Manual of Operations

​Approved October 2017

I. ADMINISTRATION & GOVERNANCE
A. Management Structure
B. Nomination and Election of Officers
C. Officer Terms
D. Officer Responsibilities
1. Chair
2. Chair-elect
3. Secretary
4. Treasurer
5. Members-at-Large
6. Strategic Planning and Nominations Chair
7. Immediate Past Chair
E. Appointed and Ex-Officio Members of the Executive Committee
1. Counselors
2. Student Representatives
3. Appointed Executive Committee Members
4. Ex-Officio Executive Committee Members
F. Management Company Executive Vice President

G. Funds/Contracts
1. Handling of Funds
2. Management Company Travel Expenses
3. Executive Committee Meeting
4. Contracts
H. Membership
1. Privileges
2. Due Date and Collection
I. Executive Committee Voting
1. Electronic Votes
2. Votes During an Executive Committee Meeting
II. COMMITTEES
A. Executive Committee
B. Standing Committees
1. Finance Committee
2. Conference Committee
a. Scientific Committee
3. Strategic Planning Committee
4. Nominations Committee
C. Appointed Committees
1. Communications Committee
2. Professional Development Committee
3. Outreach Committee
a. Beyond Foods Committee
4. Connectors Program Committee
5. Other Committees 
III. MEETINGS
A. General Policies
B. Conference
1. Time and Place
2. Logistics
C. Regional Meetings
D. Other Society Meetings 
IV. SPONSORSHIPS, AWARDS AND FUNDRAISING
A. Sponsorships
1. Founding Sponsorships
2. Individual Founding Sponsorships
B. Conference Sponsorships
C. Named Conference Awards
D. Fundraising 
V. RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
A. Policy Guidelines
B. Use of Society of Sensory Professionals Name and/or Logo
C. Society Journal 

  
I. ADMINISTRATION & GOVERNANCE

 
I.A. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE

The Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) was created as a 501 (c) (3) organization on March 27, 2008 in the state of New Jersey.  The headquarters of the SSP is currently located at 3340 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan MN 55121, with operations under the management of Scientific Societies, an association management cooperative.
 
I.B. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS

The Nominations Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates (preferably two per position) for each office to be filled. The offices to be filled are Chair-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, three (3) Members-at-Large and Strategic Planning and Nominations (SPAN) Chair. The Nominations Committee shall determine the eligibility of each candidate and shall determine the willingness of the candidate to serve if elected. This committee is led by the SPAN Chair. See section I.D.6 for more details.
 
Prior to presenting the slate to the SSP membership, the Nominations Committee shall report the proposed slate of candidates to the Officers for a vote of approval.
 
The Nominations Committee shall report its slate of candidates to the membership no later than thirty (30) days prior to the election.
 
Additional candidates may be nominated by petition with the signatures of twenty-five (25) Professional members, provided:
1) the petitioners have confirmed the candidate's eligibility,
2) the petitioners have determined the candidate's willingness to serve if elected, and
3) the petition is received by the Nominations Chair no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the election.  
The election will be held bi-annually. The election ballot will close approximately one (1) month prior to the SSP bi-annual meeting.
 
I.C. OFFICER TERMS
1) The terms of Officers shall be two (2) years beginning at the bi-annual meeting.

2) The Chair, Chair-elect, Past Chair and Members-at-Large may not serve consecutive terms.

3) The Secretary, Treasurer, and Strategic Planning and Nominations Chair shall be limited to two (2) consecutive terms.  
I.D. OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES

I.D.1. Chair
The Chair shall:
1) Preside at all meetings of the Society, of the Officers, and of the Executive Committee.

2) Appoint all committees, apart from the standing committees, as necessary to address the tasks of the society and designate the Chair of each.

3) Shall appoint up to four (4) Counselors, two (2) Student Representatives and any ex-officio members of the Executive Committee necessary to fulfill the needs of the society.

