Articles of Organization and Bylaws
ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION OF THE LAS VEGAS CONSULAR CORPS
- Name. These articles of organization shall define and organize the Las Vegas professional society entitled the “Las Vegas Consular Corps.”
- Purpose. The Las Vegas Consular Corps was founded on May 11, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada at a meeting of 6 Consular officers (hereinafter “Consuls”), representing various nations of the world, whose US State Department accredited Consular Districts at the time of the meeting included Clark County, Nevada. The purposes of the Las Vegas Consular Corps are as follows:
- To foster increased contact, fellowship and mutually beneficial relationships between citizens of the Clark County, Nevada and the various foreign countries whose Consuls are accredited by the US Department of State, pursuant to the Vienna Convention, and whose accreditation includes Clark County, Nevada;
- To increase communication and fellowship among the foreign consular officers whose accredited Consular Posts and/or Consular Districts include Clark County, Nevada, as well as the broader national and international consular communities;
- To increase communication and fellowship among foreign consular officers who may not be accredited to Clark County Nevada, but whose nations interests, or the interests of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, would be enhanced by non-member participation in the affairs of the Las Vegas Consular Corps. Such consuls, as affiliate participants, are permitted upon sponsorship by two accredited members of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, and upon approval by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Board of the Las Vegas Consular Corps;
- To provide information and education to consular officers, the public, business, educational, governmental and other entities, on the importance and functions of consuls, and to improve the opportunities for effective performance of consular duties;
- To provide a platform for US State Department accredited Consuls, eligible for membership or affiliate membership in the Las Vegas Consular Corps, access to participation in the World Federation of Consuls (FICAC), a United Nations hosted world-wide organization of Consuls.
3. Organization. The Las Vegas Consular Corps shall be organized with a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. These officers, in addition to the Dean of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, shall constitute the Executive Board of the Las Vegas Consular Corps. Each of the initial officers shall serve until the annual meeting the first quarter of 2015. At the annual meeting just prior to the conclusion of the first term, the president shall become the President Emeritus, the Vice President shall become the President, the Secretary shall become the Vice President, the Treasurer shall become the Secretary, and the outgoing executive board shall elect a new Treasurer.
The offices of President and Treasurer should, when feasible, be filled by consuls whose accredited Consular District Post is located in Clark County, Nevada. For the purposes of the organizing of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, the first Dean shall be the senior most member of the members organizing this Corps, and shall serve a term until the annual meeting in 2015. Thereafter, or before should the initial Dean defer, the Dean of the Las Vegas Consular Corps shall be determined solely by seniority rules under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The offices of Dean, Vice Dean and Second Vice-Dean are recognized. At inception of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, and after the conclusion of the first term of offices, the Dean shall be determined solely pursuant to the Vienna Convention.
No person shall serve as an officer who is not, at the time of such service, accredited by the US Department of State as a diplomat or consular officer, whose Consular District includes Clark County, Nevada. In the event a Consul is elected as an officer, and that Consul’s accreditation is terminated for any reason, their term of office as an officer of the Las Vegas Consular Corps shall terminate effective with the termination of their accreditation. In the event such a loss of accreditation should occur, the Consul terminated shall immediately notify the leadership of the Las Vegas Consular Corps of termination.
The initial members of the Executive Board shall be as follows:
Dean Gary Furlong, Honorary Consul General, Uzbekistan
President Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul, Chile
Vice President Terry Murphy, Honorary Consul, Ireland
Secretary Eric Auger, Honorary Consul, France
Treasurer Beth Willis, Honorary Consul Seychelles
President Emeritus Vacant at inception of the LVCC
Chief of Protocol Kathleen Schaefer (advisory ex-officio member)
In the event of a vacancy prior to the conclusion of the normal two-year term of office, the “advancement” within the elected officers shall occur, as defined above, to fill the vacancy, with the election to fill the position of Treasurer taken at the next regular executive board meeting the Las Vegas Consular Corps, unless the Executive Board unanimously agrees to appoint the new officer to a different position. A Dean, Vice Dean or Second Vice Dean may, but need not, serve as an officer concurrent with their service in a Dean’s position, provided that the senior most Dean may not serve as President concurrent with their service as the Dean of the Corps. No person shall have more than one vote on the executive board at any time.
The Executive Committee shall consist of each of the officers of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, and shall include the President Emeritus and the Dean of the Corps. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once every two months, and participation may be made by telephone or internet for those unable to attend personally. Votes may be taken by email where necessary, provided that each member of the Executive Board shall be able to see how each other member voted. Notice should given a month in advance, but shall be given no less than three weeks in advance of regular board meeting dates.
Special board meetings may be set on short notice where circumstances require, but every effort to include all members shall be taken. All votes taken at special board meetings must be ratified at the next regularly scheduled board meeting, unless the vote at the special board meeting was taken in whole or in part, such that all who wished to participate were able to to the extent they desired. In no event shall a vote of less than a quorum be valid unless ratified by the full board at its next regular meeting where a quorum is present.
- Membership and Annual Membership Fee. There shall be no annual fee or dues for membership in the Las Vegas Consular Corps. At the discretion of the Executive Board, a fee for a particular function may be charged. Membership in the Las Vegas Consular Corps shall consist of consuls whose US State Department accredited Consular District includes Clark County, Nevada. All accredited diplomatic, consular and trade officers, whose appointment is covered by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations are eligible for membership.
