ACI Chapter Guide
This Chapter Guide describes the steps that a local organization must take to request affiliation with ACI as an official authorized Chapter.
Download the full PDF of the Guide to Chapter Organization and Operation.
If ACI recognizes a local organization as a Chapter, this guide further prescribes the steps that Chapters must take to maintain their affiliation with ACI and what steps are taken at the end of affiliation, regardless of whether ACI or the Chapter chooses to end the affiliation. ACI reserves the right to deny affiliation to local organizations, to end affiliation with any chapter, or to take other action for reasons that include but are not limited to the following:
- Chapter has aims or objectives that are inconsistent with ACI’s chartered aims and objectives;
- Chapter fails or refuses to comply with ACI policies stated in this Chapter Guide or otherwise communicated to the local organization or Chapter;
- Chapter appears not to have the organizational or financial ability to carry out the activities of a Chapter; or
- Chapter becomes inactive.
Information in this Chapter Guide concerning Chapter programming, ideas for member recruitment, and resources ACI makes available to Chapters are merely suggestions and not binding on Chapters.
Purpose of an ACI Chapter
ACI bylaws state that local chapters are organized “to provide a means of advancing the interests of the Institute in a specified geographical area and of furthering the chartered objectives for which the Institute is organized.” The chartered objectives of the Institute are as follows:
“The purpose of the American Concrete Institute (the ‘Institute’) shall be to further engineering and technical education, scientific investigation and research, and development of standards for design and construction incorporating concrete and related materials. The Institute shall organize the efforts of its members for a nonprofit, public service in gathering, correlating, and disseminating information. The Institute shall address design, construction, manufacture, use, and maintenance and restoration of concrete and related materials. These efforts shall promote improved technology, technical competence, design and construction for the benefit of society.”
ACI and its chapters are groups of individuals who want to learn more about concrete. It is important this principle be kept in mind when developing programs, activities, and technical presentations.
ACI chapters are nonprofit educational associations. United States chapters are generally classified by the United States Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) organizations. The chapter must refrain from actions that could jeopardize this nonprofit status. Actions that 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from doing include attempting to influence legislation, promoting any product (even a nonproprietary product such as cement), and any political activity. Make certain that special interest groups do not gain control of the chapter, its technical programs, or other aspects of its work. The chapter should prevent meetings from being used as a forum for promoting specific commercial products, companies, or individuals, or the use of its name in the promotion, enactment, or rescission of local, state, or federal legislation. The chapter should also avoid discussions of proprietary goods or services in a promotional context and refrain from involvement in political lobbying. A local chapter may, however, on written invitation from a legislative body, present technical information concerning a proposal under study by the legislators.
The chapter should supplement the efforts of other groups and cooperate to resolve technical solutions to problems in the field of concrete where chapter members with special training and experience can be of service. However, the chapter may never act or speak for ACI unless authorized by the ACI Board of Direction and no chapter member may speak on behalf of a chapter unless approved by the chapter’s Board.
Establishing a New ACI Chapter
The formation of an ACI chapter begins when a group of people feel there is need for education and discussion of technical information on concrete in their local geographic area. The group surveys ACI members and other concrete professionals to determine the level of interest in forming a local chapter. Upon request, ACI will provide contact information for all ACI members within the geographic area of the proposed chapter. To form, the proposed chapter must submit an Organizing Petition and proposed bylaws to be considered.
After the initiating group has determined interest exists to form an ACI chapter, an Organizing Committee of four to 12 participants is formed and a Chairperson is elected. (The Chairperson must be an ACI member.) The Organizing Committee will submit an official application outlining the chapter boundaries, the chapter’s dues schedule, frequency of meetings, meeting locations and times, and a plan for the circulation of an organizing petition and draft of the initial bylaws. Members of the Organizing Committee should represent all geographic areas in the proposed chapter, various segments of the industry, and be willing to play an active role in the chapter’s formation.
To form a chapter in the United States, the signatures of at least 25 ACI members residing within the proposed chapter geographic area are required, and at least 50 ACI members must reside in that area. To form a chapter outside of the United States, the signatures of at least 15 ACI members residing within the proposed chapter geographic area are required. The organizing petition must be submitted via e-mail to ACI Headquarters along with proposed bylaws for approval by the Chapter Activities Committee. To download a blank organizing petition form, click here. The organizing petition and bylaws can be submitted to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at
Bylaws are a set of written rules that govern the chapter’s operation and must be submitted with the Organizing Petition. Bylaws should be patterned after and within the limitations of the ACI Chapter Model Bylaws. Variations to suit local laws and conditions must be considered. Once approved by ACI, bylaws must be voted on by the chapter members. The final approved bylaws must be submitted via e-mail to ACI for record safekeeping. Any edits or updates to the chapter’s bylaws must be submitted to and approved by ACI. To see the ACI Chapter Model Bylaws, click here. The bylaws and organizing petition can be submitted to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon approval, the new chapter will receive a chapter banner and an announcement in Concrete International magazine. An announcement of the chapter’s formation is also sent to all ACI members who live within the new chapter’s boundaries. To remain an active chapter, chapters are
expected to submit an annual report and create opportunities to develop, disseminate, and advance the adoption of its consensus-based knowledge on concrete and its uses.
Requiremnets for United States Chapters
Incorporation and Nonprofit Status
Incorporation is a way to gain recognition as a tax-exempt organization. If your chapter is not incorporated, it is known as an “unincorporated association.” As such, the chapter can enter into contracts, sue, and be sued in its own name. The primary distinction between an unincorporated association and an incorporated chapter is the ultimate liability of the members for any debts or other legal obligations of the chapter. In an unincorporated association, the members are personally liable for the debts and other legal obligations of the chapter. In an incorporated chapter, the members are not personally liable. For example, if someone slips and falls at a chapter meeting, the injured party could sue the unincorporated association and all its members.
Therefore, all chapters should be incorporated and file for IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Laws concerning incorporation vary by state so the chapter will need to contact their local Secretary of State office. More information on IRS tax-exempt status can be found here.
ACI chapters are separate legal entities from ACI. As a separate legal entity, each chapter is required to file its own reports with governmental authorities, as well as pay any fees or taxes. In the United States, all tax-exempt organization are required to file an annual information return with the IRS known generally as the 990. The majority of ACI chapters will only need to file Form 990-N (e-Postcard), which can be found here. The 990 is the IRS’s primary tool for gathering information about tax-exempt organizations, educating organizations about tax law requirements, and promoting compliance. Organizations also use the Form 990 to share information with the public about their programs. Additionally, most states rely on the Form 990 to perform charitable and other regulatory oversight and to satisfy state income tax filing requirements for organizations claiming exemption from state income tax.
IMPORTANT NOTICE – if the chapter fails to file Form 990 for three (3) consecutive years, its tax-exempt status will be revoked by the IRS.
A common misconception is that the chapter will never have to pay taxes if it has received tax-exempt status. Tax-exempt status means that the chapter does not pay corporate federal income tax on income from activities that are substantially related to the purposes for which the chapter was given the exemption. The chapter would have to pay taxes on any “unrelated business income.” For example, if the chapter had advertising income (advertising revenues minus printing costs) from their newsletter or directory, Form 990T must be filed for Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT). For more information on unrelated business income, contact your local tax preparer. Filing of tax returns is the responsibility of the chapter. Chapter tax returns are not prepared or approved by ACI Headquarters. For more information on UBIT, click here.
Because chapters are independent legal entities, they cannot use ACI’s Employer Identification Number (EIN). To apply for an EIN—which is required even if you have no employees—click here to start the application process.
In the United States, chapters may take advantage of postal rate savings. To do this, the chapter must be approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The chapter must then obtain a nonprofit bulk mailing permit from their local post office. The cost of this permit is minimal. This permit allows the chapter to print/stamp the nonprofit mailing indicia onto mailing pieces. Contact your local post office for more information.
Antitrust Policy (United States Chapters)
All United States chapters are required to comply with federal and state antitrust laws. It is impracticable and impossible to identify each act that could arguably be considered an antitrust violation; however, the following recommendations may assist chapters in recognizing potential problems.
Penalties for violating antitrust laws are severe. Individuals can be fined up to $1 million USD and sentenced up to 10 years per offense. Additionally, antitrust violations can result in extensive governmental restraints being imposed on ACI and its activities, as well as the activities of the chapter, staff, members, and members’ employers. In addition to criminal prosecution, ACI, the chapter, staff, members, or members’ employers may face private antitrust action brought by competitors, consumers, or government officials. Civil penalties include payment by the defendant of three (3) times the damages suffered by the plaintiff (treble damages) plus attorneys’ fees.
Chapters bring significant, pro-competitive benefits to its members, the industry, and the public by promoting the proper use of concrete. Chapters, however, are comprised of competitors and, as such, discussions and conduct at chapter meetings and other activities are scrutinized by enforcement agencies such as the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and state agencies for potential anti-competitive violations. Therefore, it is critical that chapters are not used for anticompetitive purposes. Those prohibited purposes include fixing prices, limiting output, excluding competitors from the concrete industry, allocating customers or territories, or facilitating the exchange of competitively sensitive information between competitors.
It is also critical that a chapter avoids even the appearance of impropriety. Executive Officer members, ACI staff, or any chapter meetings and activities where competitors engage in illegal anti-competitive discussions may be held criminally and civilly responsible, even if the individual says nothing at the meeting. Attendance at the meeting or other activity may be enough to imply agreement with the discussions, which makes ACI, the chapter, the individual, and the individual’s company potentially liable for antitrust violations.
Certain conducts are presumed to be illegal by the courts and are likely to be prosecuted as crimes. In general, members should avoid discussing or sharing information that is confidential or relates to competitively sensitive matters with other members. Members should also avoid conduct that could or does eliminate competitors from a market or limits their access to a market. The following conduct must be avoided at any chapter meeting or activity:
- Price-fixing – It is illegal for competitors to directly or indirectly fix, alter, peg, stabilize, standardize, or otherwise regulate the prices paid by customers. It is also illegal for a group of buyers to fix the prices they will pay for a product or service.
- Bid-rigging – It is illegal for competitors to agree not to bid, to bid noncompetitively, or to agree on the method by which bids will be determined, submitted, or awarded.
- Allocation of customers or territories – It is illegal for competitors to allocate or divide markets, territories, or customers.
- Output restrictions – It is illegal for competitors to fix, restrict, or limit the amount of product that is produced, or services provided.
- Group boycotts – It is illegal for competitors, suppliers, or customers to agree not to do business with other competitors, suppliers, or customers.
Potentially Anti-Competitive Conduct
Certain conduct could be deemed anti-competitive under certain circumstances. Chapters must strictly adhere to the following to limit potential liability for ACI, the chapter, members, or members’ employers:
- Membership restrictions – ACI strongly endorses a policy to include all segments of the concrete industry in ACI and the chapter. Membership in a chapter must be open to anyone with an interest in concrete, provided the individual/member complies with chapter policies and membership obligations.
