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

Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-7:00pm

Meeting Minutes


Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Jim Dagwell, Chris Miller, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Kaitlyn Burns, Holly Jo Sparks
Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill
Absent: Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns
Guests: Jules Shellby, Tom Slater

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:34pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Chelsea Bay Dennis: Chelsea is now a life coach and has launched her business, Life Catalyst. She is co-sponsoring an event with Nathan Havey (Thrive Consulting Group) on January 15th at 7pm at Inside Out Gallery called Fulfillament.  Five successful community members, including Don Coe of Black Star Farms and Sarah Landry Ryder of The Redheads, will share their stories.

Jules Shellby: Jules is now a licensed Acupuncture Therapist and has launched her own practice: The Art of Wellness PLLC.  She frequently comes in to Oryana and shared that it is always a rejuvenating and pleasant experience.

Jim Dagwell: Jim wished to dedicate this meeting to the mothers and fathers of those present:  his mother passed away on Tuesday.

Tom Slater: Tom played holiday music by FORBS (The Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas) with dinner.

GM Report – Steve: 

The Numbers: Monthly sales in dollars were just under $1.29 million.  Monthly sales growth was about 10%.  Year-to-date sales are over $14 million.  Annual sales growth is 9.61%.  Projected annual sales are $15.3-15.4 Million, a projected growth rate of 10% (on target).  Member sales were above $800,000.  Sales per labor hour was comparable to last year, around $75.00.  Total Memberships are above 6500.  Monthly market basket is increasing- about $34. 

Peer Comparison: Oryana is leading in sales growth for like-sized NCG coops.  Similar stores experienced an average 3.6% monthly growth rate.  Oryana is in the top quartile for gross profit and rolling net income- impressive since most of the other stores opened a second location or expanded their current location this year.

Current store improvement projects include the East bathroom remodel, upstairs office reset, and paint and flooring for the conference room and staff break room.

The Oryana Leadership Team is completing the business planning process this month.  Department Managers are meeting with the General Manager and Store Manager to chat, discuss, and come to agreements for goals and targets.  The GM will review the draft business planning document over the holidays and a final version will be presented to the Board in January.

At the November Board Retreat the GM presented his suggestion to the Board that Oryana focuses 80% of its efforts towards expansion in the Acme/Williamsburg area.  The Board was in alignment and supports the proposal.  The GM will begin looking for possible locations to present to the Board.  There will be a newsletter article in the January edition of Natural Food News to communicate this decision to members and the community.

The GM and Finance Manager attended an NCG-sponsored meeting of Finance Managers in Ann Arbor.  Oryana’s numbers, especially our risk matrix, were praised. While in Ann Arbor, the GM met with Dave Blackburn of the DC and discussed a timeline for opening a second store- he advised that the goal of early 2016 is aggressive.  The GM proposes moving the opening to the second half of 2016. 

There were many significant events for Oryana in 2014: the formation of an internal Finance Department, the hiring of a Marketing & Communications Manager, the acquisition of the Oryana Annex, and winning the Small Business of the Year Award.

The third phase of the Prepared Foods Improvement Project is underway.  After reviewing the financial soundness of the department and sub-departments, the decision has been made by the GM, Store Manager, and Prepared Foods Manager to close Soyworks in January of 2015.  It has been a signature product for many years but is no longer fiscally responsible.  The staff will transition into the other Prepared Foods sub-departments.  The product will be replaced by Rosewood Tofu- an Ann Arbor product made with organic Michigan soybeans.  There will be a Q & A available in the next edition of Natural Food News.  Members who have questions can be directed to the GM.  Though the closing of Soyworks is sad for Oryana, many departments will benefit from the additional space gained by moving the Bakery into the Soy Room. 


Monitoring Report:

Jim Dagwell reviewed the policies and suggests no changes.

Ends: Model Workplace

Starting at new employee orientation Steve introduces the Oryana Values, Leadership Qualities, Staff Expectations and Employee Handbook. Due diligence is done to check that wages, staff treatment, and benefits are fair.  Oryana celebrates employees with a Holiday Party and Staff Appreciation Picnic, lots of food year-round, as well as summer and year-end bonuses.  The Oryana culture is strong.
Staff are offered professional development through Oryana University classes and trainings.  Communication is a large part of Oryana’s culture and there are several ways Leadership accomplishes this with staff: an employee newsletter, all-staff and department meetings, communication boards, daily updates, time clock updates, and more. 


2.3 Treatment of Staff & 2.8 Compensation & Benefits

This is the fourth year CDS has assisted in monitoring policy compliance, alternating all-staff surveys and policy compliance surveys done with 60% of staff.  Wendy, the Human Development Coordinator, presented this year’s policy compliance report- completed by 100% of randomly selected staff. Oryana’s numbers were excellent- and an improvement on prior years.

Motion to accept:        Action: Chelsea moved.  Jim seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

      Model Workplace and 2.3 Treatment of Staff and 2.8 Compensation & Benefits.

                                    The Board reached consensus.


Committe Report Out

Financial Due Diligence

A revised purpose statement was proposed.  The Board was in agreement and the Ad Hoc Committee Charter will be updated.


Board Development Activity:  Finance Manager Meeting

The GM presented his notes from the Finance Manager Meeting hosted by the NCG in Ann Arbor.  


Member Engagement Committee

Board members who are part of the Member Engagement Committee will discuss the possibility of tabling in January for MAD month.  They will also start planning for the GMM and report out at next month’s meeting.


Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

January 15 at 5:30pm at Oryana, in the upstairs conference room

Committee Report-Out: GMM

Approve program/agenda for general membership meeting
Assign writing of GMM story/agenda for newsletter (due February 10)
Confirm whether any by-laws changes are imminent

Monitoring Report: 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting
Board Development and Educational Activity

The meeting was adjourned at 7:39pm.



Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Sean Burns, Kaitlyn Burns, Chris Miller, Jim Dagwell, Rebecca Teahen

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill, Finance Manager: Holly Hall

Absent: Chelsea Bay Dennis, Holly Jo Sparks

Guests: Tom Slater

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:37pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar. 

Public Input: None


GM Report – Steve: 

The Numbers: Monthly sales increased but growth rate was below 10% goal.  Sales per labor hour were above the target of $80.  Monthly market basket was up from last year.  Total memberships this month surpassed 6500 (goal for 2014 of 7000). 

Steve communicated the status of the expansion project to the co-op community in the current issue of Oryana’s newsletter, Natural Food News. 

The Oryana Leadership Team met today at the Botanic Garden to share their departmental business plans for 2015.  The meeting was a step in the business planning process, which will continue with departments discussing how they can help one another attain their goals.

Staff and Store:  The purchase of the Oryana Annex (825 Lake Ave) is final- POS/IT and the Finance department will move in by year’s end.  The Annex move corresponds with a new IT/POS initiative that will be a capital expense for a new server to be Oryana’s Private Cloud.  This and some other changes set Oryana up to handle multiple locations.  Human Development is coordinating open enrollment for 2015.  A task group met and worked out a plan for reallocating the office space upstairs to accommodate a private conference room once POS/IT moves to the Annex. Projects in the store, including the East bathroom remodel, are on hold until the contractor is available.  The Finance department gained a new member, Aurora.  The Staff Holiday Party is December 6th at The Workshop and the store will close early at 5pm.  Lake Street Kitchen and Bakery have a Thanksgiving special order menu again this year.

