Founded in 1926, the Business Technology Association (BTA) serves office technology dealerships, resellers, manufacturers, distributors and service companies. Its core members — office technology dealerships — consult, provide services and sell hardware, software and supplies with the primary goal of helping businesses optimize business document and information workflows. Through the association's various educational programs, information, research, legal services, publications and guidance, BTA member dealerships are positioned to be the premier source of the office technology used by businesses throughout the United States every day.
BYLAWS OF THE BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION
June 8, 2016
ARTICLE I: NAME
Section 1. This Association shall be known as the BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION ("BTA").
Section 2. This Association is incorporated in the State of Illinois as a not-for-profit corporation and its registered office is located in the State of Illinois.
Section 3. This Association shall not be conducted for the financial profit of its members but shall be conducted for the mutual benefit of its entire membership.
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. MEMBERSHIP CLASSIFICATION. Memberships in this Association shall be divided into the following classifications and shall be under the jurisdiction of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall rule on any questions that may arise concerning benefits, privileges of membership, classification of membership, and dues and assessments of membership:
A. ACTIVE. Any person, firm, or corporation engaged primarily in the business equipment and systems industry is eligible to become an ACTIVE member of the Association.
B. ACTIVE VOTING. Each ACTIVE member firm or corporation whose revenues are in excess of fifty (50%) percent from sales of third party products and services to end-users shall be entitled to one vote on all matters submitted to the voting membership.
C. CONTINUING MEMBERSHIP. Continuing members are those members who are no longer participating in the sale or service of business equipment and systems, and do not qualify for any other classification of membership. They shall have been ACTIVE VOTING members or employees of ACTIVE VOTING member firms in good standing. They shall be entitled to those benefits established by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. MEMBERSHIP DUES. The Board of Directors may by majority vote establish dues and assessments for membership in this Association. All dues and assessments shall be payable to the Association in United States funds with the initial application of membership and on each anniversary date of membership.
Section 3. REMOVAL. A Member of this Association may be removed by the affirmative vote of five (5) members of the Board of Directors when that Member, following due process, has been found to have violated these By-Laws or fails to conduct itself in a manner that reflects favorably upon the Association and/or industry.
Section 4. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS. The area covered by this Association shall be divided into four geographical areas known as Districts under the direct jurisdiction of this Association. Each geographic area may be further divided and defined by the Board of Directors and shall constitute the area over which a geographical association may have jurisdiction.
Section 5. SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP. Upon written petition to the Board of Directors from fifty (50) ACTIVE VOTING members of the Association, the formation of a Special Interest Group shall be considered by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE III: SUBSCRIPTION TO BY-LAWS
Section 1. SUBSCRIPTION. Each member shall agree to be bound by these By-Laws and all amendments thereof before being admitted to membership.
Section 2. WAIVER OF DUES. The dues of any member found in distress may be waived temporarily by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS OF MEMBERS AND QUORUM REQUIREMENTS
Section 1. ANNUAL MEETINGS. An Annual Meeting of this Association shall be held. Written notice of the time, place, and agenda of the Annual Meeting shall be mailed and/or transmitted to all members of the Association not less than fifteen (15) days before the date of such meeting.
Section 2. QUORUM. One (1%) percent, but in no event fewer than twenty-five (25) ACTIVE VOTING members in good standing, shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE V: ELECTION AND DUTIES OF DIRECTORS, THEIR MEETINGS AND QUORUMS
Section 1. NUMBER AND ELECTION. The properties and business of this Association shall be managed by its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall be comprised of twelve (12) members, including the Immediate Past President, three (3) Officers, and eight (8) District Representatives who shall serve as set forth in Article V, Section 2. Members of the Board of Directors must be employees of ACTIVE VOTING members at the time of election and throughout their service on the Board of Directors.
Section 2. COMPOSITION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
A. The Immediate Past President, President, President-Elect, and Vice-President shall serve on the Board of Directors during their term. The President shall serve as Board Chairperson.
B. Eight (8) District Representatives, two (2) appointed by each of the four (4) Districts of the Association, (preferably a past or present District officer) who is an ACTIVE VOTING member of the Association, for a one- (1) year term which may not exceed three (3) consecutive terms.
Section 3. VACANCY. Any vacancy in the Board of Directors shall be filled by a majority of the Board within sixty (60) days, except for a District Representative, who shall be appointed by and from the District affected. A District Representative so appointed shall serve until the next general election provided s/he meets all requirements of eligibility. Any District Representative absent from two (2) face-to-face meetings in succession without the consent of the Board shall be automatically terminated from the Board. The member may request reinstatement within two (2) months of termination and the Board may reinstate the individual, though this provision may not be used for any member more than once per three (3) year term.
