Chicago Market Board Meeting Minutes - October 24, 2018

Attendees: Grant, Lee, Dana, Dan, Greg, Sara, Anthony, Joel, Pat, Kristin, Sofia, JM

Guests: Nelson Borelli and Jackie
Leslie Watson, CDS Board Governance Consultant, via phone


Grant reminded everyone of the WBEZ co-op panel, 6:30pm at the Dill Pickle

Thank you to Edward Collins-Fanner, he has submitted his resignation, he will step down on November 18th. Because he is not here to discuss the financial reports, please remember to look over his docs and ask any questions you may have.

Sara - Organizational Capacity Discussion
  • Org Dev Team wants to ensure that the Board Meetings are productive and useful. We are in Q4 and entering the holiday season where folks typically pull back, so we want to check in and make sure we are aware of where we all are mentally around this project.
  • There are two questions/topics we would like each board member to answer...
    1. As a Board Member of Chicago Market, please share how your morale is, related to your role as a Director.
    2. Is there a specific area that you are working on for the Market where you feel you need support from the Board?
  • The goal is to identify next steps based on the comments, concerns, and thoughts everyone shares in this discussion.
    • LEE - He's in his usual "under water" state. Doing the minimum in all the many areas where he is plugged in. Kristin has been helping with Volunteer coordination which has been very helpful. We really need a MORE lead, specifically to help coordinate the volunteers working on the MORE team and also to think more strategically about MORE projects going forward. We have almost an entire new set of volunteers helping with MORE, which has been a bright spot.
    • GRANT - As Org Dev discussed this discussion, he realized that he doesn't have the bandwidth to do both President functions and forward-thinking since he's also having to do so much in the trenches, specifically related to MORE communications tasks. He's in the weeds too much. Glad that others are stepping up to speak at Info Sessions and such. Worried about OLC and Owner Growth meeting the goals they have set.
    • JOEL - He's been a little MIA the past few weeks due to work issues, but he's back and available now and willing to help take on some responsibilities. More of a clean slate than everyone else right now.
    • SOFIA - Morale is less anxiety-ridden now that Jessica is now on board. She is able to pass all the emails on to her to handle, which has been a relief. It feels like a slower pace than anticipated with the OLC responses, typically 6-7 touches before a connection/loan is made. Plate is less full than previous months, but she's not sure she can take on other activities at this time yet. Even though the time is there, there's a need to keep some balance and keep the OLC watch going on.
    • JM - Morale is pretty great right now. Feels like he's been ramping up and taking on some additional responsibilities. He's involved with community outreach team, learning Info Session speaking roles, leaning into TIF team right now too. He's been working on a Prezi for the MORE team to use with or in place of Info Session content.
    • KRISTIN - Appreciates Lee's view of it not being a morale problem, just a busy problem. Made OLC calls, but needs to lean back into the Volunteer coordination tasks.
    • PAT - No morale problem, concerns about Owner Growth, but she knows that's a process, and encourages folks to keep at it with contacting potential owners.
    • GREG - There is still a big issue with Stewardship, the Site team is struggling to get a leader for this role.  TIF has a robust team working on it, feels good there. Bank contacts are in place and waiting. Still concerned about Owner Growth. Would like to see more timeline stuff so we can have a clear picture of where we are in the process. Site team meetings with the designers makes it feel like we are moving forward even though other things feel slow. Overall feels like the time is moving.
    • DANA - (minutes here captured by Anthony) I would have to say - right now i’m on day 3 of a new job, so Chicago Market has been on the back burner and in the other room for a week, it’s been a bit of a rough month for me to really hunker down and focus on Chicago Market, which has been frustrating because i’ve been so actively involved during my transition period while looking for a job.  It was really hard to step away from what i felt was my part time job of being on the board.  I feel frustrated with myself that I don’t have as much time to dedicate.  I would say I went through a jaded period over the summer, where Owner growth wasn’t happening at the pace i wanted it to, and we were doing events all the time, and i was at all of them, and i kinda had to keep stopping and taking a step back and going - we were at 1000 in January, and we’re at 1427 now.  That’s decent.  That’s commendable.  I think we have a really big owner growth goal, and the fact that i’m pretty certain we’re not going to get 2000 by the end of the year makes me nervous about how it presses on the timeline.  I know there are a lot of people joining into MORE, we have new volunteers and people jumping on to information sessions.  That all feels good that there is more stuff happening.  Trying to figure out how to keep me moving forward and keeping events on the schedule. I worry that we don’t have anyone to lead our owner engagement event and it’s two weeks away, so i’m down about that.  I still have a lot of passion and love talking about CM, but wish there was more owner engagement - we have 1400 owners, and we’ve only had one house party, and the owners aren’t more engaged overall.
    • DAN - Morale overall is very good, excited about what Site is doing. The actual design team work is overall going well, but he seconds Greg's comments about needing help with the Stewardship work.
    • SARA - Has had recent uptick in morale after wondering if she could even serve on the board. She's leaned in in new ways where she felt it would work for her life right now. TIF and Org Dev work has made her feel really good. Thinks we need help with Owner Engagement and getting more Owners connected and willing to help. Seeing the work that is being done by the Board and the committees is really impressive. We are a really hard working Board! We should be pleased with that.
    • ANTHONY - Has stepped back a little over this summer to learn more about the legal side of things since he's moved onto that team (and away from MORE and Marketing). Excited to be moving more towards being able to lean in to CM tasks more going forward.
  • Sara thanked everyone for sharing. We have to continuously assess where we are and our capacity. Org Dev will create a list of action items from these comments.
  • Lee brought up the ideas of looking at our prioritization of tasks. Are there any things that we need to let go of? If anyone comes up with those, please let Org Dev know.
  • We need to watch the timeline and keep track of goals we are meeting and not meeting so we can reorganize and focus on moving forward.