Holiday store hours are as follows: closed Thanksgiving, open Christmas Eve from 7:30am-3pm, closed Christmas Day, open New Year’s Eve from 7:30am-6pm, closed New Year’s Day.


Monitoring Report:2.4 Financial Condition and Activities 3rd Quarter

Slowing growth and higher expenses yield a lower net but Oryana is a strong financial performer.  Quarterly retail sales were just below budget as was the sales growth percentage.  A comparison to the annual sales growth percentage of the last 15 years we are doing well.  Year-to-date gross margin percentage is good at 37.23%.  Payroll with subs is good.  General and administrative expenses are 8.56%.  Quarterly net income meets our goals but is below last year.  Net income as a percentage of sales for the quarter is 4.83% and above budget.  Net income as a percentage of sales is less than last year but above the several years prior.  Ratios provided by the CPA prove compliance.  Some expenses this quarter, including a workman’s comp audit, were not incurred this quarter.


Motion to accept:        Action: Jim moved.  Sean seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.4 Financial Condition and Activities 3rd Quarter.

                                    The Board reached consensus.


Sean reviewed the Executive Limitations 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities and submits that it is acceptable as written and recommends no changes.  This policy was reviewed in March by the Ad-Hoc Financial committee when they removed the GM spending cap.  He also reviewed Executive Limitations 2.5 and recommends no changes; this policy will be reviewed by the Ad-Hoc Financial committee in March.   


Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

December 18, 2014 Oryana Natural Foods Market

Committee Report-Out:  Financial Due Diligence
Board Holiday gathering at Right Brain – date and time TBD
Executive Committee:  Review and act upon GM’s evaluation; execute contract
Board Development and Educational Activity
Monitoring Report:  Ends Policy on Model Workplace
Monitoring Report:  2.3. Treatment of Staff & 2.8. Compensation and Benefits


Public Input & Discussion:

Tom Slater spoke about the intelligent quotient.  He also spoke about the new age implications of a second location.  He offered a comparison of reality to fantasy in products and questioned the sustainability of growth in relation to our products and distribution systems.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:17pm.


Present at the meeting:

Rebecca Teahen, Kaitlyn Burns, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Holly Jo Sparks, Jim Dagwell, Chris Miller, Sean Burns

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill

Absent: Amy Tennis

Guests- staff member: Laura Cavender

Welcome:  Rebecca convened the meeting at 5:43pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: The November Meeting will be at Oryana.  The November Board Retreat location is TBD.  The December meeting will be held at the Food Hub. 

GM Report – Steve: 

The Numbers: Monthly Sales are about $1.2 Million, with Growth at 7%- the team is watching the budget and expenses.  Oryana is still doing better than like-sized co-ops.  Year-to-date sales are just under $12 Million, with Growth at 9.82%.  Monthly Sales per Labor Hour is around $87.  Monthly Customer Count is just under 40,000.  Member sales are over $800,000.  1780 Members used their MAD Discounts so far- that’s up 70 from July.  Quarterly Numbers: The Third Quarter closed sales of $4,254,693.76 vs $3,939,640 for second Quarter 2014 and compared to $3.9 million in 2013.  The sales growth increase was 9.12% vs 8.50% for second quarter but it is lower than the 2nd Quarter 2013 increase of over 18%.

Projects: The Bulk Department reset continues with new cabinets above the bins for backstock. A new nut butter table and lighting are also planned.  A consultant from the DC is coming at the end of October to evaluate Food Service.

Oryana for Good:  Steve and Oryana staff attended the Acme Fall Festival to support the Acme community.  They also attended the Eighth Street Block Party following the restriping.  Neighborhood feedback has been positive and the Lake Street turn is less hazardous.

Oryana for Good Numbers:

2 Cooking Classes - 24 people learned
3 Store Tours – gained 1 new member
18 Demos – 1,585 people tasted
2 Events – 250 people attended
15 Donations & Sponsorships
6 Outreach Events – 255 people reached – gained 6 new members
Higher Grounds tabled for Fair Trade Week

Oryana is sponsoring “Fed Up” at the State Theatre on Monday October 20.

The GM traveled to the Fall NCG (formerly NCGA) GM Meeting in Seattle and discussed market trends.

The GM attended a peer audit at Common Ground Coop in Urbana, Illinois.  They requested a peer audit to assess their organizational readiness for a second location as they are the fastest-growing co-op and have nearly outgrown their recent transition to a 6,000 square foot store.  GM’s from Wheatsville, Kalamazoo and Willy Street attended. 

Monitoring Reports

2.1 Treatment of Consumers

Motion to accept:         Action: Sean moved.  Holly Jo seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.1 Treatment of Consumers.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

2.2 Membership

Motion to accept:         Action: Kaitlyn moved.  Chris seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.2 Membership.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Committee Report Out 

Executive Committee

Fill out the GM review by next meeting and return to Amy.


Financial Due Diligence

Oryana Annex:  825 Lake Ave.  The GM Proposes using Oryana funds to purchase 1,200 square foot building to use as an office for administrative departments (IT/POS, Finance).  The GM negotiated a reduced price that matches a current appraisal.  Executive Limitations 2.4 and 2.4.8 do not allow the GM to acquire real estate and therefore the Board must vote on the proposal.  The Financial Due Diligence Committee has reviewed the proposal and agrees that the GM has done his due diligence.


Motion to accept proposal to purchase 825 Lake Ave:      

                                                Action: Holly Jo moved.  Kaitlyn and Sean seconded. 

                                                The Board accepted to support the purchase of 825 Lake Ave.

                                                The Board reached consensus.                                                            

Board Development Activity

The Board discussed the resources necessary to make a decision regarding the possible second location and also to support the GM.

Closed Session: Discussed financial modeling provided by the Market Study

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

November 20, 2014 at Oryana 5:30pm – 8pm

Board: Select date for general membership meeting.

Assign board member to write newsletter call for candidates for the upcoming election and craft the story. Story should note requirement that the candidates must be members of good standing 30 days prior to the election. List board contact person for candidates and Feb. 1 deadline for candidate statements to be published in March-April newsletter.
Create general membership meeting (GMM) committee to report back with program/agenda and other organizational details to January board meeting. Committee membership should include board secretary.
Assign board member to be a contact for new board candidates and start recruiting candidates.

Monitoring Report: 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 3rd Quarter

November 23, 2014, Board Retreat - Location TBD

Vision/strategic planning session including:

Evaluate the governance system: the Board Process policies, the monitoring reports, and the review of other policies (Limitations and Board-GM delegation). Does the system still meet our goals?
Review Ends Policies – are they still the Ends the Board wants, do they still accurate represent our intentions, etc.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:09pm.



Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Kaitlyn Burns, Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns, Jim Dagwell, Holly Jo Sparks, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Chris Miller

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill

Guests: Jules Shellby

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:55pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Don Coe shared the history of Black Star Farms and led a tour of the property.

