Hong Kong Chapter
Membership Committee Manual
Membership Committee Manual
This manual has been put together to ensure that all members of the Membership
Committee clearly understand the obligations and procedures of the Committee and
This manual includes seven sections:
I. Composition of the Committee.
II. Types of Membership.
III. Application Procedures.
IV. Membership Criteria.
V. Conditions for Retaining Full Membership.
VI. General Points.
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I. Composition of the Committee
- The number of members of the Committee is not fixed. The general goal, however, is
to have approximately 10 members.
- The Chairman of the Committee will be appointed by the Executive Committee.
- The Chapter Chairman and either the Forum Chairman or Vice Chairman should be on
- Members are appointed to one-year term, although it is hoped at the outset that all
Members will stay on the Committee for three years or more on a request basis.
- Past Membership Chairs will be invited to sit in and vote at all the meetings and
interviews if they wish.
- There should be a good balance between first-year, second-year, and third-year
members on the Committee. An effort should be made to appoint a Committee which
is reasonably diverse and which is broadly representative of the Chapter as a whole.
(ie a good balance of old and new members, locals and expatriates, entrepreneurs and
professional CEOs, etc.)
- An effort should be made to ensure one-third of the Committee turns over each year.
(ie 3-4 new members each year.)
- Members of the Committee should have been active members of the Chapter for at
least one full year prior to joining the Committee.
- The Committee has no set number of meetings, but is expected to meet approximately
five times per year.
- The Committee’s year begins on 1 July.
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II. Types of Membership
- Full Member
Those who have been admitted locally and who have fulfilled the minimum
- Associate Member
This refers to those Full Members who have failed to meet the minimum attendance
requirement during the preceding year. (See Section V: Conditions for Retaining Full
This is a Full Member who has reached his/her 50th birthday that he/she can choose
when to graduate between the ages of 50-55. 49er status begins on the first July 1
after his/her graduation. A 49er is no longer considered a member of YPO
International and hence need not pay international membership dues unless he/she
joins YPO Alumni and pays its annual dues. However, he/she can still continue to pay
local dues and be eligible to attend all Hong Kong Chapter functions, much like a
Secondary Chapter Member. In general, a 49er will not be able to attend international
events unless YPO International permits 49ers to attend. The minimum attendance
requirement will not apply to 49ers.
- Secondary Chapter Member
This refers to those who are members in good standing of another chapter and who
have been accepted by the Hong Kong Chapter as Secondary Chapter Members. In
addition to the international and local dues paid to their “home chapter”, Secondary
Chapter Members should pay the 100% local Hong Kong Chapter dues and 50%
initiation fee as well. He/she will receive all chapter communications and will be
eligible to attend all chapter functions. A Secondary Chapter Member may not serve
as an officer of the Chapter, but may join a forum if so invited. The minimum
attendance requirement will not apply to Secondary Chapter Members. The 50%
initiation fee balance payable, if they become full members.
No members other than Full Members will be eligible to sit on the Executive or
Membership Committees or to sponsor new members.
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III. Application Procedures
Given that it is embarrassing to all involved to “publicly” reject an applicant, the application
process has been designed to allow prospective members to be quietly vetted by the
Membership Committee (to determine that he/she meets the membership criteria) prior to
alerting the entire Chapter of a candidate’s interest in YPO. A strong effort should be made
to ensure a candidate meets the membership criteria before he/she is brought to events or to
the final interview.
In order to accomplish this, the Membership Committee has established the following
1. Circulate Name & CV to Membership Committee
Any member who wants to introduce a prospective candidate must fill in the “Sponsor
Introductory Form (See Appendix I, with candidate’s title, company name, and to
show how well the sponsor knows the candidate) to be circulated among the members
of the Membership Committee for initial review.
If there are no objection/concerns, we will then request the sponsor to get candidate’s
brief CV for Membership Committee’s second review.
