category Membership

Black Star Co-op Elections: Call for Candidates!

Every Fall, Black Star Co-op Member-Owners vote for Board of Director positions.  Directors review and craft policies and principles, represent the interests of all Member-Owners, and collaborate with the Workersʼ Assembly.  Take your love of Black Star Co-op to the next level by running for the Board.  To run for the Board, you must:

  • Be a fully invested Member-Owner;
  • Attend at least one Black Star Board Meeting within the last year;
  • Attend a Candidate Orientation Session at Black Star (roughly a 15-30 minute conversation)
  • Submit your Declaration of Candidacy form.
    • Download the Election Packet here. It contains information about the election, important dates, candidate questions for the website, and the Declaration of Candidacy form.  All forms must be submitted no later than September 27th, 2019 by 11:59pm

Interested, but have questions before you decide to run? Ready to run, but want more information about how to start the process?  Your first step is contacting the Leadership Development Committee through email: ldc@blackstar.coop.

Members’ Assembly Meeting Updates

Member-Owners & Friends of Black Star Co-op,

Although member-owner turnout has been on the decline the past few years, we were excited to host a more interactive and tasty meeting during our Spring MA. We released a draft of our 2018 Annual Report, and in finalizing the draft, we have made a few adjustments. The final version of the 2018 Annual Report will be presented at our Fall Members’ Assembly Meeting (hopefully to a larger turnout!), and will be available to share upon request. We are currently in the planning stages of the next meeting, and if we can’t get you here with the threat of free beer and food, then we’re sure nothing will. We look forward to another fun meeting come Fall!

Good Work Austin Fundraiser

If you’ve been keeping up with our Good Work Austin (GWA) communications for the past year or so, you already know what GWA is: A socially responsible community of local businesses in Austin, Texas invested in creating good jobs for all workers, ensuring a quality workplace, and supporting and amplifying the voices of like-minded businesses. Born of our communal efforts in supporting the Paid Sick Leave ordinance, GWA leadership has taken the past year to become a legitimate, community oriented 501c3 nonprofit organization, and we’re almost there. Now we just need a little help from our friends and community members! Our likeminded business associates (aka best besties) at L’Oca d’Oro are hosting a 3rd Birthday Party on Thursday, June 27th benefitting (you guessed it) Good Work Austin. While you can purchase tickets here, we are also seeking donations for items to be auctioned at the fundraiser, so feel free to reach out to me at jodim@blackstar.coop if you got the goods!

But can we quickly talk about how fun this event is sure to be? In addition to a night of open bar that you can actually feel good about, the lineup of featured local chefs is a food force to be reckoned with. Included are Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie, Sarah Heard and Nathaniel Lemley of Foreign and Domestic, Fermin Nunez of Suerte, Abby Loven of L’oven Bread, and Mari Soto of Sweet Ritual. Enough said. See ya there.

Parking Update

Hello Member-Owners! If you have been to Black Star in the last year or so, you may have noticed two parking gate kiosks installed at each entrance of our parking garage. These systems were purchased by our property management in hopes of alleviating some of our parking woes but were never activated. A couple of weeks ago we were informed that they intend to activate these gates and start charging for access to the garage in the very near future (maybe the next week or two?). As soon as the gates are activated, the pay structure for parking in the garage will look like this:

0 – 2 Hours Free

2 – 4 Hours $5.00

4 – 8 Hours $10.00

8 – 10 Hours $15.00

10 – 24 Hours $20.00

However, we will have parking validation for up to 5 hours, so be sure to ask someone at the registers for your ticket when you park in the garage. 

Again, we do not know when this will be in full effect (but it should be soon), so keep an eye out for a social media post letting everyone know! 

Cheers, 

Message from the Board of Directors

Marcus reporting in with an update from your Board of Directors. Since the elections closed late last year, we’ve had a few changes to the Board that you, as a member and owner of this co-op, should know about.


Some sad news first. Beth Beutel, Black Star board president 2016 – 2018, stepped down and resigned from the Board, effective March 1st. The Board wants to recognize Beth and express our gratitude for her years of service.  We wish her all the best with her new promotion at work.  Her absence will be felt on the Board for a long time. 

A big change like this precipitated a few other changes to the Board as well. Marcus was nominated and voted Board President; Dacia was nominated and voted as Board Secretary. These are the two official officer roles on the Black Star board.  Don’t worry, Marcus’ Extravaganza hosting duties are not going to be impacted, and the Outreach Committee should have a date for the next extravaganza soon.

Going back to the October elections. The members elected two new directors at the end of 2018: Roger Corrales and Graham Green.  At the time, this gave us an eight-person board. A fully seated board comprises 9 directors.  So we, the Board, took action and appointed Charlotte Harper to a one-year term to fill the remaining vacancy. You can get to know these new directors at the Members’ Assembly meeting on April 28th.  Also, please check out the Board of Directors page on the website for more detailed director information.