- Industry standards, interpretations, and opinions – Industry standards, certification programs, and technical reports, interpretations, and opinions generally are pro-competitive and lawful. However, they can be deemed anti-competitive if they are used to fix prices, restrain output, create boycotts, or exclude competitors from the market. Chapters must strictly comply with all rules, policies, and regulations instituted by ACI regarding implementing, establishing, and/or recommending industry standards, certification programs, technical publications, and interpretations and opinions.
- Statistical reporting – Chapters may participate in or facilitate statistical reporting or information-sharing programs if the collection and distribution of the information is structured in such a way that will minimize the risk that it will facilitate collusion among competitors. To reduce the anti-competitive risk associated with such programs, all programs must be reviewed and approved in advance by ACI.
- Miscellaneous – Conduct that seems innocent should still be avoided if, when combined with other actions, it could contribute to a finding of anti-competitive conduct. The following conduct should be avoided due to their potential anti-competitive violations:
- Complaints about the business practices of individuals or individual companies;
- Discussions about the validity of any patent or the terms of a patent license;
- Disclosure of confidential company plans regarding future product or service offerings;
- Disparagement of a product or material;
- Discussions regarding the pricing or bidding practices of any member or market participant;
- Recommendations against the use of a product, material, or the services offered by a company or individual;
- Control of the chapter or chapter committees, in addition to activities by any one group or any special interest group; and
- Promotion of any specific commercial product, material, company, or individual.
Compliance with Antitrust Policy
Strict adherence with the antitrust laws and the Antitrust Policy is a condition of membership, appointment, employment, association, or affiliation with ACI and the chapter. Any Officer, Director, member, employee, representative, agent of ACI, or chapter found in violation of the Antitrust Policy, antitrust laws, or foreign competition laws shall be subject to strict disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions include: immediate termination of membership, appointment, association, or affiliation with ACI and the chapter.
ACI and the chapter reserve the right to take all reasonable and appropriate disciplinary actions against any Officer, Director, member, or staff who fails to comply with the Antitrust Policy in connection with their participation in ACI or a chapter.
Reporting of Potentially Anti-Competitive Activity
Any chapter Officer, Director, member, or staff with knowledge of activities believed to violate the Antitrust Policy or antitrust laws should, upon becoming aware of such activities, promptly report the matter to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at email@example.com.
Chapter Responsibilities within the Antitrust Policy
Chapter Boards, Executives, and Officers are primarily responsible for implementation and enforcement of the Antitrust Policy. No chapter Board, Executive, Officer, member, or staff has any authority to act contrary to the Antitrust Policy. The following policies may be adopted by a chapter to protect itself and ACI against potential antitrust violations:
- Chapter distribution of the Policy to each member annually and affirmative confirmation by member of receipt. Suggestions include e-mailing policy to members or requiring the Policy to be attached to annual membership application;
- Annual or other periodic training for chapter Board, Executives, Officers, and staff;
- Posting a link to the Policy on each chapter’s website;
- Reporting to ACI if any of the following happen:
- Anyone threatens to sue a chapter or ACI;
- Actual suit being filed against chapter or chapter Board, Executive, Officer or staff;
- Investigation by any governmental agency, including Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, any state agency, or any foreign agency; and/or
- Any violation or potential violation of the Antitrust Policy during a chapter meeting or activity;
- Read an antitrust statement at each meeting/activity and include antitrust statement on each agenda;
- Include statement in annual report to ACI if the chapter is complying with the Policy;
- Require all chapter mailings, newsletters, announcements, agendas, meeting minutes, meeting materials, etc. to be submitted to chapter for review for antitrust implications; and
- Affirmative action if improper discussions or conduct occurs at chapter meeting or activity such as the following: If at any time during any chapter meeting or activity, chapter Executives or Officers believe that the Antitrust Policy is being violated, or is about to be violated, they will advise the attendees as such and halt further discussion. If necessary, chapter Executives and Officers should request individuals violating the Antitrust Policy to leave the meeting/activity or terminate the meeting/activity if the discussion does not cease.
Guidelines for Chapter Meetings and Other Activities
All chapter meetings and activities, including conference calls and social activities, should be conducted in a manner that avoids the appearance of improper conduct. Chapters should follow regular procedures as noted below.
Procedures for all chapter meetings: While chapter meetings are largely technical or educational sessions and should not give rise to antitrust liability, chapters should avoid any appearance of impropriety. As such, the following procedures should be followed:
- Written agenda will be prepared and distributed in advance of the meeting. The agenda will not include any subjects that are identified in the Antitrust Policy as being an improper topic to be raised at chapter meetings.
- The following Antitrust Statement will be printed on the agenda:
“The chapter’s meetings and activities are subject to strict compliance with antitrust laws and shall be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the antitrust laws. Any discussion of competitively sensitive topics with a competitor should always be avoided before, during, and after any meeting or activity of the chapter. If at any time during any meeting or activity, the chapter Executives or Officers believe that antitrust laws are being violated, or will be violated, they will advise attendees as such and halt further discussion. Attendees at any meeting or activity also should immediately voice their concerns. The chapter President will report the incident to ACI.”
- At the chapter meeting, the Antitrust Policy will be read to the attendees at the beginning of each meeting.
- Discussions at the meeting will be limited to agenda items unless approved by the chapter President. Any deviation from the written agenda should be recorded in the minutes.
- Accurate meeting minutes will be prepared. The minutes should include the time and place of the meeting, a list of all individuals present and their affiliations, a list or description of matters discussed, actions taken with a summary of the reasons therefore, a record of any vote taken, and an indication when any individual leaves or joins the meeting.
- If, at any time during the meeting, chapter Executives or Officers believe that a discussion violates antitrust laws, they will advise the meeting attendees as such and halt further discussion. Chapter Executives or Officers may need to eject persons from the meeting and/or terminate the meeting if the discussions do not cease. The chapter President will report the incident to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Only materials approved by the chapter Executives and Officers will be distributed.
- Chapter will permanently retain agendas, meeting minutes, and materials distributed at meetings.
The Antitrust Policy, the antitrust laws, and foreign competition laws apply to all chapter meetings, events, and activities, including social events (such as post-meeting receptions and dinners), electronic communications (such as e-mail or webinars), and conference calls. To download a copy of the Antitrust Toolkit, click here.
Questions or Concerns
Any questions about the propriety of chapter activities or discussions taking place during a chapter meeting/activity can be directed to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at
The following is provided as a template for chapters to adopt.
Statement of Policy
It is the policy of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) that all participants in ACI and its subsidiaries’ activities and events will enjoy an environment free from all forms of harassment and retaliation. Harassment, sexual or otherwise, is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of ACI activities and events and violators of this policy will be subject to discipline.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Behavior and language that are welcome/acceptable to one person may be unwelcome/offensive to another. Consequently, individuals must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behavior.
Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore, interferes with work effectiveness. The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes; unnecessary touching.
Definition of Other Harassment
Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. This conduct includes, but is not limited to the following: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.
Definition of Retaliation
Retaliation refers to taking some action to negatively impact another based on them reporting an alleged act of discrimination or harassment.
Scope of Policy
This policy applies to all attendees at ACI activities and events, including members, students, guests, staff, contractors, and exhibitors, participating in sessions, tours, and social events of any ACI or subsidiary meeting or other activity.
Reporting and Investigating an Incident
Any individual covered by this policy who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment should report the incident to ACI’s Human Resources Director or ACI’s Executive Vice President, for review. To contact either of these individuals, visit the staff directory here.
When reporting an incident, be as detailed as possible. Include dates, times, places, nature of the incident, and comments made. Save e-mails, notes, etc. Include names and contact information for any witnesses to the incident.
All complaints will be treated seriously and be investigated promptly. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.
When the investigation is complete, a summary of the findings and applicable action steps will be communicated to the complainant and the accused.
Retaliation Is Prohibited
ACI will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who file a complaint or assist in the investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.
Individuals engaging in behavior prohibited by this policy as well as those making allegations of harassment in bad faith will be subject to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include but is not limited to a verbal warning, ejection from the meeting or activity in question without refund of registration fees, reporting of their behavior to their employer, reporting of their behavior to their local chapter if they are a chapter officer, and/or being banned from participating in future ACI or subsidiaries’ meetings or other activities. The bylaws grant the Board the right to terminate the membership of any member.
Appeal & Questions
In the event the individual is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, he or she may appeal to the Executive Vice President of ACI.
Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to ACI’s Executive Vice President or ACI’s Human Resources Director. Visit the staff directory here for contact information.
As a nonprofit educational and technical association, membership in an ACI chapter is open to anyone with an interest in concrete. Chapter membership classifications are usually patterned after ACI membership classifications. Any suitable combination of these membership classifications may be defined in the chapter bylaws. A chapter may consist of a mixture of honorary members, distinguished chapter members, sustaining members, contributing members, organizational members, Fellows, individual members, affiliate chapter members, young professionals, and student members.
The chapter may recognize or honor eminent chapter members by conferring upon them membership in the special individual category of distinguished chapter member. Distinguished chapter members are individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the chapter and/or to ACI. Distinguished chapter members are selected by the chapter Board and may be made exempt from chapter dues. It is recommended that chapters use the term “distinguished chapter member” rather than “honorary member” to differentiate these individuals from Honorary Members of ACI.
ACI members may belong to more than one chapter, but may only specify one official chapter for voting and holding office. A member only needs to specify chapter affiliation if it is other than the chapter area in which he or she resides.
ACI members may belong to more than one chapter, but may only specify one official chapter for voting and holding office. A member only needs to specify chapter affiliation if it is other than the chapter area in which he or she resides.
Generally, student members neither vote nor hold office in the chapter, but may be appointed as a member of a committee with voting privileges on that committee.
Local Chapter membership
All chapter members have the opportunity to be enrolled into the Local Chapter Membership category of ACI. Enrollment in the Local Chapter Membership category is currently accepted twice a year: May 1 and November 1. Contact Denesha Price, Chapter Activities Coordinator, at email@example.com for more information.
ACI’s Local Chapter Membership Offers*:
- An electronic membership certificate;
- Name and contact information listed in the membership directory;
- Access to the membership directory;
- Three (3) ACI University tokens; and
- The electronic version of Concrete International magazine.
*Benefits may vary and are subject to change.
Local chapter members may actively participate in all local chapter affairs without restriction and hold office in the chapter (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Board). They may also be a local chapter committee Chairperson and are encouraged to participate in chapter work. To find your local chapter click here.
Chapters should maintain a membership directory online and/or in print that includes all chapter members, chapter Officers, and Board of Directors.
ACI’s bylaws permit chapters to establish chapter dues for each membership classification.
The Secretary or Treasurer should prepare and mail annual dues statements to all chapter members for the upcoming year 60 days prior to year-end. To improve dues collection, include a renewal notice letter with the statement that answers questions and lists the benefits of chapter membership.