An “Introduction to YPO” kit is available at the Chapter Office for those candidates
seeking more information on YPO. It includes a few marketing oriented items to help
introduce YPO but does not include application materials.
2. Committee Member to meet Candidate
If there are no further objections/concerns during these initial & second circulations,
then the Chairman will ask two members of the Committee to meet with the
prospective member to:
(1) introduce YPO to him/her,
(2) judge whether the candidate is likely to meet the hard & soft membership
Vetting should be arranged at the candidate’s company which allows committee
members to get to know better of the candidate.
Chapter Office is required to inform committee members of the candidate’s company
news and whether it is listed.
After the vetting, responsible Committee member is required to complete a vetting
checklist (Appendix II) about the candidates and suggestion of whether we should
proceed with the application or on hold for further discussion, to be circulated among
the Membership Committee.
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3. Circulate Name to Chapter Membership
Assuming the candidate looks promising after this initial vetting, the name should be
circulated to the Chapter members at large (including 49ers) for review and comment.
(The circular should include the candidate’s name, title, company name, and business
description. See Appendix III.) Members will be given one week to submit
comments and concerns to either the Membership Chairman or the Chapter Office.
However, if members at large have a seriously grave concern about a candidate’s
suitability and have communicated such concerns to the Membership Chair or
Chapter Office, then the candidate’s application may be halted at this point subject to
a majority decision by the Membership Committee.
If the candidate has no sponsor at this point (eg. he/she approached YPO directly or
was recommended by a non member), then the candidate should be asked to find a
sponsor. (If the candidate looks particularly promising, the Committee might help to
recommend an appropriate sponsor.).
4. Send Membership Kit
The Sponsor should then be sent a Membership Kit by the YPO Office. The Kit
includes an Introduction Form (Appendix IV), a memo to the candidate (Appendix III)
and other YPO materials. Sponsors should urge the candidate to fill out the
Introduction Form and to pay particular attention to the Local Chapter Guidelines and
to the Attendance Policy.
5. Submit Introduction Form
The sponsor should submit his/her candidate’s detailed C.V. and completed
Introduction Form (Appendix IV) to the YPO Chapter Office. These will be circulated
to members of the Membership Committee. If the Membership Chairman does not
receive any objections or requests for further discussion from any Committee Member
within seven days, the Sponsor will be given approval to bring the candidate to two
6. Attend Two Events
The prospective member is then required to attend two events. Ideally this would
include one educational event and one social event, although this is not mandatory.
(The YPO Annual Dinner cannot qualify as one of the two events.) The prospective
member’s spouse should attend at least one of these two events.
The candidate must attend the two events within six months from the day of being
given the green light.
The sponsor should accompany the prospective candidate to these two events. If for
some reason this is not possible, then another member should be appointed as “host”
to introduce the applicant to members at the event.
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Committee Members present at events attended by a prospective member should
informally ask around to learn the impressions of those who were exposed to the
If there are still doubts about the candidate after he/she has attended the two events,
the Membership Committee should review the application as a group and decide
whether to proceed with an interview.
7. Submit Sponsorship Form
The Sponsor should then submit the candidate’s Sponsorship Form (Appendix VI).
The two events attended should be listed on the form.
Assuming no objections has been raised from members within one week of the two
events and assuming that the Sponsorship Form is in order, the Membership Chairman
may then invite the candidate for an interview.
An invitation to interview (Appendix VII) together with a YPO DVD will be sent to
the candidate. The Membership Chairman should contact the sponsor well in advance
of the interview to ensure his/her candidate is well briefed.
The candidate will be interviewed (without sponsor) by the Membership Committee
attended by a minimum of seven Committee members.
The interview will consist of the following:
(a) The candidate will be asked to give the committee a 15-minute introduction to
him/herself. This will include an introduction to his/her career, the current
position/title held, family, education, hobbies, and membership and level of
participation in other organizations.
