About us

 

 

HIMARRA

 

Himarra is a historically distinct region and municipality located along the southern Albania coast between the Akrokeraunian mountains and the Ionian Sea. A land of breathtaking beauty and unique heritage, populated by a predominantly Greek ethnic community whose existence traces back to antiquity, Himarriotans have struggled to preserve their freedom and culture throughout the centuries.

 

OUR MISSION

 

The HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA, “H XEIMAPPA” is a non-profit organization dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of Himarriotic culture, heritage and history, and to making a positive difference in the lives of our members. The Society strives to promote the rights and interests of Himarriotans, both in the United States and in our native homeland of Himarra, Albania, through the realization of patriotic, charitable, philanthropic, educational, and cultural endeavors.


OUR PURPOSE

 

To promote the general well being of our members and empower them to become  effective and responsible citizens with faith and dedication to the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America.

 

To cultivate and preserve our unique cultural heritage as Himarriotans and descendants of Himarriotans, and to keep alive the traditions, customs, and moral principles inherited by our forefathers.

 

To advance by any legal, peaceful and democratic means the preservation of the unique status of Himarra as a bastion of Hellenism and Orthodoxy which has survived throughout the centuries.

 

To assist our fellow Himarriotans in Himarra, be they of Greek or Albanian ethnic descent, in their struggle to realize the full rights and freedoms to which they are justly due.

 

To promote acts of charity and philanthropy, with a main objective to assist the charitable foundations, the churches, and schools of Himarra and those of the United States which benefit our members.

Board of Directors

Fr. Kosmas Karavellas President
  Ben Niko-Nina Vice President
  Stephen Zuppas Secretary
  Niko Dhima Treasurer

 

 

At large board members
Foti Martinos Petros Gjikurias Dino Veizis

HSA Constitution 

CONSTITUTION

OF

THE HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA

“H XEIMAPPA”

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The Himarriotans of America, motivated by their love of Himarra, the land of their native origin, and dedicated to the noblest ideals of their forefathers, hereby elect to establish the eponymous HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA, “H XEIMAPPA”, a successor organization to that society previously organized in Washington, DC, and, following in its precepts, aspire to the cultivation and preservation of Himarriotic culture in America, to making a positive difference in the lives of its members, and to promoting the rights and interests of the Himarriotans in Himarra, through the realization of patriotic, charitable, philanthropic, educational and cultural endeavors.

 

 

ARTICLE I. NAME OF THE SOCIETY

 

            The name of the organization is designated to be “H XEIMAPPA”. The word itself, on the one hand, will indicate the place of origin of the members, and on the other hand, will symbolize their faith in the principles of democracy, freedom, and equality upon which this small but glorious geographical area of Northern Epirus, situated between the Akrokeravian Mountains and the Ionian Sea in present day Albania, had for centuries based the foundations of a model society that had become an unconquerable citadel of Hellenism.

 

 

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE OF THE SOCIETY

 

            The Society is a non-profit organization, whose purposes are: First: To promote the general well being of its members and empower them to become effective and responsible citizens with faith and dedication to the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America. Second:To cultivate and preserve their unique cultural heritage as Himarriotans and descendants of Himarriotans, and to keep alive the traditions, customs, and moral principles inherited by their forefathers. Third:  To advance by any legal, peaceful and democratic means the preservation of the unique status of Himarra as a bastion of Hellenism and Orthodoxy which has survived throughout the centuries. Fourth: To assist our fellow Himarriotans in Himarra, be they of Greek or Albanian ethnic descent, in their struggle to realize the full rights and freedoms to which they are justly due.  Fifth: To promote acts of charity and philanthropy, with a main objective to assist the charitable foundations, the churches, and schools of XEIMARRA and those of the United States which benefit our members. Sixth: To cooperate with other Greek Organizations and the Epirotic Societies mainly for the purpose of the realization of our common goals.