The responsibility for chapter finances lies solely with the chapter Board. Chapter finances are governed by the following general principles:
- Operate within an income and expense budget setup before the fiscal year’s activities begin;
- Most, if not all, activities of the chapter should be self-supporting;
- The chapter Board must be constantly and accurately advised by the Treasurer; it is strongly recommended that the Treasurer be bonded and the chapter establishes an Audit Committee to provide oversight;
- An annual audit (by the Audit Committee) of financial records is recommended;
- A bank account must be opened to handle receipts and disbursements; and
- Standard business practices should be followed in the handling of all funds.
It is recommended that the President, Vice President(s), Secretary, and Treasurer be authorized to sign checks for the withdrawal of chapter funds and have access to the chapter’s safe deposit box. Normally, two (2) signatures are required before funds can be withdrawn. New bank signature cards must be executed every year immediately after elections, reflecting the signatures of authorized check signatories.
At a minimum, it is recommended that a year-end audit be made by the Financial or Audit Committee appointed by the chapter Board. This committee should consist of three members who are not members of the chapter Board, and who are familiar with financial statements. The audit should be completed and a report submitted within 30 days from the fiscal year-end. An audit or review should be made by an outside firm with no other relationship to the chapter every three (3) years.
All chapters must submit an annual report summarizing activities. The annual report must be received at ACI Headquarters by February 1 of each year. The ACI Chapter Activities Coordinator will send a request for the annual report to the chapter Secretary in November/December of each year. The annual report is also used to determine the chapter’s score in the Chapter Recognition Program. If a chapter does not submit their annual report by the February 1 due date, the chapter is considered to be delinquent and will not be eligible for any products/services provided by ACI. If the chapter is delinquent for more than 12 months, the chapter’s Affiliation Agreement will be revoked and the chapter will be disbanded.
Submit the annual report »
Association Management Software
To assist with the administrative function of the chapter, ACI offers StarChapter, an association management software (AMS) system, to our United States and Canadian chapters free of charge. This AMS system offers event registration, membership management, website design, and e-mail communication.
The chapter is required to submit their current, or updated, Officer and Director Roster through the Annual Report or by e-mail to Denesha Price, Chapter Activities Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of the chapter’s approved bylaws must be forwarded to ACI Headquarters for record safekeeping. Notice of pending or approved amendments also must be forwarded to ACI. Prior to your membership voting on bylaw changes, you must obtain approval of the revisions from ACI. Copies of the chapter’s article of incorporation and tax-exempt status letter should accompany your bylaws.
For antitrust reasons, the chapter must prepare agendas and minutes for all business meetings. This practice also permits the chapter to review previously discussed issues and decisions. A file should be maintained containing announcements of chapter meetings and the subjects discussed.
Records of legal and historical value and that should be retained permanently include:
- Chapter bylaws
- Incorporation papers
- Forms filed for tax-exempt status
- IRS ruling granting exempt status
- Tax returns
- Annual financial records
- Agendas and minutes of board meetings
- Organizing petitions
- Annual list of chapter officers
- Chapter annual reports
ACI Headquarters will maintain an electronic copy of all important legal documents that have been submitted to the Chapter Activities Department at no charge.
Distributing an electronic newsletter is an effective method to communicate with your membership. The eNewsletter should contain information on meetings and programs, comments on ACI publications, a message from the chapter President, and any other news which may be of interest to your members. Some chapters include the names of new members and the minutes of their last meeting. Chapters are welcome to republish articles directly from Concrete International magazine with the proper reference notation.
The eNewsletter is usually the responsibility of the chapter Secretary, a member of the Public Relations Committee, or a chapter member who is a talented writer. Many chapters sell advertising space in print and eNewsletters to generate income. In the United States, the IRS views any profit (income minus the cost of the advertisement) as taxable income and the chapter must file the appropriate tax forms.
Responsibility of Chapter Officers and Board
Most chapters hold elections for President, Vice President, the Chapter Board, and the Committee on Nominations each year (and the Secretary and Treasurer if these are elected positions). The chapter’s bylaws must be stringently followed in the election of Officers. Normally, the Committee on Nominations submits a slate of candidates to the chapter Secretary at least 40 days before the chapter’s annual meeting.
A chapter, or the Nomination Committee, may nominate one (1) member each for President and Vice President, or may nominate several candidates. In some cases, a list of nominees for Directors may include more nominees than vacancies, giving the members a choice of Directors, with those receiving the most votes being elected to the vacancies.
Generally, the Secretary distributes the list of nominations to the membership of the chapter at least 30 days before the next annual meeting. Additional nominations for offices or for membership on the Committee on Nominations may be made within 15 days thereafter by petition to the chapter Board of Directors and signed by at least 10 members of the chapter. The complete list of nominations is submitted at least 15 days before each annual meeting to the chapter membership for letter ballot. The person with the most votes is named to the office with his/her term starting as defined in the bylaws. While these are general guidelines, the exact procedure is specified in the chapter’s bylaws.
After elections are completed, it is the responsibility of the existing chapter Secretary to forward the list of new chapter Officer roster to the ACI Headquarters.
Chapter Presidents are the leaders of the chapter, an ex-officio member of all committees, and upon retirement of Presidency, normally serves as Chairperson of the Committee on Nominations. When choosing a President, the individual should have already held a leadership position (Director, Secretary, Treasurer, or Vice President) within the chapter.
After being elected, the President calls a meeting of the chapter Board and meets promptly with the chapter Secretary and Treasurer to determine what committees exist and the status of chapter records and finances. After the Board appoints committee Chairpersons, the President schedules a meeting with them to discuss respective duties. This is instrumental to the smooth operation of the chapter. At these meetings, the Vice President is present, as he or she may be asked to act in the event the President is unavoidably absent.
It is recommended that the incoming President attend an ACI Chapter Leadership Training and Roundtable. The training and roundtable events are opportunities to meet the ACI President, Chapter Activities Committee Chairperson, ACI staff, and other chapter leaders. The incoming President should also attend an instance of The ACI Concrete Convention & Exposition.
Some chapter Presidential pointers include:
- Review Chapter President’s Checklis;
- Review the chapter’s bylaws;
- Delegate as much responsibility as possible;
- Make certain that the chapter has written agendas and minutes for all meetings;
- At Board meetings, limit discussions to the matters at hand and insist that decisions be reached rather than postponed;
- Don’t hesitate to try a new method or approach, but avoid changing everything just because you can; and
- Monitor potential antitrust violations.
A chapter President should inspire others to do the chapter’s work by stressing the importance of the activity. Because a chapter President can never please everyone, it’s better to be criticized for getting things done than for inaction.
Chapter President’s Checklist:
- Schedule first Board meeting (within 30 days)
- Read Chapter Guide
- Review chapter bylaws
- Review responsibilities of chapter Secretary and Treasurer
- Review chapter’s files
- Review chapter finances
- Change bank signature cards
- Review recent annual reports
- Review minutes from recent Board meetings
- Review committee reports
- See that director and officer updates are filed with ACI headquarters
- Prepare agenda for next Board meeting
- Review schedule for upcoming meetings, programs, and seminars
- Recommend committee to Chairs and to Board of Direction
- Confirm that annual report has been submitted to ACI headquarters on time
- Review Chapter Awards guidelines to assist in planning annual activities
The chapter Vice President acts on behalf of the chapter President when the President is absent. He
or she should, however, be assigned some definite responsibilities. In some cases, the Vice President
might be the Program or Education Committee Chairperson, or be assigned another specific activity.
Where such a practice is followed, it is best to state this in the chapter bylaws.
The chapter Vice President assists the President, Secretary, and Treasurer at meetings with all
chapter operations and is ready to act on behalf of the chapter President in his or her absence. In
most chapters, the Vice President is next in line for the presidency of the chapter. Specifics should
be stated in the chapter’s bylaws.
An efficient chapter Secretary and Treasurer is essential to the success of a chapter. In many chapters, these two positions are combined and all responsibilities given to a single Secretary/Treasurer. In other chapters, the responsibilities are separated between two individuals.
The chapter Secretary is the vital point of contact between the chapter Board and the membership, and between the chapter and ACI. In some chapters, the Secretary is a member of the chapter Board and is elected annually. However, in most chapters, the Secretary is not a voting member of the Board and serves for several years. To preserve continuity, it is recommended that the Secretary be retained from year to year. (Many chapters pay the Secretary an honorarium for their work or hire an association management group.)
The responsibilities of the chapter Secretary include:
- Custody of the chapter records and minutes organized so that it can be easily turned over to a successor;
- Maintaining the chapter membership list and mailing list of non-members;
- Recording chapter activities for inclusion in the annual report;
- Distributing, collecting, and counting all ballots for Officer or bylaw votes and reporting the results to the membership;
- Preparing and issuing notices to local industry members for all meetings of the chapter;
- Preparing, with the chapter President, the agenda for Board and regular meetings;
- Preparing minutes of the Board meetings and distributing to all Board members;
- Reporting information on chapter activities to ACI headquarters for publication in Concrete International magazine (unless this is done by a Publicity Chair). This information could include reports on monthly meetings (date and location, attendance, program topic), nominations, elections, changes in the chapter Board and membership, chapter news, and publicity notices;
- Preparing the annual report;
- Handling routine correspondence and passing correspondence on to the chapter President for attention of the chapter Board or membership, and the routing of official ACI notices, requests, etc.; and
- Maintaining a file with all pertinent information on previous chapter activities to be passed on to incoming chapter Secretaries.
The chapter Treasurer is the custodian of the chapter funds and is the principal disbursing agent. He or she should insist on chapter Board authorization of all expenditures and monitor authority for financial commitments.
The chapter Treasurer handles all chapter banking operations, ensures that necessary bank signatures are on file annually, and reports to the chapter Board on chapter finances. He or she should be bonded in an amount enough to cover the chapter’s average funds and premiums should be paid by the chapter.
In taking over his or her duties, the chapter Treasurer should insist on a complete accounting of chapter funds. At every year-end, the chapter Treasurer must cooperate with the Finance/Audit Committee in the preparation of the audit report for the chapter Board. This process may vary depending on the details provided in each chapters’ bylaws.
The responsibilities of the chapter Treasurer include:
- Maintaining records of chapter funds;
- Paying all invoices covering expenses; and
- Assisting in managing ticket sales for meetings and other functions.
The chapter Secretary and Treasurer (or Secretary/Treasurer) must always work closely with the chapter’s President.
The chapter Board establishes and directs all chapter policies through the chapter President. The Board may authorize and appoint the Chairpersons of all administrative and technical committees or it may delegate this responsibility to the President.
Frequent and regular chapter Board meetings are highly desirable in carrying out the business of an active ACI chapter. Many chapters hold a brief Board meeting just preceding (or immediately following) the regular chapter meeting. The chapter Board meets as prescribed in the chapter bylaws.
The chapter President and Secretary/Treasurer should prepare an agenda for each Board meeting listing subjects and order of discussion. A copy is distributed to all chapter Directors at least seven (7) days before the meeting. It is the President’s duty to inform committee Chairpersons in advance when committee reports should be presented in person to the Board.
