General Structure

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Ottawa Illinois 61350
Ottawa Illinois Chamber of Commerce "Being a member of Ottawa Business Builders has been a great experience for me."

"Not only have I developed many business relationships that have helped grow my business, but I have also developed new friendships along the way."

General Structure:

Ottawa Business Builders Referral Group is a business referral sharing group. The group meets weekly from 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. the second and fourth Fridays of each month, with an informal breakfast meeting every 3rd Friday.(currently meeting inside the former South Town Mall, 1515 1ST Avenue). Group meetings are strictly limited to one hour. At each meeting each participant will have the opportunity to present one (1) thirty second commercial providing insight into their respective business, and be expected to periodically share business leads with group participants . Each meeting will additionally consist of one (1) member, selected on a rotating basis, presenting a more complete ten (10) minute commercial, or at times outside speakers providing presentations as an alternative. The group is limited to thirty (30) participants, with no two participants providing primary service in the same industry. A majority of the group will determine whether such an industry conflict exists.

Authority For Operation:

The group is sponsored by the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chamber) and draws its authority for operation from the Chamber. Any formal action of the group will require the affirmative vote of a majority of all of the participants of the group. Any modification to this Policy and Structure Statement must be filed with the Chamber and will not be effective until forty-five days thereafter.

Membership & Officers:

Membership in good standing with the Chamber is required to be a participant of the Ottawa Business Builders Referral Group. The group will elect, for a six (6) month term a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Sergeant at Arms. Officers can be re-elected to a second consecutive term and then will be eligible again after 1 vacant term The term of Treasurer, is the exception and shall be ongoing until the Treasurer requests to step down or a majority vote of the group asks the Treasurer to step down. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at meetings of the group. It shall be the duty of the Vice President to assume the duties of the President in his or her absence. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep such records, and disseminate such communication, as is required by the group. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to oversee the finances of the group. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant at Arms to keep the meeting flowing in the times frames required.


Attendance is a priority. All group participants depend on each other for business. To be effective, participants must attend regularly. A minimum of one (1) regular meeting per quarter is required to maintain membership in the group.. The president may contact the participant in order to obtain information regarding the circumstances behind absences, and present that information to the group prior to the vote. It is acknowledged that extending circumstances can prevent a member from meeting the minimum required attendance standard ;( such as a medical condition or short term job assignment, etc ) thus requiring a case by case review and subsequent recommendation to the membership as to a proper course of action.


Each meeting will start promptly at 8:00 AM and will end at 9:00 AM


When anyone is speaking there should be no interruptions. Questions and comments should be deferred to the end of a 10-minute program or after the meeting. Out of respect to the presenter, members will withhold any other conversations , until the program has concluded.

10-minute presentations should be limited to 8-9 minutes, allowing enough time to answer questions.

By respecting all time lines, meetings should conclude in 45 – 50 minutes. This allows time after the meeting for further questions and conversations.

Referral Sharing:

This is the most important reason for participation. Without referral sharing, this group will not serve its purpose. Ottawa Business Builders Referral Group requires an average of 3 referrals per month for each participant to be in good standing.

Process For Removal:

In the unlikely event ,a majority vote of all of the participants is sufficient to remove a group participant for any purpose.


Group participation fees of $30 are due at the beginning of each quarter. Chamber membership dues are separate and distinct from the group participation fees. If fees are not paid by the third group meeting of that quarter, a $10 late charge will be added. In the event a participant feels they are not benefiting from the group, they may withdraw from the group in good standing and receive a pro-rated refund for their dues. All monies collected go towards paying for a brochure that will be designed with business cards and upcoming events for sponsorship consideration. Any money remaining at the end of the year may go towards a Holiday party for the group or a charitable cause (requiring membership vote of approval for amount and cause) …or a final option of allowing a roll over of unused funds into next year's finances.