GM Report – Steve: 

NUMBERS: Year-to-date sales growth is on target at 10.2%.  Year-to-date sales are over $10 million.  August sales were around $1.4 million with growth of just under 9%.  Monthly customer count was above 43,000, and the average market basket wad about $32.  Percentage of sales to members was 60% with member sales over $800,000.  Oryana reached 6,531 members in August.

Store Projects: The bulk section acquired new shelving and the kitchen area gained more space by removing an unnecessary wall.  Other projects requiring construction are on hold due to contractor availability. 

Budgetary bids are in process at the Food Hub on Barlow St.  More information is needed before deciding whether Oryana Soyworks would do well to move to the facility. 

The Business Planning Process is being reinvigorated- details to come.

Oryana for Good Numbers:

  • 1 Cooking Class
  • 4 Store Tours
  • 24 Demos- 2,265 people tasted
  • 4 Media Hits
  • 2 Events
  • 2 Community Partners/Vendors tabled
  • 16-page bimonthly newsletter- 8000 copies printed
  • 6,200 email newsletter recipients
  • 1215 Twitter followers
  • 9649 Facebook followers                                                                                              

Monitoring Report: Ends Report on Community


  • Gives back to the community in many ways: donations, sponsorships, events, etc.
  • Donated $5,700 to the TC Community Garden
  • Partners with other local businesses to benefit owners.
  • Uses product purchasing guidelines that support sound production methods
  • Works to be an ecologically sustainable business model
  • Encourages Staff to do Ends work in the community and participate in ecologically regenerative and socially just organizations
  • Strives to provide a model workplace
  • Was recognized by our community for the good work we do.
  • Won the Traverse City Chamber Small Business of the Year Award and the Caught Thriving Award from Traverse City State Bank.

Motion to accept:         Action: Rebecca Teahen moved.  Jim Dagwell seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring report on


                                    The Board reached consensus.                                                        

Steve discussed his attendance at the National Cooperative Grocers’ Association fall GM meeting.  Topics included national coop trends, growth, and the transition from NCGA to NCG

Ken Quitugua has resigned from his role as a Board member.  The Board Recruitment/ Nomination Committee will formulate a recommendation to present to the Board at the Fall Retreat regarding the open position.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm.

In a closed session for Expansion Feasibility Phase Educational Presentation: Steve presented the third Market Study, conducted by CDS Consulting Co-op as well as review of Market Studies one and two.

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda

October 16, 2014 at Oryana

Executive Committee:  Request input from Board of Directors re: GM evaluation. Meet with GM to conduct evaluation (between October and January).
Board Development and Educational Activity
Monitoring Report: 2.1. Treatment of Consumers & 2.2. Membership



Board of Directors’ Meeting

August 21, 2014

Approved Minutes

Present at the meeting: Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Jim Dagwell, Chris Miller, Sean Burns, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Kaitlyn Burns

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance;  Finance Manager, Holly Hall

Board Assistant: Marcy Hermann

Absent: Holly Jo Sparks, Ken Quitugua

Guest: Patty Sherman

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:36pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar:  Board Retreat: November 23rd, 2014, 

 9am-4pm, location TBD

Public Input: 

Holly Hall, Oryana’s new Finance Manager, introduced herself and gave her background: 9 years auditing in public accounting with Platte & Moran. She is learning the existing processes and will be building Oryana Fantastic Finance (OFF) from the ground up.  Steve added that Holly is part of the Oryana Steering Team reporting to the GM (Finance Manager, Store Manager, HD Manager, and Marketing Manager).  

GM Report – Steve: 

The Numbers:

Oryana’s Monthly Sales Growth YTD is 9.2%.  Oryana is on track for $16M in sales by year end.  Oryana had 14% growth YTD in 2013. That level of robust growth is difficult to maintain with current store size, inventory space, parking lot etc.   
Oryana’s slowing growth is similar to other co-ops around the country; Monthly Sales Growth is below 10% for the industry.  Co-ops in the Central and West corridor are under heavy fire from competitors. 
Oryana saw an increase in gross dollars for July 2014 from MAD Month. 3816 customers in July.  Oryana will not have MAD month in July 2015; sales are strong enough without MAD and the discounts impact revenue.  Discounting in general will be assessed by Oryana’s Finance Manager (Holly H).
Oryana’s Marketing Manager (Marika B) is looking at ways to increase Market Basket #s.
Oryana’s customer #s continue to increase.  6400 Members,
A question from the BoD – Labor concern:  Is the number of employees high? GM’s (Steve Nance) response: Oryana’s Labor as % of Sales is in line with other co-ops.  We operate differently than conventional grocery stores: no overnight stocking, vendors don’t stock, we offer specialized customer service, lots of other services offered at co-op that grocery stores do not offer:  community services, outreach.
Another question from the BoD:  what is the succession plan / emergency plan for key business partners, like the 3rd party bookkeeper Oryana recently transitioned from?  GM’s response:  There are back-up contingency plans on all outside contractors (snow removal, phone, IT, housekeeping, etc). 

Oryana Visioneering:   A Strategic Planning timeline was developed and presented by the GM.  Strategic Planning kicks off in all store departments in September.

Model Workplace:  Staff Picnic and Diversity Training held in August 2014.

Oryana for Good: July & August events included Green Cuisine, GoodPops Giveaway, Food Preservation Classes, TCFF Volunteer Party, Cooking with Kids at the Fair, Donations, as well as:

  • Outreach events, presentations, cooking classes and tours = 13
  • People reached = 114
  • In-store demos = 25
  • Customers reached = 2,137
  • Special events = 6
  • Community members reached = 2,739 (!)
  • Savingbirds.org designated Oryana as a Certified Bird Habitat with native plantings and landscaping.
  • Bob Russell Resilience Read at Meadowlark Farm “Rebuilding the Food Shed”.
  • Upcoming Events: Lots coming, visit oryana.coop/events for complete list.

Project Y (Store Projects): There are lots of projects completed (Ice Machine, Produce Re-Set with new orchard bins, LED lights) lots more coming this Fall (Bathrooms, Store Exterior, Shared Workspace Improvement Team, Bulk Dept. Re-Set, etc).

Project H (Food Hub): The Food Hub is delayed getting infrastructure set up to bring in tenants.  Steve will review the business case soon to assess moving Oryana’s Soy Works production offsite.

Project X (Expansion):

The GM will present the Marketing Feasibility Study to the BoD at the September meeting.