Section 4. MEETINGS. There shall be no less than two (2) meetings per year of the Board of Directors which may be held at any place or manner designated by the President.
Section 5. QUORUM. Fifty-one (51%) percent of the members of the Board of Directors in good standing shall constitute a quorum.
Section 6. COMPENSATION. District Representatives and Volunteers in this Association shall receive no compensation other than approved expenses incurred in conjunction with their activities on behalf of this Association.
Section 7. INDEMNIFICATION. This Association shall provide indemnification to the full extent permitted by Illinois law, it being the policy of this Association to safeguard its Volunteers, District Representatives, Officers, Management, and Employees from expense and liability for actions taken in good faith in furtherance of the interests of the Association and its members.
ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES
Section 1. COMMITTEES. The Board of Directors, or the President with Board approval, may appoint Chairpersons and members to Committees and Task Forces as necessary to help the Board perform its duties. A Committee or Task Force shall continue until its assignment is complete or the Board of Directors no longer feels the Committee or Task Force is required.
Section 2. EX-OFFICIO MEMBER. The National President shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees and Task Forces.
ARTICLE VII: OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION
Section 1. OFFICERS. The Officers of this Association shall be the President, President-Elect and Vice-President all of whom shall be ACTIVE VOTING members.
Section 2. OFFICERS ELECTION. All elections shall be by ballot, communicated to the ACTIVE VOTING membership no less than thirty (30) days prior to the end of the Association’s Fiscal Year in June. Such ballots shall contain thereon, the names of the qualified candidates nominated to run for the position. Persons who do not appear on the official slate of candidates may be placed on the ballot provided they qualify. Ballots shall be return prior to the last week of June. The Association’s Executive Director shall have the ballots tabulated no later than the end of the Fiscal Year and certify, in writing, the results to the Board of Directors. The qualified person receiving the most votes for the respective office is elected. Each Officer shall serve for his/her term, from July 1 to June 30. The President-Elect shall become President each July 1.
Section 3. PROXIES. Proxies are not permitted nor authorized in meetings of the Board of Directors or the General Membership of this Association.
Section 4. REMOVAL. In addition to the provisions of Article V, Section 3 regarding Vacancy, any Officer or District Representative of this Association may be removed by the affirmative vote of five (5) members of the Board of Directors when that Officer or District Representative, following due process, has been found to have violated the duties and responsibilities of a Board member.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
Section 1. BY-LAW PROPOSAL. A proposed amendment to these By-Laws may be brought forth by any member of the Board of Directors or joint action of thirty (30) ACTIVE VOTING members.
Section 2. By-LAW AMENDMENTS. These By-Laws may be amended by the affirmative vote of five (5) members of the Board of Directors, or an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members voting on the matter.
ARTICLE IX: DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of this Association, the net assets, after payment of existing liabilities and expenses of liquidation, shall be given to a qualified not-for-profit organization to be determined by the Board of Director.
ARTICLE X: GENDER AND NUMBER
In these By-Laws, where the context admits, words in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter genders, words in the singular include the plural and the plural includes the singular.
The Early Years: 1920s-1950s
In January 1926, independent typewriter dealers, entrepreneurs each and every one, gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to form an association that would one day become the Business Technology Association. Behind it all there was a conviction that there had to be unity among the dealers across the country; unity to share ideas, knowledge, success and even failure.
The first officers of the newly formed NATD (National Association of Typewriter Dealers) were elected in 1926. It was agreed that dues for members of NATD would be $10 per year.
Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal came along in 1933. By this time, the Association had grown so much that it was decided that a name change was in order. NATD became the National Typewriter and Office Machine Dealers Association (NTOMDA).
A decade later, shortly after the June 1943 meeting of the NTOMDA, held at the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, the name was changed once again to what it would be for the next 50 years: the National Office Machine Dealers Association (NOMDA).
New products introduced in 1948 included such items as these, announced in the September issue of the NOMDA NEWS:
- TAPE RECORDER — a compact, magnetic tape recording and playback machine designed for non-professional use.
- WIRE RECORDER — a new, portable, low-priced model. The combination phonograph/wire recorder reproducer claimed to have 12 essential features of sound reproduction.
- PHOTO COPY DUPLICATOR — designed to produce letter- and legal-sized exact facsimiles of anything written, typed, printed, drawn or photographed in a matter of minutes. Claimed to produce more than 30 finished copies an hour at about five cents per copy. Portable. Had a self-contained darkroom.
