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Organization of The IW&FS
BRANCH RESOURCE MANUAL
The International Wine & Food Society is divided into three zones: Europe Africa (EAC), Asia Pacific (APZ) and the Americas. Each zone adopted a corporate structure as of January 2015, and as such, are separate entities, but still maintain strong ties, and work closely with each other, as in the past. The Society's three zones have approximately 6,500 members worldwide, belonging to some 130+ Branches. Each of the zone companies contribute leadership to an International Council of Management. The leadership throughout the Society is voluntary and without compensation.
Each zone has its respective governing board. In the Americas, IWFS Americas Inc. (hereafter IWFS Americas) oversees approximately 4,000 members and 75+ Branches in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the Cayman Islands.
International Council of Management
The International Council of Management is composed of six members from the governing committees of the three zones: three from IWFS Americas, two from Europe Africa and one from Asia Pacific, who meet several times annually. Council members elect a chair, a secretary and a treasurer. Council by way of a consultancy agreement has engaged the services of an Administrator to deal with its administrative needs and those of the Society from its international perspective.
Council convenes twice a year but conducts its business continuously via e-mail, fax and telephone. No member of Council receives any remuneration for his time or personal expenses, including for attending Council meetings.
Every three years, Council hosts an International Festival to which members come from all over the world. In the past twenty-plus years, International Festivals have been held in Auckland, New York City, Puerto Rico, Napa, Hong Kong, Cape Town and Vancouver. The most recent International Festival took place November 11-15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
Council is dedicated to the educational focus of the Society, always a principal goal of our Founder André Simon. In 2015, Council resumed publication of its monographs, authored by renowned experts in culinary and oenological fields.
A global campaign has been initiated to expand membership. In this regard, Council has contributed funds to the exciting website, www.iwfs.org.
The office of the International Secretariat is in London:
IWFS Americas Inc.
IWFS Americas Inc. oversees the Branches and membership throughout the Americas including Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, and the Caribbean. IWFS Americas maintains a number of standing committees, including the Awards, Branch Resources & Membership, Data Retention, E-Communications, Festivals & Events, Finance, Insurance, New Branch Development, Publications, and Scholarship Committees. The responsibilities of these committees are briefly outlined below. All Board Members serve on one or more committees and receive no remuneration for their time or reimbursement of their expenses, including expenses incurred in attending IWFS Americas Inc. meetings.
In addition to the various committees, IWFS Americas has an Executive Committee comprised of the Chair, one or more Vice Chairs, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Publisher, and up to four other directors as may be appointed by the Chair.
While Branches must meet certain criteria to qualify and to maintain their charters, they are for the most part autonomous. The core objectives of IWFS Americas are to assist its Branches in their operations whenever needed, to provide and enhance membership benefits while conducting IWFS Americas operations in a fiscally disciplined manner and to expand IW&FS membership principally by increasing the number of Branches in the Americas.
Please see what IWFS Americas committees do below and in the following chapters.
This committee approves awarding IWFS Americas Silver and Gold Medallions, the André Simon Bronze Medal (which is also awarded by Council), and encourages the awarding of Certificates of Appreciation to Branch members and other deserving individuals in the fields of wine and food.
All Branches are strongly encouraged to recognize their deserving members with the IWFS Americas Silver Medallion for outstanding service over at least five years. Likewise, with the André Simon Bronze Medal for those members who have been previously awarded the IWFS Americas Inc. Gold Medallion and have served the Branch in an outstanding manner over at least ten years.
A Certificate of Appreciation may be given to a Branch member or third party--such as a restaurant chef—for a very special achievement.
Please see Chapter 8 of this Manual for details and how to order medals and certificates.
Branch Resources & Membership Committee
This committee provides support to Branches. Its functions include aiding Branches on membership questions, overseeing Directors’ contacts with Branch leadership, and disseminating concepts for events that have been successful at other Branches. The committee strives to be available to Branch leaders to assist them in improving Branch vitality. For more information regarding Branch operations, please see Chapter 2 on Organization, Chapter 3 on Membership, Chapter 4 on Finances and Dues, Chapter 5 on Wine Cellars, Chapter 6 on Events, Chapter 10 on Inter-branch Relations and Chapter 13 on Independent Membership.
