Meeting Notes

Board Meeting Notes 08/23/17

Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, August 23, 2017,  7:00 – 9:00 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

Facilitator:    Chris
Note-taker:     Chris
Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.
      Timekeeper:    Chris

Directors Present:     Chris, Christina T., Cecile
Directors Absent:     Christina L., Lauryl (ex officio)
Others in attendance:    Sapana

Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).

Next General Meeting is September 27, 2017 at the store. This will be our Annual Meeting of the membership. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda. Please email [email protected] (work credit always allotted)

Welcome/Orientation  7:00-7:05 (5 min)

Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the Board Meeting. Questions welcomed!

Consent Agenda  7:05-7:20 (15 mins)

A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

  • Approve minutes from previous Board meeting  
    • Minutes approved
  • Governance project to delineate committee, board, and staff responsibilities and decision making
    • Finn is unable to take on this project
    • Cecile sent around spreadsheet to collect input from SCs and Board members
    • Lindsay and Chris taking this on
    • Sapana suggests: SCs spearhead committees when there are low on people; divided with Board based on whether or not it’s store- based work
      • Merchandising, Ops – SCs
      • Finance, Marketing – Board
    • Priority: communicating and delineating what projects SCs are working on; monthly, and email in between

1. Store Coordinator Update  7:20-7:30 (10 min.)

2. Lease Committee and Relocation  7:30- 8:15 (45 mins)

  • Discuss proposals for change in relocation plans and priorities (see member email)
    • Prioritizing our social commitment (i.e., confronting our role as potential gentrifiers)
    • Update on ongoing work with CBFC and other co-ops
  • Creation of 90-day plan for action: What would decisions and actions would need to happen if we are given 90 days to vacate?
  • Cecile would like to follow up with CBFC as soon as possible, since we have little chance of finding a commercial property around here
  • Sapana wonders if Finance would be able to look for grants
    • Christina T. clarifies that because we’re not a nonprofit, we can’t accept most grants
  • Chris asks, what do we do right now? What do we prioritize?
  • Christina T. suggests it’s all about sales:
    • Get more people to come in and buy more
    • Prices fluctuate
    • Merchandise stocking is inconsistent
    • Long cashier lines
  • Focus on merchandise and working!
  • Sapana agrees on merchandising — this is the one thing we could really significantly improve on
  • Christina T: If we do improve merchandising, we need to have the front end ready to deal with more customers
  • Sapana: Open shopping days?
  • Christina: It’s the members who we already have who are not shopping as much that we need
  • Christina: What protocol do we use to notify Merch that something is out of stock?
    • Sapana: It goes both ways; they come in and we also notify them
    • Maybe there are procedures or processes in place that
  • Christina T: how could we change our pricing strategy so that it doesn’t change drastically from week to week?
    • E.g., change the markup to even things out?
    • At the end of the day, produce will rot on our shelves if it’s too expensive
    • Raina and Lindsay order produce
  • Sapana: Mostly greens are what go to waste
  • Cecile: Committee labor could use reorganization — focus on our priorities — look at a list of who’s on each committee
  • Christina T. : Maybe it’s a retreat
    • Get as many committee members from as many committees as possible
    • Use this as a forum to communicate priorities and encourage cross-committee work
  • Sapana: Board could prioritize projects; these are inter-committee projects
  • Cecile: Most powerful thing to do right now — the best move we can do right now is to improve our health
  • All agree we need to work on the structure to improve the health
  • Christina: It’s the convening of people: board’s role is to hold the retreat; we could go in with just a format and see what we
  • Chris: Go into the retreat with an overall plan: grow sales and support member labor
  • Sapana: People want a sense of community too — retreat
  • Go in with big goals
    • Identify projects
    • Identify who from specific committees is liaising with whom
  • Christina T: Also make it fun!
    • Weekend, backyard, grills
    • Get to know people
    • Throw some money into it — food and drinks
    • Thank you for your time on the weekend
  • Bottom line: we need more money, even if we find a place we can afford to move to
  • Schedule for beginning of October
  • Communicate with Merchandising – Christina
    • Pre-meeting with Merch and SCs
      • How does this committee work?
      • Where are the gaps?
    • Strategy to increase sales
    • Retreat: How do we
  • Cecile: also want to work on the storefront – Chris to reach out to marketing
  • Board to reconvene in two weeks to plan
  • Additional action items:
    • Chris will reach back to Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local

3. Committee Reports  8:15-8:30 (15 min) Add discussions as needed from committees and liaisons below.

if there is nothing to be discussed or decided but a report is needed add at the end of this agenda.

    • Finance: Committee chair Bianca Orlando, Liaison Christopher Gollmar
    • Merchandising: Committee chair Sarah Chinn, Liaison Lauryl Bergen-Chun
    • Marketing & Website: Committee chair Ray Jolicoeur, Liaison Chris Gollmar
      • Ray stepping down effective Sept. 1
    • Outreach: Committee chair Ray Jolicoeur, Liaison Christopher Gollmar
    • Membership: Committee chair Chad Donnick, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
      • Followed up on sign-up process
      • Sign-up process still complicated
      • Would like to be able to sign people up for a regular shift when they sign up as a member; did this happen at last orientation? (Cecile will ask Chad if they did this last orientation and how it went)
      • We would like them to find a way to simplify signup (new members and recurring shifts)
    • Investment: Committee chair Renee B, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • IT: Committee chair Misha Avrekh, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • Governance: Committee chair Mira De Jong, Liaison Christina LeMoine
    • Operations: (renamed from Design build/Operations)  Committee chair Penelope August
    • HR: Committee chair Megan Curran, Liaison Christina LeMoine

4. Committee Asks and Gives  8:30-8:35 (5 mins) (Committee Chairs and Liaisons)

Committees asks for help or support / others give below:

5. AGENDA – free flowing and aspirational discussions

  • Proposal to change trial membership from 2 months to 1 month and highly recommend orientation.
    • Passed unanimously
  • Proposal to enact a policy linking future Store Coordinator pay raises to profits.
    • Do we re-evaluate this every quarter? Every six months?
    • Doesn’t have to be super mathematical — we have fixed costs and sales
    • All are in favor of having this policy —
      • Cecile: should also include coordinator evaluation
      • Sapana: that would be helpful!
      • Cecile: SC evaluations a way to build feedback and support paid staff
      • Sapana: SC role changes as the needs change — would help define the role without structuralizing it, making it rigid
      • Cecile: policy should also include differnet pay rates for different store coordinators — workers get more efficient the longer they work with an organization
      • Christina T: also helps with the financial decisions
      • Sapana: Agree that SC pay could rise with time working here, wary of tying to performance eval b/c
      • Sapana: We need to define what the terms/metrics are
  • Results from summer shopping survey
  • Clarify schedule of upcoming meetings
    • Which upcoming meetings will be Working Board Meetings, and which will be General Meetings?
    • What preparation needs to take place for September Annual Meeting?
      • Taken offline
    • Divide member responsibilities for preparations
  • Chris to reach out to Renee and Finn: board election
  • Propose bylaw change: board term 2 years
  • Pick date and time for Oct. thing
    • Meet next week 7-9pm

6. Bike Rack  (10mins) (Notetaker)

Closing  8:55 – 9:00 (5 min) Board reviews votes at the end of each Meeting

Reports in writing:

Membership and Finance Report

  • Monthly membership report (link)

Summary of report:

  • Current number of working members: 506
  • Number of new members and deactivated in July: 6 new members,  
  • 1 reactivated member, 32 trial members, 3 deactivated, 4 cancelled
  • Number of existing members waiting for investment returns: _________
  • We’ve seen roughly a 7.7% increase in membership since January.

Monthly finance report    

            Summary of report:

(current month 2017- through Tuesday August 22) (previous month 2017) (current month 2016 – same period as 2017)
NET SALES 29522.29 45666.95 9vs 46817 July 20160 31851.36
Transactions 859 1271 867
Average transactions 34 35 36

Board Meeting Notes 07/26/17

Working Board Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, July 26th,  7:00 – 9:00 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn
Facilitator:     Chris Gollmar
Note-taker:    Matthew Talmage
Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.
      Timekeeper:  DK Holland

Directors Present: Chris Gollmar, Cecile Arnaud-Gbongbro-, Lauryl Berger-Chun (ex-officio)
Directors Absent: Christina LeMoine, Christina Traverse

Others in attendance: Murray Cox co-chair business strategy committee at CBFC, DK Holland, Sapana; arrived later and further introductions for Amanda coming back to GHFC after 1 year maternity leave and manager at Bushwick Food Coop, Anthonine Pierre CBFC member, Caitlin (cousin of Anthonine), Mark Winston Griffith CBFC director, Lexie Aliotti

Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).

Next General Meeting is _August 23rd  2017 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda. Please email [email protected] (work credit always allotted)

Welcome/Orientation  7:00-7:05 (5 min)

Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the Board Meeting. Questions welcomed!

Consent Agenda  7:05-7:20 (15 mins)

A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

  • Link to minutes(needed)  from previous Board meeting  
  • Minutes approved from last meeting

1. Store Coordinator Update  7:20-7:30 (10_min)

  • There is some confusion about when to use ShiftPlanning and when to use the shift coverage sheet– shift coverage is for floaters or for those who want to sign-up for a make-up shift. ShiftPlanning is only for those who want to sign up for a re-occurring shift, which happens once every 4 weeks*. Moreover, the google sheet is the most up-to-date document regarding coverage. We have no problem with people signing up 5mins before they come in, but please take a look at the shift to make sure that no one else has already signed up.
  • Weekly bulletin input?
  • Will wait for more member/owners in attendance to solicit feedback
  • Cecile: do you need support in solving confusion?

2. Committee Reports  7:__-_:__ (__min) Add discussions as needed from committees and liaisons below.

if there is nothing to be discussed or decided but a report is needed add at the end of this agenda.

