March 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

7-8 pm at The Shift
Board members present: Emily Crespo, Dan Miller, Nisha Kapadia Bhesania, Malcolm Haar. Daniel Farris, Mark Ahlheim, Tony Neuhoff, Mike Sullivan , Anthony Todd
Notetaker: Emily Crespo


Meeting convened: 7:00


Site selection, Dan Miller, Mark Ahlheim: 7:01-7:33

-Two timeline scenarios: Jan 2017 and Oct 2016 developed by Dan and Mark

-Where are the “pots of money” we need, when should they be available? That info needs to reach funding team

-Variables: zoning change, designer/architect fees

-Mark says Chicago Community Loan Trust would want to get involved at the point when we have a site selected, per a conversation at the GFFC

-Anthony says site selection could motivate owners who are on the fence

-Daniel asked for actionable data on this topic to inform Site Selection committee

-Owner loan campaign should be ready to go as soon as we have a site selected

-Dan asked if we could do more temp financing in the meantime

-Anthony wants to do teasers for owner loan campaign

-Mark offered the alternative of narrowing down the potential neighborhoods using data to entice financing and kick off the campaign

-We need to find the “sweet spot” to determine when we should begin approaching people

-Mark likens the process to securing a down payment, can offer more numbers soon

-Daniel says we need to be prepared for the many rounds of financing needed: ownership, owner funds, bank loans

-Dan says we should come up with a couple of budget scenarios

-Nisha suggested getting a budget and timeline from Sugar Beet

-The funding team should look for this data

-Mike asked what commitment we’ve made to our existing owners regarding buying back shares (which may come up as a result of site selection)

-We have not made formal commitments; it is not codified in the bylaws.

-Malcolm: we will continue to act on an individual basis as “a store with good customer service”

-Nisha says Dill Pickle is continuing to perform feasibility studies, do we need to do them?

-Dan says some lenders require them

-Mark thinks we can shorten Timeline #2 contingent on funding being in place

-”Nice work, Dan.” -Dan


Marketing expenditures, Anthony 7:34-7:53

-Face-to-face encounters are most valuable, especially when it’s not the first touch

-It’s going to be more difficult this summer, since we don’t have any news

-Anthony posits it’s time to spend some actual money on marketing

-Emily brought up selling merchandise

-Merch as advertising: window clings

-Anthony thinks it merits a separate budget proposal

-Marketing ideas: CTA stations, buses

-The advertising is not that expensive, the design fees are more worrisome

-Mike asked about the sorts of events we did last year

-Malcolm reminded us Karen is an experienced marketing executive

-Daniel asked exactly what we’re hoping for when we advertise

-Anthony wants to build brand awareness, to create repeat brand experiences

-Malcolm suggests neighborhood targeted marketing to correlate with current CM events

-Merchandise ideas:

-co-branded beers, t shirts, window clings,

-Mark suggested using our existing brochures in direct mail in a sample targeted neighborhood like Lincoln Square

-Anthony likes that it’s trackable

-Anthony has an idea of how much he wants to spend, but will create a budget

-Start small, create some trackable scenarios

-Marketing at fests:

-We’ve had a positive experience

-Big fests draw more people and create brand awareness, small fests create owners and face-to-face contact


Electing officers, Mike 7:53-8:03

-We have had minimal response to the discussion requesting nominations

-Tony said we should self identify whether we are willing to accept a position if nominated and elected

-Mike surveyed the group informally

-Dan asked for clarification on the quorum decision

-voting is majority, quorum is 75%

-Anthony asked for clarification on the roles of officers

-Malcolm had some explanations, Mike added to that (I wasn’t able to capture all the details)

-Anthony thinks we should do it live


Tony moved to adjourn the meeting.

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