General Manager's Report
Business Matters

Fiscal Year
July marks the start of a new fiscal year for the Co-op. At its June 18th meeting, the Board of Directors unanimously accepted the recommendation from the Finance Committee to approve the FY2014 Budget. The budget reflects a cooperative striving to operate more effectively as a $40+ million, 330+ employees and 30,000+ Owner organization. Highlights include:

  • Implementing staff restructure including the addition of category management and operational hours
  • Relocating administrative staff to a centralized office
  • Continuing to focus on staff engagement; increasing training budget, overhauling staff evaluation process, and implementing collaboration tools and open book management
  • Focusing on current Owners by sharing our story, creating more opportunities for input and reaching out to inactive Owners.

The budget presented did not include the Willy East remodel. Once we have final approval from Owners on the amount not to exceed on the project, the scope and budget of the work will be finalized, and we will seek Board approval of a revised FY14 budget.

Willy East Remodel
Work on the Willy East remodel continues, as our project team continues to develop the best possible plans for this important renovation. You will find more information on the scope of this project in this issue of the Reader, along with a ballot for voting on an expenditure of $4 million. Voting will run July 1st–16th, with the results being announced at the July 16th Special Meeting. Please vote—your participation matters!

Task Force II
Both the Task Force and the Board recognize that the ability of Willy East to meet growing Owner needs is limited, by our store footprint and the size of our parking lot. Accordingly, I will be forming a committee of Owners, staff and Board members to develop criteria and research sites that could be our third location! The goal is to locate a store near enough to Willy East to draw sales away from this site, easing strain and parking frustration while providing Owners another great neighborhood grocery store option. If you are interested in serving on this committee, email Stephanie Ricketts at!

Annual Meeting & Party
On Thursday, July 11th, plan to attend our Annual Meeting & Party—the opening night of La Fete de Marquette. Festivities begin at 4:00pm (business meeting starts at 6:00pm) lasting until the final notes are played by Vieux Farka Touré. An important piece of the business meeting will be the introduction of Board candidates. If you ever thought you wanted to be more involved in the governance of your Co-op, this may be your year to do so! Visit our website or stop by Customer Service to pick up a Nominations Packet, which includes all the information you need to run for the Board. You have until the Annual Meeting begins to get your nomination in (6:00pm on July 11th)!

CCMA 2014
Last month, the 57th annual CCMA (Consumer Cooperative Management Association) conference was hosted by Wheatsville Co-op in Austin, TX. Next year, CCMA will be held in Madison hosted by the Willy Street Co-op! Folks involved in co-ops from around the nation will converge on the Isthmus to learn and share about cooperative business practices, community outreach and more. We are looking forward to working with the staff at the UW-Madison and Extension and NCBA (National Cooperative Business Association) to make CCMA 2014 truly awesome.

Owner survey
Traditionally, the Owner survey has been distributed in July. This year, with other Co-op things competing for your time and attention, we have decided to distribute the questionnaire in October.

FEED kitchen update
Way to go, Owners! Your support of this exciting community initiative went above and beyond.  

New Director of Cooperative Services
It is my pleasure to report that Kirsten Moore has accepted the Director of Cooperative Services position; her first day is July 15th.

Monona Grove Nursery School

Northside Animal HospitalB&Z LandscapeMark E. Saunders CFPDr. Ingo Mahn