Present at the meeting:
Amy Tennis, Ken Quitugua, Jim Dagwell, Erica Heller, Chris Miller, Kaitlyn Burns, Sean Burns, Chelsea Bay Dennis
Oryana: General Manager: Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill
Absent: Rebecca Teahen
Guests: Tom Slater, John Gessner, Hillary Gessner
Welcome: Amy convened the meeting at 5:37. Guests were introduced. Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email.
Board Calendar: March ends are Economy & Localism: potential meeting at Black Star Farms. Small Co-op Conference is March 17 in Traverse City.
Tom Slater – Is enjoying the warmer weather and kayaking up the Boardman River.
GM Report – Steve:
January numbers up from last year- higher market basket, similar # of shoppers. February is a little flat- predicting 6% growth.
MAD day revision: Steve created Task Team that went through a process that resulted in recommendation to GM of a new approach one month each quarter: Member Appreciation Month. Members can select one shopping trip within that month to receive an extra 10% discount. . The Team used information gathered by the recent shopper survey and other information. Some reasons to change - Not many of the members come in for MAD: only about 1500 participate now. Operationally, labor will take a hit for labor vs. sales but more members will take advantage of it. POS will track discount
Oryana is making a $50,000 loan to the NCGA-DC loan fund. Loans are used for Co-op growth and to fund new co-ops and current co-op expansion projects. Loans are paid back within 12 years with interest. NCGA co-op members are eligible, as are independent stores. We are also eligible to apply for a loan should we expand.
Expansion Project: The third market study has been commissioned.
Our attorney is reviewing the DC contract before Steve makes a recommendation for which consultant to hire.
Our bylaws are being reviewed by the Ad Hoc Committee and our attorney.
The Q & A about expansion is complete. Steve asked if the Board believes it is ready to be shared with Leadership Team and staff. They agree.
Steve has had some discussions on potential options in target area.
Fresh Thyme is opening the first 23 stores in the next couple years. They plan to open 60 total.
A Leadership Retreat is scheduled for next Friday to conduct 2014/2015 business planning. Zingtrain is leading. One goal for the retreat is to streamline the planning process so it doesn’t detract from Operations.
Woody will be here tonight to discuss survey results. Customer engagement, price perception, product safety, MAD, Member Engagement, Communications, Local vs Organic and Service/Store Conditioning are all takeaways.
Oryana for Good: These metrics were compiled by our Communications Manager, Marika:
Outreach events, presentations, cooking classes and tours = 8
People reached = 252
In-store demos = 33
Customers reached = 1,975
School classes = 16
Students reached = 488
Lots of sponsorships & donations: the Beehive Collective, the Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival, VASA Ski Club, Great Lakes Culinary Institute, Women’s Winter Tour, Food Rescue & Goodwill’s Empty Bowls Project, the Cherry Capital Mens’ Chorus, and On the Ground.
The numbers… 6005 members!
2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 4th Quarter and Full Year
Growth: 15.74%, exceeded target growth of 10%. Sales: $14,315,357, exceeded target of 13.6 million. Gross Margin: 37.76, exceeded target of 37%. Inventory Turns – not quite 18- not quite to the target of 20. Performance to Budget- income exceeded budget. Net income up. More sales to members – over 70%- seem to correspond to higher store sales.
Capital projects completed – investment paid off. Oryana paid off lease from expansion and remodeling loan which changed the mortgage to just over $600,000. Invested in the building (installed compactor, re-stained siding, re-designed the utility area.
Members enjoyed our 40th Celebration at the GT Commons. Gave back to staff this year.
Recommending Patronage this year! Up to Board to vote.
Motion to accept: Action: Chelsea moved. Sean seconded.
The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on
Ends Policy and 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 4th Quarter
And Full Year. The Board reached consensus.
Motion to approve Patronage: Action: Dags moved. Ken seconded.
The Board accepted the General Manager’s recommendation for
Patronage. The Board reached consensus.
Committee Report Out Sean Burns
Ad Hoc Committee
Member Loans- our bylaws support member loan programs. CDS consultants Thane and Leslie agree that we don’t need a bylaw change to accommodate. Steve has our attorney is reviewing. If a change is necessary it doesn’t have to coincide with GMM.
Spending Cap: Steve submitted recommendation to committee and they are taking it under advisement. Committee will make a proposal next month.
The event is planned- location, food, etc. The Events team will set a March Meeting and the Board can sign up for tasks.
Board Development Activity: Sherwood Smith- Avenue ISR
Woody presented the results of the Oryana Survey. 740 members from the Oryana contact list and 150 people from the Ticker Bench participated. Oryana had lots of positive feedback. Steve responded to board that we have Task groups are already in place to address issues like price perception and MAD days.
Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda March 20, Oryana, 5:30-8:30pm
Monitoring Report: 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting & Ends Policies on Economy & Localism
Board Development Activity: Steve suggests a few articles on Market Studies & Site Selection and possibly a video conference with a consultant.
