Global: A co-operative community built on beneficial relationships based in healthy food, sound environmental practices, and a strong local economy with results that justify the resources used.
1. Increased access to, and purchase of healthy foods.
2. A growing regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices.
3. A thriving and sustainable local economy that benefits members and community.
4. A strengthened co-operative community.
Board Policy & Campaigning
La Montañita Co-op Board Policy Manual, last updated 09-20-2016
2016 Annual Meeting Agenda
Meeting Minutes & Board Study Materials
2016 Monthly Meetings
Board Study Topic: Annual Financial Review
Board Study Minutes: Available to members upon request
Board Study Materials: Available to members upon request
La Montañita Board of Directors met as usual on the third Tuesday of January for our monthly meeting. This time, the meeting had us deepening our understanding of the co-op’s finances, with helpful explanations from the new General Manager (GM) and the Board’s Finance Committee. GM Dennis Hanley reported on first quarter financials and highlighted several initiatives underway, among them, a new pricing strategy that will reduce costs for customers.
Then long-time Finance Committee members David Ritchie and Peter Chestnut gave a presentation that used boats—yes, boats—and pie graphs to examine how La Montañita’s assets and liabilities have weathered over time. This presentation from the Finance Committee has become an annual event, and Board members always appreciate the creativity and clarity with which it is delivered.
In addition to discussing finances, the Board also approved two proposals at their January meeting. The first proposal made a slight policy change specifying that the GM will meet monthly with named successors to ensure communication. The second proposal may be of interest to staff, as well as member-owners. The proposal explains that starting in March, the hour-long educational discussion previously slotted for later in the Board meeting, will begin instead at 5:30pm, and will be publicized broadly. The decision was made in response to roundtables held in the fall, where member-owners shared that they are looking for more educational opportunities. The Board looks forward to welcoming a greater variety of staff and member voices into these discussions.
After their approval, minutes from the Board meeting are always posted for your convenience at http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/. Be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our next meeting: February 16, 2016, at 5:30pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, west-facing door..
Board Study Topic: Corporate vs. Civic Branding – What is La Montañita’s Purpose?
Board Study Minutes: February 2016 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: February 16 Board Study Instructions and Summary
- Reading: Making Sense of Civic Brands (Part 1)
- Reading: Making Sense of Civic Brands (Part 2)
- Reading: The Power of Purpose
On February 16, the Board of Directors met as usual for our monthly meeting. We were joined by La Montañita’s leadership team, and several other staff and member-owners. In fact, it was the most highly attended Board meeting we have had for some time.
Our monthly agenda allows time for “member comments,” and this month, discussion was heartfelt and lively. Staff and member-owners raised concerns about recent changes. Board members and Dennis Hanley, the new general manager, engaged them in conversation and explained some of the reasons for the changes. We welcome more discussion at future meetings; taking into account the different perspectives of our many staff and member-owners is important and reflects one of the co-op’s core principles: democracy.
Co-ops around the country are struggling, and La Montañita is no different. The landscape has changed for us. The fact that natural and organic foods are available many places, even Walmart, is forcing us to ask ourselves what the co-op’s purpose is, what differentiates us from other stores, and what we must do to survive. In the face of our financial challenges, changes are necessary and some will be painful. We welcome your input.
We are trying something new in March. All staff and member-owners are invited to join the Board for an hour-long educational study and discussion at 5:30pm, prior to the Board meeting. The topic and any reading materials will be posted at lamontanita.coop/board-meetings/ one week ahead of time. Please consider joining us in March and at future meetings, on the third Tuesday of every month.
After their approval, minutes from the Board meeting are always posted for your convenience at http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/. Be in touch with us at email@example.com or at our next meeting: March 15, 2016, at 5:30pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, west-facing door.
Community Education Session: Using Online Platforms to Increase Membership Engagement
Notes: March 2016 Community Education Session Notes
- March 15 Community Ed Session Instructions
- Reading: Healthy Community Transformation Initiative Project Overview
- Handout: Healthy Community Assessment Tool – Roadmap for La Montanita
- Presentation: CivNet PowerPoint Presentation
- Handout: Civnet Hypothetical La Montanita Action Plan
- Reading: Market Landscape Report – Navigating the Project Management Software Sector
It has been a full month for the Board of Directors. In addition to our monthly meeting and regularly scheduled committee meetings, we also joined co-op leadership for a day-long retreat on March 26, led by our consultant, Art Sherwood. But our month was not just full of meetings; it was also full of emotions, thought-provoking encounters, and hard conversations.
