(a) There is hereby created the Alabama State Board of Registration for Interior Design, to be comprised of seven members appointed by the Governor in the manner set forth in this section. All persons serving as members of the Alabama State Board of Registration for Interior Designers pursuant to Section 34-15A-5, on August 1, 2001, shall immediately serve as interim board members of the Alabama State Board of Registration for Interior Design created by this chapter until members of the board are appointed under this section. Within 90 days after August 1, 2001, the Governor shall appoint the initial seven members in the manner set forth below to replace the interim members.

(b) Of the seven members appointed by the Governor within 90 days, two members shall be appointed for initial terms of two years, two members shall be appointed for initial terms of three years, and three members shall be appointed for initial terms of four years. After the initial appointments, all subsequent appointments shall be for terms of four years, except an appointment to fill a vacancy, which shall be for the unexpired term only. No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms of office. All members shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed.

(c) For continuity purposes of the board, one of the seven board members initially appointed by the Governor within 90 days shall have served as an interim board member and member of the predecessor Alabama State Board of Registration for Interior Designers for a period totaling at least two years, but not more than six years. That board member shall be nominated by the statewide nominating committee as detailed below; shall serve an initial term of two years; and shall represent the district of his or her residence, as detailed in subsection (e), on the board. Upon completion of that board member’s two-year term, the statewide nominating committee shall submit the names of two persons from that district to the Governor to fill the next four-year term from that district, as provided in subsection (e).

(d) The composition of the board shall be as follows:

(1) Five members of the board shall hold valid certificates of registration pursuant to this chapter, shall be engaged in the full time practice of interior design, and shall be appointed from districts as detailed in subsection (e), with the exception that five of the initial members shall have been registered as interior designers prior to August 1, 2001, pursuant to Chapter 15A of this title.

(2) One member shall be a professional educator, who teaches in a college or university level interior design program; and one member shall be a consumer who does not hold a certificate of registration.

(3) Of the preceding seven members, at least one must be a member of a minority race.

(e) The five members of the board holding valid certificates of registration, and appointed by district, shall be appointed as follows:

(1) Five districts shall be created: Northern; Central; Western; Eastern; and Southern. One person holding a valid certificate of registration shall be appointed from each district.

(2) The Northern District shall be comprised of Lauderdale, Colbert, Lawrence, Limestone, Morgan, Cullman, Marshall, Madison, Jackson, DeKalb, Cherokee, Etowah, Calhoun, and Cleburne Counties.

(3) The Central District shall be comprised of Blount, Jefferson, St. Clair, and Talladega Counties.

(4) The Western District shall be comprised of Marion, Winston, Lamar, Fayette, Franklin, Walker, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, Sumter, Greene, Hale, Bibb, Perry, Dallas, Marengo, Choctaw, Lowndes, Shelby, and Wilcox Counties.

(5) The Eastern District shall be comprised of Randolph, Clay, Chilton, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Autauga, Elmore, Lee, Macon, Montgomery, Bullock, Pike, Coffee, Dale, Henry, Barbour, Russell, and Crenshaw Counties.

(6) The Southern District shall be comprised of Butler, Covington, Conecuh, Escambia, Houston, Monroe, Clarke, Washington, Mobile, Geneva, and Baldwin Counties.

(7) Within 30 days from August 1, 2001, the chair of the interim board shall notify in writing every individual registered as an interior designer pursuant to Chapter 15A of this title, and every individual holding a valid certificate of registration under this chapter, who resides in the foregoing districts of the time and place for a district nomination meeting. The purpose of the district nomination meeting shall be for the selection of members to a statewide nominating committee. The district nomination meeting shall be held within 40 days from August 1, 2001.

