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GCA Extraordinary General Meeting 26 June 2013

Proposal that the GCA introduces an Associate Membership category.

Following the overwhelmingly positive responses to the proposal emailed to members earlier this year, the GCA will be holding an EGM to vote on a Resolution which will amend the GCA Articles of Association to provide for the new membership category.

Associate Memberships are the means by which trade associations involve other interested parties without compromising or diluting the core membership group.

Sharon Little, GCA CEO commented "If the resolution is voted through, the Associate Membership category will enable the GCA to grow our membership further, foster a spirit of collaboration and represent the industry as a whole. This inclusivity will enable us to initiate industry-wide campaigns, work together to engage the next generation, speak with one voice to the press and allow a better flow of information throughout the industry."

Associate members will be entitled to attend AGMs and other events, but will not be eligible to stand for the GCA Council nor have any voting rights at AGMs or other meetings. These rights will remain purely with our publisher members.

The meeting will be held at Birkbeck College in central London at 11am, 26 June 2013.

The meeting is for members only. GCA Members have been emailed full details including the resolution, a meeting booking form and a proxy voting form.

Proxy Voting

If members are unable to attend the meeting they can vote by proxy. We are encouraging all members to vote and make their view known. While more than one person may attend the EGM from each company only one vote per company is allowed to be cast.


Who will be eligible for Associate Membership?

The proposal is that any individual or business with an interest in the greeting card industry will be eligible eg suppliers, trade fair organisers, agents and retailers. As with all memberships, the final say to admit each new associate member will rest with the Council.

The GCA Council and many members agree that the association should represent the whole industry and that industry-affiliated businesses and individuals play an important part in this.

What benefits would be provided to Associate Members

  • Attendance (without voting rights) at the AGM and other the GCA events/networking with members
  • Listing in a new Associate Members’ online directory
  • Access to the GCA Members’ area on the website, (but not the Members’ Warnings Forum)
  • Being a part of the GCA community and involved in industry initiatives as and when these occur.

While not having a seat on the Council, associate members could be invited, as non-voting members, to Council meetings where relevant issues were being discussed.

Could the AGM be used by associates as a selling opportunity?

The AGM is an ideal opportunity for associates and members to meet and network. We feel that associates will not abuse the goodwill of the membership by being overtly sales orientated at meetings. However, if this did become a problem we would take steps eg by limiting the number of attendees from associate members or having words with offenders. 

For further information, a meeting booking form and proxy voting forms contact Sharon Little