    • Finance: Committee chair Bianca Orlando, Liaison Christopher Gollmar
    • Merchandising: Committee chair Sarah Chinn, Liaison Lauryl Bergen-Chun
    • Marketing & Website: Committee chair Ray Jolicoeur, Liaison Chris Gollmar
      • SquareSpace transition:
    • Outreach: Committee chair vacant, Liaison Christopher Gollmar
      • Jill has officially stepped down as chair
      • Members want outreach and inreach
    • Membership: Committee chair ?, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • Investment: Committee chair Renee B, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
      • 21 on priority (most of which are from 2014/2015 so not really that priority anymore i guess
      • 283 on our normal redemption list
      • Been redeeming one investment per month due to dire situation, 2 ppl this year have donated their investments
      • I’m hoping this lease situation will be settled this month, as in we know if we’re moving to the Nostrand location or not.  After which I will send a letter (after we publicly announce the move to our current member/owners) to all on our redemption list announcing this move and the continuing moratorium due to it and it’s costs. I will not offer any dire situation requests.  
      • It need not be said that this move will create a flurry of investment requests (and simultaneously some past members may come back due to the new location)….twill be fun! :)
    • IT: Committee chair Misha Avrekh, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • Governance: Committee chair ?, Liaison Christina LeMoine
    • Operations: Committee chair Penelope August?, Liaison ?
    • HR: Committee chair Megan Curran, Liaison Christina LeMoine

3. Committee Asks and Gives  8:__- _:__ (10mins) (Committee Chairs and Liaisons)

Committees asks for help or support / others give below:

4. AGENDA – free flowing and aspirational discussions

  • Current lease update for 18 Putnam:
    • DK Holland: 3.5 years left on our lease, but owner wanting to sell building and have us leave. Efforts to prepare for a move began. Rent checks were returned since June of 2016, but now cashing checks since June 2017. Owners say no longer pursuing the case. Hard to believe so continuing to look for new location. DLA Piper are our pro bono lawyers and doing a fine job.
  • NOSTRAND LOCATION: will show progression of offers and counter offers to current (and what we’re being told) is a final offer.
    • The broker for the Nostrand space is referring to the last numbers we got from them as the final offer
    • Matthew walked us through the progression of negotiations with the broker and owner of the Nostrand space
    • Total rent plus our share of taxes would be $5200/mo.
    • Matthew is working on getting more SCs and design/build into the space
      • Look at floors, stairs — where would storage go?
      • Lexie measured our equipment and can do a fit test — can own the fit test (by Saturday)
      • Lara Caballero can also draw up a plan for where things could be placed
      • Penelope has been gathering some information about moving expenses
      • Broker wants an answer by the end of the week
        • Cecile: we won’t be able to run things by the membership, get approval by then
        • Matthew: they’ve been very patient with us so far; will keep up communications
    • Because we have some meeting attendees that have not been part of past discussions about the Nostrand space, Matthew gave a description of the storefront

Central Brooklyn Food Co-op Discussion

– Chris welcomes CBFC members. It feels that decisions with Brokers and landlords need to happen fast, yet we’re a coop that demands consensus. Once a lease is signed, it will change the nature of 2 coop collaborations.

– Mark suggests we start with mutual respect; have as open a conversation as possible; we have a sense of things that have been said and not said. Let’s put our cards on the table.

– Cecile: what would it mean to you (CBFC) for us to move to Nostrand? I look forward to working together but understand the enormity of the collaboration. For GHFC to survive, we must move further east. We can’t afford rent in this area anymore.

– Mark: context important: 1) how CBFC got where it is; 2) our mission and purpose;

Relationship between CBFC and GHFC began when DK called and mentioned GHFC thinking of moving (DK and CBFC have a relationship because she helped CBFC get started). Mark’s first reaction: I stiffened: a move of GHFC into their territory was a threat. The two institutions started a dialogue and there was very open conversations. The sense of threat was communicated. Cheyanna Weber, director of CEANYC (Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City) was contacted in order to facilitate discussions.

Brooklyn Movement Center is an organizing body. Geographic and race important aspect. CBFC idea came out of discussions about food equity (was food dessert, now food apartheid). Economics and housing and gentrification are forces we’re working with. Helping black community members of low and moderate income to get power in their food choices.

    We’ve been organizing for 4 years; conscious decision not to just open up a physical location. Model =  NOT build it and people will come, but instead, reaching out to people who might not already be attracted to ideas like food sovereignty and sustainability; reaching out to

lower/moderate income, black; looking to slow down and resist gentrification movement

Hard not to see GHFC relocation in this context of gentrification.

Just the name Greene Hill (if kept as the coop moves further east into Brooklyn) signals that the organization is from another neighborhood. How can this not be seen as just an airbrushed version of this food apartheid? Same people going to Wholesome foods (boutique food store recently opened on the corner of Atlantic and Nostrand, ½ block away from current site considered for relocation–567 Nostrand) would go to GHFC which would dismantle the efforts of CBFC to provide for the community that wouldn’t or couldn’t shop at Wholesome Foods.

At the point that GHFC moves into a new neighborhood, only a few options for cooperation between the two coops are left available.

– Anthonine: agrees with Mark. To answer “what does the conversation mean?” Territorialism of neighborhoods is something very familiar with someone like myself born and bred Brooklyn. Not just a concept, it’s in peoples’ blood and bones. Curious as to what we expect will change in the coop when we move.

– Cecile: no decisions won’t be made without large consensus of members.

– Sapana: we have physical space and CBFC has foundational basis/community outreach. Keep having conversations about structures where we can work together with our internal committees.

– DK: I’ve been here since 1984. A goal is bringing communities together. Maybe a failure on the behalf of GHFC. We’ll never have consensus on the lease, that’s an unrealistic goal. We should get a vote of confidence from the general members to make decisions on the lease.

– Murray: been involved since 2013, started out as photographer to document the project. Went to committee meetings and became aware of challenges of food justice. Did design study on how to integrate a food coop into a community. Aware of GHFC challenges. Compares that with CBFC. Joined because of the great intention. My work with CBFC is as an ally. I recognize that I come from a place of privilege. Respected them addressing issues of low and moderate income community members. Workshops on economic and racial issues. There’s a contrast between GHFC and CBFC. Sees GHFC coming into neighborhood as a threat.

Similar to GHFC moving into a new neighborhood, sees the installation of a Trader Joes or a Wholesome Foods or Whole Foods doesn’t solve problem of food inequities.

Realistically, sees big challenges with people not wanting to shop in a place where they don’t see their fellow community members shopping.

– Lauryl: not loyal to any one coop. Totally agrees with Murray. We shouldn’t move. The process is already backward. Transformation on part of GHFC mentioned but doesn’t see it happening. Communication: GHFC seems like there is, but not really. If this place needs to close, fine by me. Vague language about inclusivity but no resources dedicated to it. Money for organizing? None. Intent and efforts have not been fruitful in outcome. In May, Store Coordinators thinking of the move. Sent letter to committee laying out their specifics on what works and what won’t.

– Chris: what Lauryl said resonates with me. One option is to take what we have and support CBFC. What does it look like if we closed? From a financial perspective, can we close? There are limitations. A conversation needs to be had.

– Sapana: A GHFC member owner said we need leadership and the CBFC has it.

– Mark: PSFC is going through with plans of opening up another location at least setting up an 18 month exploratory group. They’ve reached out to CBFC. They could open up anywhere and all neighborhoods are on the table. We need to leverage the conversation. End of day, conversations need to respect each other and recognize leadership and power. Having alliance of CBFC and GHFC does not insure equity. Low and moderate constituency needs to be part of leadership. Power has to be part of conversation.

– Amanda: on periphery the last year. Idea of GHFC closing and giving assets to support CBFC is a good plan. No coop in Brooklyn has been successful without a great real estate deal. PSFC had that; Bushwick Coop had that; GHFC had that. Difficulty for CBFC is getting capital to start up. I now shop GHFC for the milk. Doesn’t know how sustainable GHFC will be paying more rent in new area. We could spend lots of money and effort and wind up just closing in a year or two.

– Mark: how big impact for GHFC to pay higher rent?

– DK: rent is not the biggest expense. The only way I see us moving is by integrating with CBFC. For people to believe we’re part of the gentrification movement would be awful.

– Lexi: somewhat new to Coop and new to being involved in deeper level. Disappointed to hear that people are willing to let the project go. Makes me think about other members not aware of these important decisions. Are members aware of importance of aspects of Coop outside of food? Are added value aspects of the coop ever asked of members? People maybe more involved if they are aware of the added value.

– Mark: What’s the added for you?

– Lexie: community involvement; a physical heart and soul to this location.

– Cecile: when I moved to NY was made aware of PSFC and thought it was great. It was something respectful and organic where I wasn’t aggressively marketed to; demanding more $$ from me. When GHFC opened, I felt like it was my time to devote time and effort to the same kind of cooperative project. Experience of sustaining myself in a community. To move into Crown Heights and keep GHFC name seems very weird. Being a board member helps me see the shortcomings that are mentioned. I really respect, coming from abroad, the invitation to stay in this country and this community. After seeing and experiencing negative forces of gentrification myself, hard to imagine how much more a local New Yorker would experience feeling/ be impacted.

– Amanda: would be sad to see GHFC go under. Would be happy to see this not end in nothing. Respect the time and effort of all put into project from members to employees.

– Mark: appreciates the vulnerability expressed. It is a hard thing to run coop. Important to think of the value. As non-profits get going they can lose sight of what started the whole process. Point is not just to exist, but to what end. Important to have strong energy support a neighborhood effort fighting the trends of gentrification. We (everyone in the room) have the potential to do that.

– Cecile: a way to merge that would help that fight?; creating more sovereignty and food justice? Why isn’t PSFC supporting?…why so many tribes?

– Mark: PSFC thinking: have supported other coops because they can’t absorb anymore coop members and that experiment failed. What they’re doing now is opening another location themselves. There is something valuable in what we’ve done. We’re all one strong wind from going down. Recognize GHFC’s 6 years surviving. The value of CBFC strength is their base; organizing and bringing people in who might need convincing is difficult. We have to create a food coop that does something nothing else can do: low prices and SOMETHING else. Regarding PSFC: they will do whatever they want to do. If CBFC gets their shit together, PSFC would not need to move into their neighborhood.

– Chris: Board needs conversation to make sure on same page and figure out how to move forward with conversation between CBFC and GHFC.

– Mark: CBFC will be ready for pursuing a physical space by end of next year; Real estate is a huge question. Borough president: someone who may help us, but not both co-ops

– Murray: look at power, disarm power first

– Mark: starts with CBFC having a solid base/membership; GHFC members can be a part of that as well, as long as the base is intact (look at governance). Once CBFC has established its base, find a way for GHFC to support them and shop

– Murray: maintain CBFC core mission and values; everyone would have to sign on to those

– Lexie: how far do the values carry? (e.g., to vendors?) do the vendors have ownership in that as well? Path for black self-determination in Central Brooklyn; working toward being part of that

Things we didn’t get to:

  • Proposal to change trial membership from 2 months to 1 month and highly recommend orientation.
  • Preliminary results from summer shopping survey
  • Clarify schedule of upcoming meetings
    • Which upcoming meetings will be Working Board Meetings, and which will be General Meetings?
    • Will we hold an August meeting?
    • Confirm September Annual Meeting
    • What preparation needs to take place for September Annual Meeting?

5. Bike Rack  8:00___ (10mins) (Notetaker)

Closing  8:55 – 9:00 (5 min) Board reviews votes at the end of each Meeting

Reports in writing:

Membership and Finance Report

  • Monthly membership report (link)

Summary of report:

Current number of working members: 515

Number of new members and deactivated in June: 10 new members,  

4 reactivated members, 12 trial members (previous monthly avg. in 2017: 39 new trial members)

Number of existing members waiting for investment returns: (See notes from investment committee, above)

We’ve seen roughly a 9.6% increase in active members since January.

The Membership committee has deactivated several members who had not paid their full member investment and had not shopped.

