The meeting was called to order on Friday, September 24, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. at the State Fair Offices, Richmond, VA by President Lin Diacont.
Presidents Comments: Lin discussed future meeting dates (November 15, 2004 at State Fair Office; January 10, 2005 at the Richmond Marriott). Future 2005 dates will be determined at the November meeting. He read a letter from the Virginia Agribusiness Council thanking the group for it’s participation in the VAC Food Festival.
Committee Meetings & Reports-What is expected: Lin discussed establishing a standard report format, which will be available online and members will have access to these reports before meetings which should help make the meetings more productive.
Executive Directors Report - Jeff Miller reported that he had emailed requests for input on several issues (sales tax and VT College of Agriculture survey) and only received a few responses, which results in the fact that he ends up expressing opinions for the entire green industry with very little input from members.
Websites: Lin requested that members send meeting information to the VGIC to help in coordination of scheduling of events by the green industry. The webpage http://www.virginiagreen.org/Events.htm should be serving as an information clearinghouse for scheduling events. Everyone please send dates to Jeff for programs they have dates/schedules for.
Jeff provided a print out of the last 12 months of website activity for the VirginiaGreen.com and the Consumer website VirginiaGardening.com There is currently an extensive list of links to sources of information for the green industry including starting in business and regulatory resources. This section is in the process of being consolidated. Please review and send any links that would benefit members and others in the green industry.
Treasurers Report - Jeff presented the current Balance Sheet and Income and Expenses compared to last year. (Reports are attached)
FSMIP Grant – Rick Baker discussed the status of the grant expenditures and plans to use the available funds with an extension to August 2005 for the grant funds. Rick reported that he had been investigating the possibility of developing a VGIC syndicated newspaper column which could be distributed through the Virginia Press Association, as well as soliciting businesses to provide links from their websites the VGIC websites.
Budget - Cary Gouldin presented a draft Budget for 2005 and requested committees to review it and submit final request before the November 15 meeting. A list of current paid members was presented. It was suggested that association members be encouraged to list VGIC membership on their association dues notices as a option for their members to easily become members of the VGIC with one check.
Communications, Public Relations, Joyce Latimer, (absent) Jeff reported that he had discussed the use of Green Industry Newsletter to market VGIC with Joyce. Lin will check with Leading Edge.