Annual Meeting and Party: AMP!
On Thursday, July 11th, the Co-op hosted its 39th Annual Meeting and Party. We served up 4,000 meals, and offered local soda and beer to the masses. From my vantage point, it was the best AMP ever!
Talking trash: Zero Waste
The AMP was our opportunity to host the most complex zero-waste event ever in Dane County.
Our efforts to reduce waste sent to the landfill paid off—we achieved a 96% landfill diversion rate!
The Co-op partnered with Paolo Verde Waste Planning, City of Madison, and the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center to divert waste generated by our party from going to the landfill by either composting or recycling. Paul Abramson, owner of Paolo Verde, coordinated 30-plus volunteers to make this happen.
The total waste produced during the dinner party was 1,198 lbs; of that amount 1,040 lbs (86%) was compostable, 101 lbs (8%) was recyclable, and ONLY 57 lbs (6%) was landfill trash. Thank you for supporting our zero-waste effort, and establishing a high standard for future events.
If you are interested in hosting a zero-waste event in Dane County, please consider contacting Paolo Verde Zero Waste Planning at PHAbramson@gmail.com.
During the “Question and Answer” section of the AMP, an Owner made a comment about the Bicycle Benefits Program, which I inadequately addressed, but said I would report to you in the future. The gist of it was why offer it, and that he speculates those biking to the Co-op will continue to bike regardless of the 5% discount incentive.
We share the goals of the Bicycle Benefits program, which are helmet use (safety), sustainability, and personal health, but our main goal for offering it is to encourage people to bike rather than drive to the Co-op, and thereby open up parking spaces for those who can’t bike.
If we do open a third store or if the heavy use of our parking lots decreases in some other way where this isn’t a concern any longer, we would reexamine this benefit and perhaps instead invest in other improvements for biking customers.
Last fiscal year, the program cost the Co-op $35k in discounts to Owners. To learn more about the Bicycle Benefit program www.bicyclebenefits.org
On July 16th, 2013 we tallied the votes cast on the 1221 Remodel Expenditure referendum. 2,461 ballots were cast, of which 24 (~1%) were invalid. 2,122 ballots were cast in favor (~87%), 283 were cast in opposition (~11%) and 32 were abstentions (~1%). Thank you to everyone who voted in this important matter! Thank you, too, for the thoughtful comments that were included with ballots- there were some great suggestions and constructive criticisms shared that will be considered in the remodel work.
Moving forward, we will begin drafting plans that meet the $4 million cap requirement while also meeting as many needs and wants as possible. Once plans have reached a more solid state, we will post them for your information.
Throughout this remodel conversation, we have realized the value in finding a centralized office for our administrative teams and kitchen teams to work out of. Moving staff that are not site-specific out of retail locations will free up precious space for the product teams at Willy East and Willy West. Having teams centralized will also give staff more opportunities to work together, creating additional efficiencies and synergies in their daily work. I will keep you updated as we continue to investigate this!
It’s that time again! Remember to vote for your top three Board candidates between August 1st and 6:00pm on August 20th, 2013. Included in this Reader are candidate statements and a paper ballot. Additional ballots are available at both retail locations and online. To receive an online ballot, please email Stephanie Ricketts at by Friday, August 16th at noon.