  • Monthly finance report  (removed)             

            Summary of report:

June 26 – July 2, 2017 May 29 – June 25, 2017 June 27 – July 3, 2016
NET SALES $35,072 $51,778 $41,030
Transactions 1035 1479 1180
Average transactions $33.75 $34.75 $35.00

May 24, 2017 General Meeting

May 24, 2017 General Meeting
Greene Hill Food Co-op

Goals

  • Update member-owners with the current status of lease negotiations and relocation effort.
  • Present member-owners with a transparent summary of our options: relocation or closure.
  • Support member-owner agency and authority in shaping our immediate future.
  • Increase member-owner engagement and conversation about the big picture of our store.
  • Build member-owner leadership.

Meeting Overview

Facilitator: Sarah Chinn
Notetaker: Chris Gollmar
Timekeeper: Steve Russo

Agenda

Introduction (5 min.)

Meeting Norms

  • 1 Diva, 1 Mic (1 person speaks at a time)
  • No one knows everything, together we know a lot
  • Be aware of time – Everyone gets two minutes to speak
  • Recognize/respect the role of facilitator
  • Step up, step back

Who’s Who

  • Introduce primary presenters at this meeting.
  • All members introduce themselves (name, co-op position, pronouns) to people sitting near them. (Or to the whole group, if we have low attendance.)
  • Acknowledge who is not present (e.g., committee members that have been involved but can’t make this meeting).

Meeting Goals and Agenda

  • Present goals
  • Distribute agenda

Board Election (5 min.)

  • Christina, Cecile, and Chris member presented a description of the position
  • Interim position; elected by Board until member-owner annual meeting
  • Takes leadership, communication skills
  • The Board took nominees from the floor; their names will be submitted to the Governance committee for next steps.

Committee Lightning Updates (10 min.)

  • Committees not presenting larger discussion items (below) give brief updates about what they’re working on.
    • Membership
      • Chad (co-chair) has largely stepped down from the committee
      • Looking for more leadership
    • Governance
      • Committee currently has no active members
      • We need governance committee members
    • Merch
      • Just switched to category buying; now on second cycle of this system
      • Each committee member is responsible for one kind of merchandise, like meats or produce
      • One point person for each vendor submits order
      • Working on using Revel to track purchases; would need significant coordination with other committees to use for inventory tracking
      • Also need some new folks to join for some categories
    • Marketing & Outreach
    • Store Coordinators
      • New Store Coordinator bulletin (first sent this week)
      • Having a hard time filling in-store shifts
      • Staff working on focusing on streamlining processes (not nuts-and-bolts tasks like cashiering, etc.)
      • Looking for more coordinators who can step in as subs for occasional shifts; can be current members

Presentations and Community Discussion

Presentation: Tenancy at Current Location (10 min.)

Presenters: Cécile and Christina

  • Update on legal situation:
    • We were in court several times with our landlord, the Estate of Cecil Collymore
    • We know through our lawyer that the Collymores have dismissed their current lawyer
    • We are no longer in court for now
  • Tenancy at current location:
    • We have currently a 4-year lease at the current location (18 Putnam)
    • In June 2016, Collymores told us they have a sale agreement, which would allow them to break the lease
    • We have been back and forth in court since then
    • Our lease team has also tried to negotiate with the Collymores to preserve our tenancy at 18 Putnam under terms that are agreeable to both parties:
      • Landlord wants more than we can afford; we also want a clause that allows the landlord to terminate the lease with only 90-day notice removed
      • Landlord stopped negotiating after our last proposal
      • We cannot come to an agreement that is to the benefit of the Co-op
    • We believe there is a sale agreement with the current landlord and a developer;
      • The Collymores’ lawyer would not allow the details of this agreement to be shared with our membership, only our lawyer
      • We believe they will not show the sale agreement because whomever the developer is doesn’t want their name out there
    • The Collymores have not made their case for eviction in court
      • Court hearings so far have always been dismissed
      • If a new legal case proceeds successfully, we would have to evict within 90 days
      • It’s an insecure position
      • While we still have 4 years on our lease, we don’t believe we will be able to stay for the duration.
    • We have continued to pay our rent on time every month, but all checks have since been returned to us uncashed; these uncashed checks go back to September

Presentation: Financial Situation (15 min.)

Presenters: Finance Committee (Annie and Bianca)

  • Finance committee summarized our current financial position
  • In short, we are currently making enough sales to maintain our current position
  • Members wanting more detailed financial information can contact [email protected] for that information

Presentation: Relocation Effort (15 min.)

Presenters: Matthew

  • If we were asked to leave in 90 days, we need to have a place to go
  • Matthew, Cécile, Kevin have been leading the relocation team
  • Recently sent out a survey to all member-owners with two goals:
    • To make member-owners aware of the fact that we were looking for a space
    • To solicit member-owners’ opinions on location
  • What does the survey show?
    • Members have a more positive reaction to locations in Zones A and B:

coop-map.20170602

  • Most respondents unaffected by a move to those zones or would shop more
  • Priority is to maintain walking distance from current location
  • Have been keeping track of places we’ve been looking at (over a dozen places now)
    • Some locations we can cross off the list after a quick initial screening
    • Have placed two bids; first was rejected by the property owner in favor of another bid
    • Currently in the process of negotiating a bid at a location in one of the geographic zones to have received the most positive feedback
  • The relocation team’s assessment is that no matter where we go, it’s likely going to be more rent than what we’re paying now
  • During last negotiations with Collymores, they threw out numbers that we believed were higher than market value (given condition of these three rooms) — They stopped negotiating when we threw out numbers than we could afford
  • Basic criteria for properties:
    • Between $2000 and $4500 a month; would check out places up to $5000 a month and talk down
    • 1200 sq. ft. (comparable to our current shopping floor; can do with workable, finished basement) or 2000+; larger spaces if they’re willing to divide
  • Current square footage: 2800
  • If you see a For Lease sign, member-owners should check the list in the public relocation folder to see if it has already been contacted by members, call the lessor, and use a script the relocation team has created to collect information
    • If it fits within criteria, pass along to relocation committee
    • Don’t simply forward address or phone numbers to the committee; they can’t sift through everything that comes to them this way
  • Cecile will send out public folder — all members are encouraged to participate in search!
  • The move is going to take significant member involvement
    • Physical move — Just getting from one location to another
    • Financial impact — Maintaining and growing sales before, during, and after the move
  • Member-owner engagement and leadership is vital to our continued success right now
  • Finance Committee recommendations about the move:
    • Don’t know what actual move will cost; this will depend on the space itself and extent of the build-out
    • Current obligations are greater than cash on hand
      • The move is likely to eat away from all of our cash reserves
      • We may also lose revenue when we first move due to lower sales
    • The committee recommends seeking a grant for the move, rather than financing it with additional loans
      • We’re legally a for-profit organization, so we cannot accept funds through most of the channels allowed to non-profit organizations
      • We also don’t fit the criteria for some grants designed to serve food deserts; these generally favor very large organizations
      • One possibility is to reach out to local politicians for City funding (Would be moving to Community Board 3)
      • Community Land Trusts and Mutual Housing Associations may also be able to host a food co-op
  • Build-out of the new store is expected to take a long time
  • When we first moved to 18 Putnam, we didn’t have to pay rent at first; this may not be the case in the new space, though it is a factor in our negotiations
  • The relocation team and board’s quietness about the move so far has been out of a desire to hold onto the leverage we have to negotiate our exit from our current space

Community Discussion (40 min.)

  • Finance committee reviewed the costs associated with closing the store:
    • We would have repay all financial obligations before repaying members
    • We likely could not voluntarily dissolve, leaving bankruptcy our option for closing
  • PSFC loan committee (Rachel) could imagine making another loan
    • They would want us to expand membership and sales, not downsize to a smaller space (1200 sq. ft. target may be too small)
    • They would want us to pursue a long-term project
    • They would also want to know that everyone who is a member of the Co-op actually works their shifts and would be engaged in working toward the move
    • Design/build team reports that we have architects and construction managers ready to roll
  • Member question: Do we have a business plan that is adapted to this current situation?
    • Summary:
      • Plan was to continue growing, expanding
      • Was stopped last June due to eviction notice
      • Need more information in order to adapt long-term plan
    • Member question: What factors besides increased hours have increased sales? What can we do in the meantime between now and move to increase sales?
      • Getting more bodies in the door has helped
        • PSFC member shopping
        • Zucchini plan
        • Trial membership
      • Consistency of operations from Store Coordinators
      • Increased merchandise, though we’re basically at the limit of what we can keep in stock and sell
    • Member labor:
      • Right now was when membership was going to do stricter enforcement of work shift policies
      • We have enough members to cover shifts; showing up is what keeps us running
      • Store Coordinators still see significant gaps on the schedule; we need more coverage
      • Member comment: We need more people to buy into the co-op model: product requests, work on committee; member involvement — Understand what it means to be part of a working food co-op
    • Member comment: In response to getting more people here:
      • Similar to what PSFC does, do things that are exclusively here
      • Drive people to come here; then they’ll buy food
      • Generate traffic; have people come here (not online!)
      • E.g., skill-share, barter
    • What is it that we want to do, facing this situation? It seems like, no matter what, we’re going to have to move.
    • Member question: Could we use member equity to take out a mortgage and buy property?
    • Nothing we do is going to be cheap; nothing is going to be easy. (Put finance to the side for now — it’s dire no matter what!)
    • What do we want?
      • Consider long-term options: longer-term lease or buying
      • Merging with another co-op or group should also be looked at
        • Matthew and Cecile talked about Central Brooklyn Food Co-op and current status
        • Store Coordinators also want to pursue this
      • Adding on to merging
      • Anything been explored with PSFC? Yes, but our timeline doesn’t match up with them (it would be a long-term process)
    • Member comment: Nobody wants us to close (temperature check)
    • Member question: What if we bought 18 Putnam?
    • Member comment: Looks like negotiating could be taking time away from something that could be an opportunity
      • Couldn’t we flip the script? No more crisis mode
      • Expanding — bigger space — more members!
      • Let negotiation go
    • Moving into new space a great opportunity for us (sell more if we had more fridges and freezers)
    • Dreams / hopes: Who’s going to work there? Member
    • Where do we want to be with new obstacles?
    • Moving — Will be in a new community with new opportunities to sell healthy food
    • Going to lose members and gain members
    • Obstacles likely to remain what they are, regardless of where we are
    • More exciting, usable space
    • How can we do a better job working with the community than we are here?
    • What kind of Co-op do we imagine?
      • Childcare
      • Events
      • Education
      • Bulk Cheese
      • More Bulk
      • Beer
      • Olives
    • Being an asset to the community, not just a grocery store
    • Us moving is a small piece in a huge puzzle of gentrification — We’re going to be pushed out, no matter what
      • Organizing efforts: local!
      • Put your skills to use; get involved in this
      • Space with a community — Think broadly politically
    • Cooperative spirit:
      • If you really simplify things — Why join co-op?
      • Broccoli is going to respond to my body
      • Healthy food — healthy body — appeal to health for you and your family
      • That’s why it’s worth shopping here! More basic than cooperation
    • What to resolve:
      • Relocation committee is very small
      • If we want to find an opportunity, more people will need to look for spaces
      • People are getting burnt out
    • Continue envisioning together — How can board keep this going?

Closing (5 min.)

