Macomb Food Co-op Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
Jan. 10, 2012
Macomb City Hall, Community Room
Present: Gordon Rands, Krista Bowers Sharpe, Sue Scott, Brian Davies, Erin Orwig, Randy Smith, Christie Davis, Margaret Ovitt, and Justine Johnson.
The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m. by Gordon Rands, who chaired this meeting. Minutes for the Dec. 13 meeting were accepted.
Committee Reports (reported by):
Communications (Gordon Rands, Krista Bowers-Sharpe):
The brochure is in final draft form, and was distributed for detailed feedback. A year-end letter has been produced along with a summary of 2011 accomplishments and 2012 goals and timeline. The letter is a call for nominations to the Board of Directors and will be sent out shortly after this meeting on our iContact emailing list, along with a Job Description / Time Line for the Board of Directors and a PDF “Nominee Questionnaire” that can be filled out and sent back to the co-op.
Marketing (Christie Davis):
Christie suggested using a table of “Owner Member Goals” and handed out a version for us to examine. She emphasized a push for new owner recruitment, with the assistance of designated speakers (someone prepared to speak publicly).
Events (Margaret Ovitt):
An events committee meeting held on Jan. 5 is summarized in a report that Margaret distributed. The dance and potluck will be held 4:30-7 p.m. on Jan. 15 in the Multicultural Center on campus. There will be a silent auction from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 at the Old Bailey House. There will be cheese, chocolate, and wine tasting and auction items donated by various people. A game night is planned for March 17 or 18 at the Multicultural Center. A round-robin format is proposed, with simple fun games. The committee’s budget of about $200 is funded from previous events, not member equity.
Finance (Gordon Rands):
We have sold 104 shares to 68 owners. With some more new owner checks to be deposited, we have met the $10,000 match for the grant that we received.
Site and Producer Relations (Margaret Ovitt):
Margaret hosted a meeting on Jan. 9, accompanied by Krista and Brian. Over 12 local producers attended and heard Margaret recount stories of co-op activity in Pekin, Urbana, and Decorah, IA. Various forms of producer relations were summarized, and comments were provided by some of those in attendance. Of particular concern were contract requirements for supplied quantities (which are mitigated by act-of-god clauses in the contracts we have seen, so that producers do not need to go the wholesale market to make up for shortages). Several producers are capable of providing lamb and goat, and had comments about processing issues, insurance, certification and GAP/GHP issues (USDA Good Agricultural Practices). We were not sufficiently prepared to answer these questions about specialty meat processing. Questions about the impact on the local farmer’s market were answered by recounting the experience of Common Ground Co-op (in Urbana), where the presence of the co-op tends to improve the business at the adjoining farmer’s market. We reiterated our concern for the continued vitality of the producers’ business during the growth of our co-op.
Margaret also made a presentation on some discussions with local business owners regarding available space on the Square. Notes were distributed to Board members.
Grant information (Erin Orwig):
The contract that involves Bill Gessner of CDS Consulting runs for three months starting Feb. 1. Erin also brought up the possibility of having some of us attend a workshop in Bloomington, IN on March 9-10.
Ad-hoc election committee:
Materials are ready to send to owners this week. See above in the Communications Committee segment.
Some comments by Stuart Reid of the Food Co-op Initiative called into question some details of our bylaws. This issue is being tabled until we can get more specifics.
Erin viewed a webinar on Jan. 10 and Sydney viewed one on Jan. 17, and Christie viewed both. We will inquire into ways for other people to view these again.
Margaret inquired about being an NPR day sponsor.
The steering committee meeting was then adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
The next steering committee meeting is on Jan. 24.