The first meeting of the new Board should be held within 30 days following elections. At this time, committee Chairpersons for the year are approved and plans are made for chapter activities.
Board meetings are open to all members of the chapter and should be held in an atmosphere conducive to discussion in an orderly, business-like setting.
Major Board Responsibilities
The chapter Board may delegate authority, but cannot avoid responsibility for any official chapter activity. Therefore, the Board must be kept apprised of the work of all Officers and committees.
Primary chapter Board responsibilities are to:
- Determine chapter policies;
- Determine the condition of chapter finances;
- Approve budgets for chapter revenues and expenses;
- Approve all chapter expenditures;
- Establish committees;
- Approve all committee appointments;
- Accept all committee reports;
- Approve all committee budgets and significant activities;
- Approve and direct special activities;
- Cooperate with the ACI Board of Direction and the ACI Conventions Committee on conventions held in the chapter area; and
- Maintain a liaison that coordinates with ACI headquarters and the Chapter Activities Committee to meet the chapter and overall Institute objectives.
While no Board should commit future Boards to long-range activities, some activities demand decisions affecting the chapter in the future. Examples include sponsorship of an ACI convention where commitments would be made several years in advance, educational programs conducted with a school or other organization requiring policy continuity in dealing with school officials, and with early commitments for facilities and speakers.
The following information provides a list of suggested committees and their roles/responsibilities. Chapters should have a Committee on Nominations, an Audit Committee, and a Membership Committee. These committees may vary depending upon the size and volunteer capacity of each individual chapter.
Committees should have three (3) or more members, depending on the assigned mission and size of the chapter. It is important to maintain committee continuity; therefore, it is recommended that appointments are initially staggered over a period of three (3) years, so that no more than one-third of the committee turns over at any time.
Committee service is a means of assuring the most member participation possible in chapter affairs. To grow in strength and prestige, the chapter must spread its workload, seeking out new volunteers each year, especially among a younger group.
Committee on Nominations
The Committee on Nominations is responsible for nominating candidates for the chapter Board, President, and Vice President (also for Secretary and Treasurer if these are elected positions), following the guidelines set forth in the chapter bylaws.
The Committee on Nominations is elected each year. The size of the Committee on Nominations varies depending on the chapter bylaws, but members of the incumbent Board should not be elected to membership on the Committee on Nominations. The only exception may be the Past President, who may be a member of the chapter Board and Chairperson of the Committee on Nominations, if so specified in the chapter bylaws.
It is proper and advisable for the chapter Board to instruct the Committee on Nominations on procedure, but not on names of candidates. Instructions should cover only the following:
- Recognition for outstanding chapter service;
- Proper balance among the various industry segments and geographical representation by chapter membership; and/or
- Need to select individuals of Presidential caliber. Qualities such as leadership, chapter interest, and willingness to serve should be sought out.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Nominations should schedule a meeting of the committee several weeks before the committee report is due to be submitted to the chapter Secretary.
Throughout the year, the members of the Committee on Nominations should observe chapter activities and attendance to see who is active and capable. The committee may also invite suggestions for candidates from the chapter membership. At the meeting of the Committee on Nominations, the candidates are discussed and a slate proposed. Once the Committee selects candidates, they should be contacted immediately to see if they are willing to serve if elected. If individuals do not consent to their nominations, new nominees must be selected.
Before the annual meeting (check the chapter bylaws for specific number of days), the Committee on Nominations must submit a slate of candidates for the chapter Officers and Board, as well as their replacements on the Committee on Nominations, to the chapter Secretary and President.
The Audit Committee is responsible for auditing the chapter’s financial records. The Committee reviews the chapter’s financial transactions to ensure that all financial matters have been authorized and properly recorded. This audit should be completed within 30 days after the chapter’s fiscal year-end. Some chapters may wish to have the financial records audited by an independent auditor (CPA firm). In this case, the Audit Committee should interview appropriate firms and recommend to the chapter Board that a specified firm be hired by the chapter. Only the chapter Board has the authority to hire an independent auditor. At the conclusion of the annual audit, the Audit Committee must report its findings to the chapter Board.
The Membership Committee should consist of three (3) to nine (9) members reflecting maximum geographic and industry interests. It is responsible for implementing the chapter’s Board plan for chapter expansion through all segments of the concrete industry and assist the Secretary with the maintenance of accurate membership lists and files.
Cooperation and coordination with other chapter committees is important because all chapter activities are useful in increasing the attraction of chapter membership. Activities that should be emphasized to current and new potential members are general membership meetings, educational programs, and certification programs.
The Membership Committee should assist with verifying accuracy of membership files. Information that should be kept on each member includes enrollment date, dues billing date (if not on the calendar year), membership class, official representative(s) for organizational members, job title, address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, any committees or offices held, and a complete log of dues paid. The membership application should be posted on the home page of the chapter’s website.
Promotion and planned campaigns are necessary for successful membership growth. These campaigns should focus on the following areas:
- Recruit and Retain members;
- Member engagement;
- Maintain accurate membership records; and
- Increase the percentage of Affiliate Members (non-ACI members).
To determine the success of these campaigns, they should derive from a measurable goal. The Membership Committee should establish goals, such as:
- Increase the total number of chapter members by X amount at year-end;
- Increase the percentage of ACI members in the chapter region who are also chapter members by X amount at year-end; and/or
- Increase the various industry segments that should be represented in chapter membership and the number of chapter members to expect from each by X amount at year-end.
Once realistic goals have been established, target dates should be set to review progress throughout the year. Organize formal campaigns that would include direct mail, e-mail promotion, and personal contact. Direct mail, being a cost item, will require chapter Board approval. One of the most effective membership efforts is direct contact by telephone or in-person. Ideally, the members of the committee will each work in a different segment of the concrete industry and will act as the chapter’s representative for that segment. Each committee member can then be responsible for the goal for that specific industry interest and can use personal contact as one of the prime tools.
Having a successful and active chapter is only possible if you are meeting the needs of your members. Potential members should be informed and aware of the chapter’s objectives and activities. It is suggested that chapters survey members and other individuals in the concrete industry to determine how the chapter may be of service. Surveying may also assist with future chapter program development.
Additional Suggested Committees
- Programs Committee – The Programs Committee is responsible for planning and conducting program meetings, including the selection of subject, speaker, speaker arrangements, meeting facilities, and tour plans and arrangements. Establish a policy on co-sponsorship of programs with other organizations or other ACI chapters. Appoint someone to act as the liaison with other organizations.
- Education Committee – Education is a multifaceted activity encompassing seminars or short courses, or speakers for local organizations interested in concrete, or any other concrete education-related activity.
The Education Committee is responsible for conducting educational programs within the chapter area (both sponsored solely by the chapter and in coordination with ACI’s Professional Development Department) and increasing concrete industry effectiveness with colleges and universities in the chapter area.
The Education Committee should consist of three (3) to five (5) members. Ad-hoc committees may be established to plan and coordinate major education projects such as seminars. The Chairperson of this committee should contact the ACI Professional Development Department for a copy of The Local Cosponsor’s Role in Conducting an ACI Seminar. Although this specifically applies to seminars conducted jointly with the ACI Professional Development Department, many of the tips and procedures described will work for any educational program. For more information, click here.
- Certification Committee – If the chapter is an approved certification sponsoring group, the Certification Committee is responsible for organizing and conducting chapter-sponsored certification training courses and/or examinations. This includes scheduling, arranging for facilities, materials, equipment, personnel, budgeting, local publicity, obtaining instructional manuals from ACI, collecting fees, and submitting all collections to the chapter Treasurer for the payment of invoices. For more information, click here.
- Awards Committee – The Awards Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the chapter Board for the distribution of chapter awards based on the guidelines established by the Board. Awards for projects or achievement in the local concrete community are an excellent activity for chapters. For several chapters, the awards process and presentation banquet are the most prevalent events of the year.
Awards presented by an ACI chapter can have a great influence locally and, for that reason, the members of the Awards Committee must be selected carefully to ensure balance and fairness. To avoid conflicts of interest, Awards Committee members should not have special interest in any of the nominated projects. All members of this Committee should be chapter members and represent all parties within the chapter: designers, suppliers, contractors, and owners.
The Awards Committee itself may act as the judges for the awards, or they may appoint judges from outside of the committee. It is the Awards Committee’s responsibility to set guidelines and rules, to determine a timetable of submissions and awards, and to get a budget approved by the chapter Board for the awards program.
- Public Relations Committee – The Public Relations Committee handles the internal and external communications for the local chapter. Internal communications are directed towards chapter members and external communications are directed towards nonmembers, which include industry professionals, local industry media, ACI Headquarters, etc. It is the responsibility of the Public Relations Committee to write local press releases, establish press contacts, and submit meeting reports and chapter news items for publication in Concrete International magazine. This Committee is also responsible for publication of the chapter eNewsletter.
A chapter depends on the Public Relations Committee to publicize and advertise its programs and activities, to maintain good member relations, and to increase the public awareness of concrete. A chapter’s “public” is defined as the many interest groups it influences, such as the general public, the academic world, government, business, finance, important population centers within the chapter geographic area, and other ACI chapters.
The Public Relations Committee should consist of three (3) to four (4) people with the time and inclination for personal contact. The Committee must be kept fully informed of all chapter activities; thus, liaising with all committees and Officers is important.
- Student Activities Committee – The Student Activities Committee is charged with encouraging student involvement in activities related to the design, construction, manufacture, use, and maintenance of concrete products and structures at both the local and international level. This committee provides guidance and encouragement for student involvement in ACI activities.
The Student Activities Committee should consist of three (3) to five (5) members. The Chairperson should select an additional three (3) to four (4) members approved by the chapter Board. Committee members could be faculty advisers of ASCE, ALA, Chi Epsilon, or other appropriate student groups; professors of concrete technology or design; student representatives of appropriate student groups; or any other persons interested in serving on this committee.
- Website Committee – The Website Committee is responsible for maintaining the chapter’s website, which could include awards, chapter contact information, meeting announcements, membership applications, eNewsletters, and scholarship information.
Local Activities and Resources
The following information provides tips for developing local programs and accessing resources to support your local chapter.
One of the most common ways to keep members engaged is with regular meetings. These are usually meal functions with an accompanying technical program. Consistently high-quality programs with good speakers and subjects of interest to the members may determine meeting attendance and, indirectly, the status of the chapter in the local community. Program planning is an essential ingredient in successful chapter operations. Most chapters organize a program committee to manage these activities.
Not every member will be interested in all the subjects presented at chapter meetings. However, your chapter can present programs that will be of interest to a wide sector of the membership and different programs that will appeal to different sectors. Successful subjects of technical programs are often those that address local issues and invite speakers who have a special knowledge of local conditions. Speakers of national reputation should be scheduled from time to time to encourage attendance by those who may not have attended previous programs. When out-of-town speakers are invited, the chapter should cover travel expenses, make hotel recommendations, and provide local transportation to and from the meeting venue.
