Board Meeting Minutes for 8/24/16

Here are the public minutes for the Chicago Market Board meeting of Aug. 24, 2016:

Public Board Meeting Minutes for 8/24/16
7 p.m. Cafe Chien

Present: Grant, Karen, Anthony, Linn, Jen, Mark, Emily, Heather, Mike, Dan, Tony, Malcolm
Absent: Esther, Lance, Kelly
Guests: Greg and Owners Maria, Lee and Ben

Greg provided a funding update. Regarding our application for funding from Benefit Chicago, they told us we did not meet their preliminary eligibility requirements. Greg talked with them via phone and was told that because we're so early in our process and don't yet have a location, Chicago Market is too high of a financial risk. They won't work with start-ups. But their mission is to fill gaps in funding and they connected us with the IFF (Illinois Facilities Foundation). Greg is following up with IFF as well as with the Chicago Community Loan Fund.

Greg talked about the progress of the pro forma, which after many months is finally nearly complete. The pro forma tracks what financial benchmarks we need to have in place before the store opens and gives us something concrete to give to potential lenders. Our consultant calls the current draft "pretty good and almost bankable." The current concern is our debt-service ratio. Next, well show the pro forma to the National Cooperative Bank. Our contract with our consultant on this project is now finished. The real test of the pro forma will be what NCB says about it. 

Greg also discussed planning for the Owner Loan Campaign. Greg wants the Board to look at the planning document he set up on Basecamp. Timing of the OLC is dependent on site selection.

Emily discussed the upcoming Annual Owners Meeting. She went through the meeting agenda with the Board. The Board should send Karen any volunteer opportunities they have on their teams to offer to Owners who attend the meeting. 

Karen presented about a co-op conference she attended with Grant, specifically about a Financial 101 session they attended. She handed out a glossary and discussed the meaning of important financial terms that the Board must grasp as part of our fiduciary responsibility. Karen said that our Sources and Uses budgets need to be updated each month and that this information needs to be presented at each meeting. 

Greg said that he plans to go over the pro forma in great detail at the next meeting so the Board understands it better.

Grant raised the issue of defining the roles of the Board and of our general manager, particularly before the store opens and during our first year. We need an opening strategy, he said. We need to have non-negotiable items. The Board agreed this is an important conversation we should have and is scheduling a special meeting to discuss it. 

Guests were excused and the Board entered Executive Session to discuss site, financial and human resource issues. 

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