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Desire Lines, Welcomes, Goodbyes and a Great AMP!

A “desire line” is the term for a trail worn down over time by repeated foot traffic, usually representing a direct route between an origin and a destination. If you’ve ever seen a worn path cutting across the right angles of a sidewalk through a park, you’ve seen a desire line.

I like to think that when Willy Street Co-op Owners place a vote for a Board candidate, they are individually and collectively creating a desire line from where the Co-op is today toward our next destination.

It is a big responsibility to lead our Co-op in the right direction, and it is you, our Owners, who are forging that path forward when you elect new Board members.

Welcomes :)
Speaking of new Board members, did you notice that we just held Board elections? For the second year now we’ve allowed voting at our Annual Meeting & Party (as well as approximately three weeks of voting in our stores, via email or mail). And wow, did a lot of Owners vote—3,093 to be exact. Of course I’d love to see even more votes so the voices of even more Owners are represented in the Co-op’s desire lines, but I am encouraged to see total votes increase year over year.

I am excited to announce the three new Board members you elected: Jess Pernsteiner, Patricia Butler and Bruce Slaughenhoupt.

Join me in welcoming Jess, Patricia and Bruce to the team! I truly look forward to learning from the unique experiences and perspectives each will bring to our work. Together as a Board, we will collectively work to represent the ideas and concerns of our community of Owners, while balancing the Co-op’s strategic goals and values that make it a successful business.

Watch for future Reader articles about each new Board member so you can learn more about them. Even better, attend a Board meeting and meet your new directors in person!

Goodbyes :(
Of course, for new members to join the Board, others must give up their seat to make room. We have three departing Board members that, I think is safe to say, have poured their love, sweat and tears into the Co-op over the years they served.

This past year was an exciting and eventful time to be on the Board, as we revised the Co-op’s ends and governing policies, and voted to expand to a third store on Madison’s northside. This work, and much more, took a team effort and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work of each of our departing Board members.

We thank Courtney Berner, Mike Engel and Dan Ramos Haaz with our whole hearts and wish them much happiness with their many extra hours of time back each month.

A Great AMP!
Once again, our Annual Meeting & Party (AMP), held on the first day of the famous La Fête de Marquette festival in Madison’s Central Park was a blast. Thank you for joining us on this important day for our Co-op. The AMP is one of the main ways your Board can meet with a large number of Owners and personally share what we’ve been up to over the past year, update you on where we’re headed and reconnect on our shared passion for the mission, or raison d’être, of the Co-op.

One of the most exciting topics from the AMP was being able to report on our return to profitability in Fiscal Year 2016. We ended the year with $45.1 million in sales and anticipate a final net income of $300,000. We also were excited to share news about our excellent progress toward reaching our $1.5 million goal in our Owner Bond Drive. We announced that Forward Community Investment had issued a matching challenge in which they would match each bond purchased over the next two weeks up to $25,000 worth of bonds. The challenge was met within 24 hours. I’m blown away—that’s the power of a collective force of dedicated Owners!

For the Party part of the AMP, we hope you enjoyed the music, food, drinks, ice cream and sunshine on this beautiful Wisconsin summer day. We thank you for joining us, for meeting and partying with us, and for caring about the direction of your Co-op.

As always, if you have questions for the Board, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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