Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

To place Café orders call (231) 346-2852 
Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-9:00pm


2012 Meeting Minutes

2012 Oryana Board of Director's Meeting Minutes


December meeting cancelled - Next meeting January 17, 2013


Present at the meeting:
Ken Quitugua, Kaitlyn Burns, Jim Dagwell, Amy Tennis, Karen Howie, Rebecca Teahen, Erica Heller, Gabrielle Hall

General Manager: Steve Nance; Board Assistant: Cindy Jurik

Absent:  Sean Burns

Guests:   Tom Slater, Emily Bert, Sandi McArthur

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Board members and guests were introduced. Minutes from the last meeting were be approved by e-mail.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months. 

Public Input:
Tom Slater presented a reading from a book from long ago, relating that parents should use great care with their thoughts in the upbringing of their children.  With disease, mental or physical, real or imagined, the first key to health: don’t worry, be happy!

GM Report – Steve:
The assistance provided by Grain Train employees for our two MAD days in October was fantastic, and very much appreciated!

Thanksgiving turkeys - We are proud to be offering Deurksen’s as the main option for Thanksgiving turkeys this year – a better bird raised with non-GMO feed, and pastured – with great pricing at $2.99 per pound.  We’ll have a quantity of 200 birds this year (up from just 50 for 2011), available starting Monday morning, 11/19 A.M.   We will also have Biehl’s.  Grain Train in Petoskey is offering Deurksen’s only, and are also bringing in a quantity of 200.

With a Deurksen turkey and a purchase of $50 or more, shoppers receive a $5 discount.  Anticipating a crazy week next week, but will have lots of snacking opportunities for guests, and chair massage and other stuff for employees.  We are projecting 60’s on Monday, 50’s on Tuesday…

Sales Growth:
October up over 22%!  We haven’t seen that kind of sales growth in a long time.  2 great MAD days contributed to this, and “Justin Bieber says it’s great!”  We are seeing more shoppers, more members, great member loyalty, and guests’ market basket numbers are higher.

YTD 14%.  Projecting probably 12.5 – 13% for the year when Steve forecasts fourth quarter.  Growth is good.  NCGA congratulated Oryana on our performance.    Kalamazoo co-op is doing great, as well as Ypsilanti and Grain Train in Petoskey.In looking at the past, we enjoyed dynamic growth 2001 – 07, prior to the financial crash in 2008.  Steve projects   just under $13 million for the year.  Examining “Sales Growth by Percentage,” the recession truly affected people’s buying habits.  Recent growth puts us in a higher tax plateau and Steve and CPA and bookkeeper are evaluating.  Good financial performance allows us to fulfill the many points of our mission, and can include giving back to community, staff and members.

New IT provider:  Safety Net.  Today’s IT system at Oryana is pretty robust – 28 computers, etc.  Steve performed due diligence.  Steve is feeling good about this transition, and we have a 90-day out if for some reason we are unsatisfied.   

New Payroll Provider:  In process of changing payroll system from PayChex to ADP –cost and service driven.  This should be a seamless transition for our employees.

40th  Anniversary:  Our 40th is coming!  Very exciting news that Glenn Wolff will be doing an original artwork to commemorate this anniversary!  There are so many possible ways to utilize his art, i.e., prints, cards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.  We anticipate it will be quite popular among members.  Also, Aaron Dennis is putting together a video to commemorate the 40th.   Flo, employee events coordinator, will head up the 40th Anniversary Committee.  These BoD members volunteered to assist:  Amy, Ken, Kaitlyn, Karen, Erica.    We are hoping to perhaps piggy-back on one of the summer events, maybe at Building 50?  Definitely a PARTY to celebrate the anniversary! 

We will still do the GMM business meeting in April, but will keep the two events separate as they have different functions.  Glenn & Aaron will both be done by GMM, so they’ll be available by then.

Business planning:  There is a Retreat planned for 12/13/12 for the Leadership Team.  Some topics will include Visioning, and putting together timelines. Steve sees this process as “visioning up” to Oryana Imagined, 2022 thus creating milestones and sources and uses and operational needs to “get there”. 

Marketing Matters:  Lots going on here such as in-store merchandising, end-cap stuff.  Steve offered, “It’s like a D-Day invasion for Thanksgiving!”

Oryana Imagined 2022 (a/k/a OI22): – This will appear in the January/February 2013 newsletter for Members.

Street traffic:  City officials, including Russ Soyring & others are examining traffic patterns, lanes, lines and the crosswalk at our corner.  Truck traffic, and cars using the streets as a cut through are concerns.
Staff:  Eldon & Tom returned from Rising Stars.  Mike in the café has done technical barista training & has already torn apart the espresso machine.  He’s so excited about improvements!  Steve Moore in Grocery did Retail Basics Training in Minnesota.

Wendy has received a special recognition scholarship from Rotary, and will be in Holland for 4 weeks in the spring studying.  Wendy promises to return to us.  It is quite an honor; she was really the “top of the heap!” 

BoD Member feedback: Kudos for Steve!  Jim was highly complimentary about the thoroughness of Steve’s reporting to the Board.  The Board packet is outstanding for the information provided, and read every word.  The report is like Finance 101 for the directors, with explanations about ratios, and what they mean, and is so helpful for board members to look at the status & condition of the co-op.  Jim stated the data trend ratios are very telling, and identified the last page as the most important page to review.  The packet contents show that Steve has his arms around everything, not just in a people sense, but in a financial sense.  It’s all here, it’s all visualized.  He says thank you to Steve – he recognizes the tremendous amount of time it takes for Steve to do.  LOTS of kudos for Steve from all Board members!  Karen thanked both Steve & Jim, and for Jim pointing out to the rest of the Board what are important things to look at.  Steve spoke about the relationships with members & shoppers, and staff.  Steve reported he had done his Meijers/Tom’s/Glen’s visit recently, and he understands even further why people shop here, the differences.  Rebecca also thanked Steve.  She has seen turkey advertising, and reported she believes the popularity of Oryana in the community is ever-expanding as she heard co-workers in her office speaking about checking the Oryana Facebook page for soups.

