Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
November 17, 2016
Attending: Russ Pierce, Eli Williams, Tama Crisovan, Mike Geglio, Molly Moon, Fred Myers, Nick Licina, Greg Koehler
Absent: Chris Hebron, Danielle Meersman
Agenda reviewed - no changes
Minutes from October 20, 2016 approved
No member-owners visiting
Response to Ralph K. Morris Foundation - Molly
The foundation provided $500 in grant money to assist Purple Porch sign up for CDS Consulting
The foundation sent a letter to Molly asking for comments
The board agreed to let Molly respond on its behalf
CDS Library video
Russ asked the board to watch a short CDS video he found on their library, featuring Thane Joyal speaking on the meaning of ‘reasonable interpretation’
The board should use few words and unambiguous words to communicate with the GM
The diversity of voices on the board form a collective wisdom that helps bring an objective evaluation from the subjective views
Don’t worry about being correct or about agreeing with the GM
Just answer the questions, ‘is this reasonable? Does it make sense? - not ‘is this what we would choose to do?’
If the GM is reasonably interpreting a policy but not going in the board’s intended direction, perhaps the board needs to revisit and alter the policy. This is how a policy naturally evolves.
The board agreed that we should each spend time looking for useful short videos in the CDS library, and make this a standing agenda item
Greg delivered a preliminary 2017 annual budget to the board.
Some discussion around plans to reduce expenses (waste collection, phone, XP in general)
Would like to do more in the way of staff training this year
Some discussion around marketing
WVPE: difficult to measure impact, you cannot word the ad to elicit a specific interaction at the store. But it should hit an audience that would be in one of our customer profiles
Goat nickels: wooden disks that are given to customers who bring their own bags or use reusable containers. The customer can choose to put the disk in one of 3 jars, each representing a local non-profit. The co-op will develop shared marketing and receive boosted FaceBook references from the non-profits. The co-op promises a minimum of $50 monthly to each.
Initial set: Robinson Community Learning Center, IUSB Center for Sustainability, and a co-op grant fund for producers
Greg wants to form long-term relationships with the benefiting organizations
Some items are missing from the first draft:
Annual meeting costs
Cost of new member-owner development
Special projects, like developing new revenue streams, are separate from the annual plan
Would like to eliminate the credit card debt totally this year, and pay down completely each month after that
Definitely concerned about the expanding competition for the cafe, but if the new housing projects in the neighboring areas are successful, that should be promising
The cost of cafe ingredients: all ingredients are certified local or organic. There may be ingredients that could be used without a reduction in quality or sustainability that are not local or certified organic, but which are cheaper. Signage would be transparent regarding moves in this direction.
Making plans to work around Maureen’s coming absence
Catering expands mostly by word of mouth. A lot of the business is with ND departments, and summer has an impact.
A new salad bar will be delivered Sunday.
The final draft of the budget can be presented next month. The board doesn’t vote to approve the budget, but does determine if it reasonably meets the requirement that the GM will not operate without a budget. It provides a useful standard to measure performance against during the year.
CDS contract renewal
Russ committed to CDS that we would make a decision about continuing with their services in December.
Some discussion about changing to use the same consultant as Maple City. This would lead to opportunities for collaboration. We could arrange for separate retreats on concurrent dates. We might each have a representative at the other’s retreat event.
Russ will discuss this possibility with CDS.
Long Range Planning
Greg wants to involve the staff in some strategic planning, perhaps develop a mission statement and goals with their input
Greg wants to form focus groups of member-owners to find out where they want the co-op to be in future years
Greg wants to be prepared for the new development in the Commerce Center property, with the grocery and pharmacy. It will have an impact.
Some discussion around how this planning will be merged with the board’s Ends discussion
Board Calendar: Russ to ask other board members to assist in developing the calendar outside the monthly board meeting
Whiskey on the Porch event:
7:00 to 9:00 Friday, collaboration with Indiana Whiskey. Using their license to produce an event on the co-op property. Some of the co-op’s products, like drink mixers, will be included. IDs to be checked..
Executive session to discuss GM evaluation
Discussion about the survey that Russ sent out and more general items
Russ, Danielle and Mike will collate the survey results
Molly will work with other board members to collect areas of interest or concern
Board members to send points they want considered to Molly
Proposed: since Eli’s tenure ends December 31, and there is an open position, that she be appointed to fill that slot until April. Approved unanimously.