Harvest Coop Board Meeting August 29, 2005
Attending: Amy Cotter, Betsy Adams, David Hermann, Mike Wiecek, Elisa Alonso, Jessie Myszka, Loren Rodgers (by phone), Garland McQueen, Bini Reilly Susan Halevi Verran (member interested in serving on either the finance or the planning committee)
Absent: Jeff Rosenblum, Sujatha Byravan, Karin Emry (all are excused)
Amy facilitates, Betsy acts as timekeeper
Introductions The agenda was modified to move into the public section the facilities portion of the GM Report and the board candidate discussion.
Approve Minutes from Board Meeting, 25-July-2005, Public Session Marilyn Scholl’s name is spelled incorrectly. On p. 5, in bulleted comment, scratch verbiage after “Dec.”; both Loren and Jeff should be listed as absent/excused. Mike moves for approval, Betsy seconds, minutes w/modifications are approved.
Coordinating with Rob Martin, former interim GM Some comments circulated in email that we lost an opportunity to engage Rob Martin more on his last visit. Amy suggests appointing one board member to keep talking to Rob. Rob had said he would do analysis of May & June results and also correct projections in budget with new information/correct information. What other ways could he be useful to board or to IGMT? Rob has asked Garland and Bini about how could he help – the three had set up a plan, and by and large Garland and Bini are implementing it, with some new information. They will look at this question again. Rob is in area for next 10 days – could come back. He does contact Garland & Bini every 5-6 days. To do: Amy will send out email asking for a point person.
Metrics (Loren) Betsy now has the financial metrics she needs.
GM Report, Public Physical plant: Bini is working on signage and on profit margins. Cambridge store: In café, Harvest will install ceiling fans. During the summer there was a constant problem with cooling. Amy notes that in winter café can be hard to heat. Parking lot will be repaved “sometime soon,” says Harvest’s landlord, who will also do a new roof. This maintenance is included in lease. Landlord is also installing an iron fence around parking lot, but Garland doesn’t know why. Just to note, the landlord gets a cut of the towing fee for cars towed out of the lot. Harvest is continually replacing floor tiles, as the wooden subfloor is in poor condition and the floor keeps settling. JP store: JP will be repainted soon; Garland got a contract bid but may use in-house staff. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint will be used. Susan mentions a painter in Holliston who might be able to do work. Marketing – Many things are happening here. The Cambridge TAB has the Harvest flier. There will be tabling at MIT and BU new student events, and Bini is looking for more ways to engage new people. There are events planned at both stores, demonstrations & educational, planned in Sept & Oct. John in produce is spearheading this effort and will bring in local farmers for September. Equal Exchange will come visit in October. Now Harvest has to do “real” marketing by getting its name out via local chamber of commerce, doing market survey, interviewing members & non-members and developing a market plan that addresses results. Also, Harvest needs to find out what’s happening in terms of Cambridge urban planning and construction that might affect the Cambridge store – that will require talking to the City of Cambridge. Bini has talked with former employee Dawn Olcott and will develop a marketing position for harvest. Board is happy to hear this list of concrete items. Creating the market survey should include the Planning & Action Committee as well as the Membership & Social Concerns Committee. It would be good to be more consistent about demos and events in the store, and Harvest’s goal is to have demos – essentially in-house marketing -- practically every day. Another idea would be to reach out more to Harvard, perhaps work something with Harvard ID cards, and also ensure that Harvest is included on any local resources list that the universities publish.
2005 Board Elections (Loren) Procedurally, Harvest members elect into nine Board of Director positions, and the Board can appoint up to two additional members. This year, there are six applicants for three available seats -- a contested election! All candidates have been expressly invited to attend a board meeting. Sujatha has been coordinating contacting the interested Board candidates.
Other Loren and Betsy will discuss where Susan’s talents would best fit, either on PAC or finance committee
Susan leaves public session of board meeting.
Minutes submitted by Ava Chan, 13 Sept 2005