A meeting of the Shareholder Relations Committee of the board of trustees of the Mad River Glen Cooperative was convened at 6:05 P.M. on November 5, 2002, at the Basebox at Mad River Glen Ski Area in Fayston, Vermont. The meeting was attended by Rick Moulton (Chair) and committee members Irma Heeter, Wendy Bridgewater, Rich Aiken, Bill Heinzerling, and Lu Putnam. Also in attendance were Jamey Wimble, Jane Bancroft, Alan Moats, and Leigh Michl. Leigh Michl kept the minutes.
Call to Order
Mr. Moulton called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.
Approval of Prior Minutes
The minutes of the committee’s prior meeting had been circulated and approved previously through electronic mail.
REVIEW OF COMMITTEE MINUTES
A discussion ensued regarding the policy for reviewing minutes and posting them to the Shareholder Page of the website. Rick Moulton mentioned that draft minutes are sent to committee members and the board for approval. A question arose as to whether the board would be able to change committee minutes. Mr. Michl said that, in keeping with policy, the board did have the ability to change minutes if such changes were needed to protect the Co-op’s interests. Leigh also requested that the board see the final minutes as approved by the committee, rather than the draft minutes.
Mr. Moulton stated that the principal focus of this committee meeting was to review materials prepared for the planned Echo Supplement and determine what information would be submitted.
Rick ceded the floor to Mr. Moats who described his plan to have two Co-op publications: (1) The Echo that would focus on skiing and the larger MadRiver community and (2) a new publication that would pertain to the “nuts and bolts” of the Co-op. He felt that the latter should be published on an as needed basis with timely information that would pertain to matters of Co-op governance. He further stated that the appearance would be no-frills (a Microsoft Word produced document on plan paper) in order to reduce costs and streamline the production process. Articles would come from the board, the committee, and shareholders. He further stated that this would make progress towards the board’s priority of having a strong Co-op and by improving communication among and between shareholders and the board. A concern was presented regarding the editorial process, to which it was informally but unanimously agreed that editing for grammar, clarity, brevity, and abusive language was necessary; while censorship of ideas was not. It was generally acknowledged that there may be some “gray area” between the Echo and the new publication but the general agreement was that the Echo content was 99% where it should be.
Leigh Michl volunteered to be the initial editor because of his status as a second term trustee that would not allow him to run again, thereby minimizing potential appearances of bias in the editorial process. He stated that he envisioned that, as the board wanted to communicate critical information or as shareholder letters accumulated (sent to Mr. Moulton as Chair of the committee), a new issue would be created with the approval of the board and the committee. Mr. Michl would solicit necessary articles from the board, committee, and Mr. Moulton (for shareholder letters); compile them into a draft that would be circulated to staff, the board, the committee, and the authors of letters for approval; and then sent out for duplication and mailing.
Many ideas were discussed for a name for the publication and the unanimous concensus of the committee was that the simple name “The Co-op New” should be utilized.
The committee approved the following motion for recommendation to the board (made by Mr. Moulton and seconded by Mr. Heinzerling). It was voted unanimously:
VOTED: A publication called “The Co-op News” published on an as-needed basis, be
created as a Co-op newsletter to provide timely information for shareholders.
This publication will be a simple Microsoft word document which will allow a
direct, quick delivery to encourage two way Co-op communication.
The committee unanimously approved the following articles for the inaugural issue:
Leigh – Introduction
Leigh – President’s Update on Strategic Plan
Irma – Shareholder Reaction to Strategic Plan
Rick – SRC Report
Rocky – Board Candidates Wanted
Wendy – Letter on Facilities in Strategic Plan
Bill – Letter on Facilities in Strategic Plan
Hans Hopft – to be determined based on content
Alan – 20th Hole
Deb – Mad Money Policy
Deb – Election timeline and policy
Lu – Share sales letter
A discussion ensued regarding the fact that the next Echo publication would not be until February. Mr. Wimble confirmed that the Fall Echo was distributed to shareholders and non-shareholders in the Area Guide. The other three issues of the Echo were distributed to shareholders, but often used for other purposes as well (such as a take away in the Basebox or in share marketing kits). He also stated that the timing of Echo issues was determined in large part by other workload requirements and available staffing. Leigh mentioned that the budget was already approved and it would be extremely difficult to change the Echo schedule at this point. Mr. Moulton stated that he would like the board to encourage the staff to review the timing of the Echo in future years.
There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.