March 19, 2008

Portland Buy Local Meeting Minutes Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Portland Downtown District Conference Room

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

Advisory Board members in attendance: Jan Beitzer, Elise Loschiavo Bill opens the meeting. The Board reviews and approves the February 13th meeting minutes.

Membership Committee

Sally reports that we’ve reached the 60% renewal rate for FY08. Lapsed members have now been removed from the IndieBiz Directory. Bill encourages the Board to reach out to those lapsed members for feedback on why they’ve chosen to not renew.

Sally reviews the member drive outline and budget proposal. Before digging into the membership proposal, the Board determines that it should review the current financial report.

Stacy leads the Board through an explanation of the current financials, noting that the “Actuals” are only recorded through February 2008. Carole questions the budget allocation for the printed directory, pointing out that while the PIBCA expense is estimated to be $1,500 – $2,000, the directory will cost more (the difference coming from ad revenue). Stacy would like to move the “Postage” line into “Membership Drive” in the budget. She would also like to move “Decals, Stickers, and Thank You Cards” to the Membership line since these are packet materials.

The monetary increase requested by Membership is $200. Stacy asks about “In Kind Costs.” Sally explains that she is covering some of the Membership Drive expenses including copying and printing. Stacy requests a clarification on the “Web Form” listed. Sally explains that she is exploring options for on-line membership forms and databases. Stacy notes that our current web software is capable of form creation.

Stacy makes a motion to accept the Membership Committee’s request for an additional $200 (which will be moved from the Event line on the budget, reducing Events to $1,300). Carole seconds the motion. All approve.

Sally leads the board through a review of her committee’s proposal to create year-specific decals. Susan reiterates her concern about moving away from “evergreen” decals. Nancy wonders if we’ll need to start “policing” members’ decal usage. Sally feels that it will be up to the members to put them up and remove the old ones. The Board discusses at length the message that PIBCA is trying to convey with the decals: “this is a locally owned business” vs. “this is a current member of PIBCA.” Sally notes that she feels we’ll see an increase in new members with a dated decal. Stuart suggests that the date is probably not important to consumers. Sally agrees – she is referring to other business owners. Carole notes that the Membership Committee agrees that new decals would be helpful.

Stacy suggests a revised design on which the year is a separate, replaceable piece. Sally feels that she has already put a lot of work into the proposed design. Stuart clarifies that the issue is with the member year and not the new decal.

Sally makes a motion to print new decals as designed (with the thank you message and member year). Carole seconds. Three votes in favor of the motion (Sally, Carole, and Stuart). Six votes opposed to the motion (Judy, Nancy, Chris, Bill, Susan, and Stacy). Joan abstains from the vote. Motion is denied.

Stacy makes a motion for a new decal that includes a thank you message at the top and the web site at the bottom (does not include the member year). Carole seconds. Nine votes in favor (Sally, Carole, Stuart, Judy, Nancy, Bill, Susan, and Stacy). One vote in opposition (Chris). Motion approved.

Sally requests Board help on the member drive. She is seeking volunteers to cull prospect lists, send personalized postcards, and attend neighborhood mixers. Please follow-up with Sally via e- mail regarding volunteering.

Carole gives a brief update on the printed directory. The estimates are coming in from printers. Three ads have been sold to date. An ad appeal will be included in the member renewal materials. The rate card will be sent via e-mail.

Stacy seeks the board’s approval on the draft of the annual report she sent around. The report will be posted on the web site and an e-mail will be sent to members. Approved without a motion.

Executive Committee

Bill explains that the Executive Committee will be comprised of the four officers in addition to the committee chairs as originally intended. The Executive Committee will meet the week prior to the Board meeting each month to put together the agenda and keep an eye on our progress with the strategic priorities.

Marketing Committee

Chris updates the board on the new posters. The photos are set. He will be finalizing the text this week.

Sally updates the group on the Indie Biz Awards. The nominations will begin on Friday, March 21st. There will be a committee to review the nominations and choose the finalists. The finalists will be voted on by members and the general public. The Indie Biz Awards Committee will produce posters to advertise the voting. The Bollard has signed on as a media sponsor. More sponsorship requests are pending. Stacy and Stuart suggest offering sponsorship opportunities to all members. Stacy will include this in the annual report e-mail.

Other Business

Next Marketing Committee meeting: Tuesday, March 25th at 9am in The Bollard office.

Next Membership Committee meeting: Tuesday, March 25th at 3:30 at Port City Studio (253 Congress Street).

Stacy announces a regional buy local meeting to be held at Bookends in Warner, NH on Tuesday, May 20th. All are invited to attend.

Meeting adjourned due to time.

Minutes recorded by Susan Tran.

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