council

2014-2015 Councilmembers

Sunday, 18 January 2015 00:00

To contact one of your representitives on Council, click his or her name.

Eric12Moon

12th Moon  President

Committees: Membership, Personnel, Executive Planning (chair), Expansion (chair), CBLD Liason, Policy Review, By-laws Review (chair)

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Eric Banford

Committees: Membership (chair), Executive Planning

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Susan Beckley

 Ellen Brown sm

Ellen Brown

Committees: Finance

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Krys Cail

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Liz Coakley

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Sam Frederick

Committees: Governance and Policy Review

 

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Dan Hoffman

Committee: By-Laws Review, Ombusperson Advisory (chair), Policy Review , Executive Planning, and Governance (chair)

 
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Chris Negronida Vice President

Committees: Personnel (chair), Executive Planning, CBLD Liason, Policy Review, and By-Laws Review

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Jan Rhodes Norman

Committees: Expansion and Governance

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Gail “Patrice” Lockert Anthony

Committees: Finance

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Bob Rhea Treasurer

Committees: Finance (chair) and Executive Planning

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Jessica Rossi Secretary

Committees:  Policy Review and Personnel

 
 

Interested in Serving on GreenStar Co-op's Council?

Council - Announcements

Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:00

12-14-join-councilThanks for your interest in serving on GreenStar's Council (board of directors). We look forward to hearing your voice, benefiting from your ideas, and working with you to make the Co-op an even better place.

Annual Elections (in April); Appointments to Fill Vacancies Between Elections

In the annual Council election, conducted throughout April, at least 5 of the seats on Council are filled (for 3-year terms). If vacancies have occurred since the previous election, those may be filled for the balance of those terms (e.g., for 1 or 2 years). To be elected, a candidate must receive at least 50 valid votes, and at least 200 members must participate in voting). Vacancies that occur during the year are filled by Council appointment, until the next election.

To be a qualified candidate in the election, or for appointment, you must be a GreenStar member-owner in good standing (e.g., membership fees are paid up to date). To appear on the ballot, you must submit a Declaration of Candidacy form by March 1st; you could still run as a write-in candidate if you submit the form by March 31st. To be considered for appointment to a vacant seat, between elections, you need to submit an Application specifically for that, AND attend at least one Council meeting beforehand. Both forms are also available at the Front Desk at the West End store.

Should You Seek a Seat on Council? Some Considerations

Serving on the Council can be rewarding and fun (more on that part, shortly), but it is also a serious commitment.

As a Council member, you are required to abide by the legal, ethical, and practical responsibilities of being on a board of directors. This means that you stay informed and make reasonable judgments based on this information; that you attend meetings regularly; that you are responsive to other member-owners who want to share their opinions or ask questions; that you don't use information obtained by being on the board to the detriment of the organization; that you disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest; and, in your capacity as a Council member, that you put the good of the Co-op first, and abide by the Code of Conduct for Council members. There's a fair amount of fine print, so, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Before the election (or applying for appointment), we encourage you to attend at least one Council meeting and check us out. (All Council meetings are open to all member-owners, except for certain executive session matters.) Our meetings are typically on the second Tuesday of the month, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, in GreenStar's Classroom Space (formerly the Enterprise Car rental building), across Buffalo Street from the West End store). Agendas are posted in both stores and on the GreenStar website. If you become a candidate, also plan to attend the annual Member meeting in April to introduce yourself – there will be a "meet the candidates" item on the agenda.

We're always looking for skilled, caring people who will add their voice and ideas to the governance of the Co-op, and help represent our diverse Membership. Please read these materials, and, if you think you have the time, energy, inclination and passion to make GreenStar even better, fill out the Declaration of Candidacy form (in January or February) and run for Council! Or, if there is a vacancy, submit the Application for Appointment. (Council may not consider making appointments as the election draws near, to avoid giving someone who will have served only a short time the "advantage of incumbency."

Typically, in January or February, there are opportunities to speak with current Council members, to get some first-hand information and impressions about what's involved running for and being on Council. This could be in the form of scheduled informational sessions or tabling in the stores by Council members. Watch for notices about this in the stores, in GreenLeaf or on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Council actually do? State law requires GreenStar, as a cooperative corporation, to have a board of directors (which we call our Council) that is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the Co-op and to the member-owners. In practice, Council makes the "big-picture" policy decisions, approves the annual budget, and provides oversight of the Co-op's finances and store operations. Day-to-day management of the stores and their operations is delegated to a professional General Manager (GM) chosen and regularly evaluated by Council; the GM then selects and supervises the rest of the staff. What Council focuses on includes evaluating our GM (Brandon Kane), our style of governance and the regular updating of our policies, on co-op expansion (now including planning for the opening of a new satellite store in Collegetown), and on invigorated member-owner involvement.