In 1955, the NOMDA Board of Directors was approached by a committee representing the manufacturers of office machines and equipment. It was one of the most far-reaching moves within the industry when the manufacturers held an organizational breakfast and appointed a liaison committee to work with NOMDA. The suggestion of having a Manufacturer's Committee to work with NOMDA on an ongoing basis met with instant approval.
The 1957 convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was highlighted by a panel on automation and electronics. It was noted then that "the advent of electronic data processing systems did not come about for the purpose of replacing adding machines or any type of office equipment. On the contrary, there will always be a place for the machine-based on mechanical and electro-mechanical principles."
During the 1960s, the office machine industry found innovations in the use of transistors and other miniature devices that allowed office equipment to become more portable, versatile and inexpensive. A dictation machine became super portable and could be carried in the shirt pocket. Calculators also evolved to take up another shirt pocket rather than desktop space.
Convention topics and presentations continued to change through the 1960s to become more technical, more professional and to give greater insight into the problems and concerns of the industry — and to NOMDA's reactions and solutions to them.
Price Waterhouse was commissioned to do a management study of NOMDA. The company issued its August 1965 report that held some important recommendations: The board of directors could function more effectively if it reduced substantially in size. Strong interest was expressed in developing new information programs such as financial and statistical surveys of members' business operations.
In the 1970s, the office machine dealer could see great things ahead. The Japanese had developed a new and dynamic office appliance called the electronic calculator and they turned to the independent American dealer to sell their products. Within a few years, dealers were selling in excess of 75 percent of the commercial calculator market. Names like Sharp, Canon, Toshiba and Sony became household words.
New products and services entered the office equipment market at a staggering pace during the 1970s. Dealers were so numbed by events that they had difficulty exploring and expanding their markets. A slogan for the decade might have been "Opportunity is always knocking — hurry to the door!" Those who answered the call continued to move ahead.
Ever-increasing competition from direct sales forces of large manufacturers and from the increasing number of manufacturer stores faced the NOMDA dealer in the 1980s. From this arena stepped the 'citizen dealer.' Regarding the 'citizen dealer:' "Their roots are in the community. They are here today and will not be replaced by another temporary salesperson tomorrow. It is NOMDA's obligation to its membership to institute a program to project this image of stability and professionalism."
At the February 1985 board of directors meeting in Florida, NOMDA directors approved the purchase of Loretto Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, to serve as NOMDA's National Education Center. Approval came after the presentation of a 105-page report, the results of a nine-month study conducted by an Ad Hoc Education Development Committee.
On April 30, 1993, it was announced that officials of NOMDA and LANDA (Local Area Network Dealers Assocation) had signed a letter of intent to merge the two associations. LANDA represented the "high-tech" segment of office systems, complementing NOMDA's membership with strong knowledge of technologies. The merger was approved unanimously by the NOMDA Board of Regents on May 21, 1993. The result was a single organization representing an experienced, knowledge-based channel of dealers and resellers who possessed the highest levels of business savvy and technical expertise in the industry. Initially, the new organization was called NOMDA/LANDA. But eventually, the name changed to more closely reflect the new makeup of the organization.
At a meeting held in Kansas City, Missouri, in the winter of 1993, the board of directors had, as an agenda item, a "name change" presentation. "Business Technology Association" was presented for the first time to the directors at this meeting. The proposed name change was then put before the general membership by ballot in April 1994. In May 1994, the ballots were tallied and the final results showed overwhelming support for the new name.
With the new name came a second merger, this time with AIMED (Association of Independent Mailing Equipment Dealers) in 1994. Begun in 1976, this association, comprised of leading mailing equipment dealers throughout the United States, closely mirrored the mission of BTA: to help members maintain high professional standards and to keep them abreast of the latest developments within the industry. Merger discussions were culminated when, by ballot, AIMED members voiced their decision to merge with BTA in order to better pursue the interests of their members.
Most recently, the changes in office technologies have blurred the lines of what used to be segregated industry segments. Digital knowledge, network knowledge, the necessity of placing equipment, both standalone and connected, has been a challenge well-met by the synergy within BTA's membership — a clear example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
BTA's history of serving its members since 1926 has shown a remarkable consistency throughout the decades that has been impacted by ever-increasing technology changes. The independents — the dealers comprising the lion's share of BTA's membership — have been trained, with the help of their Association, to continue to compete effectively in the marketplace — and they have adapted while maintaining those original, vital qualities of citizenship and community.
