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A Recap of Menomonie Market’s 2020 Virtual Annual Owner Meeting

On Sunday, September 13th, we hosted our first-ever (and hopefully only) virtual Annual Meeting via Zoom. During the one-hour meeting, our General Manager Crystal Halvorson and Board Members Rick Remington, Barb Button, and Susan Krahn spoke about our store’s performance, shared stories about our staff’s resiliency and strength throughout the pandemic, made an announcement about this year’s Fund Our Foodshed grant winners, and more. Read on for a quick recap, or scroll to the bottom of this post to watch a recording of the Zoom meeting!

Board Member Barb Button began this year’s meeting by opening up the last call for board candidates before the election closed, sharing a bit about our Board of Directors, reading our Ends Statement, and introducing Rick Remington, Board President, so he could deliver the President’s Report.

In his report, Rick Remington, Board President, said a collective fond farewell from the entire board to departing Board Member Wendy MacDougall as her term ended in September. He took some time to explain the responsibilities of our board and shared stories about what the board meetings have been like since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He also highlighted the collaboration agreement in place with our sister food co-op in Eau Claire, Just Local Food Co-op, and explained how the agreement came to be. And finally, he said a big thank you to our owners and shoppers for supporting our cooperative during these times especially.

Next up to the camera was Crystal Halvorson, our General Manager. In her report, she shared a message of gratitude from our staff to our owners and shoppers for how thoughtful they have all been during these difficult months. She shared graphs outlining our financial performance over the last fiscal year, including the huge sales jump experienced at the beginning of the pandemic. She recapped several projects we completed: our newsletter’s redesigned format, our $4 Dinner program, our revamped class calendar, catering services, and our eCommerce website launch. She also explained more about the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant we were awarded, and how we’ll be using these funds to increase the sale of local products in our store. And finally, she announced the recipient of our Co-op Community Fund gift (Wisconsin Farmer’s Union) and the recipients of this year’s Fund Our Foodshed grants (Sacred Blossom Farm, LTD Farm, and Harvest Moon Organics).

The final speaker before the end of the meeting was Board Member Susan Krahn. In her report, she walked through each change made to store operations since the beginning of the pandemic and how staff worked so hard to implement them. She shared stories about how our buyers had to get creative when sourcing products when supply couldn’t keep up with demand those first few weeks after the shutdown in March, how owners volunteered to help install plexiglass barriers at our registers, how our new curbside pickup system works, and more. And finally, she announced that the board had decided to donate this year’s Annual Meeting budget surplus to staff to be distributed as bonuses for their hard work.

After Susan’s report, Board Member Barb Button opened up the floor for public comments, announced the results of this year’s board election, and joined her fellow board members in fielding and answering questions from owners.

Although this year’s Annual Meeting looked much different than last year’s, it was still encouraging to share the good news about our store’s performance over the previous twelve months and see so many smiling faces. Thank you to everyone who joined us this year! We hope that this time next year we’re back under the pavilion sharing a meal together again. And if you missed this year’s meeting, watch a full recording on YouTube below.

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