Sound Consumer | June 2004
PCC membership meeting
More than 90 PCC members gathered on Sunday, May 2 for the 2004 annual meeting. At an idyllic sunny setting in the Washington Park Arboretum, members heard reports from the board and management and asked questions. Members also had the opportunity to meet and question all five of the board candidates. Board member Don DeSantis presided.
Board Chair Chantal Stevens pointed to several high points for the year, including efforts to bring sustainability into sharper focus on every level at PCC. The board's Sustainability Task Force and management have spent this entire board term working together and with outside experts to define benchmarks in all areas, including purchasing, administration, construction, waste management, energy usage and recycling.
In this time of increasing competition, long-term strategic planning has never been more of a priority for the board, Stevens added. The board's recent retreat was devoted entirely to planning and tactical questions, such as how much and what kind of growth is good for the co-op.
Stevens thanked members for their overwhelming support in last fall's bylaw election. PCC's bylaws had not been revised in many years and a review was sorely needed to bring them into compliance with Washington law, to make them consistent with our current business environment and to make them easier to read and understand. More than 89 percent of PCC members who voted in that election approved the new bylaws.
Chief Executive Officer Tracy Wolpert thanked members and staff for another healthy year for the co-op. Read his State of the Co-op report at 2004 State of the Co-op Report.
Current board members and management answered questions and heard suggestions from members on topics including sustainability, member linkage, union negotiations, store operations and growth plans.
The five candidates for the three open trustee positions were presented to the membership. Members heard remarks from each candidate and questioned them about their vision for PCC's future.
Cooperator of the Year
For the first time in several years, PCC has named an individual as Cooperator of the Year. The award was presented at the May 2 annual meeting to Mark Huppert. Mark has served on the Nominating Committee for two consecutive years and on the Sustainability Task Force for one year.
Stewart Rose, Nominating Committee chair, noted that Mark was "tireless in his devotion to the committee's work. Mark's keen sense of discernment has been invaluable in recruiting and screening excellent board candidates."
Sustainability Task Force Chair Alexander Rist commended Mark not only for his knowledge and experience in the sustainability arena, but also for his energy, dependability and spirit of cooperation. Mark is truly passionate about PCC and has devoted many hours in meetings and research.
PCC is extremely fortunate to have someone of Mark's talents willing to volunteer so much of his personal time to implement sustainable practices throughout the co-op and search for qualified trustees.
There was no board meeting in April. The May 25 board meeting fell after the publication deadline for this issue. Look for a report on the May meeting in the July Sound Consumer.
The next scheduled board meeting is Tuesday, July 27 at the Issaquah PCC classroom. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. with time set aside at 7 p.m. as usual for member comments.
Board Chair Chantal Stevens reports, "The April board retreat was most productive." Over a two-day period, board members and several senior staff examined topics for PCC's future. George Southworth, president of Lovitt Farms (and former CEO of Northeast Cooperatives) and Ron Sher, CEO of Third Place Company (Third Place Books) stimulated discussion about the business environment in which PCC is and will be operating, as well as ways that PCC can continue to grow while being mindful of its stakeholders and how it must be responsive to them.
Stevens adds, "The richness of our discussions and the diversity of ideas helped us begin building a framework for long-term planning. Over the next few months, the board will continue to look at what's important for PCC and how the board can write its vision into policy to direct management in its operational role."
As always, member input via mail, e-mail: or in person at board meetings or store events is welcome.