The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) serves the tree care industry as a non-profit trade association and also provides services and information to the general public. As such, it operates in a role that calls for a high degree of internal and public trust. It is the intent of TCIA to carry out its activities with the highest ethical standards on behalf of the best interests of its members. Any activities which do not serve their best interests, or which favor the personal advantage of another person, organization, corporation, or association, are inconsistent with the duty of loyalty and responsibilities owed to TCIA.
Therefore, it is the policy of the TCIA that its representatives, including the Board of Directors, Committee Chairs and members, and employees, should not engage in any business or professional activity, with persons or organizations, where that activity might result in personal benefit, or may not be in the best interests of TCIA; therefore, resulting in a conflict of interest.
1. All Board members, Committee Chairs and members, volunteers, and employees shall scrupulously avoid any conflict between their own respective individual interests and the interests of TCIA, in any and all actions taken by them on behalf of TCIA, in their respective capacities.
2. Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to:
- direct financial or close personal interests in a company or product which could be affected by a decision of the Board, Committee, or other Association governing body on which the person serves;
- acceptance of any gift, entertainment, services, loans, or promises of future benefits from any person or organization that might be of benefit, because of the person’s connection with TCIA (this does not apply to gifts and/or similar entertainment of nominal value or common courtesies usually associated with accepted business practice);
- compensation in the form of fees or salaries if payment is affected directly or indirectly by the person’s work with the TCIA;
- dealing preferentially with suppliers or associate members where personal gain accrues to the representative;
- personal beliefs if they prevent board members from carrying out their job responsibilities; if board members use TCIA’s non-profit’s time and facilities for furthering them; or if the person attempts to convince others of their personal beliefs after they have been asked to stop;
- abuse of their board position by using the association’s staff, services, equipment, materials, or property for their personal gain;
- using or disclosing confidential information learned as a result of position within TCIA; and/or
- a duality of interests involving advantage to the interests of another non-profit organization, which has or may seek to have, dealings with TCIA.
3. Annually, the Board of Directors shall disclose, at the first meeting of the new Board, any direct or indirect relationships with organizations, either for-profit or not-for-profit, that may, during their term of office, be involved with the Association.
4. During the year, should a situation arise in which a Board member may stand to derive a personal gain or benefit from a transaction with TCIA, or should have a direct or indirect interest in, or relationship with, any individual or organization
- which proposes to enter into any transaction with TCIA for the sale, purchase, lease or rental of property or equipment;
- which proposes to render or employ services, personal or otherwise to TCIA; or
- which may be seen as competing with the interests or concerns of TCIA
such leader shall give the Board notice of such interest or relationship and shall, therefore, refrain from voting or attempting to affect any decision for TCIA to participate, or not participate, in the transaction.
5. If a conflict of interest exists, it shall be disclosed to the entire Board and may be referred to legal counsel for review. The Board member is required to answer any questions of the Board regarding the particular conflict, or any particular issue which may arise regarding a specific issue or vote during a meeting, in order for appropriate resolution of the matter.
6. Minutes of meetings should reflect that a disclosure was made and that the Board member did not vote and absented himself/herself from the discussion of the issue.
7. This policy will be included in the TCIA Policy Manual; will be distributed at the first meeting of the Board of Directors annually, including the disclosure notification; and will be signed by all Board members at that time. In addition, the policy will be distributed annually to all committee members at the time they receive their annual charges and will be added to the TCIA Personnel Manual.