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Current PLA By-Laws can be downloaded by clicking the blue document icon. 














As Amended

May 1, 2014



Friendship Through Airlift


Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow





P. O. Box 4351

Tacoma WA 98438








The name of the organization shall be the Professional Loadmaster Association (PLA).  By virtue of Articles of Incorporation approved by the State of Washington in March 1997 the State of Washington issued a Certificate of Incorporation declaring the Professional Loadmaster Association a non-profit organization.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has authorized the Professional Loadmaster Association and its Chapters a tax-exempt status as of February 1999 under the requirements of Section 501(c) (10) of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986.




The registered office and principal place of business of the PLA may vary with the election of PLA Executive Committee Members.  It shall be within the discretion of the PLA President to establish such registered or other offices as may be necessary for the proper transaction of association business.








The Association is organized and operates exclusively as a certified Section 501(c) (10) non-profit tax exempt organization dedicated to extending the spirit and camaraderie among those persons who serve or have served as Aircraft Loadmasters on transport aircraft and helicopters to include rescue type aircraft and gunships.  It will be at the discretion of the PLA Executive Committee to decide if a person is or is not a Loadmaster.  In addition to furthering the history and traditions of the men and women who serve or have served as Loadmasters, the Association has established a scholarship program and humanitarian grants to benefit Loadmasters and their families.








Members of the PLA Executive Committee shall be duly elected and in good standing.  The PLA Executive Committee shall consist at a minimum of a President, three Regional Vice Presidents (one for the East Coast, one for the Central Region and one for the West Coast), a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Public Relations Director, an appointed Editor and Webmaster shall conduct all official business of the Association.  The powers, duties, and responsibilities of the PLA Executive Committee members are indicated and incorporated by reference thereto in Specific Duties, Section 3, of these By-Laws.


      A.  The term of office will be four (4) years for all PLA Executive Committee members.  The Editor and the Webmaster will be the only positions on the PLA Executive Committee that will be appointed by the PLA Executive Committee.  The President, the Regional Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and Public Relations Director elections shall be staggered by two (2) years, thus allowing for approximately one-half of the PLA Executive Committee to be elected while still maintaining continuity with the other PLA Executive Committee members.  The election to the four-year term will coincide with the biennial PLA “Gathering of the Loads” Convention and the installation of all elected officers will be announced during the General Membership Meeting.


      B.  Vacancies occurring between elections may be filled by a vote of the majority of the remaining members of the PLA Executive Committee.  Any person elected to fill a vacant position under this paragraph shall satisfy the remainder of the term of the vacant position.


      C.  A majority vote of the PLA Executive Committee will be required to remove any PLA Executive Committee member from their elected or appointed position.


      D.  Any member of the PLA Executive Committee may resign by submission of their resignation in writing with a 90 day’s notice.


      E.   Non-members will not hold any elected or appointed position on the Executive Committee.  This will include any member on the inactive list.






      A.  The President will appoint a Chapter President as a nominating committee chairperson.  The appointed chairperson will form a committee of a least three (3) non-serving PLA members to obtain nominations for all PLA Executive Committee positions to be elected for the current election term.  The members of the nominating committee should be selected from a least three (3) different PLA Chapters.


      B.  The nominating committee shall obtain a signed verification form from each of the nominees in good standing that they will run for the elective office, and if elected will accept the position of the elected office.


      C.  The nominating committee will also be responsible for getting a ballot out to all the PLA members in good standing, by sending the ballot to the Editor of “The Loader” newsletter to be published in the March issue of the newsletter of the election year.


      D.  The ballot system is designed for the benefit of the PLA membership to allow each member to have a clear voice and choice in the election of the PLA Executive Committee.  Ballots will remain in the custody of the PLA Secretary for a period of four (4) years.


      E.   Ballots must be returned to the nominating committee chairperson, or by notifying him via E-mail of member’s choice on the ballot.  All ballots must be signed, dated, and returned no later than 30 days of receiving the ballot or the date indicated on the ballot.  The deadline date will be further announced to Chapter Presidents who will disseminate the date to all members of the respective Chapter.


      F.   Ballots will be counted and verified by the chairperson and then sent on to the National PLA Secretary along with any E-mail votes that were received.


            (1) The PLA members receiving the majority vote and subsequently elected will be announced at the Biennial “Gathering of Loads” Convention.  The President will preside over the opening of the General Membership Meeting and announce the results of the election positions.  The President will declare official election results.  When the election is for the position of President, the incoming PLA President will take the oath of office and preside over the remainder of the convention.