Steve side-note – He sees growth of active retirees to this area continuing, a topic discussed at the recent economic breakfast he attended.  This directly affects us as people’s concerns for their health, and the fact that this region was included on the top 20 list in Money Magazine for most desirable spots for retirement.  This trend is making our Wednesday Senior Days lots of fun!  As a great result, it allows us to sell enough stuff that UNFI is putting us in the next lower pricing plateau.  We will lower prices rather than taking margin.  Growth lets us do more in the community.

Some pressures – Looking at timelines for getting another marketing study done, as well as looking at other locations, where that might be.  Steve’s networking is important throughout the community, for another location perhaps outside of the city, in getting approvals, investment dollars.  Erica asked Steve his opinion about Whole Foods entering this market?  Steve responded that perhaps other similar type stores will end up in this market, that Whole Foods needs a larger metro area/population.  Our defense is doing what we do best!  Steve is actually surprised no one else has entered the market yet.  So, if Oryana doesn’t grow, someone else will.

Karen mentioned that she was recently in the Chicago area and visited Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  Their pricing is very different.  Trader Joe’s has the same type of feel & relationship orientation in Glenview, IL as we have here, though it was much lower priced, very customer friendly.  Steve believes a Trader Joe’s here is pretty unlikely based on logistics; as far as pricing, they have their own store brands.

Board Development:

Store tour and board photo (in front of the beautiful produce).  Sandi, Gabby and other staff provided so much excellent information we can use to educate others and also utilize in our own shopping adventures at the co-op!

Amy -Amazing Thanksgiving dinner this evening thanks to Tom and the Food Service Team! 

Review Board calendar (handout):  Revise and republish the annual calendar to include regular review of policies and flag deadlines for things like changes to bylaws.

Ken’s point – development & educational activities.  Rebecca brought list of activities discussed for last year that we could revisit.  Need to hear back from Thane concerning orientation for new board members; she recommended we choose topics to correlate directly to OI22.  Thane said she would send us ideas for various topics that would serve us well, including a Field Guide for how to read the monitoring reports.  They have several of those to prepare the reports for each month.  Rebecca & Ken will follow up with Thane.

Board Education  List from before:  Being on a coop board, food hub– related to Community , Up North Media - Localism, Wellness - Neill Varner,  Oryana staff – wellness topic, CBLD 101,  CCMA, Carver book.  With Cindy & Steve’s help, we will be revitalizing the orientation book.  We should invite Chris Treter and Tim Young.  Rebecca can line that up, then Ken, Steve & Rebecca can work on ideas from OI22.  OI22 will be involving the Board in all sorts of work.  Financing review, explaining patronage, etc . 

Elevator Speech:  Development of BoD members’ “Elevator Speech” on tap for December. 

By-Laws:  Changes to by-laws must be posted 20 days in advance of the meeting.  This will be added to March.  Also establishing an annual “Policy Review” of the 5-year strategic plan in the month of July, perhaps pairing this with a review of the business plan.

Monitoring Reports:

February monitoring report assignment Model Workplace - seems to be missing.  Very similar to Treatment of Staff.  Group believes they attributed Steve’s address of “Benefits” to this topic.  Will add properly to calendar going forward. 

Ends Policy on Community and 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 3rd Quarter: 
Steve expanded his interpretation to cover social justice & fair trade – topics related to these were discussed at all staff meetings.  Environmental, sustainability will be one of the 2013 on initiatives.  And this is part of the OI22, wind gen & photovoltaic.  Steve advised energy usage at grocery stores is horrible.  Oryana is and will make changes such as LED’s.  Steve presented a quick view of the Master Blaster report – a consolidated report in one place.  This report includes the departments as well as monthly & quarterly reports and comparisons to targets.  We will continue developing more stuff, making it easier to operate Oryana as we grow. 

A great tool going forward is that our new IT firm Safety Net has computer programming capability.  They have the ability to program inputting financial data so it talks to Excel, and will automatically populate the information we need for improved operation.

Steve shared that he so enjoys the variety of what he does, and goes with the flow.  There’s always a challenge.  Grocery is fun!  A lot of stuff such as financials, market trends, needs of our members and staff changing and   moving real fast. 

Karen Howie moved, Jim Dagwell seconded:

The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policy on Community.  The Board reached consensus.

Ken Quitugua moved, Gabrielle Hall seconded:

The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policy 2.4 Financial  Condition & Activities – 3rd Quarter. The Board reached consensus.

Karen – per the tour – the store & produce area are beautifully stocked.  When something is past its due date , what is the process for handling these items?  Steve responded that it depends on the item.  Our buyers for departments are doing very well, very effective, though we do see markdowns at times.  We do set some items for Staff and we make donations to Food Rescue like produce.  Gabby explained that we use too-ripe veggies and fruit for soups, pies, etc. in Food Service. 

Meeting review, next meeting date, time & agenda:
Next meeting:  December 20, 5:30-8:00 pm @ Oryana

- Monitoring Report 2.5 Financial Planning & Budgeting
- Board Development:  Consensus Process – Rebecca

Public Input & Announcements:
Tom Slater – “Intentionality & intermediaries.”  Tom related a story about Hiawatha – she was given a mission to go see a powerful but not very pleasant community member by the Big Guy up above, or one of his intermediaries.  He likened this tale to Oryana’s Mission:  Its outreach is to encompass the community, reach out to the unreachable man, because it has power necessary for the completeness of the community.  Like Hiawatha, our message is “Righteousness & health.”

