MEET THE BOARD
The Oklahoma Bondsman Association Board is elected by the membership. The President has no vote unless there is a tie during a vote by the board members. The remaining eight elected members of the board are Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, four (4) District Directors and one At Large Director. Meetings are held each month and members are encouraged to attend.
OBA By laws
September 16, 2021
BY-LAWS OF THE OKLAHOMA BONDSMAN ASSOCIATION, INC.
(an Oklahoma Not-For-Profit Corporation)
These By-laws are rules under which ongoing operations of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association, Inc. (OBA) shall be conducted; these by-laws are subordinate to the Constitution of the organization, and may not differ from that Constitution in substance.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors, OBA to provide for management of the affairs of the association. This may be accomplished by the Board, acting as a body; by appointment of an executive officer responsible and accountable to the Board, to whom some or all operational details are delegated; or by a combination of these.
- Certain tasks associated with conduct of affairs of the Association may be delegated (subcontracted) by the Board or the executive officer to outside consultants in their respective fields. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Communications (newsletter, other publications)
- Education (Pre-License School, Continuing Ed., etc.)
- Legal Counsel
- Legislative Counsel
- Other, as needs may arise
- The Board shall set the dates, times and places of the OBA annual meeting, of its own regular meetings, of pre-license schools, of continuing education sessions as provided for by state law, and for any special meetings as may be required in conduct of OBA business (See Constitution, Article VI).
The Board shall notify the OBA membership of dates, times and places of the annual meeting, of other membership meetings, of pre-license and continuing education schools (Constitution, Article IV). Such notices must be circulated to OBA members at least thirty (30) days in advance of any meeting, except that special meetings may be called by the Board on forty-eight (48) hours notice, to deal with any situation certified by the Board as an emergency (Constitution, Article IV).
- The Treasurer shall keep and preserve financial records of OBA, and shall render a report on financial condition of OBA at each Board meeting, and at the annual meeting. The Board shall retain the services of an outside audit firm to conduct an audit, as needed, of OBA books and records, in conformity with standard association and other not-for-profit organization practice.
- If a vacancy occurs on the Board, such vacancy shall be filled according to provisions of the Constitution, Article VI.
- Board members may be reimbursed for mileage involved in attendance at Board or other meetings, when attending in their official capacities, at the rate currently approved by the Internal Revenue Code, USC. Board members may be reimbursed for other out-of-pocket expenses incurred while performing OBA business, provided such expenses are authorized by the Board at its most recent meeting preceding such incurrence. Board members may not receive any other salary or compensation from OBA.
- The Board shall, by two thirds (2/3) vote set membership dues and other fees and charges. This action shall take place at the August Board meeting each year, preceding commencement of the next OBA fiscal year.
Whatever dues are approved by the Board shall be imposed beginning September1st of that year. Net dues will be due and payable as of September 15th of that year.
If dues are not paid by October 31st of the year due, a one hundred dollar ($100) late fee will be imposed;
Dues not paid by December 31st of the year due shall result in the delinquent member’s suspension from membership. Suspended members are not eligible to attend education classes, including Continuing education required by Oklahoma statutes, until their dues for the current fiscal year are paid in full. However, voting privileges will not be reinstated until September 1st of the next year.
Affiliate members and non-licensed members may attend continuing education classes upon payment of an administrative fee of one hundred ($100), based on space available.
Regular members may be assessed an annual indemnity fund payment of twenty five dollars ($25). These funds shall be placed in a separate account to pay for legal services rendered on behalf of individual regular members, or groups of regular members, or on behalf of OBA. When the legal fund has accumulated funds in excess of $50,000 will be placed in a building fund to be used for Building Maintenance and repairs. Funds from these special accounts may be disbursed only upon two thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors.
In addition to above fees, the Board may from time to time approve special assessments to pay for any extraordinary necessary expenses which may be incurred by OBA, such as, but not limited to:
- Public affairs communications in connection with legislative activities benefitting or in defense of OBA.
- Requirements placed on OBA members by regulatory or other governmental authority.
- Other, as decided by two thirds (2/3) Board vote
- The Board of Directors is responsible for OBA’s assets including but not limited to its building and any other real property which it may come to own. This responsibility may be delegated to trustees, consisting of OBA’s President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and two regular members of the association NOT presently serving on the Board. These trustees may in turn delegate day-to-day asset management to the association’s executive officer, who shall report monthly to the board as to the state of the assets.
