Straight From the Board: April 2015

by Paul Heiberger, President

Depending on when you’re reading this newsletter I would ask that you focus on the appropriate time-sensitive pieces below. For member-owners of a certain age range you may think of this article as a “Choose Your Own Adventure.”

Are you reading this before April 11th? Good! You still have time to make sure your schedule is clear on Saturday, April 11th. Join us for the Annual Member meeting and a celebration of the Co-op’s 40th birthday.

In a change of pace from recent meetings, this year the store will host the event. Festivities will kick off at 4:30pm at the store with an open house. Come see all of the improvements we’ve made to the store, try some of the new dishes from the hot bar, engage with Staff and Board Members, and generally celebrate that you’re part of a successful 40-year-old business.

After the Open House, we’ll do our best to move everyone efficiently to a tent to have the official portions of our Annual Meeting start at 5:45pm. Once the meeting wraps up, there will be some favors from some of our vendors, birthday cake (gluten-free option available, of course), and wine.

You’ll want to come to the meeting to hear the latest about the Co-op, hear from board candidates, and have a good time with your fellow member-owners. As a part-owner of this business, this annual meeting is one of the best ways to engage with your Co-op. While it is true that we aren’t beneath offering rewards (bribery is effective — what can we say?) for member-owners that attend, you still should want to come to this meeting.

This is a great chance for you to see democracy in action and experience what cooperatives are all about!

Are you reading this on April 11th? See note above about bribes for coming to the Annual Member Meeting, put this newsletter down, and get over to the Co-op! Everything for the Annual Meeting starts at 4:30pm, but will continue until at least 7pm, so you can still make it.

Are you reading this after April 11th? Sorry to say that you missed a great meeting. It isn’t too often that you hear that you missed a great meeting, but it’s true. There was cake, free goodies for those that attended the meeting, and — miraculously — it was a beautiful, non-windy spring day.

Even though you missed the festivities, you still have some very important ways that you can participate:

First: We need you to vote for the Board and a proposed By-laws change. The election is open for a month, until May 9th, and you can still pick up a ballot and meeting packet at the courtesy desk. Information about the meeting, the Board candidates, and By-laws changes will accompany your ballot.

If you have any questions, feel please feel free to contact the Board. Email is best (mvmboard@mountainviewmarket.coop), but you can also call me directly at (773)841-7285.

As with any democratically-run institution, your vote is invaluable in shaping the future of the Co-op. You decide who makes up the Board and have the ultimate say in making the Co-op a continued success. No pressure. Too often we have relatively low voter turn-out and I hope that this year you can help make sure that voting is as representative of the member-owners as possible.

Next: Beyond your democratic duties of voting, there is also a survey to be completed. These annual surveys are one of the main points of feedback that the Board has from member-owners. We rely on the results heavily to help direct our long-term planning, gauge member-owner interest in possible initiatives, and simply make sure that we are meeting member-owner needs. Please take the time to provide us this feedback!

Finally: Keep on doing what you’re doing. Shop at the Co-op, check in with the Board every once in a while, read the newsletters, and help us celebrate for the rest of this year. There will be a grand reopening celebration and even more improvements as the year continues. 

Forty years is an amazing accomplishment. Thanks for doing your part to make that possible.

Keep an eye on the Co-op’s website for reports from the Annual Member Meeting, election results, and the announcement of the 2015-2016 Board of Directors.

In co-operation,

Mountain View Market Board of Directors