2011-01 LMC Board Minutes

La Montanita Food Cooperative
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes Final
January 18, 2011 – 5:30 pm

Board Present: Martha Whitman, Marshall Kovitz, Ariana Marchello, Kristy Decker, Stephanie Dobbie, Roger Eldridge, Susan McAllister, Peter Nardini, Betsy VanLeit

Also Present: Terry Bowling, John Mulle, Michelle Franklin, Jennifer Cornish, Irene Schneider, and Co-op Member, Margaret Salamon

The meeting started at 5:45 p.m. at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque. The meeting was facilitated by Jennifer Cornish and notes were taken by Irene Schneider.

1. General Welcome and Introductions

2. Approve the Agenda – The Agenda was approved as presented.

3. Item Title: Member Comments
Issues Raised: Margaret Salamon spoke briefly of her attendance at board meetings due to her interest in the Co-op and the work of the Board of Directors. It was also noted that La Montanita had received complimentary mention in a recent blog.
Actions Required: None

4. Item Title: Consent Agenda – All
a) Board Minutes December 2010
b) Board Development Committee Meeting Minutes – January 7, 2111

Issues Raised: Martha moved and Roger seconded to approve the Consent Agenda
Issues Raised: Kristy noted an error in the date of the December minutes as well as an error in the spelling of her name.
Actions Taken: The Consent Agenda was approved unanimously. Irene will make necessary amendments to the December Board Minutes.

5. Item Title: Board Development Study and Retreat Proposal – Marshall
Issues Raised: Marshall moved and Stephanie seconded to approve the Board Development Study and Retreat Proposal. Marshall provided a summary of the proposal and the following was noted:
• The Board Retreat has been scheduled for May 28, 2011 and will focus on the Board’s Ends policies.
• Specific tasks will be undertaken by Terry, Marshall and Martha.
• Marshall asked for board input on ways to have fun at the retreat.
• Location for the conference is currently being pursued with preference for locations with multiple spaces as well as indoor and outdoor facilities.
• Roger requested that, if possible, materials be provided two weeks prior to the retreat. Martha indicated that would be no problem, with the exception of the Section on Agriculture due to time constraints.
Actions Taken: The Board Development Study and Retreat Proposal was approved unanimously.
Actions Required: None.

6. Item Title: Board Evaluation R4 and R5
Issues Raised: Martha noted the need for revisions to R5.1, 2 and 3 due to recent changes in the GM Evaluation. Marshall moved and Ariana seconded to direct the PDC to rewrite R5.1, R5.2 and R5.3 to be consistent with the current GM Evaluation process. The motion carried unanimously.
Actions Required: This item will be placed on the Task List for action by the PDC.

7. Item Title: Management Monitoring Reports – January 2011
Issues Raised: Betsy moved and Roger seconded to approve the Management Monitoring Reports. Terry reported the results of the quarter were good compared to last year, noting that the first quarter is typically a challenge. Gallup was specifically noted for their best quarter ever. On a sad note, Terry reported that the Gallup store had lost a staff member (23 year old Leandra Lee) in a recent accident. Tim Morrison will be going to Gallup for the next two weeks to help out. The UNM Store officially opened today with positive results. David Giedd, Produce Manager will be leaving La Montanita and moving to Minnesota for a GM position.

Actions Taken: The Management Monitoring Reports were approved unanimously. Martha noted for the Monitoring Check Sheet that this was a phenomenal quarter and the board is appreciative of Terry and staff in exceeding goals.
Actions Required: This comment will be reflected in the Monitoring Check Sheet.

8. Item Title: Condolence for Leandra Lee and Family
Issues Raised: Kristy made a motion to send the following condolence to the family of Leandra Lee: “On behalf of the Board of Directors of La Montanita Food Co-op, we give our condolences to the Gallup community and the family of Leandra Lee. Her contributions to the Co-op were greatly appreciated”. The motion was seconded by Ariana and carried unanimously.
Actions Required: Martha will send a card expressing the condolence of the Board.