(b) The candidate will be required to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the
diverse range of activities offered by YPO and to explain why he/she wants to
become a member of YPO.
(c) The candidate will then be questioned by the Committee members and will be
judged by each member on the following criteria:
Does the candidate actually run his/her business?
Was the candidate adequately prepared for the interview?
Did he/she display a thorough knowledge of YPO?
Is the candidate joining primarily to better him/herself through the
education programme and the exchange of ideas, or for networking or
other inappropriate reasons?
Will the candidate be an active member?
Will the candidate fit in with existing Chapter members and their
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Please see Section IV (Membership Criteria) for a more detailed description of
(d) Each committee member will vote Yes/No immediately after the interview.
The committee goes by total consensus instead of majority to determine whether the
candidate is accepted or rejected. However, any Membership Committee members
who acts as sponsor should be excused during the discussion of his/her candidate.
A visit to the candidate’s office will only be made if there is a question regarding the
candidate’s basic qualification. If an office visit is required, then the vote will be
deferred until after the office visit.
When a candidate is accepted, the Membership Chairman will:
1. Notify the sponsor. (The Sponsor may then verbally inform the applicant.)
2. Send a letter to the successful candidate (Appendix VIII) welcoming him/her to
YPO together with a Membership Application.
3. Send a memo to all members informing them that a new member has been
accepted. This memo should include a short introduction to the candidate
(Appendix IX). The purpose of this is to (1) “market” the new member to the
Chapter, and (2) make it easier for the new member to integrate into a group which
already knows a bit about him/her.
If a candidate is not accepted, a notification will be sent to the sponsor, who will be
asked to inform the candidate of his failed application.
All prospective candidates must be introduced by a sponsor. Full members of YPO are
allowed to sponsor two candidates in any one YPO year (July to June), although exceptions
may be granted by the Membership Chairman. 49ers, Secondary Members and Associate
Members may not act as official sponsors, although their encouragement in identifying
prospective members is strongly encouraged.
Transfer Members and Secondary Chapter members
Members of other chapters who request to transfer to our Chapter will be required to send us
a recommendation letter from the transferring member’s Chapter requesting his/her transfer.
Thereafter all procedures will apply as if the applicant were a new member application. The
Membership Committee reserves the right to waive any of the procedures, but Transfer
Members must go through the interview process.
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Members of other chapter who request secondary membership are required to go through the
process and interview. The Membership Committee may decide to waive any or all of the
IV. Membership Criteria
Applicants for membership must satisfy two sets of criteria: (1) the quantitative criteria set
by YPO International in Dallas for membership in YPO, and (2) additional “hard” and “soft”
criteria established by the Hong Kong Chapter.
YPO International Criteria
The “hard” criteria for acceptance to YPO are set by Dallas and revised from time to time.
The current criteria are attached as Appendix X.
For interpretations of some of these guidelines, please see the “interpretations” section
Additional Local Chapter Criteria
The Chapter has chosen to set some additional “hard & soft criteria” for membership. By
their very nature, these criteria are not crystal clear, but their purpose is to ensure that those
members accepted by YPO are interesting people with strong reputations and who are likely
to add value to the Chapter.
These criteria include:
Sales/Service/Manufacturing Corporations must have at least US$30 million in gross
annual sales or turnover (vs. YPOI minimum requirement of US$8 million).
Financial Institutions must have at least US$300 million in gross annual sales or
turnover (vs. YPOI minimum requirement of US$160 million).
Agency-type businesses must have at least US$8 million in gross annual sales or
turnover (vs. YPOI minimum requirement of US$6 million).
However, it is within Membership Committee’s discretion to consider those candidates
whose companies are under US$30M, but who possess other compelling reasons for
Commitment to Hong Kong. There is a strong bias towards those likely to stay in Hong
Kong long term.
Likely to be active. We are looking for candidates who are seeking to obtain well in excess
of the minimum required number of attendance points.
