Council to Send Bylaws Changes to Membership Vote; Approves Meat Referendum Interpretations

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 18:39

By 12th Moon,

Council President

11-5-12thMoon-72dpiCouncil held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 11 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar, with eleven of fourteen Council Members, three staff members, and one member-owner present. After introductions and Council Members' statements of preparedness, we replaced an item on our agenda that was not yet ready with a proposal to move budgeted monies from one line to another in the store's 2015 Capital Budget.

The first item on our agenda was the monthly General Manager's (GM) report. GM Brandon Kane was absent, attending a GM conference in North Carolina organized by the National Cooperative Grocers, so in his place our Operations Manager, Sara Paulison, updated us and answered questions. She reported that ground had been broken at the Collegetown site of our third store, and that everything should be in order to open that location by late summer of 2016. She also reported that, by the end of August, we should be closing on a loan from the Cooperative Fund of New England to outfit the Collegetown store. We're waiting to hear back from the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) regarding a loan request to refinance our property at 700 and 702 West Buffalo Street. The NCB loan and refinancing savings will make it possible for GreenStar to own a 130-kilowatt photovoltaic array in an off-site location in Tompkins County. A location has not been identified yet, but an array this size would provide about half of the electricity used at our 700 West Buffalo location, including the Central Kitchen.

The GM's report informed us that GreenStar will operate a "Pop-Up Co-op" at the Magnaball Phish festival in Watkins Glen at the end of August, and, if all goes well, we'll be looking to do the same at other venues in the future. Two new positions have been created and filled in the Central Kitchen/Bakery for a Catering Coordinator and Assistant, with the expectation that dedicated staff will help grow our catering business.

Read more: Council to Send Bylaws Changes to Membership Vote; Approves Meat Referendum Interpretations


Council Moves Forward on Loan for Collegetown; 
Begins New Bylaws Review Process

Monday, 03 August 2015 22:45

By 12th Moon,

Council President

11-5-12thMoon-72dpiCouncil met Tuesday, July 14 in the Classrooms @ GreenStar at 6:30 pm for our monthly meeting with twelve of fourteen Council Members, three staff, and three member-owners present. During announcements, we heard that Council Member Ellen Brown recently gave birth to a happy, healthy daughter — congratulations, Ellen!

General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane presented the first item on our agenda, the GM's monthly report. Brandon reported that the focus for staff recently has been on expanding our BASICS Program, everyday low prices, and both the Member Deals and Flash Sales programs to provide our member-owners with more great products at the lowest prices possible. Brandon also reported that GreenStar was very well received at this year's Consumer Cooperative Management Association's annual conference in Boise, Idaho. Brandon participated on a panel that opened the conference with a discussion of how Co-ops can be more inclusive of people from all parts of our communities, especially people of color. During the conference, many attendees from co-ops around the country sought our advice on many issues, as GreenStar is seen as a leader in many areas of our business.

Brandon and Finance Manager Erik Amos spent much of their time during the past month compiling a ten-year financial plan to submit to the two cooperative lending institutions that are helping us with equipment purchases for the Collegetown location as well as a large solar array we hope to have in place later this year. Staff have also been working to create new shelf tags for the products we sell that will have symbols informing shoppers if the products are vegan, Fair Trade, produced by a co-op, local, regional, GMO-free, organic, etc. Our Central Kitchen staff have been creating new dishes and expanding on our hot-bar offerings, so look for new yummies at both stores. The Membership Department is now offering co-op info sessions for our member-owners. I attended the first one on July 9 in the Classrooms, and it was great and very well received — I recommend it to everyone to learn about the history of cooperatives in this country and the general business model. Well done, Membership. The next session is scheduled for August 24 at 7 pm in the Classrooms.

Read more: Council Moves Forward on Loan for Collegetown; 
Begins New Bylaws Review Process


Council Ends China Boycott; Elects Officers

Thursday, 02 July 2015 06:53

By 12th Moon,

Council President

11-5-12thMoon-72dpiCouncil met in the Classrooms @ GreenStar on Tuesday, June 9 with ten Council Members, one Council Member-elect, five staff members (one, a Staff Advisory Board member), and four member-owners present. After some clarification regarding an agenda item and announcements we moved on to our business items.

The General Manager's monthly report came first with GM Brandon Kane reporting that, after a slow start to sales for the year, things are picking up and we are now matching budget. We hope that continued growth will bring us back in line with the projections for 2015. Brandon told us that both the new Member Deals and Flash Sales programs were meeting with member approval and continue to be a way to offer best prices to our member-owners. He also reported that a chalkboard has been mounted to the east wall of the West-End store that gives the number of local products we're carrying — currently 3,700 plus — and which will be updated weekly.

Brandon reported that much of his time lately has been dedicated to the financing of our planned Collegetown location and refinancing the annex, Central Kitchen, and Space building to allow us to install a large array of solar panels this year. GreenStar has applied to be a vendor at this year's Magnaball Festival in Watkins Glen in August — this will be our first foray into the concept of a pop-up co-op store. The construction of the Waterfront Trail is progressing but not without disrupting the traffic flow between Court and Buffalo Streets. Prior access that is now blocked by the construction has meant that people driving through are now on our side of the fencing between our building and Corks and More, creating a hazard for our staff as the entrance to our kitchen opens directly onto this route. Joy Mathews of Facilities staff has been working hard at the raised flower beds at the West-End store and added large flower pots around the Classrooms and the Space to help beautify our grounds. The DeWitt location has a new air conditioner to help cool the store and equipment.

Read more: Council Ends China Boycott; Elects Officers


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Next Council Meeting

Tuesday, October 13,
6:30 - 9:30 pm

The Classrooms @ GreenStar
(Former Enterprise Building)
702 W. Buffalo St., Ithaca

Members always welcome!

Possible Agenda Items:


  • Council Budget Finalized
  • Council Monitoring Policy 
D1, Unity of Control
  • GM's Monitoring Report 
B7, Communication to Council
  • GM's Monitoring Report 
B8, Council Logistical Support
  • Proposal to join CBLD 2016
  • New 3-Year CNG 
Agreement for Discussion
  • Council Compensation, 
Policy C.8, Amendments
  • Equity, Discount Policy 
Amendments Proposal

NOTE: Agenda is tentative and subject to change. To confirm items, see actual agenda posted here and at the stores six days before the meeting.

  • By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager

    coop month logoOctober was proclaimed National Co-op Month by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1964 to pay tribute to the benefits that differentiate the cooperative business model from other ways to structure businesses. Today, Co-op Month honors over 30,000 co-ops nationwide, operating in every industry including agriculture, energy, financial services, food retail, health care, child care, insurance, housing, and more.

    Co-op Month's theme for 2015, "Take Ownership," highlights how the cooperative business model gives consumers and workers a real stake in their economic des...