2013-03 LMC Board Minues

La Montanita Food Cooperative

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

March 19, 2013 – 5:30 pm

Board Present: Martha Whitman, Marshall Kovitz, Roger Eldridge, Ariana Marchello, Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn, Susan McAllister, Kristy Decker, Jessica Rowland (Advisory member)

Also Present: Deborah Good (admin assistant), Jennifer Cornish (facilitator), Sarah Skenazy (board research assistant), Terry Bowling (GM), Michelle Franklin (CDC Manager), John Mulle (Valley STL), Scott Altenback and Maria Globus (Co-op members), Maggie Seeley (UNM Sustainability Studies, Co-op member) and two of Maggie’s students

Board Not Present: Jake Garrity, Betsy VanLeit

The meeting started at 5:30 p.m. at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque.  Jennifer Cornish facilitated and Deborah Good took notes.

  1. General Welcome and Introductions


  1. Approve the Agenda

Issues Raised: Ariana moves and Martha seconds to approve the agenda.

Actions Taken:  The agenda is approved unanimously.

Actions Required:  None


  1. Member Comments

Issues Raised:

  1. Ariana reported on two emails that came to the board email account:
    • A member with a question about why the Co-op banks at Wells Fargo and a question about the procedure for obtaining receipts.  Ariana forwarded the email to Terry who responded.
    • A Santa Fe member requesting support for a book study group. Support could entail sponsorship, a meeting location, and/or co-leadership. The Member Engagement Committee will address this at their next meeting.

Actions Required: None


  1. Consent Agenda

a.  Board Minutes February 2013

b.  Board Development Committee Minutes –  Feb. 13

c.  Member Engagement Committee Minutes – Feb. 25

d.  Member Engagement Banner Proposal – Kristy

Issues Raised: No changes. Roger moves and Ariana seconds to approve the consent agenda.

Actions Taken: Passes unanimously

Actions Required: None 

  1. Management Monitoring Reports – Staff Treatment X2.5, Data Privacy X9

Issues Raised:

  1. Martha moves and Roger seconds to approve the report.
  2. Terry:
    • Sales have been good this month, including record sales in Gallup. Terry will report on quarterly figures next month.
    • Construction of the new store is mostly on schedule at this point.
    • Terry will be at an NCGA meeting next month and will miss the April Board of Directors meeting. Bob Tero will report in his place.
  3. Questions / Comments on report:
    • Marshall: Reporting has been consistently good. Please clarify X6.6, first bullet point: “No matters for Board consideration were brought to the Board as a whole this past year.” Terry clarifies that there were no serious incidents that needed to be brought to the board immediately, outside of the regular board meetings. Martha suggests an alternative wording: “No matters for Board consideration were brought to the Board this past year other than at regular board meetings.”
    • Deborah will make the following comment on X6.2 on the Monitoring Check Sheet: “Board expresses appreciation at receiving the GM report in such a timely manner, usually before the deadline. It makes a big difference.”

Actions Taken: Passes unanimously.

Actions Required: None

  1. Board Study – The Multiplier Effect (i.e. measuring local economic impact) – led by Jessica Rowland & Sarah Skenazy

Issues Raised:  See Attached

Actions Taken: None

Actions Required: None

  1. Board Functioning

Issues Raised:

  1. Martha and Marshall were in Tucson, Arizona, three weekends ago to provide consultation to the board of the Food Conspiracy Coop. It was a gratifying trip; they felt they were able to provide the board with useful information. Marshall presented on policies. They also spent time talking about the value of committee work, and about strategies for managing member concerns that are presented to the board during meetings. Martha and Marshall also emphasized the value of a shared virtual interface like Sharepoint.
  2. Kristy – There will be an Earth Day event on April 21, 10-6, in Nob Hill. Board members should mark your calendars. The BOD will have a table (theme: “Did you vote?”)
  3. There may be an event at the Rio Grande store later this year, but we are not doing the garden party. Last year, it did not work well to have two events so close to one another.
  4. The UNM Sustainability Expo and Local Growers Market are two days after the Earth Day event, on April 23. La Montanita will have a table there as well. The theme/slant will be discussed at next Member Engagement meeting.