Executive Committee Members Duties.


      A.  The President shall:  have general charge of and control over the operations of the Association by upholding the By-Laws of the Professional Loadmaster Association.  Assure the overall enforcement of policies and the proper conduct and management of all association business.  Establish a quarterly PLA Executive Committee meeting with Chapter Presidents to review any and all ongoing Association business.  Assign committees as needed to conduct the business of the President’s office.  Enthusiastically pursue the proliferation of the association within the boundaries of all allocated resources.


      B.  The Vice Presidents shall:  review, advise and assist in the chapters’ activities for each of their respective areas.  They will provide to the PLA Executive Committee a semi-annual report on the health and welfare of the chapters within their region and work in harmony with the PLA Executive Committee in all matters concerning their respective region.  One of the regional Vice Presidents will be delegated as the acting President when the President is absent from his duties.


      C.  The Secretary shall:  compiled and maintain all records of the Association.  Be responsible for recording and maintaining minutes of Association meetings and forwarding a written copy in a timely manner to the PLA Executive Committee and general membership during the quarter in which they occur.  Maintain appropriate records to identify members of the Association and their status; Executive Committees members and their status; and the Association By-Laws and established committees.  Provide all Chapter Presidents with any required action requests.  Publish and distribute Association notices to all members by working closely with the Editor of “The LOADER” newsletter.  Assist with the distribution of “The LOADER” newsletter.


      D.  The Treasurer shall:  be responsible for the handling of all Association finances including receipts, deposits, and dispersal of funds.  Maintain the PLA Association’s financial records.  Prepare an annual financial report for the preceding year and prepare a budget for the forthcoming year both of which will be submitted at the first PLA Executive Committee meeting following the close of the fiscal year.  Within the report, provide the Association’s financial strength to include assets, debits, obligations, net worth, well-diversified earning and cost management.  Prepare and file with the IRS the annual Federal Income Tax Return.  Mail the IRS Form 990EZ to Chapter Presidents for signature and after signing immediately return the same to the PLA Treasurer.  All Chapter IRS forms will be submitted together to the IRS.  Provide a written financial report at each PLA Executive Committee and General Membership meeting.  Assure that no funds are spent/committed without majority vote of the Executive Committee.  EXCEPTION:  Funds of five hundred dollars ($500.00) or less may be spent by concurrence of a least two (2) PLA Executive Committee members.  Records will be maintained reflecting the approving authorities.  These expenditures are disbursed to support and maintain association activities.


      E.   The Public Relations Director shall:  be responsible to the PLA Executive Committee for keeping the Association informed though all media available to include the PLA website, “The LOADER” newsletter, emails, text messages, and personal telephone calls.  Promote the merits of Loadmaster involvement in the aircraft manufacturing industry as it regards to cargo compartment development and concept of operations.  The Director shall also be responsible to assist the PLA Executive Committee in the marketing of the association though newsletters, notices, and articles in civil aviation and military related publications.  Marketing may also include assisting with acquiring financial sponsors for the PLA, the biennial “Gathering of Loads” convention and advertisement in “The LOADER” newsletter.


      F.   The Editor of “The LOADER” shall:  be responsible for gathering information about the Association from Chapter Presidents (Chapter Reports), and stories about military, retired, and civilian Loadmasters.  Edit the information and send the finished “The LOADER” newsletter to the publisher for printing and distribution to members and the PLA Secretary.  The Editor of “The LOADER” newsletter shall work with the PLA Public Relations Director to keep the National PLA publication current.


      G.  The Webmaster shall:  maintain the PLA website.  Update important information relevant to the Association in a timely manner.  Assist and advise the PLA Executive Committee on current Information Technology and work in conjunction with the Public Relations Director to ensure the PLA website is current and all information pertinent.  Assure that members in good standing have posting permission for the website.


      H.  Board of Advisors:  Due to the current size of the Association (14 Chapters) the President may task the Board of Advisors, consisting of the Chapter Presidents or past Presidents/Vice Presidents as a group or individually for guidance and assistance in assuring the mission of the Association will always be met.


      I.    President Emeritus:  An Honorary position bestowed by popular vote of the members.








The association shall be made up of three (3) types of memberships:


      A.  General


      B.  Life


      C.  Associate




General membership is open to all aircraft Loadmasters, civilian and military, who serve or have served as Aircraft Loadmasters on transport aircraft and helicopters to include rescue type aircraft and gunships. Members must have been a fully qualified Loadmaster.  Membership will be voluntary and not restricted or influenced on the grounds of age, race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.  A member must be able to provide proof of eligibility if so requested by the PLA Executive Committee.