- The President may appoint Committee Chairmen. These can include but are not limited to Community Relations; Education; Ethics and Legislative. All Committee Chairmen will be ex-officio board members with no voting rights. All Committee Chairmen are to be appointed by the President with the advise and consent of the elected Board of Directors. Each Committee Chairman shall serve in such capacity thru the remaining term of the then current President and may be re-appointed by the new or re-elected President, again subject to the advise and consent of the elected Board of Directors.
- In order to be eligible to vote a member must have paid his or her Association dues in full prior to December 31st of the year preceding the election is to be held.
- Members seeking to vote shall affix their signature beside their name on the roster of eligible voters and receive a ballot appropriate to their voting district. Ballots must be cast upon receipt into the ballot box which shall be in close proximity to the roster of eligible voters. No ballots will be permitted to be removed from the voting area.
- Ballots may be cast at any time before the conclusion of the lunch break, at which time the ballot box shall be secured until the votes are counted.
- Officially nominated candidates shall be provided the opportunity to provide materials promoting their candidacy for publication in the OBA newsletter. Said materials shall not include pictures or graphics of any kind and shall not exceed one hundred (100) words in length.
- The distribution and/or display of candidate materials shall not be permitted at any time within the classroom.
- Candidates will be allowed to give campaign speeches to the attendees in a manner and at a time decided by the Board of Directors. Speeches shall not exceed three (3) minutes in length. Incumbents shall have the option of speaking last. If need be, other candidates’ order shall be decided by coin toss.
- Ballot box(es) shall be used at the continuing education class(es) and shall be securely sealed and maintained in a locked condition until it is unlocked and unsealed at the conclusion of voting at the location of the last continuing education class.
- At the close of voting the ballot box(es) shall be opened and the votes tallied by an independent entity contracted by the Board of Directors to perform that task. The vote counting itself shall be open to viewing in silence by any candidate so long as it does not in any way interfere with the vote counting activities and/or that candidate’s required attendance in class. The candidate receiving the most votes for each position shall be declared the winner even if the number of votes for that candidate is less than fifty percent (50%) of the votes for that position. At the conclusion of the vote count the tally per candidate/office of such votes shall be made public.
If any election results in a tie vote between (2) two candidates, the tie will be broken by a coin toss. If either candidate is not present for the coin toss, the candidate whose has the lowest bail bond license number shall be deemed to have called “heads”.
- If any election results in more than (2) candidate receiving the same number of votes then immediately at the conclusion of the last annual education class, and in full view of those that seek to be present, the full name of each such candidate will be hand printed on a sheet of white paper of equal size, appearance and texture; each then folded in an identical manner and placed in a obtuse container. Then of those in attendance one will be selected by the Association’s General Counsel to draw from said container, as it is held high above the drawer’s head, one only of the papers placed therein. The candidate whose name appears on that piece of paper shall be declared the winner. Then, also in full view, the General Counsel shall remove the remaining pieces of paper from the container and reveal the name(s) printed thereon. If the Association’s General Counsel is unavailable then the Executor Director may act in his or her place.
- These By-laws may be amended by two thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors at any regular meeting of the Board, provided that such amendment is proposed in writing not less than thirty (30) days, or at the next preceding Board meeting, except in the case of an emergency certified by the board by telephone, facsimile transmitter (Fax), or other electronic means. In case of such emergency, such advance notice may be waived.
ATTEST: Oklahoma Bondsman Association Inc.
Halley-Terrell – Secretary
Kenny Boyer – President
APPROVED BY BOARD ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2021.
September 16, 2021
Constitution Of The Oklahoma Bondsman Association, Inc.
(an Oklahoma Not-For-Profit Corporation)
ARTICLE I – Name:
The name of this organization shall be “The Oklahoma Bondsman Association, Inc.,” a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Oklahoma.
ARTICLE II – Objectives and Purposes:
- For purposes of this Constitution, the terms “Bondsman” or “Bondsmen” and “Bail Agent” shall be synonymous and interchangeable. These terms also refers to both male and female.
- To safeguard the interests of the general public, and of bondsmen in particular.
- To promote and maintain high standards of integrity and competence among bondsmen as an important part of the criminal justice system, and to encourage and enhance cooperation between bondsmen for the benefit of all.
