News at a Glance
by Nancy Ellegate
The HWFC Board of Directors met on Tuesday, June 29; Tuesday, July 20; and Wednesday, July 21.
July 21st Meeting
Most of the meeting was spent discussing revisions to the draft employee manual. The Board fine tuned a number of items and will continue this project at their next meeting.
Work is proceeding on the development of a policy manual. A Board member has gone through the minutes for the last two years and extracted policy decisions. The next step will be to come up with a format two days before the Board meeting. There was a large turnout and the committee is being reorganized.
The Strategic Planning committee plans to send out a postcard mailing to members explaining the current status of strategic planning and noting what the next steps will be.
July 20th Meeting
This was a special meeting at which the Board discussed the respective responsibilities of the Board and the Collective Management Team, and the boundaries between them. A meeting between the Board and the Team was planned for later in the week.
The Board looked at two draft documents, one prepared by a Board member at the time the Coop moved back to a collective management style, and one prepared by the Collective Management Team detailing the different responsibilities of these two groups.
While directors looked at specific items, the gist of their discussion was a more general consideration. It was noted that the Board sets policy, and the Collective Management Team runs the store and implements policy. The Board’s responsibility is to focus on long-range planning, fiscal responsibility, and particular policy issues and to do so in consultation with Collective Management Team, who will carry out and work in the environment created by these policies and plans.
It was acknowledged that, of course, this arrangement can easily lead to conflict. It was also noted that the consensus approach to conflict will not always work, but that we want to avoid "win/lose" situations between Board and staff at all costs.
In discussion, the draft product manual was cited as one current source of conflict over which issues of policy and implementation may be problematic.
June 29th Meeting
The Site committee has hired a realtor. Right now, there are not many available sites in the desired location, the Central Avenue corridor. The committee is discussing whether to go back to the membership to broaden the site area.
The Board agreed that there should be a half-day, facilitated retreat for the Collective Management Team and the product group.
The recently-formed Visioning Committee will now be known as the Documentation Committee. Members are drafting goals for future plans.
After reading the donation policy in place since 1995, the Board noted that it was unclear as to the type of organizations that should be receiving donations. The Membership committee and the appropriate staffperson will redraft the policy.
The outreach coordinator organized a meeting with representatives from several other New York State coops and buying clubs on mobilizing around anti-GMO (genetically modified organisms) legislation. They have formed an organization, New York State Against Genetic Engineering (NYSAGE). The Board approved formally adding the Coop as a member. NYSAGE has met with Assemblyman Jack McEneny, who is the sponsor of a mandatory labeling law, and has started planning regional recruitment strategy.
There will be a financial training session for the Board.
The Board and the Collective Management Team met to set goals for the year. Another meeting was planned for July for to discuss boundaries between the Board and the Team.
The Board met in executive session at the end of the meeting
Minutes of all meetings are available at the Coop. Minutes of the most recent meeting are posted on the bulletin board.
Board meetings are scheduled for the following dates: Wednesday, September 22; Wednesday, October 27; and Wednesday, November 17. Meetings are held at the First Unitarian-Universalist Society of Albany, Channing Hall, 405 Washington Avenue. Meetings begin at 6:15 pm. Dates, times, and locations can change, so anyone planning to attend a meeting should confirm these a bit closer to the date.