With Beth leaving in March, we are now back down to eight directors.  So, if you have any interest in running for the Board or working with the Board in some capacity, please let Greg Cumpton, our Leadership Development Committee Chairperson, know.  

We’ll have a full report from the WA during the Spring meeting on April 28th; in the meantime, the short answer is that the co-op is heading in the right direction.  We need you, fellow co-owners of this brewpub to help. The biggest contribution is to come enjoy a pint and a snack at the co-op.  Also, plan to stop by during one of our awesome events.  However, if you are unable to make the trip up to the brewpub, you can still help.  Be an advocate for co-ops, wear your Black Star hat when the sun comes out, and wear your Black Star hoodie when the sun goes down.  We can all contribute in our own way. It’s member involvement that makes a co-op a co-op and not just another generic brewpub. 

See you at the Members’ Assembly Meeting on Sunday, April 28th!

Custom Branded Growlers!

This month, we are excited to announce that we are bringing back branded vacuum sealed growlers to our merchandise inventory. Not only are they laser etched with our logo, but we are including a branded backside with our values and address etched on them as well. But wait…there’s more!!! We have decided to run a special campaign for you, our Member-Owners, of custom branded versions of these growlers. They will be etched with our logo and values as well as your Name and Member-Owner ID number. Check out our website store and grab one as soon as possible. We will only be running this campaign through March, so get your order in now!
Orders on custom growlers will be processed once a week and we will ship all orders to Black Star for pick up. Once they arrive we will send out a confirmation email for you to swing by and grab them.

Member-Owner Beer Survey

In years past, we have held surveys and in-person sensory analysis to develop beers like Elba and Ceres with our Member-Owners.  This year we have decided to take a step back and get a general feel for what our Members like to drink, straight from their mouths (or keyboards), to hopefully give us better insight into what we are lacking/doing right in the brewery. Linked below is a 5 question Survey Monkey that is very straight forward. You tell us what you like, we read what you say, we brew beers that you say you like. This is a super short survey, so I am hoping to get quite a bit of feedback on this one. Please feel free to let us know any and all of your drinking desires and we will try to make 2019 the best beer lineup we have ever made. Cheers!

Fall Members’ Assembly Meeting Recap

 

THANK YOU to the quorum of Black Star Member-Owners who gathered at the Co-op for the Fall 2018 Member-Owner Meeting last Sunday, October 21st.
After some rousing Co-op trivia, we kicked off the meeting with introductions from the current directors and with speeches from the four candidates running for the board: Beth Beutel, Roger Corrales, Graham Green, and Marcus Wilson.  They represent a fantastic mix of experience and fresh perspectives.  To summarize their stump speeches, Beth loves co-ops, Roger loves/lives worker self-management, Graham loves beer, and Marcus is lovable.  Read their candidate questionnaires on the blog (you’ll need to scroll down) and VOTE for your favorites here!
From there Beth Beutel, Black Star Co-op Board President, reviewed the priorities and accomplishments of the board so far in 2018.  She highlighted an increased focus on board training, the implementation of a more rigorous policy review process, and improved Worker Assembly (WA) solidarity.  Chris Byram, Black Star Co-op Board Staff Liaison, provided a retrospective as the most tenured member of the WA and described 2018 as a “breath of fresh air” compared to the financial struggles of early 2017.  He thanked everyone for their continued patronage and reminded them that the Co-op exists to support the Member-Owners.
                     
Given that the Co-op finances have improved in 2018, the WA asked Member-Owners for input into where the Co-op should focus in 2019 for growth.  Everyone has a favorite idea (“Year-Round Chili!”), so second-year board member, Kyle Voosen, led us in a business strategy activity that encouraged Member-Owners to prioritize their 2019 areas of focus.  This input process was similar to the August 2018 board retreat exercise.  Of the 16 different proposed strategies for 2019, the Member-Owners selected the following three as their top priorities:
1) Expand revenue from existing Member-Owners through enhanced and better promoted membership benefits
2) Improve dining experience and better communicate brand through updated facilities
3) Build demand through official partnerships/special benefits with customer organizations
We wrapped up the Member-Owner meeting with a Q&A session that covered topics including Member-Owner outreach, the upcoming lease renewal, the improved parking situation, and yes, when chili would be back on the menu.  Thank you again to the Member-Owners who took the time to support their Co-op and join us for a beer or three in the sun last Sunday!

Member-Owner Extravaganza

Hi Member-Owners! We had tons of fun at the last Extravaganza in February, and are looking forward to the second quarter Extravaganza on May 8th, 2018 from 6pm- 8pm.  The Member Assembly meeting will have come and gone, so we should have plenty to talk about. Pints and appetizers will be provided. I hope to see  you there!

By Marcus Wilson, your friendly neighborhood Board member