The VOA exists to assist and be an advocate for its members. Members have assumed a significant financial obligation to the VOA, and members' dues permit the VOA to exist and to function. Non-members, by virtue of their decision to remain outside the Association, do not have the right to expect that the VOA will assist them or be their advocate.
The VOA is under no obligation to allow non-members to participate in continuing education or other programs sponsored by the Association, but may choose to do so if it is in the Association's best interest.
If non-members are permitted to participate in VOA-sponsored programs, including but not limited to continuing education programs, they must pay substantially higher fees for their participation, as determined by the Continuing Education committee.
Members have a responsibility to the VOA to support the Association by paying their dues in a timely manner as required by the By-Laws. Members whose financial obligations to the VOA (dues and assessments) are in arrears shall be required to pay for programs at non-member rates.
Members in good standing of other AOA-affiliated optometric associations shall be entitled to participate in VOA-sponsored programs on the same basis as VOA members.
A member who desires Partial Practice status shall certify in writing to the Executive Committee the average number of hours compensated per week spent in activities related to the practice of optometry over the previous six months. The Executive Committee may, at its option, verify the accuracy of the submitted information through an independent investigation.
This certification shall be reviewed annually in order to maintain Partial Practice status.
It shall be the obligation of each Partial Practice member to promptly notify the Executive Committee of any material change in practice status or number of hours compensated per week spent in activities related to the practice of optometry. Failure to do so shall be grounds for the Executive Committee to revoke Partial Practice status.
Any member compensated for activities related to the practice of optometry for twenty or fewer hours per week shall, at the discretion of the Executive Committee be eligible for a 50% reduction of Active Members dues.
Advertising for practice or employment opportunities to VOA members as group may be accepted for publication, whether it is by e-mail or postal mail, only when submitted by individual AOA member optometrists, non-profit organizations, governmental entities, educational institutions, health care organizations, co-management/consultation centers and ophthalmic product manufacturers (for research positions only).
Because the VOA operates on a calendar year financial basis, and because under our cash accounting system expensed cannot be carried from one budget year to the next, it is necessary to establish the following requirements for reimbursement of expenses incurred on behalf of the VOA:
Usual or customary office expensed consist of postage, copying, office supplies and telephone calls necessary to conduct VOA business.
Usual or customary travel expenses consist of mileage to and from an out of state meeting site (at the then current IRS mileage rate OR 14-day advance purchase air fair, whichever is less), meals, ground transportation, hotel room and tax, necessary parking, and miscellaneous expenses.
Anything other than "usual or customary" expenses, as defined herein, must be approved in advance by the Treasurer or authorized by the Executive Committee.
All reimbursable expensed must be submitted to the Treasurer in writing, no later than 60 days after they are incurred.
All reimbursable expenses incurred during the months of November and December must be submitted to the Treasurer in writing, no later than December 30th of the same year.
Any expenses, which do not meet the above guidelines for necessity and timely submission, can not be reimbursed without the approval of the Executive Committee.
Meeting and Travel Reimbursement Guidelines
SUMMARY: The VOA is extremely grateful to all its volunteers. We do not expect you to give up both your time and your money. While certain things (such as lost office income) can never be replaced, it is our intention, within budget restrictions to cover your out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a VOA volunteer.
PRIOR AUTHORIZATION: In order for your expenses to be reimbursable, your attendance at a meeting must have been authorized in advance by the President or President-elect.
WHAT MEETINGS ARE COVERED: In addition to out-of-state meetings, hotel accommodations will be reimbursed by the VOA for in state meetings for 2 VOA officers and 2 Continuing Education committee members, for a total of four rooms. All CE committee members receive in state education credits at no charge.
WHAT TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE COVERED: All your reasonable expenses are reimbursed from the time you leave your home or office, whichever is later, until you return to your home or office, whichever is earlier. This specifically includes travel to and from the airport or meeting site, air fair, airport parking, travel from the airport to and from the meeting site, hotel, meals, ground transportation to and from restaurants. You will be reimbursed for registration fees for meetings. "Office expenses" (telephone, fax, etc.) on the road are covered the same as when you are home (see above). Please take advantage of any discounts you may have available such as AAA, AARP, etc.
GUIDELINES FOR "REASONABLE EXPENSES": Ground transportation is reimbursed at the IRS mileage rate plus tolls. On site, one person may rent a car for the use of the group traveling if there are three or more authorized VOA members attending, and must so indicate on the reimbursement request. If this is done, all members of the group should use the rental car rather than separate shuttles, cabs, etc. If no car is rented, you are urged to take the shuttle between the airport and the meeting site, or to share cabs whenever possible. Private or luxury limousine expenses will not be reimbursed. Airfare will be reimbursed at the 14 day advance purchase rate; you are urged to get your ticket early. Full coach of first class airfare will not be reimbursed except under very unusual circumstances. You can not be reimbursed the "paying" rate if you use frequent flyer miles to get a free ticket. The hotel single person convention rate plus tax will be reimbursed. In-room movies, mini bar charges, room service surcharges, and the like will not be reimbursed, nor will personal expenses such as laundry, dry cleaning, sightseeing, etc. Meals will only be reimbursed for those you pay for yourself or other authorized attendees. If you submit for reimbursement for anyone else in addition to yourself, you must indicate whom else you paid for. There is a "cap" on total meal expenses of $60 per day (including tips) times the number of days you are traveling--for example, if the meeting lasts three days, you will be reimbursed your actual meal expenses up to a total of $180.
SPECIAL NOTES REGARDING AOA MEETINGS: There is usually a deadline for submitting hotel and meeting registrations. Please pay attention to these deadlines; you will not be reimbursed for late fees or additional charges if you miss them.
HOW TO GET REIMBURSED: The VOA is the "funding of last resort" whenever you travel. This means that if you receive reimbursement from any other organization, such as the AOA, you can not "double dip" or be reimbursed for the same expenses by the VOA. If you receive funding from any other source for expenses, which have been prepaid by the VOA, you are requested to reimburse the VOA promptly. You are also expected to take advantage of any discounts, bargains, or other sources of funding which may be available. Please submit your receipts and itemized reimbursements to the Treasurer within 60 days (or by December 30th, whichever is sooner) or you will not be reimbursed.
WHAT NON-TRAVEL EXPENSES ARE REIMBURSABLE: Telephone calls and fax charges will be reimbursed if you submit your phone bill to the Treasurer, indicating which calls you are asking for. Only phone calls relating to VOA business will be reimbursed. Personal calls, calls home, etc. will not be reimbursed. If you incur copying, postage, or office supply charges for VOA projects, they will be reimbursed when submitted to the Treasurer with receipts.
Policy: Every Executive Committee member shall at all times be sensitive to the need to respect the privacy of our members and the confidentiality of our deliberations. Executive Committee members will not discuss matters relating to individual members, or the names of individual members discussed, outside the framework of Committee meetings.