4) Communicate regularly with committees and membership to provide updates on actions, changes in strategy, etc.

5) Communicate regularly with society management staff.

6) Perform other duties which are associated with the office of Chair as assigned in the by-laws or created in partnership with other SSP Officers.  
I.D.2. Chair-elect
The Chair-elect shall:
1) Develop and coordinate Regional Meetings (see section III.C for details).
2) Perform such other duties as the Chair may delegate.

3) Perform the duties of the Chair in the event of the Chair's absence.

4) Fill the unexpired term of Chair in the event of the Chair's resignation or inability to complete his or her term.  
I.D.3. Secretary
The Secretary shall:
1) Keep a record of the proceedings of all general and executive officer meetings.

2) Cross reference current agenda with previous minutes for continuity of topics discussed.

3) Keep Executive Committee reports on file electronically in collaboration with the society’s management company.
 
4) Administer electronic voting in conjunction with the management company of both general membership and executive committee as necessary.

5) Maintain the record in conjunction with the management company of the results of all ballots. 
I.D.4. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall:
1) Manage the funds in accordance with the approved policies of the society.

2) Review financial statements as prepared by the management company and request financial analysis of programs as needed.

3) Report on the financial condition of the SSP to the Officers on a regular basis and present the annual budget for approval by the Executive Committee.

4) Review Quarterly and Annual Financial Reports prepared by the management company and have regular communication with the Officers, Executive Vice President and other appropriate staff. 

5) Approve the filing of the Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service within five and one-half (5 1/2) months after the end of the SSP's fiscal year (from January 1st to December 31st inclusive).   
I.D.5 Members-at-Large
The Members-at-Large shall:
1) Serve as committee chair when requested by the Chair, including such committees as listed in section II.B. 

2) Perform other duties as requested by the Chair.  
I.D.6. Strategic Planning and Nominations Chair
The SPAN Chair shall:
1) Chair a Strategic Planning Committee to provide guidance for future activities of the SSP.
a. Appoint (with advice of the Chair) committee members necessary to fulfill the committee work. It is recommended that appointees include members with prior Executive Committee experience.

b. Communicate committee activities on a regular basis to the Executive Committee.
2) Chair a Nominations Committee to manage the nominations and ballot development per section I.B.
a. Appoint (with advice of the Chair) at least three (3) committee members. It is strongly encouraged that at least one of the committee members has served as a past Chair of the society.

b. Communicate committee activities to the Executive Committee following the timing as listed in section I.B.   
I.D.7. Immediate Past Chair
The Immediate Past Chair shall:
1) Serve as the Conference Chair of the next bi-annual conference following succession to Past Chair position.

2) Appoint (with advice of the Chair) committee members necessary to fulfill the committee work, for example, Scientific Chair, Sponsorship Chair, Student  Event Chair, etc.
 
1.E. APPOINTED AND EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1.E.1. Counselors
Counselors have served on the executive committee prior to being selected as Counselors, ideally as a society chair, strategic planning chair, conference planning chair, scientific chair, or as a founding member of the society. Counselors serve at the discretion of the Chair and it is recommended they serve no more than two consecutive terms. Counselors are non-voting members of the Executive Committee.
 
The Counselors shall:
1) Serve as advisors to the Chair, to the Executive Committee and to other committees as requested.
2) Maintain a historical link and perspective for planning.
3) Serve as liaisons to external entities.
4) Attend conference calls and annual planning sessions as requested.  
1.E.2. Student Representatives
 
Student representatives shall serve staggered two (2) year terms, one (1) representative beginning in even numbered years and one (1) representative beginning in odd numbered years. Each must be a student during a minimum of eighteen (18) months of their term. Students are non-voting members of the Executive Committee. The
 
Student Representatives shall:
1) Provide a student perspective for the SSP executive committee.
2) Bring issues of importance to student members to the committee.
3) Plan activities to promote student involvement and interests, including a meeting of student members at the SSP bi-annual conference.  
1.E.3. Appointed Executive Committee Members
 
Appointed executive committee members are to lead a specific initiative and shall serve long enough to fulfill the committee purpose, generally not more than two (2) consecutive terms. However, in cases where continuity or a specific technical skill is important, the elected officers may override this limit with a two-thirds (2/3) majority. They are non-voting members of the Executive Committee.
 