Our monthly business meeting on March 15 was punctuated with heart-felt testimonies from member-owners and staff who shared concerns about recent changes in the produce selection in the stores. La Montañita’s produce selection has expanded to include a limited number of conventional items, called the “Clean Fifiteen” because the Environmental Working Group has identified these fruits and vegetables to have the least pesticide residue of all available conventional produce (for more, see http://www.ewg.org/).
Member-owners and staff who attended the Board meeting were deeply upset by the management’s decision to sell these products in our stores, stating the changes were affronts to the ethics and values they hold dear. We are grateful to those who spoke at the meeting; we take your feedback seriously. As usual, the Board also handled the business of approving minutes and a report from the General Manager.
The day after the meeting, long-time Board member Marshall Kovitz learned of serious health concerns that ultimately took his life less than two weeks later. We feel the loss deeply. Marshall had been a member of the co-op since it opened in 1976 and his years of experience on the Board provided the rest of us with a sense of stability and history that cannot be replaced.
We continue to welcome all member-owners and staff to our meetings, which happen on the third Tuesday of every month. The meetings begin at 5:30 with an hour-long Community Education Session. The topic and any reading materials are posted one week ahead of time at lamontanita.coop/board-meetings/. Please consider joining us in April and at future meetings.
After their approval, minutes from the Board meeting are always posted for your convenience at http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/. Be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our next meeting: April 19, 2016, at 5:30pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, west-facing door.
Community Education Session: Food + Tech: Improving Food Literacy, Education, and Transparency
Notes: April 2016 Board Study Notes
- April 19 Community Ed Session Instructions
- Reading: A Clear View of Transparency and How It Builds Consumer Trust
- Reading: FoodSwitch App
Attendance at our monthly Board meetings has grown over the last three months. Co-op owners and staff have shown up to participate in the hour-long Community Education Session that takes place prior to the Board meeting, and to offer comments during the Member Comments section of the agenda. Comments have ranged from heart-felt to angry, and have occasionally been attacking and cruel.
The Board is a body elected by co-op owners. We deeply appreciate input and engagement from staff and owners. The recent hostility from some, however, has been difficult. Democracy is a core cooperative principle. We ask for civility and a respect for the processes that have helped our co-op reach its 40-year anniversary. These processes are deliberative and take time.
In the meantime, we have heard the need for additional forums for dialogue and engagement. As such, the Board has teamed up with the co-op’s member engagement staff to organize two town halls and one co-op café. The first town hall took place in Santa Fe on April 27. A second is scheduled for Albuquerque on May 19. A third event, scheduled for June 23, will have a world café format.
We continue to welcome all member-owners and staff to our meetings, which happen on the third Tuesday of every month. Prior to the meeting, we meet at 5:30 for an hour-long Community Education Session intended to keep us informed about trends and topics relevant to our work. The topic and any reading materials are posted one week ahead of time on the co-op website. Please come prepared if you hope to participate in the discussion.
Community Education Session: Why Double Up Food Bucks?
Notes: May 2016 Board Study Notes
On May 17, the Board of Directors met as usual for our monthly meeting. We were joined by La Montañita’s leadership team, and several other staff and member-owners. Due to technology issues at Immanuel Presbyterian, we met instead at the La Montañita Support Office and rather liked the more intimate setting. We are looking for a new meeting space, as the church basement where the Board has met for years is no longer meeting our needs well.
In addition to the new meeting location, the May meeting was unusual because only five Board members were present in person. A sixth was on the phone, calling in from the East Coast, so that we would have a quorum. We do have a seventh member, who could not be there, but Board seats eight and nine were vacated in recent months, one for personal reasons and another when we grieved the unexpected death of Marshall Kovitz at the end of March.
Section 2.5 of La Montañita’s Bylaws provides the Board with guidance on what to do when Board membership falls below nine members, stating that we may appoint interim members to “serve only until the next member meeting or election,” which will take place in November. The Board was open to any interested applicants and also recruited through personal outreach. As a result of this process, the Board voted in two new members during the May 17 Executive Session. These two members will be seated at our next Board meeting on June 21.