- To assist in improving, upholding and enforcing laws and proposed laws of the State of Oklahoma, and of the United States, effecting the bail bond industry.
- To organize, promote and conduct meetings, seminars, classes or conferences regarding information and education of licensing applicants, and continuing education of licensed bondsmen as required by the laws of the State of Oklahoma; and to maintain liaison and good relations with the Bail Bond Section, Oklahoma Department of Insurance, and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
- To correct injurious, discriminatory, unfair or illegal business methods practices by or against bondsmen.
- To enlighten leadership and the general public in areas in which the bail bond industry is involved.
- To produce and distribute information to assist in fulfillment of these purposes.
- To participate in and promote mutual assistance programs fostering stability and professionalism among bondsman, especially with other trade, professional and service organizations.
- To create and maintain cooperation with appropriate regulatory officials, and conformity with their lawful rules and regulations.
ARTICLE III – Membership:
- Regular members:
Regular membership in the association shall be limited to bondsmen licensed to do business in the State of Oklahoma, in good standing with the Oklahoma Department of Insurance. Regular membership is extended to individual bondsmen, each of whom are entitled to one (1) vote in matters affecting the association and brought before the membership at the annual meeting or any special membership meeting called by the President or the Board of Directors. Such votes must be cast in person by each individual member at the meeting at which such vote is taken.
- Affiliate members:
Business entities or individuals providing goods or services to the bail bond industry, such as (but not limited to) surety companies, computer hardware and software firms or their agents, may, upon application, approval by the board of directors and payment of required fees and/or dues, become Affiliate Members of this association. Affiliate members shall have no vote in the affairs of the association.
Members of either category listed above may resign upon written notice to the Board of Directors; such resignation shall not relieve members of any obligations to pay dues, fees, assessments or other charges previously accrued and unpaid, including fees for schools, seminars and similar programs.
- Suspension or expulsion:
Membership and voting privileges of any regular member shall be suspended if that member’s license is suspended or revoked by the Oklahoma Department of Insurance, and shall remain in suspension until such time as the bondsman’s license is reinstated by the Department. Membership may also be suspended by the Board of Directors if actions of a member or members are clearly contrary to provisions of Article II of this Constitution, or if a member has failed to pay dues, fees, charges or other obligations to the Association.
- Membership not transferrable:
Membership in the Association shall not be transferrable nor constitute property, and shall cease upon the death, resignation or adjudicated disability of a member.
ARTICLE IV – Meetings:
- AN ANNUAL MEETING shall be held annually at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors, for the transaction of such business as may properly come before such meeting.
SPECIAL MEETINGS of the regular membership may be called by the President, or the Board of Directors, or by no fewer than fifty one per cent (51%) of the membership, to deal with problems of sufficient urgency that they should not be put off until the next annual meeting. Special meetings shall be arranged by the Board at an appropriate place, date and time.
- NOTICE of special meetings, stating the place, date and time, shall be delivered either personally, by regular mail, or electronic means to each regular member not less than thirty (30) days before the date of such special meeting; except that a meeting may be called on forty-eight (48) hours notice by the Board of Directors to deal with a situation certified as an emergency by the Board. Notice of such certified emergency may be circulated by telephone, fax or other electronic means available. Written notice of any business meeting other than the Annual Meeting shall set forth the purpose(s) of such meeting. It is the responsibility of each bondsman to keep the Association informed of the bondsman’s contact information.
- A QUORUM shall be those regular members present at any annual or properly called special membership meeting, and a simple majority of those present may take action on any matter.
- VOTING shall be in person by each individual regular member in good standing at the time of the meeting. Proxy voting or absentee voting shall not be allowed.
ARTICLE V – Officers:
Officers of the Association shall be:
These officers shall be elected every other year as follows: the offices of President and Secretary shall be elected for a term of two (2) years, with the elections to be held in odd-numbered years; the offices of Vice-President and Treasurer shall be elected for a term of two (2) years, with the elections to be conducted in even-numbered years.
Only members in good standing may be permitted to hold a position as an officer, which means that such member must: 1) be current on his or her Association dues; and 2) have been in good standing with the Oklahoma Insurance Department for a period of at least twelve (12) months, unless he or she is a new member. In addition, any candidate for the Office of the President of the Association must have previously served at least one (1) year as a member of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VI – Board of Directors:
Affairs of the Association, including but not limited to hiring of an executive director, contracting for goods and services; and setting of dues and fees, shall be managed by a Board of Directors, which shall consist of nine (9) regular members including officers, elected by those regular members in good standing present and voting at the annual continuing education class(es). Various day-to-day duties and responsibilities may be delegated by the Board to the Executive Director.