(8) At the district nomination meetings, the members of each district shall select a chair for their respective districts for the meeting, shall proceed according to Robert’s Rules of Order, as most recently revised, and shall select one person to serve on the statewide nominating committee. The person may be selected by a plurality of the vote and he or she shall be registered as an interior designer pursuant to Chapter 15A of this title, or hold a valid certificate of registration under this chapter, and reside in the district.

a. The statewide nominating committee shall be composed of one person from each of the foregoing districts. Each person selected for the statewide nominating committee shall immediately notify the chair to the interim board of his or her selection.

b. Within 10 days after its selection, the statewide nominating committee shall meet at a time and place scheduled by the chair of the interim board and do all of the following:

1. Select a chair for the meeting, and proceed according to Robert’s Rules of Order, as most recently revised.

2. Select the names of two persons from each district who hold a valid certificate of registration and reside in the districts and send those names and the name of the initial member detailed in subsection (c) to the chair of the interim board, who shall submit the names to the Governor.

c. The Governor shall then appoint one of the two persons from each of the five districts and the initial board member detailed in subsection (c) so nominated to the board. If no appointment is made within 90 days of August 1, 2001, or within 90 days of the end of a board member’s term, the statewide nominating committee shall select a new board member from the names of the two persons that the board submitted to the Governor.

(9) Excluding the interim board, each board member nominated by the statewide nominating committee shall reside in the district from which he or she was appointed.

(10) Initial nominations to the board shall be submitted by the statewide nominating committee to the Governor within 60 days of August 1, 2001. Thereafter, the statewide nominating committee shall submit the names of two persons to the Governor in the foregoing manner no later than 60 days of the expiration of a board member’s term, or no later than 60 days of any vacancy on the board.

(11) A statewide nominating committee shall be elected in the foregoing manner every four years for the purpose of filling any vacancies or expired terms which may occur after the initial appointments to the board. The statewide nominating committee shall be convened, by call of the chair of the statewide nominating committee or notice from a majority of the members thereof, as soon as practical whenever a vacancy occurs on the board or at any time within 60 days preceding the expiration of the board member’s term. After the initial appointments referenced in subsection (a), all future appointments to the board shall be made in the manner set forth herein. If a vacancy occurs on the statewide nominating committee, the chair of the district where the vacancy has occurred shall schedule a meeting and the members of that district who hold a valid certificate of registration shall select a person holding a valid certificate of registration from that district to fill the vacancy. After a period of one year, only persons holding a valid certificate of registration under this chapter may vote in a district nomination meeting or serve upon the statewide nominating committee.

(f) The educators and consumer members of the board shall be selected by the Governor within 90 days of August 1, 2001, with or without input from the statewide nominating committee; provided, however, neither of the remaining two members of the board may be employed in the fields of construction, architecture, engineering, interior design-interior decorating or any related field, other than teaching in a college or university level interior design program.

(g) The Governor may remove any member of the board for misconduct, incapacity, incompetence, or neglect of duty after the member so charged has been served with a written notice of the same and has been given an opportunity to be heard by the Governor. Absence from any three consecutive meetings of the board, without cause acceptable to the Governor, shall be deemed cause for removal of any member.

(h) Each member of the board shall receive the same per diem, travel, and expense allowance as is paid by law to state employees for the time spent in the performance of his or her duties and in necessary travel.

(i) The board shall hold two or more meetings per year for the purpose of performing its duties pursuant to this chapter. A simple majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum at any meeting. A simple majority vote of the members present shall be sufficient to transact the business of the board. At the initial meeting of the board, to be convened by the Governor within 30 days after the initial appointments are made, the board shall elect a chair from among its members. Thereafter, a chair shall be elected at the first meeting of the board held after October 1 of the following year; the previous chair shall continue to serve until a successor is elected. Vacancies in such chair position shall be filled by act of the board.

(j) The chair may appoint a full-time or part-time executive director or administrative assistant to the board, with the consent of the majority of the members of the board. The executive director or administrative assistant shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The executive director or administrative assistant’s salary shall be set by the board, and he or she shall be the executive officer to the board, but shall not be a member of the board. The board, by majority vote of its members, may employ additional persons, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board, to assist the board and the executive director or administrative assistant in the keeping of the records and in the performance of its duties, subject to available funding.