  • Follow-up email with meeting summary and opportunity for feedback to be sent to member-owners
  • Members who attended the meeting will receive 2 hours work credit

Meeting Attendance

Member-Owners
Kelsy Chauvin
Lindsay Reichart
Karen Haskins
Jesse Fink
Emily Wilbourne
Sigourney Woodfork
Naceo Giles
Annie Olszewski
Rachel Lears
Steve Russo
Taylor Steel
Lara Caballero
Julia Garguilo
John Trotter
Aly Miller
Pierre Andre
Valerie Chin
Gabriel De Geoleon
Sarah Chinn
Board Members
Elizabeth Agee
Christina LeMoine
Cecile Arnaud-Gbongbro
Christopher Gollmar

Working Board Meeting Agenda and Interim Election

Wednesday, April 26th 2017,  7:00 – 9:00 pm

The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

 

Facilitator:    

Note-taker:

Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.

Timekeeper:  

Directors Present:

Directors Absent:       

Others in attendance:

Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).

Next General Meeting is May 24th 2017 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda. Please email [email protected] (work credit always allotted)

Welcome/Orientation  7:00-7:05 (5min)

Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the Board Meeting. Questions welcomed!

Approve Previous Meeting Minutes  7:05-7:10 (5min)

  • Link to minutes  from previous Board meeting for approval

1. Store Coordinator Update  7:20-7:30 (10min)

2. Lease Committee and Relocation  7:30- 7:40(10min)

3. Committee Reports  7:40-7:50 (10min)

  • Monthly membership report (link)
  • Monthly finance report are shared at the Meeting, please feel free to contact the board or finance if you have any questions.

Budgets:

IT (How is this pertinent with moving the website to SquareSpace)

In response to the request for committee budgets, I am proposing an estimate for upgrading GHFC servers (the web server and the database server).

* Web server — more memory and disk space — $90 per month

* Both servers — more memory and disk space — $180 per month

Upgrading the web server is the higher priority. It would mean faster performance and more stability for http://www.greenehillfood.coop/ and other greenehillfood.coop websites. As per Misha, We are currently paying 30/40 dollars per month depending on the server load

The squarespace ($20/mth) would be in addition to what we are paying now, because we’ll still need to run the civi website.

The Mailchimp ($50/mth) would be instead of sendgrid, which is what we are currently using. I am not sure how much that is

4. AGENDA – free flowing and aspirational discussions 7:50-8:45 (55min)

Interim board member election.

Re-organize Liaison including new board member, and officers role (see list at the end of Agenda)

Sharing current Situation w/ Members at large (content and format) Relocation Questions

PSFC change of policy for shift reporting

Dual Members shift reporting policy

GHFC shift banking system

How to insure a good flow of information between committees and the board (content and format)

5. Bike Rack  8:45 – 8:55 (10min) (Notetaker)

Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).

  • Note from Renée B: Not clear why this is on here because this is the current situation, changed and voted on by the Board in early 2016?

Closing  8:55 – 9:00 (5min) Board reviews votes at the end of each Meeting

Board Organization:

    • Finance: Committee chair Bianca Orlando, Liaison Christopher Gollmar
    • Merchandising: Committee chair Sarah Chinn, Liaison Lauryl Berger-Chun
    • Marketing & Website: Committee chair Ray Jolicoeur, Liaison Chris Gollmar
    • Outreach: Committee chair Ray Jolicoeur, Liaison Christopher Gollmar
    • Membership: Committee chair Chad Donnick, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • Investment: Committee chair Renee B, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • IT: Committee chair Misha Avrekh, Liaison Cecile Arnaud
    • Governance: Committee chair — , Liaison Christina LeMoine
    • Operations: (renamed from Design build/Operations)  Committee chair Penelope August, Liaison Elizabeth Agee
    • HR: Committee chair Megan Curran, Liaison Christina LeMoine

GM Agenda: Feb. 22, 2017

Welcome/Orientation 7:00-7:04 (4 min)
Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the Board Meeting. Questions welcome!

Meeting Agreements 7:05-7:06 (1 min)
1 Diva, 1 Mic (1 person speaks at a time)
• No one knows everything, together we know a lot
• Be aware of time
• Recognize/respect the role of facilitator

Consent Agenda 7:05-7:20 (15 min)
A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting. Link to minutes from previous Board meeting and review action items/assigned tasks.

1. Store Coordinator Update 7:20-7:25 Lauryl Berger-Chun (Store Coordinator)

2. Committee Reports 7:25- 7:40 (15 min) If there is nothing to be discussed or decided put report in writing at the end of this agenda. Add discussions if needed from committee chairs and liaisons below

Finance (Committee chair Bianca Orlando, Liaison Jeannie) (SEE BRIEF ITEMS, REPORTS)
Merchandising: (Committee chair Sarah Chinn, Liaison Jeannie)
Marketing (includes newsletter, social media, website): (Committee chair Ray Jolicoeur, Liaison DK)
Outreach: (Committee chair Jill Hoffman, Liaison DK)
Membership: (Committee chair Chad Donnick, Liaison Cecile) (SEE REPORTS)
Investment: (Committee chair Renee B, Liaison Cecile) SEE REPORT BELOW
IT: (Committee chair Misha Avrekh, Liaison Cecile)
Governance: (Committee chair Mira De Jong, Liaison Christina LeMoine)
Operations: (renamed from Design build/Operations) (Committee chair ___, Liaison Elizabeth Agee)
HR: (Committee chair Megan Curran, Liaison Christina LeMoine)
Beer license

3. Clarifying Greene Hill’s Organizational Structure 7:40 -7:55 (15 min) (Lauryl)

4. Committee Asks and Gives 7:55-8:05 (10 min) (Committee Chairs and Liaisons)
Committees asks (for help or support from others) and gives below:

Marketing
– will need significant technical help during the period we move Web site platforms (in March?); it would be great if we could identify a team of individuals with the requisite skills at our disposal for that time.
– will also need support on the graphics/visual/photography and copy fronts for same web site project.
– needs to staff up the Social Media team. Right now there is only one person (Morgan) handling all social media team and has communicated that she would like to have additional people on board as well as someone to take over the lead on the sub-committee. Perhaps membership can help identify potential individuals that we can reach out to? We should also post something in newsletter.

Staff & Member Labor Assessment
We have critical gaps on in store shifts, Merch, Membership & Finance that need to be prioritized (as well as the lease & relocation team). Member Labor hours are a finite resource, so any other committee work taken on by members must be in addition to a regular in store shift. -Lauryl
– E.g., Marketing committee: How many members are actively working on the committee? Can some members transfer to more other shift/committees that have urgent needs?

5. Lease Committee and Relocation 8:05 -8:25 (20 min)
What is the current situation we’re faced with at 18 Putnam? What are the opportunities? What actions will we take? DK, Cecile

6. Brief Items 8:25 -8:35 (10 min)
• New board member: we now need two new board members
• Assign role to board members: president, secretary, treasurer.
• PSFC liaison? (Renee B have been the liaison with PSFC for the loan committee)
• Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).
• Sharing financial information with members (Cecile)
• Adjust Finances – Budget below (Jeannie)
— Decrease spending
— Increase payroll
— Allot dedicated money for committees
— Create a capital budget

7. General Agenda 8:35-8:45 (10 min) – free flowing and aspirational discussions – the state of the Co-op

Bike Rack 8:45-8:55 (10 min) (Notetaker)

Closing 8:55-9:00 (5 min) Board reviews votes at the end of each Meeting

Reports in Writing:

Membership and Finance Report
Monthly membership report (to be filled out at meeting).
Summary of report:
– Current number of working members: 470
– Number of new members and deactivated in January: 23 new members, 3 reactivated member, 53 trial members
– Number of members waiting for investment returns: 253 and 28 in priority queue.

We’ve seen roughly a 10% increase in membership since the beginning of October, which is when we opened 7 days a week.

New feature in place that will automatically email a member who checks in to shop with low hours. Membership is copied on the email. This started in mid-January. Membership is tracking emails to look for members who frequently shop with low hours and will follow-up with them.
On a monthly basis, Membership will review the check-in log to see who is checking in with low hours. Upon verifying they have low hours, we’ll send an email to them. Would like to do this weekly or bi-weekly, but it depends on membership labor availability.

Membership is working on an updated report of active members. The active/working members hasn’t been audited since the beginning of 2015. We need to figure out who in the list of active members are shopping & working and follow up with those members who have been dormant for more than 6 months.

Membership desk has its first shift on Saturday, February 12 thanks to member Caolan Hunter and additional shifts from Alex Peters & Sabine Bernard on 2/18 and 2/19. The ultimate goal is to have membership desk coverage for 1 shift every Saturday & Sunday.

Monthly finance report – link to Profit & Loss Summary
Summary of report: Current column to be filled out at meeting.
 

Feb 1 – 21, 2017 January 2017 Feb 1 – 21, 2016
NET SALES $60,953 $33,602
Transactions 1,706 711
Average transactions $35.83 $47.26

 

Investments Report (Renee Bergan):
– I would love to see us tackle the priority folks this year. I don’t have a full figure on what that number is, I can find that out. But at most it would be $4k. If handled via monthly payments over one year this could be a feasible thing….but again I know the potential move and rent increase is daunting and first priority. Nevertheless, I’ll try to get a firm $$ number on this before the mtg.
– Also FWIW, since everyone was so concerned about this investments stuff. The number of requests per month is super minor, only a couple per month. The issue was the lack of communication. Most ppl while they may not be happy with the answer, are very satisfied once they’ve been communicated with. So the “investments concern/problem child” is no longer.

General Meeting Notes 1/25/17

General Meeting Notes
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn
Facilitator: Jeannie
Note-taker:  Cecile
Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.
Timekeeper: Ray
Directors Present: Jeannie, DK, Cecile, Lauryl, Elizabeth, Christina
Directors Absent:
Others in attendance: Reina Kennedy, Tess Dworman, Emma Hedditch, Erika McGinty, Lindsay Reichart, Gunnar Burke, Ray Jolicoeur
Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).
Next General Meeting is February 22nd 2017 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda. Please email [email protected].

Welcome/Orientation  7:30-7:35 (5 min)

Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the Board Meeting. Questions welcomed!

Consent Agenda  7:35-7:40 (5 mins)

A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

  • Ratify minutes from previous Board meeting  ratified: yes:11 abstention:1

1. Store Coordinator Update  7:40-7:50 (10min)

  • Updates for new hires Amie & Raina  Working members do not need to pay investment but if they stop working at the Coop they can only stay member if they pay investment.