The Finance Feasibility Study will be presented to the BoD at the October meeting.
It is the GM’s goal to have Marketing and Finance feasibility studies to the BoD prior to the November Retreat.
Internal feasibility:  This is an ongoing effort that has been in place for the last couple of years with the intention of adding bench strength to the organization to support growth and staff and possible expansion.  Leadership, secondary leadership and staff have been attending internal trainings as well as professional development sessions: examples include NCGA training, Rising Stars, Convergence, Organic Passion, etc.
SPOD (Succession Planning and Organization Development) Team has also been developing organizational structure as well as succession planning. Part of this process includes identifying key positions, identifying high potential employees to fill key positions, developing staff for a 2nd location, and building bench strength to backfill staff moved to a 2nd location.
An RFP is in process to undergo an Organizational Readiness Assessment with CDS Consultants.
A “go / no-go” decision to progress to the next phase can happen following the November BoD Retreat.  The retreat will serve as opportunity for GM to present recommendation and the BoD to discuss feasibility studies, and other information critical to the decision making process.
If a “go” decision comes from the BoD, GM will lead Staff and consultants to next stage of possible expansion and start a site confirmation, Design Feasibility Study, start of financing work etc.
Further GM reports strategizing to meet competition which might enter Oryana’s market sector is essential and part of the process.  Venture capitalists are now investing in grocery stores (Sprouts recent IPO, Fresh Thyme).  Small natural foods chains are racing to gather market share, offering lower prices on organic produce.
A Communication Plan regarding expansion progress will be ongoing to members, staff, community, BoD etc. throughout the Stages of Expansion. 

Marquette Food Co-Op (MFC):  Steve recently visited the MFC which has completed their store expansion.  MFC renovated an empty building that had been a grocery store, and ended up with approximately 9000 square feet of retail space.  The new store is a combination of high-end design, sustainability / energy efficiency, and many of the “wish list” items Oryana would like:  fresh seafood, fresh meat counter, gourmet cheese, blast chiller, an elevator, a teaching kitchen, and many others.  The project was funded via a variety of means:  Grant for economic development, stock to members, traditional lending, to name a few.  “Everything but a bake sale,” according to the MFC General Manager.

Executive Limitations Monitoring Report:

Financial Condition and Activities – 2nd Quarter

Corroboration of compliance presented by Finance Manager, Holly Hall

Oryana is doing very well. The organization is thriving financially.  Budgets have been met or exceeded consistently.  Expenses have been lower than budgeted.  Sales Growth was 8.51 % as of the 2nd Qtr.  Cash position is strong.  Payroll as a % of Sales is higher this year, as anticipated, from changes to Oryana’s employee benefits program.   

A full month of MAD resulted in 2-3% reduction to monthly gross profit. When sales growth slows it’s time to watch expenses.

Debt / Earnings Ratio and other indicators are strong.  Oryana’s assets are greater than liabilities.  The organization is in a good position for expansion.

A Balance Sheet going back to 2012 was presented.

Motion to accept:         Action: Jim Dagwell moved.  Kaitlyn Burns seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 2nd Qtr.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Review Monitoring Policy 2.4:

Kaitlyn reviewed Monitoring Policy 2.4.  The Board discussed proposed changes and agreed to the following:                                                                          

Add a period to the end of number 9.
Oryana web site needs a link to BoD Monitoring Policies.

GM Annual Salary Process presented: 

The negotiation of the General Manager’s contract occurs once every two years and this is a contract year.  The GM will provide a response to RFP from the BoD Executive Committee by September 30th.

Move to October Agenda: Review response from GM Compensation RFP; 2 Executive Committee members negotiate with GM and offer contract on behalf of BoD.

Board Budget Process

The GM sets the BoD budget, historically, based on last year’s budget.  The 2015 BoD Budget process may involve a different method and outcome. 

Steve will provide Jim details behind the budget, comparison to other co-ops, summary of what this BoD has done in terms of team development, conferences, spending. 

The General Membership Meeting is currently not in the BoD budget.

Consider conducting a training needs analysis for BoD related to potential expansion. Utilize CDS to identify training opportunities. Rebecca and Amy to set up call with CDS.

Board Development Activity:  Cancelled

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

September 18th, 5:30-8pm.  Black Star Farms 10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay, MI

Board Development and Educational Activity
Monitoring Reports: Ends Policy on Community
Project Update – Marketing Study (closed session)

The meeting was adjourned at 7:51pm.



Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Ken Quitugua, Holly Jo Sparks, Chelsea Bay Dennis, Jim Dagwell,  Kaitlyn Burns, Chris Miller, Rebecca Teahen

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Marcy Hermann

Absent: Sean Burns

Guests: Patty Sherman; Tom Slater, Member

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:32 pm.  Guests were introduced. 

Agenda: Rebecca asked to add 2013-2014 Board Evaluation (Roll-Up Numbers) to the Agenda.

Minutes:  Last month’s minutes were approved via e-mail.

Board Calendar:  No changes to upcoming 3 month calendar.

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: discussed the need for public awareness regarding exposure to cold water and risk of “dry” drowning, following recent accidents in the community.  Tom also shared the book “How to Raise a Super child” by Ray Strobel. 

Pattyy Sherman:  Attending the meeting to learn more about Oryana and healthy living.  She is making lifestyle changes that align with natural foods and the Oryana community.

GM Report – Steve: 

The Numbers:   Annual sales growth is about 10.42%; Annual Sales projection of $16 million; Monthly sales in dollars are up from June 2013, percentage of growth in sales lagging from June 2013 but still growing. The store could be testing the limit for available parking, floor space, and other factors important to our customers’ getting the Amazing Oryana Experience; the competition offers many of the same products when our parking lot is full.

Industry wide, other NCGA stores are also seeing less growth.  New, smaller natural food stores (Fresh Thyme, Sprouts) are entering the Midwest and capturing a piece of the co-op market.  Oryana is still increasing its gross sales.  However, some small co-ops are losing money.  NCGA would like to better support the co-op world and this data is driving that effort.

Sustainability and financial strength are most important in supporting our Ends.  Growth and profitability support financial strength.  The new MAD Month is increasing MAD usage, but more members using the discount means less profit. 3684 members used their discount in April 2014.  Also impacting the bottom line are the changes in health care during 2014; there are more full-time employees as a result of health care reform and more employees are enrolled in benefits, increasing Oryana’s benefits cost.  Oryana pays 90% of the premium for single coverage. The impact shows in numbers: currently 23.5 % labor to sales; the goal is 22.5%.  Steve, Wendy, and the new Finance Manager will be analyzing the benefits picture.   

Market basket continues to trend up.  Membership continues to increase. Member Sales Percentage is on average 68% for large stores.  Oryana is on track.

Draft Quarterly numbers are in for Q2; numbers indicate below 10% growth rate for Q2.  Expenses are in line.

$1638 patronage donations YTD.


Model Workplace:  Oryana has a Safety Committee made up of managers and staff.  They are implementing suggestions from MIOSHA site visit.  A summary of 2014 In-House Training sessions held and Off-Site Professional seminars attended was shared.  Oryana also invites other co-ops to attend In-House sessions.  Oryana may take the Amazing Oryana Experience (Customer Service Training) to other co-ops in the future.  

Oryana Fantastic Finance (OFF):  Holly Hall, the new Finance Manager, starts July 23rd. Initially she will be working with the CPA offsite. They will continue developing the Finance Department based on the recent change with our outside accountant in June.  Accounts Payable and essential functions are running smoothly.  Quarterly and monthly numbers need catching-up.  A request to purchase an Oryana Annex will be coming soon. It is expected that Finance and other Administrative staff would occupy the 800 square foot building.  Steve is currently in the due diligence phase of the process. An environmental assessment is in process.  Cone Drive will share past environmental studies conducted by outside engineering firm of building and property.  Five plus Requests For Proposal are out to lenders to assess financing options.  The development of OFF is essential to future expansion and current .viability.  

