In order to maintain harmony, convivial social settings and an effective learning experience, the chapter membership shall be limited to 35 members.
Order for Membership
With the prior permission of the Mâitre, members of the Chapter may invite friends and acquaintances to an event when they believe there could be an interest in membership. Chapter members become the Sponsor and Co-Sponsor and in this instance it is presumed that they believe that the Proposed Member is of sound character and will contribute to the overall appreciation of Bordeaux wine.
After the first event, the Sponsors are expected to notify the chairman of the Membership Committee of the Proposed Member’s degree of interest in membership along with a brief summary of his/her background, which will be shared with the Committee.
The Proposed Member will be invited to a second event after which chapter members will be asked to respond to the Chairman of the Membership Committee on the compatibility of the Proposed Member. Comments from members based on personal familiarity with the candidate will be weighted more heavily than casual acquaintances. Assuming favorable responses, the Proposed Member will be required to complete and submit our standard application form to the Committee.
The Proposed Member must have attended a minimum of two events with at least one of the events in the company of a spouse or significant other. Furthermore, it shall be understood that there may be instances where the Committee may request the Proposed Member to meet with the Committee, or to attend more than two events before making a recommendation to the Maitre when there are uncertainties surrounding the candidate.
The Membership Committee will ultimately forward a summary review and recommendation to the Maitre. If approved, the Proposed Member will be notified in writing by the Maitre with a copy to the Sponsors, and then invited to complete the New Member Obligations.
If by accepting a Proposed Member the chapter membership would exceed the cap of 35 members, the candidate will be offered Wait List status (see CdB Policy).
New Member Obligations
The Maitre’s Letter of Invitation to join the Naples Chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux will describe the non-refundable capital contribution for proportionate interest in the Chapter’s wine cellar, annual dues and assessments.
Annual Dues and Assessments
Annual dues are required from members at a rate to be determined by a vote of all Commandeurers in good standing at the Commanderie's annual meeting. Any member not paying their obligations within 30 days is subject to losing membership in the chapter. A special assessment of the members may be made for any reason upon a majority vote of the Chapter's Commandeurers.
Wine Recovery Surcharges
It is the policy of the chapter to add a wine recovery surcharge to the cost for all guests, except spouses and significant others, Honorary and Emeritus Members and Members of the National Board of Governors. The amount of the wine surcharge will be periodically reviewed to assure that it covers the chapter’s wine costs.
If a member of another chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux wishes to obtain a dual membership with the Naples chapter, they will be evaluated within the context of the Order for Membership as a Proposed Member.
Termination of Membership
A Member may lose membership in the Commanderie de Bordeaux a Naples upon a vote of 60% of the membership and at the recommendation of the Membership Committee.
Whenever the Chapter has a full complement of 35 members, prospective members will be added to a Wait List once the Maitre has approved the recommendation of the Membership Committee. The Maitre is responsible for sending the candidate a letter of acceptance, and the date of such letter shall set the priority of entrance into full membership for all candidates. Should two or more candidates matriculate at the same time, priority will be given to the candidate who first completed the required two events. In the event a spouse or significant other of an existing member wishes to become a member, they are subject to the same approval process and Wait List policy as any other candidate.
A prospective member from another Commanderie chapter is likewise subject to the same approval process and Wait List policy. Any candidate being accepted to the wait list shall pay a non-refundable sum of $5,000 that will be applied towards the Cellar Buy-in once full membership is granted. The Buy-in rate shall be that which is in existence when they are approved as a full member. Wait list candidates can attend one luncheon a year at the regular member price.
Leave of Absence
A request for leave of absence for either health or other personal reasons needs to be approved by the Maitre and Membership Chair, and such leave can be granted for a maximum of 24 months. If this action drops the chapter membership total below 35, the Membership Committee can elect, or not, to promote a candidate from the Wait List.
Those members on a leave of absence who wish to become active members again need to obtain the approval of the Maitre and Membership Chair, but they do not have to be vetted again. Once approved, they will be given Wait List priority should the chapter membership cap of 35 be already attained. Leave status requires that they continue to pay local and national dues. Furthermore, they are required to pay the wine assessment in the year that they are reactivated.
For the Chapter to remain vibrant, we need active members who are willing to participate in club events and assist in the planning of functions. Active status requires that members attend 50% of the official functions. The Maitre and Membership Chair shall determine if one or more members are not meeting that standard, and a leave of absence or termination will be considered in those instances.