from Kara Cusolito, Council Vice-President

GreenStar Council News for February 2022

Helping cooperative businesses in Ukraine

What can a bunch of people in Ithaca, NY offer the hundreds of thousands who have been forced to flee their home in Ukraine, or the millions more who have stayed and now are forced to witness their home becoming a war zone?

Ukraine is a country with a long history of cooperative business, dating back more than 200 years. By pooling resources into consumer cooperatives, Ukranians were better able to obtain loans and afford things like insurance and farm equipment. Still today, there are thousands of consumer cooperatives across the country. The All-Ukrainian Central Union of Consumer Societies (Ukrkoopspilka) comprises 15,000 enterprises, 3,000 restaurants, seven hotels, 300 manufacturing businesses and 300 markets throughout Ukraine.

Cooperation among cooperatives is Cooperative Principle #6. Though it may feel like we have little to offer the people suffering halfway across the world, cooperative culture reminds us that we have common hopes and goals, and can support one another in these.

The most meaningful action for many of us Americans right now is to support through donations to vetted organizations. The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions has launched a fund to support members and employees of Ukrainian credit unions. Find more information and the link to donate here. Additionally, this article outlines other groups to support that are aiding humanitarian and medical efforts in Ukraine.)

Co-op officials worldwide worry about what the Russian attacks will mean for the stability and existence of cooperatives in Ukraine. To learn more about what’s going on, read on here.

What’s new at GreenStar?

Our Interim GM team of Deb Peskin and Giles McCarty, along with the entire GreenStar Staff, continues to impress – going above and beyond to lead our Co-op out of the red. They’ve made upgrades to the DeWitt store and are preparing to re-open the indoor seating area there. Later this month, they’ll open the hot bar at the Cascadilla St. store, which has been closed since the onset of the pandemic. We look forward to its return!

The GM search is well underway. The job was officially posted on March 1st and we expect interviews to begin in the next couple of weeks. It’s a very exciting time for Council and our Co-op as we search for our next leader.

Highlights from the February Council Meeting

The most notable action at Council’s February meeting was the approval of amendments to several of the Co-op’s B policies. These policies are the main mechanism that Council uses to monitor the GM, and they aim to ensure the Co-op is healthy and functioning under the GM’s leadership. Putting updated B policies in place now will aid the transition for Council and our new General Manager.

Next GreenStar Council Meeting:

Tuesday, March 8th beginning at 6:30 PM

March 2022 Council Meeting Agenda

Meetings are held online. Email boardadmin@greenstar.coop for instructions on how to attend. 

Member-Owners are always welcome to attend. 

Come early for a Conversation with Council!

From 6:00 – 6:30pm GreenStar members are invited to join Council members for an opportunity to engage in conversation. This 30 minute period is an “open-mic” format and will be recurring – taking place ahead of the GreenStar Council meeting every second Tuesday of the month. Email boardadmin@greenstar.coop for instructions on how to attend. 

Council Tabling Returns: GreenStar Council members Pam Coleman and Pat Sewell will be tabling in the Cascadilla store on March 13, from 1 to 3 PM.  Please stop by and say Hello! Look for more Council Tabling events this spring by checking the Council Calendar, located on the GreenStar Website as well as the online Member Center!