MEMBERSHIP GUIDELINES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Members pay annual dues around the first of the year to the Chapter treasury. As of 2011, those dues are $110 for a single membership or $160 for a couple membership (one mailing address). $25 of each membership stays with the local Phoenix/Scottsdale Black Tie Chapter and the remainder goes to the Black Tie International Treasury. These dues are subject to change. The local dues are used to fund website expenses, advertising, and miscellaneous other expenses. The international dues are used to support the quarterly Black Tie newsletter costs and other miscellaneous expenses of the organization.
We have one formal event each year (one in the Spring or one in the Fall) and informal events every month or two throughout the year. Formal weekend events cost roughly $125 to $160 per person which must be paid several weeks prior to the event to secure space at the venue. Due to increased expense to the chapter for late registrations, there is often a significant late fee for formal weekend registration if done after the stated deadline which is normally 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event. Every member must wear a Tuxedo at all formal events. Every formal event is organized by a host committee of 4 to 6 chapter members. The responsibilities of the host committee include choosing the venues, selecting the menus, creating and sending flyers, sending formal invitations, coordinating the details of the weekend, getting centerpieces for the tables, getting nametags, and ensuring that set-up is appropriate. Based on our current membership, each individual would be expected to participate on a host committee roughly every 4-5 years. The host committee is ultimately responsible for paying the bills for the formal weekend. When events are carefully planned by the host committee and a budget is adhered to, all expenses can easily be paid out of the collected funds. A document is available in the MEMBERS section which details Guidelines for Host Committees for Formal Weekends. Of course, if you are not serving on the Host Committee, you simply need to show up and have a great time! The Host Committee is what allows our organization to function smoothly at a low cost to all members. Members are expected to participate on a Host Committee when it is their turn when asked by the President unless they have a valid reason that they cannot (e.g., travel already planned for the entire window during which the formal event will be held, plans to be out of town for an extended period of time, etc.). It is recognized that flexibility is required in assigning members to the correct Host Committee. Thus, if you are contacted by the President to participate on the next Host Committee, and you cannot for valid reasons fulfill this request, please work with the President so that you are assigned to the appropriate Host Committee in the future.
Periodically throughout the year (roughly every month when a Formal Event is not being held excluding holiday periods), we have informal events such as Pot Luck Dinners, Pool Parties, Cocktail Parties, brunches, etc. Each member is expected on occasion to host or join with other members and host an informal event. Generally the hosts provide a venue and drinks and the attendees provide a shared dish.
Attendance at ANY Black Tie event whether formal or informal is limited to chapter members or potential new chapter members, as well as out of town BTCI members. Potential new members may attend only one formal or one informal event as a non-member with the expectation being that they either join after attending or decide that Black Tie is not for them. We do not want to have permanent guests attending our events but never joining. Membership is limited to gay gentlemen. Up to two gay gentlemen guests per membership are permitted to attend a formal event (examples include out of town friends who happen to be visiting). Likewise, guests should be truly guests and not persons who frequently attend but never join. We certainly understand that many among us like to host parties (such as Wine Tasting Parties, New Year’s Eve Parties, etc.) where many or all of the Black Tie membership is invited, as well as other friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, etc. This is certainly acceptable and is a natural outcome of making numerous friends within Black Tie. However, these events CANNOT be advertised as Black Tie events nor be advertised on the Black Tie website. Any exceptions or issues arising from the above need to be discussed with and approved by the President in advance of the event.
We maintain a Board who makes decisions relating to club direction, spending decisions, scheduling of events, resolution of problems, etc. The Board consists of a President, Vice President, and Treasurer / Secretary. All three positions are voting board member positions. Decisions are based on a simple majority. The term for any Board Member is two years. For continuity in leadership, the Vice President will assume the role of President at the end of the current President's term. The position of Treasurer / Secretary can be filled by the incumbent at the conclusion of their two year term. The President will assume the role of President Emeritus following the conclusion of his term. The President Emeritus role will be a non-voting board member position. The President Emeritus position will not have an active role on the board but will be advisory only at the request of the current President. This role is to ensure continuity of experience for managing the chapter. The President and/or Vice President are expected to represent the Phoenix/Scottsdale Chapter at the annual Black Tie International Event. The two year term expiration dates are in May of even numbered years, and a specific date will be selected by the board in advance to allow the current President to fully execute his responsibilities with respect to the Formal Event and also to allow a formal announcement at the BTCI International Event.