BOD Working Session 05.08.14
Attending: Rachelle, Nick, Hillary, DK, Renee, Sean, Keith, Ethan 1) Welcome to New Board Members & Orientation, 10 mins (7:30-7:40 PM), All - Renee provided brief Trello overview. - group discussed long- and short-term goals
2) Finance Report, 10 mins (7:40-7:50 PM), Sean - (given at Working Sessions and GMs) - no major changes in finances. Sean referenced Allison’s email – first Sunday sales day generated ~$2K in sales (Sean's goal was $3K) and total for all of last week was $12K. Noticed that there's a different kind of member shopping on Sunday versus Monday. Hopefully the shopping trend continues. -We're not meeting our costs; we're using new member equity to break even every month. - all members except 1 redeemed pledges to install fridges. Raised $8k (goal was $10k). with the screens, we spent $8700 ($700 not coming from loans). - In Summer 2013, secured anonymous pledge to purchase POS system for $3k (loan, not grant). Haven’t heard back from member but not worried. - weekend of 5/24 and 5/28-6/7 Allison is away. Should we hire a substitute store coordinator in her absence? No conflict of interest in having board member as employee. Keith was nominated as Allison's replacement. - NICK: this process is wonky. Concern that we not repeat habit of making decisions without full input from Board. - PSFC loan fund has $40k: Rachel wants us to fill out loan application but we don’t qualify because we’re not meeting break even. Have to have viable business plan. - they want us to succeed. We need a plan. Collectively we make decision. They already told us what they want to fund. - loan could be used to build out expansion space (temperature control, finish the walls)
3) Update on Committee Liaisons - Revisions & Role, 20 mins (7:50-8:10 PM), All - new Board role is to be liaison with committees. - RENEE: Proposes that we liaison with the committee we came from. Christina not able to be as involved anymore. She would be happy to be IT’s liaison – they’re very self-sustaining and low-maintenance. - NICK: quality has dipped in some committees. There’s accountability to support co-chairs without being co-chairs. Add “board liaisons” to website info. - RENEE: idea is to liaise for presentations, support with projects, give gentle push when they’re slipping - DK: how do you get people to feel a sense of ownership? Can’t have the same people knowing and doing everything. - Have to get other people involved. Sean should step down as co-chair of finance but no one wants to step into co-chair role. - need to make distinction between role of treasurer and role of finance co-chair. -Liaison roles: DK, marketing; Nick, membership; Lawrence, designing build; Renee, outreach & education; Keith, Operations; Sean, Finance; Christina, IT; Hillary, Merchandising; Rachelle, Governance. - cheers to Mindy for elections.
4) GM’s at Store, 5 mins (8:10-8:15 PM), Keith - Keith: since we’re paying $54 for space on S Oxford, we can maybe move GMs to the store. By September? - DK: the store is hot in summer, cold in winter, dark and dismal always. We need to get more members to come to GMs. - Ethan cleaned up expansion space for the orientation last week in 10 minutes so it's possible to get the expansion space cleaned up. (- no GM in August or December.)
5) Update on Member Redemptions, 10 mins (8:15-8:25 PM), Sean - have ~110 members asked for their money back = max $16k. Finance updated those members earlier this year. Finance told them that the Board elected to put a hold on reimbursements last September because of major projects: updated masonry to make store pest free; installed new fridges, added Sunday shopping day (increased sales 20%); investing in a POS (has potential to improve sales and streamline buying processes, reduce purchases of products that spoil and don’t sell). 3-ish members replied with “we just need the money” so we paid them back. Have a few more members who've said the same recently. - last correspondence was "we’ll let you know in early May". - what do we tell members now? Sean’s recommendation: status has improved somewhat. First Sunday shopping day but POS is still some months in future. Too early to see measurable impact on sales but given confidence sales will increase, we’ve started paying members who asked first. - RENEE: start incrementing pay back method. Pay them in chronological order. SEAN: we can’t afford to pay 10 members a month. - HILLARY: can we do a good faith and pay back $20 (for example) to every member? Ex-members probably don’t care about why we’re in the red and what we’re prioritizing; they just want out. - As coop we did a bad job of explaining what the investment was when people joined. No one should expect to get their money back because we’re a startup. - DK: Agrees with Hillary. - SEAN: if we pay everyone $10 = $1500. - RENEE: that’s too many checks, and sounds like an administrative nightmare. Don’t want to give the impression that the loudest get what they want. Can we pay back 5 people per month? ($750) - NICK: what are the exact amounts owed? Reality is that summer is here and people are starting to cancel. What does it represent in real money? How much do we actually owe and how is it aging? - KEITH: maybe want to revise membership application to be less vague. Suggestion of paying back blackmailers incrementally. - DK: this will be an ongoing problem so we need a system now. - RACHELLE: do we acknowledge sweat equity? NICK: we delete work history when people cancel. We should keep it in the future.