Jim recommended the DVD “Fresh” to the rest of the Board.  Sandi MacArthur has it to borrow.

Emily Bert inquired whether Oryana has addressed the issue of child labor in cocoa harvesting, as it fits in with our concerns with fair trade.  Products from Central South America seem pretty clear, but with products coming from Africa, it’s difficult to tell.  Steve says it has been discussed and we will keep an awareness about the issue.

Adjourned at 8:17 p.m.



Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Karen Howie, Gabrielle Hall, Ken Quitugua, Amy Tennis, Jim Dagwell, Kaitlyn Burns,  Erica Bourdon, Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns
General Manager: Steve Nance; Board Assistant: Cindy Jurik
Guests: Aaron Hill, Tom Slater 

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Guests were introduced. Minutes from the last meeting were be approved by e-mail.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months.  There is a lot coming up in November.

Public input: Tom Slater described an article that appeared in NMC’s White Pine Press about a month ago concerning the overall food waste inherent in the consumption of meat, calling it “another opportunity to go vegan.”  The article was written by Ingrid Newkirk from the McClatchy Tribune.

Aaron Hill, Oryana Produce employee, advised that Little Artshram has withdrawn their lease on 4.3 acres of land near the State Hospital.  People involved in this community garden are now left stranded.  Aaron feels Oryana should know about this event as Vision 2022 mentions different activities such as this and the garden might be well suited for Oryana involvement.    Aaron feels it could be self-sustaining, and run at no cost.  Steve invited Aaron to present a proposal with details on what Oryana is being asked to provide, suggesting that next spring might be appropriate for Oryana involvement.  Ken Quitugua was previously involved with this community garden as “the water guy.”  Little Artshram was a 2010 Oryana grant recipient. 

Steve Nance - GM Report: September/October: Wow!  Yahoo!  A good report and a lot of stuff.  Karen Howie inquired about Leadership Grand Traverse and Steve’s involvement.  Steve explained an overview of the program.  Rebecca mentioned that other Oryana employees could subsequently be involved.

Board members noticed the new flat screen in the conference room, and Steve explained the new system’s capabilities. 

Report Highlights – Operating stuff for the quarter, up 14%.  Margins are all looking good, generating cash.  Costs are also up.  Steve went to NCGA General Assembly in Cambridge; very worthwhile.  They are reorganizing NCGA with more emphasis on support of growth for the co-op sector.  As a group, co-ops are losing market share, which is very important for the viability of co-ops to be competitive.  When market share decreases, we lose bargaining power with suppliers, including discounts and better pricing.  We were about 10% of UNFI, where Whole Foods is about 25%.  The focus at the corridor meeting: Readiness.   The good news is that the group is very positive about supporting each other; truly positive.  Karen Howie referred to Isle Vista email – part of the NCGA – located in CA.  They have a non-traditional, crowd financing request.

Vision 2022 – The retreat garnered even more enthusiasm, and staff meetings took place this week.  Oryana can play many different roles in various community projects, but it’s not necessarily Oryana always doing it all.  The other piece of 2022 is outreach.  Steve is in the community cultivating a strong network, the Chamber of Commerce CEO Roundtable.  Networking with government and other connections can have very favorable results, and allow us to get more help for future initiatives. 


Business Planning – Next step operationally: putting together a 5-yr business plan to look at resource allocation.  It is important to have our one-year operational view to stay on track with the things we’re really good at, i.e., the Amazing Oryana Experience.  The Board is the other piece of this.  Board members’ connection to the members, first quarter via the Board Linkage project.  More fun, more happy and healthy people.  We will also be doing a focused marketing study.

Communication – As a result of the staff survey completed 1 ½ yrs ago, we are doing even more daily updates to staff, and the Leadership team meets weekly.
Security – Shoplifting.  Steve showed a photo of an individual (and former employee) known to staff as being up to no good.  There have been issues with staff possessions being taken, etc.  As a result, we are looking at security alternatives.  Safety is first & foremost priority. 

Food Service – This area up double-digits.  Good stuff going on with menu changes, and tweaking of signage.   In the marketplace, consumer desire for more prepared foods and specialty items is growing. 

Budget:   Steve showed what board has spent YTD.  The line item for the GMM has always been separate.   Board budget number is in line with other similar size coops.  Number goes up in 2nd quarter due to cost of CCMA.  Everyone agrees it is definitely worth it.  Our budget number equals roughly 0.3% of our sales, and other coops are similar.  Oryana has been conservative on Board budget and training.  .  Recruitment and development for the board is important for a thriving organization.

Access to Board Documents on the Website:  Per Steve, this is a secure avenue for BoD members to go into the materials needed by board members.  We can include anything BoD members want to do with it, i.e., for special projects, for special committees.  This platform is fairly easy to work with.  We are investigating how Cindy can assist with this in posting documents.  Think about what you’d like to have there.  On a related topic, Rebecca inquired whether a stronger wireless could be available upstairs in the Oryana building.

Wendy Walter - Employee Satisfaction Survey:
We have the results of our 2nd employee survey, with the last one done about 1 ½ years ago.  This iteration was less comprehensive, but covers all GM Monitoring report “Treatment of Staff” – created by Carolee & Helena.  Next year we will do a similar format, then the year following, go back to the big one.  It was noted by both Wendy and Steve that surveys measure individual employees’ perceptions, not actual facts.  The survey group utilized does surveys at other co-ops.  Amy wondered about sample size, with Wendy responding that 40% of employees were polled this year (rather than 100%) to prevent “survey fatigue.”  Questions included Workplace communication; Compensation; Store operations – safety, food handling, hygiene; Department Operations; HR Practices; Training & Development; Supervision. Results higher in all aspects than previous survey.  Value – the previous survey caused a dramatic shift in Oryana, changing the organizational and operational culture.  We have improved amazingly!  Steve said that Wendy has been instrumental in many initiatives taken on to move us up on the path.  Helena was very impressed with how far we had come.  Amy thanked Steve for providing the leadership to make this happen.

