April Board of Directors Meeting Notes

Convened: 6:08 pm
Present: Dennis Winkler, President; Lloyd Nelson, Vice-President; Bod Members; Clyde Christian, Marria Knight, Ramona Webb, and Ken Krohn; Carol Morrison, General Manager, Phoebe Charbonneau, Working Member Coordinator, Members, Susie Busch, Larry Christian, Jessica Gniffen, Carolyn Winkler, George Wheaton, Dalere Techenkc, Ethel Jones, Gayle Hammond, Marrin Knight, and newsletter editor Esa Murrel.

Elections:
An overview of the BoD’s position on the 10th St. property was given by Dennis. Discussion was opened to the floor and members of the BoD replied. Members were asked if they needed any further information on the candidates but all had reviewed posted bios. Ballots were passed to all present that had not yet voted at the Co-op. Ramona Webb and Lloyd Nelson counted the ballots.

Secretary’s Report: Clyde
Report was read and a motion to accept was made and seconded, then passed without objection.
Quarterly Report: Dennis
• A quarterly update was given for the members present.
• The floor was opened for member comments or suggestion. One member offered both.

Election results:
On the 10th St. property referendum the votes were 37 yes and 1 no.
The count of votes was given with all nominees being voted in as Members at Large.

Officer Selection:
Lloyd Nelson shall continue in his position as Vice President.
George Wheaton was nominated for President. The nomination was seconded and the nomination was accepted with one objection.
The position of Secretary will remain open until the next meeting. Ramona Webb offered to be part-time secretary until the position was filled.

Treasurer’s Report: Dennis
• A review of last months financial was given:
• The cost of credit card transactions should be showing a cost reduction due to Dawn Coles having
spoken to the credit card provider.
• Co-op fund balance is approximately $39,000.00. Sales were $1900.00, with average daily sales at $1661.00. Dennis noted that the first three months of this year had shown increases.
• Carol noted that a new check signator would be needed when a Secretary was chosen and also asked for a fourth signator. Dennis noted that the matter would taken up at the next meeting.

Break and refreshments: 7:08 pm and reconvened at 7:19 pm.

Management Report: Carol Morrison
• Gretchen Stadler was on leave and that the hours were being covered by Phoebe and working member
Sheri Smith.
• The date for the seed swap was confirmed for April 28, 2018, at the Co-op from 10 am to 3:30 pm.
• Bills for the rental utilities are still arriving at the Co-op. Dennis will contact Mr. McLaglan to ensure that the billings are converted.
• The bill for water and sewer for the Co-op is under the wrong address.
Working Members Report: Phoebe Charbonneau
• Nora Tibbets was named as Working Member of the Month.
• Deanna Bowman-Pennock was named Department Head of the Month.
• 25 members worked 10 or more hours during the past month.
• 12 new members joined in the past month.
New Business:
• Ken Krohn gave information on the application of signs the windows advertising our vendors, with the cost of prepartion of the sign to be covered by the vendors. The first vendor to agree to this proposal was Bob’s Red Mill. A motion to go forward with this promotion was made, seconded and passed without objection

General Membership was excused but invited to stay for the short session of BoD planning.
• Dennis confirmed that the BoD would discuss additional check signator next month.
• Clyde offered to sign checks until the new Secretary is decided and the bank paperwork is
prepared.
• Dennis informed George that the meeting room was reserved for the next couple of meeting and that an alternate meeting time was up to the decretion of the BoD.
• George decided that reports would be prepared and circulated electronically and that they would simply be voted for acceptance at the next meeting, with all corrections and additons done online.
• Next meeting is scheduled for 6 pm, at the Library, on May 16, 2018
Recess was called at 7:52 pm
Draft submitted April 18, 2018 by Clyde Christian, Secretary.

Letter from George Wheaton – New Board of Directors President

Dear Baker Food Co-Op Member, I am honored and challenged as I begin the next two years as the President of our Board of Directors. Many of us have become aware that there are challenges ahead of us that we must, as a group, meet to continue to provide the needs and wants of all of us. So I am asking, even pleading, for your assistance.

I am, at this time, forming five committees to look at areas selected as possible or necessary areas for our improvement. They are:

1. Storefront improvement – to create a more inviting image of the store as people go by.
2. Store layout – to explore if by changing the arrangement of the store we will be able to create a more pleasing and enticing shopping experience.
3. Art – to explore how we can incorporate the works of local artists to the advantage of both the store and the artists
4. Product expansion – to identify new items which we can incorporate into our store to meet the needs and wants of the community
5. Community Outreach – to explore the participation of the Co-Op in local activities
6. Environmental Awareness – to identify ways we can reduce our negative impact on the environment through positive actions

Your Board of Directors and the store management will be looking at ways to reduce costs, reduce waste, and in general make us more cost-effective in all areas while meeting our mission – “To supply affordable high quality natural and organic foods, supplements, sundries, and cleaning products.”