What's all this about "engagement" with member-owners? One of Council's primary roles is listening to member-owners and trying to represent their interests. This can happen formally or informally, at Spring and Fall Membership meetings, special "town hall" sessions and focus groups, and through tabling at the stores by Council members and member-owner surveys. Our Membership Committee has been working hard to reinvigorate these traditional forms of outreach, as well as come up with new ones. Maybe you have ideas about this and could help us to build a more engaged Membership.

OK, but what would I actually do, day-to-day or month-to-month? You would be expected to come, prepared, to Council meetings (normally, once a month; special meetings are called if necessary) and to serve on at least one committee (again, normally with monthly meetings). When all the prep and meeting time is added up, it's at least 10-12 hours a month. Most people do more than this, especially if they serve as an officer, chair a committee or lead a project. Many people do outside research or attend conferences and report back to Council.

What's a meeting like? The Council meeting is our main forum for doing business. There we hear reports from and ask questions of management staff, discuss and amend proposals for action, and vote on new policies. This can involve quite a bit of discussion and debate (and usually goes on for about 3 hours), but, when everyone comes prepared, can be quite effective. We use a version of Robert's rules – parliamentary procedure – to run the meetings. It might sound formal at first, but is designed to provide everyone a fair hearing. The best way to learn what a meeting is like is to attend one – they are on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 6:30 pm, usually in GreenStar's new Classroom Space (formerly the Enterprise Car Rental building, across Buffalo Street from the West End store). Council meetings are open to all member-owners. Hope to see you there!

What's this I've heard about a new governance system? At the end of 2010, Council voted to change its governance approach, by using the Policy Governance model "in a form chosen by Council." Policy Governance is a style that is popular in the co-op world. It's designed to help keep the board focused on the job of high-level planning and goal setting and to give the staff more leeway in running the stores and in implementing Co-op policy, with accountability to be ensured through extensive General Manager reporting. Since making this decision, Council has spent much time in developing new policies in the Policy Governance style, which are gradually replacing many of our older policies. At the end of 2013, Council adopted 7 broad "ends statements" (or goals) for the Co-op. The Council now receives frequent, formal reports for Council's review, detailing how these ends are being reflected in store operations, and how the "limitations" Council has established on GM actions are being respected.

And what do I get? You get to meet lots of interesting people, have a chance to go to trainings and conferences in exotic locals like Texas or Wisconsin or Idaho, and become more involved in your Co-op than you thought possible. Also, you get a superworker discount at the register – that's 17.5% off almost everything you buy. In 2011, the Membership authorized Council to provide its members with modest, monetary "stipends," and Council decided to implement such a system starting in 2012. "Regular" Council members currently receive $600/year, committee chairs $900/year, and the President (chosen annually by Council, and who has many additional responsibilities) $1800/year. Childcare is now available at Council meetings, for Council members' children (at no cost).

Sounds good so far. How do I run (or apply)? Fill out the Declaration of Candidacy form (to run in the election) or Application for Appointment (between elections, when there's a vacancy), both of which are available at the front desk or on the website. If you want to run in the election, don't wait until the last moment (there are essay questions!). Then start educating yourself...and launch your campaign.

Educating myself? Campaign? Yes! Educate yourself by coming to some meetings, attending an informational session for prospective candidates (or watch for Council members tabling in the stores), or calling/emailing a Council member (such as the Chair of our Governance Committee – currently Dan Hoffman; contact info for all Council members is in the GreenLeaf newsletter and on the website). There's a lot of useful information in the "Council" or "Board of Directors" section of the GreenStar website (www.greenstar.coop) - click on "Council Documents" to find all Co-op policies. (These are also assembled in the Policy Book, a hard copy of which is available for viewing at either store.) Campaigning has traditionally been pretty low key at GreenStar – feel free to table and tell your friends – the more people who care, get involved, and vote, the healthier our Co-op will be! Tabling can be arranged with staff at the Front Desk. If you do table in the store, we ask that you be respectful of others and not interrupt the normal functioning of the store.

Again, thanks for your interest. We can't wait to meet you and work with you. And, good luck!