Today, the Business Technology Association is still headquartered in Kansas City, operating from the facility it purchased in the mid-1980s. Although the building no longer serves as BTA's Education and Conference Center, the facility still hosts board of directors meetings and BTA's national headquarters staff.
Check out a video tour of the Thomas A. Russo Museum of Business History and Technology.
"Why should you be a BTA member?"
"The education and networking BTA provides are things you can't buy anywhere. That's worth double the price of what you pay for a BTA membership. You could not operate without the education. The snippets of education [from BTA district events] that you leave with are stuck in your head so that when you go home, you don't feel like you're standing still. Because if you're standing still, you're moving backward in this industry."
— Cathy Dimon, Northern Business Systems, Fairbanks, Alaska
"How would you describe BTA to another dealer who is not currently a member of the association?"
"Membership easily pays for itself with just the education and legal benefits."
— Mark Naylor, ABM Automation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
"BTA is an organization dedicated to the development of independent dealers."
— Ray Belanger, Bay Copy, Rockland, Massachusetts
"I have always told other dealers that the benefits outweigh the membership cost. The legal advice alone is worth the membership cost."
— John Kerling, United Business Systems, Buffalo, New York
"BTA is an organization that looks out for dealers and their interests. Using some street vernacular: 'It has your back.'"
— Gerry Purvis, Purvis Business Machines, Meridian, Mississippi
"BTA is your single source for the information you are currently collecting to run your business. The money you spend on dues and travel to district events will be returned 10 times over."
— Mike Brandon, ABC Office Equipment, Spokane, Washington
"I have described BTA to another dealer who currently is not a member. I let him know that he would rub elbows with some pretty decent people and that he would likely meet folks who could and would help if given the chance."
— John Eckstrom, Carolina Business Equipment Inc., Columbia, South Carolina
"It's the best resource and value; you're crazy if you don't belong. One report, piece of legal advice or contract template will cost you a lot more than membership!"
— Greg Gondek, Advanced Copy Technologies Inc., Cromwell, Connecticut
"BTA is the only connection for dealers to have a common information-sharing source available in today's business world. Support BTA."
— Gary Smith, Office Equipment Co., Eugene, Oregon
"It's like a college education, helping to build the foundation for a successful future."
— Art Schwartz, Image Systems for Business, Somerset, New Jersey
"BTA is the 'Total Association.' It provides industry news, contacts, training and best practices for business technology resellers and service providers."
— Robert Moore, Lockwood Moore, Reno, Nevada
"If you are going to be a successful office technology dealer, BTA is the ‘go-to’ association. It offers information services on every aspect of the business. This information is offered in print, webinars, classroom workshops and district events, which are all included or offered at a discount with dealer membership. BTA keeps you abreast of all new technologies with online support. And its growing list of member benefits can save a dealer a lot of dollars. I have been a BTA member since I opened my dealership 27 years ago. BTA truly has the dealers' best interests at heart!"
— Bob Smith, Copiers Plus Inc., Fayetteville, North Carolina
"We use the BEQI and Bob Goldberg. I think the other benefits, like insurance, are certainly of value to your smaller members."
— Dean Boring, Boring Business Systems, Lakeland, Florida
Members have great things to say about BTA's member benefits, workshops and events:
BTA Legal Services
BTA Scholarship Foundation
BTA Managed IT Services Workshop
Dealers Helping Dealers Discussion Groups
PRO Dealer Group
BTA's 90th anniversary event, BTA at 90: A Celebration, was held
June 10, 2016, at Kansas City Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.
Watch some videos from the event below:
This BTA history video kicked off the event:
Industry executives sing with Gregory Hyde:
|1926: George S. Walker|
1926-27: W. R. Schilling
1927-28: Dean Reynolds
1928-29: H. F. Sanderson
1929-31: James P. Wards
1931-32: Lamont Wood
1932-33: Ted Schafer
1933-34: William Clausing
1934-36: C. Elmer Anderson
1936-39: Lamont Wood
1939-41: John Loser
1941-43: Irwin Vincent
1943-44: Nick H. Fucci
1944-45: J. L. Macon
1945-46: Gene E. Taylor
1946-47: Robert R. Randazzo
1947-48: I. R. Ritchie
1948-49: Earl T. DeGroot
1949-50: Gordon E. Miller
1950-51: E. J. Toussaint
1951-52: Liston Jackson
1952-53: Jack Weiner
1953-54: John Romano
1954-55: Wilbur E. Walker
1955-56: David C. Silvers
1956-57: D. L. Keeney Jr.
