From the Board President: New Name, Site Search, and Other Updates

Last month the board of directors hosted its annual member-owner meeting to provide updates on the Co-op. (Special thanks goes to Lark Brewing for letting us use their space!)

There was lots of engaging dialog and conversation during the meeting, which outlined a number of important items the Co-op has been working on since 2014. One such update is worth highlighting here:

As you can see (left), the Co-op has been able to grow membership annually since incorporation. Of note, the Co-op has seen membership growth every month for the past 5 years. This is no small feat, and many other start-up food co-ops across the country are jealous of this track record.

I will be working with the board and our wonderful communications volunteers to post a more comprehensive recap of the meeting on the Co-op’s website for those who weren’t able to make the meeting. Stay tuned for more details!

What’s in a Name?
As I forecast in last month’s From the Board President post, the board did not announce a new name for the Co-op, as was outlined in our name change announcement back in May. Our timeline to change the new name was perhaps a bit too ambitious. However, we are making progress. The board has unofficially selected a new name, and we are currently working with industry consultants and other co-op experts to provide feedback on our tentative selection. If all goes well, we should finalize this decision in the next couple of months. We’ll keep you posted!

Site Updates
A big portion of the annual owner meeting was spent discussing our site search history. We provided a detailed overview of the sites that we have considered and spent time negotiating, most of which involved architectural renderings of what the site might look like upon completion. The board felt it was important to provide this information to, among other things, demonstrate just how close we have come to signing a lease and announcing a location. While we keep current site negotiations strictly confidential as per protocol for any real estate transactions for businesses of our size, it was nice to go over past negotiation history. It was evident that those members in attendance felt they gained good insight into our due diligence in securing an optimal site for the Co-op.

Special Thanks to Terry Stewart
One final item from the member-owner meeting was the opportunity to recognize outgoing board member Terry Stewart. I would just like to add a few personal notes here about Terry’s contributions over the years.

Terry’s willingness to help in just about any aspect of the Co-op’s work has been evident since nearly the beginning. He first joined the board in 2016 after Melanie Drake stepped down to assume the Outreach Coordinator position. Then, later that fall, after completing the remainder of Melanie’s term, he then stepped in again when a newly elected board member resigned. Terry volunteered to serve as Vice President, and to chair the Operations team. He helped lead efforts around the creation of our General Manager hiring materials, the work in conducting two market studies, and he has been invaluable in our site selection work. I’m pleased to report that Terry will continue on our site selection team! If you see Terry around town, please be sure to thank him for his service to the Co-op and the greater Cedar Valley community.

In cooperation,
Tom Wickersham

Leave a Reply