Only the State Department designated Head of Post, or their State Department accredited designee may vote, and only one vote per nation is permitted. In the event more than one Head of Post for a nation is a member of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, then the senior most Head of Post shall be the primary voting member. Consuls may permit other consuls to cast votes by proxy for them, provided said proxy is signed and dated. Proxies must state the duration of the proxy and any limitations or instructions to which the Proxy holder is subject.
In the case of more than one Head of Post for a nation being a member of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, the senior most Head of Post may defer the voting rights to another head of post with notification to the Dean and President of the Las Vegas Consular Corps. Such deferral must be in writing, and a person voting under such deferral need not provide a separate proxy.
Membership. A candidate for membership shall submit to the Secretary an application form for membership. The Executive Board shall serve as the membership committee, and shall satisfy itself that an applicant meets the requirements for membership. A letter from the US Department of State confirming that an applicant’s accredited Consular District includes, at the time of application, Clark County, Nevada, shall be prima facie evidence of eligibility for membership. A consul shall provide, as part of their application, a legible copy of their then current Consular I.D. card issued by the US Department of State. If official notice of appointment is received by the Las Vegas Consular Corps from the U.S. State Department, but the person accredited has not received their identification card yet the Executive Board may, in its discretion, grant membership pending receipt of the I.D. card. In such a case, the member so admitted must, within 30 days of such admission, or as soon as said card is received, provide a legible copy of the card to the Secretary. Once eligibility is confirmed by the Executive Board, a Consul shall become a member with all the rights appertaining thereto.
Affiliate Membership. There is also created a category of affiliate member, and this shall include diplomats, consuls and trade officials, accredited by the US Department of State whose accredited Consular District does not include Clark County, Nevada but who, in the evaluation of the Executive Board, would bring benefit to the purposes of the Las Vegas Consular Corps by membership. Retired US diplomats, US consuls, US Foreign Service Officers, US military officers whose work or postings included accredited diplomacy and protocol affairs shall also be eligible for affiliate membership. At least two members of the Las Vegas Consular Corps must nominate a person for such membership, and the Executive Board, by at least a 2/3 vote of voting members must accept the application.
Consuls emeritus who were formerly accredited to Clark County, Nevada, but who are no longer accredited, may apply for affiliate member, but shall require only a simple majority vote of the Executive Board. Affiliate Members shall have no voting rights, and shall not be permitted to hold any office, but are exclusively permitted to participate in those meetings and functions which the Executive Board may designate.
Chief of Protocol. The Chief of Protocol to the Las Vegas Consular Corps, shall be elected by a simple majority of the Executive Board. The Chief of Protocol shall serve a term of two years, to run concurrent with the terms of office of the officers of the Las Vegas Consular Corps, but shall not be a member of the Consular Corps, and shall serve in an advisory capacity only.
- Meetings. The Las Vegas Consular Corps shall meet at least three times per year, with the time and place of the meeting to be designated by the Executive Committee. The Annual Meeting shall be designated as the first quarterly meeting in any given calendar year. At such meeting, an annual report shall be presented by the President and, where applicable, new officers shall be elected for the upcoming two-year period.
- Duration. The Las Vegas Consular Corps shall be continuing and perpetual in its organization commencing on the date of the organization and continuing until such time as dissolved by a vote of the membership.
- Voting Rights. Each country represented in the Las Vegas Consular Corps shall have one vote. That vote shall be exercised by the consul or honorary consul serving as Head of Post, or his or her designated representative. All voting shall be accomplished by simple majority, with the exception of the adoption and amendment of these articles of organization, which shall require the vote of 75% of the countries represented at any meeting in which a quorum is present and where no less than six weeks prior notice has been given to all members of the Las Vegas Consular Corps that amendment of these Articles of Organization will be considered at a specified meeting. All proposed changes to the Articles of Organization shall be provided concurrent with the notice of a meeting where a change is to be voted upon. A quorum shall consist of 51% of the recognized members of the Las Vegas Consular Corps. Those members recognized at the organization of the Las Vegas Consular Corps shall consist of those listed on Exhibit A to these Articles of Organization. A full roster of members, to be updated not less than quarterly, shall be available upon request to any member who so requests, and shall also be maintained on the Las Vegas Consular Corps web site.
9. Affiliation with FICAC The Las Vegas Consular Corps shall seek to affiliate with the United Nations hosted World Federation of Consuls (FICAC), and each member or US State Department accredited Affiliate Member who holds a Consular accreditation, shall be entitled to join FICAC through the Las Vegas Consular Corps, subject to the rules of FICAC. Each member so participating shall be required to pay FICAC the registration fee required for membership in FICAC, but such fee shall not be a membership fee to the Las Vegas Consular Corps.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we the undersigned original officers, having been authorized by the original members, publish these Articles of Organization, and provide notice of the following officers of the Executive Board.
Gary Furlong, Dean, Honorary Consul General of Uzbekistan
Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, President, Honorary Consul of Chile
Terry Murphy, Vice President, Honorary Consul of Ireland
Eric Auger, Secretary, Honorary Consul of France
Beth Willis, Treasurer, Honorary Consul of Seychelles
Founding Members, Accredited to Clark County, Nevada by the U.S. Department of State:
Honorable Gary C. Furlong, Honorary Consul General of Uzbekistan
Honorable Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile
Honorable Lena Walters, Honorary Consul of Sweden
Honorable Astra Michels, Honorary Consul of Lithuania
Honorable Jonathan Warren, Honorary Consul of Monaco
Honorable Eric Auger, Honorary Consul of France
Honorable Beth Willis, Honorary Consul of Seychelles
Honorable Dr. Aldo Aguirre, Honorary Vice Consul of Guatemala