Minutes of May 22, 2019 Open Meeting

Present: Kelli, Patrick, Caitlin, Ramji (via phone), Wannette, Cal
Absent: Jon
Member Owners Present: none
Staff Present: Matt, Tim, Linda

Meeting Called to Order at 6:29PM

Member Open Forum

Patrick was approached by an owner at the Coffee and Conversation on May 18 regarding the use of single use plastics in the stores. He brought this idea forth for discussion at a future board meeting, and Caitlin recommended we focus on environmental responsibility at an appropriate place in our Ends Reporting in order to give time and attention to this topic.

Approval of Minutes

Cal made a motion to approve April 24, 2019 meeting minutes; Wannette seconded; approved 6-0-0

B1 Financial Conditions Report (Matt)

  • The B1 report will be brought to the Board on a monthly basis and will include a plan for bringing the report into compliance if it is not in compliance the month prior.
  • B1.1 Sales Growth is low and out of compliance this month, but the scale from which we are looking at the sales growth data is a forecast and Matt recommends we follow shoot for a range of sales growth while also considering EBITDAR rather than a forecasted number. Matt also shared a table that included a Summary of Compliance which outlined steps taken starting in May through the end of the calendar year to positively impact sales growth. The last half of the year looks very strong with the competitive and differentiative strategies that are rolling out.

Cal motioned to accept B1 report noting non-compliance on B1.1 and B1.2; Kelli seconded; approved 6-0-0

Finance Committee Report (Cal)

April showed a bump in sales; April is usually a strong month in sales but this month was not as strong as years prior. Cost-cutting measures helped the organization’s EBITBAR but an increase in sales growth is imperative for long term stability. Managements’ cost-cutting measures have been so successful that even a modest uptick in sales growth will be substantial. Cal reinforced that the success of the competitive and differentiative strategies presented in the B1 report are essential for the organization. Ramji reinforced Cal’s comments, and recommended the Board focus on the financial condition of the organization at each Board meeting and stay focused on current initiatives scheduled for the next 12-15 months. Complete transparency and staying focused on current goals is essential at this point.

MOR Committee Report, Board Election Schedule, and Brand Manager Update (Wannette and Matt)

  • The MOR Committee meeting was cancelled in May in order to allow staff and Board to focus on other important initiatives.
  • Wannette spoke with Michelle Kenyon from Field to Family regarding the September Culinary Walk and with Matt’s support will bring the new Brand Manager up to speed on the collaboration.
  • Sarah Kruse is the new Brand Manager and will begin on June 3rd. She is highly qualified and will bring new perspectives and discipline that will support our organization. Some of her initial work will be done remotely as she transitions from Chicago to Iowa. Sarah is an Iowa City native and is eager to return to the area. Matt gave special thanks to Linda for her support in the interview process and serving an interim Brand Manager for the last 3 months.
  • The Board finalized the Election Schedule. Board members and staff should begin reaching out to their contacts to recruit candidates. Skills needed: Finance and accounting, human resources, industry specialists (farmer, restauranteur, etc.). Kelli, Patrick, and Jon are up for re-election.

Planning Committee Report (Matt and Caitlin)

  • Each of the stores are in the transition phase for the team changes.
  • The Planning Committee met the week prior. Jon will submit notes and a report for the next meeting.

Committee Charters

We will focus on these at the August retreat.

August Retreat and Calendar (Caitlin)

  • The Board decided to move the open Board meeting to the 3rd Wednesday of the month instead of the 4th Wednesday of the month, starting in June.
  • Sunday, August 18th from 10am to 2pm at Indian Creek Nature Center. Kelli, Jon, and Caitlin are the ad hoc committee members.
  • Possible topics of discussion include:
    • Committee Charters
    • Update on all initiatives on the B1 timeline with data and metrics
    • Optional: Contingency plans given the data of the initiatives on the B1 timeline
    • Retail 3.0 preliminary discussion
    • Capacity building and organizational needs for staff leadership
    • “What is a Co-op? And why should we care?” discussion

Meeting Adjourned

Cal made a motion to adjourn; approved 6-0-0

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