MadRiver Glen Cooperative
shareholder relations committee
Minutes of Meeting
Feb 4th, 2004
A meeting of the Shareholder Relations Committee of the board of trustees of the Mad River Glen Cooperative was convened at 4:50 P.M. on Feb. 4th, 2004 at the Basebox at Mad River Glen Ski Area in Fayston, Vermont. The meeting was attended by Rick Moulton (Chair) Alan Moats, now a full member and Boardchair and committee members Irma Heeter, Rocky Bleier, Bill Heinzerling, Rich Aiken Wendy Bridgewater, and management liaison Andrew Snow. Two Share holders, Steven Grey and Terry Shaw also came to the meeting. Rick kept the minutes again.
Call to Order
Mr. Moulton called the meeting to order at 4:56 p.m.
GKM (Grand Keeper of the minutes)
Moulton still to write up the minutes.
It is noted that the two visiting shareholders would become voting committee members if they attend two more meetings. Alan has now attend three consecutive meetings certainly qualifying as a committee member with voting status.
Share holders Commments:
Mr. Grey and Ms. Shaw expressed their interest and curiosity in the Co op goings on. They only are at the Mountain once or twice a year but saw the meeting posted and decided to attend.
Discussion of the role of the SRC:
Renewed discussion began with the chair asking who followed up from the Jan. meeting and brought a written description of the role as they saw it for the SRC. Rich Aiken had a hand written history as he recalled it of the committee’s functions. Rick Moulton brought a hand out that provided the background, the evolution of the Committee’s mission statement as approved by the Coop Board. The Committee reviewed these histories and discussed the nature of a Coop with a limited institutional memory. It was concluded that, although frustrating for those who felt that they were constantly going back over the same ground, that this was necessary for new shareholder participants and positive for the Coop over all as it afforded an on going reevaluation and renewal process.
The evolution of and the SRC mission statement as passed:
Taken from the May 5th Meeting 2002
Agenda Item #3
Discussion of the Mission of our committee
“The Shareholder’s relation s committee is the communications arm of the Mad River Glen Coop’s Board of Directors as well as a channel for shareholders to reach each other and influence policy. The committee shall recommend methods of communication to the MRG board for implementation.”
Fritz explained that he thought that the original Communications Committee had a mission statement and he would try to locate it. It was noted that the mission of this Shareholders Relations Committee whatever the language is, must be “charged” by the Board.
From the discussion the follow points were noted:
The Shareholder’ Relations Committee is to assist and advise the Board on anything pertinent to communications between shareholders.
This would include but not be necessarily limited to:
Shareholder Social Gatherings
Shareholders Survey’s and Suggestions
Shareholders Rights and Responsibilities
Further discussion was tabled until we can review former mission of the Communications Committee
Taken from the June 6th meeting 2002
3) Discussion of Mission of our committee
Committee members voiced frustration at feeling the committee continued to rehash many of the same issues and noted that the board should be more responsive to the recommendations of the SH Committee.
Proposed Mission Statement:
The Shareholder’s Relations Committee is the communications arm of the Mad River Glen Coop’s Board of Directors. They assist and advise the Board on all matters related to shareholders communications, which includes evaluating the existing avenues for communication among shareholders, the Board, and Management. The committee offers a channel for shareholders to reach each other and influence policy. Finally, the committee provides a forum for discussing issues facing shareholders, such as benefits, pricing of shares, rights and responsibilities.
The discussion of the Proposed Mission statement began with theclarification that Pricing dealt with the price of a share not ticket sales. Andrew suggested that the second sentence of the MS should read “It was the consensus that this should be adopted.
Bill suggested that the last sentence should read: The committee will provide a forum for discussing issues facing shareholders, such as benefits, pricing of shares, rights and responsibilities.” Fritz pointed out that the committee serves as a conduit for shareholders to the board. Based upon shareholders input we make recommendations to the Board, and feed back for management. But he concluded the Committee does not “make up” its own suggestions or recommendations for submission.
There was some discussion as to whether or not channel should be changed to conduit. The committee concluded that channel was O.K.
E mail Leigh to Lu and copied Rick. Chair presented to SRcommittee at the Aug meeting the From July 8th 02
However, based on my reading of the Shareholder Relations meeting minutes, I think there should be more focus. There’s a lot of great ideas, but I’m abig believer in getting a few things done really well though focus.
My thought is that the mission of the Shareholder Relations committee should be something like
“to foster, develop, and maintain one of the Co-op’s greatest assets – it’s shareholder base”.
The focus should be on communication – that’s what seemed fairly solid in the last election. Ithink it’s a lot more than how many issues of the Echo there are. I’mthinking – What/how do we communicate to/inform SH now? What would beideal? What can we afford?
Like Deb said, maybe some answers lie in known places to go for information. And like Alan Moats said, maybe there’s an “informal Shareholder Relations newsletter” (perhaps electronic at first until the content was proven). I also think two other important issues need attention of the SR committee: (1) establishing a workable Annual Survery. (2) Studying our Share Sales effort (What are we doing? Are we tapped out? Is it worth it to keep trying? Should we target new or existing shareholders? How can we amplify Andrew’s efforts). I also think it would be neat to do ad hoc electronic surveys periodically that focus on issues of the day. I know the argumentthat some shareholders are not on line. I have two responses (1) there are not that many not on line and (2) what better reason to encourage them to get on line that having a reason to get on line (meaningful real time input
into Coop issues).