The President of the association shall preside and be responsible for the orderly conduct of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors. In event of absence of the President from a meeting, the Vice President shall preside.
The Secretary shall take and preserve written minutes of each regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors; such minutes to include the date, time and place of such meeting, a roster of officers, directors and others present, a resume of items discussed, and actions taken, including results of roll-call votes. In event the Secretary is absent, the President may appoint an acting Secretary for that meeting only.
The Treasurer shall keep and preserve financial records of the association, reporting the financial condition of the Association at each board meeting, and at the annual meeting.
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held monthly at a date, time and place designated by the Board, except that for sufficient reasons determined by the President and approved by the Board, postpone the monthly meeting until the date time and place designated for the next meeting. No fewer than six (6) meetings of the Board of Directors, including those held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting and with continuing education session(s), shall be held during each calendar year.
Notice of regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors shall be made in accordance with Bylaws of the Association.
In the event of a vacancy occurring on the Board of Directors because of death, illness, resignation, retirement or any other reason, such vacancy shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining directors. Any director so appointed shall serve until the next scheduled election for that office.
Terms of Directors shall be two (2) years. Terms of Directors representing District 1 and District 3 shall expire in odd-numbered years; terms of Directors representing District 2, District 4 and the Director-at-large shall expire in even-numbered years.
Districts are designated as follows: District 1 shall be that portion of Oklahoma west of Interstate Highway 35, and north of Interstate Highway 40; District 2 shall be that portion of Oklahoma east of Interstate Highway 35 and North of Interstate Highway 40; District 3 shall be that portion of Oklahoma south of Interstate Highway 40 and east of Interstate Highway 35; District 4 shall be that portion of Oklahoma west of Interstate Highway 35 and south of Interstate Highway 40.
ARTICLE VII – Elections:
Incumbents in the positions of Officers and Directors shall be deemed to be candidates for their respective positions unless they expressly request not to be retained. All other candidates for these positions shall be nominated on forms to be provided by the Association and distributed upon request to the members. Any nominations not on the correct form will not qualify for election. There shall be no nominations from the floor, nor any “write-in” candidates. All new nominations must be endorsed by at least three (3) members of the Association who are in good standing. The nominations must be provided to the Association no later than March 1 of the year in which that person is standing for election. The Association shall publish a list of candidates for any given year in the April issue of the Association newsletter. There are no term limits for the positions of Officers or Directors.
Election procedures and processes shall be conducted in accordance with the Association’s By-Laws by secret ballot. Members eligible to vote may cast only one vote per office for the Officers and one vote for the director for their respective districts and one vote for the Director-at-Large.
The results of the voting shall be announced at the conclusion of the last session of the annual education class(es). Those persons elected shall assume their respective positions at the next meeting of the Board of Directors.
The procedures for the location of the ballot box, the times at which voting will be allowed, and any other measures deemed necessary for the conduct of the election shall be implemented by the Board of Directors through the Association’s by-laws.
All regular members are eligible to vote for all officers and for the director-at-large. Members may also vote for the director to represent their respective district. A member’s district is one of the four (4) geographical districts (District 1 Northwest; District 2, Northeast; District 3, southeast; District 4 southwest) and determined by the physical address on file with the Oklahoma Insurance Department at the time of voting. Ballots including names of candidates for more than one (1) district directorship shall be deemed invalid.
ARTICLE VIII – Committees:
The Board of Directors may designate one or more committees, either standing or ad hoc, to study issues, make recommendations and otherwise provide assistance to the Board. Each committee shall include at least one Board Member as chairman, and may consist of board members or regular members, as appropriate.
ARTICLE IX – Annuals, financial transactions, books, and records:
The Board of Directors shall keep detailed records of receipts, disbursements, contracts, and other transactions as appropriate for not-for-profit organizations operating under Section 501 (c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, as detailed in bylaws of the Association.
ARTICLE X – Compensation:
Officers and Directors of the association shall not receive salaries or other compensation for their services, except that officers and directors may be reimbursed for mileage and out-of-pocket expenses in connection with participation in meetings and other activities of the association in their official capacities, providing such reimbursement is approved by the Board, as detailed in bylaws of the Association.