Grant - Board Elections
  • Elections coming up, all positions are in play, anyone in a current position that wants to serve again needs to run, we are specifically in need of a Treasurer and a Secretary.
  • Kristin is acting as our election steward for these officer elections.
  • With Edward stepping down we also need to appoint another Board Member. We could use this to look for another Board Member with financial experience.
  • In the documents on Basecamp related to the elections there is content that covers the roles and responsibilities as well as the nomination process. Nomination period closes on 11/07, those running will write candidate statements, and then we will vote. Voting will be an online process as before. 
Progress Check-ins - All Teams
  • CDS Task Force:
    • Regular check-ins with Jeanie, recently included Wynston Estis
    • We will share documentation related to scope of bringing Wynston on board and what Board Members need to know as we work towards that relationship.
    • We have gotten a proposal from Don that this team needs to work through and present to the board for the departmental break down project.
  • Finance:
    • Cash Flow team needs to meet, Lee will coordinate a meeting sometime next week.
    • The gmail account for chicago.coop email address (vs. chicagomarket.coop) needs to be closed so we can stop paying for it. Lee will find the resources needed next week and will help Greg. Greg needs to figure out how to close the account and make sure all the emails set up to go to it automatically get reassigned.
  • Funding
    • TIF team met today, and Bob Kunze (who ran the TIF department in Chicago) is helping us, and even offered to take a couple sections of the application as they divide up the sections across the team. The application is big, but the team is dividing it up.
    • Bank options discussed and remain well-positioned pending our next steps.
    • USDA grant is up to $5000 this year, originally application deadline was in May, last year it was in February, looking for date for deadline for 2019. USDA guidelines for this grant sound tailor made to us, so it would be ideal to find a person (like we have Bob for TIF) to help us with this. It's a grant that works a lot like TIF it n that it would reimburse us for expenses that it covers.
  • Legal
    • Privacy policy - no movement on that one at this time. Lee has said that it’s in IT’s court right now.
    • MORE and any others hoping to host events in store need to know if they add up to a lot of people or a high number of events than it could impact our insurance
    • With TIF we will need to negotiate a redevelopment agreement and will need legal assistance to review that.
    • With our bank loan we will also need to negotiate our loan agreement and will need legal assistance with that as well.
  • MORE
    • Volunteer Becky, a data cruncher, came up with the idea for a direct mail piece. We bought addresses within an area near the store, we are beta testing this initiative, postcards to encourage ownership and attendance at Info Sessions.
    • Wilson Underline is owed some money from us. Lee will take action to look into this and make sure payment gets done.
  • Org Dev
    • Joel is not yet oriented, but is working with Sara to get on board. All new Board Members still need Basecamp training.
    • Leslie is on the phone with us tonight! Thank you for filling out her survey and meeting with her for those who were asked to. We will be working with her to identify some areas where we can improve board processes and work.
  • OLC
    • $116,000 loaned thus far from 17 Owners
    • Eight pledges and two loans just picked up (not yet opened) to process.
    • Jessica has personally contacted 435 people, and we have contacted 57% of the Ownership right now. We need to get to our first touches by Sunday (that's Jessica's goal). If you volunteered, please let Jessica know if you won't be able to make some or all of the calls on your list so she can re-distribute. Reaching 10% of Owners on the first touch and 20% with subsequent touches, so it is especially important to get our first touches in quickly. 
    • People on your call lists are typically already bought in, so please connect with them.
    • We are looking for loans, testimonials about loaning, and also for more volunteers who can call.
    • A lot of our calls are going to voicemail, so we now have the ability to text.
    • We have gotten 56 people who have opted out or moved out of state. OLC has been a NationBuilder cleanup mechanism. 
    • Sofia would love to see our Board loans at 100%, we are at 50% right now.
  • Site
    • Some growing pains around documentation and a few other processes as a team.
    • Architect, Store Designer, and Wynston are all working on a store plan layout that they will bring to the greater Site team. Site will then make any tweaks and bring it to the Board.
    • There is a survey now underway for the site.
    • Anti-graffiti film is now on the windows and graffiti has been removed.
    • Living Building Challenge research work is being done by one Site team member to look into the possibilities of how we might do this - pros, cons, costs.
    • Owner's rep Paul has been talking with the CTA, including a preliminary building meeting to discuss ahead of time some of our building concerns, we are a very different lease holder than their usual tenants, so hopefully the CTA will agree to pre-meetings for us.

      Board moved to Executive Session to discuss lease terms.

  • Outreach and Inclusion
    • Team will be posting a Team Charter for Board approval on Basecamp.
    • They will be moving forward on making decisions on low-cost ownership ideas and options. This team needs to meet to discuss the content that Anthony had original pulled together for the board. This team will now be working on this initiative.
Timeline Review
  • Lee will need some time to work with Site on Paul's Site Timeline that he just received.
Grant will get the December meetings on the calendar.

Lee will send out link to a survey about tonight’s meeting. Please complete it ASAP.

Leslie was taking notes and will get a report out to us related to her observations of tonight's meeting. Org Dev will discuss next steps based on her notes.

Greg did a mail call with the Co-op mail he's received.

Meeting adjourned at 8:57pm. 

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