It is highly recommended that the chapter organize a complete series of programs at least six (6) months in advance. Doing so provides better distribution of meeting subjects and results in better attendance. Long-range planning allows for variety in the program schedule, interspersing technical and panel discussions, joint meetings with other organizations, and plant or construction site visits. Don’t forget to publicize your events on the ACI calendar.
Chapter meetings can be held as breakfast, luncheon, or dinner meetings with a technical program of moderate length. Many chapters have found that a scheduled social hour of approximately one (1) hour prior to a dinner meeting is beneficial and affords an opportunity for interaction and discussion among attendees. It is important to select a meeting place that is easily accessible and well-known. Meeting notices should stress that all are welcome to attend the technical program, even if they cannot attend the meeting/event.
When serving alcohol, consider limiting the number of drinks consumed by using drink tickets.
Other tips include:
- Always serve food and water with alcohol;
- Avoid dry snacks that encourage attendees to drink more;
- Order a minimum of four (4) hors d’oeuvres for each attendee; and
- Secure a liquor license prior to your event (if you’re selling tickets/alcohol and if your state/governing office requires one).
If applicable, the Program Committee, Publicity Committee, and chapter Secretary should coordinate efforts to assure as large of an audience as possible. This involves sending meeting notices well in advance (at least two  weeks) and organizing other publicity. Offer posters or printed announcements to schools and firms for posting on bulletin Boards. Brief announcements giving date, place, and program details can also be sent to editors of local newspapers. Also, other concrete-related associations will promote meetings upon request.
Chapters should invite students to meetings by sending an announcement to the appropriate departments of the colleges and universities in the chapter area and request that the meeting be announced and posted. (Some chapters invite students at little to no cost.) This activity is the responsibility of the Student Activities Committee.
Educational seminars are an important activity of chapters. There are two (2) ways to conduct seminars:
- ACI’s Professional Development Department delivers public educational seminars that can be cosponsored by the chapter. Chapters that assist with coordination and registration for the event receive a share of the revenue from these seminars and have minimal financial risk. Click here for more information.
- Conduct your own seminars by organizing, marketing, collecting fees, and arranging speakers. The chapter assumes the financial risk and responsibility for much of the seminar coordination, but may also be able to realize greater revenue. A chapter may also work with ACI’s Professional Development Department to schedule an in-house seminar that includes training materials and experienced speakers for a fee. Click here for more information.
ACI Chapter Talks Program offers two (2) free one-hour sessions per year on technical and practical topics that support your chapter’s educational needs. Sessions are presented by engineering, certification, and executive professionals from ACI, the American Coal Ash Association, the American Shotcrete Association, and the Slag Cement Association. In most cases, ACI will cover the speaker’s travel expenses up to $1,000 USD. Visit the Chapter Talks web page for more details or contact the Chapter Activities Coordinator, Denesha Price at email@example.com.
ACI Board of Direction Engagement
Upon request, a member of the ACI Board of Direction, including the ACI President and Vice President, may be available to attend a chapter Board meeting or provide a keynote address during a chapter meeting. Chapters will be expected to cover the cost of meals, accommodation, and transportation for the ACI Board member. Schedule your visit with Tosha Holden, Chapter Activities Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two types of awards programs that a chapter could conduct: project awards and personal awards. Project awards recognize design and/or construction of outstanding local concrete projects, usually divided into categories. Personal awards recognize local individuals who have had an exceptional impact on the local concrete industry or on the chapter. Similar procedures can be used for either type of award.
If your chapter is considering the establishment of an awards program, first consider if there is a need for such a program and if there is enough interest within the chapter to sponsor (i.e. financially support) the program. The chapter could sponsor an awards program by itself or co-sponsor the program with other concrete-related associations in the area.
If your chapter establishes an awards program, it must be identified as the chapter’s program and not a program of ACI. ACI presents many awards for work or research for ACI. It is important to emphasize that the award is given by the chapter and not ACI. For a nominal fee, ACI provides award plaques. For more information, contact Tosha Holden, Chapter Activities Coordinator, at email@example.com.
The Project Awards Guide was created to help chapters initiate a local project awards program. These guidelines should be adjusted to accommodate local conditions and needs. For more information, click here.
Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards
Established in 2015, the Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards honors the vision of creative projects throughout the global concrete design and construction community. The competition is open to entries submitted by ACI chapters and international partners. The purpose of this program is to support local chapter project awards and encourage growth and the development of new awards programs. For more information, click here.
An ACI chapter can be a catalyst in its area for different types of programs that encourage and recognize innovative concrete techniques and practices, and often serve as a leader in joint efforts with other organizations such as schools, industry associations, and government agencies. Chapters are in an ideal position to close the gap between theory and practice. There are many worthwhile projects for a chapter, including:
- Presentation of ACI publications to schools and libraries;
- Free student memberships in the chapter to outstanding college students in the chapter area (students can be selected by professors in the various local colleges and coordinated by the Student Activities Committee);
- Scholarship programs;
- Co-sponsorship of short courses and training conferences;
- Coordination with state or local agencies to develop codes and specifications; and
- Concrete projects for schools.
There is a close relationship between education and chapter activities. Chapters are in a position to promote effective education in concrete locally at all levels of education. Chapters can serve as advisors to local schools and organizations, assist in the development of curriculum for secondary school trade courses and adult education programs, and assist community colleges in preparing technician courses on concrete. Chapters can announce forthcoming evening extension classes or conferences and actively cooperate with educational institutions and industry associations in sponsoring such courses and conferences. In most cases, these courses should be self-supporting. ACI publications used in chapter cosponsored courses can be purchased from ACI at member prices and quantity discounts.
Technical service in the public good is a desirable activity of a chapter. It is, however, essential that chapters enter into such projects with care and in such a manner that chapter actions will conform to ACI policies, chartered aims, and standards. Chapters are encouraged to offer advice or solutions to local technical problems in the field of concrete and in which chapter members with special training and experience can be of service.
Chapters or their representatives may give technical advice related to building codes or other technical topics to an agent or group representing a government agency. As a safeguard to the chapter and to ACI, all such requests for technical advice must be in writing. The recommendations of the chapter or its representative group must be in the form of technical advice. It cannot take the form of a resolution or recommendation outside technical lines. The chapter recommendation could be in the form of verbal testimony before a legislative committee or city department, or could take the form of a report by an individual designated by the chapter. Where the advice is prepared in writing, a “record copy” should be sent to the chapter Board and to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org, at the same time or before submission to the government agency.
In cases where chapters work with organizations where concrete problems and desirable practices are considered, care should be taken to avoid conflict with the work and recommendations of ACI technical committees. It must be emphasized that no inference can be made of any national status or acceptance of chapter committee reports. It is desirable for such committees to be active at the local level as long as it is made clear that they are speaking for the chapter and not for ACI. Suggestions and recommendations resulting from such committee work should be passed on to the ACI technical committee with expertise in the same topic for possible incorporation into their technical documents.
Technical publications of the Institute such as standards, journals, and symposium publications are developed through the efforts of individuals and committees using careful review procedures under the direction of ACI’s Technical Activities Committee (TAC). Chapters may publish technical information to meet local needs due to local conditions or lack of published ACI information. Chapter technical publications must meet the same criteria for high quality as set for ACI technical publications and must be written in such a way to not be confused with, or conflict with, other ACI documents.
After preparation by the chapter and review by the chapter’s technical activities committee, the report must be submitted to ACI’s TAC, Educational Activities Committee (EAC), or Certification Programs Committee (CPC) for review. The committee will review the quality and technical content of the document. If TAC, EAC, or CPC approves the document, the chapter may publish the report as a chapter document. Such reports will be considered the responsibility of the chapter and must be identified as a chapter publication. At times, such a report may be considered for publication in an ACI periodical or used in development of ACI reports or standards.
A chapter may not establish a Standard Recommended Practice. This type of publication is the responsibility of ACI.
Hosting an ACI Convention
Chapters are encouraged to sponsor ACI conventions, which require a serious commitment of time by the chapter and are often scheduled as much as five (5) years in advance. ACI has developed a guidebook to help chapters understand how to plan and operate a successful convention. For more information, click here.
Planning Meeting and Events
When planning seminars and meeting programs, consider the fields of interest of chapter members. Generate subjects of interest to the majority of the members while being open to the introduction of new subjects into the total program.
It is helpful to check the topics and attendances at seminars and programs in the past to judge what current interest levels might be. Talk to your members. Listen to what they’re saying. There are many sources for good programs in casual conversations. Send out surveys after a program; ask for feedback that will help improve the next program. Also, review the chapter section of Concrete International magazine for programs offered by other chapters as a source of new ideas.
When organizing a seminar and program, ask the question, “If this event is not held, would it be missed?” Remember that every organization in your locality is planning programs. Make your programs essential to ensure high attendance.
When selecting speakers, try to obtain the best-qualified person for any specific subject who is also an interesting speaker. Don’t hesitate to invite people from long distances; the request may have more success if the invitation is tied to a proposal to visit a local site of interest to them. When inviting a speaker to present, it is important to maintain regular communication before, during, and after the meeting.
When researching locations to hold chapter meetings, seminars, or certification exams, remember that, when dealing with venues, everything is negotiable. Despite the “rules” that the venue employee may explain, bringing an event to the facility and the potential for repeat business is important to the venue. Negotiate to obtain the best deal for your chapter.
Once you have arranged the location, begin organizing setup arrangements:
- Head Table – If you will have a head table (not always suitable for a seminar), be sure that there are enough place settings. The President should select and invite appropriate individuals to sit at the head table. It is preferable not to seat anyone at the ends of the head table.
- Check-In Table – A table and two (2) Chairpersons are needed for the chapter Secretary or Treasurer to check registrations and accept payments. Some chapters use tickets; others rely on badges. A small cash box (with enough change) is needed for those paying with cash on-site. For credit/debit card transactions on-site, it is easy to obtain a card reader through Square, Inc. The check-in table may be inside or outside of the room, but must be placed strategically to control the entrance.
- Identification Badges – Name badges help attendees become acquainted and are an easy way to control who has or has not paid. Identification with the chapter is important, especially when meetings are held in public places. Badges of different colors may be used for members and non-members and may encourage a nonmember to apply for membership.
The speakers’ lectern, screen, and microphone should be behind and to one side of the speakers’ table whenever possible, especially when there is a technical program. Always provide a public address system. Many speakers lecture in low tones, and some may have an accent. Amplification makes dialogue more understandable.
For dinner meetings, the lectern should be in place before dinner begins. Ensure that the lectern light works and that the microphone is in place and functioning properly. Even if the chapter President does not use a microphone, it should be provided for the guest speakers, and tested in advance. If guest speakers use slides, overheads, or white boards, a lavalier microphone allows more mobility. A laser pointer should always be provided, too.
It is the Program Chairperson’s responsibility to predetermine audiovisual needs and preferences, and to communicate with the individual or hotel representative in charge of arrangements.