Life membership is granted to members upon receipt of the current published dues, payable to the PLA at the time of application and their paid dues cannot be subsequently increased.




Associate membership is limited to the spouse of a deceased member in good standing.




Membership dues will be $20.00 for one year, $50.00 for three years, and $250.00 for lifetime.  Any increase in dues will be announced at least four (4) months in advance in “The Loader” newsletter.  A membership survey on increasing the dues will be part of the announcement to provide the PLA Executive Committee feedback on the proposed request.




Changes in dues can only be approved by a majority vote of the membership at a General Membership Meeting provided the membership has been so notified in advance.  Life members, with dues already paid, owe no further dues.




The member’s anniversary month will be the month in which dues were paid and the individual becomes a member of the PLA.  Subsequent dues are payable in the member’s anniversary month.




Members who have not renewed dues by the end of their anniversary month will be given a sixty (60)-day grace period after which the member is placed on the inactive list and considered delinquent for non-paid dues.  The inactive member will be barred from attending PLA functions, lose voting privileges, and receipt of any PLA benefits, until dues have been paid and membership restored.




Members who have been placed on the inactive list will be reinstated upon renewal.  The reinstated members will retain their original membership numbers but their anniversary dates will be the month they pay their dues.








Chapters may be established at locations where a minimum of twenty (20) members can be registered as affiliated with that chapter.  A PLA Executive Committee member shall issue a Constitution and PLA preliminary By-Laws to each Chapter President upon qualifying.  The programs and activities of a Chapter shall not be in conflict with the PLA Charter or By-Laws.


      A.  Chapters will establish regular meeting times and locations.


      B.  Chapters will hold regular election and set terms of office for the elected Chapter positions.  To be elected and hold office within a Chapter the member must be in good standing.


      C.  Chapters may amend the PLA preliminary By-Laws to coincide with their Chapter, but must not conflict with PLA By-Laws.  The Chapter’s By-Laws will be sent to PLA Executive Committee to be filed in the Chapter records.


      D.  Chapters should establish short and long term goals, maintain members’ motivation and have an active recruiting program to posture the PLA as a continuing and functioning organization.


      E.   Chapters can call upon the PLA Executive Committee for advice and training as required.




Chapter starts up requirements are the following.


      A.  Must have a minimum of 20 active members in the Chapter.


      B.  Must hold at least 2 meetings to establish the criteria of Chapter.


      C.  Must have a minimum of four (4) elected positions consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer in good standing.  It is recommended that all branches of the Air Force be represented in the four (4) positions if at all possible; that is Active, Reserve, ANG, and Retired personnel.  Loadmasters from other United States Military Services, Civilian Loadmasters and International Loadmasters may also hold elected positions.


      D.  Members must decide on an appropriate name for their Chapter which may consist of:


            (1) Geographical location


            (2) Deceased Loadmasters (Permission must be obtained from next of kin)


            (3) Present Loadmaster


      E.   Once the criteria has been met in Section 2 above, (A-D) the Chapter President shall notify the PLA Executive Committee of the name selected and forward a list of the names of the Chapter’s members and elected positions to the PLA Executive Committee.  This can be accomplished by FAX, E-mail or regular mail.


      F.   The PLA Executive Committee will file for an IRS Form # SS4, which must be signed by the PLA Executive Committee to obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN) for the Chapter so that each Chapter may open a bank account, etc. and the Chapter will be readily identified by the IRS.


      G.  After completing the requirements of Section 2, paragraphs A through F, the Chapter shall establish a date for the PLA President and/ or Representative to officially present the Constitution and the PLA preliminary By-Laws to the Chapter.


      H.  The Constitution and PLA preliminary By-Laws, which are presented to the Chapters, shall be passed to each succeeding President of the Chapter along with the (1) IRS Group Ruling (2) EIN Number and (3) IRS Form # SS4.  These documents are to remain in a permanent file within the Chapter.


      I.    Each Chapter shall initially receive Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00) from the PLA Executive Committee at the time of induction, after receiving the Constitution and PLA preliminary By-Laws, for their respective use in start-up operations for supplies, postage and a Post Office box, if needed.


      J.   If any Chapter becomes dissolved, all records and assets of the Chapter must be forwarded to the PLA Executive Committee.  PLA By-Laws under Article XIII will be the governing authority for other records and archives.








General Membership, Business, and Special Meetings will be used to conduct all official business of the Association.


