Tuesday, 03 January 2012 17:20
By 12th Moon,
Meeting in The Space, Council held its Dec. 13 meeting with all Council members present. Receiving the monthly General Manager's (GM) Report as our first item of business, we learned that AFCU and GreenStar staff will be working together to spread the good word about the cooperative way of doing business and helping your community during 2012, deemed the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations. Brandon Kane, our GM, also reported that staff at both stores have handled an immense amount of seasonal business and that sales at and membership in our Co-op continue to grow. We learned of physical improvements at Oasis and the West-End's outside storage area, as well as forthcoming new entrance doors at the West-End store. Brandon reported that The Space is being utilized for many community arts and entertainment events, various meetings and this winter's Ithaca Farmers Market during the months of January and February.
Next, Alexis Alexander, Membership Manager, and Asha Sanaker, Finance Manager, provided Council with a report concerning the recent Focus Group Dinners held with members to invite feedback regarding possible changes to our membership equity contributions. Two dinners were conducted with a total of 20 randomly selected GreenStar members to openly discuss their feelings and impressions regarding possible changes to our equity contribution or time frame, as well as to discuss other Co-op plans for the future. The five-page report was very informative and warrants continuing these dinners to gather more of our members' ideas and impressions about the Co-op's direction and development.
Thursday, 01 December 2011 18:22
By 12th Moon,
Council met in The Space on Election Day, Nov. 8, for our regular meeting. We moved quickly into our monthly report from General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane. During Brandon's report we heard that Oasis will be getting some additional equipment to add space for grab-and-go Deli foods between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There was concern expressed for the continuing congestion in our West-End store parking lot, where signs were recently added directing traffic flow to help make the lot safer for our shoppers. Brandon also reported that our efforts to accept donations at the registers in our stores yielded over $4,400 for victims of the Southern Tier flooding this October.
This fall has been especially busy with all of the events in October — a Member Forum, the Fall Membership Meeting, an All Staff Meeting, the GreenStar Community Projects Food Justice Summit, the Annual Kids' Halloween Party and a lecture and workshop by Michael Shuman of BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), co-sponsored by GreenStar and Local First Ithaca. With all that behind us, we now move into the holiday season.
Thursday, 03 November 2011 02:39
By 12th Moon,
Council met on Tuesday, Oct. 11 in The Space with three member-owners in attendance, two of whom are applying to be appointed to Council. We started the meeting seven minutes late as we awaited the mandatory minimum number of Council members needed to reach quorum. During the time allotted for announcements, we were encouraged to table in the stores regarding a few upcoming October events and member-related issues, including supporting the proposed bylaws changes that Council has recommended (or presented as in the case of one set) to our membership for a vote from Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, and receiving member feedback prior to a possible membership vote in the spring to increase our member equity contribution and change the time frame for arriving at full equity.
The monthly General Manager (GM) report came next and we learned that not only that the stores are both performing above budgeted expectations, but that the West-End store actually broke a new record by having over three hundred thousand dollars of sales in the thirty-sixth week of the year. Managers and staff are busy making preparations for the holiday season soon upon us and working to finalize the stores' operational budgets for 2012. It was also reported that we are seeing very positive results from our participation at the Farmers' Market at Cornell, as well as through our FLOWER discount program (both resulting in increased new memberships), and through continuing discussions we've been having with leaders of our community from GIAC, the Southside Community Center and the Multi-Cultural Resource Center to better serve our shared goals of a more diverse and equitable culture with healthy food available to and affordable for all people in our community.
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By Alexis Alexander,
In October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement.
Unfortunately, GreenStar, like many co-ops, suffers from very poor voter turnout relative to the number of member-owners. For instance, only 5 percent of member-owners voted in th...