Actions Taken: None

Actions Required: None

  1. Administrative Assistant Duties

Issues Raised:

  1. Ariana has updated the Policy Manual per all proposals since November 2011 and saved it as a draft on Sharepoint. She requests that Marshall also review it.
  2. Deborah is re-formatting the Board Handbook. She plans to save it on Sharepoint so that each section is available as a separate PDF document, with continuous page numbers. She will ensure that the updated Policy Manual is included in the revised Board Handbook.
  3. Martha will again write the Co-opera article, due April 5
  4. Deborah will prepare the report on the First Half of B Survey
  5. Susan will email Jennifer and the BOD with a draft of the board agenda visitors’ document and finalize it based on feedback.
  6. The N&E proposal for the upcoming election is due April 16 (next board meeting).
  7. Marshall will coordinate the design, purchase, and printing of signs for stores encouraging members to vote – by the May Board meeting.
  8. Deborah will work with Sarah Wentzel-Fisher to update the Board of Directors page on the Co-op website.

Actions Taken: None
Actions Required:  None

  1. Meeting evaluation

Issues Raised:

  1. Marshall is trying to stay in touch with Maggie Seeley about her students attending the BOD meetings. She has given a blanket notice that 3-4 students will be attending every meeting. After discussion, board decides that placing tables in a U-formation is best, with a guest table slightly removed at the opening of the U.

Actions Taken: None

Actions Required:  None

  1. Next Meeting Agenda Construction

Issues Raised:

  1. Board will review the report on the First Half of B Survey.
  2. Board will review two proposals.
  3. Board will review the board budget.
  4. Board retreat may not be necessary. Please keep the date for now.

Actions Taken: None

Actions Required:  None

  1. Adjourn regular session



La Montanita Food Co-op

Board of Directors Meeting – March 19, 2013


Topic– The Multiplier Effect (i.e. measuring local economic impact)


Goal for group conversation: Read several pieces on the “multiplier effect” and deconstruct the assumption that purchases at the co-op have a greater local economic impact. Also reflect on how the multiplier effect relates to the Co-op’s ends.


1. Meter “Multiplier” article

2. Coop Report: page 10, 17-18

3. Civic Economics study on Austin: page 3-4

4. LM3 “Money Trail”: page 15-16 (page 1-2 of the book itself) and page 34 (page 20 of the book)

Questions for Small and Large Group Discussion:

  1. Share your reflections and/or questions on the readings.
  2. How do the Co-op’s ends relate to the multiplier effect?
  3. What info is currently reported to the Board that provides perspective on the Co-op’s role in the multiplier effect?

After discussion in small groups, we re-convened for discussion as an entire group. The following summarizes key themes that emerged in the large group discussion.

Key Themes in Discussion:

1. Why are numbers important?

  • Guest: I was not aware of the Co-op’s ends, other than the bottom line and community good will. At least a couple of the ends are track-able. It is important to be able to track and compare hard numbers.
  • Lisa: Some members do not need numbers to understand the value of the Co-op, but others do.
  • Sarah: Numbers are important to show the good the Co-op is doing, particularly as other corporations are claiming similar values. The Co-op’s values themselves are no longer unique.
  • Michelle: “If you want to move it, you got to measure it.” There’s the anecdotal, emotional side of things, but unless you can measure, it is hard to say that something is really better.
  • Marshall – How do we stack up against industry standards? Finding indicators that will allow us to compare ourselves to others would be very helpful.


2. What can we count?

  • Sarah: I asked Terry about what kinds of data are now available that were not available before. He said that he now tracks for local vs. non-local purchases, which he could not quantify before. The new POS system will help track this indicator as well as several others, including the number of members and the % of sales that go to members.
  • Terry: If we apply the multiplier effect to the CDC, job creation has been significant.
  • Ariana: Social capital. That is where large companies cannot compete with the co-op, which is like a web. Hard to quantify those connections in a measurable way, but those connections are what make us different.


3. What next?

  • Jessica: What would be a potential next step? How do we get more info on staff and supplier spending in order to measure levels 2 and 3 of the multiplier model?
  • Marshall: Betsy, Martha, and I have prepared an informal, exploratory proposal for the Bureau of Business and Economic Research that looks at that question. Meeting next Monday.
  • Susan: In the Civic Economics article, I liked this– “If each household in Travis County simply redirected just $100 of planned holiday spending from chain stores to locally owned merchants, the local economic impact would reach approximately $10 Million.” Is there some way to get this out in the community around the holiday season? Maybe we could even measure it, or advocate that the city government to do it.