Present: Grant, Bill, Greg, Linn, Dan, Kelly, Mike, Anthony, Larry, Emily, Jen, Karen
Guests: Dan Becco; Lee Herman; Andrew Bell; Annette Mambuca (potluck dinner only)
The Board hosted a potluck dinner for an hour prior to our meeting this month; Owners and some prospective Owners joined us for conversation and delicious food and were then invited to stay for the session.
Treasurer (Bill) provided a summary of Finance report for the past month, including current cash on hand and expenses for the month of January. He noted that the team has researched payment providers and we will be converting from Paypal to Chase. This will give us a better rate. We are looking for a more efficient provider for credit card swiper – expect to have an update by next month. Finally, they are drafting a procedure manual for handling cash and sales for our Pop-Up markets. Greg noted that there is an older document/draft related to this available on Basecamp. Bill will look it up.
Jen and Linn led a brief discussion of the recent work completed re: Chicago Market’s strategic vision. They read aloud the updated Mission & Purpose, Vision & Values that were approved by the Board via Basecamp after our original offsite and subsequent work & review sessions. A question was asked: did we consider including “Diversity” as a separate value? Answer: Yes, and there were several other separate values we discussed as well. We wanted to ensure the document was purposeful, focused and short so we made decisions in certain areas. For instance, we absolutely value diversity among vendors, partners, Owners, shoppers and employees. We discussed that this commitment is inherent in our endorsement of “7 international co-operative principles” and also part of how we deliver on key parts of this mission & values, e.g. “accessible,” “community resource,” “relationships” and “equitable food community.” The same discussion was held regarding "honest" as a portion of "better", "transparent" and "accountable".
Jen and Karen to post blog & newsletter article/links on social to share with Owners and supporters.
Grant provided a Leadership Team (LT) report. LT is meeting every 2 weeks. Goal is to report to Board at high level where there are sticking points to address across teams. Teams are not consistently (yet) providing needed input to LT via use of the Dashboard – Dan recently reminded us. Without that input, it’s hard for LT to do the work we chartered them to do. Everyone needs to step up – even if your team is not currently active, complete Dashboard based on current status as a placeholder.
Kelly noted that MORE team had fallen behind but recently submitted Dashboard and should be able to keep up now. We will have a MORE team meeting this weekend and talk about this and other challenges given various team members’ travel and work schedules. Recent attendance has been inconsistent from person to person, so difficult to keep everyone on same page. Question was asked: are key (non-Board) volunteers feeling supported by us in the work they’re doing? Answer: Yes, in most instances. This was proactively discussed at a recent meeting.
Other teams: Site and Funding are actively using Dashboard. GLRP is not active, but has filled out placeholder. Governance, GM Hiring team, Org Dev and Legal still to-do. Once all are in, LT can review “what’s needed” and put together timeline, progress reports for Board as chartered.
Greg led a brief discussion regarding proposed Board retreat on theme of “What can we do better?” Intent to address some perceived barriers to progress, challenges of workload, a chance to have open, productive discussion and identify issues/strategies to address. 10 people are available 3/25 so this will likely be the date chosen. Concern expressed that no matter what date is picked, some Board members will not be able to attend. Agreed that LT will share agenda ASAP and those who cannot attend retreat will be invited to an LT meeting beforehand to provide their input. Question asked whether we might want an outside/non-Board facilitator to help run the session. Agreed would be desirable, but will need to nail down agenda first. A few potential names were offered (Laura P, Esther D, Owner Kelli W?). Not sure if we want to allocate additional $ for this. Greg to follow up discussion on Basecamp, get consensus and move the plan forward.
Karen led a discussion re: Owner communications. We have heard from a few recently who feel “out of the loop” or are wondering what’s happening, esp. related to Site news. MORE team would like to move to general updates on a more regular basis. Different from newsletter: this communication tightly focused on Owners and on critical path progress (Site, Owner growth, Funding). Jen had proposed in a previous Basecamp discussion that we put out monthly emails – personal, short, sharp, curated; general agreement this makes sense. Guest (and webmaster) Lee Herman noted that he feels a strong sense of progress and energy but believes that is because he is so involved as a volunteer; challenge is how to imbue others who are less actively engaged with that same sense.
Jen noted separate idea to improve Owner Engagement: MORE will begin holding regular Owner Meet-Ups. These are purely social, will move across different neighborhoods in our trade area over time. Target is to do 1/month and schedule time/place to dovetail with Info Sessions for prospective Owners. Let people come together, network, ask questions, feel more engaged. Ideally plan out further in advance (longer term planning) to make execution/attendance easier and to give Owners a bigger calendar of activity.
[we moved to Executive Session but one additional topic was covered that should have been in Public Session:]
Larry noted he will be taking on role of Outreach Liaison within MORE team. He’ll be at next team meeting and will work with team to define priorities for which organizations to focus on first/align with other campaign activity.