1957-58: H E. Steinke
1958-59: Charles S. Meyers
1959-60: Alfred H. Foxcroft
1960-61: Paul McWilliams
1961-62: Edgar Noll
1962-63: Edwin T. Feigl
1963-64: V. L. Kennedy
1964-66: Gale L. Mead
1966-67: Harold Peck
1967-69: Robert M. Woletz
1969-71: James H. Ayres
1971-72: Michael L. McWilliams
1972-74: James P. Charles
1974-75: A. Gordon Adams
1975-76: Robert G. Kuykendall
1976-77: Bruce E. Losty
1977-78:John A. Morse
|1978-79: Alfred "Burt" Aus|
1979-80: Donald J. Wright
1980-81: Tom Van Gelder
1981-82: Joe Stuart
1982-83: J. Randel Dockery
1983-84: John Kuchta
1984-85: Richard A. McClure
1985-86: Thomas A. Russo Sr.
1986-87: Robert E. Todd Sr.
1987-88: William C. Matthews Sr.
1988-89: Paul Williams
1989-90: David Shearer
1990-91: Perry Wells
1991-92: John Mackery
1992-93: Norman Lankford
1993-94: Leon Carter
1994-95: Monroe Levrets
1995-96: Herschel H. "Zip" White
1996-97: John Malone
1997-98: Carol A. Wylie
1998-99: William D. Cooper
1999-00: Nancy Taylor
2000-01: Bruce Bro
2001-02: Robert Whiton
2002-03: Dennis Hunter
2003-04: N. Joyce Chapman
2004-05: Jeff Jehn
2005-06: Mark Naylor
2006-07: Dan Hayes
2007-08: Shannon Oliver
2008-09: Ronelle Ingram
2009-10: Bill James
2010-11: Rock Janecek
2011-12: Tom Ouellette
2012-13: Terry Chapman
2013-14: Todd J. Fitzsimons
2014-15: Ron Hulett
2015-16: Dave Quint
2016-17: Rob Richardson
2017-18: Dan Castaneda
2018-19: John Eckstrom
2019-20: Bob Evans
Click a linked name to watch a video of that year's Volunteer of the Year award presentation.
1962: George Chadwick
1963: Edgar Noll
1964: Paul McWilliams
1965: Robert M. Woletz
1966: James H. Ayres
1967: Robert M. Woletz
1968: Harold Peck
1969: James H. Ayres
1970: Michael L. McWilliams
1973: James P. Charles
1974: Kenneth Shrier
1975: Robert Eisele
1976: A. Gordon Adams
1978: Henry Walter
1979: John Morse
1980: Marty Shenk
1981: Kenneth Shrier
1982: A. Gordon Adams
1983: William Matthews Sr.
1984: James H. Ayres
1985: Jim Woods
1986: Lee Pennell
1987: John Lekka
1988: Thomas A. Russo Sr.
1989: David Dukes
1990: Jim Adams
1991: Thomas DeGroot
1992: Robert E. Todd Sr.
1993: Tom Browder
1994: Mark Naylor
1995: Howard Lubert
1996: Herschel H. "Zip" White (posthumously)
1997: Kent Boom
1998: John Kuchta
1998: Bruce Losty
1999: Ronelle Ingram
2000: Bruce Bro
2001: Robert Whiton
2002: Dennis Hunter
2003: Alan Disher
2004: Richard Van Dyke
2006: Louis Slawetsky
2008: Terry Chapman
2009: Bill James
2010: Tom Ouellette
2011: Todd J. Fitzsimons
2012: Ron Hulett
2013: Rob Richardson
2014: Dave Quint
2015: Mike Ehlers
2016: John Eckstrom
2017: Dan Castaneda
2018: David Polimeni
2019: Greg Quirk
2020: Mike Hicks
2021: Bob Evans
Click a linked name to watch a video of that year's BTA Hall of Fame award presentation.
2016: Thomas A. Russo Sr.
The Channel Champion Award is given to the manufacturer that brings in and introduces to BTA the most new members during a given year.
The vendor member that brings the greatest number of new BTA dealer members (with a minimum of five) by August 31, 2020, will receive the 2020 BTA Channel Champion Award presented during the BTA's Grand Slam 2020 event in Washington D.C. In addition, the winner will receive two complimentary full-page ads in BTA's Office Technology magazine, recognition in the magazine and BTA social media.
Any dealership that has not been a member for at least three months and enters your company's promo code in the online membership application will count toward the total number of new members you are bringing to the association. Plus, dealers who enter the code will be entered into a drawing for a $500 American Express gift card!