In most other ways, the May Board meeting advanced as usual, with the standard agenda items: approval of minutes, comments from members, a report from the General Manager, and several “Board functioning” items. Also, as we have done since March, the Board meeting was preceded by a Community Education Session (formerly called the “Board Study”). This time, we benefited from a presentation on the Double Up Food Bucks program now being implemented in La Montañita’s stores.
Community Education Session: Value Chain, It’s in the Co-op DNA
Notes: June 2016 Board Study Notes
- Board Study Instructions
- Powerpoint Presentation: Food Value Chain – The Changing Paradigm of Agricultural Marketing
- Report: Study of Grass Fed Beef Value Chain Analysis
- Article: Are “Local” and “Organic” Two Identical Peas by Joanie Quinn
- NCG Video: http://library.cdsconsulting.coop/courageous-leadership-today-stronger-co-ops-tomorrow/#.V0cvF6YWKFA.email
- July Board Study Instructions: Value Chain Development
- Map/Diagram: Food LINC Project Summaries
- Article: New USDA Initiative Aims to Build Capacity and Strengthen Local Food Systems
- Article: Can Philanthropy Help the Feds Bring Sustainable Food Systems to Scale?
- Report: Moving Food Along the Value Chain
- Report: Financing the Evolving Role of the Value Chain Coordinator
Community Education Session: A Second Look at the Value of Double Up Food Bucks
Notes: August 2016 Board Study Notes
- Instructions: August Board Study
- Marketing Materials: Help Spread the Word About Double Up Food Bucks!
- Entravision Video:
The August Board meeting took place in a new and lovely location: the Chaco III Room at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC). After meeting in the basement of Immanuel Presbyterian Church for many years, the Board has moved its meetings to the new venue because the church basement no longer met the Board’s technology needs, nor was it wheelchair accessible. Meeting at the IPCC aligns with the Co-op’s Ends policies, which call for supporting the local economy and strengthening our community.
The meeting, which as usual took place on the third Tuesday of the month, followed our consistent format. We started at 5:30 pm with the Board Study. Staff and member-owners are encouraged to attend our Board Studies, which serve as educational sessions for all of us as we seek to better understand the opportunities and challenges the co-op faces now and in the future. This month’s study provided an update on the Double-Up Food Bucks program, which gives low-income shoppers access to local produce at half price. The program is seeing some early success in our stores.
The Board Study was followed by the Board’s business meeting. We approved minutes, heard from member-owners during the Member Comments portion of the agenda, and discussed the General Manager Monitoring Report on budgeting and financial planning. The GM Monitoring report is a very important part of every meeting because it is a primary mechanism for the Board to assess whether the GM is in compliance with the Executive Limitations Policies. These and all our policies are available on the Co-op website here.
Agenda: September 2016 Agenda
Minutes: Will be posted following approval
Board Study Topic: La Montañita and Accountable Empowerment: Using Results-Based Accountability to Achieve the Cooperative’s Ends
Board Study Minutes: Will be posted when finalized
Board Study Materials:
2015 Monthly Meetings
Board Study Topic: Annual Financial Review
Board Study Minutes: Available to members upon request
Board Study Materials: Available to members upon request
The La Montanita Board of Directors welcomes comments from member-owners at our monthly board meeting. “Member Comments” is a standing item on the board meeting agenda, providing time for the board to review and emails received at email@example.com and to hear from any member-owners who are present for the meeting.
The board delegates authority (but remains accountable for) most operational decisions to Terry Bowling, the co-op’s general manager who is also present for our meetings. This means that the board will not always address members’ comments directly but will ask the general manager to follow up on the issues in question, and to report back to the board as appropriate.
At our meeting on January 20, 2015, a co-op member-owner, who is also on staff at the Nob Hill store, shared with us his concern—part of which we were able to immediately do something about. He said that La Montanita could do more to manage organic waste and recycling. Specifically, he stated that leftovers from the dinner served at the monthly Board meeting are often offered to staff and then thrown out. The general manager reported that his leadership team is working on some improvements in managing waste at La Montanita’s various locations. Board members said that if the store could provide containers or Ziploc bags, we would do our best to take the leftovers to our homes after the meeting. It was a worthwhile discussion.
