PCC Board of Trustees

Board report

July board meeting

The board met on July 29, the first full meeting of the 2014-2015 board year. The first order of business was approval of the governance dates for 2015. The board approved the following:

Voting eligibility: March 31
Annual meeting: April 28
Election: April 28 – May 14
Ballot count meeting: May 18

PCC Farmland Trust executive director, Rebecca Sadinsky, meets with our board at least once each year. Sadinsky pointed to the following as among the Trust’s milestones for July 2013 – July 2014:

  • The purchase of an agricultural conservation easement on the 40-acre Helsing Junction Farm is nearly completed. The farm began as a 75 member CSA and over the years has slowly expanded to its current size of 1200 shareholders, who each week receive all of the farm’s products – all certified organic.
  • The "On the Farm" series has launched. With titles including Birding on the Farm and Geology on the Farm, these small, 15-25 participants, and informative sessions create an up-close look at various elements of the complex ecosystems promoted by sustainable farming. In additional to the special topic at hand all events include time with the farm operator talking about their food production. The point is to broaden public appreciation of the diverse advantages of farms near our cities. The ideas are endless and Sadinsky welcomes yours.
  • They conducted public tours of organic farms. During the Orting Harvest Fest, the trust shuttled visitors to four nearby farms, all currently transitional to organic or organic certified.
  • Planning farm work parties, including mobilizing more than 125 volunteers, mostly Boeing employees, to plant a 100” native plant hedgerow that will eventually serve as a protective buffer for the organic fields on the Reise farm in the Puyallup Valley.
  • The Trust earned accreditation in the Land Trust Alliance. The professional guidance provided by the Alliance will be useful in maintaining best practices in the Trust’s land stewardship and land acquisition programs.

Sadinsky also made a formal request to have the Trust’s annual fundraising letter mailed later this year to PCC members. The board approved the request.

The board reviewed the trustees’ roles as fiduciaries. The session was led by trustee Stephen Tan an attorney who is entering his eighth year on our board. He covered the trustees’ duties (care, loyalty, disclosure and good faith) rights and protections.

The outgoing Finance Committee reported on its review of the Quarter 2 financials.

The board approved committee rosters for the four standing committees for 2014-2015:

  • Board Development: Julianne Lamsek (chair), Taso Lagos, Sandy Voit, Bruce Williams
  • Member Relations: Carol Binder (chair), Taso Lagos, Karen May
  • Finance: Sandy Voit (chair), Karen May, John Sheller and Bruce Williams
  • CEO Evaluation: Maggie Lucas (chair), Carol Binder, Stephen Tan, Bruce Williams

The committee chairs are to present their 2014-2015 work plans for approval at the September board meeting. The board also reviewed the 2014-2015 board calendar.

Carol Binder is the board’s representative on the nominating committee. She reported that the committee has selected Julie Tempest to serve as chair. The committee approved a timeline, reviewed and approved key documents (applications, etc.) and made assignments to interview current trustees and management for feedback.

The next board meeting is scheduled for September 30 at 5 p.m. Member comments at 6 p.m.

June board meeting report

The final meeting of the 2013-2014 board was held on June 24. The board received year-end reports from each of its standing committees - Board Development, CEO Evaluation, Finance and Member Relations. Each committee chair reviewed the past year’s work plans noting completed tasks and recommendations for the next year’s committees.

The 2014-2015 board, including newly re-elected trustees Carol Binder, Julianne Lamsek and Bruce Williams, was officially seated. Binder and Lamsek were elected to their third terms. Williams is now entering his second term. The board elected Maggie Lucas to serve as chair for the second consecutive year. Binder was elected to represent the board on the 2014-2015 nominating committee. She joins Karen Gaudette Brewer, Janet Hietter, Leanne Skooglund Hofford, Sara Walsh and Julie Tempest who were elected by the membership in the 2014 election.

2014 CCMA

Three PCC trustees, Maggie Lucas, Karen May and Sandy Voit, attended the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) held in Madison, WI in early June. At CCMA, speakers and trainers from outside the food co-op sector supplement the contributions of local and national co-ops. The CCMA attendees are primarily managers, staff and board members of food co-ops, although other types of co-ops were also represented. There were more than 500 attendees from approximately 140 co-ops.

Organic Valley CCMA tour
Maggie Lucas and Karen May (second and third from left) are shown on the Krusenbaum dairy farm in Walworth County, Wisconsin

There were two full days of workshops (ten tracks offered at six sessions) on ensuring food access, developing leaders, strategic thinking, growth/expansion, and governance. There also was a day of educational tours, from local food co-ops to the Krusenbaum family dairy farm (a member of the Organic Valley Cooperative).

Lucas noted, "I came away from this half-day tour amazed at the complexity of managing a dairy herd under the organic standards and so grateful that there are famers willing to do this challenging work. We learned about the homeopathic remedies used by the vets who care for these animals, the micro-hornets and grazing rotation used to help reduce the pesky fly population, and the ultra high level of care taken to test the products for highest quality."

"The Organic Valley Cooperative embodies the cooperative principles we want to support," Lucas continued. "It requires all members of its highest leadership to be participating farmers, and chooses those leaders via democratic vote. Standards and policies likewise allow input from all the co-op's members and are rigorously enforced. Member farmers are guaranteed a fair price for their product in advance, which is a tremendous benefit in an industry so much at the mercy of the market. Organic Valley is a great example of cooperative principles in action bringing a valuable product to consumers. As a PCC member I’m proud that we partner with Organic Valley, and I feel lucky to have this choice when I shop."

The annual conference is rotated annually among East/Central/West regions. Next year the conference will be in Boise, ID.

Contact the board

E-mail us at Postal mail should go to the co-op office at 4201 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle, Wash., 98105.

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