6) Membership Committee Presentation, 15 mins (8:25-8:40 PM), Nick/Ethan - NICK’s updates: membership is one of, if not the biggest, committee. Nick reviewed handout of roles and responsibilities. Need to rework how membership info is displayed on the website. - committee meeting every other month. Haven’t had much success. Nick has done a good job of pushing people to come. Not worked out so well when Ethan recruits because it’s about personal relationships: when Nick steps back, others do as well. Sean suggested committee rename to “membership and staffing” because one big role is helping Allison verify we have people working in the store. - membership desk worked well when it started up. Reduced number of shifts at the desk. - finance: last summer followed up with carrot payments. Every 6 months need to verify who’s up to date on carrot payments. We haven’t verified everyone’s eligibility for apple plan. -ETHAN’s updates: orientation needs to be more sustainable. Need to grow committee. Have to tinker and update orientation. Need two people to staff it; it’s a 3- to 3.5-hour shift for projector, tour, etc. Need to identify people who can take responsibility for that alone. Need to recruit co-chair. - have mapped responsibilities of the committee. - RENEE: write up job descriptions, people should give 2 weeks notice, help find, recruit, and train your replacement. - ETHAN: need more people to grow committee. - HILLARY: integrate floor attendant training into new member orientation. - RACHELLE: signage and documentation are necessary. - KEITH: we need an updated manual. - DK: everyone on board should go to an orientation. - ETHAN: they’re generally the last Tuesday and Sunday of the month but the schedule is online. People aren’t really active until they attend an orientation.
7) POS Recommendation, 10 mins (8:40-8:50 PM), Sean - ShopKeep (co-founded by Amy Bennett and Jason Richelson from Greene Grape). Revel formed in 2010. - Shop Keep has far superior customer support but the scales are not integrated with POS system. Sean considers this a step back because currently scales do this. Revel just added this so Shop Keep will probably follow soon. Shop Keep doesn’t have EBT integration. For any food you buy which has tax on it, tax is waved for those using EBT. So EBT would have to be rung up separately if using Shop Keep. Both systems are designed for restaurants and high-end grocery stores. Vend (Australian company) great but no EBT and other things. - Revel salesperson is a nightmare. - iPad-based systems are much cheaper and easier to navigate. To get a commercial POS requires more cash flow. - revel has offices in Manhattan. Some of us need to go there and go through every item with them. - we’re bringing in an inventory control system. So to get the system active, we have to take full inventory of the store. PSFC is switching their system and they want to know if we want their stuff. - by this time next we’ll know if we’re going ahead with Revel.
8) GM Roles (Orientation, Secretary, Approval of Shiftplanning Shifts…), 5 mins (8:50-8:55 PM), Renee - We still don’t have a secretary. Renee and Hillary are temporary secretaries. Meeting minutes should be sent out within a week of the meeting. Make the minutes a Google doc. Nick helps Renee with approval of shiftplanning. DK and Keith are in charge of orientation at beginning of GMs. Christina usually facilitates and brings agenda. Renee brings GM sign up sheet.
9) Workmens’ Compensation Insurance, 5 mins (8:55-9 PM), Sean - VP, secretary and treasurer are covered by workmens’ comp and it costs $90 per year per person. Allison = $3k/year in workmens’ comp. Board agrees to drop Renee (VP) and to drop Secretary.
10) Expansion of Work Requirement, 20 mins (9-9:20 PM), All - have co-chairs at the next GM. - RENEE: 2.75 is a weird number. 2.5 is more gentle approach – only another 30 minutes. 2.75 is too close to 3 hours. As PSFC member hated it because it was confusing. Easier for brain to work in half-hour increments. But overlap and transitions need to happen. Don’t want to freak out membership too much. Not sure how many members are PSFC members. On average each month send over 30-35 members’ hours (~7%). - KEITH: seems like 3 hours is a big jump. Likes 2.75 because provides overlap and is consistent with PSFC. - DK: we should ask members to vote no matter what. - NICK: there has to be context in the survey. If we’re doing it, will be a huge administrative exercise particularly for Maria, who’s still on parental leave. Summer is the easiest time to do this because fewer people are working. It takes 4 weeks to change in shift planning and educate a whole cycle of people, so we should start implementing in September. - DK: store hours survey should be separate. - food justice survey went out to non-members. So next week the shift survey can go out to members. - need some semblance of democracy. - talk with committees and with people you know in the store (test the waters), newsletter article about this. Conversation starter on Facebook.
11) All Committee Working Meeting, 10 mins (9:20-9:30 PM), All - May 29th. Shift changing should be topic at the all committee working meeting. - at June GM want to be able to have final answer. June should be end date. - need a newsletter article for this cycle. Renee is leading this (making sure things get done). - August rather than September to implement because people are out of town? - survey going out early next week. Mention in the newsletter that there is a survey. Give the newsletter committee a link to the survey.
PSFC loan: build out expansion space. Temperature control, finish the walls.