Member Document Archive

February 9, 2009 Annual Membership Meeting Minutes

The Annual Meeting of the New Deal Cafe cooperative was called to order at 7:15 pm by Bill
Jones, who the board designated to preside at the meeting. Thirty-seven members were present,
representing a quorum.

  1. Approval of Minutes

    The minutes of the Annual Membership Meeting of February 10, 2008,
    and the Special Membership Meeting of November 16, 2008 were approved.

  2. President’s Report

    Peter May, president of the board, gave a report on the accomplishments of the past year
    which included the following highlights:

    • The cafe is still open – yeah!
    • Members kept the cafe alive
    • Chef Karim agreed to manage the kitchen
    • Co-op & Karim installed a commercial kitchen
    • Karim & Co-op built the patio fencing, allowing beer and wine outside
    • Members donated a second freezer, draft beer refrigerator, and $4,000 worth of new chairs

    Peter mentioned some of the successful events of the past year:

    • Pre-opening Mediterranean Feast on June 24
    • Grand re-opening on June 25
    • Regular art exhibits & receptions
    • Festivals in Roosevelt Center
    • Expanded music to 6 nights a week
  3. Financial Report

    Bill Wilkerson gave a report on the coop’s finances which included the following positive points:

    • Coop improved credibility with lenders by hiring an experienced manager
      and by installing a commercial kitchen
    • Chef Karim has paid all the current operating bills
    • The coop has used the monthly payments from the restaurant operation to pay down co-op debt
    • The Cooperative significantly reduced its debt over the past year

    Bill also reported on the bad news, including:

    • The poor economy is hurting most retail businesses, including the cafe
    • Restaurant income was down during the last quarter of 2008
    • Since October restaurant income hasn’t covered co-op’s budget for back bills and loans
    • The cash shortfall increases risk of defaulting on loans
    • The coop has managed to make minimum payments through generous member donations and regular
      contributions from the FONDCA sustaining fund

    He next reviewed the details of the financial report including:

    • Profit & Loss Statement – shows a $6,484.19 net income for 2008
    • Debt Reduction – The coop owes $119,368 in bills and loans as of 12/31/08
      • $112,339 for eight loans
      • $7,029 in deferred bills
    • Loans – The coop made minimum payments on loans totaling $29,151 in 2008, but accrued
      interest totaling $6,888, at interest rates ranging from 0% up to 29%
    • Deferred Bills – The coop has reduced the number of deferred bills from 14 to 4 during
      2008, paying out $8,377 to vendors

    Bill next went over proposed strategies to improve the coop’s financial situation as follows:

    • Pay off high rate loans first
    • Pay backlog of bills after interest bearing loans
    • Obtain a consolidation loan with lower interest rate
    • Cooperative use profits from bar (starting January 13) to pay off loans & bills
    • FONDCA to hold monthly fund raisers to reduce the debt

    After discussion, it was suggested that the board promote member loans as a method of
    refinancing higher interest loans.

  4. Committee Reports

    Music and Events Committee – Joe Harris reported on the successful creation of a
    “hub of culture” in Greenbelt at the cafe in 2008, including:

    • Performances put on by many varied types of music groups
    • Diverse events scheduled such as the Inauguration party and the Oscar Night party

    Arts Committee – Kristin Stenson requested more help for the committee and reported
    on the highlights of 2008 as follows:

    • Bi-monthly art exhibits which allow more people to see the shows
    • Children’s art shows on schedule again
    • Art receptions will be enhanced affairs

    FONDCA – Barbara Simon reported on the non-profit’s activities in 2008 and projected for
    2009 as follows:

    • Gave financial support for outdoor concerts, art shows, and art walks
    • Successfully raised mony from individuals an grants so far this year
    • Plan mini-concerts on mall in spring and fall
    • Plan film events, and art auction
  5. Election of Board of Directors

    Bill Jones announced that there were three open seats on
    the board, with Don Comis and Pat Brent having one more year left on their two-year terms.
    Nominations were received for four candidates who each spoke briefly.

    Members voted, and the Nominations and Elections committee counted the votes. The results
    were as follows:

    Bill Wilkerson 32 votes, elected
    Peter May 28 votes, elected
    Terri Rutledge 25 votes, elected
    Richard McMullin 8 votes
  6. Goals for 2009

    Bill Wilkerson explained the board’s proposed goals for 2009 as follows:

    • Re-energizing the Co-operative
      • Increase member participation in committees
      • Increase member communication
      • Update member email list
      • Monthly newsletter
      • Member events
      • Members bulletin board
      • Hold regular monthly board meeting
    • Marketing the Cafe
      • Continue articles in News Review
      • Attract Greenbelt residents in homeowners/condo associations and apartments outside of historic Greenbelt
      • Attract lunch time takeout and catering delivery trade from Greenbelt office complexes
      • Attract employees and faculty of three major area employers: NASA, UMCP, and BARC
      • Selective advertising in county and city publications
    • Addition of New Services
      • Sunday brunch
      • Late night shows on weekends
    • During discussion, the following suggestions were made:
      • Schedule more wine tastings
      • Continue the meal & reel
      • Hold quarterly member socials

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Wilkerson