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123 N. Hill St
South Bend, IN 46617


Board Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes are posted to this page roughly a month after each board meeting, because A) the minutes must be prepared by the secretary; and B) the board must approve the minutes at the next board meeting, possibly with corrections.  The minutes are posted after that.

Board Meeting Minutes July, 2016

PPC Admin

Attending: Russ Pierce, Nick Licina, Danielle Meersman, Eli Williams, Tama Crisovan, Mike Geglio, Molly Moon, Fred Myers, Greg Koehler

Absent: Chris Hebron

No guests to introduce
Approved minutes from June 16  meeting

Member-owner input opportunity
No member-owner visitors

Manager’s Report - Greg
New graphs are included in this month’s manager’s reports.  The CDS workshop in Chicago provided some models.  Greg is using a database of from the Coop Initiatives which normally requires payment but is offered free to start-ups.  The DB offers an immense amount of data from participating co-ops, and Purple Porch will provide our data to them as well.  The graphs generated by Greg from Purple Porch data includes DB data from our Peer Median group as an indicator to measure our performance.  The Peer Median groups are defined by amount of business, so can include start-ups and mature co-ops.  The Maple City Market GM uses these kinds of graphs to demonstrate compliance to board policies.
phasing in the co-op’s minimum hourly wage to the $10.10 level over the next year.  City of South Bend is already there.  Every 3 months, all employees will get a bump.  After the goal is reached, additional raises will be merit-based.  The expectation is that in addition to providing a fair living wage to employees, the co-op will benefit from the ability to retain valuable employees.
Positions with higher responsibilities are being formally established among the staff employees. ‘‘Leader 1’ roles have been assigned to Maureen and Sara; their responsibilities include scheduling staff, catering planning, and ordering for the kitchen.  A ‘Leader 2’ will be established after the position description is finalized, which will have less responsibility.
Local sourcing: a graph reporting local sourcing shows the mix of revenues by quarter between local (within 60 miles) and regional (within 400 miles, although for our store the effective range is 300 miles).  Local sourcing is by far stronger than regional.  The change by quarter of the total combination of local and regional follows the seasons very regularly over the last 2 years.  Q1 is the lowest point with a straight line increase peaking in Q3.
Marketing - 
participating at the Envirofest event in Elkhart was successful.  The gross revenue was $600, and resulted in very positive community engagement.
PPC will participate in the local Oktoberfest events by having  German-themed music and foods on site.
Sara requested help setting up, staffing and tearing down the PPC Art Beat stand on Aug 20 from 11:00 to 7:00.  There will be 2 or 3 hour shifts requiring 2 or 3 people each.  Several board members will participate, and Molly will coordinate the arrangements.
The repairs to the parking lot are underway.  Holes are being filled, a new layer of blacktop is being applied and parking spaces will be lined.
By next board meeting, Greg will present to the board his plan for adding alcohol to the PPC and cafe products.  Maureen and Sara are helping to work out the plan, which includes a Riverfront 3-way alcohol license, rearrangement of spacing and staffing.  Last year the idea was also considered but rejected by Greg as too difficult to implement in the cafe without wait staff and other requirements.  New ideas about managing the change have been introduced, and now he thinks the effort is feasible.

Danielle reports on financial statements:
Danielle has added a new account for Shrinkage to the Chart of Accounts.  This will allow the store to track losses of inventory to spoilage and other factors more accurately.  It also allows other accounts to be brought to more accurate levels: the inventory value will be reduced and the Cost of Goods Sold will rise to offset the shrinkage.
Danielle explained pricing strategy options like First In, First Out and Last In, First Out which are used to record net revenue, and that she is considering which may be most useful for the store.  It would be a significant change to reporting, and may not be worth it.
Revenues for the store and cafe are falling currently, which is normal for the summer months as patrons leave for vacations.
Balance Sheet: 
Danielle reports fairly consistent status over the last few quarters.  
Danielle explained the impact of depreciation on reducing fixed asset values.  She also pointed out the slow steady reduction in long term debt.  There was some discussion about the option of consistently paying down debt as cash is available, or using the cash to invest in assets that may spur growth and increase cash flow, helping to pay down the debt more quickly in the future.
Credit card: the balance of debt has remained steady between $11,000 and $15,000 over the last few quarters.  This is not a snapshot effect, where the volatility of using the card and paying it off is masked by the reported balance.  Greg stated that the card has great value in providing flexibility to buy goods and services, that there are cash-returns based on usage that he has been able to take advantage of, and that he foresees an opportunity to pay down the debt very soon if no unexpected costs arise suddenly. 
Molly suggested an idea that might help reduce member-owner debt.  People who have loaned the co-op large amounts might be willing to support a forgiveness program.  If a person who has loaned a small amount is willing to convert some or all of it into a donation, the same amount would be forgiven from the pool of larger loans.  That way people could feel they were donating $2 for each dollar they actually gave.  No decision was reached. 
Tax bill: in May the amount paid on the overdue property taxes was reported to be $6000.  In June, the amount in the P&L was over $11,000.  Danielle explained that the original amount was the minimum charge required to avoid listing the property to sell for back taxes, but the larger amount was the total tax to date, including late penalties.  The full amount was paid.  The taxes were allowed to fall overdue because the statement was being sent to the wrong address for a period of time.

CDS Consulting
Take-aways provided by the people who went to the Chicago workshop.
Available dates for the retreat were evaluated, and August 15 from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm was agreed on.
CDS has instructed the board to provide an agenda.  After some discussion, the following suggestions were agreed on: how to best create, implement and practice policy governance; how to run board meetings efficiently; how the board can make decisions efficiently; and if time allows how to develop a future vision for the co-op growth.  Molly will present the agenda to the consultant.
Mike will find out if the Zion UCC meeting space is available for the retreat (the availability has been confirmed).
Mike can provide a room for the consultant’s overnight stay.
Board members who want to provide cash to support the cost of CDS consulting for this half year can give a check to Greg.  It should be made out to the Purple Porch Co-op, with a memo item CDS Consulting.  The total will be reported to the Ralph K. Morris Foundation in support of the grant request.
Russ proposed the board’s group photo be taken at the retreat.

Annual Meeting: a decision was made to assign a subcommittee to begin planning the event.  Mike, Eli and Fred will make up the subcommittee.  It was agreed to involve the members of the membership committee.  Fred noted that the board has the ability to change the procedure for changing bylaws, according to state law.  The difficulty encountered in the past of bringing together a large percent of member-owners to approve the change is not necessary..

Food Justice Summit: Eli and Tama reported progress on the effort to bring together the different groups in the local area who are concerned with Food Justice issues.  The meeting will occur in September at Charles Martin Center.

GM review: no progress has been made.  Nick pledged to review the process documentation developed by Susan and to share his findings with the other subcommittee members by next Thursday.  The other members of the subcommittee are Molly, Russ and Fred.

Meeting ends.