Annual Membership Meeting - 9 June 2001

A. CONVENE AND PRELIMINARIES

The meeting was called to order at 3:35 p.m. by Dan Foley in Chicago. Dan introduced himself and the current members of the CGIN board of directors and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

B. MEETING PRELIMINARIES

  1. The agenda was approved as presented.
  2. Minutes from the meeting of 10 June 2000 were presented.
    M/S: Gail Graham/Michelle Franklin — to approve the minutes from the 2000 CGIN annual meeting as presented. Approved with no dissenting votes.
  3. Final call for ballots. Dan noted that one candidate, Rosemary Fifield, has decided to withdraw from the election, so there is no need to turn in or count ballots. The board is declaring all remaining candidates elected: David Fowle, Gail Graham, and Rochelle Prunty.

C. REPORT AND DISCUSSION ON STATUS OF CGIN

Dan turned the meeting over to Rochelle Prunty and Karen Zimbelman who presented special CGIN mousepads and certificates of thanks to CGIN’s major contributors (groups that have contributed at least 5 items thus far this year or made a donation to our scholarship fund): Outpost Natural Foods, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Lakewinds Natural Foods, Community Mercantile, Hanover Consumers Co-op, Mississippi Market, and GreenStar Co-op Market. Mousepads were also provided to other key “strategic partners” whose contributions to CGIN have been invaluable: National Cooperative Business Association and Cooperative Grocer magazine.

Dan then made a brief board report. He noted that the board is pleased with the way that CGIN is developing. In particular, he noted that activity on our site has increased 3 – 4 times since December (2000) and that we now have materials contributed by 54 different co-ops. CGIN has been able to do this in a short time and maintain affordable, accessible services, while also building a solid financial foundation for itself with a surplus each year of its operations. Part of the credit lies in the unique relationship CGIN has with NCBA. The dues-sharing arrange ment gives both organizations a mechanism to efficiently serve food co-ops. He noted that without the dues-sharing arrangement, CGIN’s members would need to be paying approximately $300 per year to cover CGIN’s costs; in its early years, members would have had to pay approximately $450 – $1,000 per year. Finally, he noted that the board just held its second strategic planning session where CGIN’s mission statement was re-written. It now says:

CGIN’s mission is to strengthen food co-ops by facilitating the sharing and development of resources among its members.

Dan thanked the board, as well as other key partners, for their participation in the planning session: Dave Gutknecht, Paul Hazen, Gail Graham, and Rosemary Fifield. He then turned the floor over to KZ to present an operations report.

The operations report summarized where things stand for CGIN at this point and accomplish ments in the past year:

  1. redesign of our web pages — was a major project; hope the site is easier to use as a result
  2. services and website development
  3. listserve — continues to prove valuable; don’t expect to limit subscribers to members (!)
  4. “Exchange Network” — now has four parts
    1. basic, general materials — now with 351 items; continues to grow
    2. deli recipe exchange — barely more recipes than a year ago; future is unclear
    3. retail operations training — from Urban Cooperative Initiative; so members can purchase a couple of modules if they don’t want to buy the whole package
    4. new photo gallery — thanks to Allen Seidner; please consider sending in photos or exhibits from your co-ops
  5. publicly accessible resources: links listing, job postings. Coming soon: “How to Start a Food Co-op” online publication thanks to grants from the Bowers Fund, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, and The Cooperative Foundation.
  6. site usage has continued to be strong; “total successful hits on the entire site” has been around 37,000+ for the past three months in a row, up from about 11,000 in December.
  7. membership now stands at 102 retails as a result of a new application earlier today; for the first time, we didn’t experience 100% renewal this past year; scholarship program continues to be really valuable and helpful for small co-ops wanting to join CGIN

Finally, KZ announced that FMI is extending a 25% discount to CGIN members through August on selected FMI publications. She distributed a handout listing the publications available and noted that orders will require a special code that members can find on the website after logging in.

D. ELECTION RESULTS

Dan thanked Pam Mehnert and John Mullé for serving on the Nominating Committee this past year. Finally, he thanked departing board member Paul Cultrera. Dan noted that Paul was hired by the group that formed to research setting up a “national cooperative information service.” Paul developed a business plan that has proven invaluable to CGIN in its early days. Much of what Paul put together in that plan forms the basis of how CGIN still operates today. CGIN is indebted to Paul for his contributions. The board presented Paul with a certificate in appreciation of his service and involvement with CGIN.

Finally, Dan called for a motion to accept the results of the election:
M/S: Paula Gilbertson/Carol Collins — to accept the election of David Fowle, Gail Graham, and Rochelle Prunty to the CGIN board by acclamation.

E. OTHER BUSINESS

An “honor roll” of co-ops that have contributed at least 10 items to CGIN were thanked: BriarPatch Co-op Market, First Alternative, GreenStar Co-op Market, Hanover Consumers Co-op, Outpost Natural Foods, Puget Consumers Co-op, People’s Food Co-op (Ann Arbor), Sevananda Natural Foods, Seward Co-op, Twin Cities Natural Foods Co-ops, Urban Cooperative Initiative, the Wedge Community Co-op, and Willy Street Co-op Grocery.

Members were given a chance to “pledge” to contribute at least 5 items, or 10 deli recipes, or donate $25 to CGIN’s scholarship fund by the end of the year in exchange for three of the new CGIN mousepads. KZ took notes of pledges and will follow up.

Next, members brainstormed items that they would like to have available on the site or that they might offer (see attached list).

Dan Foley reminded members that the next CGIN annual meeting will be held in conjunction with next year’s CCMA conference in Eureka, CA, on Saturday, the 8th of June (2002).

Motion: Doug Walter — to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

Minutes by Karen Zimbelman