The following Frequently Answered Questions will provide current and prospective members with most of what they need to know about NJBA membership. A PDF copy of NJBA’s Membership Guidelines, which incorporates most of the following, is available by clicking here.
What is New Jersey Business Assembly?
NJBA is a member-driven organization with the mission to have its members assist each other through business referrals, other introductions of value, and assistance from their own area of knowledge or expertise. NJBA generally seeks to invite business owners and/or senior executives of businesses to become members. Applications from others are welcome; their applications will be scrutinized for demonstrated networking skills and experience as well as their already having a robust network.
How do I get invited to an NJBA meeting?
Contact one of the members listed on the membership page, indicate your interest in NJBA, and ask if the member would be your sponsor to attend a monthly NJBA meeting. The member will submit your name, company name and contact information to the NJBA Board of Directors who will confirm that there is no conflict between your business and that of any of the members.
What must I do to become a member?
To become a member, you must (1) attend at least three meetings within the span of 5 consecutive NJBA dinner meetings (excluding NJBA’s Winter & Summer Socials), (2) and within the same time period, meet with at least seven total members of your choice (other than your sponsor) of which 3 or more must be members of the Board, (3) achieve a majority vote by the Board of Directors, (4) and promptly pay the dues upon notification of acceptance for membership; “promptly” is defined as prior to the NJBA meeting following notification of acceptance for membership. An announcement to the members of a new member’s admission will not be made until all of the foregoing conditions are satisfied.
What do you have to do to remain a member?
At a minimum, you must:
- Be professional, ethical, and enthusiastic
- Contribute to the group to the best of your ability
- Meet the attendance requirements (attending at least 9 of 12 monthly meetings per NJBA year: September through August
- Have at least one meeting with one or more members per month.
What other requirements are there for members and their guests?
NJBA operates as a closed network. Attendance and history with the group will determine which person becomes or remains a member. If and when a member leaves the group, that industry position will then be open to previous guests as well as new guests until the group has voted in a new member for that industry position.
What is the attire for meetings?
NJBA wants to maintain a professional meeting environment. To accomplish this, we ask that our members (and guests) dress in appropriate business attire (defined as business casual).
What is NJBA’s Guest Policy?
When a guest attends an NJBA meeting:
Guests should bring 35 cards to the meeting to distribute to the attendees.
Guests will be asked to introduce themselves and their company and their position within the company during the Guest Introduction Section of the meeting. There will be a 2-minute time limit for each guest to provide his or her introduction. At a minimum, guests should also provide the following information as part of their introduction:
- The age, size and location of their company
- A description of the service(s) or product(s) that the company provides
- The types of client or customer that the guest serves
- What the guest hopes to obtain from the NJBA
- What types of referrals the guest can provide to NJBA members
- What other networking groups similar to NJBA they belong to
A guest must be present at the meeting to be considered for membership at that meeting (i.e., after satisfying other membership requirements).
There is a second guest category known as “Colleagues.” Colleagues are guests who will not be considered for, or are not interested in pursuing, membership. There will be a charge of $50 for attending the meeting. A Colleague will be permitted to attend only one meeting unless the sponsor receives prior written consent of the Board allowing the Colleague to attend a second meeting. Such fee will be charged to the member who sponsored the Colleague and will be due prior to the meeting which the Colleague attends. The member has the option of requesting reimbursement from the guest or absorbing the cost themselves. A Colleague may be, but not be limited to, any of the following people but may not, in any event, be in a business category that conflicts with a business category currently occupied by one of our members – a person who is:
– Interested in attending a meeting but is not interested in being considered for membership for any reason.
– Either in a category that is not appropriate for membership and/or has a service or product that might be useful to our members.
– In a category that is appropriate for membership but is not in a position in their company to be considered for membership (e.g. not an owner, senior executive or high-level producer)
– An employee of a member or the member’s company and is attending a meeting along with a member (i.e., 2 people from the same company at one meeting)
– A former high-level executive or business owner who is currently exploring new opportunities
What is NJBA”S Absence and Lateness Policy?
The following is issued to provide clarity to all members on NJBA’s policy with regard to absences and lateness. This policy will be strictly adhered to and each member should make sure they are fully aware of the requirements set forth below.
Any member who misses three (3) of the twelve (12) NJBA meetings in any membership year (September – August), for any reason, shall be subject to having their membership terminated at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors.