Karen Howie & Gabrielle Hall - Review of Guiding Documents:
Karen and Gabby are working to review guiding documents on a regular basis – policies, and also by-laws.  Oryana’s by-laws were last signed in 1998-99 according to Steve and have had 3 changes that he can recall since then.  Thane helped with by-law revision as she was an attorney.  Karen mentioned the negative language, and how Steve turns it into positive language in the Oryana Policy Governance Model.  A next step is investigating what other coops are doing.  Karen and Gabrielle are recommending an annual review, perhaps pairing it timing wise with the review of the business plan.  Rebecca Teahen applauded this suggestion.  This needs to be included on the calendar well in advance to make sure it gets accomplished.

Add action item prior to GMM occurring in April – any changes to by-laws need to be decided by based on the By-Laws.  Deadline needs to be established.  Karen & Gabrielle will review once again, as well as calendar dates.  Compiling other coops’ by-laws as a comparative study will be a huge project.  It was mentioned Thane could possibly be helpful in this area.  They will let Amy know in the next month or two when they’re ready to present this.

Upcoming Events & Brainstorming:
Tom Sisco, Oryana Kitchen Manager, is off to the Rising Star Seminar in Austin, TX, along with Eldon Horner, Store Manager.

Ken Quitugua announced Member Appreciation Days – 2 days next week, Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Oct. 25, and wondered if some board members could be on hand to greet customers?  Steve reported that Grain Train in Petoskey is sending some representatives in the spirit of “The Year of the Coop.”  Grain Train is doing very well with respect to the central corridor.

Steve talked about the fall initiative:  Kick Thanksgiving in the Giblets! with the goal to increase sales 15% over last year.  To help this, we will have Duerksen’s turkeys from Mancelona; they are pastured, and given non-GMO grain, making them unique and special.  This promotion launches us into that holiday “food season” that can positively impact our 1Q.  Also planning food service demo’s and contests inside the store for staff.

Gabrielle wonders if Steve could tour board members through the store and introduce them to staff in different departments.  All thought it sounds fantastic!  Steve and Gabrielle will get together on this, and email Amy.  This will take place at the November meeting, with a team photo taken at that time.

Board Development activities:  Rebecca will be having a call with Thane Joyal, the Board’s consultant, to get her suggestions on governance, training and board roles.  Folks could send ideas by email to Rebecca.

Amy – President’s Report:
Member Linkage Project - As a method to gather information from members, and match that up to the Ends to ensure they’re still appropriate, we are developing plans for a periodic (monthly, quarter, tbd) dinners to discuss coop issues.  Ave ISR’s team (marketer/market research) will help lead that. 

GM Evaluation Criteria and process for same (handout) – Update: still negotiating Steve’s 2-year contract.  Executive committee evaluates GM’s performance.  Current managers are asked to respond to questions posed to them re: Steve’s performance.  This will occur in November.  December is final meeting with Steve.  Multiple perspectives are a more holistic process.

Monitoring Report on Ends Policies on 2.3 Treatment of Staff & 2.8 Compensation & Benefits: Steve provided his written report on the board's Ends Policy on 2.3 Treatment of Staff and the Ends Policy on 2.8 Compensation & Benefits.

Wendy Walter had presented the Employee Satisfaction Survey earlier in the meeting as part of an Exhibit to show GM compliance to Ends Policy 2.3 Treatment of Staff and 2.8 Compensation and Benefits. 


Ken Quitugua moved, Jim Dagwell seconded:

The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policy on 2.3 Treatment of Staff and Ends Policy on 2.8 Compensation & Benefits. The Board reached consensus.

Monitoring Report on Ends Policies on 2.1. Treatment of Consumers & 2.2. Membership: Steve provided his written report on the board's 2.1. Treatment of Consumers & 2.2. Membership

Workman’s compensation insurance folks came through to look at work safety and ergonomics.  Karen Howie asked whether we have a defibrillator, and Steve answered yes. 


Karen Howie moved, Rebecca Teahen seconded:

The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policy on 2.1. Treatment of Consumers & 2.2. Membership. The Board reached consensus.

Rebecca Teahen:
Volunteer opportunities – Rebecca wonders if we want to change that expectation?  Steve responded that he wants to be challenged to try to bring that back in some way, if possible.

Price comparisons – Secret shoppers at other stores.  Is it appropriate to share results of these shops with the board members so we can discuss it in the community?  Steve talked about Oryana’s “Every Day Value” programs and the variable margin goals in place for operational dept heads.  Variable margin goals entail lowering margins on stuff people buy more.  Steve is working on talking points for price with Marketing at this time, and we will have more information on this soon.  Steve explained SPINS, an artificial intelligence tool in the retail world.  Management can ask for reports on a variety of levels through SPINS. 

Public Input: Tom Slater referred to a 55-year-old National Geographic magazine article about utilizing turkey waste and 400 million earthworms to create 3 feet of topsoil on 5 acres of land over 3 years.  Even then, people were advocating earthworms to build topsoil.  Earthworms are nature’s natural plow.

Next meeting: The board next meets on November 15, 5:30-8 p.m. in the Oryana conference room.  The agenda will include:

Ends policy on community
3rd Q report
Store tour – wear your shirts!  Team photo taken.
Calendar exercise, bumping Consensus Training to December possibly

Meeting adjourned at 7:19 p.m.

