GHFC BOD Working Session Meeting Notes 10.01.13

Attending: Nick Collins, Sean Mullane, Christine Travers, Lawrence Eichorn

Note-taker: Michael Randazzo

Timekeeper: Christine


1) Finance Report (Sean) Amended for web posting

  • Finance has set up a binder in the Store for any member-owner to look at.  The binder will contain the latest financial information, such as: this report; weekly, monthly, annual and year-to-date sales (soon); and, eventually, the Co-op quarterly financial reports: income statements and balance sheets.  GHFC could also place the Board Minutes in this binder (from the General Meetings and the Board Work Meetings).  The general consensus is that the Minutes posted to the Web Site should not have Co-op financial data (as a safety precaution), but that the full Minutes with financial data will be available in the Store. The binder is labeled "Greene Hill Food Co-op: Meeting Minutes and Financial Reports."


2) Membership Update + Recommendation (Nick)

  • Three things: invite Jonathan; Upshift Project to next WS meeting (November); what to do about members with 0 hours in 2013

  • William - GHFC member – has great insights about membership: Board needs to hear about what might be possible; members who can be productive during their shifts.

  • Jonathan – outside set of eyes; plus expertise; thing between now and January to make improvement

  • Deactivate people who have not been working in 2013; those who haven’t been working over the past two months; those who fall off for six months have to re-activate their memberships

  • A lot of members who have 0 hours for the last few months. Move them off the rolls so that we can see who are the active members are working.

  • Motion: those who have been off for 6 months should go into limbo <Agreed>

  • Cannot expand our hours from a labor perspective.

  • Mathias; has set up software that requires that you have four hours of work (in past 8 weeks) to shop; policy is you have to make up two hours to shop; question about how lenient GHFC should be.

  • Is this something that is even worth taking to a GM?

  • Lawrence, jumping from 0 hours to 2 hours; we also want his $; going to 2 from 0 is good.

  • Christine: when you are in the hole for 4 it’s hard to overcome

  • Sean: let’s do 2 for the balance of 2013; takes many, many years for a start-up business to prosper; a message to emphasize to the members.

  • Nick: will talk to Matias about changing the software to suit.

  • Christine: has to be a marketing piece that is marketing with products

  • Sean: retailing


3) Expanding Board from 7-9 members (Sean/all)

  • Sean: based on my experience, need more people to manage the organization

  • Christine: would only benefit the coop

  • Lawrence: originally was to be nine members for diversity sake; to go to nine now is a no-brainer

  • Christine: twice a month is a serious commitment for any member.

  • Sean: will nine members be unwieldy for decision-making? Lawrence; should not be an issue

  • Nick: in recruiting 2 – 3 new board candidates; would be great to look at the candidates and to ascertain that the right candidates – with available time – are selected. It’s to our benefit to have diversity of experience and can meet the minimum requirements of the position.

  • Gisele: let this go to the GM as a general item in October; let membership vote on this in November.

  • Lawrence: discuss and vote for new board members by November. <Agreed>


4) Non-member shopping; future plans

  • After the fall event, huge boost in sales; question of how often to have non-member shopping days.

  • Lawrence: Park Slope allows you to do a shop with a member only once; keeps a DB of the guests. Could GHFC find a way to track these visitors?

  • Sean: if this is more frequently might suppress membership outreach for new members

  • Lawrence: public events will give outreach something to work with; target dates in coordination with upcoming holidays.

  • Nick: someone needs to recruit the shoppers to be member; experiment and evaluating the results

  • Renee: hold events it quarterly; people might take advantage; “Why should I join when others don’t;” doesn’t respect the membership

  • Lawrence: this is retailing, this is getting people in the door.

  • Nick: will make a great conversation for the October GM; go to the GM (end of the agenda) with two options to discuss.

  • Renee: needs a lot of effort to get people in the door; frequency is the issue

  • Christine: need outreach resources to make this an effective recruiting opportunity


5) Apple Plan (Renee)

  • Food justice committee looks to open up the store to the community; concern is GHFC is too exclusive, too white, and too middle class.

  • Alternative to the Apple plan: $5 admin; $20 investment fee (refund); will get more lower income folk in more quickly; losing $125 per member but get more members and get more shopping.

  • Nick: like the idea of mobilizing; do we have the resources to connect with the community about this plan? How do we recruit enough people to shop to offset the reduced membership fees.

  • Recruiting members in communities that GHFC is not familiar with.

  • October 21 is food day; look to make this an event for the community; or make October GHFC awareness month.

  • Christine: just reducing the amount of the investment is not enough; need education; getting better with what we offer; our products may not be accessible to this new population; can’t come in here and buy staples for a reasonable price.

  • Renee: doing tours for groups; this is a long-term project; tours with NYCHA and FUREE; food justice could work with select groups for outreach; create surveys for potential membership groups.

  • Lawrence: pressure on merchandising being sold to react to this demand

  • Sean: need an effective strategy for inventory; Park Slope has high and middle price items to appeal to broader groups; putting 26 hour a year is worth more then the amount of membership that might be generated.

  • Nick: take this to the GM as a clear proposal that might be presented/facilitator.

  • Renee: put in an email to Park Slope to get their opinion about how this might be proposed to the GM


6) Update – Committee Liaisons: Role + Allocation of BOD members

  • Gisele requested a meeting with co-chairs to finalize the liaison role proposal.

  • Lawrence: what was the response to the specific e-mail?

  • Christine: need a more grounded discussion

  • Nick: who is leading the committees?; is this an all-committee meeting before the GM?; Or, is this a discussion for the GM

  • Gisele has agreed to facilitate this discussion

  • Lawrence: need an hour at the GM for this discussion.

  • Christine: do this at a BOD WS with all co-committee members; would be a single channel meeting; relationships between the committees and the board

  • Lawrence: need to have things ready for this meeting in advance

  • Christine: budgeting will be a challenge; this will be a start – establishing goals for the next six months

  • Lawrence: plan ahead; must bring it up now; reach out to Gisele to set this up/guide this through

  • Nick: each board member liaise with a specific committee; need to revisit; where best will each board member’s specific skill set work?


7) October GM Prep (who/how/what) -- including officer elections

  • Officer Elections (President, Vice-President and Secretary) – think about the executive roles/share with governance

  • Materials for GM

  • Programming for the GM; Christine, wants something of substance; not food presentations.

  • Sean: GM had been used to recruit new members; Lawrence, recruitment is long passed

  • Nick: thinking about kick-starting strategic planning process?

  • Lawrence: will prep for GM – need a list for people to sign up, the agenda, some brochures