On October 23, 2020, the Member-Owners of the Monadnock Food Cooperative convened their 10th Annual Meeting. Granted, like everything else in 2020, it was a different sort of meeting. Coronavirus restrictions required that we forego our typical celebration, and instead, we used technology and some technical assistance from Alex Trombly of AMT Productions to meet “virtually.” Members pre-registered and voted for board members as usual, and some of the meeting agenda was pre-recorded while some was broadcast live to the attendees in front of their computer screens. Board members Derek Galligan and Emmi Haddock, along with Jen Risley and Beth Kosuk from the Marketing Department, were most instrumental in making arrangements for the meeting.
The messages were the same, though. I, as Board President, welcomed everyone and provided a brief review of the year. Derek Galligan, Chair of the Member Linkage Committee, spoke movingly of our store’s entire staff when presenting them with the “Cooperators of the Year Award.” Jay Smeltz was honored and thanked for his nine years of service to our co-op on the Board of Directors. He was on the Board before the store opened and helped shepherd our growth through the expansion. Jay always took his job seriously and brought a curious mind and a sense of humor to our work. Finally, we announced the election of three members to the Board. Lisa Mahar will begin her third term, and David Sayles was elected to his first full term after serving nearly two years in an appointed seat. Peter Starkey was elected to his first term as a director.
Michael Faber, our co-op’s General Manager, presented the business activities of the co-op during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, with a discussion rich with data about sales, staffing, member development, and community-building. It was a challenging and fulfilling year, including the ground-breaking for our expanded store. Michael has worked tirelessly to put together the funding and the partnerships to make the expansion happen. Only a few months in, we were all disrupted by the shutdown of all but essential services. Thankfully, construction continued without major disruption and we are near to the opening of the expanded store. With grocery stores considered essential, Michael and his management team continue to lead the staff safely and effectively. We ended the year with significant sales growth, despite shifts in shopping patterns and unpredictable supply chain disruptions.
If you were unable to join us for the meeting, be sure to check out the video.