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OAN Bylaws

OAN members approve bylaw revisions at 2017 Convention

At the 2017 OAN Convention, members approved bylaw revisions intended to modernize the association's governance structure. The most significant change is that representation on the OAN Board of Directors will now be based on industry segments, rather than geographic regions.

"To be effective, the OAN needs to make sure it is representing the wishes of the industry, and Oregon's nursery industry is very diverse in terms of production types and retail versus wholesale," 2016-17 OAN President Mark Bigej said. "That's why we recommended implementing a board structure that makes sure every segment of the industry is represented in the decision making."

The changes were recommended initially by a Board Composition Task Force that Leigh Geschwill appointed during her year as OAN president (2015–16). The Task Force was led by Bigej, who was serving as president-elect at the time.

After the task force made its recommendations, they were discussed at the 2016 OAN Convention. Following input from members and approval from the OAN Board of Directors, the recommendations were translated into specific bylaw language. The board approved the specific bylaw changes at its September 2017 meeting and agreed to forward them to the membership for final approval.

Under the OAN bylaws, all members in attendance at the 2017 Annual Meeting were eligible to vote. After discussion the changes were approved by voice vote, to take effect with the fall 2018 board election.

Members have several ways of learning more about the bylaw changes and the process undertaken to consider them:

  • The Board Composition Task Force report can be downloaded here.
  • The bylaw changes can be downloaded for review here .
  • A memo to the Board of Directors can be downloaded here.
  • A mailing was sent to all OAN members detailing all the changes, including a comparison of the language before and after.
  • A webinar was offered where members could hear presentations on the changes and have the opportunity to submit questions.
  • This informational landing page with all of these materials was created.

As a result of these bylaw reforms, different segments will be represented on the board, starting with the 2018-19 board elected in fall 2018. The apportionment of board seats by industry segment will be based on each segment's proportional size within the Oregon nursery industry, as determined by USDA statistics.

"Some have asked what this means for the chapters," Bigej said. "We want them to be as vital as possible. It's just that they would no longer be the source of board representatives. The Board Composition Task Force found that directors from industry segments would be more representative."

The bylaws are set up so that the number of seats per industry segment can change over time as the industry changes. Initially, there will be 10 industry representatives on the board — two greenhouse operators, one retailer, one associate member, and six nursery growers.

The six nursery growers will consist of three container growers, two field grown/bare root growers, and one field grown/ball and burlap grower. Each would serve two-year terms, but during the first year of phase-in, some will serve for one year so that terms are staggered.

All of these directors will be suggested by a nominating committee, nominated by the board and elected by member ballot. A board nominee qualified in more than one industry segment is eligible to represent any of those segments and can be nominated to represent a segment where eligible as the board determines necessary to allow for balanced geographic representation.

In addition to the 10 directors representing industry segments, the board will continue to include seven Executive Committee members as it does currently. They include a president, president-elect, vice president, secretary, treasurer, past president and member at large. The president-elect, vice president, secretary and treasurer are elected each year; the president-elect becomes president the next year; the president becomes past president; and the member at large is appointed by the incoming president.

Other bylaw revisions were made to bring them in line with current Oregon law.



Board Composition Task Force History

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11/20/2018
BioControls Committee Meeting

11/28/2018
OAN Membership Open House

12/6/2018
Sunset Chapter Christmas Party

12/11/2018
Mt. Hood Chapter Christmas Party

12/16/2018
Central Oregon Chapter Christmas Party

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