the membership.  From time to time, authorized members of the Club may send out notices to those on the list.  These notices are to be related to Club business or to items of direct interest to Club members; for example, woodworking events or tools sales.  The membership list must not be used to distribute routine announcements of organizations not related to the Tennessee Valley Woodworkers without authorization by the president.

Dues and Roster

Background — A motion was made, seconded, and carried in the August 9, 2011 Executive Committee meeting to immediately purge members that are delinquent in paying their 2011 dues. A modification to that motion was made, seconded, and carried to purge all delinquent members the day after the February meeting each year beginning in 2012. It was agreed that members will be reminded from the podium that dues are due in November and that the purge will happen after the February meeting.  

The practice of the Tennessee Valley Woodworkers shall be:

  1. The president will remind members that dues are due in November of the year preceding; i.e. dues for 2012 are due in November of 2011.
  2. The Treasurer will purge the membership roster after the February general Club meeting.
  3. Members purged may be reinstated by paying the full year’s dues. Prorated dues apply only to new members.

Memorial Contributions

The Treasurer may, without consultation with the EC, donate up to $50 to a memorial for deceased members or their spouses as preferred by the family.

Executive Kickoff

A successful practice of the Club has been a kickoff meeting early in the year to set the stage for the year.  Typically discussed are: a tentative schedule of events, funding and budgets for the year, focus items, and old business inherited from the previous year.