by Renée Lauber, WSGC Board President
The Board wasted no time in getting to work this fiscal year. We met on October 4th, the very first day of the new year. The agenda was full of many important housekeeping items such as setting the annual calendar of meeting dates and topics, electing new officers, and appointing committees. But before we settled down to those details, we took a moment to recognize and thank Michael Lavitschke for his three years of service on the Board. As the former Marketing Manager for the store, Michael brought not only organizational and decision-making skills to his position but also a valuable staff perspective. His contributions to our work and the store are greatly appreciated. Newly elected Board member Tamara Urich replaces Michael. Many of you know Tamara because you see her at the customer service desk through much of the week. She is the Customer Service Coordinator at the store and has worked at the service desk since soon after the new store opened in 2000. We welcome Tamara. Doug Johnson and I were also reelected to the Board. It is an honor to continue to represent you, especially at this time when so much is happening with store growth and expansion.
One of the most significant things the Board does at the beginning of each fiscal year is reconstitute our committees. Five committees will continue from last year: the Executive, Personnel, Finance, Member Relations, and Policy Governance Committees. This year we also established an Ad-hoc By-laws Committee that will take a careful look at the bylaws with an eye for changes and updates that may be needed in light of store expansion. All of these committees do important groundwork for the Board, researching specific topics, making recommendations, and generally spending more time discussing details than is possible at full Board meetings. With the exception of the Executive and Personnel Committees, all these committees have seats for Co-op members. We need your skills and input! Here’s a brief summary of what each committee will be working on over the next year.
In addition to some set operational functions like overseeing the audit process and making recommendations for the budget, this committee will be taking a close look at the financial demands of expansion and the non-member mark up. Finance has two volunteer seats for Co-op members.
This committee reviews community reinvestment grant applications and works on annual Board elections. The committee will also be looking at member volunteer compensation and Board meeting member forums. Member Relations has two seats for Co-op members.
The board has a detailed list of policies by which it operates. This committee is in the process of examining and editing all of those policies. Policy Governance also has two seats for Co-op members.
This newly reestablished committee will undertake the job of examining the by-laws and making recommendations for updates necessitated by store growth and expansion. By-law has two seats for Co-op members.
If you are interested in helping to move your cooperative forward in this new fiscal year, please consider getting involved with one of these committees. You can expect to meet six to eight times throughout the year and will likely need to do some additional work outside of scheduled meetings. We ask for a two-year commitment. All committee volunteers receive a 15% discount on their purchases in the store. Let us know if you are willing to help by filling out a brief application at the customer service desk. Applications are due by the first of December, and committee volunteers will begin their work later in the month.
The final piece of business that we attended to was the election of new Board officers. These officers make up the Board’s Executive Committee.
Board President—Renée Lauber
Vice President—Buck Rhyme
Now that we have our full docket of meeting dates, new committee appointments and task assignments we are ready to move forward with the direction-setting work of the Board. We are moving into an exciting time for our store. We will be opening the off-site kitchen in the next few months and continuing to look at opening a second store. These are major undertakings that we intend to approach with as much creative vision and careful planning as possible. We are interested in your input on these and other topics. Please remember that you can attend our open member forum at the beginning of each Board meeting and voice your opinions directly to the Board. Our next meeting is on December 7th in the Community Room.