Locate all room lights and know their switch positions in advance. Mark the switches, or keep a small diagram in your pocket. Designate someone to sit near and control the lights.
A seminar is a special type of program on a single subject that ranges from one-half to several days in length. One or more speakers who are experts in their field(s) discuss various aspects of the chosen subject, with visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations and videos. Payment of travel expenses is generally necessary, and sometimes payment of an honorarium is also provided.
The fee charged for admittance to the seminar should cover all its expenses. Typical seminar expenses include promotional pieces, hotel meeting room fees, speaker expenses, food and beverage breaks, audiovisual equipment rental, and handout materials. Technical publications, if needed, can be obtained through ACI Headquarters.
Chapters and the ADA
For United States chapters, whenever a meeting, educational seminar, or certification exam is organized, it is a “public accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, you are required to make sure that the event is equally available to all parties, regardless of disabilities.
There are two (2) points to consider in advance:
- Use an accessible facility; and
- Include a question on your registration form asking for information on any disability-related needs.
Accessible facilities are relatively easy to find. In fact, most hotels and restaurants meet the requirements. Ask the hotel representative to provide an accessible room.
On registration forms, provide disabled individuals with the opportunity to inform the chapter of their needs. A statement to consider adding to your registration form has been recommended by the Association on Higher Education and Disability:
“If you have a disability that may impact your participation in this activity, please check here and append a statement regarding your disability-related needs. Someone will contact you prior to the program to discuss accommodations. We cannot assure the availability of appropriate accommodations without prior notification of need.”
If you receive a request for additional accommodations, contact the person for more detail. The attendee must provide a reasonable amount of lead time to fulfill the special accommodation request. Requested assistance with mobility and note-taking could be easy to provide using a volunteer chapter member. If the person is visually impaired, the chapter could make copies of handouts in large type or provide an audio recording of the seminar.
The chapter is only expected to incur costs that are reasonable. What is a reasonable expense to a large chapter may not be a reasonable expense to a small chapter. In the case of a certification exam, it is not the chapter’s responsibility to judge whether the individual could do the job if certified. The chapter’s only concern is whether the individual’s request for accommodation can be provided for and is reasonable.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
Awarding CEUs for chapter educational programs should be considered. Chapters are not required to obtain a license to award CEUs; however, the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has rigorous guidelines that must be followed. There are two sets of criteria, administrative and program, that are in place to ensure professional administration and high-quality programs.
Administratively, the primary requirement is that a record of participation must be kept for 20 years and that this record is easily accessible. Chapters must have the ability to issue a “transcript” for each program attendee.
The program criteria state that there must be identified learning objectives, and a way to assess completion of the course. This could be as simple as stating that they attended. There must also be a clear form of evaluation of the program.
CEUs are awarded as 1.0 unit for every 10 contact hours of the program while PDHs equal one (1) contact hour. Contact hours must exclude coffee breaks, lunch, and dinner, as well as any business portion of a meeting, including announcements and welcoming speeches.
CEU criteria and guidelines available at www.IACET.org.
ACI certification programs may be available for sponsorship by ACI chapters. These programs are intended to improve the quality of concrete construction, testing, and inspection and can be an important link between your chapter and the concrete industry. ACI certification programs usually include a review course (although not required) followed by a written examination and, in most cases, a hands-on performance examination session. Chapters are encouraged to use ACI Certification workbooks while conducting training in conjunction with an ACI certification exam session because the exams are written from the resource material presented in the workbooks. Specific details regarding the Certification program can be found here.
Role of the Sponsoring Group
ACI certification programs are administered by Sponsoring Groups (SGs). SGs are independent nonprofit organizations authorized by ACI to conduct ACI certification examinations. In the United States, where no SG is actively administering a specific ACI program, the local ACI chapter (not a student chapter) shall have first rights to administer that specific exam. International sponsorship for any ACI examination will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. For more information, click here.
Although the ACI Certification Department will assist the SG in setting up its certification program, most of the work must be done at the local level. The SG is responsible for scheduling, arranging for facilities and personnel, obtaining materials and equipment, budgeting, handling local publicity, ensuring that each examinee has access to all the technical resource materials, collecting fees and paying invoices, and distributing certificates.
To carry out its responsibilities, the SG must establish a committee of at least three (3) people. The composition of the committee should reflect various interests, such as governmental and private testing laboratories, owners, consulting engineers, architects, and contractors. To determine the likelihood of success in sponsoring a certification program, the committee should:
- Conduct an informal market survey to assess the interest of potential applicants;
- Estimate the costs of sponsoring the program and conducting the training course and/or examinations; and
- Calculate the fees that must be charged to break even. If the fees seem too high to be attractive to the market, consider seeking underwriters (or sponsors) for a part of the costs. Potential underwriters are those industrial organizations that would benefit from more qualified concrete construction personnel. Whenever possible, borrow facilities and equipment rather than renting or buying.
After weighing the various factors, decide whether to proceed and whether to offer a review course. If the decision is to proceed, the chapter must contact the ACI Certification Department for an SG application. For more information about ACI certification programs and procedures, visit the “Certification” tab on ACI’s website.
Publishing Chapter News
Publishing chapter news and events in Concrete International (CI) magazine is a great way to get information about your chapter to ACI members and nonmembers. Due to space constraints, Concrete International can’t promise to publish everything; however, staff will try to accommodate all submittals.
What is News?
Just about anything your chapter has done or is planning to do: upcoming meetings, speakers, seminars, tours, award programs, and special projects are all good items to submit. Let the public know well in advance what’s coming up. Advance publicity can help drive attendance.
Send information to be included on the magazine’s “Meetings” page. In addition, ACI members can post to the online events calendar, here.
Add impact to your news report by including two to three photographs. Here are some tips:
- Digital photos should be taken at the highest resolution possible. Images need to be a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, sized at 6 x 4 in. for best magazine reproduction.
- Send images separate from text in JPEG or TIFF formats. Do not embed images in word processing documents.
- Color laser copies of digital photographs cannot be used.
- Identify everyone in the photo by name and title. Make sure names are spelled correctly.
Submit news items three (3) months in advance of the scheduled event date. Content deadline is the 20th of each month. For example, if you want to publicize an event scheduled in July, you’ll want the item to appear in the June issue. The deadline for the June issue is April 20.
Typically, releases range in length from 150 words to a maximum of approximately 500 words and electronic submissions are encouraged. Be thorough, factual, and concise, and provide:
- Who—The name of the chapter. Use both first and last names of all individuals, title/position, company and affiliation, and other details.
- What—What’s this all about? Spell out the basic data.
- When—Day, date, location, etc. Don’t write “next Tuesday.” Instead, be specific: “Tuesday, June 4, 2019.”
- Where—The building, the address, the city.
- Why—A meeting, a tour, a seminar, a special project, etc.
If you have any questions, contact Chapter Activities at email@example.com.
The chapter may sponsor student chapters at local universities, colleges, and technical and trade schools. Student chapters are extensions of the chapter and, therefore, must be monitored by the chapter. The advisor of the student chapter should be a member of the chapter’s Student Activities Committee.
The Student Activities Committee should maintain a membership list, including all alumni of the student chapter. The committee should encourage all student chapter members to become members of both the local chapter and of ACI. A member of the Student Activities Committee should act as liaison to the student chapter and keep a permanent copy of all activities.
The student chapter is a subsection of the ACI chapter, and as with all ACI chapters, may not speak on behalf of ACI or the local ACI chapter. The ACI chapter should monitor the actions of the student chapter and should be aware of the student programs and activities. The ACI chapter Board may withdraw its sponsorship of the student chapter if the student chapter activities are deemed improper and may recommend to ACI that the student chapter be disbanded.
Sponsoring ACI Chapter Responsibilities
The ACI chapter sponsoring the formation of a student chapter has the following responsibilities:
- Form a Student Activities Committee;
- Assign a chapter Officer (Chairperson or member of the Student Activities Committee is preferable) to act as a liaison with the student chapter. This is usually the student chapter’s advisor;
- Encourage the President of the student chapter or another Officer to attend ACI Chapter Board meetings;
- Encourage the student chapter’s advisor to attend student chapter Board meetings;
- Sponsor one (1) meeting per year that is a Student Activities meeting;
- Recommend sponsorship of educational seminars on the local campus each year; and
- Approve the bylaws of the student chapter. ACI will assist with the review of the student chapter bylaws, if required.
Student Chapter Responsibilities?
The student chapter has the following responsibilities:
- Develop bylaws. (These must be approved by the local ACI chapter, ACI staff, and ACI’s Chapter Activities Committee);
- Elect Officers;
- Establish dues;
- Maintain bank account;
- Prepare agendas and minutes for all meetings other than social events;
- Keep the ACI chapter informed of its plans, programs, and activities; and
- Submit bylaws and university award applications to ACI Headquarters and to the chapter.
Student activities may include, but are not limited to, ACI student competitions, fundraising efforts, newsletters, seminars, and work-study programs. Student chapters are encouraged to submit recaps and photographs of meetings to ACI for inclusion in Concrete International magazine.
ACI will assist in the organization of student chapters and, if requested, will attend the organizational meeting with local chapter and university representatives. While it is up to the ACI chapter to assist the student chapter with a majority of their needs, a list of services provided by ACI Headquarters is shown as follows:
- “The ABC’s of Parliamentary Procedure” pamphlet for running meetings;
- An ACI student chapter banner;
- Membership on SYPAC subcommittees;
- Publication of the activities of student chapters in Concrete International magazine and social media;
- Chapter assistance with review of student chapter bylaws; and
- Graphic design support in creating a chapter logo.
New Student Chapter Formation
The required steps to form a new student chapter are:
- An Organizing Petition must be signed by a minimum of 15 ACI Student Members and submitted to ACI. ACI Student Membership is FREE for undergraduates and graduates;
- Draft bylaws must be submitted to and reviewed by ACI;
- A sponsorship letter from the local professional ACI chapter acknowledging it will guide and mentor the student chapter must be submitted to ACI. Visit the Chapter Listing to find the local chapter in your area; and
- The advisor to the student chapter will need to be a member of the local professional chapter and the ACI Faculty Network. If the advisor is an instructor and has never been a member of ACI, they will be eligible for a FREE 1-year ACI membership. To learn more and to join the ACI Faculty Network, click here.
Submit the completed organizing petition, bylaws, and sponsorship letter to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more resources, see the Student Chapter Toolkit here.
ACI Student E-Membership
In an effort to provide students worldwide with the connections, resources, and opportunities to be successful in their studies and ultimately in their careers, ACI has made e-membership free and easily accessible through the Internet. Free student membership is available to both undergraduates and graduate students regardless of their age. Find out more at here.
Student-led seminars are generally 1- or 2-day sessions covering a specific subject of interest to students. Speakers should be experts and preferably members of the local chapter to minimize (or eliminate) speaker expenses.
