Why an Annual Meeting?
On Sunday, October 6, Abundance Cooperative Market held its 12th annual shareholder's meeting. This event usually designates the end of the Board of Directors' working year and marks the beginning of a new year, when owners elect new directors, or re-elect those wishing to stay on for another term. The Co-op voting model is unlike that of non-coop corporations in that one owner gets one vote, regardless of the number of shares (s)he owns. This year the Co-op marked a record number of votes for our uncontested election. We think that may be in part due to the fact that the ballot was sent electronically to more shareholders than ever! *
Beyond voting, the Annual Shareholder's Meeting is a moment of community gathering and this year was no exception. Owners brought a fantastic selection of scrumptious foods to the potluck dinner, and even shared plates due to a shortage!
Finally, Jim DeLuca, General Manager and Daryl Odhner, Board President, reflected on the past year and talked a bit about store relocation and expansion. Here are some highlights, many of which can be found in more detail in our annual report, now being distributed at the store.
- We had a successful fiscal year (July 2012 -June 2013) in terms of net profit. Shareholders can expect another dividend this year, though it will be smaller than in previous years. Employees received bonuses again this year and our cash in bank is in good position for the anticipated move.
- Sales were flat again this year (.3% increase over last year) so we need to look at how we might improve that in our current location. However, sales to owners was 51%, higher than ever!
- The BOD is actively working on relocation. Check out the videos we watched (below) if you really want to get excited about growing our store!
- Katie and Beth are working on a plan for reaching out to owners for loans. Owners should expect to see more information on that in the coming months. We are still in the search phase of relocating. There have been several sites to look at, a few of which have been eliminated. We will most likely be conducting another market survey to determine which sites are most viable.
- There are several BOD sub-committees that could use more help if anyone is interested. You do not have to be on the BOD to be on a sub-committee, just an owner. You can contact Daryl if you are interested in finding out more.
Videos About Co-op Growth
One focus of this year's meeting was to discuss and shape a plan for identifying a new location for the store. Two videos were shown that explore the challenges and potential benefits of this move--you can watch them below.
Doug Hoffer: Why Grow Co-ops?
Doug Hoffer is Vermont State Auditor.
Jan Rasikas: Why Growth Matters
Jan Rasikas is General Manager of Viroqua Food Co-op in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
* If you are reading this page and thinking.... "Why didn't I see any emails about the annual meeting?"... it may because you are not on our email list, or the email we have for you is outdated.
If that's the case, please sign up for our enews! We want as many shareholder addresses as possible in order to send future important updates without the use of paper or postage. Thanks!