Public Board Minutes for 1/25/17
Present: Mike, Larry, Emily, Jen, Grant, Heather, Bill, Linn
Absent: Karen, Anthony, Kelly, Greg, Dan
Guests: Lee, Dana
Grant: Congratulations to Linn for drafting enough volunteers to create two pop-up market teams. Kudos also to the Leadership Team for doing a great job with some difficult conversations.
Bill: Finance report. Please read the documents posted on Basecamp. Our biggest recent expense has been shifting from monthly to yearly payments for Nation Builder. We'll save 35% by switching, but there's an upfront cost.
Grant: We should develop a policy for bill repayment, so all vendors know when they will get paid.
Bill: All invoices should come through me.
Bill and Emily will work on a payment process.
Bill will begin creating an accounts-payable document to go along with the monthly financial reports.
Bill: I've posted our budget on Google Sheets. Feel free to go in and make any necessary changes. It's based on the co-op getting a large number of new Owners.
Grant: Will we get enough value out of the Up and Coming, Up and Running co-op workshop to send three Board members at $400 per person?
Bill: No. Our main objective should be in getting Owners and getting a site. We need to conserve money.
Jen: the workshop is filled with valuable sessions on running ownership campaigns, getting owners and more. I see value to the Board.
Grant: Plus, we may be able to make connections with a mentor co-op there, which would be valuable.
Jen: We need to establish a board development budget.
Grant: We're not doing a good job with board development and networking. It's exciting that three people who've never gone to this conference before would like to go.
Emily: Are we fully utilizing the people we know we could have consulting conversations with for free?
Grant: There are free peer calls we will be having. We could ask questions on the co-op FB page.
Emily: The conference is good, but we should be fully utilizing the free options.
Larry: We should have a board development budget.
Grant: Having a mentor co-op would be helpful with the GM search, with advising and possibly with loans. We should show up at co-op events to show we're on top of things.
Jen: This is more cost-efficient than a consultant. Here are some good workshops: Branding your co-op, engaging current Owners, mini Owner campaigns, how to engage and maintain volunteers
Mike: Let's not be pennywise and pound foolish. We need to spend money to build relationships and to learn. It's worth the money.
Grant: I move we send three people to the conference.
Motion passes, with one "no" vote.
Bill will work on a discussion of the Board development budget.
Grant: Our current FAQs offer refunds for those who move away or don't want their ownership. We've quietly done refunds in the past, but maybe we shouldn't be so overt. Banks might ask us not to take the risk of doing that.
Mike: Legally we can refund shares but we don't have to.
Grant: Should we delete that?
Mike: We should delete the whole section. If it's important enough, people will ask about it.
Grant: We should say we'll provide refunds once the Board deems we're solvent.
Jen: I will update the language to reflect that.
Grant: The Leadership Team has been meeting. We're launching the dashboard tool for all teams to provide ongoing updates. The dashboard will show recent accomplishments, along with co-op stages of development.
Greg is currently working with Anthony and Mike to finalize the funding director agreement.
Mike: Site is looking at some new locations. All Board members are encouraged to drive by them.
Bill: We're meeting with Ald. Cappelman's office and with a CTA representative to talk about an RFP.
Grant: There's a sense on the MORE team of burnout and disengagement. Maybe we should have a Board retreat to return to why we're excited about this project.
Bill: We may want to wait on future market studies until we're farther along in site negotiations because of expense.
Jen: We're finalizing our strategy document that outlines our purpose and vision. It lists five value statements and will be a public document.
Grant: We currently have two board vacancies. We can appoint people or wait until summer elections.
Jen: Maybe we should groom a committed volunteer for the Board? Make sure they're active and committed.
Grant: We would like more diversity. And we need a volunteer coordinator.
Grant: Let's look for a couple of months for someone to fill one of the vacancies. Let's commit to outreach.
The Board adjourned to Executive Session to discuss an internal matter.