GM Notes 9.23.15

General Meeting AGENDAWednesday, Sept. 23,  7.30 - 9.30pm The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn Facilitator:  Emily Miner Minute-taker: Meghan Curran Minute-takers - please see link to secretary responsibilities.

Directors 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 3 times a year).

Next General Meeting is October 28, 7:30 at the store. Want to be a facilitator, secretary, timekeeper or to propose items for a future GM agenda? Please email

Welcome/Orientation 7:30-7:40 (10 min.) (DK Holland)

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

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

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 GM (please read beforehand on the Website)
  • Decision to accept credit cards in the store (1.7% surcharge for Visa/MC/Discover - no Amex)

Finance and Membership Reports 7:45 - 8:00 (15 min) (Julia Flath)

  • Current number of working members: 330 Active, 6 on family leave, 285 on general leave
  • Number of new members and deactivated in September: net member change +5
  • Number of exiting members waiting for investment returns: N/A
  • Monthly finance report
    • Monthly sales: $10,500 up from $9800 – first time above $10K since May, hopefully moving out of summer slump
    • Cash position has gone down three weeks in a row with more expenses than revenue; back to having -$6800; we are on time with vendor payments; merchandise going over budget – hopefully this will improve so that costs are not always exceeding revenue
    • Shifting budgeting for merch from category-based to vendor-based, to make it easier for merch committee to stay within weekly budgets

Committee Reports & Projects (30 mins) 8:00 - 8:30

  • Update on initiatives + call for help (10 mins)
    • Overview of Project Dashboard (Brett Stevenson)
      • Introducing the project management dashboard; with the PSFC loan commitments and numerous ongoing projects, need to understand how it all adds up and how we’re all working together; living document to be a resource, can found and updated here:
    • Project mgmt. + Monday night co-working sessions (Lauryl Berger-Chun)
      • In-person centralized time to work on Monday nights between 6:30-8:30PM
  • Finance (10 mins) (Brett Stevenson)
    • Overview of finance organization document hub which shows how all information, roles/responsibilities in finance are organized for people to see. Showcased as a "role model" to make sure people know where they can learn more about coop financial information.
      • Sharing our knowledge management tool; basically is it lists responsibilities of each committee, protocols and processes, and links to all of the data – every committee has their own folders and places for storing information; consider that maybe this is something that could be replicated across different committees; Julia is master of operations on the finance side, systems, paying vendors, Revel; Brett on longer term projects and bigger picture like year-end financial statements and working on projections
      • Bookkeeper – Park Slope not helping us – advertising for bookkeeper (move to parking lot)
      • Julie – encourage other committees to have documentation and have it laid out clearly as it has been an issue and there are transitions we lose information
  • POP! (10 mins) (Meghan Curran)
    • Timeline of project and reporting back to Board and membership (target Nov. GM).
    • Working on understanding how different groups and individuals work together across the coop, where we can clarify roles and responsibilities to make coop leadership more attractive in advance of upcoming board elections (currently targeting November report-out and December elections)

Overview of PSFC Loan Commitments (10 mins) 8:40 - 8:50 (Julia Flath)

Overview of PSFC loan commitment tracker. Commitments include:

  • Member-owner shopping model commitment
  • Must increase membership every month for first year of the loan
  • We set purposes that loan would be used for – costs for getting new bulk items, a beer and wine license, hiring a bookkeeper for 8 weeks; PSFC we don’t have to report on how we specifically spend it
  • The terms of interest and how much; have to be up to date on our taxes; we have four years of income taxes to do; loan doc says by January 31 – will be more flexible; do them over next several months; we don’t actually owe but we have to file – cost of preparing the taxes is what we will pay
  • We are supposed to be current on our debts; several members made loans who we owe interest and loan payments to;  important debating whether or not to postpone loan payments, but we need to go ahead and pay them
  • We need to get permission to take on additional loans;
  • Revel fully operational for tracking inventory and COGS by Aug. 31; we’re still working on that, they are okay
  • Things seem hard-line but they are more flexible in person when we are unable to meet terms
  • Encourage us to start producing financial statements; fulfilling the terms of the loan – reporting on monthly membership

TV / Film Shoot on Location (10 mins) 8:50 - 9:00

  • Broad City wants to use GHFC as a location for an episode shoot (Lauryl Berger-Chun)
    • $3,500 per day location fee + $3,000 shopping day buy out & a certificate of Insurance
    • 12 to 14 hours to film each day - tentative dates  Mon. Oct. 5th Tues. Oct 6th
  • Extensive discussion on coop brand, legal questions, impact to neighbors, violation of lease
  • VOTE: Unanimous vote to approve filming, pending confirmation that it is within lease obligations
  • Potential to use GHFC location for an indy film (Renée Renata Bergan)
    • Shoot times would be Tues, Thurs or Friday after 1pm, end of Oct/early Nov.
    • Coop would be compensated $500 per day.
    • VOTE: Unanimous vote to approve filming, pending confirmation that it is within lease obligations, and wanting to increase per diem to $750/day

GHFC Leadership (15 mins) 8:50 - 9:05 (Facilitator)

Discussion on how we can enlist more member/owners in taking on leadership positions; including, but not limited to, the Board of Directors. What are potential barriers (e.g. outreach, awareness, commitment required, etc.)?

Conversation on limiting factors:

  • Could we evaluate community demographics to understand how to get more out of people?  Is there work that is more than a shift but less than a committee?
  • It’s unclear how to get involved
  • POP to look into identifying opportunities for workshifts and roles that are like 2 shifts per month – we have positions like that on the finance committee – more of those roles clearly defined would get us more working labor hours without overwhelming people
  • The fuzziness is a big factor, really need to understand people’s passions and what they want
  • What are your talents, what do you do? Is it on the application – Chad added it back on the application
  • Shift Leader meeting decision to implement double shifts for shift-leaders on Saturdays; might integrate that; board responsibilities are fuzzy;
  • If you want more responsibility – be a shift leader!  You have more leadership responsibilities within-
  • Big picture and task-based people; I just want to do my 2.5 hours and be done; the role within the leadership is not to do the stuff but narrow it down and prioritize, what can be accomplished within that cycle; the more concrete on specific jobs – they feel better about accomplishing what I need, and feel better about taking on bigger roles
  • From a culture perspective – there’s a danger of people taking on too much, how we interact; trying to make working at the coop making it fun, be role models about bounding our hours and being strong about what we can and cannot do; commit to being respectful and helpful to everyone we work with; this is the time to set up those patterns and norms as a group in this renewal phase; being an advocate for bringing people in
  • We also need to emphasize respect more - people are rude in the store, at meetings; if respect were emphasized with shift leaders and in the meetings and emphasizing that responsibility; people would be more likely to take on leadership

Open Forum/Parking Lot (10 mins) 9:05 - 9:15 (Facilitator)

Review of items “parked” during meeting and space for discussion/comments on topics not on the main agenda. Items will require more time to discuss may be included as future agenda items.

  • Credit card discussion: we get caught up in not having information and not making a decision – no tradeoff or expense to the coop; if we wait another month, we can’t do this for another month; no opposition on moral issues just confirming legality; conditionally approve if governance or legal looks after it to understand that its within the law
  • VOTE: Unaminous approval

Closing (5 mins) 9:15 - 9:20 (Notetaker)

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