Sunday, 01 December 2013 21:24
By 12th Moon,
Utilizing our newly designated classroom space, in the former Enterprise car rental building, Council held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12 with all fifteen members in attendance. We quickly moved to the first business item on our agenda, the General Manager's (GM's) monthly report. GM Brandon Kane reported that staff are busy constructing next year's stores budget as they prepare for the holiday season. Both the budget structure and operational monitoring procedures are being updated to accommodate our soon-to-be-functional central kitchen and bakery, as well as our renovated Space @ GreenStar. With the bakery vacating the Oasis store and the West-End classroom having moved across the street, plans are being made for the renovations of those two areas. Meanwhile, construction continues on schedule for the kitchen and community spaces in the warehouse building. We are still anticipating that the Space will be ready for the Winter Farmers Market in January, and the kitchen/bakery will be ready for occupancy in February.
Brandon also told us that products certified by the Non-GMO project at both Oasis and the West End have now been labeled. This is an ongoing project as more products become certified. "How Good" labeling has been delayed by a few weeks as we discovered a formatting error on the tags when we began to place them on our shelves.
Brandon next submitted the GM's B.1 3rd Quarter Financial Report, which was referred to our Finance Committee for a report back next month. Our next item was a report back on the GM's Compensation Report. It was found to be complete and submitted on time, and shows our commitment to our employees' benefits.
Friday, 01 November 2013 14:18
By 12th Moon,
Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the "Just Be Cause" Not-for-Profit Development Center at 1013 West MLK/State Street. We're hoping that our meetings will be held on GreenStar property in the future, as Enterprise Rent-a-Car moved to their new location in mid-October, allowing us to transform that building into meeting and classroom space.
General Manager (GM) Brandon Kane presented his monthly GM report as our first item. Brandon informed us of the plans to renovate the former Enterprise building and that the Central Bakery/Kitchen and adjacent community room project are on schedule. The community room should be completed in time for the Winter Farmers Market starting in January and the Bakery/Kitchen should be ready to move into by February. Brandon also told us that the Co-op's Managers and Assistant Managers are preparing to implement Open Book Management (OBM) at GreenStar for 2014. The basic idea behind OBM is to have departments look closely at their contribution to our co-op's success on a regular basis and with a large degree of investment in the outcomes. This kind of staff-driven department management has been gaining momentum in the co-op network on a national level.
Brandon also told us that shelf tags from the Non-GMO project are in place at both stores, and the addition of the How Good shelf tags, as well as a kiosk at the West-End store, is progressing. In addition to the kiosk, which provides additional information on product ratings, there is a downloadable app for smart phones that provides access to the same information.
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.
- Council Seeks "Ends" Policy Feedback; Approves Updated Local and Regional Definitions
- Council Seats Committee Members-at-Large; Elects Officers for This Year
- Council Approves How Good Program; Reviews Annual Member Owner Survey Results
- Council Certifies Election Results; Seats One New Member; Amends 2013 Store Budgets
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By Alexis Alexander,
In October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement.
Unfortunately, GreenStar, like many co-ops, suffers from very poor voter turnout relative to the number of member-owners. For instance, only 5 percent of member-owners voted in th...