Project H:  Food Hub / Food Shed Alliance signed a lease with 161001 Barlow.  Sublease details are in process. Oryana could move Soy Works to improve efficiency.  Off siteOff-site Soy production would give needed workspace to Prepared Foods.  Steve will evaluate as will provide the Board with a business case.  in the future.

Project Y:  Several projects will be happening around the store: bathroom remodeling in August;   LED lights being installed in Wellness; improvements to Administrative area; reset in Produce with new bins; reset in Bulk will have new shelving.  Once resets are complete we will be able to assess store traffic flows for efficiency.  Also looking into AC in kitchen. 

Other: The business planning process begins in September. Our Small Business Award includes 40 hours consultation with upper management from Hagerty.’s; we will explore their business planning process.  

Getting ready for TCFF next week; Popsicle Give Away tomorrow July 22nd.

Monitoring Report:

Ends Policies on WELLNESS and EDUCATION

Wellness: Because of Oryana, our community has direct access to solutions that contribute to health and wellness.
Education: Because of Oryana, our community has opportunities to learn about cooperative economics and the interconnectivity between healthful trends, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

Steve shared a video from the Education Marketing Outreach and Events (EMOE) team on metrics and how the team supports these Ends.

Motion to accept:       Action: Rebecca moved.  Ken seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    Wellness and Education.

                                    The Board reached consensus.


Board Development Activity:

The Board viewed a video presentation by Marilyn Scholl:  How We Got Here, a Co-Op History

Amy presented the 2013-2014 Board Evaluation (Rolled Up Numbers).  The numbers reveal that the Board gains the most value from 1) retreats 2) discussion of expansion topics.  The Board unanimously agreed that the preparation process for meetings is organized and that Board members have what they need to come prepared to meetings.

A Fall retreat is planned.  Options are being be explored. 

Committee Report Out 

Project X, by Steve Nance

Steve presented Oryana Imagined 2022 as a check-in with the Board on the shared vision of growth and expansion.

Steve gave an overview of steps in Co-op Expansion Projects: 

Stage 1 Assess Feasibility 3m – 3 yrs

Marketing Study - complete
Internal Feasibility (Succession Planning and Organization Development) – in process
Financial Feasibility - coming up with help of DC and Finance Mgr.,
Communication Plans – both are  coming up.  Talking points are available now. Board should be mindful of what is confidential.
Design Feasibility (give us the Sun, Moon and Stars List vs. reality)
GOAL for possible retreat in November Go/No Go decision  to next steps

Stage 2 Prep for Construction 2-12 months (4-6 months typical)

GOAL: November Go/No Go decision 
All financing and design bids in place
Removal of contingencies 
Tie-in Fall BOD Retreat to the Go / No Go analysis and discussion

Stage 3 Construction 2-12 months (4-6 months typical)

Stage 4 Preparing for Opening 1-2 months

Other co-ops can help

Other: Need to define roles of the Board and GM in terms of expansion.

Suggestions Forfor Process / Project

Campaigning by Board Candidates (Amy / Steve)

Give candidates an opportunity to communicate their podium prior to the GMM: consider on-line, videos, meetings, etc.
Also include an in-person Q&A opportunity  prior to GMM
Nomination Committee: Rebecca is leading, ask Marika to facilitate. The committee needs a charter. The Nomination Committee has a charter (it's on the secure site), but the board candidate campaigning project may benefit from a written work plan or charter, as suggested by Steve.

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

August 21st, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

ERASEERAC/CE from Kalamazoo
Community Accessibility to Healthy Food:  Food Deserts; inaccessible due to financial constraints
What Don’t We Know?  Explore BOD educational opportunities with Leslie
Kaitlyn Burns volunteered for Policy 2.4 Financial Review

Public Input & Discussion:

Pattyi Sherman gave congratulations on receiving the Small Business of the Year Award.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 pm.


Present at the meeting:
Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Ken Quitugua, Jim Dagwell, Chris Miller, Holly Jo Sparks

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill
Absent: Kaitlyn Burns, Chelsea Bay Dennis
Guests: Tom Slater

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:41pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email.  

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input:  
Tom Slater: Shared the Northern Express photo of our Small Business of the Year Award recipient group and congratulated us.  Discussed the Kind Diet and the Kind Mama books by Alicia Silverstone. 
GM Report – Steve:  

The Numbers: Annual Sales about 10.7%; Annual Sales projection about $16 million; Monthly sales in dollars is up from 2014; Monthly sales growth as a percentage is not as strong as previous years but still above national averages; Monthly sales in dollars is up; Labor to sales as a percentage is a little higher than target due to healthcare reform; Sales per labor hour is around target of $80; Monthly customer count is up; Market basket is still above target and trending up; Member sales  percentage is well above target.  

Patronage donations from members are nearly $1500.  July will be another MAD month.  
Oryana is hiring its first ever Finance Manager.
Steve visited Ypsilanti Food Co-op with the Great Lakes Group to audit as they are looking to expand.  Collaboration with the Great Lakes Group continues: plans to freeze and distribute produce are in the works.
Extended Sunday hours are accompanied by promotional sales.  July 4 hours are 9-6pm.  
Project X: Debbie, our consultant was here.  The CAT study is taking place now.  Next steps are conducting a market study, reviewing site options, and developing a Proforma.
Project Y: store renovations and departmental resets taking place.

Oryana won the 2014 Hagerty Small Business of the Year Award.  The award comes with 50 hours of consultancy from their upper management as well as a $5000 match for our community contributions.  And we won Traverse City State Bank’s Caught Thriving Award for being a local, growing, financially stable business that provides a unique experience for the community.  Oryana won the Red Hot Best for our Cooking Classes and Specialty Food Store.
Front End MOD’s and the Leadership Team volunteered at Habitat for Humanity building houses.  

Oryana for Good:  

Outreach events, presentations, cooking classes and tours = 11

  • People reached = 93
  • In-store demos = 36
  • Customers reached = 2600+
  • School classes = 31
  • Students reached = 417

Social media statistics:
•    Facebook: 8,288 page likes (and climbing!), 300+ total posts this year, recent giveaway post reached 30,000+
•    Pinterest: 243 followers, most pinned: pickled eggs!
•    Twitter: 1,059+ followers, 3-5 posts per week
•    Website: 101,000 page views, 22,400 unique visitors.  Oryana’s mobile site has been updated for better viewing on both phones and tablets.

Monitoring Report:

2.9    Communication and Support to the Board

The GM supports the Board by providing a Board budget to accommodate the GMM, CCMA, CBLD, and a yearly retreat.  Communication to the Board is clear with monthly monitoring reports and the GM Status Reports provided by the GMM.  Reports include multiple sources and visual representations of data.  Board members’ access to the reports is maintained on a secure webpage.  An Admin Assistant position was created to support the GM and Board.

Motion to accept:      Action: Sean moved.  Ken seconded.
    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on
    2.9 Communication and Support to the Board.
    The Board reached consensus.
Review Monitoring Report Policy 2.9
Ken reviewed Policy 2.9 Communication and Support to the Board and 3.4 Monitoring GM Performance.  No suggested changes to either at this time.                  