September Meeting Cancelled


Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Gabby Hall, Kaitlyn Burns, Karen Howie, Sean Burns, Ken Quitugua
Board Assistant: Wendy Walter (Oryana Human Development Manager)
General Manager: Steve Nance
Guests: Dan Brady (Habitat for Humanity), Bill Fagan (Habitat for Humanity), Penny Kreibahl, Tom Slater, Jennifer Jones (Habitat for Humanity)
Absent: Erica Bourdon, Jim Dagwell

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:40 PM. Guests and board members introduced themselves to each other.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar.

Public input: Tom Slater visited ELFCO in East Lansing this past weekend and was pleasantly treated, he even got a discount. The store carried similar products and was about a quarter the size of Oryana.

Minutes:  July minutes were approved via email prior to the meeting.

General Manager's Report:
MAD days were in July and were very busy; feedback was that it went very smoothly. In October the senior discount will be on both MAD days. Oryana is a co-sponsor of economist Michael Shuman returning to the area in early October for a public workshop on local lending (keeping the dollars local). The Chamber of Commerce is also a sponsor of the event. Karen mentioned the possibility of providing volunteers if they are needed. Little Artshram would also be interested in helping. Sales experienced 14% growth in July; Steve is predicting 15% growth for August. Steve spent the last week in Minnesota to do an NCGA co-op audit; he also visited 6 – 7 other co-ops to get ideas.

Special Guest: Bill Fagan & Jeff Brady, topic Habitat for Humanity @ the Depot
Habitat for Humanity, along with Homestretch, purchased the property on the corner of 8th Street & Woodmere from the city, and estimates there will be 21 homes upon completion. Heating should only cost $250/year and the cost of building the houses is $60 per square foot. Habitat is also trying to partner w/ Carter’s Kids for a playground in the common area. The project is great in that it’s adding affordable housing in the city area.

Responses to general questions:
- Habitat is looking to break ground in spring 2013.
- The neighborhood will be a net zero community with the addition of solar panels.
- We’re currently in the selection process for the families.
- LEED certification is expensive, so we are considering not doing that for this project.
- This is much larger than what our region has previously done; the goal is approximately $1.5 million.
- Habitat also helps them through the home ownership steps, developing budgets, becoming debt free, etc.
- The community will be set up as an association to care for the common areas.
- Habitat maintains a right of first refusal for when an employee wants to sell the home; the goal that would be to use the home again.
- The local Habitat organization serves GT, Kalkaska & Leelanau counties.
- The three main criteria for selection are: need, willingness to partner with Habitat, and the ability to repay.
- Selectees must put in 275 hours of sweat equity.
Rebecca spoke for the Board to say that Oryana would be happy to help in some way.

GM Compensation RFP
Two years ago the Board approved having Steve’s compensation negotiated by the Executive Committee. Steve has a list of parameters, he then develops a proposal which is given to the executive committee, and negotiations commence. The parameters will be sent to everyone on the board after they are sent to Steve on August 17th.

Monitoring Report on 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities:
Discussion was held on the amount of information that is being provided – Steve will try to condense some reports for 3rd quarter; please give your feedback about the amount of information provided at that time.

Ken moved, Kaitlin seconded:
The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Financial Condition and Activities for 2nd Quarter. The Board reached consensus.

Vision 2022:
Moved to the September meeting.

General discussion – Sean had a question on the traffic level in the store. Steve responded that some of the traffic is seasonal, and that we are also proceeding with the Amazing Oryana Experience. At this point the traffic level is just something that we need to continue to watch.

Meeting review, next meeting date, time and agenda:
The board next meets on September 20, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm @ Oryana

  • Board Development and Educational Activity: Understanding Consensus
  • Monitoring report: 2.3 Treatment of Staff & 2.8 Compensation & Benefits
  • Policy Review Proposal – Karen & Kaitlin
  • Member Linkage Committee report – Amy
  • Update on Vision 2022

Public Input: Tom Slater just recently visited the ReStore. General discussion was held about the great re-use options in the area.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.


Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Erica Bourdon, Gabby Hall, Kaitlyn Burns, Jim Dagwell, Sean Burns, Karen Howie
General Manager: Steve Nance
Education and Outreach Director; Sandi McArthur
Board Assistant: Brendan Hall
Guests: Tom Slater, Thane Joyal, Rob Sirrine
Absent: Ken Quitugua

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:55 PM, Cherry-Festival-style. Guests and board members introduced themselves to each other.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months. August will be a return to 3rd Thursdays, rather than 2nd Thursdays, for the date of Board Meetings.

Public input: Tom Slater discussed visit to Lansing, including a catfish dinner, and said he’s glad to be among and hear from healthy people.

Minutes:  June minutes were presented for acceptance.

Action: Jim Dagwell moved, Karen Howie Seconded

GM Report: Labor costs increased some during the summer, per usual. Sales have also been up though. Oryana has had occasional days of 1,600 customers, with rather consistent $40- 45 thousand sales days. Staff Appreciation Picnic was last Sunday, with food made by Oryana rather than from outside catering. There have been some notable website changes, particularly in produce availability, events calendar, et al. Oryana has had above average growth against other co-op performance on the year.

Oryana was involved with Cherry Festival this year, after no involvement in recent history. Oryana was also at Green Cuisine, which apparently had many first-time attendees this year. 1% in sales to Neahtawanta Research and Education Center. Membership is now at over 4,000. Member Appreciation Days will happen the 25th and 26th of this month. Proposal for board presence at Member Appreciation Days… contact Steve or Flo. Clarification was given re: the Patronage Rebate, statistical, and accounting purposes for swiping membership cards.

