The Co-op is bringing our Board election process into the 21st century! Any day now, you’ll receive your Annual Report in the mail. Aside from the usual updates on the state of your Co-op, Board of Directors Candidates, and plans for our Annual Meeting, you’ll find directions to help you cast your online votes for our Board of Directors (all of the candidates are actually incumbents this year, as we did not receive any new applications) and for proposed bylaws changes. Don’t want to wait for the mail? You can access the online version of our Annual Report right now! The results of our election will be announced at our September 3rd Virtual Annual Meeting and afterward, in the store and online.
Are you ready to vote? Starting August 1st, please follow the link below to get started. You’ll need the first initial and last name of the co-op member-owner in your household, plus the last five digits of your member number (you can find this on the back of your paper Annual Report mailing label, or on the back of your co-op member card). Your vote is completely anonymous, and after you participate in this year’s election, your name will be entered for a chance to win one of 50 $25 Co-op Gift Cards! Happy Voting!
The candidates are ready and the ballots are in the mail…you should see one in your mailbox next week. The ballot packet includes information about the election, candidate bios and photos, a preview of our Annual Meeting Celebration and our Annual Report. You can link directly to everything but the ballot (the ballot will only be in your mailbox!), RIGHT HERE. After you’ve filled out your ballot, bring it to any cashier to redeem your Coupon for $3.00 of Any Vermont Product (this will be attached to your ballot). All ballots need to be in before 7 pm on May 31st. Happy voting!
This month, members will receive a copy of our 2018 Annual Report for MNFC in the mail (yes, the “snail” mail). In this publication, you’ll find updates from our Board President and General Manager about how the Co-op has fared in our first year of Expansion. In addition, you’ll get to “meet the candidates” for the four available seats on our Board of Directors. Included with your Annual Report are Voting Instructions, Your Official Ballot, and a $3.00 Coupon (redeemable with your completed ballot). Please bring your completed ballot into the Co-op by May 26th, so we have time to tally the votes and inform the candidates before our June 6th Annual Meeting. Then, please join us on June 6th, 5:30-7:30 at American Flatbread to find out who won, get a first-hand account of how your Co-op is doing, and enjoy dinner on the Co-op!
The candidates are ready and the ballots are in the mail…you should see one in your mailbox next week. The ballot packet includes information about the election, candidate bios and photos, a preview of our Annual Meeting Celebration and our Annual Report. You can link directly to everything but the ballot (the ballot will only be in your mailbox!), RIGHT HERE. After you’ve filled out your ballot, bring it to any cashier to redeem your Coupon for $3.00 of Any Vermont Product (this will be attached to your ballot). All ballots need to be in before 7pm on May 26th. Happy voting!
Saturday, June 1st marked the Co-op’s 40th Annual Meeting & Celebration! We were so grateful to be joined by nearly 150 member-owners to celebrate this exciting occasion at Middlebury’s American Flatbread.
We feasted on a seemingly endless supply of mouth-watering flatbread, salad, & dessert, and sipped on local Champlain Orchards cider. We were so impressed by the crew at American Flatbread! They sure do know how to please a hungry crowd!
We said a reluctant goodbye to two wonderful members of our Board of Directors, Sheila McGrory-Klyza and Kevin Lehman. Sheila and Kevin have given such devoted and valued service to our Board over the last several years. We thank them for their leadership and know they will surely be missed.
We also welcomed two new members to the Board of Directors, Ann LaFiandra & Amanda Warren, and congratulated re-elected incumbent, RJ Adler. We look forward to having these new leaders at the helm!
We reveled in the company of friends old and new. Marjorie & Marian from Orb Weaver Farm were in attendance, and reminded us that they’ve been selling their glorious veggies and cheese at the Co-op since 1981! Wow!
As the meeting commenced, Glenn shared a Co-op year-in-review. One highlight was learning that the Co-op’s sales of local products continue to grow steadily. Thank you for making this possible by supporting the incredible local farmers and producers in our community! We’re so lucky!
Board President, Tam Stewart, talked about the challenges ahead for food co-ops across the country, as competition heats up from more traditional retailers who are responding to consumer demand for organic foods. Their buying power presents a challenge for cooperatives trying to offer competitive prices, though we’re finding creative way to address that through our Co-op Basics program and other cost-saving measures for shoppers on a tight budget.
Board Treasurer, Lynn Dunton, gave a report on the Co-op’s fiscal year and expressed confidence in the Co-op’s financial status based on our healthy debt to equity ratio. She also shared exciting news about the Co-op’s first ever patronage dividend, which will be mailed out to member-owners in the coming weeks. The Co-op had a profitable year and we’ll be able to return a healthy portion (40%) of those profits to member-owners! The remaining 60% of the claimed patronage will be retained and reinvested in the Co-op.
The final portion of the meeting was led by Architect, Andrea Kerz-Murray, of Vermont Integrated Architecture. She updated us on the latest round of potential designs for the Co-op expansion.
The highlight of the night came when a very special guest was asked to give the official motion to adjourn the meeting. It was Glenn’s lovely mother who happened to be in town for a visit!
What an exciting time for our Co-op! It’s been an incredible 40 years and we’re so grateful to this fine community for supporting us through the years! We had a fun look back at our past and an exciting peek into our future. Thanks again to everyone who came out to attend our Annual Meeting & Celebration! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Cheers to another 40 years!