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From the GM: Engagement PDF Print E-mail

by Sabine Rhyne
August 2015

It is clear that many of you actually do read the newsletter. It was only July 2, but I got immediate feedback from the July Food for Thought seeking input regarding several matters. It was not too surprising that my suggestion for participants to gather and discuss our discount options as they relate to the goals of the Co-op got the most immediate response. “Don’t you take away the senior discount!” “If you mess with our discount, there will be a revolt right out front!”  
First of all, thank you all for reading our newsletter. It’s good to know that you find it worthwhile. We really appreciate that, those of us who put a fair amount of energy into making it happen.

As a cooperative, we have a lot of information to impart to you about our products, our producers, and our place in the food industry, and our newsletter is one way that we are able to do so. Thank you for paying attention. Secondly, contrary to your fears, we have not made a decision about anything. We just want to include as many as we can in the conversation. I believe that will make a better evaluation. So, if you have an opinion, please let me know, and if you can participate in a discussion over the next few months, please do. I find that when people get into a room and discuss a topic with information at hand, it makes for a good result. So stay tuned for those opportunities.
Speaking of discussions, we are already hard at work on our Annual Meeting, which will happen this year up at Scott Farm on Sunday, November 8. It will be a brunch meeting, and we
will all have the occasion to participate in small table discussions on some of these lively topics we are working on this year. This is particularly timely, as we are almost at the deadline for Board of Directors candidates (August 7). If you have been considering serving on the board, please make it a point this year to attend a meeting and see what goes on there in preparation for next August. The meetings almost always happen the first Monday evening of the month, except when there is a holiday involved. These folks on the board are good people, hard-working and passionate about the Co-op. They come from a long line of committed members who have done much over the last 40 years to keep our Co-op ship moving forward, always with an eye towards the horizon. Are you one of them?
We welcome a new grocery manager in our midst: Rob Levengood, known to Green Fields Market and McCuskers Market shoppers. Rob has been in our industry for many years, and has experience in a variety of co-ops in New England, large and small, which he brings cheerfully to our store. We welcome his expertise and his good humor.
As promised, we are continuing to weave our shareholders and our community partners together, for the good of our community, especially in the future. Last August, we partnered with Food Connects’ Windham Farm and Food to train shareholder volunteers in the Harvest of the Month program, to take the good news about featured fruits and veggies into the classrooms. This August, we are attempting to grow this initiative even further, inviting you to consider this opportunity along with the Healthy Snack program, a program born at the Brattleboro Food Co-op many years ago. The week of August 24, we will be holding training for shareholder volunteers for both of these programs, along with our friends at Food Connects. You can be a vital part of your child’s school! Or perhaps you are a retired educator with serious skills that you want to keep active! So, if you are interested in this, contact Education Outreach at extension 842 for more information.
Finally, the word is that Alex is enjoying the first few moments of his retirement, as is his wife Dawne. We hear that he packed all kinds of activities into his first three or four days, almost as if he had been storing them up for, well, 33 years. We continue to wish both of them well, and enjoy seeing them in the aisles of the store. Frequently.
Again, thanks to all of you who continue to wish me well. And thank you for doing your part in bringing in your friends and neighbors to our community-owned market. You make all the difference!
In cooperation,
Sabine Rhyne
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