Special Guest: J Robert Sirrine, PhD MSU Extension Educator; topic “TC Food Hub”:

The Commons is the biggest Brownfield Redevelopment in the country, and the development direction is for a mixed-use facility. Building 58 was used in the past as a commissary… it fed 3,500 a day in the past. This is the proposed site for the local Food Hub. Food Hubs typically include aggregation of products, processing, distribution, and storage [USDA definition]. Minervini’s are on board with the proposal for the local one.

There was a feasibility study just completed on the food hub. Some goals of the Food Hub include raising the incomes of small and medium local farmers, creating social space, more access to local food, and more jobs. The Food Hub will be developed gradually and collaboratively with other businesses and ventures, with the idea of becoming a food cluster. There is a particularly high demand locally for storage— coolers and freezers.

Other ideas include an education kitchen, a commercial test/incubator kitchen, retail “shed” for the farmers’ market, et,al. The Food Hub will probably be part for-profit and part non-profit, under different entities. An advisory board is talking approximately monthly. Steve is involved in some of the initial meetings that are happening, and is  good contact for meeting times if anyone is interested in attending. The estimated end cost of the Food Hub is approximately $5 million. Sorting out the organizational structure and getting funding are the big needs presently… regardless, the probability of the Food Hub coming to fruition seems good.

Monitoring Report on Financial Condition - Ends Policies on Wellness and Education:

To provide an interesting corroboration to Steve’s written reports, Sandi McArthur, Oryana Education and Outreach Director, provided an update on Oryana Outreach/Education programs.

The primary goal of Sandi’s position is brainstorming how to better serve Oryana’s customers, considering that Oryana is uniquely positioned as a community resource. Oryana is developing relationships through collaboration with many different businesses and organizations locally. One particularly exciting program is Oryana’s home-grown classes taught by Dave Gibbs to schoolchildren throughout the area. A lot of content under Sandi’s purview will be uploaded to the website and broadcast locally. Print materials include the Oryana Member Guide. More staff trainings are now and will be happening.

Steve thinks it is important that he is working and linking with organizations and efforts (such as the food hub, Good Food Charter, Bay Bucks, SEEDS, MLUI, etc) outside of the co-op more to allow the coop to better fulfill our End polices. The co-op is growing and is more influential and Steve is confident in the staff’s abilities so can pursue more community outreach.  The Board indicated their support. 


Karen moved, Rebecca seconded:
The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policies on Wellness and Education.  The Board reached consensus.

Public Input: Tom Slater is proud to be a part of the community that is buying food conscientiously, and praised board members and staff for being a part of that community also.

Meeting review, next meeting date, time and agenda:
The board next meets on August 16, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm @ Oryana

Board Development and Educational Activity: Special Guest - Habitat for Humanity
Monitoring report: 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 2nd Quarter

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


June Meeting Location:  NW Michigan Horticultural Research Station.

Present at the meeting were:

Board Members: Rebecca Teahen, Erica Bourdon, Karen Howie, Amy Tennis, Jim Dagwell, Kaitlyn Burns, Ken Quitugua, and General Manager, Steve Nance.

Absent: Gabby Hall and Sean Burns

Guests: Monica Petersen, Tom Slater, and guest speaker; Nikki Rothwell of MSU’s NW MI Horticultural Research Station.

Welcome: Amy convened the meeting at 5:40 p.m. Guests were introduced.

Nikki Rothwell welcomed the board. She announced that she would like to see more involvement in the agriculture program and bring us into a new way of thinking. Rothwell gave an informative historical and current overview of the research station, what it does and how it helps.
Rothwell describes the horticultural research station. The facility was originally built by farmers and currently serves a 5 county area. The primary focus of the facility is tree fruits but they have some involvement in the wine and cider industry. According to Rothwell they are a forward thinking, minimal staff that works for the needs of growers.
She explained that is has been a challenging year for the farming community due to the substantial loss of tart cherries. The research station seeks to find ways to help farmers cope with a crisis of this magnitude.

Nikki then gave the board a tour of the orchards, describing the various projects:

Cover crops and soil building
Pollinator project
Cherry variety trials
Hops project and weed reduction methods
Cider apples project
Cherry growing methods of the future
Bacterial canker causes and management

After the horticultural research station tour and dinner, Steve Nance reconvened the meeting at 7:11p.m.

Board calendar: The board reviewed the calendar for the next 3 months.

Monitoring Report 2.9 Communication and Support to the board.
2.9 continued:

Steve opens with a proposal to add an administrative assistant to assist the Board members. Steve describes an outline of the Administrative Assistant’s duties and whose role would be primarily to support the Board. This position would be financed from the Board’s budget.

Steve also informs the Board that Oryana’s website has a new feature with secure access. This feature could assist the Board by: organizing Board documents, packets, information, historical Board archives, and videos. Karen Howie requests that the Board packet pages are numbered.

Action: All present vote in agreement to adding an Administrative Assistant for Board support.

2.0.1 to 2.9.8 Reviewed.
Action: Motion was made to accept the GM’s Monitoring report. Ken moved, Amy seconded.

GM Report:

Steve highlighted his written report and recounts many of the highlights of the most recent all staff meeting. He introduced the O.B.P. Oryana Big Picture to help staff more fully understand Oryana’s mission and goals. Steve talked about Oryana’s concept of a Triple Bottom Line. Oryana is now staffed by 106 employees, a current membership count of 39,071.
Recent Oryana events and activities:

Oryana University-Steve described the basic purpose of OU is to increase internal development to support Oryana’s vision and growth.
Highlights of the recent event The Good Food Summit, in East Lansing
CCMA-Sponsored by Weavers Way Co-op.
5 board members and Steve attended the conference in Philadelphia, June 14-16
Organizational changes:
As part of strategies to give depth to our leadership and support staff in providing Amazing Oryana Experience, Dave Gibbs and Steve Moore have been promoted to Team Leads in Grocery. John Cutler and Chris Edson are Sub-Department Leads.
Marketing Matters: Luise Bollebar is now salaried in recognition of her important role supporting both Outreach and Marketing and Operations Teams as well as Newsletter Editor and Social Media coordinator. We are back on TV2 Health Matters. Luise is also exploring creating videos to communicate Oryana’s vision. Susan Summers and Nancy Schwalm are demo and events assistants and work in conjunction with Flo Christopher, Marketing and Events coordinator.
Ken Quitugua has been promoted to facilities manager and will oversee housekeeping.
Susie Colquitt, a Grocery staffer has been promoted to Merchandising.

