Why Start a Chapter?
ATRA Chapters offer Members opportunities they could not realize on a National or International basis. The primary purpose of a chapter is to engage in local activities that directly affect and enhance the transmission rebuilding industry. These activities may include but are not limited to:
- Working with community colleges to help train technicians, and for job placement.
- Local advertising that promotes business for ATRA Members in that Chapter.
- Meeting with Chapter shops to discuss business topics and solutions.
- Provide technical and management training seminars and programs.
- Sponsor other shops in the Chapter area for ATRA Membership.
In general, the ATRA Chapter serves to promote the general welfare of its constituents.
Who May Start up a Chapter?
Any ATRA Rebuilder Member may initiate the start of a Chapter. As mentioned before, funding for a Chapter is primarily from the proceeds of an annual ATRA technical seminar. Having said that, if there’s an annual ATRA technical seminar in your city chances are you have enough local ATRA rebuilder members to form a Chapter, and you’ll have the funding from the seminar to afford Chapter functions and projects.
How do I Start a Chapter?
Each ATRA Chapter must be incorporated, and as such must have a President, Vice President and Secretary. If you have an interest in forming a Chapter, contact other rebuilder members in your area and see if they have an interest. If so, complete the application and submit it to the ATRA International Business Office (IBO). The ATRA Board of Directors will vote on the acceptance of your application. If accepted, you will receive seed money to begin the legal formation of your Chapter, including incorporating your Chapter. ATRA can help with this, and can offer support for just this purpose. Simply complete the Incorporation form and submit it to ATRA. ATRA works with an outside organization that specializes in helping associations and Chapters become incorporated. Once your Chapter is incorporated you’ll want to assign your initial Board of Directors, open a checking account in your Chapter’s name, and adopt Chapter By-Laws.
Who may participate on our Chapter Board?
A good size for a Chapter Board ranges between three and seven members. The members of a Chapter Board must have its majority consisting of ATRA Rebuilder Members. However, a Chapter may invite Supplier Members or even invite past (retired) ATRA Rebuilder Members as part of its Board. Each Chapter should adopt its own By-Laws that cover these and other detail. ATRA can provide "generic” By-Laws for this purpose that you can modify for your specific Chapter.
What are Chapter By-Laws, and what purpose do they serve?
Chapter By-Laws are the "rules” for operating your Chapter. They contain rules for conducting elections, terms for the officers, and loosely put, define how your Chapter will conduct business. Chapter By-Laws are similar to State laws in that they cover items not covered by Federal Law. And like this comparison, Chapter By-Laws do not supersede ATRA By-Laws. For that reason, Chapter By-Laws must be reviewed and accepted by the ATRA Board of Directors prior to being adopted. Moreover, any changes to Chapter By-Laws must also be reviewed and accepted by the ATRA Board of Directors.
Once we have a Chapter formed, what then?
Now it’s time to get to work. Each Chapter should have activities wish to engage in, and goals they wish to accomplish. These activities and goals must be for the betterment of the Chapter constituents, and as such, each Chapter should hold regular meetings in order to find out what activities and goals the constituents think have merit.
How are Chapter Activities Funded?
Funding for ATRA Chapters is primarily paid for by sponsoring seminars. Chapters who participate in ATRA technical seminars are entitled to a portion of the proceeds of that seminar. Chapters may also sponsor other seminars or activities where they may charge a fee to their constituents who want to participate. These activities must be authorized by the ATRA Board of Directors.