2012 Annual Meeting Report & Strategic Plan for CGN

example coop grocer

Together—CCMA Every Day: To the delight of the almost seventy people attending Cooperative Grocers’ Information Network’s annual meeting at CCMA in Philadelphia, National Cooperative Grocers Association had gifted the award-winning Cooperative Grocer magazine and website to CGN.

The transfer was the highlight of plans for a complete reset of the trade organization, including changing its name to Cooperative Grocer Network, or CGN. Because, as is widely known, there is no “I” in co-op.

Dan Nordley, CGN’s Executive Director and coincidental Cooperative Grocer publisher, presented CGN’s new PLAN and said the goal is to create a more human resource where food cooperators experience the energy, community, and learning of a CCMA conference. In fact, it is adopting the motto of CCMA Every Day! Where Cooperators can meet, network, learn, and together, make our food co-op sector stronger.

CGN will take root over the next several months in the current Cooperative Grocer website. Highlights of the plan are:

Facilitate better collaboration and curating of resources

  • Convert listserves to a LinkedIn-style platform where users have viewable profiles (and personalities!) and can share and connect with other cooperators individually or in Groups — either established (present listserve communities) or organic (ad hoc).
  • Develop systems and positions that enable better curating of archival and emerging content. This will be done primarily by recruiting people to serve as Group Leaders and Reference Librarians. These positions need to be compensated as resources can be raised and permit.
  • Reorganize content into a library of wikis that evolve with current thought about a subject and vet outdated material. This is a community project that will take many years.
  • Develop stronger relationships with strategic partners, such as CDS consultants, FCI, NCGA,NCBA, and CCMA to actively provide content and lend expertise to our community.

Nordley indicated his staff at Triangle Park Creative hopes to have the new site up in time for Co-op Month in October 2012 the International Year of the Co-op.

More information will be coming out during the summer and you can download a PDF of the strategic plan and meeting handout with more information on the reset below.

Election Results:

Incumbent John Eichholz, a store manager from Green Fields Market in Greenfield MA was re-elected.

Martha Whitman, a board member at La Montanita Food Co-op in New Mexico was also elected, and marks the first member director to serve on the board.

Also affirmed by membership voting was the bylaw change to make CGIN membership eligibility independent from the membership status, dues, or other relationship with the National Cooperative Grocer Association and the National Cooperative Business Association. CGIN membership eligibility and qualification will now fall solely within the policies of CGIN.

This change was needed to reduce financial and administrative barriers for smaller and emerging co-ops to become members and spur further growth of CGN.