2. Membership and Finance Report  7:50-8:05 (15min)

  • Monthly membership report (here)need update
    • Current number of working members: 437
    • Number of new members and deactivated in November: 15 new members,  2 reactivated member,  41 trial members
    • Number of existing members waiting for investment returns: under 50 as per GM 10/26/16
    • We’ve seen roughly a 25% increase in membership since January.
  • Monthly finance report

 

3. Boards Re-organization 8:05-8:20 (15min) (Board)

  • Tabled from last meeting:
    • GHFC accounts Doc. Update access spreadsheet  Sean Mullane can update
    • GHFC Board/Chairs contact list to be updated Cecile will share the doc with committee chairs for update
  • Vote for a new President: Postponed until we find another other board member
  • Reassign tasks taken on by Keith:  List tasks
  • Recruiting a new board member:  Reach out to members through the website, next newsletter, talking around If you are interested please e-mail at [email protected]
  • Clarify board members liaison roles :
    • Finance & Merchandising: JEANNIE
    • Marketing & Website: DK
    • Outreach: DK through Ray Jolicoeur
    • Membership & Investment: CECILE
    • IT: CECILE
    • Store coordinators: CHRISTINA
    • Governance: CHRISTINA
    • Operations: ELIZABETH (renamed from Design build/Operations)
    • HR: CHRISTINA
    • Relocation: CECILE
  • Lauryl is pointing out that the board members need to read the bylaws about the ex-officios board members for compliance issue (only one ex-officios allowed). DK suggested to amend bylaws. Christina to reach out to Governance to check on this issue.

4.  Committees updates  8:20-8:50 (30min) (Committee liaisons)

  • Finance= Report presented by Jeannie at the meeting
  • Merch=
    • The Merch team has noticed that the glass front fridges are breaking down with more frequency. Elizabeth to reach out to Operation to fix the problem.
    • Merch has started to switch buying by categories, in general we need more members for categories and at the moment  Merch really need one member for “Snacks” and one for “Frozen”.
  • Beer license= Lindsay Reichart, Gunnar Burke, Todd Miner are taking over the completion of the beer license. Lindsay went through the application, it needs some updates, and re-signing. Time frame 6 months. We can only do beer, NY state does not allow to have beer and wine (it would require a different license).
  • Marketing= Ray, has been able to reach many members of the marketing team. Some Co-op Board shared their thoughts and ideas for marketing priorities for 2017

Updates on 3 main priorities:

    • Update on website Erika is working on the revamping
    • Update on Newsletter and Social Media – Meeting 2/1/17 – Update at Next Board meeting
    • Update on plans for eventual storefront upgrade so that passers-by can:
      • understand what the Co-op is about
      • be motivated to join
      • Better overall esthetics
      • More complete update at a future Board meeting
    • Create a sign for the delivery hours – Ray is coordinating
    • Next Open House: proposed date April 8th. Verious ideas have been explored by the Outreach Committee such as a raffle (yoga teacher,… using members resources to offer prizes – see Outreach committee for details)
    • New project to establish member services directory so we can add it to the website. Marketing will work with Membership and Outreach committees to establish this directory.
  • IT= Misha is compiling some stand alone tasks for potential IT helpers, Cecile sent doc. to Marketing and Membership to add/edit tasks list.  Also to propose reaching out to Park Slope for recruiting, voted YES Misha please reach out to Park Slope.
  • Gov= Still need an assistant? A:Mira is coordinating a meeting in January. Meeting did not happen. Christina sent an email, no response. Christina to call Mira, reach out to Lauryl about it and concern about privacy
  • Membership=
    • New Member Onboarding process: (Alexandra Peters & Sophie Masure) Orientation and follow-up/informational emails and how a new member works their first shift.  Updates? None
    • Trial member follow-up: (Outreach Carolyn Romberg). Trial member follow-up: large pool of trial members who don’t sign up. Contact by phone, by email? Trial members not clear about transfer to full membership at check-in, updates? Reina said that this task has been spread out.
    • Member labor enforcement starting:  In October, we had roughly: 427 active members (-112 trial members) =  315 active members (-60 committee/board folks -75  floaters) = 180 consistent store workforce. Reality is 114 are working, so 65 of our current active members are not working = 20% of active members not working. Updates? None
      • Upcoming initiatives:
        • Check-in system email notifications for low hours updates? None
        • Double make-ups for no-show shifts. Updates? None
    • Membership Committee Chair replacement: Chad Donnick is leaving end of April 2017. For more information about what this position entails, email [email protected]. Marketing  just put an ad on the home page
  • Membership/Investments = Renee Bergan has taken charge of Investment. Has Renee been made aware that Finance would like to alerted to requests to have record? Update? Cecile sent email to  Renee about finance request.

5. Committee Asks and Gives  8:50-9:00 (10mins) (Committee Chairs)
Committees asks for help or support / others give

  • Marketing = Marketing needs the profiles and pictures from every board member – please.
  • Merch= Looking for a buyer to take over snacks.
  • Finance = Requesting budget from each committee. Relocation needs a recommendation about maximum rent
  • Gov= needs assistant
  • Membership/Investments = Communication with Finance
  • IT = Update from last meeting question: Is [email protected] account redirecting email to the committee chairs?

Misha answered: [email protected] redirects to the respective committee mailing lists and not to individual chairs or members. Committee chairs all have the primary responsibility for managing the lists for their own committees.

  • Operation= Relocation needs helps for “move budget”, also need a budget to replace refrigerator and freezer in the store in case they totally break down.

6. Lease Committee and Relocation  9:00- 9:15 (15mins) (Board)

  • Update on the current situation DK:  The case was dismissed in court January 3rd because Collymores’ lawyer was absent. A meeting is set-up to meet with Renee collymores to discuss: Renee apparently want for us to give up the expansion space. Letisha James will be present. DK, Christina, and Matthew will attend.
  • Relocation (Matthew and Cecile):
    • Meeting with Eric Adams Borough President 01/12/17: empathetic to our cause but pointed out that real estate prices are high in our neighborhood. He suggested we follow up with Richard Bearak, Borough Land Use Director.
    • Meeting with Robert Perris CB2 District Manager 01/12/17: he was familiar with our circumstance. We discussed Coop options moving forward: (CB=Community Board)
      • Garden of Eden: Obtaining empty lot from the city: dissuaded because the containers would be a huge hassle; starting from scratch
      • Angel: someone that would help the coop buy a space for us to have permanently; he had spoken with a friend at the Park Slope Food Coop and was told that PSFC is not the organization that could ever make the decision to purchase a building because of their decision making process is not one that could handle such a procedure
      • Partner: find a developer that would benefit by having a grocery store as part of their development, ie, they’re able to build higher in exchange for the community benefit of coop as tenant through program like FRESH; CB3 carries that program, CB2 does not.

We spoke of specific locations and their potential, e.g. empty loft building on Fulton next to Crispus Attucks playground between Downing and Irving. The senior center a little west of there is going to take that building over. Maybe we can work on getting the main floor there?
Suggested we get a hold of his counterpart in CB3, Henry Butler.
He also suggested we contact Director of City Planning, Brooklyn, Winston VonEngel and deputy director Alex Sommer,
For info: as per blueprint our current location is 2496 SF including party-walls: Storage and Walk-in: 500SF – Store: 1096SF – Extension: 900SF

7. Bike Rack  9:15 – 9:25 (10mins) (Notetaker)

  • GM and Board Meeting to be move from 7:30 to 7:00 voted yes
  • Marketing suggested Mural on roller down gates? Lindsay Reichart to reach out to Marketing as she is interested in the mural and Marketing wants to make other change to the front store to make it more obvious that the store is open, Marketing to present budget for those changes
  • Rebecca Schwartz: I work with businesses in Brooklyn such as Citrico, Faun, & Dos Toros. I help these businesses put together energy plans that gets them running on 100% renewable energy at low rates, while also providing complete energy management services. Essentially, my job is to lighten your load by managing everything that your business does with regards to energy, while also reducing your costs and helping to make you a leader in New York’s renewable energy scene. I’d love to set up a quick 10-15 minute meeting so I can explain everything that I do – I am sure you’re busy and I promise to make it worth your while. If you’d prefer, we can set up a call. Would you let me know a few good times to meet? I’d appreciate the time and think Phoenix Energy could be a great benefit to Greene Hill Food Co-op and I’d love to show you how. [email protected] who are buying electricity, Elizabeth to find out who is our current supplier Jeannie says ConEdison and if Rebecca Schwartz proposition is interesting
  • Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year). Reconsider 1 time year, Next meeting
  • Avoiding store shut down on open hours: Determine the amount of extra hours for the store coordinators per week to cover for members shift shortage Christina is organizing a meeting with store coordinators to discuss
  • Position of the Store coordinator(s) with respect to the board

Closing  9:25 – 9:30 (5 min) (Notetaker)

Board review/approval:  Board reviews votes at the end of each GM

General Meeting Notes 12/21/16

General Meeting Notes
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016, 7.30 – 9.30 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

Facilitator: Elizabeth
Note-taker:  Finn
Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.
Timekeeper:  Jeannie
Directors Present: DK, Elizabeth, Christina, Cecile, Keith and Jeannie
Directors Absent: Lauryl
Others in attendance: Erika McGinty , Finn Upham, Steven Russo
Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).
Next General Meeting is March 22d 2017 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda? Please email [email protected].

Welcome/Orientation 7:30-7:35 (5 min) DK
Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the General Meeting. Questions welcomed! This general meeting is a holiday celebration and celebration of the Co-op’s improvement (along with agenda items outlined below).
Consent Agenda: 7:35-7:45 (10 mins) (—-?—-)
A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

Membership and Finance Reports 7:45 – 8:00 (15min) (Membership; Finance)
Monthly membership report (here)

  • Current number of working members: 437
  • Number of new members and deactivated in November: 15 new members,  2 reactivated member,  41 trial members
  • Number of existing members waiting for investment returns:  no update available under 50 as per GM 10/26/16
  • We’ve seen roughly a 25% increase in membership since January.

Membership initiatives

  • New Member Onboarding process standards creation (props to Alexandra Peters & Sophie Masure). The way we onboard new members has been very inconsistent. This causes confusion and frustration, particularly with regards to when and how a new member works their first shift. We’ve identified the ideal new member onboarding communication flow, which includes orientation and follow-up/informational emails. We will start rolling this out incrementally in January.
  • Trial member follow-up (Outreach – props to Carolyn Romberg). We can do much better with our approach to trial member follow-up. Earlier this year we changed the way the trial member signup process works so the information is tracked directly in our CRM (where all of our regular member information is tracked). This allowed us to provide trial members with keyfobs to scan in for shopping, a measure that was meant to promote ownership in the Co-op (even though they aren’t owners yet). Many of our new member signups start as trial members, but there is still a very large pool of trial members who don’t sign up and we never hear from again. Outreach is taking on the task of following up with trial members to see how their experience is and encourage them to join as a full member. This initiative is in its first month.
  • Q: How are trial members contacted? By phone, by email?
  • Member labor enforcement starting in January. Historically, we haven’t been consistent enforcing the Co-op’s labor requirements. Labor is everyone’s responsibility as a requirement of their ownership in the Co-op. With the store now being open 7 days a week, there are even more shifts that need coverage.

