HITA Bylaws

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this association is Houston Interpreters and Translators Association (HITA). HITA is a membership corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Texas.

Article II – Purpose

Section A – Aims

The aims of the Association are:

  • To promote the continuing education and development of translators and interpreters;
  • To promote and publicize professional standards and practices;
  • To promote networking among translators and interpreters and cooperation with other associations; and
  • To promote awareness of the profession among the public in general.

Section B – Means

The Association will strive to meet these aims by such means as the following:

  • Holding periodic meetings, workshops and conferences;
  • Supporting programs of accreditation and certification;
  • Publishing and distributing information; and
  • Engaging in outreach activities.

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

Section A – Basic Requirements

Applications for membership are subject to approval by the Board of Directors. Payment of annual dues is required for membership.

Section B – Classes and Qualifications

The Association has three (3) membership classes: individual, corporate and institutional.

  • Individual: An individual who is engaged in translating, interpreting or related work (and may include students)
  • Corporate: A business with an interest in translation or interpretation
  • Institutional: An institution with an interest in translation or interpretation.

Section C – Rights and Privileges

Only individual members have the right to vote and the right to hold Association office. Individual members may vote five (5) days after their membership has taken effect. Other rights and privileges for each membership class will be determined by the Board of Directors.

Section D – Dues

  1. The Board of Directors establishes the annual dues for all classes of membership.
  2. Dues for each year are payable to the Association by sending a check to the Association’s P.O. Box, or via HITA’s website. The applicant can enter his/her professional profile on HITA’s website section entitled: “Apply for membership”. The profile is activated by the Treasurer upon receipt of the dues. One year later dues should be paid for a new one-year period.
  3. Membership is terminated if dues are not received within one month of the renewal due date. Individuals and organizations whose memberships have been terminated for nonpayment of dues must file new applications for membership in order to rejoin the Association.

Section E – Expulsion

  1. A member may be expelled from the Association by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors for conduct unbecoming a member of the Association.
    1. Before the board votes to expel, it must notify the member in writing and provide the member an opportunity for a hearing before the Board.
    2. If the Board of Directors, after due consideration, votes unanimously to expel, the Board must notify the expelled member in writing.
  2. The expelled member may reapply for membership three years after the date of expulsion.

ARTICLE IV – BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section A – Number and Term

The Association is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of four officers (president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary) who form the Executive Committee, and other directors as may be indicated by the Executive Committee. These officers and directors are elected by the membership for a two-year term. Officers may be reelected, but may not serve more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same office unless approved by a two thirds majority vote of the Association members present or represented at the meeting.

Section B – Election

Officers are elected for a two-year term. Officers and directors serve overlapping two-year terms with approximately half the directorships falling vacant one year and the other half falling vacant the following year. The term begins on the day of the first quarterly meeting following the election and ends on the day of the first quarterly meeting two years later. Should two candidates tie for one position, a runoff election for that position will be held within 10 working days.

The election shall be carried out by e-mail or by closed written ballot to be held each year. An Election Committee presents a slate of candidates to the membership for the open positions, at least thirty (30) days before ballots are e-mailed or mailed. This slate shall be posted on HITA’s website. Nominations from the membership at large are also accepted. Ballots are e-mailed or mailed to all members in good standing at least twenty (21) days and no more than forty-five (45) days before the deadline for their return. The candidates for each position receiving the largest number of votes cast is elected.

Section C – Duties

The Board of Directors manages the Association’s affairs.

Section D – Meetings and Quorum

The Board of Directors meets at least quarterly. Four (4) members of the Board of Directors constitute a quorum. When consensus cannot be reached, a majority vote of those present is binding. No proxy voting is allowed. In the event of a tie, the president’s vote prevails.

Section E – Vacancies

If a vacancy occurs on the Board of Directors, the Board fills the vacancy on an interim basis by appointment until the next election.

Section F – Removal

Any member of the Board of Directors may be removed in one of two ways: by a majority vote of Association members in a referendum conducted by mail or e-mail, or by a two thirds majority vote of the other board members. Such a referendum may be initiated by a bare majority (more than 50%) of the Board or by a petition signed by at least 25% of the individual members of the Association.

Section G – Compensation

Members of the Board of Directors receive no salary or other compensation from the Association for their official duties. Duly authorized expenses will be reimbursed.

ARTICLE V – PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLIC STATEMENTS

The Association is not responsible for statements made in its publications, if any, or at meetings or for statements made by any member, except those statements authorized by the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the individual members of the Association voting in a referendum conducted by mail or e-mail. Amendments may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by petition of 25% of the individual members of the Association. The complete text of the proposed change(s) and the affected section(s) of the current Bylaws will be posted on the Association’s website and a letter or e-mail will be sent to the members advising them of the posting.

ARTICLE VII – SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

HITA encourages the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to support the purposes of the Association in specific areas needing greater emphasis or not currently being addressed.

ARTICLE VIII – DISSOLUTION

In the event of dissolution, the residual assets of the Corporation will be turned over to the American Translators Association or one or more other organizations with similar purposes.