Co-op Management Update As many of you have already heard, our General Manager, Andrea Wilson, is on medical leave (non-COVID related!). She hopes to return within a month and will be checking in with the Board at three weeks to update us on her progress. In the meantime, per Co-op policy, the Board has appointed an Interim General Manager (IGM) during Andrea’s absence. The Employee Handbook policy identifies the Human Resources (HR) Manager to serve as the IGM if the General Manager (GM) must take temporary leave for any reason. Andrea recommended we designate the HR Manager as the IGM during her leave per the policy. The HR Manager had indicated they were willing to serve in this capacity on a temporary basis. The Co-op’s HR Manager is Nova Kolpin. For those of you not familiar with Nova, she was hired as our new HR Manager last fall. Given Nova’s recent hire to the Co-op, and all the changes and uncertainty during this time, as well as hearing our member-owner concerns and suggestions, the Board wanted to address concerns as to whether she had the qualifications and experience to manage the Co-op during this time. To aid in the Board’s final decision, we hired an outside third-party co-op consultant with Columinate to interview the management team, and based on those interviews, make a recommendation to the Board for assigning the IGM. Reviewing the consultant’s summary of interviews and recommendation, the Board deliberated and ultimately concluded to go with the consultant’s and Andrea’s recommendation to designate the HR Manager, Nova Kolpin as the IGM. Additionally, the Board has also brought in Lucinda Berdon, former QNF GM, to mentor Nova and provide consulting support to the management team until Andrea’s return. Lucinda’s services will begin on Sunday, June 14th. The Board is appreciative of Lucinda’s willingness to help during this time and provide some extra support and oversight to lighten the load on all. We would like to acknowledge all the Co-op staff for their tireless commitment and hard work during this difficult time. We wish Andrea a speedy recovery and look forward to her return. More days and longer store hours…stay tuned! In response to our member-owners and service to the community, the Board wants you to know the management team is working hard to resume more regular store hours at both locations. Please stay tuned for the announcement of expanded days and hours coming soon. For those who continue to use the curbside services do not worry, your gratitude and needs have been heard and curbside service will be maintained. Participate in the upcoming Annual Meeting. In the meantime, please feel free to share with us and the staff how the current in-store shopping experience is working or not working for you, as well as the continued curbside service. We will be hosting the Annual Meeting via Zoom in two weeks on June 27th. Please join us to hear how the Co-op did in 2019, what the current status and future plans are for 2020, ask questions, and share your thoughts. To RSVP for the annual meeting go to http://qnf.weebly.com/annual-meeting-rsvp-2020.html You may also contact the board at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate and value your continued support.
Sincerely, The QNF/FRF Co-op Board of Director
June 3rd 2020 We know many of you are wondering… What is going on at the Co-op? As you are aware, there have been many changes in the last two months: from moving to curb-side only, to the Portola Store closing for a month, to reinstating curb-side at Portola, and now reopening to in-store shopping with different strategies for the two store locations. These decisions have been a combination of necessity based on a sudden reduction in available staff, including those with positions not easily replaced with new or temporary hires, as well as a commitment to keep the employees and community safe by slowing the spread of COVID-19 virus while still providing an essential service. We strive to do what is best for our member-owners, the community, our business, and our employees. During these times, it has been challenging to bring all of these goals into alignment and meet all needs at the same time. Some member-owners have expressed they feel the measures are excessive given that, so far, Plumas County has had only 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and all have recovered. Some have expressed gratitude for the curb-side service which allows them to shop while feeling safe from risk of exposure, as well as feeling employees are being kept safe from exposure. Some member-owners have expressed concern for the financial well-being of the business. Different views as to what safe means or looks like, and how an essential business should operate during a pandemic have been expressed. We hear you, and we are here for you. While sales have been down compared to last year and the impact of the Portola store closing for a month was felt, our bank accounts are still at a healthy level. Management and staff acted swiftly to adapt buying practices, utilize labor efficiently, and respond to changes in product demand and availability. Perishable foods in the Portola store were not left to waste as some have feared, but were transferred to and sold from the Quincy store. We now know more about the virus, about the viability of curb-side only service, and about the needs of our member-owners and community. We are implementing safety measures and equipment and developing procedures that will allow the store to operate safely during a pandemic. We are focused on the future and on our mission. This is a dynamic time with the potential for circumstances to change quickly. The board is working with management to develop a strategy to best serve the varied needs of our member-owners and community during this time while maintaining financial viability and adhering to federal, state, and county guidelines, recommendations from health agencies, and our values as a cooperative. We want to hear from you! Please contact the board at email@example.com and let us know how the Co-op can best serve you during this time. We appreciate and value your continued support.