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Board Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes November 2016

Greg Koehler

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

Housekeeping

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

GM Budget

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

Action 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.

Meeting ends.