Appointed Committee Members shall:
1) Lead the initiative assigned by the Chair.
2) Appoint additional members to assist with their assignment, with advice of the Chair.
3) Update the Executive Committee on their assigned committee activities.
1.E.4. Ex-officio Executive Committee Members
 
These individuals are invited by the Chair to attend Executive Committee meetings when appropriate to provide broader perspective and identify synergies. They serve as ex-officio members by virtue of their leadership position in other organizations, and typically include the current ASTM E-18 Chair and the Journal of Sensory Studies editor. Ex-officio members are:
1) Not required to be SSP members.
2) Not subject to term limitations.
3) Not voting members of the Executive Committee. 
1.F. MANAGEMENT COMPANY EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

The Executive Vice President represents the management company and shall:
1) Maintain the headquarters of the Society, and shall purchase, hire, or contract for such services, supplies and equipment as are necessary for its operation and within the limitations of the budget.

2) Work closely with the Executive Committee to promote the vision of Society of Sensory Professionals.

3) Make an annual report to the Executive Committee, including the operations of the office. The office of Executive Vice President shall carry a surety bond (blanket dishonesty coverage on all employees) always equal to or greater than the maximum amount permitted in the operating fund.

4) Delegate any and all of the above to members of the management company staff when circumstances dictate.  
I.G. FUNDS AND CONTRACTS

I.G.1. Handling of Funds

The funds of the Society shall be deposited only in banks covered by Federal Deposit Insurance or in investment securities approved by the Executive Committee. There shall be two or more accounts:
1) A deposit/checking account into which all monies received by the Society shall be deposited. This account shall be an interest-bearing account. Transfers from this account to regular checking accounts shall be made by individuals designated by the Officers.

2) A checking account for all operating expenditures shall be established. Deposits into this account shall be made by transfer from the general deposit account. The operating account is a checking account established to pay ongoing obligations of the Society. The account shall maintain only the balance required to cover checks outstanding. Checks drawn on this account shall be signed by the Executive Vice President or an alternate on the staff approved by the Executive Vice President. Individuals signing checks will not have responsibility for reconciliation.

3) Cash reserves of the Society should be deposited in commercial banks and/or savings and loan associations of good reputation and having substantial holdings in government securities or other investments as approved by the Executive Committee. Cash reserves of the Society as well as other funds may be pooled with those of its administrative sister societies, to maximize accrued interest.

4) In accordance with Minnesota’s enacted Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) Society of Sensory Professionals requires the preservation of fair value of the gift as of the gift date as donor-restricted endowment funds absent donor stipulations to the contrary.  Thus, Society of Sensory Professionals classifies as permanently restricted net assets (a) the original value of the gifts donated to the permanent endowment and (b) the original value of subsequent gifts to the permanent endowment.  The remaining portion of the donor-restricted endowment fund that is not classified in permanently restricted net assets is classified as temporarily restricted net assets until those amounts are appropriated for expenditure.  From time to time, the fair value of assets associated with individual donor-restricted endowment funds may fall below the level that the donors require Society of Sensory Professionals to retain as a fund of perpetual duration.  In accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, deficiencies of such nature are reported in unrestricted net assets.

5) The Society shall maintain a liability insurance policy. This policy is to cover the headquarters office, the meetings of the Officers, the SSP Conference, and any special meetings of the Society. 
I.G.2. Management Company Travel Expenses

Travel by the Executive Vice President and staff shall be approved by the Officers as part of the annual budget. The Executive Vice President must approve and initial the expense accounts of all staff members. Likewise, the Executive Vice President must file expense accounts and have them approved by the Treasurer.