Board Development Activity:  Review Policy Section 4

All Board members read and reviewed Section 4.  Suggested changes to the Policy document were made and a revised version of the document will be circulated via email for approval.

Reviewed MAD month discount for Board members.  Board agreed that the 5% punches be held in abeyance of the Board member discount.

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda  
July 17th or 21th, 5:30-8pm
Committee Report-Out:  Issue RFP for GM Compensation
Monitoring Report:  2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 2nd Quarter
Develop Board budget for next year
Board Development and Educational Activity
Future research project: Policy for In-Store Campaigning by Board Candidates

Public Input & Discussion:

Tom shared an Earth Day Parade video he made this year.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:08pm.


Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Rebecca Teahen, Sean Burns, Holly Jo Sparks, Chelsea Bay Dennis (left after dinner), Jim Dagwell, Ken Quitugua,  Chris Miller

Absent: Kaitlyn Burns

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Admin Assistant: Gabby Hill

Guests: Tom Slater, Dale Ostema

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:40pm.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email.  Chelsea requested a change to the agenda: that this year’s meeting times/dates be decided before dinner as she needed to leave early.

Board Calendar: The yearly calendar is currently under revision- proposed changes to be discussed later in the evening. Amy suggested removing the Member Linkage Committee Report Out from June’s agenda as there have been no recent developments: the Board approved.

The Board reviewed the time and date for the regular Board Meeting.  The Board voted to explore other date and time options per a scheduling conflict for Chelsea Bay Dennis.  Amy called for a vote:  five votes in favor of keeping it the same- two votes in favor of moving the meeting to the third Wednesday. Chelsea will review her options and discuss with Amy before the next meeting. 

Public Input: 

Tom Slater:  Discussed policy governance and the relationship to a Macrobiotic lifestyle.

GM Report – Steve: 

Sales growth dollars are up from last year- growth as a percentage is not as high as the last two years- this is consistent with other co-ops (our growth is actually higher).  Monthly customer count is up.  Member sales are still up.  Total membership is up- around 6200.  Sales are starting to pick up with the weather.  Similar market basket compared to last year- market basket is a post-discount dollar amount and April was MAD month.  3,684 Members took advantage of MAD month- nearly double the usage seen with two-day MADs.  70% of monthly sales were to members in April.  Patronage checks were sent.  Members have donated $1,294.54 in to the following organizations so far: Food Rescue, SEEDS, ISLAND and 10 Cents a Meal.

NCGA Spring Meeting: Eldon attended as Store Managers were invited to attend this year.  The conference focused on growth, NCGA’s new structure that supports co-op growth, and deepening the bench: capacity and succession planning.  The business meeting reviewed NCGA’s financials (their growth rate is lower) as well as their continuing relationship with UNFI, their primary distributor.

Oryana was featured in the media a dozen times since the last meeting.  There was an article on Soy production, green cleaning, organic standards, the California drought, Empty Bowls, Small Business of the Year coverage, Mary Van Valin, our Community Grant Winner, Earth Day invasive species removal, spring temperatures, and two articles on Dave Gibb’s classroom outreach. Oryana was at the premiere of Connected by Coffee, hosted the Good Fight book presentation, held another book club meeting, gave away trees from Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, and donated 2% of sales on May 10th for World Fair Trade Day.

Oryana for Good:  Totals since the March Board Meeting

Outreach events, presentations, cooking classes and tours = 22
People reached = 1250
In-store demos =44
Customers reached =3500
School classes = 13
Students reached = 343

Several upcoming events- check the website for details:  “Pint for a Pint” Blood Drive, Bee-Aware month, Oryale release party at Right Brain Brewery, and CCMA in Madison.  The last TC Chamber Small Business of the Year Award qualifying event is a store tour tomorrow- they will announce the winner May 29th.  

Store projects slated for this year: East bathrooms, compost, staff parking, East entrance, roof, South entrance, offices, LED light tubes.  Big resets:  produce, bulk, receiving, customer service.   The Grand Traverse Food Hub is a possibility for expanding our production.

Project X: The target date for A Go/No Go Decision by the Board is set for Oct/Nov 2014. Steve completed a comparison of the CDS Consulting Co-op and NCGA’s Development Cooperative (DC) utilizing feedback from other co-ops who employed their services.  The DC was favored almost 2-1.  After careful review, Steve signed a contract with the DC.  The Marketing Study will be conducted in June- as well as a consultant visit. Confidentiality agreements are in place with developers and real estate agents- lots of possibilities.  Oryana is interviewing applicants for a Financial Manager.  The by-law review process, removal of Executive Limitation 2.4.10, and the Board Q & A are completed. 

Monitoring Report:

2.4 Financial Condition and Activities– 1st Quarter

Sales Growth by percentage is a bit lower than last year but sales are up.  Higher gross profit than last year both by dollar and as a percentage of sales.  Operating expense ratio is about 33.5%.  Labor as a percentage of sales was 24.5%- a bit above projection- added several full-time positions due to Healthcare reform, and a new Marketing & Communications Manager.  Net income is up both by dollar and as a percentage of sales.

Ends Report on Asset Protection

Insurance coverage is comprehensive- for facilities & equipment, vehicle, liability and the Board.  Recently added to the business interruption and umbrella coverage.  Minimal claims have meant lower rates.  The Safety Committee re-wrote the safety manual, organized trainings and continues to add to the safety protocols and resources.  Oryana has IT Insurance, and is PCI compliant.

Motion to accept:         Action: Jim moved.  Ken seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 1st Quarter and the Ends  Report on 2.6 Asset Protection.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Board Development Activity:  Year in Review

Amy presented a 2013-2014 Board Self-Monitoring Evaluation to each Board member.  The Board reviewed and ranked the perceived value of the year’s activities and processes then compared them to the Board Perpetual Calendar.  Several changes to the calendar were made. The Board Policies and Process review will take place in June.  The Marketing Study will be added to August for a Board Development Activity.  The monthly Monitoring Report review will be assigned to a Board member. Amy proposed making the committee report-outs unscheduled.  Proposed Fall Retreat will tentatively be held at the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in Copemish.  

Officer Election:  The Board voted unanimously to re-elect all officers to their current roles. 

Board Committees:  In support of Project X, the Financial Due Diligence committee will no longer be Ad Hoc, but a permanent committee. Amy will circulate the new committee assignments so Kaitlyn and Chelsea can volunteer; committees will then meet and elect leaders. 

Next Meeting Review: June 19, 2014 at Oryana   

GM Monitoring Report:  2.9 Communication and Support to the Board
Ken will present a thorough review of Section 4 of the Policies document and Monitoring Report Policy 2.9

Public Input & Discussion:

Tom Slater: Discussed the relationship between mammals as food sources, health and the advertising world.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:57pm.


April - General Membership Meeting, Unapproved Minutes

Oryana General Membership Meeting Notes - Unapproved

April 17, 2014

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 6:55pm and welcomed the members on behalf of the Board.  Amy commended Oryana.  Discussed how the Board spent the year preparing for a possible expansion and monitored Steve and the co-op’s performance through his Board reports on Ends.  She announced that there are no changes to bylaws this year. 

