The Game Retailers Association Bylaws
Last amended by membership vote on Jan 30th, 2018
Article I: Name
The name of this association shall be the Game Retailers Association.
Article II: Mission Statement
The Game Retailers Association (GRA) is a volunteer group of independent game retailers working to advocate for and curate sustainable, profitable and mutually beneficial
business practices and programs for it's members and supply chain partners. The GRA seeks to engage with industry partners on important issues, enhance the public image of game
retailers through education and exchange of best practices and support local game communities.
Article II: Subsection 1
- The "objective" of the association is best expressed by the most current version it's Mission Statement, as voted on and approved by the membership. Adoption of
new mission statement or alternation of the currently accepted one (other than basic edits to the statement for a more correct use of English for professional presentation)
shall constitute a bylaws change and mandate a vote by the membership to pass to enact that change.
Article III: Membership Types
The GRA will host two classes of membership. These will be:
- A: Full Voting Members:
Full voting membership is open to any business operating one or more physical storefronts currently engaged in the retail of non-electronic games in a commercially zoned
location and can show a proper sales tax license (in all jurisdictions where sales tax licenses are required). Membership will be granted to all eligible applicants after
said applicants submit their application, it is reviewed and approved and membership dues paid. Memberships shall be valid for one year from the later of the date dues were
paid or the date of and approval of the the membership application. Full voting members qualify for the full range of association benefits and are entitled to 1 vote per
member company on all association wide elections, bylaws amendments, recalls or any other voting initiatives as reprented in these bylaws.
- B: Associate Members:
An associate member shall be any retailer currently selling games but otherwise unable to qualify for full voting memberhip status, retailers considering expansion into the
sales of games or persons interested in opening a game store in the future. Associate memberships are a non voting class of membership.
Article IV: Association Structure
The GRA is a volunteer association of game retail professionals that have joined together to achieve and advance the stated mission of the association. The GRA has been formed
as a Domestic Non Profit Corporation registered in the District of Colombia, United States. The association is jointly owned by all registered members of the association and its
assets are controlled purely by the the elected Board of Directors and appointed association officers according to the rules and guidance set forth in these bylaws and the
association should be guided by its mission statement and the association code of ethics.
Article V: Membership Dues
The association, according to the will of its members and as voted on, shall set an annual membership amount for each tier of membership that it deems fit for the budgetary
needs of the association as forcast for the following fiscal year. The Board of Directors is responsible for setting a proposed budget for the following fiscal year no later
than October 30th of the current year and then submit that budget and the proposed membership dues for each tier along with the budget to the membership for approval. If
approved, any new membership appplications starting on January 1st of the next year or membership renewals that come due after January 1st will be subject to the updated dues
as approved with the budget. If no new budget is approved, the association will continue to operate under the membership dues structures as set for in the most recently approved
Article VI: Code of Ethics
The GRA shall maintain a posted Code of Professional Ethnics. These shall be guiding principles of behavoir and fairness that the membership believes exemplifies what it means
to be a respected member of both their local community and the broader game industry community. Members will be expected to abide by the posted code of ethics to the best of
their abilities. Any GRA member may request the Board of Directors review a new member applicant or existing member for reasonable compliance with the Code of Ethics. Any
member or prospective member may be sanctioned if said review shows notable breaches of the code of ethics and the Board of Directors may opt to decline membership, reduce any to
all membership privilges (except the right to vote) upon giving notice to an applicant or member with the finding of their ethics review. If any sanction is optioned, the
BOD must submit to the applicant or member those issues they found non compliant with the GRA Code of Ethics and a suggested course to become compliant and set a later date for
Article VII: Board of Directors (BOD)
The GRA shall have a total of (5) elected Board of Director seats. These positions will be filled by the vote of the membership. All Board of Directors shall serve a term or 1
year, excepting the member serving as the Chairperson of the Board, who shall serve one term as the Chairperson, then a second term as Chairperson Emeritus. If the Chairperson
will be unavailable to serve an additional term as the Chairperson Emeritus, then the BOD may vote and appoint one member from among them to fulfill the role of the Chairperson
Emeritus for the next BOD term. No person shall may serve more than two consecutive terms as the Chairperson Emeritus. To be elected, when the election period begins, a candidate
must be nominated by no less than (2) voting members (a member may self-nominate) to be included on the ballot. An election shall involve electing (4) new board members. Members
do NOT campaign and run for a specific position, but rather simply for one of the four open seats. After being elected, the newly elected BOD shall have at least 30 days before
assuming their seats, to discuss and work out among themselves, which role on the BOD they will serve. The designated areas of oversight that BOD positions include are:
Chairperson of the BOD
The Chairperson of the BOD serves as the active President of the GRA as wel as Chairperson of the BOD. They will call BOD meetings into session. In the event of an absent BOD seat, or BOD member absent on a vote, in the event of a 2-2 tie, the Chairperson's vote serves as the tie breaker. The Chairperson would have ultimate oversight over the appointment of volunteers to speak on behalf of and represent the association when engaging members of other tiers and/or the media.
