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  1. As many of you probably did, I recently received the ballot to vote on the proposed ABANA bylaw changes and I took a few minutes to read the proposed changes before casting my vote. You can do so here if you like: https://abana.org/business/by-laws/. As a member of both ABANA and a local affiliate group (Indiana Blacksmithing Association), I was a little concerned with the language changes related to affiliate groups. The re-write seems to leave the future of the affiliates a little uncertain. I emailed the ABANA office to ask about this, and I received the following unofficial reply: "Just my person opinion [sic] here… The board has talked at length with proposed (and stricter) requirements for the affiliates. I believe they may want to impose regulations for maintaining a non-profit status among the affiliates (ensuring that they comply with IRS regulations, and/or require a 501( c)3 status), require formal bylaws, executive board structure, number of meetings, etc. I don’t think there is a structured plan to grandfather existing affiliates into new requirements, or at least, I haven’t heard of any." I thought it was good for those potential changes to be on the radar for the many different ABANA affiliate groups. I'm sure there has been a lot of discussion about why those potential changes are important, but I expressed my concern that if such changes are implemented to quickly or to stringently, it could negatively impact the affiliates; I feel those local groups are really the face of ABANA and often the first contact for new smiths. Fortunately our Indiana group is already a 501(c)3, but obtaining a 501(c)3 status can be somewhat of an involved and costly endeavor for those who are not. My hope would be that ABANA would work with the affiliates to make those changes happen if that is ultimately what is required, but I thought it would be good to make others aware so they could be working to that end as well.
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