9. Item Title: Board Study – Humanizing the Economy by John Restakis – Marshall
Issues Raised: Marshall began the study hour raising the question about the kinds of encounters that cooperatives have in this book, within their own environments and each other. Suggested areas for discussion included:
• What do we need to understand about social media to deal with some of the same potential problems?
• How do we use social media to make the connection between social justice and control of capital?
• Are there other web sites that are already doing this kind of work and what do they look like?
• How do we take advantage of unique features of social media in our discussions in explaining how co-ops do their work?


– People don’t always know the “why” of the co-op.
– Building relationships can overcome problems. Social media gives us a way to build relationships immediately and enables us to work with non-cooperative ventures in a cooperative way.
– Is it possible to use social media as a way to build “cooperative” relationships?
– Face to face is a better way to build relationships and to develop trust and reciprocity. Could relationships that develop electronically be counterproductive?
– Social media is no substitute for face to face relationships but it brings us into the larger architecture of society.
– There is a desire to work and see results in your own community. People in Albuquerque don’t see our work to support farmers. Social media can use these examples to connect to larger ideas.
– For younger people, social media can be a substitution for face to face relationships.
– Is it either/or? Social media is one tool. If we look to bring youth to the Co-op, that’s where we meet them. Social media becomes a door.
– Why do we need community to be fulfilled? We respond to stories of individuals and what they go through. We understand the linkages through stories. Face to face or virtual, small connections are established through stories.
– Co-ops strengthen the sense of community and many co-ops are created after a crisis.
– As social media increases in use, does it affect newsletter distribution?



1) What is our goal? Is it to make people more aware?
2) We need to educate on the “why” of the co-op, and use it to develop “bridging” vs. “bonding” relationships.
3) Provide simple graphics to demonstrate significance, effects and distinctions of co-op.
4) How do you measure effects to assess success?


1) How does the rise in social media affect use/distribution of the newsletter?
2) How is social media used to attract membership? How could it be used to validate and reinforce membership?
3) How can it be used to get stories back to us, turn it into a dialogue and strengthen relationships?
4) How does the communication change over time?
5) How can we use social media to educate? – Use of co-op expertise in discussions could lead to smaller groups solving problems and create personal connections – “Meet Ups”.
6) What is included in the first line to get me to read further?


1) How can we identify and create smaller groups to personalize outreach. Who is our target audience? Where do they hang out? What kind of content/language will reach them? How do we bring them back to our website?
2) Charting the matrix – Who? What tools?
3) Solicit help in developing the matrix from the Marketing Department. How can we maximize what we already have?
4) What does the structure look like? – (graphs, videos, cartoons, not a lot of writing).

Actions Taken: The Member Engagement Committee will start to review the issues for the next steps and proceed.
Actions Required: This task will be added to the Board Task List.

10. Item Title: Board Functioning – All
Issues Raised: Several Board members will attend the NCGA meeting in Portland in March. Other upcoming board training includes CCMA in June in San Diego and the Board Retreat in May. The Timeline is up on the Board Website. There is also a reading file which can be used to analyze board activities. Ariana will demo the Timeline at the next board meeting.

11. Title: Administrative Assistant Duties/Assignments – All
Issues Raised: Tasks #4 and #5 have been completed and will be removed from the Task List. New tasks include:
1) Irene will continue website archiving project
2) PDC will update R5 policies within the next two months
3) Martha will send condolence card to family of Leandra Lee
4) Peter will help in developing space for board info on the website.
5) Member Engagement Committee will begin review of social media issues for next steps.
Actions Required: Irene will update the Task List.

12. Item Title: Meeting Evaluation
Issues Raised: The following comments were made:
• Noting the “Next Steps” and “Issues” on the flipchart was helpful.
• Disappointed that there was not more discussion related to the book – would like to talk about it more.
Actions Required: None.

13. Item Title: Next Meeting Agenda Construction
Issues Raised: Time will be allotted for Ariana to demonstrate the Timeline; Peter and Kristy will present a study on “Community”.

14. Adjourn regular session at 8:00 p.m.