Review and Approval of 2013 Minutes: Amy called attention to the minutes distributed on each table and called for a vote to approve.  The membership unanimously voted to approve.

Candidates Statements:  Thanks to Board members whose term is up: Ken Quitugua, Kaitlyn Burns, Erica Heller and Jim Dagwell.  Amy called for any Board nominations from the floor: there were none.  Board candidates introduced themselves and spoke to the membership about why they wish to serve on the Board and their personal strengths.  Candidates present were Amy Tennis, Ken Quitugua, Jim "Dags" Dagwell, Chuck Mueller, Holly Jo Sparks, Kaitlyn Burns, Bryan Black, Christina Carson, and Hillary Gessner.  Candidates Erica Heller and Laura Scredon did not attend.  Amy noted that the membership would be able to cast their final vote after the candidate statements.

Steve thanked Membership for attending the meeting and acknowledged the Kitchen staff, EMOE department, and other Staff for all their hard work organizing this event.  Steve recognized Nadia, a member who was attending her 14th consecutive meeting- starting when she was 9 months old.

State of the Co-op Address:  Steve

General Update- Annual Sales for 2013 were $14,315,357.99 (exceeding target of $13.6 M) and 2014 Year-to-date Sales are $3,534,659.63.  2013 Yearly Sales Growth was 15.74% (exceeding target of 10%) and 2014 Year-to-date Sales Growth is 11.98%.  Monthly Customer Count is trending up and is above last year.  Percentage of sales to Members is also above last year, staying in the 66-70% range so far this year.  Total memberships are also increasing- Oryana finished the year with over 6,000 members and now has 6,124. Net income for 2013 was $740,139, 5.17% after taxes (exceeding 2.9% target).  Total Assets of $4,501,859.  Total Liabilities of $1,304,641.39.  Liquidity Ratios Current Ratio:  Current Assets/Current Liabilities equals 3.44(means that the co-op has $3.44 (in cash or inventory) for each $1 owed in the short term).  Working Capital: Current Assets- Current Liabilities equals $1,589,902.34.  Total Debt/Total Assets equals .29 (means that the co-op has $1 in assets (what we own) for each $.29 that is owed (at this time - Mortgage). 

Store Updates:  Updated utility area in Southeast corner of the parking lot.  Re-stained wood siding.  Addition to Receiving for new Cardboard Baler.  New handrails at the West Café entrance.  Planted a 40th Anniversary commemorative garden.  Installed energy-efficient lighting and cooler systems.

Steve explained that when we operate the business in a fair, efficient and wise way, we are able to invest more towards fulfilling our Ends Policies. 

Economy: Continued Store growth equals more local economy and the potential for additional Oryana locations: sales of $14.3M, Growth of $15.74%, patronage rebate (Average of $15.95 per member), payroll of #3.13M, collaboration with Great Lakes Cooperatives, TBA Credit Union and Cherryland Electric.

Localism: Over $1.6 million in local product purchases, 128 local farmers, suppliers and producers, and 80 community partners all equal more support for local businesses.  Steve also serves on the board of the Traverse City Food Hub, Bay Bucks and other collaborations.  Sandi McArthur, the Education & Outreach Coordinator, is on the Food Rescue Board.

Wellness: Oryana promotes the relationship of good food and health at outreach activities in the community.  6,124 members and thousands of other shoppers each month experience that connection.  In 2013, the co-op recycled 489,800 pounds of materials, donated 21,051 pounds of food to Food Rescue, the Wellness department reached $2M in sales, with the Produce department close to $2M.  Oryana has a continued commitment to product guidelines (local certified organic, sustainable local, certified organic, and Non-GMO).

Education:  Oryana educates the community through outreach events, presentations, cooking classes, tours, in-store demos and school classes.  In the last year over 3,500 community members were reached and 3,017 students were reached since August.

Community:  Oryana is celebrating 41 years of community.  Over 200 local organizations received sponsorships and donations.  Since 2009 the co-op has given $26,500 through the Community Grant Award (and $5,700 more will be donated tonight!)

Model Workplace:  130 happy staff members: 64 full-time and 66 part-time.  82% are eligible for healthcare coverage and Oryana contributes to make it affordable.  Oryana hosts a staff appreciation picnic and holiday party as well as providing a summer and year-end bonus.  Approximately 1,134 hours were dedicated to staff training and development (not including everyday job training).  Oryana monitors staff satisfaction through surveys and scored the most improvement that the co-op consultant had ever seen (and the initial scores were very good!)  Leadership and staff created Oryana Values that solidified a culture of open communication contributes to the Amazing Oryana Experience that members and customers receive.

Oryana Imagined 2022 and Expansion:  Steve explained the origin of the 2022 vision and that expansion is still a possibility, though Oryana is still in the feasibility phase.  Several factors impact the decision to move forward:  board alignment, staff and organizational development, confirming the need (market studies), financials, location and logistical options.  Steve will present his recommendation to the Board this fall and the Board will decide whether or not to move forward in October.  Steve then explained what's in it for members & staff:  a better shopping experience, more cooperators, more local producers, more money staying local, more jobs in the community, the ability to serve a wider community, more cooperative economy, more focus on resilience, more healthy-fair-trade-local-ecologically sustainable stuff, more Amazing Oryana Experience, and more staff opportunities.

April and beyond:  Steve asked membership how they felt about the new MAD approach (Shop your own MAD Day) which was met with clapping and cheers of approval.  Steve talked about upcoming events including Earth Day, a blood drive, another year of Oryale from Right Brain Brewery, and Oryana being nominated as a finalist for the TC Chamber Small Business of the Year Award - the winner will be announced at the end of May. 

In honor of community member, co-op supporter, and resiliency advocate Bob Russell, Oryana will be donating 2% of sales on a day in November to the Bob Russell Memorial Fund. 

Board Q & A: 

Member asked how our financial ratios compare to other businesses.  Steve shared that through the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) Oryana is considered a high-performing co-op and its numbers are strong even compared to conventional grocers.
Member asked why Acme is being considered as opposed to somewhere West.  Steve responded that the demographics are very different in the two locations.  The second market study will be reviewed by the Board. 
Member commented that he shops at Oryana in part because it supplies living wage and a great work environment for its staff. 
Cindy Shapiro commended all the youth-oriented programs, articles, events, etc and wanted to know how she could stay informed of those activities.  Steve replied that we use several media outlets to share information about our outreach- newsletter, Facebook, Oryana.coop/events, outside media. 
Member wanted to know if the Working Members program will be reinstated.  Steve responded that we can utilize volunteers for activities that staff normally would not be scheduled to coordinate.  This decision was a result of maintaining a Model Workplace and is in accordance with labor laws.

Treasurer's Report:  Jim Dagwell, Board Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee, presented the Treasurer's Report and called attention to the printed copy distributed at each table.  Amy asked for motion to approve the 2013 Treasurer's report.  Membership unanimously voted to approve.

Community Grant Recipient:  The 2013 Community Grant Recipient was ISLAND.  Amanda Kik, Co-Director and Co-Founder of Island discussed the creation of the Preservation Station- a canning station on wheels. The trailer is equipped to host canning parties and events on location with all the supplies and amenities necessary to put up food safely, including an ISLAND consultant.  Many thanks to Oryana for supporting ISLAND with the grant.  The ISLAND Annual Benefit Concert is Saturday for those who wish to attend. 