 

 

ARTICLE III. SEAT OF THE ORGANIZATION AND SEAL

 

            The seat of the Society shall be in Maryland, USA, and the offices will be located at a place selected by the officials of the Society until permanent offices owned by the Society are established. The Seal of the Society will be round in form and with the words – HIMARRIOTON SOCIETY OF AMERICA -  “H XEIMAPPA” – around it.

 

 

ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP

 

  1. Regular Members :  a) All persons who are of Himarriotic origin (from Nivitsa to Palassa) through both or one of their parents, b) persons who are descendants of people who are of Himarriotic origin, irrespective of whether they are of the first or second or subsequent generations, and c) any persons friendly to the Society and who accept its aims even if Himarra is not their place of origin.  Regular members are entitled to all rights and privileges conferred herein, provided they accept in good faith the aims and rules of the Society and pay their yearly dues.  
  2. Life Members:  A person can be designated a Life Member and entitled to all rights and privileges conferred herein, upon the donation of at least $500.00 (five hundred dollars) and approval of application by the Board of Directors.
  3. Honorary Members: Any person of Himarriotic or non-Himarriotic origin, irrespective of their place of residence, can be designated an Honorary Member by the Board of Directors and entitled to all rights and privileges conferred herein, for his/her exceptional services towards the realization of the goals of the Society.
  4. Right to Inspection: A complete list of the Society members, arranged in alphabetical order and showing the address of each, shall be maintained by the Secretary, and shall be open to the examination of any member.

 

 

ARTICLE V. DUES AND MEMBER RIGHTS

 

Membership dues shall be set by the Board of Directors and are payable by January of each year. Membership dues at the date of organization are $25.00 (twenty five dollars) per year for any member over the age of 21 (twenty one) years. Family membership, is $40.00 (forty dollars) per year. Any member not current in their dues up to the time of the Society’s General Assembly Meetings are deprived of the right to vote or to be elected as well as of every benefit as member of the Society. Such rights may be restored upon payment of previous membership dues.

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE VI. ADMINISTRATION

 

            The Society is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven (7) members: The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Regular members. A member is entitled to become a candidate for election to the Board if they are a member in good standing through payment of their annual dues. All the regular members who have paid their annual dues before the opening of the balloting are entitled to vote for candidates to the Board.

 

 

ARTICLE VII. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

  1. Procedure of Election: The elections of the seven (7) Board members are conducted by secret ballot cast only by voters present during the elections, after nomination of the candidates by one of the regular members and seconding of such nomination. The Officers of the Board: the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer; are then elected by the members of the newly elected Board.
  2. Time of Election:  Elections for the Board are held during the General Assembly meeting specifically called for this purpose.
  3. Term: Each Director shall hold office for two years, and until their successor has been elected and approved. Directors are not limited to the number of terms they may serve, although no member may hold the office of President for more than two successive terms.
  4. Meetings: A regular meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held annually during the third (3rd) quarter of each year. Additional meetings may be called by or at the request of the President or any three (3) Directors at a time and place so chosen.
  5. Quorum: The Board of Directors is considered to be in quorum for the transaction of business when at least five (5) of its members are present. The act of a majority of the Directors present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the entire Board of Directors.
  6. Composition: No fewer than 4 of the 7 board members shall be persons of Himarriotic origin, or descendants or persons of Himarriotic origin. 
  7. Vacancies: Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors may be filled by the affirmative vote of the majority of the remaining Directors, though less than a quorum of the Board of Directors. In the event of a vacancy of three (3) or more members of the Board of Officers, the totality of the Board of Officers is considered to be vacant and then the remaining Board of Directors shall call a special meeting of the Society with the agenda of immediately electing a new Board, irrespective of the period of service of the current Board.
  8. Resignation: Any member of the Board may submit his resignation in the form of a letter addressed to the Board. If the President resigns, his place is taken by the Vice President. In the event that three (3) members of the Board of Officers submit their resignation as a group, and one of them happens to be the President, the totality of the Board of Officers is considered as having resigned, and then the Secretary, or upon his refusal, the President, shall call a special meeting of the Society with the agenda of immediately electing a new Board, irrespective of the period of service of the resigning Board.
  9. Removal: Any officer or agent elected or appointed by the Board of Directors may be removed by the Board of Directors whenever in its judgment it deems that the best interests of the Society would be served thereby, but such removal shall be conducted without prejudice as to the rights of the person being removed.
  10. Compensation: Directors shall not receive any salary or compensation for their services.
  11. Powers: The Board of Directors shall have in addition to such powers as expressed herein, all powers conferred upon the Society by the laws of the State of Maryland, the articles of incorporation, and these by-laws.

