Shareholders Relations Committee Meeting, May 14th 2002, Basebox MRG
Minutes Compiled & Submitted by Rick Moulton
Meeting was called to order at 5:40 p.m. Committee members in attendance were: Rick Moulton, Lu Putnam, Bill Heinzerling, Fritz Branshofsky, Vivan Branshofsky, Rock Bleier , Wendy Bridgewater, and Deri Meier.
No Staff Members were present
It was noted that the minutes were reviewed and approved through e mail so they could get to the web in a timely manner. This procedure seemed to work to everyone’s satisfaction Procedure recommendation for getting our committee minutes out to shareholders faster is:
Agenda Items 1 & 2: There were no changes to the agenda for the meeting nor any General Shareholders comments
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 Benefits Shareholder Pricing Shareholder Social Gatherings Shareholders Surveys and Suggestions Shareholders Rights and Responsibilities
Further discussion was tabled until we can review former mission of the Communications Committee
Agenda Item #4: Survey Ideas for next year:
Lu pointed out that the coop is going to want some survey or feed back on the Strategic plan. A long discussion ensued about strategic planning. The question came back to what was appropriate to go out to the Shareholders at large. Finally discussion ceased when it was agreed that this will be determined by the board.
Deri suggested that a standard format for surveys on Marketing questions can be handled by marketing. He also could see the value of a 2 or 3 question survey. Rock stated that he felt owners should drive policy so surveys were important to the board. Wendy offered that Surveys show what members see as priorities. Fritz pointed out that it doesn’t matter what the Committee’s point of view is we should be non bias arm that can find out what opinions are. Deri asked if we have to, or even can do the labor? The heavy lifting of conducting another survey? From the discussion that followed, the committee concluded that it wanted to offer input, to sign off on a survey but not be responsible for the task.
Agenda Item #5: What can we as a committee suggest or offer to provide written material for the Shareholder Newsletter, “Echo”.
How can increase shareholders participation in writing for the Echo? What topics and issues would make good articles for the Echo? Are there ideas for columns, or sections that could be continued in each issue? Like: Letters to the editor
The Committee recognized the challenge of providing material to marketing to make the Echo more about shareholders communications. Regarding how can shareholders participation can be for the newsletter, it was suggested that Marketing post coming deadlines on the list server as well as actually posting a notice soliciting participation from shareholders, asking for articles. Wendy suggested that perhaps the participation was important enough to have a letter sent out asking shareholders to write and submit articles for the newsletter. It was noted that Eric has repeatedly said he would publish anything that comes in. It was concluded that the committee will announce deadlines on the list server and actively push for shareholders to contribute written articles for the Echo.
It was suggested that the suggestions from the suggestion box should be published. A discussion grew up around whether all suggestions were worthy of being published. It was pointed out that the short hand version together with what action was taken, could be published in the list format that the office currently uses. Rocky brought up the idea of a suggestion corner in the newsletter like a column. From that discussion, the idea of a prize for the best suggestion emerged and the thought was that at least the best suggestion would be published.
The committee felt strongly that committee reports should be published in the echo. They could be short summations and written by the Co-ops committee heads. It was suggested that the election committee write an article on the election process and seek ways to avoid the excess mailing.
The idea of Shareholder profiles that brought up and the committee felt would be well received.
Wendy opened a discussion of publishing a list of Shareholder skills. This discussion evolved into an exploration of the use of Volunteers by the Coop. There was spirited disagree upon the right kinds of tasks that should be done by or offered to Shareholder talent. Jay Appleton’s success with trail work was seen as the suitable kind of successful volunteer effort. Rocky suggested that the coop should have a volunteer coordinator. Deri suggested the board search for qualified volunteers. Lu noted that any search for volunteers should be task driven. A straw vote showed that the committee thinks a list of Shareholders skills would be a good idea. Finally Rock suggested that coop should publish a wish list of what it needs, and that Jamey determine what goes on the list.
Agenda Item 6: Review recommendations voted to go before the Board.
The Committee reaffirmed the recommendation to the board as is of the Rights and Responsibilities of Shareholders.
It was unanimously voted to recommend the 6 issues of the Echo for next year. One in the fall and four through out the season and one in the late Spring.
With the next scheduled meeting to be held at 5:30 on Tuesday, June 18th. The meeting adjourned at 8:15.
Note: next meeting postponed to Tuesday, June 25th, 6:00 pm in the Basebox