As he is scheduled to do at every monthly board meeting, the general manager presented his Monitoring Report, this one focused on his quarterly financial report. This was followed by an excellent presentation from Peter Chestnut and David Ritchey of the Finance Committee, who provided their annual financial review.
Board Study Topic: Brainstorming and Mapping Out Future Study Hours
Board Study Minutes: February 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: February 2015 Board Study Instructions
- Reading: From Cool Ideas to Cooler Results
- Reading: Thinking Strategically
On the third Tuesday of February, the La Montanita Board of Directors gathered as usual in the basement of Immanuel Presbyterian Church to share dinner, handle board business, and engage in our monthly board study hour.
Board business included a proposal related to the La Montanita Fund—a member funded micro-lending program designed to grow the local food system and strengthen the local economy, as stated on the co-op’s website. We approved the proposal, allowing the general manager to disperse returns to investors. At the meeting the general manager also provided a report on staff treatment and wages.
During the board study hour, the Board’s research assistant David Hurley asked us to envision a future five to 40 years down the road. What will agriculture look like in our region in several decades? What role will the co-op play? What types of discussions should we be having now in preparation? Through our discussion, we identified topics that we are interested in learning more about in the coming year as part of a long-term visioning process. Topics included, among others:
- Water, drought, and the future of farming in New Mexico
- Innovative distribution models that would increase access to healthy foods
- Models for measuring the co-op’s impact on the local economy
- Power, privilege, and equity in issues of health and food access
What do you think the La Montanita Board should be thinking and learning about as we envision the long-term future? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Study Topic: Chicken or Egg: Is La Montañita’s primary differentiator its product selection or its economic model?
Board Study Minutes: March 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
Our most recent board meeting was short and sweet—short because we moved quickly through the business items on the agenda, and sweet because of the delicious corned beef and chocolate cake the Co-op staff prepared for us in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.
As usual, we met on the third Tuesday of the month in the basement of Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Board business included a proposal detailing plans for a photo booth at La Montañita’s annual Earth Fest, organized by the Board of Directors. At Earth Fest, La Montañita’s members and producers are invited to stop by the Board of Directors’ table to have their portrait taken, holding a sign that reflects what the co-op means to them.
This is a participatory art project for our Co-op member community, states the proposal, which was approved at the meeting. The project will engage members to be a part of the 25 year celebration of La Montanita’s Earth Day event as well as the Co-op’s upcoming 40th anniversary.
During the Board study hour, we discussed ideas in small groups and then as a large group, all pertaining to one large and future-focused question: Is La Montañita’s primary differentiator its product selection or its economic model? Several co-op members were present and participated in the discussions.
Board Study Topic: Food for Change: The History of Co-ops
Board Study Minutes: April 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: April 2015 Board Study Instructions
It is a time of transition at La Montanita. Terry Bowling has given the Board of Directors notice that he will be leaving his role as General Manager (GM). At our most recent meeting, the evening of April 21, 2015, the Board approved a charter establishing a General Manager Search Committee, as well as a budget for the search process, and a list of qualifications the Board will look for in its next hire. The Board plans to hire an executive search agency to assist in locating qualified candidates for the GM position, and is in the process of interviewing possible firms.
The General Manager job is unique among Co-op employees as it is the only position hired by the Board of Directors. While the Board is accountable for La Montanita in its entirety, we delegate operational decisions to the GM. The GM plays a key role in reporting to the Board on decisions and maintaining close communication with the Board president. As usual, Terry Bowling was present at April’s Board meeting and—as outlined in our policies—provided his monthly report, this time focused on quarterly financial conditions.
At the same meeting, we said goodbye to long-time Board member and former Board president Martha Whitman, who has resigned her position on the Board in order to serve La Montanita in a different capacity. As we often do, we ate cake, commended Martha for the level-headed leadership she brought to her tenure on the Board, and presented her with a card.
Change is indeed the name of the game right now and, as always, we welcome comments from staff and member-owners at our monthly Board meeting, and in between at email@example.com.
Board Study Topic: Member Engagement
Board Study Minutes: May 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: May 2015 Board Study Instructions
- Reading: Reinventing our cooperative democracy
- Handout: May 2015 Board Study Handout
Transition continues at La Montañita and on the Board of Directors. Our most recent Board meeting, on May 19, 2015, was General Manager (GM) Terry Bowling’s last. Robert Tero, La Montañita’s operations director, will serve as interim general manager, while the Board undertakes our search for a new GM.
