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Revised March, 2017

      1. NAME
        The name of this organization shall be Asheville Business Leaders Association, also known as ABLA.

      2. PURPOSE
        To provide a means for ambitious sales and service oriented people in this community to make more sales more easily. This is accomplished by meeting together weekly at breakfast to exchange information about old and new business in this area. Through the meetings, members become acquainted with other sales and service persons in non-competitive lines. Members are then able to recommend leading products or services to each other, as well as utilize the goods and services represented by fellow club members. Being able to direct customers to the right source, members also enhance customer loyalty and ultimately increase their own business.

        1. This is an exclusive club limited to reputable sales and/or service oriented people in non-competitive lines. Membership is by invitation only and any prospective new member must be approved by the Membership Committee. A prospective member may be a guest no more than one time, at which time application for membership must be made. The prospective member must then wait to be notified of acceptance or rejection by the Membership Committee before he or she may attend another meeting.
        2. The procedure for new membership shall be as follows:
          1. A member should contact the Membership Committee prior to inviting a prospective member, so that the current roster may be reviewed for possible conflicts.
          2. Any member wishing to sponsor a new member must bring that prospective member to a general meeting prior to filling out an application.
          3. If that individual wishes to join the Asheville Business Leaders Association, an application must be submitted to the President with membership fee.
          4. The application will be presented to the General Membership for discussion regarding conflict or character at the next two meetings after said submittal.
          5. If there is no conflict with any existing member during this period, the member will be admitted. The Membership Committee will notify the new member of acceptance, and attendance requirements will begin at the meeting immediately after notification. At that time, all membership dues and prorated meal charges for the current quarter are due and payable.
        3. Membership may be canceled for any one of the following reasons:
          1. Missing three (3) consecutive meetings without cause, or missing four (4) meetings without cause within a two (2) month period.
            1. Absence for cause shall include: out of town, illness, business commitment, and such other reasons as may be deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee.
            2. Absence for cause must be called-in prior to, or within 24 hours after, the meeting. Prior to the meeting, calls may be directed to any club member who will be attending the meeting, or the club's message line. After the meeting, calls should be directed to the Membership Committee Chairperson or Membership Committee Members.
          2. Failing to pay dues, if any, within thirty (30) days after funds are due and payable.
          3. Failing to pay for meals billed in advance, if any, within thirty (30) days after funds are due and payable. Any exception to this arrangement will be made by the Executive board on an individual basis.
          4. Failing to meet requirements as stated in "Responsibilities of Members".
        4. The specific principal business of a proposed individual shall not conflict with the specific principal business of a Member in Good Standing. The opinion of The Membership Committee as to whether or not a conflict exists shall be final and conclusive.
        5. A Member in Good Standing may propose a co-worker or associate as an Affiliate Member, so long as they remain associates and non-competitive. At such time as the Affiliate Member becomes a competitor of the Member in Good Standing, the Affiliate Member understands that a resignation is in order. In the event that the Affiliate Member changes classifications and is not in conflict with an already classified Member in Good Standing, the said Affiliate Member shall, after review and approval by the Membership Committee, become a regular Member in Good Standing under the new classification.
        6. It is to be noted that the individual, not the business, is the member. In the event that a Member in Good Standing changes classifications and becomes competitive or in conflict with another Member in Good Standing or Affiliate Member, said individual who made the change understands that a resignation is in order. In the event that a Member in Good Standing changes classification to one not in conflict with any other Member in Good Standing or Affiliate Member, said individual shall retain membership under the new category and declare the original classification open. When such classification is declared open, and there is an Affiliate Member in that classification, said Affiliate shall automatically become the Member in Good Standing in that category. The Affiliate Member understands that all membership dues, if any, are to be paid, and that all rights and privileges accorded to regular Members in Good Standing are granted. It is understood, however, that the Affiliate category cannot become conflicting and competitive to the Member in Good Standing in that classification.
        7. There shall only be one (1) Affiliate Member in any one classification.

      4. DUES
        • Dues, if any, shall be set by the Executive Board of ABLA and approved by a majority vote of the General Membership.
        • Dues, if any, shall be paid quarterly within 30 days of invoice.

      5. MEETINGS
        Weekly breakfast meetings will be held on Wednesdays (or other day), at a place designated by the Executive Board. Coffee and fellowship will begin at 7:45 A.M. The exchange of leads will start immediately after breakfast. Either a member or guest speaker will make a twenty (20) minute presentation as a Program. The member shall explain his or her product or service and tell how fellow members can best help. Each meeting will adjourn promptly by 9:00 A.M.
      1. Shall attend Wednesday morning breakfast meetings.
      2. Shall provide as many leads as possible which will be of benefit to fellow members.
      3. Shall, Whenever possible, recommend a fellow club member to a customer.
      4. Shall try to utilize goods and services represented by club members in their own daily business.
      5. Shall bring guests, and follow up by actively soliciting their membership.

      1. President

Shall preside at Wednesday morning breakfast meetings. Shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee and Executive Board. Shall be responsible for appointing committee chairpersons and be the overall coordinator of the club's activities.

      1. Vice President

Shall assist the President when necessary, and act in the absence of the President. Shall serve as Ex-Officio member of all committees. (Effective beginning with the February, 1996 election)

      1. Secretary

Shall keep a record of the Minutes of the Meetings, and shall aid in any necessary correspondence.

      1. Treasurer

Shall have custody of any and all funds of the organization. Shall receive in and pay out funds as directed by the Officers and Directors, and shall report the statement of account at the first meeting of each month.

