Thank you to over 170 member-owners, board members and staff who came to our Annual Meeting in October. The meeting’s theme was “Community & Connection.” Attendees networked with friends, old and new, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres prepared by the co-op staff.
During the first hour of the meeting, we hosted a member-owner engagement activity with guided discussions about the future of our co-op, focusing on 4 areas that connect to the co-op’s Ends Statements:
- Becoming more connected and welcoming to the larger community
- Growing our support for local farmers
- Enhancing the local economy
- Learning about healthy and creative eating
A big part of what makes a cooperative business different is the collective impact co-op owners can make, not only on the business itself, but in the larger community. In an effort to spark a dialogue about our cooperative contribution to a stronger, more resilient community, we, as board members were eager to listen to member-owners thoughts.
Here are a few examples of the kind of thinking that was triggered by our question, “How can our co-op contribute to a strong, improving local economy?”
- Easy access program for small farmers to sell product on a micro-scale
- Incubation program to provide tools for scaling a small business
- Use cooperative values to grow & expand businesses
Dozens of ideas were generated in the discussions and those ideas will inform the work of the Board Committee on Member Linkage over the next year. We will be sharing some of those ideas in future newsletter articles and a list of them can be accessed here.
The board members elected by member-owners for 3-year terms beginning in November are Lisa Mahar and Jay Smeltz (both returning), and Craig Thompson, of Mayfair Farm, who is being welcomed to our board for his first term.
We appreciate the hard work of our co-op’s staff to help make our Annual Meeting successful. Thanks also to everyone who attended and contributed to our engagement activity, as well as those who asked questions and gave input after the presentation about our possible expansion.
Thanks also to Scott Hussey Photography