Meanwhile, the Board briefly faced three vacancies in our own ranks. In April, we bid farewell to Board Vice President Martha Whitman, and in May, we did the same for two more Board members: Leah Roco and Jeff Ethan Au Green, who are both leaving New Mexico. These changes in GM and Board membership can feel unsettling but also engender possibility and excitement. During our executive session in May, we appointed two new Board members: Tammy Parker and James Esqueda. One vacancy remains.
Despite the shifts in personnel, the Board plunged forward as usual with business and study, as we do at every monthly meeting. The business portion of the meeting included a vote to approve some new policies related to the Board’s role in overseeing La Montañita’s finances. The GM also provided his monthly report, this time focused on staff treatment. He praised the co-op’s staff, saying how important all of the staff are to taking care of our customers and members. During the study hour, we discussed ideas for creatively engaging the co-op’s members. Many had new ideas and energy, sparked partly by the assigned readings we completed ahead of time.
During this time of transition, we are very interested in what you think. We welcome comments from staff and member-owners at our monthly Board meeting, and in between at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Study Topic: Strategic Visioning
Board Study Minutes: June 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: June 2015 Board Study Instructions – Strategic Visioning Nuts & Bolts
- Reading: Thinking Strategically by Marshall Kovitz
- Reading: Cooperative Strategic Leadership by Art Sherwood
- Handout: 2015 12-Month Board Study Plan
The June Board meeting was our first since the transition in general manager (GM). Robert Tero was present in his new role as interim general manager. Two newly appointed Board members were also present: Tammy Parker and James Esqueda. Beyond these changes, business proceeded as usual.
The Board approved its annual budget as well as a proposal outlining the process for electing Board members this November. Nominations for candidates will be open July 20, 2015 – August 20, 2015. Applications and other materials will be available at the information desks at all stores. After the proposals were discussed and approved, Bob Tero presented reports on La Montañita’s finances and its “active and engaged volunteer base.”
The Board study hour provided a framework for thinking about strategic visioning, a process that should engage Board, staff, and member-owners in learning and thinking about who we as La Montañita are going to be in the future. Art Sherwood, a consultant to the Board, led a discussion on the value of an intentional strategic visioning process. Indeed, he said, undertaking this process may be essential to La Montañita’s survival. Art suggested that as we look down the road into the future, “if we only think of ourselves as natural and organic grocers, we’re going to find ourselves in a very crowded room, and we probably won’t be well-positioned to compete if that is the only thing we do.”
Now is an opportune time to take a good look at the changing context of food access, drought, buying trends, and more, and ask ourselves what this shifting landscape means for our cooperative. We’d like to know what you think. We welcome comments from staff and member-owners at our monthly Board meeting, and in between at email@example.com.
Board Study Topic: Innovative Distribution Models
Board Study Minutes: July 2015_Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: July 2015 Board Study Instructions
The July Board meeting included all the usual components: discussion and approval of minutes and proposals, a report from Interim General Manager Bob Tero, a few agenda items related to Board functioning, and an engaging Board study hour on future possibilities and unknowns as they relate to food distribution.
In preparation for the Board meeting, directors read the minutes from the last Member Engagement Committee meeting and a related proposal, which detailed plans that may be of interest to staff, as well as member-owners. The Board will be hosting a series of “co-op cafés” this fall. At each café, the Board will facilitate a sequence of structured and dynamic roundtable discussions. Participants will be asked to envision our collective future: How can the co-op meet community needs in the coming decade? In exchange for their thoughts, participants will be served a light summer supper and entered into a drawing for a gift!
The first café is scheduled for August 19, 6:30 pm. A second café will take place in September, and a third will be a feature of October’s annual meeting event for members. This series of cafés is the Board’s call to members and staff to engage in the strategic visioning process we are all undertaking together. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know the natural food marketplace is growing crowded. It is time to envision what La Montanita might look like five, ten, and twenty years down the road.