        • The Treasurer shall prepare a bill for annual dues, if any, which shall be presented to each member no later than the last week of December each year.
        • The Treasurer shall prepare a bill for meals on a calendar quarterly basis which shall be presented to each member for collection one (1) week prior to each quarter.
        1. Membership

      The Membership Committee shall maintain a record of membership and keep a record of all filled categories. This Committee shall be in charge of classification conflicts. The decision of the Membership Committee pertaining to Membership Applications and Classification conflicts shall be final and conclusive.

          • The Membership Committee shall keep an attendance record and notify members who are approaching non-fulfillment of membership requirements. Non-compliance of membership requirements may result in immediate removal from the organization. Once a member has been dropped, said member's name shall be removed from the Membership Roster, and the category shall be declared open.
          • The Chair of the Membership Committee shall appoint as many members to the committee as may be necessary to meet the responsibilities of this committee.
          • The Membership Committee shall notify new applicants of their acceptance or rejection of membership.
        1. Program

      The Program Committee shall be responsible for providing suitable weekly programs, including, but not limited to, current members discussing their businesses. The primary purpose of the organization is to hear from its members about their goods and services, however, outside speakers may be considered when their subject matter is of interest to the membership.

        1. Public Relations

      The Public Relations Committee shall be responsible for promoting the interest and good will of ABLA through media and other public sources. The Public Relations Committee shall send flowers or other appropriate gift in the case of serious illness or death of a club member or his or her immediate family member. In addition, this committee shall send cards in other instances, as appropriate.

        1. Parliamentarian and By-Laws

      The Parliamentarian shall interpret the By-Laws, and advise the presiding officer on questions of procedure in transacting the business of the organization efficiently and impartially. The Parliamentarian shall serve as Chair of the By-Laws Committee.

      1. E. Nominating Committee

      The Nominating Committee shall consist of no fewer than three (3), nor more than five (5) members. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President, and shall be a standing committee for the remainder of the President's term. The responsibilities of this Committee shall be as follows:

      • To place in nomination the name of a member for any vacancies that may occur during the year. After a vacancy is declared, this Committee shall convene and shall report its results within two (2) weeks from the time said vacancy was declared. Further nominations shall be called for from the floor, and the formal vote shall be held immediately thereafter.
      • To meet the first (1st) week in February and present a full slate of Officers at the second (2nd) meeting in February. The slate shall be read at both the second (2nd) and third (3rd) meetings in February with a call for additional nominations.

      1. The Executive Committee shall consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Parliamentarian shall serve as an Ex-Officio, non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
      2. No fewer than three (3) members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum at an Executive Committee Meeting.

      1. The Executive Board shall consist of the Executive Committee, all standing Committee Chairpersons, and all former Presidents of the organization who continue membership in this organization.
      2. The Executive Board shall meet as necessary. Meetings of the Executive Board shall be called by the President, or by any two (2) members of the Executive Committee.
      3. The Executive Board shall have the power to conduct the business and make policy of the Organization, so long as the same does not conflict with these By-Laws.
      4. No fewer than five (5) members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum at an Executive Board meeting.


At the fourth (4th) meeting in February, the General Membership, by ballot and by majority vote, shall elect the Officers of this organization. All newly-elected Officers shall assume their respective offices immediately after installation. The Installation of Officers shall be held at a separate banquet no later than seven (7) days after said election.


These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the membership present. Said proposed amendment shall be submitted to the members in writing, at a regular meeting one (1) week prior to the voting on said amendment.


This Organization shall be governed by these By-Laws and the Roberts Rules of Order, revised.



The following policy was established by unanimous vote of the membership and pertains to III. MEMBERSHIP QUALIFICATIONS (F.): Should a member become unemployed, said member shall have thirty (30) days from the date of unemployment within which to find employment in the same or a non-competitive category. Failing to do so, a resignation will be in order.


January, 1987, Revised November, 1993, Revised June, 1995

Upon receiving a new application for membership, the Membership Committee will review the application for possible conflicts with any existing member. If there appears to be a conflict, the committee will notify the member whose category is in question, and clear any conflicts with that member. If this member feels there is a conflict, in any way, with their category, the application will be rejected and the applicant will be notified that his/her name will be kept on file for such time that the category becomes open. If the member in question does not object, the application will be brought up to the general membership for discussion at the next meeting. At this time, if a general member has any objections to the application, they may make these objections known to the Membership Committee, after the meeting, for additional review. All objections and possible conflicts will be cleared by the second (2nd) meeting after the application is submitted. At this time the general membership will vote on the applicant. The application will not be accepted if ten percent (10%) or more of the membership present votes "no".

THE 75% RULE November, 1993

While it is the purpose of Asheville Business Leaders Association to promote members' business by sharing information, and it is the intention of the membership to maintain a composition of non- competing sales people, the following test shall be applied to potential applicants for membership:

  • Is the applicant involved in sales on a daily basis, or does he/she have first-hand access to information concerning local and/or regional sales and marketing conditions as well as specific customer information that may be helpful to other members?
  • Is the applicant involved in a business that does not compete with any member's CATEGORY, which is the business area representing at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the member's income?
  • Does the occupational CATEGORY for which application is made represent at least seventy- five percent (75%) of the applicant's income? If all of these questions can be answered "yes", the membership committee shall accept the application for presentation to the membership. The application will then be dealt with as provided in the association by-laws.


The regular breakfast meeting shall not be held on weeks when the meeting falls either on, or one (1) day before or after a major holiday. Major holidays for this purpose shall include The Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

Weather Policy

If Asheville City Schools are closed due to inclimate weather, ABLA will not meet.