ARTICLE XI – Fiscal year:
Fiscal year of the Association shall be from September 1 to August 31 of each year.
ARTICLE XII – Dues, fees and assessments:
Amount of dues for regular members and affiliate members shall be set annually by the Board of Directors, as detailed in bylaws of the Association.
The Board of Directors may from time to time approve fees and/or assessments for specific needs or activities, as detailed in bylaws of the Association.
ARTICLE XIII – Administration of assets:
The Board of Directors shall be responsible for management of assets of the Association, including any real estate. Such responsibility may be delegated to trustees, and through them to contract management, as detailed in bylaws of the Association.
ARTICLE XIV – Distribution of assets:
In the event of dissolution of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association, Inc., no member, officer or director of the Association shall be entitled to share in distribution of assets of the association. These assets shall be distributed in any lawful manner as determined by the Board of Directors at their final meeting prior to dissolution.
ARTICLE XV – Amendment:
This Constitution may be amended or repealed by the regular members of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association, Inc. at an annual meeting, or at any special general membership meeting called for that specific purpose in a manner outlined in Article IV, above. Bylaws of the Association may be amended by two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board of Directors, as specified in the Association’s By-Laws.
ATTEST: Oklahoma Bondsman Association, Inc.
Tracey Halley-Terrell – Secretary
Kenny Boyer – President
APPROVED AT GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING HELD ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2021.
HISTORY OF THE OBA
“The wise man must remember that while he is a descendant of the past, he is a parent of the future.” Herbert Spencer
Discovered from an ancient city in Iraq, the earliest evidence of bail bonds is recorded on clay tablets.
Habeas Corpus Act in England established magistrates’ ability to set terms for bail.
The English Bill of Rights of 1689 declared restrictions against “excessive bail” and later inspired the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The United States Judiciary Act of 1789 established that all noncapital offenses were bailable. In the case of capital crimes, the possibility of bail was at the judge’s discretion.
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution adopted prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment.
In Oklahoma, several insurance companies failed or stopped doing business, leaving the State of Oklahoma with thousands of dollars of bond money owed to the court system for bond forfeitures. Bills were introduced in the Legislature to do away with the bail bonds industry.
Bail bondsmen in Oklahoma tried to figure out what went wrong. The Insurance Commission weeded out a few less competent bonding agents, and the ‘New Day Program’ was started in Tulsa County and the ‘Own Recognizance Program’ was instituted in Oklahoma County.
Several bail bondsmen met with the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner’s office and worked out an agreement whereby the bondsmen would pay a fee in the amount of $2 per thousand of the face amounts of the bond.
The first meeting of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association took place at Fuzzy’s Restaurant in Oklahoma City. The group came together to improve the bondsman profession.
The Oklahoma Bondsman Association (OBA) was incorporated. The association immediately started working to clean up the bond laws in Oklahoma and introduced legislation including requiring education for licensure and continuing education.
Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to give one association, OBA, the responsibility for conducting accredited education courses.
OBA purchased its own building only two blocks from the State Capitol Building, providing a physical presence near the Oklahoma Legislature.
The Oklahoma Legislature passed a law placing all fees, receipts and monies collected by the Insurance Commissioner to the credit of the Bail Bondsmen Revolving Fund and dedicated the funds to the expense of examinations, licensing, investigations and providing of forms, the operating expenses of the Department and other related expenses necessitated by the act.
OBA hired Bob Rollins as Executive Director.
OBA re-incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.
OBA hired a full-time Executive Director, Cathy Guyer, to help lead the association into the future. Cathy Guyer is the former Director of the Bail Bond Division of the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
OBA hires L. Susie Sturgeon to replace retiring Director, Cathy Guyer. Susie implemented changes to computerize membetship and financial records. In 2021 the first live stream event of the annual continuing education was held with 20% of the membership attending CE via livestream.
OBA hired Executive Director, Kari Dalton to replace retiring Director, Susie Sturgeon. Kari began upgrading technology and processes to build on the progress of the Directors that came before her. She then created and implemented a long-awaited Online Continuing Education program – taking it live in October 2022. This additional CE option saves our Members valuable time – making it easy to attend training classes from anywhere in the State with the click of a button.