Tuesday, 01 October 2013 21:37
By 12th Moon,
Council met at the Human Services Building at 320 West MLK/State St. on Sept. 17, the third Tuesday of the month, because the 10% on the 10th sales day fell on the second Tuesday in September. Our General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane was in Seattle at a national co-op GM conference, so Sara Paulison, Operations Manager, presented Brandon's monthly GM report. We learned that the construction projects at our warehouse property were on schedule and that the Enterprise rental staff plan to move into their new location by mid-October, so we'll be able to use that building for classes and meetings by November. Our newly renovated public gathering area at the north end of the warehouse building should be completed in time for the Winter Farmers Market in January; the central kitchen and bakery should be ready for occupancy by February. With help from P.J. Hoffman, the Business Development Director for the National Cooperative Grocers Association, staff will develop an expansion plan for both the West End and Oasis that will capitalize on the space and capacity gained by the central kitchen/bakery project. The improvements at both stores will happen in early to mid 2014 and are being incorporated into the proposed budget for next year, a year that will also see a living wage increase from $10.70/hr. to $11.80/hr. Brandon also reported that starting in January of 2014 he will institute Open Book Management, a way of involving staff in the Co-op's finances on a much deeper level, which will not only increase transparency but also draw more engagement from all concerned.
Our next item was a revised GM's B.1 1st Quarter Financial report, which was necessitated by the discovery of a mistaken inventory count from the 1st quarter. The report was approved and we next received the GM's B.1 2nd Quarter Financial report, which was accepted and referred to our Finance Committee for review and a report back to Council at our October meeting.
A proposal to use $7,000 of the Co-op's savings to purchase a share in the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) was tabled until next month after many questions were raised. Staff was asked to provide more rationale and more background. NCB has already agreed to loan us as much as $700,000 to complete the central kitchen/bakery project if needed.
Sunday, 01 September 2013 21:34
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, Aug. 13 in The Space @ GreenStar.
Brandon Kane, our General Manager (GM), presented the first item on our agenda, the monthly GM's Report. We learned that the central kitchen/bakery project is on schedule and that construction should have begun by the end of August with a completion date in December. Staff will move into the new facility in January 2014. With the help of two consultants from the National Cooperative Grocers Association we will begin planning in September for redesigning to be done in both stores after the move. We were also told that the annual Ice Cream Social will take place from 2 pm "until the ice cream runs out" on Labor Day, Monday Sept. 2 in the outdoor eating area at the West-End store.
Additionally we learned that Majora Carter, renowned radio host and founder of Sustainable South Bronx, the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training Program, and the economic consulting firm The Majora Carter Group, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Food Justice Summit on Saturday, Sept. 21. This will be the third year that our non-profit affiliate GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP) has organized the Food Justice Summit. Please consider joining the Farm-a-Thon, or donating to those who will be working on a local farm, in the morning, and come to the street festival from noon to 5 pm at the Southside Community Center. For more info visit http://foodjusticesummit.org.
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:09
By 12th Moon,
Council met in The Space @ GreenStar at 6:30 on July 9, with thirteen of our fifteen members in attendance. After our introductions and statements of preparedness we all individually filled out a copy of our new Conflict of Interest forms and submitted them to our Secretary for posting and archiving.
The first regular item was the General Manager's (GM) monthly report. Our GM, Brandon Kane, updated us on progress toward realizing our central bakery and kitchen. He told us that the bidding process for equipment was almost completed, and that the construction bids were still being negotiated with an emphasis being placed on having the general assembly/meeting space completed as soon as possible in order that we may begin to use the space for our meetings and for public gatherings. Our community is in dire need of a large gathering space. Brandon brought a request from the Area Supervisors (AS) team, consisting of all fourteen department managers, that Council look to redefine our definition of local and regional. Local is currently defined as within fifty miles and regional includes goods grown or produced within New York or Pennsylvania. Both classifications require at least eighty percent of ingredients to be sourced within these geographical limitations. The requested change would define local as within 100 miles and regional as within 300 miles.
Brandon also reported that we are working with How Good, Inc. (www.howgood.com), a product rating service, to produce GreenStar-specific tags over the next two months. In the future, How Good will have a shopping app for customers, and GreenStar will be a test point for a service kiosk that will show Co-op-specific products and the details as to why they received their rating from How Good. (See the article on page 1 for more details.) Brandon also reported that we have signed onto the Non-GMO Project's retail initiative (www.nongmoproject.org). This means there will be info in our stores available for customers regarding products certified as GMO-free and what foods to avoid. We will also be testing a phone app that can be used to shop GMO-free.
- Council Approves How Good Program; Reviews Annual Member Owner Survey Results
- Council Certifies Election Results; Seats One New Member; Amends 2013 Store Budgets
- Council Approves Construction of Central Kitchen and Bakery Facility, Group Gathering Space
- Council Represents You — Please Vote in This Month's Council Elections
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By Dan Hoffman,
Member, Bylaws Review Committee
There could be some changes in store for GreenStar's bylaws — but only if enough member-owners vote in October, and only if a "super majority" of them (two-thirds) vote to make the changes. The Co-op's Council will decide at its Aug. 11 meeting which proposed bylaws amendments will be sent to the membership this year.
A group's bylaws are like a City's charter or a state's constitution — containing the most basic values and rules by which it is to be guided and governed. It's considered a "best practice" for organizations such as GreenStar to review their bylaws regularly, and to propose and adopt changes as needed. GreenStar has an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee (BRC) for that purpose. After being dormant for a couple of years, it was reactivated in March to consider bylaws changes that might be proposed in the fall of 2015, and beyond.
Currently, the committee includes four Council members (12th Moon, who chairs it, Patrice Lockert Anthony, Kristen Kaplan, and yours truly), two staff members appointed by the General Manager (Human Resources Manager Michael Hoysic and Membership Manager Alexis Alexander), and at-large member Jenny Caldwell. (Two at-large seats remain unfilled. If you think you might be interested, please fill out and submit an application — available at the stores or at www.greenstar.coop.)
Out of 581 total ballots, 49 were invalid (39 no ID at all, 1 voted for 10, 1 second ballot, 2 not members and 5 came late in the mail). 532 Valid ballots - less one empty envelope
Elected for 3 year terms:
1- Liz Coakley = 407
2- Trisica Munroe = 391
3- Jan Rhodes Norman = 362
4- Krys Cail = 351
5- Stefan Jirka = 337
For a one year terms:
6- Susan Beckley = 335
7/8-- Eric Banford = 329
7/8 - Patrice Anthony =329
9- Kristen Kaplan = 291
10- Walter Hollien = 216
11- Deborah Moore = 122
Special thanks to Laura Buttenbaum, Ellen Brown and Brian Henehan.
By Alexis Alexander,
As students return to Ithaca in late August, GreenStar will be hosting a two-week extravaganza of celebration and education. Two exciting celebratory events are planned, along with two opportunities for members and nonmembers to learn more about co-ops, including the history of the cooperative movement and its impact on local and global communities.
Topping the list of events to watch for is a performance by the amazing hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, who will be playing at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the newly renovated Ithaca Commons on Thur...