This past year was not kind to the employees of the Monte Vista Cooperative. Many suffered tragic losses in their personal lives as well as the loss of General Manager, Mike Kelley. Mike was a friend and co-worker before he became manager, and his passing has been tough for many of the employees. At this point little is left unsaid about Mike, but I would like to note that one thing I admired about him was his ability to prevent past mistakes from discouraging him. He learned what he could from a situation, and moved forward.
We, as a Coop, are moving forward. We have named Mike Boothe General Manager. Mike has been with the Coop for 16 years, with experience as both Grain Merchandiser and Director of Finance. Mike is a solid, dependable leader, and he has been the glue holding the Coop together during these past tough months.
Financially, this past year was very successful. Sales increased over 11 million dollars, and net savings rose to 2.1 million for the year. The balance sheet has improved with working capital increasing over 1 million. We have also been able to retire more equity, fulfilling our obligation to our loyal members. We take equity retirement seriously, and I would like to point out that we are one of the few Coops left in Colorado who do.
I would like to also thank the Coop members who have taken the time to call me and the other board members with their concerns the past few months. It seems the biggest issue we need to address is still customer service. We think the world of the Coop employee group, but we also know that improvement is always possible. We are honored you choose to do business at the Coop, and we hope every interaction with an employee shows that.
Matt Seger, Board President