PCC Board of Trustees report, September 2012

This article was originally published in September 2012

PCC Member Relations update

2 board members and Henri Parren

PCC board members John Sheller (l) and Stephen Tan (r) met Henri Parren (center) at 2011’s Co-opalooza. Parren is general manager of the Tacoma Food Co-op. PCC’s board has especially enjoyed connecting with other co-ops during this International Year of the Co-op.

According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN designated 2012 as the International Year of the Co-op as a “reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.”

by John Sheller, chair,
Member Relations Committee

New fall meeting format to celebrate co-ops

The board’s Member Relations Committee focuses on ways the board can stay connected to our members. On behalf of the whole board, the committee plans the member meetings and other board outreach events. Last fall, the committee recommended, and the board approved, a move away from large fall meetings in a static location. Instead, the PCC board and staff will be hosting intimate, casual meetings in our store classrooms and other venues near our stores.

These smaller events will offer more frequent opportunities on the east and west sides to learn and participate in meaningful dialogue about topics of interest to our members and board.

This change in format will not impact the April Annual Member Meeting, currently being planned for the popular St. Demetrios location in Seattle. Annual meetings will continue to be large, well-attended celebrations of food and co-ops, as well as PCC’s annual business meeting and board election kickoff.

In celebration of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) and National Co-op Month, in October, the first of our newly designed gatherings will be a celebration of co-ops. In keeping with the IYC theme, “Cooperatives Build a Better World,” Director of Sustainability Diana Chapman will talk about PCC’s history and its impact on our region.

The event will be in the Redmond store classroom Wednesday, October 17, at 6 p.m. Seating is very limited, so only the first 20 members to call will be able to attend. Call the business office at 206-547-1222 to reserve a spot. We’ll host similar events approximately once each quarter, so stay tuned.

PCC began its IYC celebration last October with Co-opalooza — a local expo featuring a variety of co-ops in our area. Additionally, board members attended the national Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference in 2012 and conducted a study session on co-ops at their February 2012 board retreat.

PCC also will present at one of the sessions at the 2012 annual meeting of the National Cooperative Business Association at the Seattle Red Lion, October 2-4. PCC management will conduct a tour of one of our locations for visiting co-op folks from around the United States.

2013 member survey plan adopted

At its May meeting the board voted to contract with Gilmore Research Group to conduct a member survey in support of the board’s policy on member relations, which states in part:

“The Board shall commission research of the members not less than every three years. Such research shall be designed to fairly and adequately represent the entire membership.”

Gilmore has conducted previous member surveys for PCC and has a national reputation for excellence.

In conjunction with the 2013 member survey, the board’s Member Relations Committee will be assessing current communications, feedback and educational opportunities for members in support of PCC’s Ends policies. Please take a few moments to give us your feedback if you are called by one of the researchers from Gilmore.

Board meeting report

The July 31 board meeting occurred after press time. Trustees were scheduled to approve committee rosters for the four standing committees for 2012-2013 and hear the annual update from PCC Farmland Trust’s executive director.

The next board meeting is scheduled for September 25 at 5 p.m., with member comments at 7 p.m.

Also in this issue

Soil & Sea: reports from our producers

Quinoa is growing in Washington! Other Northwest news: our state's apple growers face growing competition, labor troubles plague the blackberry industry, and Alaska salmon fishermen caught fewer fish this season.

Craft brewing renaissance

Craft brewing now makes up more than five percent of the beer market, meaning artisan brewers have a say in the variety and quality of hops grown in the Northwest.

Fall Farm Jubilee

Join Jubilee Farm in Carnation, Wash., for a celebration of the new partnership with the PCC Farmland Trust and King County on Sat., Sept. 15. Also, details on the overturn of a development plan that would have opened development to 182 acres of prime farmland near Sumner.