We ran some numbers in October. At that time, we had 427 active members (-roughly 112 trial members) so that leaves about 315 active members.  Minus our committee/board folks (60) and floaters (75) and that will give us our consistent store work force of 180 but reality is 114 are working, so that means about 65 of our current active members are not working = about 20% of members not working
These numbers are rough and they do not account for members we show as active in the system who perhaps aren’t actively shopping anymore. That said, it does still illustrate a labor shortage.
Point:
Trial members not clear about process of transfer to full membership at check-in
Keith gave an example of 3 during one Saturday shift that he personally took care of.
Upcoming initiatives:

  • Check-in system email notifications for low hours. When a member checks in and is shown as low on hours or a “no go”, and email will be sent to them and Membership notifying them of the low hours with instructions on what to do.
  • Double make-ups for no-show shifts. The policy is that no-showing a shift requires a double make-up, but this has been difficult to enforce. We are exploring ways to track & enforce this. In the meantime, if you are going to miss a shift, you must make an effort to find a replacement through the work shift trade group. If you are sick or need to miss a shift at the last minute, you must call the store to notify them. Making an effort to find a replacement/notify the store excuses you from the double make-up, but you will still need to make up the shift you are missing.
  • Membership Committee Chair replacement. Chad Donnick is leaving the Membership Committee Chair post at the end of April 2017. We’re actively recruiting for a chair or co-chairs to replace him. For more information about what this position entails, email [email protected]

Monthly finance report:
LInk to Profit & Loss Summary:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0sBFqsPR1yTeTZhRTV4Vk1tbGs/view?usp=sharing
Link not updated
OCTOBER 2016 SALES (31 days)

TOTAL BASKETS 1,845
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $36.00
TOTAL SALES $67,485
GROSS MARGIN* $21,341.92

  Average daily total sales = $2,070.84
NOVEMBER 2016  (30 days) (Nov. 11th open 7days)

TOTAL BASKETS 1,561
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $35.21
GROSS SALES $56,341.82
GROSS MARGIN* $13,176.85

Average daily total sales $470.57
DECEMBER 2016  (20 days)

TOTAL BASKETS 1,046
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $37.17
GROSS SALES $39,829.92
GROSS MARGIN* $10169.92

Average daily total sales $508.45
*Note: Gross Margin is Sales minus Cost of Goods Sold. Does not include spoilage. Figures are from Revel.
JANUARY to DECEMBER 2016  (Year to date)

TOTAL BASKETS 15,451
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $39.29
GROSS SALES $622,010.43
GROSS MARGIN* $154,744.88

Liaison Updates 8:00-8:20 (20mins) (Board:Committee Liaisons)

  • Finance = A new process for making deposits has been created by Lauryl. Will look to possibly add myself as a signer for our account. Next projects: Financing Lawyers, Financial analysis for relocation. Finance will start reaching out to each committee to submit budget for the year.
  • Merch =  The team is moving ever closer to category buying. We’ve divided up all the merchandise into categories, and aligned our vendors with them. They now have to assign categories and figure out the nitty gritty.
  • Marketing >> After a period of orientation, Ray is finally on board as marketing chair. He’s started interacting with members of the marketing team (at least those that make themselves reachable) and is asking the Co-op Board for their thoughts and ideas for marketing priorities for 2017. Ray has established 3 main priorities to tackle in the New Year:
    • 1) Updating the website to today’s standards in terms of look and feel, as well as improve its communication of the Co-op’s Mission and Values, with the aim of attracting more members, increasing the number of store visits and the size of every basket;
    • 2) Update the Newsletter and Social Media in the same way;
    • 3) Developing additional storefront signage to facilitate communication of the Co-op’s workings so that passers-by can a) understand what the Co-op is about, and b) be motivated to join and become members themselves.

OPEN HOUSE January 14: The artwork is done and signs/flyers will be dropped off this week.

  • IT= We need to “strengthen” the IT committee.
  • Gov = Still need an assistant? A: Mira is coordinating a meeting in January.
  • Membership/Investments= Renee Bergan will take charge of Investment after Christmas? A: Cecile may follow up.

Cecile sending email to Jenine Osbon who recently contacted us about reimbursement for her and her husband investment, she has made many requests: email was sent 12/22//16

CHRISTINA is following up with Renee concerning her engagement with investment committee and request update for next meeting,… see also on Bike rack
Committee Asks and Gives 8:20-8:35 ( 15mins) (Committee Chairs)

  • Committees asks for help or support / others give
  • Marketing = Ray, open house: January 14th?, promotional effort?, vendors?, tasting?
  • Jill is coordinating open house
  • Merch= Always looking for more buyers
  • Finance = Requesting budget from each committee. Have yet to receive.
  • IT= Keith did you reach Misha? Cecile will work with Keith to take on liaison role
  • Gov= needs assistant
  • Membership/Investments= Renee Bergan will take charge of Investment after Christmas?
  • Note: Keith to check if [email protected] account is redirecting email to the committee chairs

Store Coordinator Updates 8:35-8:40 (5 mins) (Store Coordinators)

  • New hires Amie & Raina are currently in training!: have shadowed on opening/closing procedures, member labor training., cash handling, Revel POS backend & also worked shifts independently
  • New cash handling procedures finalized & currently in place
  • Reminder note — Store will be CLOSED Dec. 25th & Jan. 1st

LEASE COMMITTEE UPDATES AND QUESTIONS: 8:45 – 9:05 ( 20mins) (Board and Vincent)

  • Update on the current situation, lease, court date, pro-bono attorneys, strategie, outreach…DK/Vincent
  • Cecile will bring the Coop’s affidavit to Steve for it to be notarised.
  • Court date Jan 3rd, Kristina and Keith will attend.
  • CB2, Vincent/DK
  • Relocation, Matthew and Cecile

As per plan shared by Jeannie, our current location is 2496 SF including parti-walls, divided as follow:
– storage and walk-in: 500 SF
– store: 1096 SF
– “office”: 900 SF

  • Finance to make a recommendation as the rent range to be considered in lease negotiations. (Jeannie)
  • Motion: Keith and DK and Latisha (public member) to meet Renee Collymore (Landlord).
  • Pass with One Abstain

Bike Rack 9:05 – 9:15 (10mins) (Notetaker)

  • GM and Boards facilitators,…Emily is on leave,…we need to find someone
    • Meghan to be contact, past successes, Kristina can back up for Chairing. Finn can moderate in the future.
  •  Investments:
    • Finance would like to be alerted to requests to have the record, reach out to Renee
    • Christina: to reach out to Renee to request an update at the next meeting.

Tabled for next meeting

  • GHFC accounts Doc. Update access spreadsheet
  • Position of the Store coordinator(s) with respect to the board
  • Further discussion of workflow on Investments

Closing 9:15 – 9:25 (5 min) (Notetaker)
Board review/approval:  Board reviews votes at the end of each GM
Was  discussed and decided among Board Members:
Board titles:

President: Keith
Secretary: Christina
Treasurer: Jeannie
Committee liaisons:
Finance & Merchandising: JEANNIE
Marketing: DK
IT: KEITH being transferred to CECILE
Membership & Outreach (MOM): ?
Investment: ?
Store coordinators: CHRISTINA & KEITH
Governance: CHRISTINA
Design build: ELIZABETH
POP (People Operations projector HR): ?

Operations:

Board Meeting Notes 11/16/16

Board Meeting Notes
Wed., November 16, 2016, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

Facilitator: Alex
Note-taker: Jeannie
Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.
Timekeeper: Jeannie

Directors Present: Renee, Keith, Christina, Jeannie, Cecile
Directors Absent:
Coordinator Present: Lauryl
Others in attendance: Alex Still, Ray Jolicoeur , Mira De Jong (Governance), Rachel (ParkSlope Loan), Cecile Arnaud, Matthew Talmage, DK Holland

Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).

Next General Meeting is December 21 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda? Please email [email protected]

Welcome/Orientation 7:30-7:40 (10 min) (Facilitator)
Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the General Meeting. Questions welcomed!

Consent Agenda: 7:40-7:45 (5 mins) (Facilitator)
The following will be voted on:
Loan Letters to be sent
Board elections

Ratify minutes from previous Board meeting –

Elections: (Mira)
Nominees for the Board : Elizabeth, Morgan & Cecile
VOTES:
YES= ( x46) Elizabeth & Cecile

Membership and Finance Reports 7:45 – 7:55 (10 min) (Membership; Finance)
Monthly membership report (here)
Aug: 400
Sept: 418
Oct: 427

Finance report:
LInk to Profit & Loss Summary (here):
SEPTEMBER 2016 (30 days/ 22 shopping days) (9/26/16 start of 7 days open)
TOTAL BASKETS 1,269
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $38.35
GROSS SALES $50,006.43
GROSS MARGIN* $12,010.24
Average daily total sales $545.92

OCTOBER 2016 (31 days & 31 Shopping Days!!)
TOTAL BASKETS 1785
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $36.55
GROSS SALES $67,196.17
GROSS MARGIN* $21,341.92
Average daily total sales $2,070.84

*Note: Gross Margin is Sales minus Cost of Goods Sold. Does not include spoilage. Figures are from Revel.

Loans:
We have 23 loans totaling $61k. By Jan. 2017, we are due to pay $20,486 in total interest & principal.
Finance is asking that the 2011 notes program lenders extend their loans by one or more years if they are due in 2017 or 2018 and that all of them consider partial or full forgiveness. For the refrigeration loans, finance proposes a 5 quarter delay in principal repayments or forgiveness. For the $12k POS loan where terms were not set, the letter to the sole lender proposes terms to be agreed on. For the three loans of $500 or under (including the two insulation loans), Finance proposes that they be repaid to ease the loan administration burden.

Finance has drafted 15 letters attached your your review (representing 21 of the loans) 2011 notes program lenders extend their loans by one or more years if they are due in 2017 or 2018 and that all of them consider partial or full forgiveness. For the refrigeration loans, finance proposes a 5 quarter delay in principal repayments or forgiveness.

ACTIONS & SUGGESTIONS:

  • To add that we have a repayment schedule
  •  March – Finance to come back with a schedule of payment
  •  Phone call to be made to major loan
  •  Financial reporting to be re-looked at?
  • Work on finding a new signer

VOTE: Do we agree to submit letters per the proposed plan that finance proposes above?
YES = 8
NO = 0
ABSTAIN = 0

Liaison Updates 7:55-8:00 (5 mins) (Board:Committee Liaisons)

  • Finance – Added new member to work on financial analysis
  • Merch – All is working on auto pilot / Amy’s has labor law issues / We currently do not carry
  • MOM – Ray is in charge of Marketing / Branding / Ray is working more towards working with other committees / Ray is professionally work with start up farms
  • Gov – Mira is the only person on Governance and would eventually like to step down / Keith is working to find more members
  • IT – Keith is working for additional help
  • Design Build – Kale is working on the space and looking to see how make more use of the expansion space / We need more talk about expansion which is tied in with the lease

The Role of A Cooperative Board 8:00-15 (15 mins) (Lauryl)

  • Handout: Lauryl came from a convention and has passed out
  • handouts that she thought she would find it useful
  • Co-op board self assessment tool evaluation form
  • Organizational Chart
  • The role of a coop board:
    -perpetuate itself (recruits new members, trains them)
    -serve as the link to members at large & maintain a well-informed membership
    -hire/fire & oversee the general manager

coop1 coop2

ACTIONS & SUGGESTIONS:

  • Board to review with new members their roles
  • The more members you have engaged at the meetings the more members you have involved in the coop
  • With new board members, to have a separate meeting
  • Board to add new members to google docs, etc.
  • At December GM meeting, have the board meet early to review board expectations and maybe create it as a party. Christina to coordinate with POP.

