All Kootenay Co-op members are invited to a special general meeting on Monday May 13, 2019 at the Front Room, 901 Front Street in Nelson.

The purpose of the special general meeting is to vote on resolutions from the Board of Directors to change to the Co-op’s Rules of Association. All members in good standing (with fully paid memberships) may vote at the meeting. At least 25 members must be present for the resolution to be passed.

The Board drafted a resolution to address board remuneration (see below). At their meeting on April 15, the Board may decide to add additional items. Any other proposed changes will be added to this page on Tuesday, April 16.  Update 4/16: The Board did not have any other changes to propose to the Rules.

What

The proposed resolution amends the Co-op’s Rules to allow Board Members to receive the same purchase discount as Co-op employees. The proposed change is intended to recognize the significant amount of time Board Members spend every month fulfilling their responsibilities, to acknowledge the experience they bring to their positions, and to create an additional incentive for volunteers to serve on the Board.

Background

From our humble beginnings in 1975, when a group of families came together as member-owners to bring natural foods to the area, the Kootenay Co-op has blossomed into Nelson’s largest private-sector employer with over 175 staff and more than $24 million per year in revenue. The complexity of our business has increased with our growth in sales and membership, with increased competition from conventional grocers, and with the management of the Nelson Commons real estate project. Our Board incentives have not kept pace with these changes. A purchase discount for Board Members would better align our Board incentives with the responsibilities and skills required of our Board, and with industry standards.

Reason

Board Members are core members of the Co-op team. They represent our member-owners in providing strategic guidance, financial and management oversight, and critical business advice. Other North American food co-ops of similar membership size and revenue provide Board Members with a purchase discount equivalent to that provided to employees. Given that we have two Board seats open this year, we want to attract and retain Board Directors that have the skills and experience to thoughtfully guide our store into a complex future. Providing this discount would engender greater shopping loyalty amongst Board members, help recognize their valuable time, and assist in recruitment of an age-diverse Board.

Impact

Providing a purchase discount will have no significant impact on the financial health of the Co op. Current Board Members spend an aggregate of approximately $60,000 annually at the Co op. Our Finance Manager estimates that providing this discount to Board Members would decrease annual revenue by $11,000, representing only .0004% of total sales. The Co-op’s General Manager, Finance Manager, HR Manager, and Marketing and Communications Manager support this change.

Read the text of the resolution:

RESOLVED THAT pursuant to section 32 of the Rules of the Kootenay Country Store Cooperative (the “Co-op”), the Co-op is hereby authorized to provide, as a benefit to members of its Board of Directors, a discount on store purchases in the same manner and to the same extent as the staff discount that is provided by the Co-op to its employees, up to twenty percent (20%).

 


Registration to attend this Special General Meeting is not required, but helps us to know how many chairs to set out and how many snacks to bring.