A Letter from the Co-op General Manager: Looking and Moving Forward

To Our Community,

February is a great time of year at the Co-op. The stores are decked out for Valentine’s Day, maple sugaring is right around the corner, and our employees are already planning for spring and summer. It is part of a natural ebb and flow, and on this February day I’d like to share some brief updates about the projects our teams are working on. 

Culinary Learning Center

This morning the leadership team heard an excellent presentation on ideas for summer programming, which is currently still under discussion.

The CLC has proven to be flexible and adaptable, which is particularly admirable given the challenge of running a learning center in the midst of a pandemic.

Stay tuned to our class page for details moving forward. In the meantime, given the team’s creativity and innovation, I wanted to spotlight the CLC today and thank our teams for all the energy and effort.

Lebanon Project

As I have discussed before, the goal of our Lebanon store remodeling project is to look at our mechanical systems and refrigeration cases to provide an enhanced environment for both shoppers and employees. The teams behind this intense, multifaceted project are meeting weekly and in touch daily, and the work continues to develop. Project milestones are on track for construction to begin in earnest in the spring. My thanks to all involved, and as always, I will keep all of you updated along the way.

Salesforce

A project team working on implementing Salesforce, a feature-rich database, began its work last month and continues to meet regularly. The team’s first major milestone is to successfully move all the data from our various systems into Salesforce. The first phase of the project is advancing to meet quarterly goals.

This system will lay the foundation for enhanced services for our members. My thanks to all of our teams who are working together to make this a reality.

Financials

Finally, we are closing in on our financial audit for 2020, which should be wrapped up over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, over the past two weeks we have held meetings with employees in all locations to review fiscal year 2020 and the 2021 business plan and operating budget. The final meetings were held today.

The meetings were very well-attended and the questions were excellent, which led to highly productive discussions. As I have said before, the goal was to make sure that all of our employees are aware of opportunities and challenges we face in the year ahead, and I believe we have done that.

Wrap Up

Thank you to our community and as always, I welcome your comments and questions. Please reach out to me anytime. In the meantime, remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we will see you in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,

Thanks,

Paul

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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email PGuidone@coopfoodstore.com.