Council Meeting Report: Council Seeks Candidates for April Elections; Approves 2015 Budget

Council - Council News

Thursday, 01 January 2015 16:34

By 12th Moon,

Council President

11-5-12thMoon-72dpiCouncil held its last meeting of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 9 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar with nine of our twelve Council Members, four staff, and three member-owners in attendance. Also present, and taking minutes, were our new and our outgoing Board Administrators (BAs).

After introductions, including statements of preparedness by Council Members, and announcements, we received the monthly General Manager's (GM) report. Brandon Kane, our GM, first shared appreciations for the work staff has been doing in the stores and behind the scenes, noting that the Space rental and catering menu information was now available on our website (www.greenstar.coop/catering-menu) and that very attractive flyers conveying the same information had been printed and made available. Brandon also mentioned that many people will have the opportunity to see the Space on Saturdays during the first three months of 2015, as the Winter Farmers Market will again be held there.

Brandon reported that new architectural drawings of the redesigned proposed Collegetown building are expected soon and that three different store-layout and equipment-design firms will be asked for quotes. Staff has drafted a preliminary store layout plan in preparation. The DeWitt store is currently making changes to utilize the area where the office used to be, and they plan to have a register by the rear door in 2015. Staff is also looking into the feasibility of covering over the stairway in the middle of the store. Lastly, Brandon reminded us that the U-Pick 10% program would end on Dec. 31, 2014 and that the new Member Deals sales would start on Friday, Jan. 2 (the store is closed Thursday, Jan. 1).

Read more: Council Meeting Report: Council Seeks Candidates for April Elections; Approves 2015 Budget

 

Council Meeting Report: Meat Referendum Vote Certified, Stores' Budget Discussed

Council - Council News

Monday, 01 December 2014 01:47

By 12th Moon,
Council President

11-5-12thMoon-72dpiCouncil held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar with ten of our twelve Council Members, four staff members, two GreenStar member-owners, our newly hired Board Administrator (BA), Kara Cusolito, and our outgoing BA, Alexis Self, who has taken a position in the Marketing Department. Welcome, Kara, and thank you for joining us, and thank you, Alexis, for the great job you've done.

We added an item to our agenda in place of a Policy Book update, which was not done in order to allow our new BA to be trained in the process.

The General Manager's (GM) monthly report came next. Our GM, Brandon Kane, said that he is now certain that October was our busiest event month, with our Fall Membership Meeting, two Member Forums, two All-Staff meetings, and an Open House at the Space @ GreenStar, which showcased our public space and catering menu. October also saw the completion of the 2015 Budget, start of the annual Staff Survey, and design of the Collegetown store, as well as preparation for introducing the new Member Deals program in Jan. 2015 (see p. 1 for more details). Brandon also reported that we have a five-year contract as the sole sponsor of the scoreboard at the Cass Park rink, which now clearly displays the GreenStar logo.

Read more: Council Meeting Report: Meat Referendum Vote Certified, Stores' Budget Discussed

Council Seeks Additional Members — 
Join Us in Serving the Co-op

Council - Council News

Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:22

By 12th Moon,

Council President

11-5-12thMoon-72dpiOn Tuesday, Oct. 14, Council met for our regular monthly meeting at the Classrooms @ GreenStar with ten of twelve Council Members, five staff members, and two member-owners present.

After introductions, we added an item to our agenda for the night, a letter of agreement with the Cooperative Fund of New England to enter into a loan agreement with them next year to launch the Collegetown location. We then heard announcements and, as there were no member comments, moved on to the monthly General Manager's (GM) report.

GM Brandon Kane reported that he and the Co-op's management team have been compiling the 2015 budget, including a ten-year projected plan. The plans have been reviewed by lending institutions and representatives of the risk management team at the National Cooperative Grocers association (NCG), with all finding the plan to be acceptable to exceptional. A key component of the business plan in 2015 is the transition to a Member Deals program from the current U-Pick 10% Off program. (You can read more about the change on p. 1.)

Because of the recent bankruptcy of an eastern corridor co-op, the NCG is tightening its monitoring of the health of member co-ops. Lack of communication between NCG and the board and management of this co-op was a contributing factor to its failure. The NCG has historically communicated only with co-op management when expressing concern regarding the health of a member cooperative. In the future, the Board President of a cooperative will also be directly informed of any concerns of the NCG. This significantly lowers the potential liability of each member cooperative in the event of the financial failure of an individual cooperative.

Read more: Council Seeks Additional Members — 
Join Us in Serving the Co-op

 

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