The METBA board and Association members met up at the Annual Members Meeting last week for a “year in review” session. The room felt energized. Thirty business owners turned out and the interest in supporting the work of the Association was encouraging! Eight new board members were elected, bringing the total board size to 13 people who will lend their time and talents to sustain the current trajectory of growth.
Paitong Thai, Ya Hala, and Hungry Heart donated goodies for the event, with beverages and the event space provided by Dana Cofer of Vino Veritas. Outgoing Association President Steve Rice highlighted the financial and membership growth over the last four years and strategic goals for the coming year. His year-in-review presentation can be viewed here.
Attendees had a chance to network with colleagues, introduce themselves and their businesses, and to talk about their needs as business owners and what they would like to see develop in the district. These were the responses:
- Sponsorship opportunities for district events, such as Trick or Treat on Glisan Street, First Fridays, Frosty Fest and the Street Fair
- Traffic to Glisan Street businesses (foot traffic or more businesses moving in)
- Networking opportunities with other businesses, including referrals
- Business skills training – building systems, best small business practices, etc.
- Providing connections to home-based services
- Getting value for social media $ – coordination
- Collectively building up Montavilla’s tech resources
- Sister event on major street
Potential board member names were thrown into the ring, with nominees saying a few words about themselves and what motivates them to join the board or a committee. All the nominees were voted in as at-large members in a block vote. The 2018 board of 13 will officially begin their work at the January 10th board meeting, when officers will be nominated and voted in. Returning board members Tina Granzo, of City Beautiful Design; Carmen Ripley, owner of Beanstalk; and Abby McKinnon, owner of Portland Child and Family Counseling, have indicated interest in assuming the roles of President, Vice President, and Secretary, respectively. The association is still seeking a treasurer.
One big change for the Association is an organizational restructuring that involves the hire of an Executive Director (a paid position at 10 hours/week) to oversee the operational aspect of the organization. The Board of Directors will be approving this restructure and filling the position at the end of the year. Tina Granzo explained to members that in order to sustain the progress the Association has made and to decrease the burden for the all-volunteer board, that it was in our best interest to hire a part-time Executive Director. The position has been posted on the business web site. Steve Rice has agreed to serve as the ED from January through June of next year, while the board conducts a job search.
A huge thank you goes out to the businesses and individuals who contributed their time, products and services to the annual meeting, and to all the members who attended and agreed to commit to board or committee participation.