GM Notes 03.23.16

General Meeting AGENDAWednesday, March 23, 7.30 - 9.30pm The Co-op: 18 Putnam Ave, Brooklyn

Facilitator: Emily Miner Minute-taker: Emily Miner Minute-takers - please see link to secretary responsibilities.

Directors in attendance: Keith, Christina, Renee Absent: Jeannie, Lauryl

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 June 22nd 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.) 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) Minutes ratified

Meeting Warm-up 7:45-8:05 (20 min.) (Emily Miner) Interactive group activity to get to know each other and get in a “cooperative” spirit.

Membership and Finance Reports 8:05 - 8:15 (10 min) (Membership; Finance)

  • Monthly membership report (here)
  • Current number of working members
  • Number of new members and deactivated in February
  • Number of exiting members waiting for investment returns
  • Monthly finance report (here)
  • There was a deficit in Dec of $11,000 due to increased merch spending in a low shopping month. Was the increased merch spending due to the fridge malfunctions?
  • 2016 Review 8:15 - 8:35 (20 mins) Project Management Sheet here for reference BRIEF overview of what’s been happening in 2016 - there’s a lot, and that’s really exciting!
  • Increased sales February weekly sales averaged $11,648, up from January's weekly average of $9,896. And last week, thanks to our new Friday hours, we broke $13,000!! This is still below our $15,000 per week target.
  • Expanded hours Open 5 days a week!
  • Streamlined membership hours No check-in desk person anymore; reorganized hours
  • New board Welcome Christina! Still one member short
  • Revamped trial membership
    • At the end of February, the Membership Committee introduced a new trial membership sign-up process. Instead of handwritten paper cards, all trial members will receive a GHFC membership card (key fob), just like regular members do.
    • This is an important improvement to our process because it allows us to better track trial members and their visits to the store — which means we can follow up with them more easily and encourage them to convert to full members!
    • Proposal to turn the computer around so that members or trial members can see it as they walk in, and cashiers can observe if people are low on hours or unable to shop.
    • Is it possible to scan fobs at the cash register?
  • Childcare options
    • The Childcare Working Group has had several meetings and plans are underway to run the first shift each Sunday as a "family-friendly" workshift. Beginning on Sunday, April 27, 9:15-11:45 there will be childcare provided for working members, including those who do flexible committee work and might want to come and work in the expansion space during that time.
    • We currently have a call out for donations of some specific materials, this will appear in the next newsletter. Anyone who is interested in being part of the Working Group, with working a shift looking after the kids, or with having their child(ren) looked after should contact Emily Wilbourne, at
    • Children will play near the front door. Shoppers, etc. will enter via the storeroom door for that particular shift.
  • Good Neighbor initiative
    • Good Neighbors is a volunteer program to help senior citizens over 65 shop at the Greene Hill Food Coop. Good Neighbors are transported via NYPD van program to the Greene Hill Food Coop every Wednesday at 3PM. Good Neighbor members will either start out with a 2 month free trial membership or Apple plan. The initiative began with the Willoughby Senior Center located at the Whitman Housing. Contact Beverly Emmons.
    • Keith visited the Senior Center and gave a presentation. However, they had a perception that they would get a 50% percent discount on our prices. Several people shopped the first week, focusing more on the dried goods (e.g., toilet paper, sugar). Unfortunately the next week, no one came, perhaps due to disappointment over the 50% discount.
    • Discussion to offer a discount for seniors and disabled people (10% + exemption from work shift), and discount for people below a certain income threshold, added to the bike rack.
  • Restarted monthly orientations
    • The Membership Committee is now conducting new member orientations every month. All new members are required to attend an orientation and trial members are highly encouraged to attend. Come learn more about our history, structure and mission. Learn about how to sign up for shifts and what you can do to help make our co-op successful.
    • Have had three so far. Most people were already members, although there were a few that were not members and were interested in getting more information about the co-op.
  • New Store Coordinators/hiring process
    • Six member-owners filled out W9 forms, oriented and training is currently in progress/started shifts as of last week. Job description and time period (3 month with next steps to be assessed by end of May).
    • Questions about current process: If we need to just cover Friday and Saturday, could we just hire one person do that? Plus another person to fill in when Lauryl or the other person is sick. SO we just need 2 ppl on the sooner end, rather than have several contractors? Not clear why this process needs to take several months, hiring could happen in just a few weeks.
    • Board members would like more transparency about the hiring process and potential to participate should they want to.

Enhancing MOM Operations 8:35 - 8:50 (15 mins) (Sara Cornish)

  • Increasing MOM yearly budget? - Did not discuss because no one from Marketing was present
  • Using Mailchimp for the Co-op newsletter - Did not discuss because no one from Marketing was present, but Finance does not support:
  • From Finance: until the store coordinator and merch expenses stabilize it wouldn't be prudent to commit to any additional expenses. We simply do not have the money in the bank for anything more at the moment unless we want to cap merch or not hire the coordinator. The GM would need to vote on tradeoffs not just adding more things onto the table. I am still waiting for a budget and can't make any analysis/proposals until that is received.
  • Devote budget to a Facebook/Instagram (Renee)
    • We can do an ad on FB/Instagram and could have a budget (e.g., $100 / year).
    • FB can target people that live in the vicinity to see our popup ads. We can determine the budget and time span.
      • Renee will talk to MOM to see if this can fit into the existing budget.
    • A member-owner (Dorothy from MRC) would like extra money to go to hardship cases via the Membership Relief Council.

Review and Finalize Board Roles 8:50 - 9:15 (25 mins) (Renee)

  • Finalize and define Liaison roles/responsibilities
    • Christina: MOM
    • Jeannie: Merch
    • Renee: Finance
    • Keith: ad hoc liaison (i.e., Governance, IT, DeBop)
    • Liaison roles/responsibilities: Liaison is the connection point. When that committee needs help, the liaison is the person that helps and supports them.
    • ACTION ITEM: all board members need to introduce themselves to their committee(s) if they have not done so already
  • Figure out Secretary/Notetaker for Board meetings (one person or split amongst Board?)
    • Ideal situation would be to have a dedicated (non Board-member) take notes. Barring that, there are 8 board meetings,so each member should take notes for 2 months.
  • Agenda creation will be rotated among all Board members - building succession and continuity!!
    • Renee will create an agenda guidelines document with dates, etc.
  • Determine how PM roles should be split
    • Keith and Renee will each check project dashboard to offer help and ensure connections are made. If either gets involved on a project or reaches out, cc the other so that both are in the loop.

Open Forum/Bike Rack 9:15 - 9:25 (10 mins) (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.

  • Welcoming Committee: new efforts to make the coop “welcoming to all”.
    • New member orientations are training people on how to be welcoming

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

  • No votes

Agenda Items for Next Month

  • Senior, disabled, and/or income-based discount and waiving of work requirement
  • Potentially MOM budget increase?