Committee Report Out: General Membership Meeting-update, Ad Hoc Committee- final recommendation for changes to policies
Public Input & Discussion:
Chelsea – “Connected by Coffee” will premiere April 2nd at the Fair Trade Federation conference in Indianapolis, IN. Also, On the Ground will host a reunion for supporters of The Chiapas Water Project on Saturday, March 1st at the Old Art Building in Leland from 6pm to 10pm. There will be food, drinks, a live and silent auction, dancing and live music.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.
Present at the meeting: Amy Tennis, Ken Quitugua, Kaitlyn Burns, Jim Dagwell, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Chris Miller, Rebecca Teahen
Oryana: General Manager: Steve Nance; Board Assistant: Cindy (Jurik) Carr,
Store Manager: Eldon Horner, Human Development Manager: Wendy Walter
Absent: Sean Burns, Erica Heller
Guests: Tom Slater, John Gessner, Hilary Gessner, Jordan Yeatts (Oryana employee)
Welcome: Amy convened the meeting at 5:48 p.m. Board members and guests were introduced. Minutes from the last meeting were previously approved by e-mail.
Board calendar: The board reviewed its calendar for the next three months. No other changes to agenda or board calendar.
Tom Slater – The most recent issue of “Black & Gold,” the school paper for Traverse City Central High School featured health, and while the terms vegan and vegetarian were somewhat confused in the paper, one student mentioned he purchases his vitamins at Oryana. The Business News featured the growth in Acme in an article, and wrote that Oryana is opening a second location there in next 18-24 months. Tom is concerned about the potential location of an Oryana in Acme especially relative to the Meijer store planned there. Tom would like to see perhaps a smaller Oryana, with a more selective product line. Special order items from the TC store could be transferred to this smaller store at customer request.
Chelsea – Oryana is one of the major sponsors of Stone Hut Studios’ “Connected by Coffee” film, made by her and her husband, Aaron. The film’s world premier will be screened in Indianapolis. They would love to have it appear at the State Theatre here in Traverse City. Steve commented that Oryana will consider sponsorship possibilities.
GM Report – Steve:
An article on feeding a family on a budget at Oryana appeared in today’s Record Eagle in the Food section, as a direct result of a similar article in the store newsletter. The article is also in the on-line version of the paper.
Concerning the article in the Business News noted by Tom, it was the Hot 100 list. They did not contact staff that we are aware of for the information.
The numbers! Sales, Labor to Sales up from end-of-year employee bonus, Monthly Customer Count – we’re still having more people come through the store - up 8.74%., Market Basket – up 6.5% from 2012.. Membership now exceeds 5,900 local owners! Member Sales Percentage shows a trend line at 62%, which is great because they are our owners and that’s why we’re here; engagement, loyalty.
Books are closing on 2013. Fourth quarter Sales are up more than 15%. The co-op has paid off some loans, and all expenses of the building addition work, compactor, and lighting. We are examining whether our second year of Member Patronage will be a go. We’re showing annual growth of 15%, and annual sales in dollars right around $14 million. This amounts to $1,590 dollars in sales per square foot. For 2014, Steve is looking at around $1,700-1,800 per square foot. These are levels where shopping experience may suffer.
Status report: A new shopper survey was recently completed, that talked about a new store, GMO, customer shopping experience. ISR will come in and present results to the board.
SPOD = Succession Planning Organizational Development = thinking long-range about the organization
Big Picture Playbook – multi-year, Metrics – targets, strategic initiatives, check-in. Completion by March BoD meeting.
Project Report – Oryana Imagined
We’re now in the feasibility phase Board topics include – Member/customer Q&A, GM Limitations, and Bylaws Review.
Consultant analysis – Steve is doing a comparative analysis.
Market Study #3
Steve reports another market study has just been commissioned to assure that any proposed expansion is a safe thing for employees and members of the co-op
Announcing…Marika BeVier, our new Communications Manager, starts Monday! She has worked with the co-op for the past three years through her position with our marketing firm, so she and her wonderful skill set is well-known.
Leslie Watson, our new Co-op consultant is replacing Thane, with the transition taking place over the next year. Like Thane, Leslie is an attorney, well versed with by-laws and has worked with other co-ops going through expansion.
Grain Train’s new store in Boyne City has opened! It’s a smallish size, and going well. They’re adding a member or two a day. Visit if you’re in the area!
Fresh Thyme – opening a 23,000 square foot store (smaller than a typical Whole Foods), with a similar mix of product and departments as Oryana in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are about a dozen of these kinds of stores out there. Venture capitalists back such endeavors for perhaps a 7 year span, then move on to other projects. On a similar note, a Whole Foods will be going into East Lansing, which will be competition for the existing co-op there.
Boardman Avenue road project may take on a life again, and proposes to connect Boardman to 10th Street. This project has been out there for two decades; we’ll see what goes on.
Oryana for Good:
On the Ground – Oryana is a sponsor. Next project is a fundraising run thru Congo.
Small Farm Conference – Saturday, February 1
Jeff Hughes of Brownwood Farms is going for non-GMO certified labeling. He changed his product away from sugar beets to non-GMO cane sugar.
Patronage rebate talking points – handout pads available.
