April 25, 2007

Portland Buy Local Meeting Minutes Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Portland Downtown District Conference Room

Board members in attendance: Carole Ansheles, Chris Busby, Bill Duggan, Stuart Gersen, Nancy Lawrence, Joan Leitzer, Stacy Mitchell, Sally Struever, Susan Tran

Advisory Board members in attendance: Jan Beitzer, Judy Halpert, Elise Loschiavo

Bill opens the meeting. The Board reviews the April 4th meeting minutes. Jan makes a motion to accept the minutes. Stacy seconds. The minutes are unanimously accepted.

Finance Committee

Carole briefly reviews the March financials; there were no March expenses and very little income in March. She also gives an update on her research at the Philanthropy Center. Carole found 28 funding organizations that may be a good fit with PIBCA’s mission. The next steps will be further research and project development. Chris makes a motion to accept the March financial report. Susan seconds. The March financial report is unanimously approved.
While she has the floor, Carole alerts the Board to a section on the Grow Smart Maine web site that discusses the benefits of buying locally. The section includes a mention of Portland Buy Local and our logo.

Grow Smart Maine is hosting a town meeting in Portland tonight, and the Board discusses whether or not an informational e-mail should be sent to Buy Local participants. While many on the Board support sending the e-mail, others feel that it is too late to send an e-mail on the day of the event.

Additionally, some Board members express concern over setting up unrealistic expectations among other outside groups wishing to use the Buy Local participant e-mail list. A vote is taken with 2 Board members in favor and 3 opposed to sending the e-mail. Several Board members abstain from the vote.

Marketing/Education Committee

Chris updates the Board on plans for the May 9th event. He is still awaiting a final price from Space, but the cost will be either $200 plus in-kind PIBCA membership or $250. If the cost is $250, someone on the Marketing Committee has offered to donate the additional $50. The entertainment will be an in-kind performance by the Jerks of Grass, an acoustic bluegrass band. Chris will have the flyer designed for the event and Bill will take care of the printing at Videoport. Chris will draft an announcement that Susan will send as an e-mail to participants and Stacy will post on the web site. The Marketing Committee came up with a short list of participants to approach about food donations including Silly’s, Aurora Provisions, and West End Deli.

Joan offers to speak with Aurora as well as Breca, a new restaurant on Middle Street.

Chris updates the group on the new poster series. Portland Spice has been photographed, and a mock-up of that poster should be ready in time for the next Board meeting. Chris seeks input from the Board on the other two businesses to feature in the first run. A lively discussion ensues. Several businesses are discussed, and members of the Board feel strongly that the businesses should be well-established in Portland. It is stressed that these posters are not meant to market or advertise for the featured business; they are meant to highlight the benefits of buying locally and the new PIBCA on-line directory. Chris makes a motion to feature Wigon Office Supply and Back Bay Bicycles on the other two posters. Susan seconds. All approve the motion.

Chris next asks the Board to brainstorm a slogan for the poster series. He throws out “Find Your Independents” as an example, and everyone loves it.
Mitch is working on the IndieBiz Directory logo, and Chris will send a mock-up to the Board via e- mail prior to the next Board meeting.

Chris will draft separate press releases for the IndieBiz Directory and the May 9th event. PDD will send the releases on our behalf.

Susan gives a brief update on the Sunrise Guide. She has had a brief, introductory meeting with Heather Chandler, the guide’s publisher, but has not yet been able to coordinate a meeting with Heather and the full Marketing Committee.

Nancy brings up a discussion of pricing for bags and t-shirts. She suggests that retailers should be able to mark them up a little further this time and get a little more of a return on them. She will touch base with retailers who have carried our products for input.

Bill asks to have discussion about what sort of marketing support PIBCA could provide to participants being impacted by chains. The Marketing Committee will discuss this at an upcoming meeting and provide recommendations to the Board.

Stacy suggests the Executive Committee look at image management for PIBCA. All agree.

The Board discusses protocol for outgoing communication with participants, particularly regarding the e-mail list. It is determined that no official approval process is needed at this time, but the Marketing Committee will review outgoing communication requests as needed.

Membership Committee

Sally reports and shares the fleshed-out Membership structure developed by the committee. “Sustaining Member” refers to a business wishing to give a set donation with its membership. Bill suggests that category have an enticing name. Stacy suggests “Indie300.” Stacy also suggests adding a line to the affect of “Your support funds an educational campaign…” as the first benefit in all categories. The Board determines that a gift (book, t-shirt, etc) is not necessary for the business and non-profit membership categories. Jan suggests that the non-profit rate should be a little higher. The Board discusses whether or not non-profits should have to meet the same eligibility guidelines as regular businesses. The Membership Committee will revisit the rates and requirements for non-profits and report back to the Board with a recommendation. Membership will be first on the agenda at the May 2nd Board meeting.

Other Business

The Executive Committee and anyone else who is interested will meet to discuss the Maine Pier project on Thursday, April 26th at the North Star Café on Munjoy Hill at 4:30pm.

The next Board meeting will be at the Portland Downtown District office on Wednesday, May 2nd at 8:30am.

Meeting is adjourned.

Minutes recorded by Susan Tran.

Skip to toolbar