I.G.3. Executive Committee Meeting

Elected Officers will be compensated for travel to not more than one planning meeting in non-conference years as needed and supported by the Executive Committee and Society budget.  This is for coach travel, standard hotel room, and reasonable expenses for one night. Other members of the Executive Committee are encouraged to attend but will not be compensated for travel expenses. 
 
I.G.4. Contracts

The Officers may authorize any agent or agents of the Society, in addition to the officers so authorized by the bylaws, to enter any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Society and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.  Typically, the Officers request that all contracts be signed by the staff of the management company on behalf of the Society. 
I.H. MEMBERSHIP
I.H.1. Privileges
1) All Professional members shall enjoy the privileges of the SSP such as: the right to vote and hold elective office, reduced Conference fees, access to online conference presentations, online access to the journals, and members-only area of the website.

2) Student members shall enjoy the same privileges as Professional members except the right to hold elected office. 
I.H.2. Due Date and Collection

Membership renewal dues will be collected annually and membership will be in effect for twelve months. If a candidate is re-applying for membership after lapsing, then the date of reapplication will be considered the new renewal date. Members shall pay their dues, fees, and assessments directly to the Society Headquarters. Dues statements for the forthcoming year for each member shall be provided to each member 60 days before due date. Each member shall be responsible to ensure their dues, fees, and assessments are sent directly to the Society Headquarters..
I.I. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE VOTING
I.I.1. Electronic votes

Collected from the voting members of the Executive Committee.  Electronic voting requires 100% participation of all voting members of the Executive Committee and issues require a two-thirds affirmative vote to pass.
 
I.I.2. Votes During an Executive Committee Meeting
1) There must be a two-thirds affirmative vote on an issue from voting members of the executive committee present for the issue to pass. 

2) The Chair reserves the right to require an electronic vote for critical society issues.

3) Any Executive Committee member has the right to petition for an Electronic Vote. 
II. COMMITTEES
 
II.A. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
 
The Executive Committee is charged to establish the policies and develop the activities necessary to meet the mission and scope of the SSP. They approve an annual budget based on its planned program of activities. The budget must be approved within 90 days of the start of each calendar. Membership dues structure for the following year shall be determined by the end of each calendar year. Executive Committee members are expected to attend conference calls and other planned meetings.
 
II.B. STANDING COMMITTEES

Standing committees represent those committees chaired by the elected officers. These committees and their elected chair are as follows. If the designated chair is unable to serve in this position, the society Chair will appoint a chair.
II.B.1. Finance Committee. The Finance Committee is chaired by the Treasurer and is charged with establishing an approved annual budget, approving the Annual Financial Report and the records of the Treasurer.
 
II.B.2. Conference Committee. The Conference Committee is chaired by the Immediate Past Chair and is charged with establishing and organizing the conference program of presentations, symposia workshops and social events in consultation with the Executive Committee and the Management Company. The committee should also propose a conference budget and provide updates for the conference costs as determined.
 
II.B.2.a. Scientific Committee. The Conference Committee Chair will appoint the Chair of the Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee is charged with the responsibility for the scientific program at SSP conferences and shall provide advice and guidance for workshops, symposia, or other technical events sponsored or jointly sponsored by SSP in consultation with the Conference Chair and Executive Committee.
 
II.B.3. Strategic Planning Committee. The Strategic Planning Committee is chaired by the Strategic Planning and Nominations Chair and is responsible for leading the development of long-term goals and objectives for the Society.  The Strategic Planning Committee shall oversee emerging initiatives for the society, some of which may become stand-alone committees or activities in the future.
 
