Meeting Minutes


Present at the meeting: Chuck Mueller, Rebecca Teahen, Chris Miller, Kaitlyn Burns, Jim Dagwell, Colleen Valko, Kathy Baylis Monteith, Sean Burns

Oryana: General Manager: Steve Nance; Marketing & Communications Manager: Stephanie Mathewson, Guests: Tom Slater, Jules Shelby, Robert Gammons Absent: Holly Jo Sparks

Welcome: Rebecca convened the meeting at 5:50pm.

Additions or Changes to Agenda:

The agenda was reviewed. Finance 101 will be included as part of the Monitoring Report 2.4 and will be covered more in-depth at a later date.

Minutes from the March meeting were approved by email. April GOM minutes will be approved at next year’s annual meeting.

Board Calendar:

The Board reviewed the upcoming Board Calendar. At the next meeting, the Board will revisit if the ‘Review Ends Policies’ that is slated for July’s meeting needs to be moved to a later date.

2018 Board Officers were elected:

President – Jim Dagwell

Vice President – Rebecca Teahen

Treasurer – Colleen Valko

Secretary – Holly Jo and Kaitlyn Burns tied via secret ballot; due to Holly Jo’s absence the vote was tabled until both Kaitlyn and Holly Jo can be present.

Addendum: as agreed at the Board Meeting, the above met the GM at Oryana on 5.25.18 and as witnessed by Wendy Walter HD Mgr. and Blyther Webster HD Assistant, Kaitlyn Burns prevailed in a best two of three Rock, Paper, Scissors contest to become Secretary.

2018 Committee Assignments Confirmed:

Board Education Committee

Chair – Rebecca Teahen

Members – Kaitlyn Burns, Chris Miller, Chuck Mueller

Recruitment & Nomination

Chair – Collen Valko

Members – Sean Burns, Chris Miller

Owner Engagement

Chair – Chuck Mueller

Members – Kathy Baylis Monteith, Chris Miller, Jim Dagwell

Financial Due Diligence

Chair – Chris Miller

Members –Sean Burns, Jim Dagwell, Colleen Valko

Due to absence, Holly Jo will be asked at a later date what committees she would like to be a part of for 2018.

Dates, Times, and Locations of 2018 Meetings:

For June, July and August the meetings will remain on the fourth Thursday of the month. Beginning in September meetings will be held the third Thursday of the month.

GM report: Steve Nance

Oryana for Good: Stephanie Mathewson

  • Oryana conducted two 2% of sales and round-up days in April to support both Food Rescue and the Women’s Resource Center. Nearly $1,000 was raised for each.
  • Oryana contributed to the BARC relief efforts after fire destroyed a major warehouse. Recovery continues.
  • Steve hosted a TART Trails clean-up day along the Boardman loop with many community volunteers.
  • Oryana has had great success hosting collaboration classes with community partners such as Crosshatch, local dietitian Carol Bell, and New Moon Yoga. These have helped us reach new people in multiple areas.
  • We continue to receive great shoutouts on social media from shoppers and partners – a great sign of a feeling of community.
  • Owner drives continue for the store, highlighting the benefits for shoppers.
  • Some fun spring promos included a ‘We’re Actually Open for Spring Break!’ campaign complete with discounts for State Theater ticket holders and an Earth Day Bulk line drive.
  • May and June’s advertising campaign features photos from Providence Farm and touts our local produce offerings.
  • This year’s GOM was a great success with an attendance around 300 and a wonderful meal.
  • The Community Block Party hosted nearly 1,500 people and brought many new faces to the Co-op. Stephanie thanked the Board for volunteering their time at the event.

Fantastic Finance, Steve Nance

  • Steve shared financial information with the Board. Sales and profit are improving over trends last year. May is current up 5% YOY.
  • Keeping labor costs in line has been difficult, but labor as percent of sales is improving.

Economic Trends:

  • The Farm Bill is up for debate currently, which includes discussions around the SNAP Benefits program. The current administration supports pulling SNAP Benefits out, which would put them at risk.

Industry Trends:

  • The idea of Convenience has changed for consumers – with more of a focus on ‘inspirational shopping experiences’ (great for the co-op!).
  • Certified Organic sales increased 6.4% in 2017.

Local Trends:

  • The Acme Township development is still in limbo. The co-op continues to watch this area as a place for future development.
  • Grain Train bought the old Grand Traverse Pie Company and will open their own café in downtown Petoskey.