Staff Retention & Support 8:15-8:30 (15 min.) (Store Coordinator -Lauryl)

  • Goal(s):
    • -Empower staff to fulfill job description -hiring/training new staff (within the 60hrs/week bounds set by board)
    • @Board look at the cash flow statement and membership updates over the next three months
  • Store’s Monthly Payroll costs since adding more staff in Spring (info from cash flow sheet) have been as follows: Feb. 2,316; March 3,875 ; April 2,272; May 1,222; June 2,154; July 2,596; August 2,421; Sept. 2,943
  • OR an average of $2,474/month payroll over the last 8 months. In February 2016, our Ending Cash Balance was $23,734 & it has steadily improved since adding more staff capacity to $56,918 in September.
  • Having more staffing has enabled us to do the following things:
  • -Open 7 days/week
  • -Compost system overhaul (“it look SO good and clean & organized” -Dara, Master Composter @ BBG)
  • -Bethel Church soup kitchen relationship
  • -Shift Leader training
  • -Produce set up/closing procedure streamline to reduce waste
  • -Better stocking practices/more consistency
  • -Better feedback/on the ground reports to buyers about inventory levels
  • -Better quality control on the shopping floor
  • -Follow up communications w/ members re: missed shifts & make ups
  • -Stronger food safety compliance
  • -Membership responsiveness; being a presence in the store that can solve basic membership issues & sign up members on the spot more capably than general members
  • -Membership email response-quicker reply time
  • -Identifying inconsistencies in cash amounts
  • -Working w/ Board to improve cash handling procedures
  • -Product mix expansion & continuing to improve buying practices/support Merch committee
  • -save $ through logging more accurately returns, shorts & mispicks to vendors
  • -Receiving coverage for non-shopping hours

    QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

  • Are we saying that there are not enough members doing the job? No, we need store coordinators to help get members involved
  • What did the board vote for a new store coordinators? 60 hours / week with only Shannon & Angelica
  • What is Lauryl asking for? We need more people to train people. The current people cannot fulfill the 60 hours per week.
  • Renee feels that we should have less people so that we have better communication. Why hire more when we would want someone to stay?
  • Why is the Hierarchy needed? Suggest to introduce a person under a trial period.
  • Justifying numbers : What is going to happen? What are we actively expecting for adding new coordinators
  • Benefits? Should we be paying benefits?
  • How many people is Lauryl asking to hire? 2 more

COMMENTS
The argument that the low pay is not a valuable job is not felt to be a valid argument

ACTIONS & SUGGESTIONS:

  • We need to come back with answers
  • Additional conversation should happen with committees (Gov., POP, Finance) & board. To discuss comments above and discuss membership numbers. Lauryl to coordinate
  • Having consistent staff is wonderful
  • Staffing has been consistent and there is a spread sheet

Staff & Member Labor Coverage sheet – current hours

Security Measures Updates (Christina)

  • Locks have been changed
  • Codes need to be changed
  • Security Cameras
    • 3rd Camera – add to back room / Design Build to fix/ RENE to coordinate
    • Footage reviewed – Tim Hamilton to review
  • Detectives
    • Did not contact
  • Insurance
    • Governance to look into new insurance
    • Insurance currently does not cover theft of cash.
  • Safe
    • Dan from Design Build installed
  • Deposit Procedure
    • Deposit to be made by store coordinator & store member
    • Working out procedures

Lease: 8:45 – 8:55 (5 mins) Keith

  • Keith is in discussion with Keysha.
  • Collymores have received a certified check
  • Next month Agenda: Terms of the lease
  • PSFC loan committee suggests we still have team looking for new locations should our lease be terminated early.
  • Finance has successfully submitted rent via certified mail
  • SUGGESTIONS: Have a committee to work issues of the lease / Ask PSFC to help

Bike Rack 9:15 – 9:25 (10 mins) (Notetaker)

  • Labor: We want to look at number increase and member increase / we have 60 members not working consistently (20%) / To get more enforcement / Chad is working on this

Closing 9:25 – 9:30 (5 min) (Notetaker)
Board review/approval: Board reviews votes at the end of each mtg

Agenda Items for Next Month

  • Nick Wong ([email protected]) would like to propose trike-based deliveries. He can not attend today’s meeting. If there’s interest, contact me via e-mail and I can research and draft up a proposal for next meeting.
  • Terms of the Lease
  • Hiring of New Store Coordinators?

GM Meeting Notes 9.28.16

General Meeting AGENDA
Wed., September 28, 7.30 – 9.30 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

Facilitator: Jeannie
Note-taker: Elizabeth
Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.
Timekeeper: DK

Directors Present: Jeannie & Chirstina
Directors Absent: Renee & Keith
Others in attendance: Alec, DK, Cecile, Elizbeth, Angelica

Any person attending may participate equally in discussions, but only Co-op members/owners may vote on any issues. Member/owners may receive work credit if they attend (allotted 1 time a year).

Next General Meeting is December 21 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda? Please email [email protected]

Welcome/Orientation 7:30-7:40 (10 min) (Jeannie)

  • Welcome and introductions. Brief explanation of the purpose of the General Meeting.
  • Questions welcomed!
  • Christina – Board member & GHFC 5 years
  • DK – Long time member, works on the newsletter
  • Cecile – French & works at the store as a shift leader
  • Elizabeth – Works the Friday morning shift by herself
  • Angelica – Store Coordinator

Consent Agenda: 7:40-7:45 (5 mins) (Jeannie)

  • A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting.
  • Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.
  • Ratify minutes from previous Board meeting – Ratified!
  • This agenda does not match website agenda

Membership and Finance Reports 7:45 – 7:55 (10 min) (Membership; Finance)

  • Monthly membership report (here)
  • Current number of working members: 400! (first time we’ve been at 400 since March 2015)
  • Number of new members and deactivated in August: 4 new members, 1 reactivated member, 60 trial members
  • Number of exiting members waiting for investment returns: under 50

Monthly finance report:

Link to Profit & Loss Summary:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0sBFqsPR1yTeTZhRTV4Vk1tbGs/view?usp=sharing

JULY 2016 SALES (31 days)
TOTAL BASKETS 1,260
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $36.03
TOTAL SALES $48,570.57
GROSS MARGIN* $11,394.29
Average daily total sales = $1,566.79

AUGUST 2016 (31 days)
TOTAL BASKETS 1,212
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $35.95
GROSS SALES $45,060.30
GROSS MARGIN* $10,644.43
Average daily total sales $1,453.56

SEPTEMBER 2016 (25 days)
TOTAL BASKETS 1050
AVERAGE BASKET TOTAL SALES $38.38
GROSS SALES $41,510.08
GROSS MARGIN* $9,744.96
Average daily total sales $1,660.40

*Note: Gross Margin is Sales minus Cost of Goods Sold. Does not include spoilage. Figures are from Revel.

Liaison Updates 7:55-8:05 (10 mins) (Board:Committee Liaisons)

  • Finance = working on organizing financials. back taxes, tracking private loans
  • Merch = they are continually working to add new products & keeping spoilage down to a minimum
  • Marketing = Newsletter is a full team effort

Committee Asks and Gives 8:05-8:25 (20 mins) (Committee Chairs)

  • Committees asks for help or support / others give
  • Marketing = needs graphic designers (Olivia is a designer)
  • Finance = offers each committee to create a budget for the year

Store Coordinator Updates 8:25-8:35 (10 mins) (Store Coordinators)

  • Composting is active again.
    • This would be a good article for the Newsletter
    • Brooklyn Botanic Garden checked the compost and gave their okay.
  • Store Coordinators are looking for a third coordinator
    • The Board would like to know what the process is for hiring a coordinator
    • The Board did not agree to the hiring of another coordinator per the last GM
    • Better communication needed on both sides

Institutional Membership Proposal 8:35-8:55 (20 mins) (Angelica)

  • Overview
    • Create a Greene Hill Institutional Membership for small businesses & community organizations. This Membership Category would be non-voting and non-working.
    • Institutional Members have the same purchasing options as individual members (can place special orders & shop in store) for their organization’s uses.
    • Goals Build community relationships & support other local/mission aligned businesses; marketing & building membership
  • Details
    • The Greene Hill Member Organization will have a shared Key Fob for use by designated representatives from the organization.
    • The organization will
      -pay an annual fee of $50.
      -mutually agree upon shared marketing plans (e.g. highlight in respective newsletters, co-sponsor events)
    • This agreement will be reviewed on an annual basis when organizational membership is renewed.
  • Notes
    • Example from another cooperative: “Weavers Way offers an “institutional account” to local businesses. It is a non-voting membership with a $45 annual fee.
    • It allows businesses to charge purchases to their account and pay from a monthly invoice…& gives them the privilege of pre-ordering (a member-only benefit).”Susan G. Beetle; Finance Manager
    • RENEE: Votes YES!
    • NOT LEGAL: Per the NY Tax laws, our coop is not allowed to have an organization or business buy from the coop otherwise we will be shut down by the government.
    • Our tax is specific to for the coop.

Contingency Team: 8:55 – 9:05 (10 mins) (Keith should give update)

  • PSFC loan committee suggests we still have team looking for new locations should our lease be terminated early.
  • Keith is out sick. Will move topic to the next board meeting

Bike Rack 9:05 – 9:15 (10 mins) (Notetaker)

  • Nominees for the Board : Elizabeth, Morgan & Cecile
  • Open House: Need to update signage with new hours , Flyers have been passed out
  • Community: Would like to have store more presence in the community
  • In store visual merchandising: the spoiling and moldy bananas are not very nice to have at the front of the store / maybe it would be better to have these items on a shelf in the back storage

Closing 9:15 – 9:25 (5 min) (Notetaker)

  • Board review/approval: Board reviews votes at the end of each GM

Agenda Items for Next Month
Contingency Team: 8:55 – 9:05 (10 mins) (Keith should give update) PSFC loan committee suggests we still have team looking for new locations should our lease be terminated early.

BOD Meeting Notes 7.27.16

Board of Directors ~ July Mtg
Wed., July 27,  7.30 – 9.30 pm
The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

Facilitator:  DK
Note-taker: Jeannie

Note-takers – please see link to secretary responsibilities.

Timekeeper: Glen
 
Directors Present: Jeannie, Keith, Christina
Directors Absent: Renée

Others in attendance: Shannon Sodano, Jill Hoffman, Lena Greenberg (PSFC), H. Leigh Brown (PSFC), Angelica Falcinelli, Karen Haskins, Steve Russo, Glenn Brill, Kelsy Chauvin, Bianca Orlando, Sam Marks, Wendy Gleisor, DK Holland, Glen, Rachel Porter (PSFC), Kathy Mariao (PSFC), Lauryl Berger-Chun, Sylvianne Lagueux Tremblay

Approve Minutes (1 min.) from previous GM (please read beforehand on the Website)

Consent Agenda (2 min)
A collective vote on decisions that have already been made or that don’t generally require/solicit discussion. Attendees can pull out any item they would like more discussion on, and this item will be moved to discussion at the end of the meeting. Information on all consent agenda item votes will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

Finance & Membership Reports  (5 min)

JUNE’S GROSS SALES (30 days)

Total $52,532.92
GROSS MARGIN* $13,040.51

 

JULY’S GROSS SALES (24 days)

Total $38,312.10
GROSS MARGIN* $9170.28

 

SALES YEAR TO DATE (205 days)

Total $347,538.52
GROSS MARGIN* $83,793.86

 

*Note: Gross Margin is Sales minus Cost of Goods. This figure does not include cost of spoilage.

