A meeting of the Shareholder Relations Committee of the board of trustees of the Mad River Glen Cooperative was convened at 4:40 P.M. on January 7, 2004 at the Basebox at Mad River Glen Ski Area in Fayston, Vermont. The meeting was attended by Rick Moulton (Chair) Alan Moats, visiting and Boardchair and committee members Irma Heeter, Rocky Bleier, Bill Heinzerling, Rich Aikin, Lou Putnam and Wendy Bridgewater. As well as management liaison Andrew Snow. Rick kept the minutes.
Call to Order
Mr. Moulton called the meeting to order at 4:56 p.m.
GKM (Grand Keeper of the minutes)
Moulton agreed to write up the minutes.
It is noted that Alan has now attend two consecutive meetings with a third in July, qualifying as a committee member with voting status at his next meeting.
Share holders Commments:
Irma wondered if this was the appropriate time to bring up some old business. Moulton suggested she wait until the “Other Business” portion of the meeting. No other comments were made.
Discussion of the role of the SRC:
Lou Putnam explained that she has been disappointed that there is no procedure to stage informal social Mad River Community gatherings, like a pot luck dinner. She pointed out that such an event would need the co-operation of the base box management. She observed that such informal gatherings would be self sufficient, providing their own clean up and policing themselves. Bill Heinzerling noted that the Bar would have to be open for such an event manned and run in its own normal manner.
Wendy volunteered that she had heard the rumor that there would be no co-op social functions. While Rick said that was simply not true, Alan stated the opposite was the case and reminded all that the July 4th Bar-Q was already being considered for this year’s schedule. Rick pointed to the food, management organized to encourage socializing after the Town Meeting on the 27th He noted that the Co-ops Town Meeting was poorly attended. Andrew was praised for being sure announcements about Coop meetings were posted in the Basebox. Rocky and Rick agreed that new bulletin boards and actual postings, was an improvement over an era when meetings were not posted at all.
Rocky brought us back to the agenda issue, explaining that he felt the SRC was a conduit for shareholders to communicate to the Board and other shareholders. In discussion, it was asked why not go directly to the board. The answer for Rocky was two fold; to try to build a consensus on some point of view or issue with a group to support it and also to let the committee serve as a sounding board for an issue or idea to better focus it. Alan pointed out that shareholders can try to build a ground swell by writing ones ideas in the echo while one can just go via a letter directly to the board or one can submit an idea to management though the suggestion box.
A digression on the suggestion box ensued. Rocky stated that he has questioned the timely posting of suggestions for years. Andrew assured all present that the current suggestion tallies would be in the board packets. Rocky hoped they would also be posted. Rick reported that he has been slow to pass the suggestion reports he receives on to the committee and said he would try to improve. Rocky again pointed out that when he was on the board, a policy was voted upon that spelled out that the suggestion reports would be posted on the bulletin board in the Basebox monthly.
Getting the discussion back to the role of the SRC, Moulton searched for the specific relationship of the Committee: its role in regard to specific events like the 4th float, the 4th Bar-b-Q, surveys and written communications like the Echo.
Alan posed the question that the committee needs to establish a protocol, a procedure for establishing activities, like informal parties, for the Mad River Community.
Rocky said he thought the committee is just plain ineffective. Rick refuted this notion, pointing to the concrete accomplishments in the last year alone. Formalizing the two town meetings, helping to write and supporting, the Coop News, the Co-op pins, the float, the Bar-b-Q.
Wendy asked about the stalled creation of a shareholders service directory. Alan went back to the idea of developing a way first to move an idea like the Directory through a step by step methodology that would offer a way to take an idea and offer the expectation of how it can be implemented? What are the steps, the procedures, to take in order to get something to implementation. Irma reflected the committee’s frustration hours and hours of talking about a project and never getting it off the ground. Her plea was for something to do, and asking whatever happened to the Shareholders Community Plan that the committee worked hard on and submitted to the board in July?
She then explained that if we ever do another pin, it needs to be stronger in the way it is fastened to the metal backing, which was the point she wanted to make as a shareholder comment.
Rich ventured that he thought the directory or what shareholders have to offer to the Coop is important. He reported that a shareholder with 4 shares has a very strong company that makes personalized stuff that he would make available at cost to the Coop, merchandise that we might benefit from.
Alan summarized that the role of the committee seemed different for each one of us. Rich suggested that every committee member write up what the role as they saw it for the SRC was and bring it to the next meeting.
Do to the late hour the rest of the agenda was tabled
Next MEETING DATE:
The next committee date was set for Feb.4th, 2004 at 4:30 (or as soon as patrol can join us) in the basebox.