The Chairperson Emeritus serves as an extension of the previous BOD and is largely the position of experience to advise the newly incoming board and aid the transition from one board to the next. The Chairperson Emeritus serves as the association Vice President and holds the responsibility for organizing the annual BOD elections, plus any other special elections of membership wide votes that happen.
The Records chair is ultimately responsible for all records keeping of the association. They are to record the minutes of BOD meetings and make them available to the voting membership upon request. They are to serve as association librarian or oversee the person who shall. Keep all association records, sans the membership rolls, which may include but not be limited to white papers, position papers, surveys, polls, market research, membership aggregated data, archived correspondence with industry partners and more.
The Membership Chair would have oversight over the Membership Director and the keeping of the membership rolls (should always be available to all voting members), plus oversee any association membership drives and/or efforts at representation and conventions or other professional gatherings.
The Event chair would oversee association efforts to arrange membership meetups, be they special meetups spearheaded in a region by a specific member, group meetup at convention, or media type events planned in conjunction with the Chairmain and other BOD members.
Nominations for candidates for BOD positions shall commence February 1st and be concluded February 28th. Only full voting members may be nominated for and serve a BOD position. All nominated become candidates with elections to be held in June. The voting period must last a duration of no less than 7 days and no more than 10 days and be concluded by the end of June. The specific dates may be set by the current BOD and must be announced no later than April 15th. The newly elected BOD assumes their positions on the first day of August of that year.
Article VII: Subsection I
- Vacancies in BOD positions will be filled as follows. A vacancy in the Chairperson position shall be filled by the Records Chair. Any other vacancy in the BOD, including the Records Chair should they assume the Chairperson position, shall be filled by the appointment of the other BOD members. Such a vacancy must be filled within 20 days of the position becoming vacant.
Article VII: Subsection II
- Term Limits: Each term on the Board of Directors lasts 1 year. There is no limit with regard to how many consecutive terms a person may serve on the Board, though continuing on the Board from one term to the next will require that person being re-elected to the board on each election cycle. Only the Chairperson shall not need to be re-elected if they chose to serve another term, as they will automatically return the following year in the role as the Chairperson Emeritus. Or the BOD member selected by majority vote of the BOD to serve the following year as Chairperson Emeritus if the Chairperson elects not to continue to serve an additional term. When a person serving as a Board of Director runs for a seat for a consecutive term, they are not automatically assumed to hold the same title on the Board, as the newly elected Board, per Article VII, shall have to work out among themselves which role each of four elected Board members shall serve.
Article VII: Subsection III
- The work and contributions of the board of directors are conducted on a volunteer basis and are not compensated. Any expenses incured in the conducting of BOD
business is to be paid on a volunteer basis as well, though may be paid by the association if the expense is presented to and approved by the BOD as having been a necessary
association business. The association makes no claim to cover a cost incured by a Board member or association officer, if that expense is claimed, if that expense has not be
pre-approved, or if the BOD can not agree it was a valid expense approved by the association.
Article VII: Subsection IV
- The BOD must meet to discuss and handle association business at least once monthly. Meetings may be conducted in person, if possible, or online otherwise. BOD meetings are open to any voting members to be able to observe, and where appropriate, participate. The BOD shall adapt a free or low cost method of hosting such meetings, so as to not create a barrier for participation by the membership. Meeting dates and times must be published to the membership no less than 7 days prior to its start time. During a BOD meeting, the BOD must provide for membership commentary on any motion officially on the agenda, but membership commentary must be kept brief and the BOD may, if necessary, remove a member's access to a meeting if by a super majority vote of the BOD (at least 66% of BOD members attending) the BOD deems that member to be acting in a disruptive manner and is preventing other members from being heard or stalling the reasonable progress of the meeting.
