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Elections Results; Beer & Wine at East; and More!

Welcome August! Following the very eventful July, this month offers us the opportunity to look forward with enthusiasm to a number of bigchanges that will take place in our cooperative.

2017 Election 

Last month we conducted our annual Board election, which was a great opportunity to hear from Owners on the future of our cooperative and its leadership. We want to thank you for choosing to exercise your Ownership rights and taking the time to vote! With five brand new Board members, our Co-op’s governance body is going through a huge turnover, and we are hopeful that the new Board members will bring fresh energy to their duties while working to engage the Owners they represent. With that said, I am pleased to announce the new Board members:

•Receiving 1,448 votes, Jeannine Bindl

•Receiving 1,361 votes, Brian Anderson

•Receiving 1,342 votes, Meghan Gauger

•Receiving 1,263 votes, Evan Cameron

•Receiving 1,186 votes, Stephanie Ricketts

As our new Board of Directors take on the responsibilities of fiduciaries for the organization, I must also call out the commitment shown to our Cooperative by our departing Board Directors. Mike Martez Johnson and Holly Bender have rotated off the Board after completing a three-year term. Mike Engel, a former Board member, graciously accepted the request of the Board to serve as an interim Director over the past several months. Additionally, Board members Miguel Zamora, Jess Pernsteiner, and Kathy Kemnitz resigned earlier this year. To these departing Board members and our four returning Directors, I offer gratitude on behalf of the Cooperative for their leadership and continued patronage. 

The ballot also presented Owners with three additional asks, which included two referendums for the expenditure of funds, as well as a bylaw change.

•Willy West expansion passed, receiving 1482 or 84.75% of total votes cast;

•Co-op expansion passed, receiving 1,378 or 77.23% of total votes cast; and 

•Bylaw 5.7 Subsection 3 change passed, receiving 1700 or 94.94% of total votes cast.

Again, I want to thank you all 2,561 Owners for choosing to exercise your ownership rights and taking the time to vote!

Willy East Beer & Wine Application

Willy East is in the process of applying for a liquor license. We plan to offer a small selection of locally produced beer, wine and cider. Offering even a very modest selection of these products will better align our offerings at Willy East with those at Willy North and Willy West and will offer a greater service to our customers. While we have very limited space to make this offering and there is currently no room for us to offer spirits, we feel that this is an important business decision that will help better support the cooperative and meet the needs of our ownership. 

We applied for our license in mid-July, and the neighborhood meeting that is part of the licensing process is scheduled for Tuesday, August 8th at 7:00pm. We look forward to this opportunity to share our plans and address any comments or concerns our Owners might have.

We plan to have about six feet of refrigerated space and about six feet of of non-refrigerated selections. Currently, there are no plans to offer purchases for consumption on site; and, we will be making more efficient use of space; no products will have to be discontinued to make room. 

As always, we acknowledge that Star Liquor is our good neighbor, and we have every intention of continuing to cooperate with Star; and with our limited selection, we do not expect to rival or interfere with Star’s business. We also have a long-standing tradition of working with Star Liquor to provide pairing tips with recipes in our monthly Reader. We hope to continue that great collaboration and discuss more ways that we can be an asset to each other. 

Ultimately, we see the addition of a small beer, wine and cider selection as one that will be of a convenience to shoppers, and one that will make good on a long-term request from our cooperative Owners. We hope to have your support in this endeavor. 

In closing, I would like to extend my compliments to La Fête de Marquette festival organizers, the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, for the truly magical festival grounds they designed where we hosted our Annual Meeting & Party (AMP) on the opening night of Le Fête. And, to the staff for their efforts before, during and after the AMP—you have my everlasting respect and admiration. 

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