As always, we welcome comments from staff and member-owners at our monthly Board meetings, and in between at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Study Topic: Local Dollars
Board Study Minutes: August 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: Board Study instructions – August 2015
- Reading: Sustainable Connections -Studies, Community, and Business Leaders Support
- Reading: Truit – Why the local multiplier effect always counts
- Reading: Oppenheimer and Long – Working Together Toward Sustainable Business
- Reading: Amiba – The Multiplier effect of local independent businesses
- Reading: Sustainable Connections – Why buy local
- Reading: INDIE IMPACT STUDY SERIES 2013
Board business was light at our August Board meeting. Interim General Manager Bob Tero reported on budgeting, financial planning, and an emergency succession plan, as required by our policies. We also approved the agenda for our Annual Membership Meeting, which is set to take place in Santa Fe on Saturday evening, October 24. Mark your calendars now! The event is an opportunity to talk with other co-op member-owners over good food, receive an update on the state of the co-op, learn from guest speakers about the changing landscape of food and agriculture, and give your input on this key question about La Montanita’s future: Given the changing world, how can La Montanita go beyond being a grocery store in order to meet member and community needs?
After business was complete, we dove into our Board Study. In preparation, Board members had assigned readings, all of which are posted on the co-op’s website here: http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/. In the discussion, we had advocates and “devil’s advocates,” each teasing out arguments for and against buying local. We discussed the “multiplier effect” – the idea that a greater portion of every dollar spent at local businesses stays local and re-circulates in our local economy, in comparison to dollars spent at national chains, where a much larger part of the dollar very quickly leaves the state. Some on the Board believe that educating our community about the value of a dollar spent at La Montanita rather than at chain stores like Whole Foods is key to the co-op’s future success.
What do you think is key to the La Montanita’s future success? Let us know at email@example.com or at our next meeting, on the third Tuesday of every month, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church (dinner served at 5:15pm, meeting at 5:30pm).
Board Study Topic: Diversity, Equity, and Privilege: Part 1
Board Study Minutes: September 2015_Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: Board Study Instruction – September 2015
- Reading: White Privilege Survey
- Reading: Cultural Humility vs Cultural Competence
- Reading: Census Article
- Reading: Definitions Slideshow
Board business was light at our September Board meeting. Interim General Manager Bob Tero was out of town on business; his regularly scheduled reporting, which this time highlights the co-op’s treatment of consumers, will be rolled into the agenda for October’s meeting. As usual, we efficiently approved minutes from the previous month’s board and committee meetings.
It was very quickly time for our Board Study, which this month raised as many questions as answers. The topic at hand was “Diversity, Equity, and Privilege.” Members prepared ahead of time with a video, several assigned readings, and a “White Privilege Survey,” all of which can be found under the tab for the September Board meeting here: http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/. The discussion acknowledged that the current makeup of the Board does not reflect the diversity of the co-op’s staff. It probably doesn’t reflect the co-op’s membership either, but this is hard to judge because data on the characteristics of the membership is very limited. Those present weighed the benefits of asking for more information from our members so we can better understand who we are, as an entire co-op, and how we might better meet the needs of New Mexico’s diverse population.
What do you think the co-op should be doing to open our door a little wider to more and varied people? How can the co-op take on issues of inequity? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our next meeting, on the third Tuesday of every month, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church (dinner served at 5:15pm, meeting at 5:30pm).
Board Study Topic: Diversity, Equity, and Privilege: Part 2
Board Study Minutes: October 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials: None
It is hard to accept that the October Board meeting was Bob Tero’s last. Bob, the late Interim General Manager, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 29, and the Board is deeply saddened by the loss. Bob stepped into the interim general manager role in May, and exceeded the expectations set for an interim GM by reporting to the Board on La Montañita’s finances and compliance with policies every month.
“You could see that Bob loved the whole co-op in his style of leadership,” says Board President Ariana Marchello. “Everyone’s input was considered in his thinking about how to best move the co-op forward. Neither Bob nor the co-op stood still in this interim period, and the Board appreciated his effort in always providing full reporting though it was not required of him.”
In October, Bob provided the annual “Ends Report” to the Board, a key document for which the GM is responsible every year. The report describes how well the co-op is doing in achieving the “Ends.” These are a set of four fundamental statements expressing the purpose of the co-op:
- Increased access to, and purchase of healthy foods.
- A growing regenerative agriculture sector that uses sound environmental practices.
- A thriving and sustainable local economy that benefits members and community.
- A strengthened co-operative community.
