Board Update (Winter 2019)
I’ve heard from fellow owners that they feel a renewed commitment to Open Harvest; that there’s pride and hope in being part of a vital and thriving community built around our collectively owned co-op. The board and store have a sense of this deepening support among owners and customers, too. It’s momentum that’s carrying us through the holiday season and into 2019 with:
a successful October owner drive with 271 new and renewed owners!
a most generous giving season with nearly $3,000 in donations through our Friendship Home Giving Tree & food donations that benefit the Food Bank of Lincoln – and more than a week to go!
a trending growth in overall sales for 2Q and increased basket size!
No doubt, this momentum is generated because of the diligent work by store management and staff, but it’s also because of the meaningful opportunities we have made to engage owners and our customers. For example, we exchanged valuable conversations about successes, concerns, and our future work together at the Annual Owner Meeting in November.
The board heard feedback and questions from owners that were important to hear, and that will help set our upcoming board priorities, many of which address what we heard from owners.
Heading into a new year, the board is committed to: building leadership among and training of all directors, finding better ways to communicate the board’s work, inviting owners to participate in strengthening the co-op, and developing a long-term vision to ensure another 40+ years of our success.
Here are some exciting events coming up in January:
Open Harvest is launching a brand-new website that will provide a new platform for the board to communicate with owners. We intend to post ongoing updates on the board’s work and reflections from our meetings to better engage and share about how we are representing our owners.
Here’s a first: a special Financial Meeting of Owners (Fin MOO) is scheduled for January 24th at 5:30 pm at Mercy City Church (1430 South Street). We hope to make this an annual event, but the timing couldn’t be better for our first one! Not only will owners get the first sneak peek into investment opportunities of the Capital Campaign, but it will also be an opportunity to learn more information about the store’s financials.
Another first: the entire board and GM will attend a Co-op Cafe in Lawrence, KS hosted by the Merc Co+op. This training opportunity is organized by CDS Consulting and is provided by our membership. The training will not only help with the onboarding of our new directors, but help us all build on a strong foundation of co-op principles, cooperative governance, our legal roles and responsibilities, and our financial understanding.
As we embark on these new opportunities and changes in 2019, there’s a sense of renewed connection to community and a hope for a stronger future together. I hope you feel that, too.
Written by: Megan Jackson