By Elizabeth Conway, Board Treasurer, Co-op Owner
GreenTree is quickly outgrowing our current space; we have experienced significant increases in the annual sales and in the number of Owners in recent years. And, as most of you know, we’ve been talking about the relocation/expansion project for some time now. The staff and Board have been working diligently to assess all aspects of a move. Just imagine the possibilities of a bigger store – increased grocery variety, cheeses, meats, more hot food, more produce, an expanded deli, and a fun and exciting atmosphere… But how will this actually happen? The answer is through the support of our Owners, all of you, thus reinforcing our purpose as a member-owned organization!
As an Owner of the Co-op, you truly have a say in how the business is run. Every Owner is invited to participate in our monthly meetings, review our Board minutes and materials, run for a seat on the Board, and vote for Board members and other changes during our annual meetings.
On May 29, 2015 at our Annual Owner Meeting, in addition to voting for Board members, there will be a vote to change our Articles of Incorporation. This change will allow GreenTree to legally seek financial investments for relocation and expansion. More specifically, our lawyers have suggested that we include a clause allowing the Board to sell non-voting investment certificates, shares that generate interest for investors but carry no voting privileges. As an Owner, we need you to take action to help us get the vote passed. Once we are legally eligible to move the project forward, we will initiate the sales of non-voting investment certificates that will ultimately aid in financing our expansion. The non-voting investment certificates will give those of you who choose to invest in the project and our Co-op a good return rate on your investment, and keep your investment right here in Mt. Pleasant.
Through our work with National Co-op Grocers (NCG), we have determined that we need to raise approximately $800,000-$1,000,000 in capital. The total relocation project is estimated to cost over $2,000,000. GreenTree’s finances are currently strong. We have little debt, and we have been operating profitably for the past few years. Your vote for the change in the Articles of Incorporation and your future investment will also bolster GreenTree’s financial standing, helping the Co-op receive additional loans to make this all happen.
The Board of Directors needs you to take part in this democratic process and help us become an even more amazing community organization. Should you have any questions regarding the relocation/expansion project or the upcoming vote, please contact Sarah Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.