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Co-op Board Meetings
Ends Committee Meetings
DATE: Tuesday, Sept 29
TIME: 3:30 p.m.
ZOOM LINK: Click Here
MEETING ID: 991 8499 9589
HCCF Advisory Committee Meeting
DATE: Thursday, Oct 1
TIME: 9 am
ZOOM LINK: Click Here
MEETING ID: 954 4240 0425
Monthly Board Meeting
DATE: Wednesday, October 28
TIME: 6 pm
ZOOM LINK: Coming Soon
MEETING ID: Coming Soon
PASSWORD: Coming Soon
OCTOBER BOARD PACKET: Coming Soon
Co-op Announces Paul Guidone, Current Interim General Manager, to Assume General Manager Role
The Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society announced today that it has offered the position of General Manager to Paul Guidone, who currently serves as Interim GM. Mr. Guidone has accepted the offer.
“The Board of Directors is very pleased that Paul has agreed to become the General Manager,” said Jessica Saturley–Hall, the acting President of the Society. “When Paul took on the duties of Interim GM earlier this year, there was tremendous uncertainty throughout our region, the nation, and the world. The grocery business also faced a number of new and novel challenges. Paul has successfully navigated us through the obstacles our organization has faced so far, and we believe he is the right person to manage the business going forward.”
Paul Guidone joined the Co-op in 2016 as its Chief Financial Officer. He brought decades of experience in the investment management business, holding executive positions in organizations in both the U.S. and abroad. In 2018, he became Strategic Advisor to then-General Manager Ed Fox. When Ed moved on to another position in early 2020, the Co-op’s Board of Directors appointed Paul to be Interim General Manager.
Paul took on the responsibility of heading the Co-op on March 8, 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to change everyone’s lives. Working closely with his leadership team, Paul faced unprecedented challenges with ease and grace and a clear vision for what needed to be done. He quickly recognized and addressed the need to provide Co-op members and customers with a safe shopping experience, instituting new services such as curbside pickup for groceries, and ensuring appropriate sanitation and social distancing measures in all Co-op locations. At the same time, he worked to ensure the Co-op’s financial stability by arranging to refinance the cost of the Hanover store renovation and procure additional funds for needed infrastructure improvements in all locations.
“I am very proud of the Co-op’s accomplishments over the past few months. Working with our employees and serving our members has been a very satisfying and humbling experience. I look forward to continuing to help the organization confront and overcome the challenges posed by a pandemic-affected world,” said Mr. Guidone.
The Hanover Co-op has a long history of serving consumers in the Upper Valley. In January of 1936, 17 Hanover, New Hampshire, and Norwich, Vermont, residents formed the Hanover Consumers Club—bringing the cooperative movement to the Upper Valley. Initially, members of the fledgling co-op pooled orders for potatoes, oranges, and maple syrup and arranged for discounts of gasoline and fuel oil with local suppliers. A year later, Co-op members incorporated as the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society and opened a small retail store in a basement on Hanover’s Main Street. Annual sales that year reached $11,404.
Today, the Co-op employs close to 400 people and serves more than 20,000 member households via three grocery stores, one community market, and two auto service centers located throughout the Upper Valley. Sales in 2019 topped $75 million.
Board Meeting Recap - July 22, 2020
The Co-op’s Board of Directors held its monthly meeting remotely on July 22, 2020. President Allene Swienckowski called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m. All board members were present, along with Interim General Manager Paul Guidone, two members of his leadership team, and the Board Administrator.
After passing the consent agenda and noting that no members were present during the comment period, the board moved on to the monitoring report on EL 2—Financial Condition and Performance. Paul explained his addition of data from conventional food stores, the car care industry, and fellow food co-ops as industry benchmarks for performance comparison and noted that the Co-op is performing well in all areas. That discussion was followed by the monitoring report for EL 9 – Cooperative Giving Programs. The board agreed with suggestions for improvement of the EL 9 policy language and assessed both reports as being in compliance.
A proposal from a consulting firm that specializes in customer engagement strategies was shared as a possible topic for a virtual board retreat. The purpose would be to assist the board in establishing a member linkage plan. Two committees—Member Linkage and Ends—currently exist to facilitate both long-term and short-term feedback from Co-op member-owners about what they want from their cooperative. The board seeks to create a long-term, well-planned linkage process that will seek information from a wide range of member-owners about their needs and expectations. A motion was made and passed to approve the presentation as the board’s retreat topic. Board comments on the details of the proposal itself were solicited.
The written version of the GM’s Monthly Report was supplemented by Paul with information regarding the mandating of masks for all shoppers, visitors, and vendors. He responded to board questions regarding the budgetary implications of a decline in gas sales compounded by lower gas prices—both a side-effect of the current pandemic and reduced travel—while noting that car care and inspections in both service centers are doing well. He emphasized the overall strengths of the Co-op as an aggregate of businesses, with food sales as its primary service, and that the food stores continue to see increased sales.
Establishing an emergency fund that would be triggered by dire conditions such as the current pandemic was proposed by the board president, who then solicited input from the rest of the board on the idea. It was agreed that more information was needed about how that might be funded and how it would work. The chair of the Hanover Cooperative Community Fund (HCCF) Committee noted the need for more members to join the committee.
The board approved new committee members recruited by the chairpersons of the Ends and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committees. The need for written policy regarding board approval of additions to committees was noted and will be addressed by the Governance Committee.
The board then moved to go into executive session to discuss a personnel matter. The two board members who are Co-op employees left the meeting, along with the IGM, leadership team, and Board Administrator. Upon coming out of executive session, the board approved a motion to hold a special meeting of all board members for the purpose of establishing clear criteria regarding the inclusion or exclusion of board members who are also Co-op employees in future executive sessions.
The meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Your comments are always welcome. Feel free to send us an president [at] coopfoodstore.com (email).
2020 HCCS Board Committee List for Member Involvement
Listed below are the chairpeople overseeing the various committees.
- Bylaws Committee: Rosemary Fifield. Email at rosemaryfifield [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
- Ends Committee: Marta Ceroni. Email at martaceroni [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
- Elections Committee: Emmanuel Ajavon. Email at emmanuelajavon [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
- Governance Committee: Jessica Saturley-Hall. Email at jessicasaturleyhall [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
- HCCF Advisory Committee: Kevin Birdsey. Email at kbirdsey [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
- Member Linkage Committee: Jessica Giordani. Email at jessicagiordani [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
- GM Search Committee: Jessica Saturley-Hall. Email at jessicasaturleyhall [at] board.coopfoodstore.com
Note: Co-op members are welcome to attend board committee meetings and encouraged to share their thoughts with committee chairs on topics of interest to them.
The time and location of board committee meetings will be posted 48 hours in advance. We look forward to seeing you!
Nourish. Cultivate. Cooperate.