Highlighting COCo’s AGM and new membership model

Balloons for voting? Cake? Party bags filled with gifts and goodies? Not exactly your typical Annual General Meeting (AGM) but that’s the approach we took on March 27th 2014. Why do you ask? Because we were kicking off a year-long celebration of COCo’s 15th anniversary of official existence (which officially happens in November 2014!). Held at the MAI Café, located on the ground floor of our building, we had a great turnout for this year’s AGM: 52 people, representing over 20 community groups! It wasn’t all fun and games though. Well, actually, it was! However, we did manage to get some work done at the same time. Here’s a summary of what happened.
‘Thinking outside of the box’ was our mantra so we developed a partnership with En Masse pour les Masses (check them out at emplm.org). They set up shop and created an awesome mural throughout our event to reflect what was happening and to capture the vibe. Check out the neat photos! If you’d like to see the actual mural, come by our office! Our superstar Audrey Villiard (whom some of you will remember as the coordinator of our recent Communities Connecting the Digital Dots video project) also created an innovative and interactive multi-media installation using archived photos and videos of COCo in action throughout the years.
The meeting itself was…just as much fun! We delivered our activity report using a speed-dating model, which people truly appreciated! If you want to find out more about this, give us a call! No AGM would be complete without some bylaw changes so we did our fair share of this at the meeting. We added a new conflict of interest bylaw. We clarified voting modalities. We adjusted our bylaws to accurately reflect the nominal nature of our Board executive positions. Last but certainly not least, we approved a major change in the COCo membership structure.
In the past, groups who accessed one of our services (contracted with us, received a consultation or participated in one of our projects or events) over the past two years were automatically given member status. Didn’t know that, hey? Well, that was partly why we sought to change it! We wanted groups not only to be aware of their membership status but to also explicitly consent to being a COCo member, as we believe this will help create greater member engagement. As such, the new membership structure no longer requires accessing service as an eligibility criteria. Any community-based group who supports our mission can now become a member for a 3-year period. How much better can it get? Actually, it can: it’s free to become a member! You’ll be receiving more detailed information about this very soon once we’re fully set up to accept applications, so stay tuned.
Now back to the AGM. We sadly said good-bye to two Board members (Natalie Chapman and Claire Abraham) who did an amazing job during their time with us. We welcomed two newbies to the team: Eryn Fitzgerald and Alice Isac. Click here to get to know them better: Get to Know Eryn; Get to Know Alice
Before we ended the evening, we talked about the member survey we conducted earlier this year. We also announced the lucky winner of the 5 free hours of COCo support we had offered as an incentive to fill in the survey: congratulations to New Hope Senior Citizen’s Centre (check them out at http://newhopeseniorcitizenscentre.wordpress.com)! We’re looking forward to working with you!
This year’s AGM was exciting for us to organize as a team and it was all worthwhile, but not just for those who showed up and had a great time. It truly stirred up some great COCo team spirit, energy and momentum to keep on plugging away. On behalf of the COCo team, thank you for this!