 

  • As of July 24, 2016 weekly sales is slightly DOWN compared to June’s.
  • JUNE’s Weekly average sales = $12,257.63
  • Total Transactions (30 days) = 1314
  • Average Check= $39.05

 

  • JULY’s average weekly sales =  $10,926.37
  • Total Transactions (24 days) =1050
  • Average Check= $34.69

 

  • June Active membership was: Up. We saw a net member change of +18. Of those, 13 are new members. 7 of those new members were previously trial members. This takes into account new memberships, reactivations, leave, cancelations and PSFC workers. This big increase can be directly attributed to the Open House offer on June 11 in which we waived the $25 admin fee for all new memberships. 48 trial members joined (down from 51 in May).
  • Analysis: Seeing some of the summer slump, as weekly sales are down by about $2k/week. Interesting to note that the number of shoppers has not lowered much but the weekly basket has–why?  Note that one of the weekends was a holiday weekend and those are always hard for us, due to folks going out of town.

Store Coordinator check-in (Lauryl, 15 min)

  • General updates:
  • Transitioning three new coordinators from independent contractor to employee status
  • 3 new store coordinators (Sylviann,  Shannon, Angelica)
  • More accuracy, flow up Cash Flow,
  • Past 4 weeks $1600 in net revenue
  • Spoilage has been down
  • Next Steps: Finance to investigate feasibility
  • Coordinators are present for shopping hours.
  • Increased Security measures and discussion, is locking cash drawers enough, are other measures needed

Financial Analysis (Finance, 30 min)

    • Account Balance / Money in the Bank = $27,640  
      • At least $9,457 belongs to member investments (need to verify)
      • $10,000 belongs to PSFC Loan
      • $8,183 is what we have left
      • Our financial goal is to pay our loans off
      • Accounting sales YTD = $350,000 approximately
      • We are making some progress
      • We need to make an analysis to understand
      • PSFC willing to meet with finance people to figure out how to handle the finance
      • We need to a physical inventory count to get a true account by September 30th
        • Park Slope can help us do this properly
        • Point person needs to count these items

 

  • NOTE: Renee wrote to Susan about this who headed the inventory last year.

 

  • Are we fiscally able to handle a move? (*This did not get disscussed)
    • Assessment of moving costs needs to be worked on. At the end of July, Darrell will be in California for the next 6 weeks. He is unable to project manage this. Need someone to help. Renee suggestion: Pablo??? Or Cale or what about rest of DB team?
    • Most of our equity is within the four walls of the store. We cannot touch the bank money as the reserve cash needs to be allocated towards taxes and other continuing bills.
  • Update on projects on hold due to finances and lease situation:
    • Proposed projects to be put on hold until we are in better financial standing
      • childcare (i’ve notified them of our situation but haven’t heard back)
      • alcohol license – Keith has a copy, sent it, and it got bounced back.
      • installation of fridges (sold both)
      • dire need redemptions (if agreed we need to remove this option from the investment letter that goes out to exiting members).
    • Proposed items that Finance will still pay for:
      • taxes/bookkeeper
      • loan repayments
      • asst store coordinators

 

Updates/Discussion on Lease Termination (All, 40 min). If not able to be present, pls provide the update in writing next to your name/section.

  • Dahlia & Keith (Lease liaison): point of contract update, do we have to move?
    • From Dahlia after the mtg:  Keysha said she was not at liberty to discuss if the building was being sold. Her stance is we can ask for the proof of contract all we want but she doesn’t necessarily need to provide it. I told her, that her sister and mom are saying they just need more rent and they aren’t selling the place, but she wouldn’t say if that was correct. She did say she could provide more time, but when I asked outright if we found a way to pay more in rent if we could stay she said that’s not the case. I left it at that we definitely need more time and our stance is until we see the proof of contract we’re not going to honor the clause of the lease. She doesn’t agree with that (something we could discuss with a lawyer?) but if we tell her how much longer we need, she’ll provide more time. I still don’t believe they actually have sold the building, but she seems to be holding strong that our lease will be terminated.
    • Contrary to above statement: Keysha has told Keith that she will present a contract of sale.
    • As understood, the Collymores believe they can evict us although we have a legally binding lease for the next 5 years.
    • Each lot is privately owned. The backyard lot contract deal is dead.
    • We have determined that the Collymores are not selling
    • Glen – there is always a possibility that the Collymores could sell any day/ develop a contigency plan.
    • ACTION: Keith is drafting a letter in response by Friday to ensure that we made a formal response to their letter.
    • ACTION: Create a small group to investigate the viability of all questions we need to answer. People to stay after meeting if they want to help.
  • Keith (Relocation team):  relocation leads/updates
  • Jeannie (Feasibility team):  Update on feasibility of move if not addressed above.
    • Design Build & Finance should be working on the details
  • Renee (Legal):  here’s a detailed list of what work I’ve been doing:
  • Suggestions from Paula (596 acres): reach out to *Urban Justice Center or Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A. Tell them you are looking for representation in a commercial holdover eviction case likely to begin in October.
    • *UJC: sent email, wed 7/13. no response; Karen Haskins from Co-op connected us with Melissa Risser from UJC, Renee and finance filling out intake and submitting this week.
    • NO: Brookly Legal Services Corp: Called, said if commercial need to obtain a private attorney.
    • If you can’t get free help from a provider that is funded to represent groups like the Coop, we can make a referral to my private practice, Mohen & Segal LLP, and discuss a fee structure.
    • Joe (PSFC)and several others: NY lawyers alliance, Neil Stevenson, pro bono legal work, helped Calabash Co-op:
      • Spoke with Neil week of 7/11, suggested we work with *NY lawyers for the public interest:nylpi.org as they are pro bono
          • spoke with asst Heidi on 7.17.  They work with volunteer lawyers on a pro bono basis.  Can’t guarantee representation.  Will get back to me with more info (after reviewing docs) very soon.

 

  • Update 7/25: haven’t received any more info from them despite several calls

 

    • Jess Levy (co-op member):  provided 3 leads from a legal listserve inquiry she’s on:
      • Legal Aid has a community development project.  You can reach out to the supervisor Shervon Small at: [email protected] (have not called)
      • *CUNY Law School, in partnership with the City Bar, has a new law firm that helps small businesses and quite possibly assistance with commercial lease provisions. low cost service, but not free.  free consultation, $100/hr give advice on what we can do to keep costs down.
        • general civil law help moderate small biz’s, try to be affordable; flat fees when possible could do retainer of looking at lease $300- $500; and then 2nd re: how negotiate, initial retainer then move to hourly or renew retainer
      • John Maher: I do commercial lease disputes, Yellowstone injunctions and related work. I Am also a member of my local food coop and shop at the E 3rd St Food Coop. I would do a free consult for a food coop. John Maher 646 675 8909 (sounds like he would charge us- so not following through).
    • Michael Manzi <[email protected]> via Steve Russo has given us the following advise: “Please urge them to move quickly on the legal front.  It might not be an “eviction” notice but it’s just as bad.  Once a lease terminates by notice, which is the situation here, it cannot be revived.  They need to go to court asap to get a “Yellowstone injunction”  to stop the termination of the lease. If the lease contains a provision giving the landlord the right to terminate in the event of a sale of the building, they’re screwed, unless the landlord has strictly complied with the terms of the provision.  Otherwise, a landlord may not terminate just because he’s selling the building.
    • Chad Donnick (co-op member): Reached out to an attorney friend who was kind enough to look through our lease documents.
      • He made note that our lease does not contain a popular provision in NYC lease agreements which allows landlords to dramatically increase rent (upwards of 200%) if we stay past our end date.
      • He noted that there is a provision that if we do fight the eviction in legal proceedings and lose we would be liable to pay all of the Collymore’s court costs.
      • One tactic he suggests stems from the lease extension section #6 which says “upon entering into a Purchase Sales Agreement landlord shall have the right to terminate…”. He suggested drafting a letter from the board requesting evidence of the PSA. This would either “call their bluff” or at the very least (if they do produce a PSA), “reset the clock” on the termination notice (so to speak).
      • Also suggested Lawyers Alliance for NY as the best nonprofit for nonprofits in NYC. http://www.lany.org/   
      • As a side, he asked if I watched Broad City. I told him the “co-op” episode was at our co-op and he of course had no idea and thought that was neat. Made me realize that we don’t do enough promotion of that. We should really highlight that on our website.   

 

  • SUMMARY:  I would like to see if we can get pro bono work either with UJC or NY Lawyers for the Public interest. If not CUNY provides a VERY affordable legal rep option.

 

    • DK/Willow (PR): Update on non member PR, when will something go out and how? Prepare statements for all situations.

 

  • What next?

 

 

Confirmation of Revised Director and Officer Roles on website: (All, 10 min)

Given the new make up the Board of Directors, the official Director/Officer roles should also reflect the recent changes.  Unfortunately this wasn’t reviewed back in Feb and we need to update the website with revised roles.  The minor revised changes reflect the more horizontal Board structure.  Just need Board to approve or amend.

Directors’ Roles

  • Liaise with committees
  • Attend the 12 monthly Board Meetings per the bylaws*
  • Shop at the Co-op
  • Be active via email and various projects, as needed
  • Remove themselves as chair or key member of any committee, focusing on the Directors role is priority
  • Set agenda for Board Meetings, facilitate and serve as notetaker on a rotating basis

 

President Role

  • Participate in all Director roles
  • Sign off on legal documents
  • Ensure that the board fulfills its commitments to the membership

 

Vice President Role

  • Participate in all Director roles
  • Take over President’s role in absence of the President
  • Support the President in his/her duties

 

Treasurer Role

  • Present finance report at monthly General Meetings
  • Ensure that the Finance Committee is maintaining bills, payroll and taxes and complying with state regulations

 

Secretary Role

  • Ensure that minutes are taken at Board Meetings, by rotating secretaries
  • Post minutes on website, if rotating secretary does not

 

VOTE: 3 Yes  0 No

 

Christina will submit this to Governance to update the website.

 

Review and approve votes (notetaker, 5 min)

 

Bike Rack (extra topics discussed)

 

  • ACTION:  Jeannie to scan legal documents to lease document folder
  • Need to add a Fifth member to the board (Jermiah & Jerylin are possibilities)

 

 

Next Board Mtg is Wed, Aug. 24, 7:30-9:30pm at the Co-op.

Next General Meeting is Wed, Sept.  28  – 7:30-9:30pm at The Co-op.

 

All are welcome. Please email [email protected] if you have suggestions for the agenda (work credit applies!)