I took the liberty of copying Rick on this, since it is up his alley as
well. Hope you don’t mind.
Also, I think the lack of summer events came from Jamey, not Eric. After
the Annual Meeting, I talked to Jamey. He seemed to have studied it quite carefully, had attendance numbers for each year, etc. We can ask him about it on Thursday.
Leigh E. Michl
74 Cherry Brook Road
The focus tonight was on the Mission Statement of the Shareholder Relations Committee to be then presented for review to the MRG Coop Board on 9/14/02. There was discussion of various wording in the mission statement with Jamey giving lots of input.
The finalized Mission Statement from our committee and with Jamey’s input for submission to the Board reads:
The Shareholder’s Relations Committee is the communications’ arm of the Mad River Glen Coop’s Board of Directors. The committee assists and advises the Board on all matters related to shareholders communications, which includes evaluating the existing avenues for communications among shareholders, the Board, and Management. The committee serves as a forum helping shareholders to reach each other and make recommendations to the board and management regarding coop policy.
A vote was taken with unanimous support for the above Mission Statement
I would really like to voice my opinion regarding the Shareholder Relations mission. I know I sound like a broken record, but I encourage the committee to think much more broadly than “Communications” and whether there should be Echos or Chutes and how often. Not that the board thinks those are unimportant, its the unanimous desire of the board for the committee to draft a plan for keeping the “Community” strong and vibrant.
I would put every possible community building thing on the table:
Encouraging and developing greater electronic communications to enable “real time” solicitation of shareholder opinions and to reduce certain mailing costs (and trees).
Social Activities. When, how often, what type? Should there be an effort to keep the bar full later in the day? Can we have non-share sales activities to raise capital and/or money for things we otherwise need (like more defribrilators)?
Monthly Shareholder “reporting package”
What is/should be on web and is it timely?
Shareholder benefits: Publicize “discount” programs (or whatever) by businesses and individual service providers for other sharholders. Perhaps selected reduced cost “advertising” by shareholders who want to promote benefits to other shareholders.
I’d then think about:
How much does this cost and how much time will take?
What’s the biggest bang for the buck?
How quickly can these programs be phased in?
How will results be measured to make sure it’s working?
I’d also like to reiterate that the desire of the board is to approve a “package”, rather than individual initiatives. Otherwise we may lose sight of costs and doing the most effective job.
Taken from the Minutes of the Board Meeting of Nov. 16th ‘02
Mr. Moulton submitted an updated Shareholders Relations Committee mission statement for approval by the board. The statement had been previously distributed via email to board members.:
The purpose of the Shareholder Relations Committee is to develop plans for
the board and the Cooperative, and assist in the implementation of plans,
that maintain and develop a key asset of the MadRiver Glen Cooperative – its
unique sense of community. These plans would include, but not be limited to,
facilitating communications throughout the Cooperative
After discussion and upon motion duly made by Mr. Bleier, and seconded Ms. Steines, it was unanimously VOTED: To approve the Shareholders Relations Committee mission as submitted.
Irma submitted her written definition of the Committees role:
Watch Dog & sounding Board for issues that come up now and again concerning our shareholder’s well being and success.
Implementing special projects that come up from time to time that affect all shareholders .
Initiating social functions.
Following up with the Board on committee’s recommendations made to them.
Following up with Management on committee’s agenda all ready approved by Board.
From discussions it became evident that just as it was important to review the role of the SRC for those who were not part of the mission statement process, ( to renew the Institutional memory ) so it was necessary to renew trust for those who had been subject to all the past rancor ( put aside individual memories ). The core issue seems to be how to continue to facilitate effective channeling of shareholder volunteerism to the best benefit of the coop and MRG.
Andrew suggested that it would good to pole the shareholders to see how they felt about a few specific questions. It was agreed that if such a questionnaire was kept simple for tabulation purposes it could be very useful for taking the pulse of our shareholders. It was suggested that we revisit this suggestion on email before the next meeting.
The Discussion of a Shareholders Directory emerged from the core question of how to channel effective hands on volunteerism as several committee members agreed that they wanted something tangible to do. This task being outside the purview of the SRC, it was decided that a Task Group be formed to look into the development of the directory. This task group would then be a standing group that could help with hands on implementation of ideas. Wendy Bridgewater agreed to head this group, and Bill H, Lu Putnam and Irma from the SRC expressed interest in joining the Task Group.
Under New or Old Business:
The committee determined that it is important to find out how many Shareholder Pins are left, and that the Coop continue a policy of replacing defective pins.
The election process was discussed. Specifically it seemed unfortunate that there was not more choice for in state candidates. Two spots with two candidates might not meet the by-laws requirement that a Adequate Choice be offered to shareholders. The possible reasons for the lack of candidates was discussed.
Next MEETING DATE:
The next committee date was set for March.3rd, 2004 at 4:30 (or as soon as patrol can join us) in the Basebox.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 7:50 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Rick Moulton