January 10, 2007

Portland Buy Local Meeting Minutes Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Portland City Hall, Room 209

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

Advisory Board members in attendance: Jan Beitzer, Judy Halpert

Bill opens the meeting. The Board reviews the December 6th meeting minutes. Jan motions to accept the minutes. Stacy seconds the motion. The Board unanimously approves the minutes.

Financial Report

Carole quickly reviews the December financials and reports she received Coffee By Design’s “Buy Local Blend” donation.

Marketing Committee

Chris reports on the Committee’s plans for a post-holiday press release. He has done some preliminary fact-finding with businesses in the Old Port but felt it was not as in depth as he would have liked. He suggests we send an e-mail to our participants asking for anecdotal information on Buy Local’s impact on the holiday shopping season in Portland. Stacy suggests we put together a brief survey using Survey Monkey, asking mostly multiple choice questions, for more measurable data. The Survey Monkey fee is $20. The Board discusses possible questions and shares personal anecdotes about the campaign’s impact during the holiday season. It is determined that Chris will draft questions and forward them to Stacy who will then create the survey. Once the survey is ready, Susan will send an e-mail to participants requesting their feedback.

Chris is working on setting up a meeting with an advertising representative from the Community Leader, but to date they have been unresponsive.

A group of business owners in the Stonington area have asked to meet with someone from the Portland Buy Local Board for advice on starting their own campaign. They have offered to pay for travel and accommodations (it would be a breakfast meeting). Stacy is willing to speak at these types of engagements as her schedule allows. When she is not available, another Board member will represent Buy Local (as schedules allow). Stacy can provide a Power Point presentation to anyone who would like to use it.

Chris suggests it’s time for a new Buy Local poster. The Board agrees. Chris will contact Mitch and have him create a design based around an earlier concept, “Passionate for Portland,” featuring the Longfellow Statue. Chris feels that Mitch could turn the design around fairly quickly and will e- mail a proof to the Board as soon as it’s ready. Stuart expresses concern about getting the new poster out to our participants in a timely fashion. Jan suggests we pay someone to distribute the poster on our behalf.

Jan reports on her meeting with the editor of The Forecaster to follow-up on Buy Local’s holiday advertising campaign. The editor was responsive to our concerns and disappointment with the process and the final product. She recognized that the paper was at fault and offered to make- good with us on a future advertising campaign.

Structure Committee

Sara hands out pre-Strategic Planning reading to the Board and updates the group on the Committee’s meeting with Marsha Greenburg. Sara asks the Board to review the handouts prior to the January 24th Strategic Planning session. She also shares the agenda for our planning. Coffee and snacks will be served at 7:45am and the meeting will begin promptly at 8:00am.

Stuart suggests we call members of the Board and Advisory Board not present at today’s meeting to explain the Strategic Planning agenda and timeline. Joan offers to make these calls (Susan will provide her with a list via e-mail).

In preparation for the meeting on the 24th, Sara reviews the mission statement. She further explains the pre-work: all Board members should arrive at the Strategic Planning meeting having read Marsha’s worksheets and having answered the question on the last page. Sara explains that the goal for our meeting on the 24th is to lay a solid foundation for our growth into an organization.

Next meetings: 1/24 (7:45 – 11am) – Room 209 2/7 (8:30 – 10am) – Room 209

Recruitment Committee

The Committee took a break in December due to the holiday retail season.

Other Business

Stacy and Sara report on their progress with the web site redesign. Jake has built the site and is now waiting for final content from Stacy and Sara. The new site will feature photos of some participating businesses. Stacy is in the process of taking the photos. Her goal is to feature a diversity of goods and services as well as geographic diversity. The site will also feature a searchable business directory. Once the directory is in place, Stacy will be seeking a volunteer from the Board to categorize the businesses and enter addresses, descriptions, etc. We will e-mail participants to provide a brief description of their business. Stacy and Sara hope to have the site re-launched in late-January or early-February.

Stuart requests that an “Other Business” or “New Business” agenda item be added to the Board’s regular meetings. The Board agrees.

Judy asks for confirmation of our fiscal year. Sara confirms it to be July 1st – June 30th.

Meeting is adjourned.

Minutes recorded by Susan Tran.

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