Kona Coffee Farmers Association
December 20, 2006
Special Members Meeting
Location: CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu
A Special Members Meeting was called for December 20, 2006 at 4:00 PM at the CTAHR Extension office, by written notice to all members on November 18, 2006, for the purpose of amending the KCFA bylaws. The meeting was convened by President Cea Smith at 4:06 PM. The proposed bylaw amendment to Article III; Members, Section 1: Voting Members, is as follows (additions underlined, no words deleted):
2. Kona coffee farmers are defined as individuals who own or lease land in Kona and who derive the majority of their coffee-related income from the sale of coffee grown on their Kona property, or who have retired from being Kona coffee farmers, or who are preparing land, planting, or cultivating young coffee trees in order to become Kona coffee farmers.
A quorum of voting members was declared with 14 members present. After some discussion, the bylaw amendment was passed by a vote of 14 yeas, 0 nays, and no abstentions.
There being no further business, the Special members Meeting was adjourned by the President at 4:15 PM.
Board of Directors Meeting
Location: CTAHR Conference Room, Kainaliu
The monthly meeting of the Board of Directors was called to order by the President at 4:20 PM.
Directors present: Cea Smith, President, Nancy Griffith, Vice-President; Joanie Rowe, Treasurer; Sandra Scarr, Secretary; Mary Lou Moss, and Suzanne Kustusch.
Directors absent: None.
Special action: Christine Sheppard, Chair of Public Relations Committee, asked the Board to approve a press release to go out this afternoon, reporting the historic Hawaii County Council action to protect the Kona coffee name (see Legislative Committee report). Time was of the essence, so the Board reviewed and approved the press release, and Christine left the meeting to send it to media outlets.
Introduction of new members: None present
Secretary’s report: Minutes of the November 15 meeting were approved without correction.
Treasurer’s report. Joanie Rowe reported gross assets of $7,648.79 as of December 10, 2006. Some expenses from the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival merchandise are outstanding. In addition, loans by sponsors of earlier merchandise orders have not all been repaid. She estimated that about $2,000 in unpaid bills remains. In January, when Christine Sheppard assumes responsibility for accounting, the KCFA books will be brought up to date, bills paid, and the actual financial status of the organization will be known. Treasurer’s report was accepted as an estimate of KCFA’s finances.
Education Committee : Colehour Bondera announced a Pruning Workshop, to be held on January 6, 2007, to be conducted by Bob Smith at Kona Mountain Farm, in collaboration with CTAHR and Virginia Easton Smith.
Estate Committee: Joanie reported that Jim and Pat Hope of Hope Family Farm were approved as an Estate. She asked for a positive vote on Carol Weaver and Sandy Masterson of Pau Hana Farm, which the Board voted unanimously to approve as an estate. Joanie presented an estate certificate to the Hopes.
Fundraising Committee - Mary Lou reported that KCFA sold more than $4,000 in coffee and merchandise during the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. The net proceeds will be calculated after all the bills are paid, but the festival was extremely good for KCFA’s treasury. Mary Lou thanks the many KCFA volunteers who worked during the festival. Board thanked Mary Lou profusely for her excellent organization and great financial success at the festival. KCFA won two prizes in the parades! The donkey won second place and $150 in the Lantern Parade. The coffee shack won second place and $250 in the Grand Parade. Thanks go to the sewing talents of Rozemaryn Van Der Horst, who created the donkey, and to Ken Sheppard, Joachim Oster, Chuck Moss, and the many other volunteers who created the coffee shack.
Mary Lou brought a variety of KCFA merchandise to the meeting and urged attendees to do some Christmas shopping at the table. The next KCFA fundraising events will the annual Kona Chocolate Festival, Kona Brew Fest, and Pua Plantasia in February and March. KCFA needs basic supplies and equipment, such as pump pots, coffee grinder, tables, and to pay for advertising. She urged members to give a gift to buy supplies. Suzanne Kustusch volunteered to fore go a reimbursement and donated $25. Board members noted that we now have funds to purchase some supplies and equipment, and Mary Lou should buy what we need.
Grants Committee – Sandra Scarr reported that the two KCFA applications to Hawaii County for a Hawaii Tourism Authority grants were not funded. No comments about the applications were received, but the county received 51 applications for $1.2 million in grant funding and had only $400,000 to distribute. We are waiting to hear from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture about the application for $6,975 to produce a new DVD about Kona coffee. More opportunities for grant applications will be arriving.