 

 

 

ARTICLE VIII. DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

  1. President: The President exemplifies and promotes the ideals of the Society and its aims. He supervises and administers the functions of the Society and looks after the implementation of the decisions of the Board of Directors. He supervises and encourages the faithful performance of the duties of all officers and committees. He presides at all meetings of the members as well as meetings of the Board of Directors. He shall submit a report and an account of his activities to the annual General Assembly. He co-signs with the Secretary the minutes and with the Treasurer the checks. He can participate ex-officio in the meetings of all Committees but without the right to vote except when he is a member of them.
  2. Vice President:  The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President when the latter is absent or unable to fulfill his duties. The Vice President in such cases has the same responsibilities, duties and powers, and is subject to the same restrictions, as the President.
  3. Secretary: The Secretary is the main assistant to the President. Under the direction of the President, he has the general and active management of expediting the business of the Association. His main duty is to keep in order the administrative books of the Society; keep regularly the minutes of the meetings; carry on the correspondence on behalf of the President; co-sign the correspondence with the President when this is possible; keep an orderly list of the Society members, their addresses and contact information; and on the advice of the President call regular or special meetings of the Society. He can participate ex-officio in all the meetings of all Committees but without the right to vote except when he is a member of them.
  4. Treasurer:  The Treasurer has the duty to keep a regular picture of the financial situation of the society, and advise the Board of Directors with respect to all fiscal matters. He collects the dues of the members as well as any contributions or other monies received; provides receipts for all monies received; and deposits all such monies promptly in the name of the Society at the designated bank. He co-signs with the President the checks and keeps receipts for all disbursements or expenses of the Society. He presents a detailed report of the financial position of the Society and of his handling and administering of the monies at the annual General Assembly.
  5. Other Members of the Board:  The other Board Members must participate in the meetings of the Board of Directors, and if so appointed, they lead and direct the Committees established by the Board or by the General Assembly.

ARTICLE IX. MEETINGS

 

  1. Annual General Assembly meeting: Once a year and by preference during the third (3rd) quarter of each year, all the members of the Society are summoned to a General Assembly meeting, the location of which as well as the exact dates are determined by the Board of Directors. The General Assembly constitutes the ultimate authority of the Society. Following the opening invocation and call to order over which the President of the Society presides, the meeting agenda and subsequent matters will then be discussed and be acted upon.
  2. Special General Assembly meetings: Special meetings of the members may be called by the President, the Board of Directors, or by the President at the request of the membership of the Society entitled to not less than twenty-five (25%) of all the votes entitled to be cast at such meetings. Such request shall state the purpose or purposes of the meeting and the matters proposed to be acted upon.
  3. Notice of Meetings: Written notice for any General Assembly meeting shall be sent not less than ten (10) days before the designated date of the meeting, to each member of record entitled to vote at such meeting.
  4. Quorum: At least one-third (1/3) of the membership of the Society entitled to vote, represented in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum. When there is no quorum the meeting may be adjourned, and an invitation for a new meeting is issued.
  5. Proxies: At all General Assembly meetings, a member may vote by proxy executed in writing by the member or his duly authorized agent. Such proxies shall be filed with the Secretary of the Society before or at the time of the meeting.
  6. Voting: Each member in good standing and current in their dues shall be entitled to one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote of the membership.

