Board of Directors Meeting - 4 January 2005

PRESENT: Steve Cooke, Gail Graham, Anne Hopkins, Doug Walter, Kelly Wiseman, and Karen Zimbelman.

REGRETS: Pam Mehnert and Dan Foley.

A. MEETING PRELIMINARIES

  • The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m. (PDT) by Gail Graham.
  • The agenda was approved as presented.
  • Minutes of the meeting of 14 September 2004.

M/S: Doug/Steve: approve the minutes as presented. Approved unanimously.

B. REPORTS AND DISCUSSION

1. Operations report. The board reviewed KZ’s operations report. Specific items discussed:

  • membership: KZ noted that two new membership applications were received in the final week of the year. In both cases, she wasn’t able to confirm membership or get the application processed by year end so both will be our first new members in 2005: Alternative Food Co-op ( Wakefield, RI) and Cape Ann Food Co-op ( Gloucester, MA). Total number of “primary” (retails) members at year end was 130.
  • web content and stats: The board discussed the changes being made to the site to facilitate setting up the separate section for access by co-op board members (changing from static index pages to index pages dynamically generated from a database). Directors were sympathetic as to the time-consuming nature of this kind of change and support it as an important infrastructure improvement for the site. Overall, the board feels like the site statistics continue to show good year over year growth in usage. In terms of the site statistics, the board agrees that the site is relatively mature and the potential audience limited, so there isn’t a big concern that our usage stats seem to be at a plateau level. Usage of the listserve continues to be strong, albeit somewhat recycled in terms of queries and content.
  • financials: The board reviewed projected year end statements. Given the financial success of CGIN this year, the board asked whether there will be any problems vis-à-vis CGIN’s tax exempt status given the strong profit this year. KZ will check with our tax preparer if this is an issue though the board didn’t feel it’s a big priority at this point.
  • 2004 goals: KZ noted that primary membership ended at 130, not 131 as noted on that report. The board agreed that changing the indexes to dynamically generated pages represents good progress in terms of 1.A and 1.F as this is a good building block for future site functionality. On 3.A (public access pages needing freshening up), the board agreed that this is good not to forget about both in terms of content and design, though probably not a high priority given CGIN’s limits and other goals.

2. Check-in with KZ. The board discussed KZ’s current capacity, desires, prospects, and options for continuing her role with CGIN. The board would like to conduct a member survey to check on member satisfaction with CGIN and will consider doing something like that after seeing the results of the current member renewal survey.

C. 2005 BUDGET AND GOALS

Areas discussed:
1.A Redesign of the site: consider all options (e.g. maybe simpler changes like change in color scheme); identify what improving “ease of use” involves; concern about the time and money that could be spent in this area. In general, the board isn’t convinced this is a high priority but no final decision was made and it will remain on the list for consideration.
1.D Deli recipe exchange: check what NCGA is doing for a recipe exchange.
1.E Content advisory committee: it’s good to have a chance for non-board members to provide some input to CGIN from time to time but this should be scaled back. Suggest change to a round table discussion at CCMA and at “other opportunities as needed.”
1.F Expansion of services: unsure if there’s a need for a specialized listserve for board members; some see the value; others unconvinced it’s a priority. Given the new board section of the site, the board agrees that it should be something to consider as one option for expansion of services.

The board reviewed the budget with no major discussion or changes.

M/S: Doug/Anne: approve the budget and goals as revised. Approved unanimously.

D. LOOKING AHEAD AND WRAP-UP

Nominating Committee: The board approved the timeline for the 2005 election. The board discussed potential skill areas to prioritize in recruitment. The strongest sentiment expressed was that potential directors should have a sense of the larger, national co-op perspective as well as see CGIN as a valued player in supporting food co-ops; specific skills discussed were IT, marketing, and web design. Kelly and Patrice will follow-up with suggested candidates. All directors agreed to actively recruit folks in their chapters/corridors at upcoming meetings at the NCGA general assembly meeting in Georgia.

Next meetings: 8 March at 10:00 a.m. PST (rescheduled); 10 May at 10:00 a.m. PST.

Meeting moved into executive session at 11:20 a.m. PDT.

Communicated by Gail following the executive session:

  • board wants to do an online member survey for its member linkage value, as well as to inform planning discussions. Doug and Steve will draft and work with KZ on it.
  • begin discussions on what a hiring process for CGIN might look like: Gail, Kelly and KZ

Minutes by Karen Zimbelman