Seminar fees should be held to a minimum and preferably free. Contributions from local industries and organizations should be solicited to cover expenses. Seminars should be held on days that interested students can attend without creating conflicts with their studies.
Short courses are a series of 2- to 3-hour evening or weekend sessions, generally conducted once or twice a week over a period of 3 to 8 weeks. Speakers should be local chapter members or faculty of appropriate learning institutions. One or a variety of subjects may be covered with a series of short courses following one another. Integrate short courses with the students’ educational programs and keep the courses complimentary to students. If expenses are encountered, raise funds through contributions from local industries and organizations.
Student Projects and Competitions
Student projects are extracurricular activities by individual students or groups of students representing their school. Students may be able to earn credit for the work on these projects. Student projects are developed by either the local chapter or in conjunction with ACI Committee S801, Student Competitions. The project should provide experience for the students in the design, construction, manufacture, use, and maintenance of concrete products and structures. Projects should offer competition among students or learning institutions. Local/regional concrete competitions should be judged by a panel of university officials and/or the local chapter and industry members.
ACI Student Competitions are held the Sunday afternoon of each ACI Concrete Convention & Exposition and are judged by ACI Committee S801, Student Competitions. Your chapter can become involved with these competitions and increase the chapter’s profile at local colleges and universities. University teams may also apply for a travel stipend to cover the expenses associated with attending the ACI Convention. The travel stipend is awarded based on the available funds to teams who satisfy the judging criteria. Learn more here.
ACI Award for University Student Activities
The ACI award for University Student Activities identifies the universities that qualify for excellent or outstanding status, based on points received for their participation in select ACI-related activities/programs. Universities that have earned 12 or more points will be recognized with the Excellent University Award, whereas universities that earned six to 11 points will be recognized with the Outstanding University Award. Find out more here.
Career guidance provides students with information regarding educational and career opportunities. This can be done through presentations at local high schools, universities, vocational schools, or youth groups. If requested, provide personal counseling and information about working conditions, opportunities, and salaries. All areas of employment in the concrete and cement industries should be presented. The ACI Career Center features hundreds of internships and jobs in the concrete industry. ACI student members can create a profile and upload their résumé for free. Check out the ACI Career Center.
Tours and field trips could be designed to give students a firsthand view and understanding of the concrete and cement industries. Tours should view actual work being performed and a detailed explanation of the task, along with substantial background information. Tours could include engineering offices, construction sites, cement plants, chemical production plants, ready mixed concrete plants, and other related sites. Schedule tours so they do not interfere with classes, and avoid charging fees other than transportation costs.
Fellowships and Scholarships
The ACI Foundation’s Scholarship Council focuses on helping students with an interest in concrete achieve their educational and career goals by offering various fellowships and scholarships. Chapters should encourage local students to apply for these highly prestigious scholarships and fellowships. These awards vary from $5,000 to $15,000 USD. Opportunities for chapters to establish a named scholarship (minimum pledge of $30,000 USD) or a named fellowship (minimum of $75,000 USD) are also available through the ACI Foundation. In addition, several ACI chapters offer scholarships to colleges or universities in their area. Learn more about the ACI Foundation opportunities here.
ACI Collection and Digital Access
The ACI Collection is the most comprehensive concrete reference set available. ACI student members get free access to Guides, Reports, and TechNotes in the online ACI Collection. In addition, all ACI members receive digital access to ACI’s practices, which contains 200+ Guides and Reports. Log in to your MyACI account here.
ACI offers online professional education that provides continuing education credit through ACI University. Choose from over 180 on-demand courses and monthly webinars. Several ACI University courses are grouped into ACI Certificate Programs that provide in-depth knowledge on a particular topic and recognition for completing a defined course of study.
ACI Student Members receive 10 ACI University tokens for use on select on-demand online learning courses. ACI also offers an all-access subscription to ACI University webinars and on-demand courses. This 12-month subscription includes all ACI monthly webinars and all of ACI’s 175+ on-demand courses.
Younger Member Recruitment and Engagement
The American Concrete Institute Young Professional membership category is defined as individuals 28 and younger who are not currently enrolled in a university degree program. Young Professionals pay $124 USD/year for ACI Membership and receive the same benefits as the Individual Members who are 28 and older.
In this Chapter Guide, we will use the term “Younger Member” to refer to ACI Members who are age 35 and younger.
- By Invitation Only – How many younger members belong to your local chapter? In most cases, if the younger membership numbers are low, it may be because they have not been invited to join. Each Officer and Director should be proactive in recruiting at least one young professional from their company. The local membership should also be encouraged and made aware that younger members are needed and valued. An e-mail marketing campaign promoting “bring a younger member to a meeting” is an easy and affordable way to involve the chapter Officers and members in the recruitment process. If possible, the person bringing the younger member should cover his/her cost to attend the meeting.
- Get (On)Board – Once you begin inviting younger members to your meeting, talk to them about their professional growth track. Young members who are interested in management or leadership positions at their company will most likely be interested in leadership positions with the local chapter. Invite them to join as a Director and be intentional about mentoring them on how to migrate through the ranks from Director to Secretary/Treasurer and eventually Vice President/President.
- Make it (Dis)Count – Does your chapter provide scholarships to local students? Consider helping former student chapter leaders or aspiring young professional leaders under the age of 28 by sponsoring a designated amount of ACI Young Professional Memberships each year. For example, $500 USD in available chapter funds would cover the cost of five young professional memberships for those who are volunteering as Officers or Directors. Membership in ACI will provide them with the resources they need to further their professional development career in the industry.
- Representation is Key – The ACI Chapter Activities offers three opportunities for chapter Officers and Directors to enhance their local leadership abilities. The Spring and Fall Chapter Roundtable events during The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition, along with the Spring Chapter Leadership Training event at ACI Headquarters, offer members a chance to exchange information, ideas, and strategies with other chapter leaders. Encouraging a younger member to attend one of these events and represent your local chapter is a great way to help him/her get better acquainted with ACI and develop their networking skills. In addition, attending the roundtable events will help young members save on the cost of convention registration, which is important for those who are early in their career and do not have the salary to pay on their own or who do not receive financial support from their employer.
- Make the Commitment – The Student and Young Professional Activities Committee (SYPAC) has several subcommittees that welcome younger members from academia and the industry.
- S801 Student Competitions (coordinates two convention competitions and three research paper competitions)
- S802 Teaching Methods & Educational Materials (coordinates spring session and speaker development breakfast)
- S805 Collegiate Concrete Council (coordinates spring session and student networking event)
- S806 Young Professional Activities (coordinates fall session and young professional networking event)
Encourage younger members at your local chapter to join any of these committees where they can potentially serve as Chair, Secretary, or a moderator or panelist for a convention session. ACI also has over 300 technical committees that young professionals can join and also contribute to documents as active members.
Programs for International Chapters
At times, it may be more challenging for international chapters to access some of the resources available to North American chapters. To give assistance to international chapters, the ACI Board of Direction has approved the following programs.
Airmail Shipment of Concrete International and Periodicals
Unfortunately, it takes months for members in some countries to receive Concrete International and the ACI journals. In an effort to resolve this issue, ACI will airmail a complimentary copy of each of these periodicals to international chapters upon request. The chapter can write abstracts of the articles in these periodicals and include the abstracts in their chapter newsletters so that the members may be aware of the latest information available prior to receiving their own individual copy.
Chapters outside of the United States have special rules, including permission to publish conference proceedings in a language other than English provided that, in each case, the chapter adheres to the following requirements:
- Establish a local chapter review process for papers patterned after the ACI process;
- Include a page (or preface) in the volume describing the manuscript review and screening process for that conference;
- Publish a statement that the conference material was not reviewed by ACI;
- Publish under a logo and name that emphasizes and gives credit to the chapter as publisher of the proceedings; and
- A copy of any such publication should be sent to ACI Headquarters.
A chapter may not establish a Standard Recommended Practice. This type of publication is the responsibility of ACI.
Support Available to ACI Chapters
Chapter Activities Committee
The Chapter Activities Committee (CAC) is an ACI Board-level committee and acts as the liaison between chapters and ACI’s Board of Direction. Its mission is to advise the Board of Direction on strategies, policies, and programs related to Chapters and Chapter relationships with ACI consistent with the objectives outlined in the Institute’s Strategic Plan. The CAC meets twice a year during The ACI Concrete Convention & Exposition. During this time, it considers new policies and revisions to current policies, monitors activities of chapters, and makes recommendations to the Board.
The CAC is made up of chapter representatives appointed by the ACI President, each usually serving a 3-year term. To assist the President in the selection, each chapter is invited to nominate individuals who would be willing to serve. Nominees must be able to attend at least one (1) instance of The ACI Concrete Convention & Exposition each year and provide strategic input regarding chapter activities. If your chapter has questions or considerations that they would like the CAC to review, e-mail them to John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at email@example.com.
Chapter Officer Leadership Training
Chapter Officer Leadership Training is held every spring at ACI Headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Leadership Training is a 1.5-day event to provide incoming chapter Officers with training on operational issues such as:
- Member/Officer recruitment;
- Bylaws/legal conduct;
- Accounting, taxation, and administration;
- Strategic planning; and
Leadership training is especially beneficial for new Officers and Board members and it helps to build a stronger connection and support between ACI and the chapter.
Chapters may send up to two (2) representatives, for which ACI will reimburse 50% of travel expenses up to $800 USD per person.
For more details, click here, or contact Denesha Price, Chapter Activities Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Roundtable meetings are hosted bi-annually during The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition in the spring and in the fall. Roundtables bring together chapter Officers from around the world to meet the ACI President, Chairperson of the Chapter Activities Committee, and ACI staff members. The meetings assist in the development of newly elected chapter Officers and are an opportunity to exchange ideas with other chapters, provide updates on ACI’s activities, and improve communications. Chapter Officers come away from a roundtable with renewed energy and many new ideas to implement in their own chapter.
Chapters may send up to two (2) representatives and ACI will provide roundtable participants who attend ACI Convention a complimentary Convention registration (valued at up to $712 USD).
For more details, click here, or contact Denesha Price, Chapter Activities Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Chapter Recognition Program
The Chapter Recognition Program was instituted to recognize chapter efforts. The criteria for these awards ensure that all chapters, large and small, new and seasoned, receive consideration. Points are given for the level of achievement in each category of activity, and are based on information provided in the annual chapter report. More information can be found here.
Chapter Activities Award
The Chapter Activities Award was founded in 1975 to recognize outstanding service in the promotion and development of a chapter or chapters by a member of ACI. The nominee must be an ACI member. Nominations are submitted by chapters to the Chapter Activities Award Committee (CAAC) in the spring and presented to the ACI Board of Direction at The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition in the fall for approval. Awards are presented to awardees at the ACI Convention the following year. Review details here.
ACI Honors and Awards
ACI has 13 award programs designed to recognize individuals for their contribution to the advancement of the concrete industry. All awards are granted by the ACI Board of Direction on the recommendation of an Awards Committee. The designated recipients are invited to attend The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition in the spring to receive their recognition.
