ANNUAL MEETING AND PARTY!
The Co-op hosted our Annual Meeting and Party (AMP) on July 8th at the site of La Fête de Marquette. Collaborating once again with the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, this year’s event was by far one of the most exciting and well-attended in our 35-year history. The event drew a crowd—nearly 3,000 Owners were fed and participated in the many activities scheduled. It was incredible for me to look up and not see a line of people at the food table! Equally as incredible was to look up and see the Ferris wheel operating—wow wee.

Our staff and partners at Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center outdid themselves this year. I would like to thank them for the fantastic job they did to make this the best AMP yet! Various teams of people are needed to pull off an event of this magnitude—organizers included Brendon Smith, Josh Perkins, Jack Kear and Gary Kallas, with nonstop assistance from Kristin Esselstrom and the Front End team, James Phetteplace and the IT team, Kitchen and product staff for sourcing and food prep, the Communications team for getting the word out... and Jesse Thurber as Eggie.

Additionally, I would also like to recognize the generous contributions made by RP’s Pasta, Equal Exchange, Just Coffee, The Chocolate Shoppe, Tierra Farms, Organic Valley, Katie Wallace, ND, the Mullins Family (for use of their space), and of course Ed, the Ferris wheel operator.

ANNUAL BOARD ELECTIONS
Time again for Board elections—same general process as in the past; Owners interested in running for the Board announce their candidacy at the annual business meeting and submit a statement for review by Owners, Owners cast ballots using the ballot provided in this issue of the Reader, in-store ballots are located at the voting box kiosk at the front of the store, or online; and, finally, election results are reported at a special membership meeting.

There are three seats up for election on the Board—Kathleen Doherty, Doug Johnson, and George Hofheimer have served out their terms, and I would like to thank them for their outstanding service. George, our current Board president, has agreed to run for another term.

Online voting will be available again this year. Balloting will begin August 1st, 2010; online voting will close Sunday, August 15th at 11:59pm, with paper balloting ending Tuesday, August 17th in order to authenticate individual ballots received. The results will be announced at the special membership meeting scheduled for August 17th in the Community Room after 6:30pm when the last call for ballots is announced.

Online voting requires that we have your current email address—should you want to cast your ballot online, I encourage you to double-check with Customer Service to make certain we have your current email address!

EAT LOCAL CHALLENGE
The Co-op is sponsoring the Eat Local Challenge August 15th–September 15th. Sign-up and registration began last month, but you can join anytime until it begins. This is your opportunity to learn where the food you eat comes from, and how you can support our local famers and producers. You choose one of six levels of Locavore—“Toe in the Water” to “Hardcore”; see the website (www.willystreet.coop) for details. I am aiming for Extreme Locavore: everything you eat is locally grown, with few exceptions.

WILLY WEST UPDATE
Updates from our various partners are a daily occurrence. Check out our Project Manager’s blog if you are interested in the progress of Willy West—you can log onto www.willystreet.coop/blog/phil_ward for updates and information.
Things are physically beginning to happen at the Willy West location. As of last week, construction fencing was installed, the existing façade is nearly down, and demolition of the interior wall between the two retail spaces and the installation of the exterior wall has begun!

EASTSIDE FARMERS’ MARKET
The Eastside Farmers’ Market is operating at their new space located at 953 Jenifer Street, Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center—every Tuesday from 4:00pm–7:00pm until October 12th.