Annual Membership Meeting - 10 June 2000

A. CONVENE AND PRELIMINARIES

The meeting was called to order at 4:45 p.m. by Dan Foley in Boston.

B. MEETING PRELIMINARIES

  1. The agenda was approved as presented.
  2. Minutes from the meeting of 12 June 1999 were presented.
    M/S: Gail Graham/Annie Hoy: to approve the minutes from the 1999 CGIN annual meeting as presented. Approved with no dissenting votes.
  3. Final call for ballots. Ballots were turned in to the Nominating Committee for counting.

C. REPORT AND DISCUSSION ON STATUS OF CGIN

Dan Foley introduced the current members of the CGIN board of directors. He noted that 1999 was a year of growth for CGIN at all levels — in members, services, and capacity. He asked that members join him in thanking CGIN’s sponsors: Blooming Prairie, Northeast, Ozark, and Tucson Co-op Warehouses, and the NCB Development Corporation for providing refreshments prior to our meeting. The CGIN board now serves as the editorial advisory board for Cooperative Grocer magazine. Finally, he noted that CGIN’s board just held its first strategic planning session. Joining the CGIN board and Karen Zimbelman were Robynn Shrader from the NCGA, Patrice Jennings (board candidate), and Dave Gutknecht from Cooperative Grocer magazine. He then turned the floor over to KZ to present an operations report.

The operations report summarized the organization’s accomplishments in the past year:

  1. CGIN did end up getting tax exempt status in California and filed its first exempt tax returns this past spring
  2. 1999 YE and YTD financial statements are included in the packet; no questions were asked
  3. services continue to grow — listserve now has almost 300 subscribers; links list was added to the public access pages; working on other links and ways to make the site more useable; members-only section also continues to grow. Primary challenge for CGIN is to work within the somewhat passive structure it has — waiting for members to send in new items.
  4. membership now stands at 82 (up from 31 in 1998 and 66 in 1999) primary members (retails); goal for 2000 is 95 so have a ways to go; so far, 100% renewal except for one member that has gone out of business
  5. scholarship fund now stands at $725 — total contributions less scholarships already given out. Certificates of appreciation were distributed to all members who have contributed to the scholarship fund: Puget Consumers Co-op, Hanover Consumers Cooperative Society, Outpost Natural Foods, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Common Market Co-op, Food Conspiracy Co-op, Community Food Co-op – Bellingham, Good Foods Co-op, BriarPatch Community Market, Sevananda Natural Foods Co-op, Davis Food Co-op, Wild Oats Co-op, New Pioneer Cooperative Society, Seward Co-op Grocery, and Weavers Way Co-op.
  6. security and usage of site: trying to keep a simple, cost-effective system that ensures some level of security; summarized results of member survey last year where 24 of 31 surveyed members responded; 23 in favor of limiting access to co-op staff. KZ also noted that a page of site statistics was distributed as an addendum to the packet.
  7. we have a pretty steady growth in number of items available on the site — from about 65 in June 1999 to 165 now online and another 35 pledged; 114 deli recipes are online
  8. for the future: CGIN is looking at other projects to pursue
  9. working on obtaining grant funding for an online publication on “how to start a food co-op;” it would be available in the public access section with a file that members can download to print out and make available to local groups
  10. working on a concept paper of a consumer information database; this would save co-ops from duplicating their work in developing links to consumer-oriented information on the web; all co-ops could just provide links on their web pages to these pages; figuring out how to do this is very challenging

D. ELECTION RESULTS

On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Pam Mehnert and Paul Cultrera expressed their thanks to all three candidates — to the two incumbents (Dan Foley and Mary Courteau) for their service to CGIN and to Patrice Jennings for her willingness to run for the board. The quality of these three candidates make this election a win/win for CGIN. A total of 29 ballots were received; 28 were valid. Dan Foley and Mary Courteau were re-elected.

E. OTHER BUSINESS

Certificates of appreciation were distributed to co-ops that have contributed five or more items: Wedge Community Co-op, Twin Cities Natural Foods Co-ops, Puget Consumers Co-op, Han over Consumers Cooperative Society, Outpost Natural Foods, BriarPatch Community Market, First Alternative Co-op, Sevananda NF Co-op, New Pioneer Cooperative Society, Davis Food Co-op, Seward Co-op Grocery, Weavers Way Co-op, and Willy Street Co-op Grocery.

Members in attendance brainstormed items that they would like to have available on the site or that they might offer. La Montañita Co-op offered to contribute two items by the end of the month if others would do the same. The following co-ops then offered to contribute at least five general items: Seward, TPSS, ACFS, Outpost, Co-opportunity; or deli recipes: Food Conspiracy, Natural Harvest, Brattleboro, Kokua, New Pioneer, First Alt, maybe ACFS.

Additional suggestions were:

  1. keep using the “request of the week” system; it’s easier to react to a specific request
  2. consider surveying members about what they need and might offer, maybe twice/year?
  3. remind managers to get items and suggestions from other staff
  4. consider “challenges” to spur contributions of materials
  5. could listserve messages come with a “CGIN” prefix? [not with current software….]
  6. consider higher annual fees for members that don’t contribute 5 items each year
  7. can users get a list of listserve subscribers? [yes; see commands or contact KZ]
  8. can members add comments on items — a la “readers’ reviews” on Amazon.com?
  9. what about setting up bulletin board sections where members can add to a running discussion

Dan Foley reminded members that the next CGIN annual meeting will be held in conjunction with next year’s CCMA conference in Chicago, likely on Saturday, the 9th of June (2001).

The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.

Minutes by Karen Zimbelman

Attachment to Annual Meeting minutes

Suggestions for new items

MATERIALS DESIRED:

  • employee recognition and incentive programs
  • expansion related documents: business plan, decision-making process, structures for teams
  • green building design and features
  • staff structures with pay rates
  • organizational chart — link with job descriptions?
  • policy governance materials — especially newsletter article explaining PG system to members
  • information on computer shopping
  • POS system review
  • information on cooperative community funds
  • information on how to use CGIN
  • community outreach and donation programs
  • membership database systems for linking
  • information about membership programs
  • member benefits packages
  • CGA plans and updates
  • information on successful capital drives
  • national trends in co-ops
  • disaster or emergency plans
  • training materials — checklists, cross training, etc.
  • photos of endcaps that work
  • equipment swap listing
  • glossary/explanation of acronyms
  • listing of consultants
  • more newsletter articles
  • links to or copies of co-op newsletters
  • TCNFC’s employee handbook
  • good graphics — for newsletters, fliers, etc., including general stuff as well as manufacturers’ logos and product sketches
  • evaluation forms
  • spreadsheet on budget variance to labor
  • letters or information from manufacturers r.e. GMOs
  • bulletin board sections: about specific topics
  • information about getting into e-commerce
  • co-op dating service (!)
  • safety materials
  • experience using specific equipment — e.g. misting systems

MATERIALS OFFERED:

  • “ACFS University” program