Monday, 01 December 2014 01:47
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar with ten of our twelve Council Members, four staff members, two GreenStar member-owners, our newly hired Board Administrator (BA), Kara Cusolito, and our outgoing BA, Alexis Self, who has taken a position in the Marketing Department. Welcome, Kara, and thank you for joining us, and thank you, Alexis, for the great job you've done.
We added an item to our agenda in place of a Policy Book update, which was not done in order to allow our new BA to be trained in the process.
The General Manager's (GM) monthly report came next. Our GM, Brandon Kane, said that he is now certain that October was our busiest event month, with our Fall Membership Meeting, two Member Forums, two All-Staff meetings, and an Open House at the Space @ GreenStar, which showcased our public space and catering menu. October also saw the completion of the 2015 Budget, start of the annual Staff Survey, and design of the Collegetown store, as well as preparation for introducing the new Member Deals program in Jan. 2015 (see p. 1 for more details). Brandon also reported that we have a five-year contract as the sole sponsor of the scoreboard at the Cass Park rink, which now clearly displays the GreenStar logo.
Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:22
By 12th Moon,
On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Council met for our regular monthly meeting at the Classrooms @ GreenStar with ten of twelve Council Members, five staff members, and two member-owners present.
After introductions, we added an item to our agenda for the night, a letter of agreement with the Cooperative Fund of New England to enter into a loan agreement with them next year to launch the Collegetown location. We then heard announcements and, as there were no member comments, moved on to the monthly General Manager's (GM) report.
GM Brandon Kane reported that he and the Co-op's management team have been compiling the 2015 budget, including a ten-year projected plan. The plans have been reviewed by lending institutions and representatives of the risk management team at the National Cooperative Grocers association (NCG), with all finding the plan to be acceptable to exceptional. A key component of the business plan in 2015 is the transition to a Member Deals program from the current U-Pick 10% Off program. (You can read more about the change on p. 1.)
Because of the recent bankruptcy of an eastern corridor co-op, the NCG is tightening its monitoring of the health of member co-ops. Lack of communication between NCG and the board and management of this co-op was a contributing factor to its failure. The NCG has historically communicated only with co-op management when expressing concern regarding the health of a member cooperative. In the future, the Board President of a cooperative will also be directly informed of any concerns of the NCG. This significantly lowers the potential liability of each member cooperative in the event of the financial failure of an individual cooperative.
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:23
By 12th Moon,
Tuesday, Sept. 9, Council met in the Classrooms @ GreenStar for our regular monthly meeting with six of twelve Council Members, six staff, and three member-owners in attendance. We did not have enough Council Members present to reach quorum, which requires that a majority of those seated on Council be present. Hoping that one of those absent was just running late, as we knew that five people were out of town or had family matters to attend to, we proceeded with the meeting knowing that no formal decisions could be made without quorum.
After introductions and announcements, we received Brandon Kane's General Manager (GM) Monthly Report. Brandon told us that plans are in progress to add another express register to the West-End store and to make some changes to the DeWitt store's product selections and placement. As the Co-op's 2015 budget is being drafted, Brandon said that projections for next year's budget are being compiled with an eye on the progress of the proposed Collegetown Crossings development where a third GreenStar store may be located. If all goes well, we would be expecting to move into the store on College Avenue in July 2016.
Brandon further reported that it was recently discovered that a former GreenStar employee was responsible for theft estimated to be above $1,000. Staff was not able to accurately estimate the total loss at meeting time but it will be reported to Council when determined. Also, the Area Supervisors are considering partnering with the Rosie app to open an online store and delivery service of GreenStar products. Staff is currently evaluating the service. If it's endorsed by staff, it will be presented to Council for approval.
- Council Hosts Co-op Visitors; Approves DeWitt Location Name Change, Selects Tellers
- Council Approves Meat Referendum for October Vote; Elects 2014 Officers
- Council Considers Oasis Store Name Change, Approves Collegetown Lease, Seats New Members
- Council Certifies 2014 Council Election Results; Offers Member-Labor Volunteer Service to GSCP
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By Dan Hoffman,
12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.
412 Total valid envelopes
21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope
Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.
Two thirds vote required to pass.
Q#1 = PASS
Q#2 = FAIL
Q#3 = PASS
Q#4 = PASS
Q#5 = PASS
Q#6 = PASS
GreenStar member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.
GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:
1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?
2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?
3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?
4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?
5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?
6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?
Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.
By Alexis Alexander,
I have woken to a new day, a day when GreenStar's annual Member Meetings and pancakes are defined as pure elegance and inspiration. Surprised?
The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-based cooperative that affords us the ability, and the responsibility, to bring "real food," as Marketing Manager Joe Romano would say, back to a broader spectrum of our local and regional community. Read more...