As the first meeting of the Board since the recent elections, one of the purposes of the October meeting was to organize and set up the Board for the coming year.
The officers of the Board are the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The role of the President is to ensure that the Board functions smoothly and that it operates within its rules. The President sets the agenda for Board meetings and functions as the meeting facilitator, as well as serving as the designated spokesperson for the Board and the Co-op as a whole. The Vice President will become President if the office of President becomes vacant. This year we again elected Renée Lauber to serve as President for the coming year. George Hofheimer is going to serve as Vice President. According to state statutes and our bylaws, the Secretary and Treasurer of the Board needn’t be Directors and can be the same person so, as we have done in the past—we elected Anya Firszt, the General Manager, to serve in those roles. This is primarily to make it easier for her to file any of the required reports that we must make periodically to the state, since she can then sign them as the official Secretary of the organization.
We have one standing committee: the Finance Committee. It meets periodically with the General Manager and the Financial Manager to monitor the financial performance of our business. The Committee also proposes the annual budgets and supervises the financial audit that we have performed each year. Four Directors are going to serve on the committee this year-Jay DeNovo, George Hofheimer, Wilson Magee and Renée Lauber. Two non-Director owners are also on the committee—Steve Wolfe and Buck Rhyme.
We also appoint occasional ad hoc committees as the need arises. One new ad hoc committee that we have just created is going to be looking into the possibility of instituting a patronage rebate system here at Willy Street Co-op. The ability to do patronage rebates to its owners is one of the advantages allowed to cooperatives by state law and the IRS. In general what it means is that, at the close of a fiscal year, the Board could decide to declare a patronage rebate based on the amount of profit that the Co-op earned during that year. Some portion of that profit would then be returned to you, the owners, in proportion to the amount of your purchases. The more you spent, the larger your rebate would be if we made a lot of profit that didn’t need to be saved for future contingencies. We are just at the beginning for this committee and there will be much more discussion about how this might be set up or even if it is a good idea to do it at all. Stay tuned to hear more about this as the process unfolds and be sure to tell us what you think about such a system. Jeff Bessmer, Kathleen Doherty, and Doug Johnson are the Directors appointed to this committee. Ankur Mahotra is a non-Director owner who is going to be on the committee, as well as Anya Firszt, Lynn Olson (the Cooperative Services Manager) and David Waisman (the Financial Manager).
As always, we would like to hear what you think about what is going on with your Co-op. Email the entire Board by sending a message to:.