Article VII: Subsection V
- Quorum. A BOD meeting shall be considered to have a quarum if at least 3 BOD members are present and able to vote at a meeting.
Article VII: Subsection VI
- The first elected board of directors. The first 5 members of the BOD to be elected by the membership on formation of the association shall serve a term of not less than 1 year. This means, depending on the date that BOD elections are finalized and the results made official, this newly elected BOD will serve from that date through what would be the traditional election period (where no elections will happen) and until the following year where the annual elections will transpire as governed by these bylaws. The elections of the very first BOD shall consist of 5 open BOD positions instead of the traditional 4, and once elected, the BOD members will discuss among them and appoint from their ranks persons to each of the 5 BOD positions, including the role of the Chairperson Emeritus. This first BOD will have no existing BOD fulfilling their duties at the close of the election, so once the election is concluded with results posted, the newly elected BOD shall within 1 week, announce to the membership who will fill each of the 5 BOD roles and assume their term on the BOD immediately thereafter.
Article VIII: Officers
In addition to the board of directors, the association shall appoint a number of officers to help conduct the business and operations of the association. Like the board of
director positions, any officers shall be subject to the same terms as bod members per Article VII: Subsection III. The officers of the association are appointed by the board
of directors and are there to assist the BOD in their assigned duties. The association officer positions shall be:
This person shall report directly to the Chairperson of the BOD. They will also make available, upon requests, financial documents or standings to other members of the
BOD upon request. The treasurer will keep a running tally of expenses going out and due or other revenue coming in and generally keep up-to-date the accounting books of the GRA.
- Membership Officer:
This person assist the Membership Chairman in the tasks of keeping the membership rolls and organizing promotions and efforts to expand the membership.
- Benefits Office:
This officer would work with both the Membership Chair and Chairperson of the BOD to coordinate, track and keep organized all membership benefits the association offers
to it members, or that 3rd party businesses or entities offer to qualified members of the association. They will work under the guidance of the Chairperson of the BOD to seek
additional benefits that can be offered to the membership. They must maintain the records of all offered benefits and how those benefits are offered to, and how members of the
association qualify for said benefits.
- Records Officer:
This officer will work under the Records Chair in the maintenance and safe keeping of all association records, data, etc. They will assist all members with access to
said records, be they publicly available through the association website, privately available through the same, or disbursed only upon request by a qualified member.
- Communication Officer:
This officer will oversee the information technology that empowers the association members to communicate with each other and to coordinate the business of the
association. This may include but not be limited to server hosting and the association website, e-mail list functionality, facebook groups and other communication vehicles.
- Meetings Officer:
From the initial conception of this association, the membership recognizes the importance of sharing business experience between GRA members as a means to enhance
operational knowledge and educational opportunities so members will have access to best practices, good vendors and other vital information to better their respective
businesses. A key approach to meeting this objective is for GRA members to be able to meet together, tour other GRA member businesses, and conference together for
presentations and discussions on varying aspects of the business of games retailing. The Meetings Director, under the BOD, shall help to assist members from different
geographical regions in the effort to plan and host such events, seeking for each event to offer the maximum opportunity for attending members to learn from industry piers
and network with both piers and other industry segments.
Article IX: Motions
Any voting member of the GRA may petition the BOD with a motion, to address any issue. Motions may be of any nature, be they the suggestion to pursue information gathering on a new idea, benefit, or means to engage with industry partners, or the addressing of some aspect of GRA operations or a direct rebuttal or motion to oppose some decision passed by the BOD. Any motion presented to the BOD and the voting membership, which gets backed by at least 4 additional voting members, is an issue that the BOD must present to the voting membership for discussion and then be voted on by the BOD at the next available BOD meeting. A vote on a duly backed motion may be tabled for no more than one BOD meeting, if for the express purpose of providing more time for the membership at large to actively discuss the issue.
