On the evening of September 20th more than 300 people gathered for the annual Meeting of Owners (MOO) at the Lincoln Square Mall. Hosted by the Board of Directors and planned by the CGFC staff, the event featured live music by Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen, delicious food from Huaraches Moroleon, and a cash bar featuring beer and wine from the Co-op. For those of you who were unable to attend, provided below is a brief summary of the events.
I presented on behalf of the Board and focused on our recent growth and how it has strengthened the Co-op’s ability to meet its Ends. For those unfamiliar with our Ends, they are a set of four principles that provide the strategic framework for the Co-op. When the Co-op opened its doors at the new Lincoln Square location in 2008 it had: 2,150 sq ft of retail space, 2,300 owners, $975,000 in sales, and 10 staff members. At the end of 2013 Common Ground boasts: 5,700 sq ft of retail space, more than 5,400 owners, sales of $7.1 million, and close to 100 full-time and part-time employees. By any measure we are a rapidly expanding business. In fact, for the last five years Common Ground has been the fastest growing food cooperative in the nation! But more importantly, we are a growing organization that has remained dedicated to the vision outlined by our Ends. We invite owners to visit the store and pick up a copy of the Impacts Report, which outlines how Common Ground has worked to achieve our Ends in 2013.
Our General Manager, Jacqueline Hannah, provided a status update on a second store in Champaign, and outlined the plan in 2015 to study what democracy means to the Co-op.
Democratic control is a key principle of co-operatives. The MOO offered the final opportunity for candidates seeking the four open positions on the Board to address owners before the voting period ended. There were three 3-year terms and one 1-year term available. In addition to electing directors, owners were able to vote for which local organizations should be included in the Round Up For Good program in 2015. Election results have been announced and are available on the Common Ground website.
On behalf of the Board I’d like thank all of the owners who attended, voted, campaigned, and celebrated the vibrant community that is Common Ground.