II.B.4. Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee is chaired by the Strategic Planning and Nominations Chair and is responsible for developing and presenting the slate of candidates for all elected positions in accordance with section I.B.  This committee convenes biannually to facilitate the election of new officers; it is not in continuous operation. 
II.C. APPOINTED COMMITTEES

All committees and chairs shall be appointed by the society Chair unless otherwise provided in the bylaws. The Chair may appoint special committees for such period as he or she deems necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Society. Each Committee Chair may hold office for a period not to exceed the term for which they were appointed. Appointed committee chairs shall be members of the society.
 
Each committee chair, with advice of the Chair, shall appoint the members of their committee. Members of each committee shall be members of the Society. Members of the committee can be added or dismissed by the committee chair to meet the needs of the committee activities.
 
The following list of committees represent those typically formed within the society, but are not mandatory. Each term, the Chair, with advice of the Executive Committee, determines the specific committees needed to ensure the smooth operation of the society. 
II.C.1. Communications Committee
The Communications Chair shall appoint the committee with advice of the Chair. The committee provides programs that foster contact with members and communicate with new members. They also provide communications about SSP programs, social events and the conference and handle all media affairs for the SSP. This includes but is not limited to meeting announcements, publicity, and Journal articles.
 
II.C.1. Professional Development Committee
The Professional Development Chair shall appoint the committee with input from the Executive Committee. The Professional Development Committee is charged with the responsibility of developing content and executing, in consultation with the Conference Chair and Executive committee, the professional development program offered at SSP conferences or at other venues. The committee provides advice and guidance for professional development workshops, symposia, or other events sponsored or jointly sponsored by SSP.
 
II.C.3.  Outreach Committee
The Outreach Chair shall appoint the committee with advice of the Chair. The committee provides outreach activities to sensory and consumer professionals outside of North America and /or adjacent professional to foster and broaden SSP membership.
 
II.C.3.a. Beyond Foods Committee
The Beyond Foods Committee is a sub-committee within the Outreach Committee.  This committee provides guidance and leadership in providing technical content for meetings and fostering SSP membership among students and professionals associated with non-food product categories.
 
II.C.4.  Connectors Program Committee
The Connectors Program Chair shall appoint the committee with advice of the Chair. The committees goal is to connect individuals in SSP to grow their network, learn from others, and support career development through direct contact with other sensory professionals.
 
II.C.5. Other Committees
The Chair may establish other committees as needed to conduct the activities of the SSP.  
III. MEETINGS
 
III.A. GENERAL POLICIES

Society Meetings will be held for the general purpose of advancing and encouraging technical research and professional development.  Meetings shall serve this purpose by facilitating discussions among Society members. Meetings may also serve as an opportunity for conducting business of the Society.
 
III.B. CONFERENCE
III.B.1. Time and Place

The Executive Committee shall determine the time and place for the Conferences of the Society upon recommendation of the Management Company staff. Conferences may be held in any geographical location. It is the responsibility of the staff to contract with appropriate hotel and/or convention centers and make other preliminary arrangements regarding physical facilities as might be necessary.
 
III.B.2. Logistics

The Executive Vice President and his/her staff are responsible for the arrangements necessary to conduct a successful conference. Such responsibilities include but are not limited to: site and hotel selection, budgeting, assistance with the technical program, meeting room(s) allocation, sponsorships, exhibit sales and arrangements, preparation of awards, special events, and any activity occurring at the conference site that is the responsibility of Society of Sensory Professionals. 
III.C. REGIONAL MEETINGS

The Chair-Elect is responsible for Regional meetings, typically held twice in the year without a conference and potentially once in the year with a conference. Meetings are approximately five months apart, typically one in the spring and one in the fall, at the discretion of the Chair-Elect and with advice of the Executive Committee. Within the year, it is customary to have one meeting be science/technical-focused and one meeting professional development-focused. The general arrangement is to have selected speakers for each meeting present virtually that is viewed by groups of members within each region, followed by various activities to encourage discussion and networking.
 