Your assistance is needed. If you are willing to be on one of these committees, please let me know by e- mail (board@bakerfoodcoop.org) or by leaving a message for me at the store. If you have suggestions in any or all of the above areas, we have a suggestion box at the store, or again e-mail me.

As stated in my letter introducing myself prior to the election, I feel we are at a crossroads. The actions we as a group take in the next several months will be a major factor in determining the successful growth of the Baker Food Co-Op, and even it’s continued existence. Only a little time spent by each of us, talking to friends and neighbors to tell them about the Co-Op, doing more of our own shopping at the store, and sharing our wants and needs so that we get the products in you desire, will help us to grow.

I invite you to join with me in making the Baker Food Co-Op the local grocery store where everyone can obtain locally grown produce, healthy foods, bulk items at reasonable prices, etc.

George Wheaton

Announcement Regarding Baker Food Co-op’s Property on 10th Street.

Regarding Baker Food Co-op’s Property on 10th Street.

March 21, 2018

The Baker Food Co-op’s Board of Directors unanimously agreed to seek approval from the Baker Food Co-ops member-owners to pursue a Voluntary Foreclosure on our property on 10th Street, Baker City, OR. At our Annual Meeting on April 17th, we are asking members to vote for this decision. The outcome of this election will be decided by a majority vote.

The Co-op membership approved the purchase of the property in 2009, with the intent of building at the location. In 2010 the Co-op moved into our existing location and purchased the building in 2014. The property has been on the market for sale since 2013. To date, the Co-op has paid in excess of $20,000 in both principal and interest payments on the property. The remaining balance of our loan is $98,429.

Through the years there has been very limited interest and no formal offers to buy. Continuing to carry the responsibilities of this debt has become detrimental to the long-term economic health of the Baker Food Co-op. Even if the property was to sell, which appears unlikely in the near future, we feel there is little hope of recouping our initial investment and would still incur a substantial loss. It has reached a point where we feel it is crucial to minimize further losses.

We find ourselves in an undesirable position and this was not an easy decision to make. The Board of Directors feels it is unavoidable at this time and not to approve this request could impact the future of the Baker Food Co-op. To be clear, once a formal request for Voluntary Foreclosure is made, it is not a sure thing. The final decision rests with our creditor.

The Board of Directors recommends that our member-owners support this request during our annual elections on April 17th. This is a very important issue for the future of the Baker Food Co-op. Please vote.

Dennis Winkler, President of the Board of Directors

George Wheaton – Board Candidate

Hi, I am George Wheaton, and I would like to be your Board of Directors as a Member at Large for the coming 2 years. I joined the Baker Food Co-Op the third day I was here in Baker City in October 2015. Since then I have been a working member in the following areas: truck crew, stocking, cleaning/janitorial, handyman projects, cashiering, packaging, and, recently, department head and ordering.

I feel we are at a critical time for the Baker Food Co-Op. With the expansion of organic products in the mainline grocery stores, we need to find the niche which will give us a marketing advantage and, thereby, draw in more customers and increase sales. Operations need to be reviewed to determine where costs and waste can be reduced. We need to actively promote what makes us a unique source for obtaining healthy organic and GMO-free foods within the community. Brightening up the building, inside and out, without expending large sums of cash, will, I believe, create new interest in us and draw in more customers. I will explore all sources and solicit all ideas as to how we might achieve these goals, including the pursuit of grants as funding for improvements.

A short list of relevant experiences:

– The Wheaton Group – a management consulting business working with for-profit and not-for-profit businesses to review their current status and determine ways to guarantee that the business would continue to be profitable or, several cases, become profitable so that they would not go out of business.

– Executive Vice President and General Manager of Bars Leaks Western, an automotive aftermarket manufacturing company.

– Served on the Board of Directors, and as an officer, of other not-for-profit organizations, including, presently, the Bhutan Cultural Exchange.

– Many years of supervisory experience in organizations ranging from the Veterans Administration to small marketing companies.

– Taught in private and public schools, grades 5 through 12.

Education:

– Master of Science in Business Administration, with an emphasis upon personnel management and marketing, from Indiana University NW.

– Bachelors degree and education training from Michigan State University.