How to shop co-op on a budget – website & tours – Marika, Luise, and Sandy
Ends Policies on 2.7 Emergency GM Succession:
Steve reported on the current Succession System that is in place, headed by a team of two very experienced folks – store manager Eldon Horner and human development manager Wendy Walter. Their resumes and qualifications were included in Board packet. This team is continually in communication with Steve, and would carry on with the strategy and plans if needed. Steve very confident in them.
Eldon spoke to the BoD: Explained the division of duties in the event Steve is unable to serve. Eldon and Wendy would be the interim team until a new GM is selected. Eldon would continue store management operations. Wendy would oversee administrative functions. Higher level decisions would be made as a team, with input from the Leadership Team. Eldon and Wendy would give the board whatever they need and co-chair leadership team meetings. They would create all requirements for the Board, such as monitoring reports, etc. Eldon discussed his current role as store manager, and his ongoing communication with Steve.
As the store’s Human Development Manager, Wendy is responsible for recruiting, screening, all facets of the payroll and benefits programs, and ensures co-op compliance with government standards. Since Wendy has been here, the level and motivational fit of new hires has increased exponentially.
Together they have a good working relationship. Both work with Steve on the SPOD committee. Eldon has been here 10 years in January, Wendy, 3 years in April.
Eldon is a graduate of Rising Stars’ as well as other internal and external development and is our first graduate of Rising Stars 2. Wendy will be doing Rising Stars NCGA this spring. She also attends NCGA Human Resources meetings and events
Motion to accept: Action: Rebecca moved; Kaitlyn seconded.
The Board accepted the General Manager's monitoring reports on Ends Policy on
2.7 Emergency GM Succession. The Board reached consensus.
Committee report out:
GMM Planning Committee
Amy – the General Membership Meeting is scheduled for April 17, at Traverse City Central High School. Voting for Board Members is finalized at this event, with candidates in attendance speaking to the membership group. Steve gives the “State of the Co-op” address, and Jim, the financial report. There were more than 200 there in 2013, and we’ve set a goal of 300 for this year’s meeting. Plans are underway for a simplified yet of course delicious menu. Kaitlyn will put together a story for the next newsletter, due to Luise by 2/10/14.
Board Development Activity:
Ad Hoc Finance Committee – reported by Chris Miller
Recommend change needed to equity structure and any bylaw change associated with that change.
Stock share – not issuing at this time (tabled).
Member loans – These loans present lots of costs and complications, however it would create a vested interest to be a part of that. If we decide to do that or buying a brick, it would create an investment. Steve, Thane & Leslie will look at legal issues on this.
Lifting limitations creating additional limit in 2.4 project specific expenditures. Will work with GM and will present their recommendations to the Board.
Any by-law changes needed for Loans need to be included in the next newsletter. Re: member loans – Steve is researching looking at collaborating and utilizing other co-ops’ language, go through the attorney review and get it out there if needed for or desired for financing of the expansion as it is great for owner buy-in of true ownership. Steve feels member loans generate excitement for membership.
Jordan, attending the meeting as a visitor and speaking as a public observer, is in support of the preferred share program. He has read through Marquette’s paperwork, he is a member there. Co-op support. $1,000 investment, 4% return over 5-year minimum. Steve said it would be cool, they took years…
2.4.10 – Steve will provide the Financial Due Diligence Committee a proposal for an Expansion spending limit waiver but envisions a robust reporting by GM to Board as well as thresholds for Board of Directors’ okay to exceed Proforma amounts.
Growth Elevator Speeches – Steve – He and Marika composed a first round of draft answers. In a week timeframe, Board members are invited to send any new concerns/questions to Steve. Board okay’s and Steve will do final review with Marika and submit to Board in the Secure Share
February Member Linkage Event
This has been postponed until the fall. The committee is taking a look at the meeting objectives, how to facilitate discussion with members. They are brainstorming on an appropriate event name.
Confirm final selection for Community Grant Applicants (Rebecca, Sean, Chelsea & Amy)
Subcommittee narrowed it down to three applicants, and this list will appear in the next newsletter for members to vote on – Food Rescue, Invasive Species Network, Community Gardens. The winner will be revealed at GMM in April.
Next Meeting review: Date, time and agenda February 20, Oryana, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Monitoring Report: 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities –
4th Quarter and full year
· Board Development and Educational Activity – none planned now, but perhaps have shopper survey presentation from ISR.
March meeting – Suggestion about communicating our equity decision or possibly about member loans. Discussion took place about goals for committee. Original thought was to have activities related to our Ends. The committee had calendared out expansion topics as a top board priority for the next year. Summer is a perfect time to go outside to learn about community topics.
· Committee Report Out: General Membership Meeting, Board member candidates
Public input & announcements:
Tom –Newsletter – liked Amy’s articles. Discussed his thoughts about the varying discount systems now in place for members, employees, directors. Feels this could be streamlined given the type of benefit packages now offered to employees. There are avenues available to those with financial hardship. Tom addressed the topic of “Local, Michigan made, “ and that sometimes homemade is a misnomer, some don’t cut the grade. Some members are unhappy that Oryana sells meat, while there are several specialty meat shops in town. Meat is a morality issue. Thanks for honoring the system, says Amy.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:34 p.m.