Board members have been busy this November and December, getting into the nitty-gritty of exploring expansion options. Last month, an all day meeting with our representative with National Co-operative Grocers Development Co-op (NCG DC), John Guerra, included some preliminary site visits, reviews of store goals, next steps and consultation with the town management and the Springfield Regional Development Corporation.
This month began with our annual day long potluck retreat at the home of board member Jane Sandelman. We’re proud to report that, in reviewing our 2017 goals, we achieved progress and/or fulfilled all of our 6 outlined priorities. What a fabulous way to start the day!
Next, general managers from both the Monadnock and Brattleboro Co-ops each gave in-depth presentations on their own experiences with expansion. This type of input will serve us well going forward. It is reassuring that we have a font of knowledge to draw from in charting our course and that we won’t be always re-inventing the wheel. Following the presentations, we delved into what we had learned and could apply to our own expansion process, especially as related to financial feasibility.
Finally, we focused on outlining our goals for 2018 which I’ve highlighted below:
- Role clarity (Who is responsible for what)
- Member engagement
- Achieve member support
- Define criteria (What criteria would project need to meet in order for us to say yes)
- Owner financing options
- Board recruitment
- Understand financial feasibility
- Examine all options
- Build relationships
- Make multiple assessments with final go/no go decision
In closing, I’d like to share our group photo taken by our retreat facilitator, Marilyn Scholl of CDS Consulting Co-op. Each of us is holding a road sign we choose to represent what the Co-op needs as it approaches the road of change before us. Together, we can navigate it safely. Happy holidays and buckle up for the ride ahead!