Our Co-op:

  • Oryana sent out 1,800 coupons to lapsed owners and have seen great redemption.
  • The Oryana family was so sad to hear of the passing of Sally Shetler – Steve and staff attended the funeral and viewings to show support.
  • Lois from our grocery department retired after 22 years – congratulations!
  • Oryana has made a decision to share Finance Manager duties with another co-op for better efficiency and cost savings. Jason Lovell from The Merc in Lawrence, KS will be handling those duties off-site. Jason will be available for any necessary Finance Due Diligence meetings for the Board. Oryana will retain their CPA services in town and still has a Finance Assistant position.
  • Double Up Food Bucks was on hold for 2 months but will resume on June 1st.
  • Oryana has been utilizing 2 youth corps in town for maintenance and gardening projects. It has been a great collaboration.
  • Oryana is currently 100% powered through renewable energy through both wind and solar. A 20-kilowatt roof array for Oryana is currently out for RFP.
  • Oryana is also looking into having electric car charging stations added to the parking lot.
  • Oryana was able to publicly announce their $10,000 grant towards the completion of the Boardman Loop Trail at the Block Party.
  • Oryana continues their work with the North Boardman Lake District to coordinate a vision for the 8th Street area.
  • Oryana is still in talks with the TC Community Garden about setting up a satellite garden at the end of 10th The Arts Commission is also exploring a rotating sculpture park at our TART Trailhead.

Competition Report:

  • Lucky’s hired one person to handle ‘local sales’ in all stores.
  • One location of Lucky’s closed in Lexington recently after 2 years of operation.

Monitoring Report 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 1st Quarter 2018

Steve Nance, General Manager

  • Quarter 1 was lower than expected, but the trend is improving.
  • Labor was the main culprit of profit, which is currently an improving trend.
  • Oryana’s Profitability and Debt to Equity ratios are still strong.

Motion to accept:             Action: Miller moved. Colleen seconded.

The Board accepted the Monitoring Report 2.4 Financial Condition and Activities – 1st Quarter 2018

The Board reached consensus.

Ends Report: Localism

Stephanie Mathewson, Marketing & Communications Manager

Localism: Because of Oryana, our community has an accessible and healthy marketplace for goods produced locally that have a positive environmental and social impact.

Stephanie referenced the Localism Ends Report 2018 that was submitted in the Board Packet and will be available on the website for review. For the meeting, she focused on Oryana’s efforts in Accessibility.

  • Oryana has continued to make great strides in keeping prices fair for both producers and consumers, ensuring sustainable access for all to good food and products.
  • Department Managers work to price shop competitors, making reductions where they can to stay in line with other businesses and work with vendors and producers (especially local ones) to feature promotions and sales for customers. In the last year we’ve had great success with Line Drives for product lines such as Redheads and Higher Grounds.
  • Oryana remains one of the highest quantity purveyors of the Co-op Basics line, offering high-quality items at everyday reduced prices.
  • Oryana was proud to join the Double Up Food Bucks program in 2017 and, to date, has printed 1,168 DUFB coupons valued at $9,688 and helped MI Bridge customers redeem 724 of those coupons for savings of $7,255!
  • Oryana also recently received the results of their shopper survey which shows growing recognition and appreciation for fair pricing in all categories over 2016.

Ends Report: Economy

Stephanie Mathewson, Marketing & Communications Manager

Economy: Because of Oryana, our community has a vibrant cooperative business that stimulates cooperative activity.

Stephanie referenced the Economy Ends Report 2018 that was submitted in the Board Packet and will be available on the website for review. For the meeting she focused on Oryana’s focus on Ownership.

  • Oryana is closely monitoring their Ownerships which began to dip directly after competition opening in 2017. While these numbers have stabilized since, it is still a goal of Oryana to grow Ownerships and promote the cooperative business model with shoppers.
  • To help combat the decline, Oryana has included Ownership metrics in Open Book Management which brings attention for all staff members of dipping numbers and empowers them to help grow ownership.
  • Owner referral drives have been conducted encouraging current owners to bring new owners into the co-op
  • New communications materials have been developed touting the benefits of ownership throughout the store and at outreach events.
  • The new website put a high priority on explaining the benefits of ownership, the co-op difference and placing ample call-to-action buttons throughout the site to encourage sign-ups.
  • Marketing is also exploring the possibility of offering online ownerships in accordance with our bylaws.

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

The Board accepted the Ends Report: Localism 2018 & Economy 2018

The Board reached consensus.

New Website Review

Stephanie Mathewson

Stephanie walked the Board through a preview of the new redesign which is being completed by local firm One Up Web. The site is expected to be live in mid-June.

Next Meeting Review:

Chuck suggested that the four Board Members attending CCMA could present something that they learned at the June meeting. The Board agreed.

The next meeting will be held Thursday, June 28. Location TBD.

Public Input & Announcements:

Jules offered her services for the Owner Engagement Committee for input. Chuck will follow up.

Robert brought up that he was interested in supporting future programming at the co-op. Steve will follow up with Robert.

Kaitlyn asked if there were guidelines for Owner input on Board Committees. Steve suggested that the Board think about and consider any guidelines in an upcoming meeting.

Meeting Closed:  The meeting was adjourned at 7:34pm.