The Ends Report described not only the successes of the co-op stores but of the other important work La Montañita does in our community: serving as a distribution center for local farmers, providing consultation services to other co-ops in the region, donating food to homeless shelters, and running a successful volunteer program.
Your support and input are as important as ever right now. Be in touch with us at email@example.com or at our next meeting: November 17 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church (dinner served at 5:15pm, meeting at 5:30pm).
Board Study Topic: Drought, Climate Change, and Other Existential Threats
Board Study Minutes: November 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials:
- Instructions: Board Study Instructions – November 2015
As we do every month, the Board met in a church basement near our Nob Hill store to share dinner, handle business, and engage in our monthly Board Study. The month between the October and November Board meetings was a roller coaster ride with a clear highlight being a successful Annual Owner Meeting, followed shortly after by the jarring and terribly sad news that then Interim General Manager Bob Tero had died.
The Annual Owner Meeting was held on October 24, 2015, in Santa Fe. The event provided owners with an opportunity to ask questions and to share their perspective on the co-op’s present and future. We were also grateful for presentations by local partners in the food world, Don Bustos of American Friends Service Committee and Lynn Walters of Cooking with Kids, who discussed the changes that are impacting food and farming in New Mexico.
The second half of the event followed a “world café” format, engaging the co-op’s owners and staff in small group discussions on this question: Given the changing world, how can the co-op meet community needs in the coming decade? The Board’s administrative assistant is diligently typing up the wealth of notes from these discussions, and from two previous cafés organized by the Board. The perspectives shared at the three events will inform the Board’s strategic visioning about the co-op’s long-term direction.
We reflected in last month’s Co-opera on the significant loss we all suffered with Bob Tero’s passing less than a week after the Annual Meeting. We carried our continued sadness into the November meeting, and held a moment of silence in his memory. John Mulle joined us as Interim General Manager. Meeting business included the usual approval of minutes, and the discussion and approval of the Patronage Dividend Proposal. This was followed by an engaging Board Study on “Drought, Climate Change, and Other Existential Threats.” The Board Meeting was followed by an Executive Session.
After their approval, minutes from the Board meeting are always posted for your convenience at http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/.
Your support and input are as important as ever right now. Be in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our next meeting: December 15 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, west-facing door (dinner served at 5:15pm, meeting at 5:30pm).
Board Study Topic: Board Resources and Basecamp
Board Study Minutes: December 2015 Board Study Minutes
Board Study Materials (likely of little interest to non-Board members):
For the first time in months, the La Montañita Board’s roster is full – with nine total directors. Several hundred member-owners voted in the Board Elections this fall. Based on their votes, the Board approved new terms for three incumbent and two new Board members at our December meeting. The nine members of your Board are as follows:
- Ariana Marchello – President
- Tracy Sprouls, Vice President
- Marshall Kovitz, Treasurer
- Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn, Secretary
- James Esqueda
- Greg Gould
- Tammy Parker
- Jessica Rowland
- Courtney White
The Board also welcomed Dennis Hanley, the newly hired General Manager, who had only very recently arrived in town. Dennis has moved to Albuquerque from Dallas. At the Board meeting, he expressed an eagerness to learn as much as possible about La Montañita as he steps into his leadership role. Finally, Jeff Hertz was present for the meeting as the Board’s new research assistant. In this role, Jeff will plan the study hour for each monthly Board meeting.
In addition to welcoming the new Board members, research assistant, and General Manager, Board business at the December meeting also included approval of minutes and of a proposal outlining support for Dennis Hanley as he adjusts to the organization, including the principles and values that make the co-op different from traditional grocery models.
After their approval, minutes from the Board meeting are always posted for your convenience at http://lamontanita.coop/directors/documents/. Your support and input are as important as ever right now. Be in touch with us at email@example.com or at our next meeting: January 19, 2016, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, west-facing door (dinner served at 5:15pm, meeting at 5:30pm).
2014 Monthly Meetings
- January 2014 Approved Minutes
- February 2014 Approved Minutes
- March 2014 Approved Minutes
- April 2014 Approved Minutes
- May 2014 Approved Minutes
- June 2014 Approved Minutes
- July 2014 Approved Minutes
- August 2014 Approved Minutes
- September 2014 Approved Minutes
- October 2014 Approved Minutes
- November 2014 Approved Minutes
- December 2014 Approved Minutes