Legislative Committee: On the morning of December 20, Hawaii County Council passed Resolution 18, asking the Legislature to change in the Hawaii blend law to require 75% Kona coffee in the bag before the Kona name can be used on the label and to require disclosure of the origins and amounts of foreign coffees used in blends. Many KCFA members testified. Our presentations were coordinated by Colehour and Melanie Bondera and Sandra Scarr. Many thanks to all who successfully made the case of protecting the Kona coffee name.
Membership Committee: Joanie Rowe announced two new members, Pat Williams, and Associate Member, and Keola Childs, a Voting Member. Our membership is currently 113.
Public Relations:: Christine Sheppard had left the meeting to send out a press release.
Resources & Best Practices Committee: Nancy Griffith received information from Una Greenaway regarding economic start-up grants from Hawaii County. Relevant grant contacts are DiDi Hopkins and Diane Ley in the Research & Development branch.
Website Committee: Mark Shultise mentioned the many pending changes to the web site. Among the changes he proposes (including those from prior meetings):
● Add certified organic for farms with such certification. Members will not be able to make this change, but the Membership Chair will be able to do so when a current certificate is produced.
● Mark removed some KCFA merchandise from the web site during the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, because supply was uncertain due to heavy sales at the festival.
● The GetKona.com web site is up and will continue with coffee for sale for the next year. We will evaluate and decide if the expense is worthwhile.
● New Applicants for membership should not show up in the members' list until they are approved.
● Preliminary shopping cart for KCFA good is up and needs some changes.
● Membership forum is ready to go to members. Mark will notify members of their logon procedure and moderate the forum to begin.
● Mark suggested that the listing for each farm on the Buy Coffee page could be more than the simple link to the members' web site. There could be a small blurb and picture.
● Mark added that we need to change the web site to accept paid advertising.
Old Business: none
The Annual Meeting is set for January 20, 2007 at the Kona Outdoor Circle. More detailed information will go to the membership in a meeting announcement soon.
Nancy Griffith requested that nominations for election to the Board be closed two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting to give the Election Committee time to give the Elections Committee time to gather and post nominees' statements and print ballots. There was much discussion about the closing of nominations. Colehour Bondera asked about nominations from the floor at the Annual Meeting. Cea Smith said that floor nominations are not customary in nonprofit organizations. Nancy moved that nominations for the Board be closed on January 6, 2007. Joanie Rowe seconded the motion. Motion was passed unanimously. As Chair of the Election Committee, Nancy will conduct the election, assisted by Mary Lou Moss and Joanie Rowe, the other continuing Directors. Christine Sheppard will place a newspaper ad about the Annual Meeting.
Nancy Griffith distributed two proposed ethics statements to members present and to the Board. She asked that, after consideration, members vote on whether all members should be required to sign the ethics statement. No vote was taken on this matter.
KCFA’s application to the IRS for status as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, which was submitted by Rick Funk on October 24, 2006, was rejected by the IRS. The IRS letter to KCFA cited certain activities described in the application as not permissible for a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Specifically, the IRS objected to KCFA's purported intention to organize shared resources such as coffee processing equipment, storage facilities for members. The IRS requested a Board resolution, signed by two Directors, stating that KCFA does not, and will not, conduct such activities. Board agreed that KCFA has never, and will not, engage in these activities. Cea Smith moved that the Board adopt the IRS language in a Board resolution. Motion was seconded and approved unanimously. Mary Lou Moss and Suzanne Kustusch signed the resolution, which will be mailed to the agency
Una Greenaway asked KCFA to support the GMO bill to the state Senate. She will send a revised statement to be considered at a future Board meeting.
Nancy Griffith raised an issue regarding green coffee imports by a KCFA member, who was not present. Fred Housel suggested the Board hold a private meeting with the member, if the Board wants to ask questions. No action was taken.
Rozemaryn Van Der Horst asked to hold a “name the donkey” contest at the Annual Meeting. She will be one of the judges. The donkey is a male and she would like a Hawaiian name for him. It was agreed to hold the contest during the Annual Meeting.
It was decided to rotate the order of committee reports at each Board meeting, to prevent the Web Site report from being always last. Committees will be re-sorted by three positions in the alphabetic list for each meeting.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:54 PM.
NEXT MEETING OF THE BOARD IS JANUARY 20, 2006 AT THE KONA OUTDOOR CIRCLE, AFTER THE ELECTION OF NEW DIRECTORS
Respectfully submitted, Sandra Scarr, Secretary
 The motion to close Board nominations was rescinded by the Board on January 4, 2007 by e-mail with a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays, and 2 abstentions.