From the Top — September 2023 | OEC News

The Shift to a Modern Approach for Annual Meetings

As we approach this year’s Drive-Thru Annual Meeting at the co-op, change is on the horizon. The co-op has come a long way since its founding in 1937, where the notion of an annual gathering served as a vital source of education and accountability for its members. Back then, the world had yet to be introduced to the digital realm we are now so accustomed to.

In those early days, the Annual Meeting was akin to a town hall, fostering open dialogue and understanding among the members. The co-op has weathered numerous shifts, and as technology advanced, so did the way we interacted with our members. But some traditions, while cherished, must evolve to meet the needs of a modern membership.

Many co-ops have adapted to a drive-through format, an approach spurred by the pandemic. While we chose not to embark on that path initially, witnessing the success other co-ops experienced with this model was inspiring. This year, we find ourselves at a crossroads as the Lloyd Noble Center undergoes construction. Thus, the drive-through format will serve as our medium of choice.

It’s not simply about convenience, though that’s an undeniable aspect. As our membership grows, the logistics of gathering in one place become increasingly challenging. With this shift, we aim to integrate technology, using platforms like YouTube Live to provide our members with a more immersive experience.

In this age, convenience is a premium commodity. The drive-through approach allows members to engage without dedicating hours to an in-person event. Beyond that, we encourage your input. A survey will be available so you can share your thoughts on this new format.

As we navigate this transformation, the essence of the co-op remains unchanged – our dedication to our members, our accountability and our commitment to progress.

Change is inevitable, but with change comes the potential for progress. We look forward to this new era of connection and convenience as we redefine what it means to come together as a cooperative family.

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