Article X: Recalls
The membership at large, may, with enough support, petition the BOD to host a recall vote on any sitting member of the BOD, or GRA officer appointed by the BOD. For a recall vote to be forced, a petition for the recall must be signed by no less than 20% of the voting membership. The recall vote must begin no later than 45 days after the petition has been signed and submitted to the BOD and like BOD elections, members shall have a period of between 7 and 10 days for which to present their vote. A recall vote will be successful with 75% of the voting memberships (that cast a vote) voting in favor of the recall. If a recall vote is successful, if the recall is for a BOD seat, that BOD member will step down immediately and the remaining BOD will fill that positon through the usual process for filling a vacant seat, with the obvious restriction that it may not be filled by the BOD member that was recalled. If a recall vote is for an association officer, then the BOD must dismiss that officer from serving any officer role until such time that a new BOD term begins, and they must replace that officer with another chosen appointee.
Article XI: Amendments
Any amendment to the GRA bylaws may only happen after a vote by the voting membership. An petition to change an amendment may happen if 1) 4 out of 5 BOD members vote for such at any scheduled BOD meeting or 2) If 40% or more of the voting membership signs and submits such a petition to the BOD. Like a recall vote, such a petition must lead to a vote on the petition no later than 45 days and that voting period will be within the 7 to 10 day allotted duration. An amendment to the GRA bylaws shall pass if 80% or more of the voting members (that cast a vote) vote in favor of the amendment.
Article XI: Subsection I
- No amendment may be changed if a change to that amendment would cause any aspect of GRA operations to be
conducted in an illegal fashion. All GRA operations, procedures and bylaws must always be in 100% compliance of the law.
Article XI: Subsection II
- If a petition to an amendment calls for the amendment to change in such a way as to contradict, disrupt or render void any other amendment of the association, then the petition must call for a change to all effected bylaws as well. The petition must include the newly written bylaws text that will replace the existing bylaws (or relevant article or article subsection) should the vote on the bylaws change be successful. If any change to the bylaws would necessitate a change to the membership agreement, then the petition must also include the amended text to the membership agreement that will also go into affect if the vote is successful.
Article XI: Subsection III
- New Bylaws. If a petition is for the creation of a new bylaw, if that bylaw may be inacted without cause to change any existing bylaws, then a vote on the text of that bylaw may occur without need to alter any existing bylaws. If, however, the proposed new bylaws would force any change to any existing bylaws or the membership agreement, then it must include all the relevant text to the affected sections per Article XI: Subsection II. For a new bylaw to be introduced, it shall follow the same petition and voting process an amendment to an existing bylaw must follow.
Article XII: Anti-Trust Laws
While it is obvious that any professional association must not break any laws in the conducting of its business, in years and decades past, when assorted GRA members sought to found earlier incarnations of the GRA, they encountered concerns regarding the intent of their would-be association, with expressed fears of the association taking actions that could venture into anti-trust territory. We, the framers of the GRA, will express in our bylaws that the association shall never endorse or campaign for any boycott of any good nor seek to fix any price between its member or engage in any practice that our collaborative nature could engage in which might be illegal. What the GRA will campaign for is equal access to goods, equal opportunity to qualify for select terms, equal enforcement of manufacturer published street dates and other programs and the manufacturers and distributors who engage in the sale of games to GRA members do so on sustainable industry terms. The GRA may publish to its members its efforts at engaging with industry partners on these issues and promote those businesses that provide GRA members the business partnerships they need to flourish while educating GRA members on alternate brands or sources for goods when their businesses are confronted by unhealthy business terms and practices by their vendors and suppliers.
Article XIII: Dissolution
The GRA may be terminated by a vote of the full voting membership. This vote would be conducted as a vote to amend the association bylaws. As such, for a vote of this nature to
happen, it must first come from a petition for a bylaws amendment, followed by a vote to approve said amendment. Any amendment to dissolve the GRA must include the following
elements. A proposal that includes a plan for the GRA to settle any and all liabilities is has remaining and how to disengage from all interactions that could acrue new
liabilities. Any intellectual property owned by the GRA shall first have rights to said intellectual property returned to those persons or entities that initially granted those
rights to the GRA, or if no such entity exists, those rights shall be sold off. Any physical assets and or liquid assets that GRA has shall be sold and oneor more charities shall
be chosen for those assets to be distributed to. At least one person shall be selected to complete the necessary filing to officially dissolve the GRA entity once all assets
have been distributed as above.