About Us


The Chaplains Association of Ohio (CAO) was officially constituted on February 7, 2007.

Chaplains in Ohio had been gathering for education and fellowship for many years prior to 2007. These gatherings were planned and led by the Association of Professional Chaplains state leadership team. In 2005 this leadership team began to dream of a state organization with a broader leadership structure. They appointed a charter committee to begin the work of developing the new organization. Serving on that charter committee were: Karen Ballard, Mary Beth Cooper, Carole DeCrane, Stan Dunk, Mark English, Michelle Lemiesz, Orin Newberry, Jerry Nussbaum, Faith Proietti, Rob Shores, Vernon Small, Mary Kay Snyder, John Steiner, Kate Valentine, Robin Walton and Nancy West. This group worked on the transition throughout 2006.

The Charter Committee appointed a task team to draft a constitution and bylaws. That team consisted of:   Mary Beth Cooper, Mark English, Michelle Lemiesz, Mary Kay Snyder and Kate Valentine.

Facilitated by Orin Newberry, the Charter Committee met on February 7, 2007 to do the final edits of the Constitution and Bylaws and at the end of the day the document was unanimously approved. Present for this vote were:   Karen Ballard, Mary Beth Cooper, Carole DeCrane, Stan Dunk, Valerie Johnson, Michelle Lemiesz, Orin Newberry, Jerry Nussbaum, Mary Kay Snyder, Vernon Small, John Steiner, Robin Walton and Kate Valentine.   They agreed that the importance of the organization was to be open to all chaplains of diverse organizational and religious and cultural backgrounds.

At the Spring Retreat in 2007 the first officers of CAO were elected.

President                   Michelle Lemiesz
Vice-President           Rob Shores     with Kate Valentine filling in for one year
Secretary                   Robin Walton
Treasurer                   Valerie Johnson
Northeast                   Eileen Schonfeld
Northwest                   Paul Bierlein
Southwest                  John Steiner
Sourtheast                 Vernon Small
Membership chair      Kay Snider
Program Chair           Kate Valentine
Communications        Mark English

On December 8, 2011 CAO was incorporated as a non-profit organization.

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To offer those engaged in chaplaincy and related pastoral ministries in Ohio the following:

  • An opportunity for collegiality
  • A means of participating in the professional experience of others and those in related fields.
  • A program for the advancement of knowledge in the field of chaplaincy.
  • A resource of open chaplaincy positions and/or chaplain training opportunities in Ohio.
  • A means to promote the growth and recognition of spiritual care in our facilities and agencies.
  • A means to encourage dialogue with other health care providers and to include them in our conferences and education programs.

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Constitution and Bylaws

Article I: Name

The name of the organization shall be the “Chaplains Association of Ohio.”

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of the Chaplains Association of Ohio shall be to offer those engaged in chaplaincy and related pastoral ministries within the state of Ohio the following:

  1. An opportunity for collegiality with those participating in similar ministries.
  2. A means of participating in the professional experience of spiritual caregiving and those in related fields.
  3. A program for the advancement of knowledge in the field of chaplaincy.
  4. A resource to those who desire knowledge of open chaplaincy positions and/or chaplain training opportunities in Ohio.
  5. A means to promote the growth and recognition of spiritual care in health care facilities and in other agencies.
  6. A means to encourage dialogue with other health care providers and include them in our conferences and education programs.

Article III: Membership

  1. Membership in this Association shall be open to anyone identified as responsible for or involved in spiritual care and meets one of the following criteria:
    1. Is accountable to an organization and/or institution within the State of Ohio or the surrounding states.
    2. Has experience in spiritual caregiving
    3. Is retired from service as a spiritual caregiver or chaplain. Applicants shall be admitted to membership following the completion of an application and payment of dues.
  2. Members shall be expected to conduct themselves and strive to practice ministry in a professional and ethical fashion that is compatible with the Chaplains Association of Ohio and Association of Professional Chaplains Code of Ethics.
  3. Membership in this Association shall be terminated as follows:
    1. Behavior in violation of the Chaplains Association of Ohio Code of Ethics.
    2. Non-payment of dues: “A First Notice” of dues not received shall be sent on May 1st.. The date of the “Second Notice” of dues not paid shall be sent on June 30th (60 days from first notice).
    3. All memberships expire on the first of May and will be reinstated upon receipt of dues.

Article IV Officers

Officers shall be a President, President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Regional Chairs.

