Chicago Market Board Meeting Minutes - November 29, 2017

Visitors: Joe, Katie, and Xinjiang
Notes: Emily/Jen

Present: Greg, Jen, Kelly, Linn, Sofia, Sunny, Katie, Grant, Lee, Ankit, Sara, Edward, Dana, Dan
Welcome - congrats to Linn on another successful pop-up
I. Process Touch Base
Grant discussed meeting process improvements
  • Noted list of to-do’s from last meeting still open
  • As meeting progresses, capturing to-dos at board level and individual/team level
II. Recording items discussed in last interim board meeting
Enter in tonight’s minutes recap of last interim, exec-session meeting 11.15.2017):
  • Four cornerstones of feasibility (market feasibility, financial feasibility, design feasibility, internal readiness / organizational capacity)
  • Internal readiness
  • Cash flow team on financial feasibility
  • Owner growth conversations
  • Reached decision about upcoming board appointees
  • Discussed process for upcoming officer nomination and voting
  • Operational consultants conversation
III. Board Leadership
  1. Grant thanked Yanira and Bill for their service to the CM Board, for their process improvements and financial controls.
  2. Grant welcomes Edward Collins-Fanner and Sofia Jouravel as newly appointed board members, who will serve until next summer's annual meeting/elections.
IV. Timeline Review
Grant discussed timeline review
  • called attention to items needing to synchronize
  • is there anything on our timeline that has since been due that no one is taking ownership on? OLC is starting to move, but not a ton of momentum yet. GM and PM team are merging
  • timeline should have Owner growth numbers tied to the dates/financial plans that depend on them
  • Lee and Kelly are going to work to incorporate Owner growth information into the timeline by the late January Board meeting
V. Owner Growth (Jen)
  • MORE has three parts: Communications, Owner Recruitment, and Owner Engagement
  • MORE team document outlining activity and structure
  • Owner Recruitment and Owner Engagement teams need more support
  • Kinship has doubled the size of their team, and have brought on Tyler Hughes, who will be leaning in as the main account manager for Chicago Market. He has gone through our list of community partners and contacts, and added to the list, and we will be reaching out to them again to reengage those relationships. Kinship wants to be the extra hands that we don't have. 
  • Katie is stepping back as volunteer coordinator, is working to onboard Michael Davis as an active volunteer
  • Communications: Kinship provided us with a SWOT analyses recently to lay out what our biggest current struggles are. As a team, MORE spends a lot of time on campaigns, planning events, etc. but Ownership continues to grow one person at a time. We don't have any obvious big "milestones" to announce. We haven't found ways to effectively engage current Owners. Our current hyper-focus on the Uptown neighborhood has left out some of the neighborhoods in our trade area.
  • Kinship has helped prioritize some new initiatives. This includes assessing the Ownership "funnel", ideas for new audiences, more intentional storytelling in our messaging, and utilizing engaged Owners and Board members to reach out to new networks.
  • Board support will be necessary as Kinship ramps up their efforts to get us reconnected to our community partners (wellness groups, schools/parent groups, environmental organizations, etc.). Support includes hanging posters, distributing quarter sheets, speaking engagements, staffing events, etc. 
  • Everyone should be looking at their team's activities as opportunities to take photos and videos to share with our Owners.
  • Board members will be asked to reach out to recently joined Owners and ask them to reach out to their networks. Board members must be sure to go in to NationBuilder to check in on the status of their contacts.
  • It is powerful and necessary to have Board members or highly engaged volunteers to be able to answer questions at events. Kinship can create or re-establish the contacts, but we need to be available when they call on us to follow up on those meetings or events.
  • With Kinship's increased support, we hope to see an Ownership growth spike. We're actively seeking 1500 Owners, and right now we're roughly 530 away.
  • There are opportunities for folks to request that we come speak to their own groups or networks.
  • Dana and Katie will work on revamping the info session presentation materials. There are materials out there (the 2-pager, Grant's outline, Greg's ppt) that could be part of this.
VI. Kudos
  • Kudos to Linn for another fabulous Pop Up! And to Greg for great new Owner recruitment.
VII. Policy Governance (Ankit)
  • Policy governance is a set of policies that 1. helps us transition from a working Board to a governing Board when the time comes, 2. informs the relationship we have with the GM, and 3. provides nuances not present in the bylaws.
  • The draft of policy governance we have come up with is about 40 pages long, and is based off a template from CDS.
  • In the last round of editing, Grant suggested we add a section to explicitly outline our policy for treatment of farmers and vendors.
  • After we create the ends statements, the expectation is that the GM will interpret them and deliver on them. That is how we hold them accountable.
  • The full Board is responsible for reviewing the policy governance documents. This is a document that will be done before the GM comes on board.
  • Are we going to get the document down to a single, distilled page? Based on research, there's no standard for what this document needs to look like. It's a living document that can be adjusted if it's not working for us. 
  • We're going to try to continue the conversation online unless the group feels it would be beneficial to meet in person. Ankit is going to move forward with another round of digital edits, and as everyone goes through the document individually, they should flag any topics they think merit in-person discussion.
  • There are two parts of the policy document: criteria for how the Board will hold the GM responsible for meeting the ends, and operational processes (GM will prepare a report x days before a Board meeting). The document also does contain some policies for how the Board functions among itself.
  • Lee feels that the ends statement is missing the overarching statement that the GM is tasked with running a profitable grocery store.
  • Grant thinks we should think about adding an addendum to the document that defines our transition phase before we're ready to move to a purely policy Board.
  • Link for Board to review policy governance documents.
VII. Owner public questions
  • Guest Xinjiang asked if and how we've decided who the store vendors will be.

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