Other significant events and topics discussed:
Further questions and answers about Oryana’s decision to seek out a new insurance carrier for staff.
Karen Howie commented on Food For Change, suggesting that is a perfect venue to tell the Oryana story. Howie recommends it for a “board agenda.”
Steve announces the plan for the 40th Anniversary celebration with some discussion.

Significant events, as outlined in the board packet were discussed in more detail:

• Oryana experienced over one million in sales in May
• Stabenow breaks ground on a new Whole Foods in Detroit
• Oryana sponsors the Special Olympics Michigan
• Archipelago Project supports young local musicians
• Oryana sponsored Digestive Health lecture May 17
• Oryana appointed a new insurance agent, Peterson McGregor
• Annual Smart Commute Week, Oryana provided breakfast, over 200 served
• Oryana is a sponsor of Taste the Local Difference

Future topics: Wellness and education to be discussed in August.

Public Input: Tom Slater comments that it sure pays to grow old in good health. He looks forward to attending many future Board meetings. He thanked the board for the donation basket for Veterans for Peace.

Next meeting: The board next meets on July 12, 5:30-8 p.m., Oryana conference room.

Amy calls the meeting adjourned at 8:11p.m.


Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Ken Quitugua, Erica Bourdon, Gabby Hall, Sean Burns, Karen Howie; General Manager: Steve Nance; Board Assistant: Sharon Flesher; Guests: Tom Slater, Denny Cantwell.

Absent: Kaitlyn Burns, Jim Dagwell.

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:40 p.m. Guests and new board members were introduced.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months.

Public input: Denny Cantwell alerted the board to an upcoming HBO show on obesity. Tom Slater commented on an article in the Oryana newsletter.

GM Report: Steve highlighted his written report. Membership Appreciation Days were the busiest ever with more than $150,000 in two days. Sales are high. Based on staff input, the co-op has a new benefits package that extends insurance to part-time employees. To celebrate Earth Day, Oryana bought and planted 700 trees at the Brown Bridge Natural Area. The staff held a celebratory event at the TBA Credit Union. Representatives from a group planning a food co-op in Grand Rapids visited with Steve and staff to get advice. Steve is also meeting with representatives of a proposed local food hub at the Commons. Upgrades are underway in the bulk and food service departments.

Monitoring Report on Financial Condition: Steve provided his written report on the Policy 2.4, Financial Condition, 1st Quarter.

Action: Ken moved, Sean seconded:

The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Policy 2.4, Financial Condition, 1st Quarter. The Board reached consensus.

Election of Officers: Amy reviewed the job descriptions for each officer. Karen renominated the entire slate of current officers.


Ken moved, Karen seconded:
The Board elected the following officers: Amy Tennis, president; Rebecca Teahen, vice president ; Sean Burns, secretary; Jim Dagwell, treasurer. The Board reached consensus.

Finance 101: Steve presented an overview of the co-op's financial and accounting systems.

Public Input: Tom Slater praised the huge turnout at the General Membership Meeting.

Next meeting: The board next meets on June 21, 5:30-8 p.m., for a field trip to the MSU horticultural station.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Craig Mulder, Derick Hall, Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Ken Quitugua, Sean Burns, Jim Dagwell, Karen Howie; General Manager: Steve Nance; Board Assistant: Sharon Flesher; Guests: Tom Slater, Jeff Leonhardt, Nathan Schultz, Stephanie Woodfin, Tim Gillan.
(Neill Varner resigned.)

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:35 p.m. Guests were introduced. Minutes from the last meeting will be approved by e-mail prior to the General Membership Meeting.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months.

Public input: Tom Slater alerted everyone to a “60 Minutes” report on the dangers of sugar, particularly in processed food.

GM Report: Steve highlighted his written report. Sales growth is about 13% so far this year, which is above plan. Membership is up from last year. The leadership team is working with Zingtrain on visioning and also with Woody Smith's consultant group to improve the Oryana shopping experience. A new task force is working on improving the efficiency of the marketing efforts. Steve will be attending the annual NCGA conference next month; one item of business is reorganization of a Great Lakes Group for collaboration. Sunday is the Empty Bowls charity event, sponsored by Oryana and featuring a vegetarian soup prepared by the kitchen. Member Appreciation Days are April 24-25.

Monitoring Report on Ends Policies on Economy and Localism: Steve provided his written report on the board's Ends Policy on Economy and the Ends Policy on Localism.


Ken moved, Jim seconded:
The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policy on Economy and Ends Policy on Localism. The Board reached consensus.

Monitoring Report on Policy 2.6, Asset Protection: Steve provided his written report on Asset Protection. He explained security measures the store has in place. Tim Gillen from Terrapin Systems attended the meeting to provide an overview of the store's data security.


Craig moved, Ken seconded:
The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring report on Policy 2.6, Asset Protection. The Board reached consensus.

