Fall Members’ Assembly Meeting Recap
THANK YOU to the quorum of Black Star Member-Owners who gathered at the Co-op for the Fall 2018 Member-Owner Meeting last Sunday, October 21st.
After some rousing Co-op trivia, we kicked off the meeting with introductions from the current directors and with speeches from the four candidates running for the board: Beth Beutel, Roger Corrales, Graham Green, and Marcus Wilson. They represent a fantastic mix of experience and fresh perspectives. To summarize their stump speeches, Beth loves co-ops, Roger loves/lives worker self-management, Graham loves beer, and Marcus is lovable. Read their candidate questionnaires on the blog (you’ll need to scroll down) and VOTE for your favorites here!
From there Beth Beutel, Black Star Co-op Board President, reviewed the priorities and accomplishments of the board so far in 2018. She highlighted an increased focus on board training, the implementation of a more rigorous policy review process, and improved Worker Assembly (WA) solidarity. Chris Byram, Black Star Co-op Board Staff Liaison, provided a retrospective as the most tenured member of the WA and described 2018 as a “breath of fresh air” compared to the financial struggles of early 2017. He thanked everyone for their continued patronage and reminded them that the Co-op exists to support the Member-Owners.
Given that the Co-op finances have improved in 2018, the WA asked Member-Owners for input into where the Co-op should focus in 2019 for growth. Everyone has a favorite idea (“Year-Round Chili!”), so second-year board member, Kyle Voosen, led us in a business strategy activity that encouraged Member-Owners to prioritize their 2019 areas of focus. This input process was similar to the August 2018 board retreat exercise. Of the 16 different proposed strategies for 2019, the Member-Owners selected the following three as their top priorities:
1) Expand revenue from existing Member-Owners through enhanced and better promoted membership benefits
2) Improve dining experience and better communicate brand through updated facilities
3) Build demand through official partnerships/special benefits with customer organizations
We wrapped up the Member-Owner meeting with a Q&A session that covered topics including Member-Owner outreach, the upcoming lease renewal, the improved parking situation, and yes, when chili would be back on the menu. Thank you again to the Member-Owners who took the time to support their Co-op and join us for a beer or three in the sun last Sunday!