The Chair-Elect works with Regional Coordinators to organize the meetings in their region. Regional Coordinators are volunteers that customize the meeting for their individual site. If any member is located outside a regional meeting area, they can be provided a means to call in individually.
 
III.D. OTHER SOCIETY MEETINGS

In addition to the Conference, the Society may hold other meetings, national, regional, or local. In addition to these meetings, the Society may hold short courses, seminars, workshops and clinics.
 
IV. SPONSORSHIPS, AWARDS AND FUNDRAISING

IV.A. SPONSORSHIPS
IV.A.1. Founding Sponsorships
Founding sponsorships were developed to assist with the founding of the SSP. Benefits include:
1) Perpetual listing and link on website as founding sponsor.
2) Space on back cover of the conference program.
3) Badge ribbon indicating level of founding sponsorship for each attending organization employee.
4) Recognition at gala and opening ceremony.
5) Organization name on conference banner.
6) Certificate of appreciation.  
IV.A.2. Individual Founding Sponsorships
Individual sponsorships were developed to assist with the founding of the SSP.
 
The benefits include:
1) Perpetual listing and link on website as founding sponsor.
2) Badge ribbon indicating level of sponsorship.
3) Certificate of appreciation.  
IV.B. CONFERENCE SPONSORSHIPS

Conference sponsorships will be available to support this important SSP activity. The benefits include:
1) Organization logo on select printed registration materials.
2) One promo item or a piece of literature in the attendance packet.
3) Advertisement in conference program book.
4) Badge ribbon indicating level of sponsorship at conference for each attending organization employee.
5) Verbal recognition.
6) Organization name on signage at conference.  
IV.C.  NAMED CONFERENCE AWARDS

Student oral and poster presenters are eligible for one of three Student Evergreen Awards.  The awards, their honorees and their donors are listed below.  These awards are awarded by SSP, but funded by their donors.  Donors may choose to discontinue funding these awards at any time, and SSP does not assume any obligation to find an alternate donor or for the society to fund. 
1) Award for Outstanding Presentation on Use of Scientific Principle
a) Honoring Jean F. Caul
b) Donor: The Wolf Group
2) Award for Outstanding Presentation that Develops or Expands a Method
a) Honoring Beverley Kroll
b) Donor: P&K Research
3) Award for Outstanding Presentation on an Applied Topic
a) Honoring Elaine Skinner
b) Donor: Sensory Spectrum, Inc. 
IV.D. FUNDRAISING

Occasionally fundraising and solicitations may take place to subsidize SSP activities and programs. Individual and organization donations will be accepted on the SSP website. All donations are voluntary and at will. No recognition is guaranteed but may be provided by vote of the Executive Committee.
 
V. RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
 
V.A. POLICY GUIDELINES

In all proposed cooperative activities with other organizations, the key guiding principle will be "is it in the best interest of Society of Sensory Professionals and its members?"
 
Jointly sponsored meetings/symposia/programs will be encouraged when they clearly benefit Society of Sensory Professionals. Cooperating organizations will be encouraged to propose jointly sponsored activities. Organizations can be invited, when appropriate to participate in the SSP conference program. All proposed cooperative activities, involving commitment of significant resources, will be brought before the Society of Sensory Professionals Executive Committee for consideration and action.
 
V.B. USE OF SOCIETY OF SENSORY PROFESSIONALS NAME AND/OR LOGO

Any product, program, or service that bears the Society of Sensory Professionals name or logo must meet the high-quality standards of the society. Permission to use the Society of Sensory Professionals name or logo will not be granted for use by other organizations or individuals without the approval of the Executive Committee. Use will be granted only when there is direct participation in the event by Society of Sensory Professionals staff or members, and those involved are satisfied that the event will meet those standards.
 
V.C. SOCIETY JOURNAL

The official Journal of the Society is The Journal of Sensory Studies and is provided to each member as a membership benefit.