  1. The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the above elected Officers, appointed Coordinators (Membership and Communication) and Historian.
  2. The election of the Board of Directors shall be for a two-year term with privileges of re-election to the same office for the following year. Appointed officers may be re-appointed by a newly elected Board of Directors.
  3. All officers shall be members in good standing of the Association. All officers shall be elected in a valid election.
  4. Any vacancy in office shall be filled pro temp by the Board of Directors, with such vacancy referred to the next annual meeting.
  5. Any officer who has been elected to fill an unexpired term shall be eligible to be elected to a full term of office at the annual meeting of the Association.

Article V: Duties of Officers

  1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association, Board of Directors, represents the organization as a community liaison and performs such other duties as pertains to that office.
  2. The Present-elect shall assist the President when requested. In the case of absence or inability of the President to exercise the office, the President-elect shall assume those duties. The President-elect shall be the chair of the Program Committee.
  3. The Secretary shall take minutes at all Board of Directors Meetings and Annual Business Meetings; shall conduct the correspondence of the Association and keep an accurate file of same, shall issue required notices to members and keep an acquate membership list for review.
  4. The Treasurer shall collect all dues, receive all funds on behalf of the Association and deposit such funds in a checking account in the name of the Chaplains Association of Ohio in such depository as may be designated by the Board of Directors. All checks shall be signed by the Treasurer and they shall disburse funds upon order of the Board of Directors, or the Association. The Treasurer shall also keep correct an accurate record of all financial transactions of the Association, make annual reports to the membership, and perform all other duties usually pertaining to the office of the Treasurer.
  5. Regional Chairs shall represent the members of their respective regions and be responsible for hosting a Chaplains Association of Ohio professional development event. (They will provide a member from their region to serve on the nominating committee and act as liaison to the Board of Directors) A Regional Chair will serve as the chair for a Planning Committee for an assigned educational event.

Article VI: Duties of the Board of Directors

  1. The Board of Directors shall have full power to act between regular and special meetings of the Association for the best interest of the organization and in accordance with any policies laid down at Association meetings. The Board of Directors shall have authority to do such other things as may be necessary and expedient in carrying out the purpose of the Association.
  2. The Board of Directors shall appoint a Nominating Committee at least four months prior to the annual meeting when elections are involved. The committee shall include at least one member from each region. The Nominating Committee shall submit nominees to the Board of Directors for the following positions:
    1. President, President-elect and the two northern Regional Chairs in odd years.
    2. Treasurer, Secretary and the two southern Regional Chairs in even years;
  3. The Board of Directors shall appoint a Communications Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, and Historian annually. There is no term limit to these positions.
  4. The Board of Directors shall submit a fiscal budget to the membership for review at the annual meeting.
  5. Two-thirds of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting the meeting of the Board to transact business. A lesser number may meet andadjourn from time to time.
  6. The Board of Directors shall ensure that an annual audit is conducted.

Article VII: Committees

  1. The following are standing committees:
    1. Membership Coordinator: The Membership Coordinator accepts and confirms membership applications, remits dues to the Treasurer, maintains a record of current members, provides the Secretary and Communications Coordinator with reminders of yearly renewal notices to the membership..
    2. Communication Coordinator: is responsible for publishing a newsletter, maintaining the website, publicizing events, membership notices, sending ballots to members and any other communications deemed necessary by the President or Directors.
    3. Historian: shall serve as the Custodian of Archives, and provide historical knowledge, pictures, and writings as requested by the Association.The membership of each committee shall be established by the President and the Committee Chairperson, with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors.
  2. Special Committee(s):
    1. Nomination Committee: at or before any meeting, at which an election is to be held, a nominating committee shall be appointed, consisting of four members, (one from each region) whose duty it shall be to nominate a complete list of candidates.

Article VIII: Meetings

  1. The Annual Meeting of the Association shall be held in conjunction with the Spring educational event.
  2. Quorum: A quorum shall consist of twenty-five percent. Voting ballots can be done by paper ballot.
  3. Special meetings may be called by the Board of Directors provided at least two weeks notice is sent out to the membership of the date, place, and purpose of such a meeting.
  4. The Board of Directors shall meet twice a year to conduct the business of the CAO.

Article IX: Dues and Expenses

  1. The dues for members shall be set by the Board of Directors.
  2. The Treasurer may routinely disburse money for expenses of approved projects by the Directors or membership.

Article X: Amendments

  1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be submitted to the Board of Directors for consideration and if approved, shall be send to the membership one month in advance of a vote.
  2. A Constitutional Amendment must be passed by two-thirds of votes cast.

Revised 02/18/2013

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