August 2016 Letter from the Editors

Coffee pot from a 1985 Coop Scoop.
Coffee pot from a 1985 Coop Scoop.

Dear Voice Readers,

We’re back! After a couple of months’ summer break wherein we underwent web training, welcomed new Voice staff members, and generally regrouped after our first three issues, we are pleased to get back in the swing of publishing.

We continue to feel strongly that the Voice has an important mission to fulfill for our Co-op community in providing a vehicle for Member-driven news and opinion distinct from the workings of the Marketing Department. We love the latest Coop Scoop! We also love Member voices that can speak specifically to Co-op issues via our newsletter. Hooray for the multifaceted HWFC!

Starting with this issue, we will be launching every third Sunday of each month. Please keep in mind that the deadline for submissions will be the first of each month if you have letters you want to send, articles to pitch, or a classified ad to place. We want your input and ideas! Send us Co-op photos, news and notes, and yes, your opinions on all things HWFC. We are particularly proud of featuring a Letters to the Editor section – so send ’em on in, folks!

This issue’s features include three articles about solar power from members of Solarize Albany; a passionate volunteer group working with other local organizations to educate the public about the benefits of solar energy. There is also a profile of the Abundance Co-op in Rochester NY.

We’re pleased to present the first appearance of an ongoing interactive feature; the 3-question questionnaire by the Nutrition and Education Committee, designed to help gather input for the Food and Product Manual they’ve been charged with developing,. Please be sure to check it out and send in your responses!

We’re also introducing another new feature: the Co-op Kids’ Voice Box. Lynne Giminiani (the Co-op Kids editor for the Co-op Scoop) will be asking kids to send in their ideas and drawings to her for publication here. We want to hear from the Co-op kids!

This Fall will be full of opportunities for Membership decisions and input. We’ll have revisions to the Bylaws to review and vote on; we’ll have the final report from Strategic Planning to approve (and then implement!); and we’re still in the beginning stages of working with our newly hired Chief Cooperative Officer (CCO) Rick Mausert and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Erin Martin on our path to meeting our triple bottom line [People, Planet, Profit!].

Speaking of bottom line, see Tam Kistler’s meeting report. We were impressed by the vote at the General Membership Meeting in June to pull together as a group to approve the budget and reduce our discount in order to take care of our responsibilities as a cooperative venture. The report from the Finance Committee at the 7/26 Board meeting underscores the impact of that decision and the incredible work of interim CFO Jim Guzewich and the Board which enabled us to be “in the black” for the first time in a long time, and meet our original loan covenant! We couldn’t be more grateful to this iteration of the Board and their hard work in pulling us back from the brink. Again, please tell us YOUR thoughts on this (and all else Co-op related) via Letters to the Editor.

Lastly, there are new people here at the Voice to introduce. We’re very pleased to welcome new Editor Roxanne Lawrence, Website Coordinator Jennifer Betsworth, Web Content Manager Kaetlin Sprague, Copy Editors Stephanie Conde, Alana Sprague and Janet Sorrel (and thank you, Elaine Hills, for taking on the role of lead Copy Editor!). We’ll be working in several other people in the months to come, as well.

This issue also marks the parting of one of our initial editors, Cara Benson. Cara says she’s been thrilled to help this venture get off the ground! Though her writing life is pulling her away from an Editorial position, we’re happy to know that she plans to contribute articles and in general offer her (very valuable) two cents to the Voice for the foreseeable future. Cara, thank you…your help has been immeasurable.

Cooperatively Yours,
Co-op Voice Editors