Board Meeting Minutes, 2/24/16

Chicago Market Board Meeting
2/24/16 7 p.m. at Cafe Chien
Present: Esther, Mike, Dan, Tony, Emily, Heather, Grant, Malcolm, Mark, Karen, Anthony, Linn, Jen, Lance
Absent: Kelly

Grant brought the meeting to order. He congratulated Tony for his work on drafting the Owner Loan campaign documents. He also congratulated the team working on the next pop-up market.

Esther gave the finance report. She said cash flow is fine given our current projections of uses and sources for the rest of FY16 and Q1 of FY17. We expect some large expenses in September as we project having identified a site by then. While we have the cash flow to cover these expenses, we are continuing to work on increasing our income through the owner loan campaign and other sources of grants and funding. We're working with a consultant on our pro forma. Finance is also working on a sources and uses document. 

Grant asked the group to look at the timeline to see whether we're behind.

Karen noted that we're behind on ownership growth. But she said we have some good ideas. We're currently pushing Businesses as Owners, #reasons2own and community outreach. We're needing to find community organizations that we can present our new Power Point presentation to. Karen said we have a new volunteer who will begin work on outreach. We're going to send emails to people who've engaged with Chicago Market who have not become Owners. 

Grant asked what the Board can be doing to get more Owners. 
Karen said we should be reaching out to our networks to set up meetings and presentations.

Emily discussed our next Owners' meeting. The fiscal year ends June 30 and the bylaws state it must be within 60 days of that date. The Owners' meeting may or may not coincide with our site announcement, depending on timing. 

Mike said that we'll also have a Board election at the next Owners' meeting. We'll have a slate of candidates to offer.

Karen: Staffing is on target for the general-manager search. It's expected the GM will be hired in June. 

Greg: Owner Loan Campaign and Funding. He said there are tasks for many Board members to do. Greg is working on an email to go to our list about the funding plans. We now have our first Owner Loan. 

Mark: By the next Board meeting, we plan to have an architect and contractor. He would like Board members to visit prospective sites.

The architects have requested we have a project manager. Dan said we'll be hiring one to work on building the store.

Grant and Lance discussed a recent phone call with Dave Blackburn from the National Cooperative Grocers. We can decide whether to become a member of this organization.

Lance said NCG is the most-powerful co-op grocer organization in the United States, and that they would give us tremendous buying power. It costs $160,000-$180,000 to join the DC which serves both as support while we're building but also as a stepping stone toward NCG participation. It will be a later Board decision.

Malcolm said it will be beneficial to bring in as many experts as possible. 

A team will work on whether this is something Chicago Market wants to pursue and how we would fund it. 

Esther noted that she met with Meg last week to talk about the process of the Owner-Loan Campaign. The Board needs to discuss the cost of the OLC (notaries, credit card fees, etc.). 

Jen gave an update on our new website. We have a number of volunteers working on the project.  A new wireframe has been created. The group has prioritized the home page, news and events pages as priorities for the re-design. 

Emily noted that the Management Team has been looking at how to handle grants. She said we are unlikely to find a grant that will directly fund the store's opening. The Management Team is developing criteria about which grants should involve our Funding Director and which could use other volunteers. She said Greg will find the grants and will funnel them to the rest of the team.

Grant adjourned the meeting. 

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