Data Retention Committee
This committee is responsible for aggregating and preserving information of legacy and legal importance to IWFS Americas, specifically in one repository, the IWFS Americas Inc. Archives. The Archives are maintained in multiple locations for robust backup redundancy and include such items as minutes of meetings, committee reports, photos of important persons, tax returns, and newsletters. The information is preserved in widely used formats, such as pdf, jpg, doc, and xls.
Festivals & Events Committee
This committee is responsible for organizing regional festivals and gatherings sponsored or overseen by IWFS Americas in the Americas. On rotation with the other Zones, IWFS Americas assists in organizing an International Festival under the auspices of Council every few years. IWFS Americas also organizes Regional Festivals, most recently in Santa Barbara, California and Portland, Oregon. The next Regional Festival will take place in 2017 in Sonoma. IWFS Americas, through the committee, offers other such delightful events as cruises (Rhone River 2014 & Danube 2016), as well as gourmet Great Weekends (Puerta Vallarta 2013 & New Orleans 2015, as well as the upcoming GW in October 2016 in Niagara, Ontario, Canada). Members of all Branches should take advantage of these regional and international events. They will find the rewards immensely satisfying.
This committee is responsible for conserving IWFS Americas Inc. assets, recommending investments, preparing budgets, reviewing quarterly financial statements, and reporting on the financial position of IWFS Americas to the entire Board. The IWFS Americas Treasurer, who is a member of the committee, is responsible for keeping accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements and preparing quarterly financial reports.
The Society maintains public liability insurance policies applicable to all its branches and members worldwide. The primary responsibility of IWFS Americas Inc. Insurance Committee is to arrange the coverage applicable in North America, a summary of which is contained in Chapter 7 of this manual entitled Public Liability Insurance. The committee's chairman also acts on behalf of the EAC for the purpose of arranging the coverage applicable to the rest of the world outside of North America, thus ensuring that the Society does have comprehensive worldwide coverage. The provision of public liability insurance coverage is a significant benefit which individual branches could not provide for themselves.
New Branch Development Committee
This is a proactive committee which receives inquiries and leads regarding the formation of prospective new Branches and contacts the organizers to obtain pertinent qualifications. If the prospects meet IWFS Americas Inc. guidelines, a New Branch Kit is sent and committee members keep in touch with them and their progress. During this time, they help resolve any questions and make suggestions. When the prospects complete the paperwork and are ready to proceed, the application is submitted to IWFS Americas for consideration. Upon approval by IWFS Americas, they are notified and begin their two-year probationary status. After two years, if they have functioned according to the rules established by IWFS Americas, they are given their permanent charter. For details on New Branch Formation, please see Chapter 9.
The purpose of this committee is to facilitate the electronic means of communications so as to enhance the functioning of the IW&FS and the enjoyment of its members. The committee’s primary responsibility is improving and maintaining The IW&FS website, www.iwfs.org. Please see Chapter 12 for details.
Wine, Food & Friends Editorial Board
This committee is responsible for the publication and distribution of the IWFS Americas Inc. quarterly, Wine, Food & Friends. Its goal is to provide a quality publication to our 4,000 members in the Americas, with unique, previously unpublished articles, which may cover interesting and educational topics on wine, food, travel, or other topics which may be of interest to our members. For details regarding contributing to Wine, Food & Friends, please see Chapter 11.
In 1993, The International Wine & Food Society in America, Inc. (the “Foundation”) was formed to fund scholarship grants to highly qualified students in the fields of Oenology, Viticulture and the Culinary Arts. In May 2015, the Foundation formally changed its name to IWFS Foundation, Inc. The role of this committee is to develop criteria for the Foundation’s scholarships and to oversee the procedures for granting them. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible for US taxpayers. For details on the granting of scholarships and information on how to donate, please see Chapter 14 of this Manual.
Rose Clemson occupies this important position and is responsible for collecting dues from the Branches in the Americas, maintaining Branch and membership records, issuing membership certificates and certificates of appreciation, filling Regalia Orders, overseeing registration for Festivals held in the Americas, answering inquiries from members and prospective members.