The available awards are:
- ACI Certification Award;
- Arthur R. Anderson Award;
- ACI Distinguished Achievement Award;
- Roger H. Corbetta Concrete Constructor Award;
- Joe W. Kelly Award;
- Henry L. Kennedy Award;
- Alfred E. Lindau Award;
- Henry C. Turner Medal;
- Charles S. Whitney Medal;
- Cedric Willson Lightweight Aggregate Concrete Award;
- ACI Young Member Award for Professional Achievement;
- Walter P. Moore, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award; and
- ACI Concrete Sustainability Award
View specific details here.
Chapter Web Page and ACI Event Calendar
Your ACI-provided chapter web page on concrete.org will make your chapter and its activities more visible. You may also post special events, meetings, and certification training dates on the ACI Event Calendar. The full Chapter Listing can be found here.
Chapters are encouraged to develop their own brand identity. The words “American Concrete Institute,” “Always Advancing,” and the ACI Globe are registered trademarks of ACI. ACI chapters are permitted to use ACI trademarks on items such as letterhead, envelopes, membership applications, and clothing; however, they may not be used without the chapter name included.
The chapter name and logo must not be used in a way to imply anything other than the local chapter and not confuse the chapter with ACI. ACI trademarks must never be used in a fashion that appears to endorse certain products or services or to imply endorsement of the same.
Chapters have wide flexibility in design layout and colors; however, all should follow these guidelines:
- Chapter name should be larger than the words “American Concrete Institute.”
- Chapter name should lead, for example: Greater Michigan Chapter – American Concrete Institute.
- ACI Globe should not exceed 50% of the total area of the design.
A few examples of approved designs are:
All chapter logo designs require approval from ACI prior to use. For more information on ACI logos and branding requirements, visit the ACI Marketing Toolkit here.
Upon request, ACI will design chapter logos at no cost. For more information, contact John Conn, Director of Chapter Activities, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Insurance and Indemnification
All chapters in the United States and Canada are required to maintain general liability insurance. As a service, ACI provides general liability insurance coverage to all chapters in the United States and Canada. It is mandatory that chapters participate in this program. This policy provides broad coverage, including litigation fees for the chapter and its Officers for some of the common forms of liability that might be incurred by an organization. Coverage includes host liability, bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury.
The liability insurance policy does not cover Directors’ and Officers’ mismanagement. It also does not cover certification activities. Recognizing this, the ACI Board of Direction has indemnified those acting on ACI’s behalf. Officers and chapter members working on the certification programs are covered by ACI’s insurance policy.
ACI Headquarters should be notified immediately if a chapter is being sued or if there is a possibility of legal action. ACI will assist you in how to proceed and seek advice of legal counsel for assistance, if necessary.
Additional liability coverage is available upon request for functions requiring extra coverage. Request certificates at least 1 to 2 months in advance of the event or function.
Other Items Available to Chapters
ACI provides various items at cost, including:
- Extra chapter banners and award plaques;
- Promotional materials for chapters planning an exhibit or seminar; and
- Contact lists for ACI members within your chapter’s boundaries.
Chapter Activities provides opportunities for Chapter Officers to connect throughout the year. These networking events give participants the opportunity to engage with a group of like-minded industry professions from around the world. Participants walk away with excellent contacts and a great experience.
- World of Concrete Mixer – during World of Concrete
- Breakfast and Business – The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition, spring and fall
Chapter Officer Membership Discount
ACI will provide a fifty percent (50%) discount on an ACI individual membership for up to five (5) chapter Officers/Directors per chapter per year. To be eligible, your chapter must submit the chapter’s annual report and be in good standing. This discount can only be applied to the ACI individual membership for 12 months. This discount does not apply to organizational or sustaining memberships.
ACI Chapter Talks Program offers two (2) free one-hour sessions per year on technical and practical topics that support your chapter’s educational needs. Sessions are presented by engineering, certification, and executive professionals from ACI, the American Coal Ash Association, the American Shotcrete Association, and the Slag Cement Association. In most cases, ACI will cover the speaker’s travel expenses up to $1,000 USD. Visit the Chapter Talks web page for more details or contact the Chapter Activities Coordinator, Denesha Price at email@example.com.
ACI Board of Direction Engagement
Click here for more information.
ACI provides local chapters with an electronic copy of ACI members in their area and other collateral like flyers, brochures, etc. upon request.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why form a chapter?
ACI chapters provide a local grassroots platform for individuals and groups to network, discuss, and disseminate technical and educational information on concrete.
Can chapters be formed outside of the United States?
Yes—chapters are located worldwide—whereever there is an interest in concrete.
What assistance is available?
Dedicated staff is available to answer questions and there are various online tools, including this Chapter Guide. ACI will provide lists of ACI members within the chapters’ boundaries upon request.
What is the first step in forming an ACI chapter?
Contact ACI for a list of ACI members in the proposed chapter area. Conduct a survey or hold a meeting to determine interest in forming a local chapter. If there is enough interest, obtain the required number of ACI member signatures for the organizing petition. Only ACI members can sign the petition; however, nonmembers of ACI can still participate in the chapter.
How many ACI members are required to form a chapter?
In the United States, at least 50 ACI members must live within the area and 25 current ACI members who live within the boundaries of the proposed chapter must sign the organizing petition. Outside of the United States, signatures from 15 ACI members who live within the proposed boundaries are required. If there are not enough ACI members in an area, a membership drive will be necessary. Industry-related individuals may be solicited to join ACI to help launch the new chapter. Once the chapter is operating, there are no minimum membership requirements as long as the chapter remains active, submits an annual report, and is accomplishing its objectives.
Can a local group (such as an engineering society or ready mix concrete association) be involved in chapter formation?
Yes, but the chapter must operate as a separate/independent entity. Some chapters house their chapter office in the facilities of another local organization. ACI chapters are intended to be exclusively educational and networking organizations. No part of an ACI chapter’s efforts can be directed towards promoting the use of concrete or raising funds to promote concrete use.
What does ACI expect from a chapter?
ACI chapters are expected to adhere to the policies described in this Chapter Guide, submit an annual report, forward leadership changes to ACI Headquarters, and maintain a line of communication with ACI.
Can chapter members speak on behalf of ACI?
No. Chapters and/or chapter members may not speak on behalf of ACI unless authorized by the ACI Board of Direction. However, chapters may give technical advice.
Must chapter members be ACI members?
No. Anyone interested in concrete may join a chapter. However, only ACI members may sign the organizing petition.
How often should a chapter have meetings?
The chapter should meet as often as necessary to meet the needs of the chapter’s membership. This depends on the size of the area the chapter covers and the interest of the chapter members. Some chapters meet monthly while others meet only once a year. Some have Board and committee meetings frequently, but only one (1) annual general membership meeting.
How does a chapter raise funds?
Chapter members pay annual dues, which vary from chapter to chapter. Additionally, chapters raise funds through organizing educational seminars and certification programs, among other activities
What types of programs do most chapters have?
Chapter activities vary depending on the need of chapter members. Many chapters are involved in educational seminars, meetings with technical speakers, certification programs, short courses, social/networking events, awards programs, student scholarships, chapter newsletters, technical publications, ACI conventions, community service projects, and other activities.
Does ACI decide what programs should be conducted by the chapter?
No. However, ACI’s Professional Development Department conducts over 20 custom Seminars throughout the United States and Canada and often co-sponsors these with chapters. ACI also has several technical presentations delivered by ACI staff available for free or minimal cost to the chapters. Seminar and presentation resources can be found under Support Available to ACI Chapters or Planning Meeting and Events. Review a full list of topics and presenters here.
Must all chapter meetings cover technical subjects?
No. Some chapters have focused on general subjects like the legal liabilities of engineers and contractors. Also, many ACI chapters conduct chapter awards programs or host social/networking events.
Can ACI chapters publish technical, educational, or certification publications?
Yes. However, they must be reviewed and approved by ACI’s Technical Activities Committee (TAC), Educational Activities Committee (EAC), or Certification Programs Committee (CPC) prior to publication.
Will ACI help the chapter establish a library of ACI literature?
No. The chapter library program has been discontinued; however, a chapter Officer may purchase books using an ACI member discount to create a library for the chapter or purchase books on consignment to sell to chapter members (who are not eligible for the ACI member discount).
What support will ACI provide?
Support services provided by ACI include dedicated staff support; the chapter guide; model bylaws; a chapter web page; a StarChapter account for administrative support; event calendar; co-sponsorship of international events; chapter award program; chapter activities award (personal); liability insurance program; coverage in Concrete International magazine; chapter Officer training/roundtables; a contact list of ACI members upon request; and eNewsletter updates. Specific details are provided under the Support Available to Chapters section.
Should ACI chapters incorporate?
Yes. Every chapter (where applicable) should incorporate. Without incorporation, the chapter’s Officers could be held personally liable in a lawsuit (chapters in the United States and Canada are required to purchase group liability insurance through ACI). Also, chapters in the United States should apply for tax-exempt status with the IRS. This status not only exempts United States chapters from paying federal and state income taxes but also sales taxes on items purchased. Legal counsel should be retained as laws vary among states, provinces, and countries. Refer to Requirements for United States Chapters section.
Is an ACI chapter covered under the ACI tax-exempt status?
No. Chapters are independent of ACI and must apply for tax-exempt status. It is the intent of ACI that the chapters manage their own affairs. Tax-exempt status for ACI domestic chapters is routinely approved by the IRS. Chapters in other countries should investigate their own country’s laws on tax exemptions. Refer to Requirements for United States Chapters section for specific details.
Are ACI chapters covered by insurance?
In the United States and Canada, chapters are covered under ACI’s General Liability Policy. Eligible chapters are assessed at the beginning of the year for an equal share of the actual cost of the insurance. The policy provides coverage for typical liabilities. Refer to Insurance and Indemnification section for specific details.
Can chapters develop a website?
ACI provides each chapter with a chapter page on https://www.concrete.org and (for United States and Canadian chapters) the opportunity to join StarChapter, an association management software (AMS) system, each of which contain useful tools for organizing chapter information and communicating with chapter members. Chapters are also free to develop their own third-party websites that can be linked to the ACI website. Chapter home pages can be found on the ACI website under the Chapter Listing here.
What are ACI student chapters?
A student chapter is a section of the local chapter, is organized by the local chapter, and is the responsibility of the local chapter. Student chapters are a great way to involve local universities in chapter activities. Refer to New Student Chapter Formation, under the Student Activities section, for more details.
How does ACI recognize chapters who have the best programs?
ACI annually recognizes chapters whose performance is considered excellent or outstanding through the Chapter Recognition Program. This recognition is based on the activities the chapter describes in its annual report.
Can chapters reach out to other chapters to discuss common problems?
Yes. Contact information for all chapters is located under the “Chapters” tab of ACI’s website. You may also connect with ACI Chapter Activities staff and other chapters through social media.