 

 

ARTICLE X. RULES GOVERNING THE MEETINGS

 

            The meetings of the Society at all levels shall be held according to the rules of parliamentary procedure under the direction of the President and when he is unable, of the Vice President. The President determines the items of the agenda for every meeting.

            The first item of the agenda of any meeting consists of the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting and the final approval of such minutes.

            Any member has the right to speak on any item of the agenda but only after he has been recognized by the President.

            Decisions and deliberations on any item of the agenda are taken by absolute majority, that is, by one half plus one vote of the members present.

            Whenever this charter provides for secret voting, such voting is held by secret ballot. Otherwise voting is held either by raising of the hands or by voice vote.

 

 

 

            The President has the right to make disciplinary observations to undisciplined speakers and to exclude from the meeting room any member who violates the basic rules of discussion or shows disrespect through violent expressions or provocations. Members, including members of the Board, who habitually show disrespect towards the rules of orderly behavior or whose actions and general behavior are in flagrant conflict with the ethical and moral precepts and goals of the Society can, at the President’s proposal and by a decision taken by two thirds (2/3) of the present members, be either temporarily or permanently expelled from the Society.

             

 

 

ARTICLE XI. RECORDS, DEPOSITS, CHECKS, CONTRACTS, LOANS

 

            The main books and records of the Society are: 1) General Book of Membership, 2) Records of the Financial Transactions, Incomes, and Expenses, 3) Records of Payments of Membership Dues, and 4) Records of the Minutes of the Meetings.

            All funds of the Society shall be deposited promptly in an account at a local bank designated by the Board of Directors.

            All checks and disbursements from this account shall be signed by at least two (2) of the

following executive officers: the President, the Treasurer, or the Vice President.

            The Board of Directors may authorize any officer or officers, agents to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of or behalf of the Society.

            No loans shall be contracted on behalf of the Society and no evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless duly authorized by the Board of Directors.

 

 

 

ARTICLE XII. COMMITTEES

 

                In order to expedite the goals and objectives of the Society, the Board of Directors may by resolution establish committees, the chairmen and the members of which are appointed by the Board. The duties, responsibilities and jurisdiction of each committee will be determined by the Board and be described in the by-laws of this Constitution.

                 

 

ARTICLE XIII. AUDIT COMMITTEE

 

            An audit committee may be appointed by the Board of Directors or the General Assembly to account for the financial management of the Society, when deemed necessary or prudent. After examining and auditing the books and records, the collections, the disbursements, and general expenses, the audit committee presents a report of its findings to the quorum of all the membership for approval.

 

 

 

ARTICLE XIV. DISSOLUTION

 

            In case of dissolution of the Himarrioton Society, its treasury funds as well as any other liquid or real assets, after payment of all debts and obligations, shall be appropriated by the last Board of Directors  in support of works and institutions in Himarra,  or in the United States of America benefitting Himarriotans, or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese only.

 

 

 

ARTICLE XV. AMENDMENTS

 

            Any proposal for amendment of this charter should be done in writing and be submitted to the Board of Directors which calls a General Assembly meeting for this purpose. Any decision to amend the charter is taken by three fourths (3/4) majority of the members present and in this case to form a quorum, the presence of not less than half the members who have a right to vote is required.

            All Articles of the charter are subject to amendment with the exception of Article I, which defines the purposes of the Society.

            Any subjects not provided for in this charter are regulated by resolutions of the general membership, which resolutions after having been voted upon by two thirds (2/3) majority as above are inserted into the minutes of the meeting, and take the power of constitutional provisions.

 

 

English

Our mission

The Himarrioton Society of America is an independent organization that is not affiliated with any group, individual or political organization. Our activities are dedicated to promoting the best interests of our members and of our homeland of Himarra.  As such we welcome open dialog and meetings with any group or organization regarding matters that affect our community, with the understanding that such dialog or meetings do not constitute HSA’s  endorsement or rejection of any said group or organization.