Brainstorming: Board members discussed ideas for education topics to be explored at future meetings.
Craig suggested airing some of the videos on local resiliency produced by Dave Barrons for UpNorth Live. Derick suggested taking better advantage of the seminars available from CBLD and CGMA. Ken suggested spending some time organizing board documents. Rebecca suggested a local farm tour. Steve described the local Food Hub being organized by various groups. Karen suggested getting Neill Varner to contribute a lesson in the wellness topic. Steve said staff would enjoy presenting its work on creating a model workplace or some of the education team's projects. The May meeting will have an overview from Steve on the co-op's finance. June will be organizing the board's documents and resources. July or August will be a farm tour. September could be for community resiliency and staff presentations on model workplace and wellness in October, November and December. All topics are tenative.

Review of Board Policy on Election of Officers: Amy read the updated board policy on officer election. Board members may nominate themselves. President and vice president must have served on the board for a year. Staff members cannot be president, vice president or treasurer. The board also discussed the possible need for hiring administrative help.

Public Input: Tom Slater commented on the definition of invasive species and living united.

Next meeting: The board next meets on May 10, 5:30-8 p.m., Oryana conference room. The General Membership Meeting is April 19.


Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Craig Mulder, Derick Hall, Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Ken Quitugua, Sean Burns, Jim Dagwell, Karen Howie; General Manager: Steve Nance; Guests: Tom Slater, Gabby Hall (Board Candidate & Oryana Employee), Jeff Ward CPA.
Absent: Neill Varner

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Guests introduced and February minutes approved (by email).

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months.

Public input: Tom Slater suggested that the eligible age for Senior Days be raised to 60 years old from the current 55 years old.  Also suggested that if the Patronage Rebate is based on individual members sales then the Employee Bonus should be based on the individual employee’s annual purchases.

GM Report: Craig observed big increase in February sales.  Steve commented that the key reasons for the increase was due to several successful promotional events may have played key role as well as the fact that the staff is doing a great job.

Steve Nances’ comments on GM Report:

  • Employee Handbook is now complete after a lot of hard work.
  • Local Food 20/20:  Munson has indicated that they share that goal
  • Oryana Sponsored, “Dirt The Movie” at the State Theater was well attended (approx. 60-70) and on par with normal Monday night numbers.
  • Occupalooza - Some members thought it was too controversial even though Oryana’s participation was to provide information on cooperatives.  Other members liked the fact that Oryana was present.

Monitoring Report on Ends Policies on Economy and Localism:
Moved to April meeting due to some difficulty reviewing documents using Google Groups / Docs
Craig suggested that we should look at a way to ease access to Google Docs

Monitoring Report 2.4 Financial Conditions and Activities - Q4 and End of Year
Steve introduced the report with overview of changes in accrual accounting method that changes some of our ratios for CoCofist.  Steve is satisfied at how Oryana’s end of year taxes turned out compared to CNGA standards and that the pre-tax net profit was close to target.

Derek commented that COGS was below budget (good thing).  Steve attributed it to relative large percentage of local purchases.

Rebecca moved to approve.  Ken seconded motion.

Due Diligence:
Jeff Ward CPA presented a report on 2011 financials and external audit options.
Provided a review of year end Balance Sheet, Income and Cash Flow Statements.
JW also provided an overview of the strict protocols that are currently employed in reviewing Oryana’s accounts and compared these protocols to the possible benefit received in conducting a full audit.

Special Presentation and Discussion:  Oryana 2022

Steve presented an overview of the management’s Vision 2022 training session with ZingTrain.  Goal was to help create a vision of where Oryana would be in the year 2022 and to set that vision as a target. The exercise allowed Steve to “project” himself into the future and then convey his vision of the future Oryana to the management team.  The team then discussed and expanded on this vision.  Next steps will be to develop a draft vision and then bring in other members (board, staff, members) to the team.

Public Input: Tom Slater: Suggested that we all read the NMC publication particularly the article on “Thrivability”.

Next meeting: The board next meets on April 12, 2012, 5:30pm – 8:00pm, @ Oryana conference room

Meeting Adjourned: 8:29pm


Present at the meeting were:
Board Members: Neill Varner, Derick Hall, Rebecca Teahen, Jim Dagwell, Ken Kit-tu-gua; General Manager: Steve Nance; Guests: Tom Slater, Gabrielle Hall,  Kevin Cryderman, Susan Coloquitt, Erica Bourdon.

Absent: Karen Howie, Craig Mulder, Amy Tennis, Sean Burns

Welcome:  Rebecca convened the meeting at 5:35 p.m. Minutes from the past meeting were approved by e-mail.

Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months.

Public input: Guests were introduced.

GM Report: Steve highlighted his written report, two months were covered due to cancelling the January meeting. Sales trends in our cooridor were discussed. Oryana's growth is stronger than most other similar co-ops.

Monitoring Report on Financial Condition: Steve provided his written report on Policy 2.7, Emergency GM Succession.

Ken moved, Dags seconded:
The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring report on Policy 2.7, Emergency GM Succession. The Board reached consensus.

Subcommittees: The names and charges of each committee were reviewed. All in attendance agreed with the proposed names and charges and will work within respective committees on various assignments in the coming months.

Public Input: Tom Slater offered “kudos” for listings in the Business News.

Next meeting: The board next meets on March 8, 5:30-8 p.m., Oryana conference room.
In addition to the existing list for topics, the board added an agenda item for March related to preparing for the GMM, volunteer recruitment, etc.

The group adjourned at 6:35 for “dinner & dialogue”

January Meeting was canceled




E-news Sign-up

Join the Co-op

Read the Current Issue of Fresh Press

Fresh Local

Breads at Oryana

Delivered Daily

Bay Bread
Old Mission Multigrain
Stone House Bread
Pleasanton Bakery
9 Bean Rows
Third Coast Bakery

Oryana's Own:
Quick Breads
Wheat Sandwich Bread
WF Sandwich Bread
WF Vegan Flaxseed Bread