      A.  General Membership:  A General meeting of the membership shall be conducted periodically or as part of the biennial “Gathering of Loads” convention.  Notice of such meetings shall be published in “The LOADER” newsletter a minimum of 45 days prior.  All Association members in good standing are eligible to vote on any motion and should be in attendance.  The presence of at least 20 members in good standing shall be required to vote on PLA matters.


      B.  Business:  A Business meetings to conduct association business are called periodically.  Since the Association members and the PLA Executive Committee are separated by considerable distance from each other, the PLA President has authorized the use of video-and teleconferencing (if available) along with electronic mail (e-mail) to conduct such business.  Notification of a routine meeting will be through E-mail or by first class mail.  At least 20 members in good standing shall be required to vote on PLA matters.


      C.  Special:  A Special meetings must be called by the PLA President.  Any PLA Executive Council member may ask for a Special meeting, but the meeting must be called by the PLA President or one of the Vice Presidents in his absence. Notification of such a meeting will be through Email, video, teleconferencing, or first class mail or Fax.  The Special Meeting, as called, will limit the business at hand to the specific reason for the meeting.  Therefore, Special meetings should only be called when matters of utmost importance needs to be acted upon.  Discretion is granted to the PLA President to call special meetings in case of “emergencies” and special meetings should never be convened for trivial matters.




The PLA President or one of the PLA Vice Presidents’ shall conduct General Membership meetings in conjunction with the biennial “Gathering of Loads convention and/or business meetings unless Special meetings are in order.  The Chapter President/Vice President will preside over all meetings to be held by their respective chapters.  The order of business of all meetings shall be as follows:


      A.  Sign-in


      B.  Call to Order


      C.  Pledge of Allegiance


      D.  Election of Officers


      E.   Minutes of Last Meeting


      F.   Report of Executive Committee Members


      G.  Report of Committees


      H.  Unfinished Business


      I.    New Business


      J.   Good of the Order


      K.  Adjournment




Rules of order of these By-Laws may be altered or amended upon the proposition in writing at any regular session of the membership, and by a majority vote of those present at that meeting.  Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedure shall be the authority in all matters not addressed within these By-Laws.




All members in good standing have the right to speak, make motions, and vote at all meetings.








The Association shall conduct as a minimum one “Gathering of Loads” Convention biennially.  The geographical location for the next convention will be determined based on access for the most members and local accommodations and will be announced at the current “Gathering of Loads” biennial Convention.  Specific convention sites and committee members to plan, organize, and conduct the convention shall be filled from the local host chapter.  Ideally, the convention location should be rotated between geographical areas serving the greater number of members.  The hosting Chapter will receive $1500.00 from the PLA Executive Committee to cover incurring expenses such as deposits for hotel, food, outside activities, etc.   The event registration fee will be set to ensure that the host Chapter incurs no revenue losses.




Duration of the “Gathering of Loads convention will normally be three (3) days.  The agenda should include professional development subjects applicable to current, future, and past loadmasters.  Acceptable subjects would be new processes and/or procedures involving current weapon systems, airdrop, etc.  There should also be seminars presenting opportunities for loadmasters leaving military life and transitioning to the civilian sector.  The committee should also plan events for the spouses of reunion attendees and should include time for local area activities.  A dinner/banquet will be conducted on either the second or third evening.  The hosting Chapter will be responsible for all arrangements involving the convention site, the guest(s) of honor and any equipment requirements for a guest speaker(s) and presenters.








The President of the Professional Loadmaster Association must be advised in writing of all fund raising activities.  PLA fund raising activities shall be scheduled and managed by the PLA Executive Committee.  Local Chapter fundraisers must be approved by the respective Chapter Presidents.  The Professional Loadmaster Association shall also accept voluntary donations.




Expenditure of Association funds will normally be limited to administration, publication, and distribution of newsletters, rosters, notices, meetings, bereavement, briefings, travel, and those other items that are a benefit to the maximum number of members.  A reasonable percentage of funds may be used for initial expenses for conventions, scholarships, special awards, chapter awards, or other worthwhile activities.




Once funds are considered surplus to required operating expenses they shall be dedicated for scholarship or humanitarian grants.








The Professional Loadmaster Association shall be managed and controlled exclusively by volunteers elected from within its ranks.  No PLA Executive Committee Member shall receive a salary or compensation for the conduct of their office.




The Professional Loadmaster Association shall not employ any person or persons in either a temporary or permanent position.  Any expertise (i.e. auditor, legal counsel, tax consultant etc.) required to support the business of the PLA from outside the PLA shall be provided for through Pro Bono or contracted for through paid consultant(s).