Membership has chosen the TC Community Garden as the 2014 Community Grant Winner.  Alex Campbell accepted the award on behalf of the Garden and shared that the grant will go towards a deer-proof fence and water supply.   He thanked Oryana for its continuing support.

Board Election Results: 

The following members were elected to the Oryana Board of Directors for the five open seats:

Amy Tennis (125 votes)

Ken Quitugua (115 votes)

Kaitlyn Burns (115 votes)

Jim Dagwell (104 votes)

Holly Jo Sparks (103 votes)

Other votes Included:

Chuck Mueller (83 votes)

Erica Heller (74 votes)

Christina Carson (71 votes)

Bryan Black (52 votes)

Hillary Gessner (49 votes)

Laura Scredon (13 votes)

Public Input:  Lisa Danto of the Traverse Bay Area Tobacco Coalition congratulated Oryana and Steve for its success and thanked him for designating Oryana a tobacco-free campus.  She was pleased to announce that the Cherry Festival will be smoke-free this year.  Volunteers for a smoke-patrol can sign up online: training will be provided and there are perks.  Ann Arbor is attempting to go tobacco-free like Traverse City- anyone interested in helping can contact her for more information.

The next Board Meeting will be held May 15th in the conference room at Oryana.  Members are welcome to attend.  Dinner is provided.

Amy adjourned the meeting at 8:31pm.



Present at the meeting:

Amy Tennis, Chris Miller, Kaitlyn Burns, Jim “Dags” Dagwell, Rebecca Teahen, Ken Quitugua, Sean Burns, Erica Heller, Chelsea Dennis

Oryana: General Manager:  Steve Nance, Board Assistant: Gabby Hill

Guests: Tom Slater, Jules Shellby; Board Candidates: Holly Jo Sparks, Chuck Meuller,

Welcome:  Amy convened the meeting at 5:34.  Guests were introduced.  Minutes from the last meeting were approved by email. 

Board Calendar: No changes to calendar.

Public Input: 

Tom Slater: Discussed Oryana as it relates to Pinocchio. 

Jules: Received a letter regarding Community Partner Program and discounts/services.  She would like to offer services to Oryana’s employees through the EAP program. 

Holly Jo: Attended the Small & Emerging Co-op Conference.  Is a Board Candidate

Chelsea:  Coffee movie date and details finalized.  The film poster is available for distribution.

Chuck:  Here to learn, observe.  Daughter participated in Canstruction with East Middle School, one of the schools to which Oryana donated cans. Is a Board Candidate

GM Report – Steve: 

March numbers are better than budgeted:  Monthly sales- up, Members- still above 6000, Member sales- up, Member sales percentage- around 65%, Customer Count- up, Market Basket- OK, Labor to sales %- being watched.

Steve attended the Great Lakes Conference of Co-ops in an effort to support and grow co-operatives.  Met Lillie Wolff , Co-Executive Director of ERAC/CE and looks forward to collaborating with her in the future.  Steve and the Store Manager, Eldon, will attend the Spring NCGA Conference.  Emerging Co-op Seminar Monday- Steve was a presenter- focus was primarily on producer co-ops.  On Monday, 2% of sales were donated to the Grand Traverse Conservation District.  Homeless Drive has collected $3300 so far, not including food.               MAD all month- Members seem pleased with the change.  Both COOP Deals flyers will be available on the website so members can plan.

Patronage will be sent out– members should receive their checks before the GMM, which is set for April 17th at TC Central High School.  Members can vote on the Community Grant until April 15th and for Board Candidates through the GMM. 

Expansion status: Still in feasibility stage; logistics confidential.  Market Study- CAT Study in June, On-site visit in May, Completed by July.  Steve recommends that Board decides whether to move forward or not in October.  Bylaw review - done. We can offer Member Loans shold the Board decide.

Oryana for Good:  These metrics were compiled by our Communications Manager, Marika:

Outreach events, presentations, cooking classes and tours = 7
People reached = 41
In-store demos = 24
Customers reached = 1800
School classes = 6
Students reached = 300

Oryana was featured in the media 10 times in the last month.

Monitoring Report:

2.5 Financial Condition Planning and Budgeting

The Leadership Retreat with Zingtrain led to Departmental Business Plans and the development of Oryana Financial Goals for 2014.  Oryana Business Plan includes Planning Business Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Financial Planning, Strategic Planning and Visioning as well as Tactical Task groups to support goals for 2014.  Task groups include:
Customer Engagement, Price Perception, Product Safety, MAD, Member Engagement, Communications, Local vs. Organic, Service and Store Conditioning

Economy & Localism

Oryana purchases over 1.6 million in local product from 128 local vendors- translating into over $14 million in sales.

Oryana participates in GL Collaborations which supports cooperative economics.

Staff, the Community and Members benefit because more money stays local!

Reviewed upcoming events.

Motion to accept:         Action: Ken moved.  Erica seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the General Manager’s monitoring reports on

                                    Economy & Localism and 2.5 Financial Planning and Budgeting.

                                    The Board reached consensus.

Committee Report Out 

Ad Hoc Committee

Sean reviewed the $100,000 spending cap in the Executive Limitations and discussed with Board and GM.  The Ad Hoc Committee concluded that the GM is already accountable for expenditures to the Board and that the spending cap restricts the GM operationally.  It also conflicts with the Policy Governance Model since the Board would be influential in operational decisions. The Ad Hoc Committee suggests removing the Executive Limitation altogether. 

Motion to accept:         Action: Rebecca moved.  Kaitlyn seconded.

                                    The Board accepted the removal of the Spending Cap 2.4.10.

GMM Planning

 Amy requests that board members sign up for volunteer tasks- the event planning is almost complete.

Board Development Activity:  Market Study Articles

The Board received the article Information Leads to Opportunities for Improving Sales by Debbie Suassana (lead on Oryana’s next marketing study). Steve reviewed the article as applied to Oryana’s structure and business model.  Marketing strategies focus on differentiation and segmentation.  Market Studies measure trade area, demographic, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats), consumer behavior, market share, and potential.  A Consumer Address and Transaction (CAT) Study will be conducted in June to round out previous studies.  An on-site visit in May will preemptively define parameters of study, which should be complete by July.

Next Meeting Review: Date, time and agenda 

General Membership Meeting - April 17th, Traverse City Central High School

State of the Co-op speech
Finance Report
Membership Report
Reading/Action on previous year’s minutes

Public Input & Discussion:

Holly Jo asked for clarification regarding the market study and whether it would take into account food desert situations.

Tom provided articles regarding high sugar levels in food and caffeine in children’s food.  

Ask not what’s in your food, but what your food is eating.  There was a valentine for Marika in the Northern Express.

Chuck was pleased to be at the meeting and looks forward to continued cooperation with Oryana.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm.



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.

Public Input: 

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! 

Monitoring Report:

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.

GMM Planning

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. 

Public Input:

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.
Resolution Run
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

Monitoring Reports:

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.





The Next Board Meeting

The next meeting is on Thursday, February 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Location: Oryana








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