March 21, 2007

Portland Buy Local Meeting Minutes Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Portland City Hall, Room 209

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 March 7th meeting minutes. Jan makes a motion to accept the minutes. Stacy seconds. The minutes are unanimously accepted.

Sally leads the Board in a discussion of the proposed by-laws. Stacy suggests adding a minimum number of business owners to the section regarding board member criteria. She further suggests balancing the citizen representation requirement with requiring a majority of board members to be business owners. The Board agrees.

Stacy also suggests adding a sentence about voting via e-mail in section 4.7. The Board agrees.

The Board discusses the financial and membership requirements outlined in the document. It is determined that the requirement will be amended to give donations of time, money, or products/service equal weight.

Stuart wonders if there should be an attendance requirement for Board members spelled out in the by-laws. Sally will work with legal counsel on this language.

The Board discusses the pros and cons of open meetings. Ultimately it is agreed that the language in the by-laws is sufficient on this topic.

Finance Report

Carole presents the February financial report.

Strategic Planning

The Board discusses the Finance Committee. Carole will chair the committee and the members will be Bill, Sally, & Susan to start.

Stuart will continue to serve as chair of the Membership Committee for the time being. Sally is willing to consider taking over the leadership but has tabled her decision for now. Members of the Membership Committee will be Sally, Anne Samson, Joan, and Judy.

Chris will continue to chair the Marketing/Education Committee and the members will include Nancy, Elise, Susan, and Stacy (pending).

The Executive Committee will continue to be Bill, Stacy, Carole, and Susan.

Marketing/Education Committee

Stacy gives an update on the web site. Once the businesses have all been entered into the directory and the directory categories streamlined, the site will go live. The participants will be charged with reviewing their entries for corrections as well as providing brief descriptions for the key word search function.

Once the directory has been updated with those changes, the Marketing Committee will draft a press release and begin to get the word out about the new site.

Stacy will be doing a “top 5 favorite web sites” list for the iHerald and hopes to time it with the press release.

Bill suggests we update the participation form to include the directory needs.

The Board discusses ways to brand the directory. The Marketing Committee will work on a concept in anticipation of the press release.

As an aside, Stacy suggests we have a discussion about non-local business using “local” branding in their marketing at the next Board meeting.

Chris presents the committee’s idea for a long-term poster series for 2007 and 2008 featuring owners of participating businesses (similar to campaigns in Bellingham and Philadelphia). The Marketing Committee will choose three businesses quarterly to feature in the series. Emphasis in the selection process will be on diversity.

Carole asks about the committee’s plan for distribution. Chris suggests enlisting the help of a volunteer street team. Jan suggests we consider paying a street team a nominal rate for the work.

Chris and the committee will work on a mock-up of the poster concept for the next Board meeting. The committee will also work on selecting businesses to feature in the first quarter. Chris also suggests using the poster images for a 2008 or 2009 calendar. The committee will look into the costs and assess the time and printing requirements.

Chris updates the Board on our potential meet & greet/social event at Space in May. Chris will work with Space to firm up the date. The mixer could be used to introduce the new web site and directory. Chris suggests a 7-10pm event that includes networking, a brief presentation, and performances by a few local musicians. The marketing committee will work on a flyer and an e- mail to publicize the event. The event will also be used to take pre-orders for our summer t-shirts and bags.

Chris shares information about the forthcoming print edition of The Bollard. He will develop a special offer for Buy Local participants and draft an e-mail for Susan to send out to our constituency.

The group takes a moment to discuss other upcoming events. The Citizens Salon event on April 11th will be at Zero Station and feature a panel of PIBCA Board members moderated by Stacy. Chris, Stuart, Bill, and Susan plan to attend. Stacy will check-in with Citizens Salon to see if they object to t-shirt sales.

Stacy will be speaking at a Green Party event on April 21st and wonders if anyone would be willing to staff a Buy Local table during the afternoon. Carole may be available.

The Old Port Festival is June 3rd. Bill offers to include Buy Local information on his Videoport table at 121 Middle Street.

The next two meetings will be on April 4th and April 18th in room 209 at City Hall.

Meeting is adjourned.

Minutes recorded by Susan Tran.

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