Board of Directors Meeting - 19 December 2005

PRESENT: Steve Cooke, Dan Gillotte, Gail Graham, Jean Helms, Deirdrie Lang, Doug Walter, and Kelly Wiseman. CGIN staff Karen Zimbelman and Bella Waters were also present.

A. MEETING PRELIMINARIES

  • The meeting was called to order at 10:07 a.m. (Pacific) by Gail Graham.
  • The agenda was approved as presented.
  • Minutes of the meeting of 12 September 2004. M/S: Steve/Doug: 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 a new membership for New Orleans Food Co-op (New Orleans, LA) has now been processed. She noted that she had a request from North Country Co-op (Minneapolis) that they wish to join but need financial (scholarship) support and are over the $2 million sales eligibility line. The board approved a scholarship grant for North Country Co-op join. Assuming they get their application in within the next 10 days, this means that the total number of “primary” (retails) members at year-end will be 138. Finally, KZ noted that we’ll be sending out the renewal mailing to all members by the end of the year. KZ asked for suggestions for questions on the renewal survey form. KZ will also include a statement about the board’s decision not to pursue merger with NCGA in the annual report that goes in this mailing. She’ll send a copy of that language to Gail (and others – let her know) for review before it gets printed. .
  • Web content and stats: The board reviewed the most recent site statistics. In terms of 2005’s increased activity, KZ’s theory is that some of this is a result of opening up a portion of the site to board members. Overall, the board feels like the site statistics continue to show good year over year growth in usage. The board suggested a goal thermometer or information about our goal for number of items by year-end be publicized (on the site, on the listserve?) so members can feel more engaged in helping us meet those goals. The board was glad to hear the automated job posting pages were active and supports the idea of a new service to provide e-mail notification of new job postings.
  • NCBA relations and partnerships: The board discussed the idea of the CGIN and NCBA sponsored tour to visit OS&G Co-op in the U.K. and suggested that CGIN offer a spot on that tour in the Bowers Fund fundraising at CCMA this year.
  • Financials and administration: The board asked about the projected year-end cost for webmaster/technical support. KZ noted that this depends on the amount charged by the webmaster for getting the jobs system online. The board also asked about CGIN’s surplus cash and encouraged KZ to consider putting some of it into a CD for a higher interest rate. KZ also noted that Bella has been working on a procedures/operations manual for CGIN.
  • 2005 goals: The board reviewed the 2005 goals and progress report. The board is fine with all of the items where “no progress” is indicated.

2. Check-in with KZ. The board and KZ had a discussion about what changes may be coming given her work at NCGA and changes there. No one’s crystal ball is good enough to predict that future very precisely. At this point, KZ is content with this arrangement, as long as the board is satisfied.

C. 2006 BUDGET AND GOALS
Areas discussed:

1.Goals. KZ noted that she has streamlined the way goals are presented – so they are now in two basic areas: administration/maintenance and projects/content.
2. Budget. The board requested that KZ revise the budget to move $500 from the discretionary line to promotions to cover CGIN’s donation of a spot on the OS&G tour to the Bowers Fund auction. The board also asked about KZ’s costs for that trip. KZ noted the budget is very conservative and that she does this purposely given how big a little variation can make in terms of membership renewals or expenses. The board asked about staff compensation; KZ noted that her pay will decline and that Bella’s will go up, but that total admin/support costs for CGIN will remain the same as last year. The question of declining administrative cost was brought up. KZ confirmed that her payment will decline & proposed Bella’s payment increase due to increased responsibilities. KZ will research items from OS&G for handing out at next year’s annual meeting.
M/S: Kelly/Steve: approve the budget and goals as revised. Approved unanimously.
3. Proposed CGIN/NCBA MOU. The board reviewed the minor changes.

M/S: Doug/Kelly: approve the proposed MOU between CGIN and NCBA as presented. Approved unanimously.

D. LOOKING AHEAD AND WRAP-UP

1. Nominating Committee: The board approved the timeline for the 2006 election. The board discussed potential skill areas to prioritize in recruitment. Deirdrie is planning to run for re-election. At this point, Kelly doesn’t expect to be able to remain on the board. All directors agreed to send suggested potential candidates to Doug and Dan. Ideas include: folks active on the M&M listserve, folks in the east. In terms of criteria for eligibility to serve on the board, KZ will work with the Nominating Committee to research past discussions and turn any relevant ideas into proposed policies so we have on-going reference to that information. Dan and Doug will follow up with potential candidates and the steps on the elections timeline.

2. Next meetings: 6 March at 10:00 a.m. Pacific; 10 May at 10:00 a.m. Pacific.

The board also noted it will be meeting on 7 June in Atlanta (drinks together on 6/6/6).

Meeting moved into executive session at 11:10 a.m. Pacific.

Minutes by Bella Waters and Karen Zimbelman