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.
Monday, 01 September 2014 15:36
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, August 12 for our monthly meeting with nine of our twelve members present, five staff members, one member-owner, and three visitors from Syracuse. Our visitors were all board members of the Syracuse Real Foods Co-op who had come down earlier that afternoon to tour our West-End store, the Central Kitchen, and our community room, The Space @ GreenStar, and they stayed for the first part of the meeting to witness our process.
Our first item on the agenda was the monthly General Manager's (GM's) Report. GM Brandon Kane reported that the repaving project at the West-End store and the new customer restrooms have been completed and that upcoming plans are to add a new express register in the store. There are also plans to make some changes at our DeWitt location, with a reset to be accomplished by the holiday season. Brandon reported that some members have requested that we no longer carry products from Eden Foods as they are following the restrictions of health-care coverage that Hobby Lobby won in a Supreme Court case. While we may not agree with their decision, we also have to acknowledge that Eden Foods has been a leader in bringing BPA-free containers to the US. Rather than pull their products, management encourages our members to vote with their purchase dollars and buy products they do support.
Next, we discussed a proposal to change the name of our satellite store from GreenStar Oasis to GreenStar DeWitt. The rationale for a name change was twofold: first, that some people in the community did not recognize that it was part of the Co-op; and secondly, that as we look toward hopefully opening another satellite store in Collegetown, the geographic reference would consistently identify the different store locations while making it clear that each location is part of the GreenStar cooperative. The proposal had first come to Council at our June meeting, but a decision was held off until we could solicit feedback from our members about the change. As most of the responses were in favor of the change, we decided that we would call the location "GreenStar Co-op at DeWitt Mall" or a shorter derivative thereof.
- 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
- Council Approves Living Wage Amount and 2014-15 Council Calendar/Workplan
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By Alexis Alexander,
October was proclaimed National Co-op Month by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1964 to pay tribute to the benefits that differentiate the cooperative business model from other ways to structure businesses. Today, Co-op Month honors over 30,000 co-ops nationwide, operating in every industry including agriculture, energy, financial services, food retail, health care, child care, insurance, housing, and more.
Co-op Month's theme for 2015, "Take Ownership," highlights how the cooperative business model gives consumers and workers a real stake in their economic des...