Kona Coffee Farmers Association
Minutes November 15, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by Vice President Nancy Griffith.
Board members present (all):
Mary Lou Moss, Joanie Rowe, Sandra Scarr, Cea Smith
Committee Chairs who are not Board Members present:
Colehour Bondera (Education), Mark Shultise (Website, Resources), Christine Sheppard (PR), Bruce Corker (Marketing & Sales, Legislative)
Nancy made several announcements of upcoming events (sorry, I was not taking minutes at this point so do not have details. Probably not important as the events will be gone by the time the minutes get posted to the website).
The Minutes of the October 18 and November 1 Board Meetings are awaiting minor corrections, but in the absence of a Secretary this has not happened. Acceptance of the Minutes was deferred until the corrections can be made, and voting to accept the minutes can take place either by email vote or at the December 20th meeting.
Nancy announced that Rick Funk had resigned as President for personal reasons. Cea Smith had been elected to the Board at the Nov 1 Board Meeting, but the Board has two places that can be filled. Suzanne Kustusch (Lei’s Beans) volunteered to stand for the Board. She was proposed, seconded, and elected to the Board unanimously. The Board welcomes other interested parties to contact Board members.
A discussion took place regarding the Annual General Meeting. It was decided that the meeting will be held in late January, on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, depending on the availability of a suitable meeting place. Sandra agreed to check on the Kona Outdoor Circle calendar. Christine agreed to check on the availability of a keg from the Kona Brewery for the meeting, which will be lunch and social gathering, followed by the business portion of the meeting. An Election Committee was formed of Mary Lou, Nancy, and Joanie – all of whom remain on the Board automatically for another year. Four Board places will be up for election in January, the slots that were assigned only a one year term initially so that a staggered Board could be achieved for continuity.
The By Law Committee proposed a change to the By Laws concerning retired coffee farmers. After discussion, a further clause was added to the changes. The notification of By Law changes proposed will go out to the membership in the next few days so that there is a 30 day notice to members, and will be voted on at a Membership Meeting on December 20th. The exact wording of the proposed changes will be in the Notice to Members. The intention is that persons who have retired from coffee farming, and persons who have started a coffee farm but not yet derived income from the farm, may be eligible as full voting members, subject to the normal Board review of their application.
Sandra thanked Nancy for stepping into the breach and organizing the last two meetings. She made a motion to address the issue that the Board is lacking two essential officers. She proposed Cea as President, and offered to stand as Secretary herself. Both positions would be only until the January elections, as provided in the By Laws. Mary Lou seconded the motion. After discussion, the motion was voted on by paper ballot, and passed 4 to 2. Nancy offered the meeting control to Cea, which Cea deferred back to Nancy.
Joanie presented the Treasurers Report. The bank balance is estimated at $5,499.39. Discussion followed and it was agreed to reimburse sponsors of our logo goods to the maximum possible while keeping a balance to buy more goods for future events. Joanie announced that Christine had agreed to take over the accounting in Quick Books, reporting to the Treasurer. Christine will contact Michelle to get the data and make sure that it will transfer from a PC version to the Mac.
Joanie reported that we now have 111 members. Members who join from now onwards will have membership through to the end of 2007. New members are Debra Richards, Dick & Helen Wolf, and Sherri Johns. It was discussed that a membership drive should be attempted for the January Annual Meeting. Bruce Corker suggested that every member be asked to contact two other people to invite them to join. A later discussion (included here for continuity) concluded that every member should be sent a list of all other members (names only so as not to run the risk of email spam) so that members would know who was already a member.
Mary Lou reported on the huge success of our Festival events. Mary Lou was loudly applauded and congratulated on all her many efforts in getting the events and volunteers brought together. More than $4000 was raised in the many events, including $450 in prize money for the Parade floats. Most coffee was sold under the KCFA label from the generous donations of green and parchment from members. Mary Lou thanked everyone who helped. A full list of all volunteers and donors will appear in the December newsletter.
Rozemaryn Vanderhorst was congratulated on the success of her Quilt Contest. KCFA members donated coffee as gifts for all the quilt entrants.
KCFA has been invited to participate in the Kona Village Christmas on December 2nd. We will have a booth there selling coffee and other products.
Mary Lou reported that the booths at the Big Island Festival are $300, so we will not participate this year. However the organizer is looking at a morning event for coffee tasting next year for us.
Mary Lou asked for a volunteer to do the fulfillment of orders for KCFA products from the website. Mark Shultise said that he could take this on next year when his storage building is completed. Mary Lou and Sandra agreed to handle it until then.
Sandra reported that she has not heard back yet. It is typical not to hear until late December or early January. Sandra agreed to take the spare mailbox key and check mail in turn with Joanie.
Christine reported that all PR was Festival-focused. There will be a new newsletter December 1st.
Mark discussed additions to the Resource section, adding members and others who offer useful services. The Shopping Cart is working well, some products are subject to availability. Having a visible total membership list on line was discussed. Mark stated that this was not advisable due to the likelihood of member lists in this format being used for spam.
The website now lists the most current cherry prices available, from a weekly telephone poll performed by Nancy. The prices have been soaring, and today’s high is $175 for terms from Maka Pueo.
Marketing & Sales
Bruce presented the Farm Direct Selling website, which had been approved by the Board. The website will soon be online at GetKona.com. Each participating farm pays a $25 fee, and the farms are listed randomly (each time) with a link direct back to the farm’s website. Fees will be used to advertise the website. There is also a link back to the KCFA website. The meeting was unanimous in its appreciation of the work put in by Bruce and Mark on this project.
Bruce stated that we are on schedule with the benchmarks set by our Strategic Plan for our legislative agenda. After Thanksgiving, meetings will be set up with our legislators, starting with the Hawaii County Council members. Bruce asked for volunteers to join the committee for these meetings and a number of persons volunteered.
Colehour stated that the GMO coffee Bill from last year was highly likely to be introduced. The Board stated that they will support it, and the KCFA Policy Statement on GMO coffee will be utilized.
Bruce noted that McDonalds TV ads invite customers to drink Royal Kona coffee. It is unclear if this coffee contains any Kona or is merely a trade name. Bruce will investigate more.
Colehour had had to leave the meeting. Christine reported that a proposed meeting on labeling legislation for December had been shelved as it was not possible to get the presenters in December. The Pruning Seminar is being planned for December, due to the expected early finish of harvest season.
There being no more business, Nancy adjourned the meeting at 6:15 pm.