News & Events

Business Update 2/24/17: New BOD and Buying Club Goals

The Valley Coop Board of Directors met in Special Session on 20 February 2017, for several important purposes.

First, the Board welcomed its three new members, John Winger, Michael Evans, and Cliff Lane, who were selected and appointed by the existing BOD, per VC by-laws, and will stand for re-election at the end of their 3-year terms.

These members bring a wealth of experience, ideas, and commitment, and we anticipate their active involvement as the Coop moves into its evolving future.

This brings our active Board membership to six, with one late-announcing candidate shortly to be confirmed, for a total of seven members moving forward.

With this announcement, the nominations for Board members are closed. New elections will be held as seats become vacant, and will follow the usual procedures for nominating and voting by the general membership.

The bulk of the Special Session, which was attended by four BOD members and members of both the Transition Team and the City Market Working Group, was devoted to the short- and intermediate-term issues facing us as a group.

Vince Loflin, who heads the Transition Team, provided an update on the various locations under consideration for locating the Buying Club’s operations. The two leading sites that are available are one in Boonsboro, and another, farther away, on Lehman’s mill road.

However, an appealing alternative may be the use of a portion of space in the City Market in downtown Hagerstown. We are excited to be in very preliminary discussions with City government representatives to explore that possibility, and have high hopes that further discussions might lead to a longer-term, more ambitious collaboration.

Members should check the Newsletter frequently for updates on the Buying Club’s status and potential locations. We must vacate the current Route 40 location as of April 30, 2017.

It is our strong hope that Buying Club ordering and pickup will continue without interruption during this transition period!

Further discussion at the Special Session focused on outlining the medium- and longer-term plans for reestablishing a physical food cooperative in Hagerstown.

The Board unanimously approved efforts to begin this process, which will include weekly planning meetings of the City Market Working Group, initiation of feasibility and market studies, and solicitation of grant funds from a variety of organizations to support this work.

Please note: We intend to follow very carefully the Food Coop Development Model developed by the Food Coop Initiative. Click here to go to the FCI website – we encourage ALL MEMBERS to become familiar with this model, to understand that doing this right will take up to 5 years before doors open anywhere, and to attend our Working Group sessions (Tuesdays at 3:30 on the HCC Campus: please email jgkgoepp@gmail.com to let us know of your interest and to get specific directions).

Again, please read this Newsletter regularly to follow what we are doing and to get involved – this is an ambitious project, and a big lift for our community, but we are confident that we can succeed, as do 80% of coops that follow the NCI model.

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    as of 6/2/15

    MEMBERS

    Total Number of Members: 628

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    New Members Since 1/1/15: 140

    Total Number of Members on 6/2/14: 176

    Members gained since then: 452