Since each member is permitted to miss two meetings per membership year without regard to reason, there is no such thing as an “excused absence” for absences in excess of these two whether for illness, work obligations, vacation or any other reason.
Although the reasons for an absence do not excuse the absence, the reasons will be one of the factors considered by the Board in determining whether the membership of the member who is absent three or more times within the membership year period should be terminated. Other factors that the Board will take into account include, but are not limited to, the length of membership, the level of involvement and activity of the member in the various aspects of NJBA (including referrals, bringing guests to meetings, sharing information and taking responsibility for activities within NJBA).
The Board will also consider any late arrivals or times the member has left early in connection with its decision.
Late arrivals (after members introductions are complete) and early departures (prior to the close of the membership meeting) totaling three in any membership year period in and of themselves (even without any “full” absences) may be cause for termination of membership, at the sole discretion of the Board. Members are expected to attend each meeting from start to finish.
If a member’s membership is terminated pursuant to this policy, or if a member resigns during the membership year, there shall be no refund of any portion of the membership fee.
A member will be permitted to have one official alternate from their company who can attend the meeting in their absence. However, the alternate will only be permitted to attend two meetings per year in lieu of the member.
24 Hour Notice Requirement: Members who are going to miss a meeting are required to notify the facilitator at least 24 hours prior to the meeting date and time (e.g., 6:00pm on Tuesday for a 6:00pm Wednesday meeting). A $50 charge will be paid by any member who fails to provide this notice to the facilitator.
What is NJBA’s Complaint and Comment Policy?
Any member who has any questions, comments, concerns, observations, or complaints pertaining to the functioning of the group will address those concerns to a Board member. We strongly encourage members to put complaints, comments, concerns and specific suggestions for meeting improvements or issues with the Board’s governance in writing. The Board Member who has been contacted by a member will in turn present those issues raised to the Board for evaluation and decision rendering. Once a position is arrived at by the Board, the contacted Board member will apprise the member accordingly. This procedure has been adopted to address all member concerns in a professional and timely fashion and in an effort to streamline the length of time allotted to the general monthly meetings.
What are NJBA’s annual dues for members?
Annual dues for the period of September 1st to August 31st are $1,200.00 and are due upon receipt of invoice issued in September of each year. If dues remain unpaid by the start of the October meeting, the member shall be charged a $100.00 late fee and shall not be entitled to attend the October meeting. This will be counted as an absence for such member. If the dues are not paid before the start of the November meeting, the member’s membership shall be terminated.
Membership for the first year will be paid in full, regardless of when the member joins. During the second year of membership the dues will be prorated to reflect the overpayment in year 1. There will be a one-time administration fee of $200.00 charged to every new member for the first membership year, hat Wof when the member joins.
Dues will not be refunded if a member is terminated or resigns during a dues year.
What are the fees for guests and alternates?
When a member brings a guest who is a prospective member to a meeting, there is no charge for attendance at the first meeting. There will be a charge of $50 for each additional meeting the guest attends prior to being accepted as a member. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to pay NJBA at or prior to each meeting; it is the sponsor’s decision whether to seek reimbursement from the guest.
If a member has an official alternate who attends a meeting in the member’s absence, the alternate can do so at no cost. The alternate will be charged $50 for each meeting s/he attends where the member is also present. Payment by the member is due at or prior to the meeting in question. In no event can both member and alternate attend more than 2 meetings together in any membership year.
What comprises a member’s introduction at a meeting?
Members who have been members more than 9 months will be limited to 30 seconds, during which the member should introduce themselves by stating their name, their company name and position/title, and the company’s business in 10 words or less. Within the 30-second limit, members should also voice their thanks to other members who have provided business referrals, other introductions of value, and assistance from their own area of knowledge or expertise since the previous meeting.
New members (those who have been members 9 months or less) will be provided up to 2 minutes both to introduce themselves and give their thank you’s as above and also expand the description of their business to better familiarize members with the nature of their services and products.
What are the requirements for membership on NJBA’s Board of Directors?
The Board of Directors shall consist of 5 members of the group. In the event of a Board vacancy the remaining members of the Board shall identify and invite another NJBA member to join the Board. To be considered for Board membership, a members must have been a member for at least 2 full years prior to being invited.