Reimbursement for travel expenses expended by an individual in conjunction with the official conduct of PLA business shall be based on actual expenses incurred (receipts required).








The PLA “The LOADER” newsletter shall be published and distributed in March, July, and November of each year.




A roster of the Association membership, to include names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers, shall be updated and distributed once each year.   The roster will be published in the November issue of “The LOADER” newsletter.








The membership logo/patch is depicted on the title page of these By-Laws.




The membership logo will be a triangle in the center of a symbol representing aircrew members’ wings.  The triangle which is familiar to aircraft Loadmasters representing the weight, arm, and moment (WAM) weight and balance formula is substituted by PLA.  The P shall be blue on a red background. The L shall be red on a white background.  The A shall be white on a blue background.  The background colors of red, white, and blue are taken from the colors of the flag of the United States of America.  The division lines and border shall be black to call our attention to the memory of our fellow Loadmasters that have gone before us.




The membership patch is our logo resting on top of the globe with planes circling represents our worldwide Association and also as Loadmasters who have traveled around the world.  The parachutes represent the airdrop of supplies, which is a part of the duties we perform.




The PLA shall have two mottoes.  They may be used separately or combined.  They are: “Friendship Through Airlift” and “Yesterday—Today—Tomorrow”.








No individual shall obligate the Professional Loadmaster Association for any purpose deemed solely for the benefit of that individual.  Should this occur, then the individual will be liable to the Association.




The Professional Loadmaster Association must follow all Federal, State and local laws governing its operating activities.








In the event of voluntary dissolution of the Association (corporation), after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the corporation, the remaining assets shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious and or scientific purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under section 501C (10) of the Internal Revenue Code.








The ratification of the Professional Loadmaster Association By-Laws shall be by a 51% majority vote in favor of the responding membership.




Changes to the Professional Loadmaster Association By-Laws which have been approved by the PLA Executive Committee shall be approved by the membership.  Members shall register their vote in writing.  The proposed By-Laws with voting requirements and action dates shall be published in the next available “The Loader” newsletter after the Executive Committee approval.  Voting requirements are:


      A.  The ballot system is designed for the benefit of the PLA membership to allow each member to have a clear voice and choice in ratifying the By-Laws of the Association.  The President will appoint a By-Laws Review Committee Chairman and committee members to amend the By-Laws and provide a ballot to vote on the changes.


      B.  Each By-Laws ballot must be returned to the By-Laws Review Committee Chairman with the member’s choice on the ballot.  All ballots must be signed, dated, and returned no later than the date indicated on the ballot or 30 days after receiving the ballot if no date is indicated.


      C.  The By-Laws ballots will be counted by the By-Laws Review Committee and membership status for each voting member will be verified by the National PLA Secretary.  After the votes are tallied the results of the vote will be posted in the next issue of “The Loader.”  Ballots will be sent to the PLA National Secretary, where they will remain in his/her custody for a period of four (4) years.




Amendments to the Professional Loadmaster Association By-Laws which have been approved by the PLA Executive Committee may be made at any announced General Membership meeting.  At least 20 members in good standing shall be required to vote on PLA matters with a 51% majority vote in favor of an amendment.  Any approved amendments will be published in the association meeting minutes in accordance with Article III, Section 3, Item C.


Summary of Changes


May 2014


Article I,         Section 1 - Identified IRS tax-exempt status for the PLA

Article III,      Section 1 - Identified Executive Committee positions subjected to elections, office terms and


                        Section 2 - Identified election process and completion requirements

                        Section 3 - Clarified duties for each Executive Committee member’s position

Article IV,      Section 2 - Clarified member requirements

                        Section 5 - 1 through 9 clarified dues for membership and inactive status of non-payment of dues

Article V,       Section 1 & 2 - Added detailed Chapter start-up and administrative requirements

Article VI,      Section 1 - Amplified Special Meeting criteria

Article VII,     All future biennial reunions will be designed as the “Gathering of Loads” Convention

                        Section 1 - The hosting chapter will receive $1500.00 from the Executive Committee for


                        Section 2 - Identified subject matter and activities requirements for the convention

Article VIII,   Section 1 - Clarified fund raising approval requirements

Article XIV,   Section 1 - Clarified new voting approval requirement by the membership

                        Section 2 - Added a new section and renumbered to identify approval process and             Requirements

                        for any changes to the PLA By-Laws

                        Section 3 – Renumbered this section and identified the requirements for the voting and approval

                        of By-Laws amendments

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