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Likely to contribute to Chapter management. Seems likely to be active in chapter
management and/or in the development of the Chapter.
Likely to participate in a forum. Serious doubts should be raised about applicants with no
interest in a forum.
Applicant’s ability to fit in well with others in the Chapter. This is a very subjective
criterion, but it is important that we accept individuals who are inquisitive, who have
interesting personalities, who have ideas to contribute, and who are fun to be around. We
are looking for individuals with spark, enthusiasm, and “get up and go”. All candidates
should add to the “well roundedness” of the YPO network, and the Committee should be
careful not to accept those who are “just another nice guy”.
Applicants with a reasonable level of “seniority”. There are thousands of companies with
over 50 employees in Hong Kong, and it is the desire of the Committee that the Chapter
accept a fair number of those who are, or are soon likely to become, leaders in the Hong
Kong community. This, too, is a very subjective criterion, but when combined with the
other criteria, indicates that the Chapter is looking for individuals who are going to be
leaders of some of Hong Kong’s leading businesses, industries, charities, and government
organizations and/or who are going to contribute leading edge ideas and energy to our
society and our Chapter.
Summary: We are looking for those “who are going to make a difference”.
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For number of employees, the Chapter rule is that we count only those
subsidiaries/investments in which the applicant’s firm owns 50% or more. It is further
expected that the applicant’s firm has a reasonable degree of control over such
The Chapter is not overly concerned about the title of the applicant so long as the
applicant is clearly the chief executive officer of the business. It should be noted that
Dallas only accepts certain titles on application forms.
The Committee accepts that it is alright to accept for Membership a son or daughter
who is clearly more-or-less running a family business day-to-day but with an older
relative (generally father) who is still the chief executive in title.
Any one company can have only one member of YPO qualifying based on that
company. CEOs of different subsidiaries of conglomerates can qualify, but each such
subsidiary must meet the size criteria (and, as above, only one member per subsidiary
Complex financial institutions are treated much like conglomerates. Due to their very
large size, the head of the investment banking arm or private equity division of a
Citibank-like organization could be running a very major business. Nonetheless,
he/she must still clearly meet the YPO Dallas requirements.
Some emphasis is placed on the permanence of underlying subsidiaries of the
qualifying firm. If it is felt that most of the staff/revenues come from one or more
subsidiaries which, in the eyes of the Committee, might well be divested one day, then
the Committee may choose to reject an applicant, even though he/she technically
Similarly, the location of staff numbers can influence a Committee decision. A
company with 60 staff in Hong Kong is much preferred to 4 staff in Hong Kong and
56 staff in (say) Africa. Applicants from companies without a substantial presence in
Hong Kong are not generally encouraged.
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Generally speaking, the Chapter desires a balance between locals and expatriates and
between entrepreneurs and professional CEOs. To maintain continuity, transient
expatriates, define as candidates who work for multinational companies headquartered
outside Hong Kong, should not account for more than 10% of total expatriate
membership. While it is accepted that employees of multinational firms can bring a
lot to the Chapter, it is our general desire to accept candidates who will stay active in
the Chapter for many years. In an effort to minimize such disruptions, the number of
these potentially shorter-term members should be limited.
There are no professions which are banned from applying, although this has not
always been the case. The Committee is nervous of applicants who might use
membership in the Chapter to canvas for business or who might find a conflict
between their business interests and the confidential discussions which occur with the
Chapter. In particular, the following professions are of concern: (1) executive search
firms, (2) private banks, (3) lawyers, (4) management consultants, (5) audit firms, and
(6) commercial banks. (The first two have given rise to particular concern in the past.)
The Committee should exercise extra care when considering applicants from these
professions, and successful applicants from these professions should be warned of the
Committee’s concerns. In addition, applicants from such professions may need to be
warned by the Committee that their acceptance into a forum might be limited by their
It should be noted that as the official language of communications of the Chapter is
English, candidates without a good grasp of the English language should not be
One rule of thumb: Every member of the Committee must feel comfortable about
answering “yes” to the following question – “I would be willing to accept the
applicant to my forum.”
