Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:35
By 12th Moon,
Council met Tuesday, May 13 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar at 6:30 pm with ten of our thirteen members, five staff members, one member-owner and two Council Members-elect, one of whom was seated later in the evening. During our announcements, we heard of the great success of a Building Bridges event held earlier in the day, with over 200 attendees, at our newly opened Space @ GreenStar. Sadly, we also heard one Council Member, Courtney Mayszak, announce that she would be resigning as of the close of our meeting as she will be out of town for the summer and then will be going to grad school. We took time to thank Courtney for her service; we will miss her input. Council Member Colin Meeks also resigned recently for personal reasons and we wish him well and thank him for his service.
The monthly General Manager's (GM) Report was our first item. GM Brandon Kane informed us that, as the Space and Central Kitchen are successfully being used and the move-in is nearly completed, staff are focusing on the grounds and outside of the building. By now, rental and catering information should be available and publicized. He next told us that GreenStar Community Projects, our tax-exempt affiliate, would be partnering with our Prepared Foods Department to host a fundraising dinner on Friday, June 6 at 6:30 pm in the Space. Brandon said that plans for this summer include repaving the West-End store parking lot, adding new signage to the Space and the Classrooms and landscaping the surrounding areas, and (best of all!) adding a second (much-needed) bathroom to the West-End store.
Friday, 02 May 2014 15:21
By 12th Moon,
Council held our monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 8 in The Classrooms @ GreenStar with ten of our thirteen members, five staff members, two member-owners, and a very sweet and cute three-month-old present. Our number on Council has been reduced to thirteen after Colin Meeks, one of two staff members on Council, resigned for personal reasons. Many thanks for your contributions while on Council, Colin; we will miss your input.
During our announcements period we learned that Ithaca is a very busy place. On Thursday, April 10, as an example, Council held a Member Forum in the West-End store meeting room, while GreenStar Community Projects held their eighth networking dinner/meeting — this one focused on local food business entrepreneurs, and Building Bridges hosted a presentation by two organizers from Virginia Tech who explained the college's Civic Agriculture and Food Systems minor program. Our Spring Membership Meeting was also set to be held on Friday, April 25.
General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane brought the first item of business, the monthly GM Report. Brandon reported that staff was all moved into the new Central Kitchen and Bakery, working out the kinks and stretching out into a beautiful new space, and would soon be finalizing catering offerings and The Space @ GreenStar rental specifics. He also told us to expect to see a member-owner survey offered on our website and at both stores during May. Participants can win one of three $150 gift certificates. He also said that a reusable bag program called Bring Your Own Bag, Use It For Good would begin at both stores in April. This program promotes the use of reusable shopping bags, boxes, or other containers. Those who reuse a bag at the register are offered a wooden token worth a five-cent donation to one of three local non-profits. Brandon expressed much appreciation to all staff for both the group effort to move into the new kitchen and their continued involvement in the Open Book Management weekly meetings and trainings.
Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:47
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 11 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar, with twelve of fourteen Council Members, five employees, and one member-owner present. Council has had a full contingent of fifteen members until recently, when Angela Zhang resigned for personal reasons. We will miss her contributions to Council, but as you will read later she has applied for a Member-at-Large seat on our Finance Committee, where she has served for the last two years.
After agenda review and announcements we received the General Manager's monthly report from our GM, Brandon Kane. Brandon informed us of the schedule for the transition to the new central kitchen facility. We have received the Certificate of Occupancy for the building, and staff will be training on new equipment, then moving into the new space very soon. We expect that obtaining the needed licensing for the Community Room/Space @ GreenStar will take a few more weeks. By May we should be able to rent the Space out for events. Brandon also reported that the work being done by staff doesn't stop there, as plans are being made for renovating the Classrooms and then reconfiguring the Dewitt Mall store and the Deli/former classroom area of the West-End store.
Brandon updated us on the Open Book Management implementation progress. He reported that staff members across departments are engaged in the necessary financial training, and the weekly meetings have fostered a positive understanding of the relationship between departments and of their labor and financial differences. The report also showed the continuing success of the FLOWER program and the well-received U-Pick 10% Off member appreciation day.
We next received the GM's B.1 4th Quarter and Year-End 2013 Financial report. We accepted the report as being in compliance with policy. The report showed that GreenStar is healthy and stable even with all of the renovations, kitchen design, and furnishing expenses. We ended 2013 with gross sales of $18.25 million. Job well done, staff.
- Council Approves Joining Business Coalition of Gas-Free Seneca; Welcomes Member at Large
- Council Sets Spring Meeting Dates; Supports Dryden Hydrofracking Home Rule Efforts
- Council Approves Stores Budget; Approves Final Policy Governance Policy
- Council Approves Matching Funds for GSCP; Certifies Equity Refund Vote Results
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By Dan Hoffman,
12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.
412 Total valid envelopes
21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope
Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.
Two thirds vote required to pass.
Q#1 = PASS
Q#2 = FAIL
Q#3 = PASS
Q#4 = PASS
Q#5 = PASS
Q#6 = PASS
GreenStar member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.
GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:
1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?
2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?
3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?
4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?
5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?
6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?
Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.
By Alexis Alexander,
I have woken to a new day, a day when GreenStar's annual Member Meetings and pancakes are defined as pure elegance and inspiration. Surprised?
The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-based cooperative that affords us the ability, and the responsibility, to bring "real food," as Marketing Manager Joe Romano would say, back to a broader spectrum of our local and regional community. Read more...