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V. Conditions for Retaining Full Membership
In order to retain full membership, a member has to accumulate eight (8) points or more
during each fiscal year. Points are awarded for members who by and large, has attended
the entire event base on the following:
Attending one local event 1 point
Attending one overseas chapter event 1 point
Attending one local seminar (longer than 1 day) 2 points
Being a Event Chair of a local event with overall score 8 points or above 1 point
Spouse attending one local or overseas event in the absence of a member 1 point
(maximum 2 points per year)
Being a Executive / Membership / Education Committee Member 2 points
Attending one regional seminar 3 points
Attending one University, Area Conference or GLC 4 points
Attending one Chapter Retreat 4 points
Organize Chapter Retreat, Annual Dinner, Year-End Party, 4 points
University, Area Conference, GLC, etc.
Participating in local or international Forum 4 points
Being a committee member of a University 2 points
Member who identifies and sponsors a candidate who is successfully 2 points
accepted as a YPO member. Each member can only sponsor one
candidate and receive a maximum of two attendance points per year.
A category known as “Significant Value” is established to award a maximum of 4
points to an individual who is deemed to have delivered a service of significant value
to the chapter during the year in question. It is intended that this category be used to
recognize individuals who have “championed” a new YPO product (i.e. such as the
Presidents’ Seminar) or has delivered a particular resource to the chapter who
otherwise could not have been accessed. The awarding points in this category must be
requested by the member, proposed by the Membership Committee and approved by
the Executive Committee.
Past Chapter Chair are exempted from the attendance policy requirement.
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Additional requirement for new members, he/she must:
- Attend forum training program (FTP) or Moderator Training Program (MTP) for the
- Obtain a minimum of five (5) attendance points per year from local events during
his/her first two years, effectively form the official join date.
- Serve as an event chair within 24 months after joining
Additional requirement for transfer-in members, he/she must:
- Obtain a minimum of five (5) attendance points per year from local events during
his/her first two years, effectively form the official join date.
- Serve as an event chair within 24 months after joining
At the end of each fiscal year, any member who fails to obtain the required eight (8) points /
new member fails to meet the additional requirement will automatically be transferred to
the Associate Membership for one year. Those members MUST acquire the minimum
eight (8) points within their year as an Associate Member which will enable them to be
reassigned to the full membership for the coming year. Otherwise, they will be requested to
withdraw their local and international membership. Please note that the above transfer and
grace period will only be granted once and for one year only. This arrangement will not be
applicable to members who fail to meet requirement for the second time.
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VI. General Points
1. The Membership Committee plays a very important role for the Chapter as it is
responsible for the quantity and quality of future members. The future health of the
Chapter is very much affected by the decisions of this Committee.
2. It is important to note that Membership Committee discussions of individual
candidates are to be kept confidential. (“Forum Rules.”) No reason need be given to a
rejected candidate or his/her sponsor, and the pros and cons of a candidate and any
indication of which Members were in favour or opposed absolutely may not be
discussed outside of the Committee. Basic general facts about the applicant (job,
whether married, hobbies) can be revealed outside of the Committee (particularly
when the candidate has been accepted), but all other business details, personal views,
analysis, etc is subject to strict confidentiality.
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I. Sponsor Introductory Form.
II. Vetting Checklist.
III. Circulation of Prospective Member’s Name to Chapter Membership.
IV. Introduction Form.
V. Memo to Prospective Member.
VI. Candidate Sponsorship Form.
VII. Invitation to Interview.
VIII. Letter to Successful Candidate.
IX. New Member Acceptance Memo with short introduction to Candidate.
X. YPO International Membership Criteria.
XI. “Tickler list” of key issues to consider in interview.
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