2015 New Year Message from Board President

 In Blog, In the News, Uncategorized

Happy New Year Flying Bike Member-Owners!

Wow, what an amazing year 2014 was!  I wrote a letter this same time last year, with hopeful optimism about the coming year and, as I reflect on the last 12 months, I’m happy to be able to breathe a sigh of relief and smile at how successful this year has been.  How about a recap of everything we did -- and a glimpse into the future?

As a startup cooperative, growing our membership has been a huge priority for us.  In 2014 we grew our membership by almost 250 members and, as of today, we stand at 928 member-owners!  If you joined us in 2014, welcome!  I hope you’ve had a chance to come out and meet some of your fellow members and participate in some of the meetups and events we held this year.  If not, I hope to see you at an important upcoming event (foreshadowing!)

Did you refer your friends and family to become members?  Remember, we have an awesome Referral Program with really cool prizes, like growlers with your member number engraved and customized t-shirts!

 In September, we had an incredibly fun and successful Annual Meeting. This year where we added yet another Member Driven Beer to our recipe book.  Congratulations to member Tony Ochsner for his winning CDA recipe.  Voting ballots for naming this beer will be in your inboxes shortly!  We also said goodbye to one of our longest standing Board Members, Tim Dery.  Tim, although constantly tardy and distracting everyone with his insufferable sense of humor, has been absolutely instrumental in the success of Flying Bike.  Tim served as President prior to my tenure and has provided a lot of direction, guidance, and sarcasm for the Board.  Thank you, Tim, for your service and your friendship.  But as Tim left the Board, the membership elected a replacement - Lyndsay Gordon.  Lyndsay has already made an impact on the Board and I have no doubt she will continue to do a lot for the co-op during her term.

This time last year, you may recall me pleading for you to help us raise our startup capital via our Member Investment Campaign.  I am happy to report that through this program we raised over $270,000, which is the majority of our goal.  It was enough for us to sign a lease for the brewery and tasting room in Greenwood.  This is the single biggest accomplishment in our history and is the step that we’ve all been waiting for.  This dream is real now!  Construction has already started and we hope to be open to the public this Summer!

That said, we’re still a little short of our investment goal, so please consider investing.  For more info, visit our website or contact finance@flyingbike.coop.  If you can’t invest, please encourage your friends and family to become member-owners!

On January 24 we will put construction on hold to throw a little get together at the new brewery building.  We’ll even have some homebrewed versions of Member Driven Beers on tap!  Please RSVP so we have an accurate list of who will be coming!  More info about that event will be delivered to your inbox shortly.

As much as I’d love to sit here and celebrate how amazing this year has been, the truth is we still have a long ways to go before we open our doors.  During 2015, Flying Bike will change from a largely social and virtual organization, to an operating brewery and revenue generating business.  This will be a huge shift for us.  We will hire a General Contractor, electricians, plumbers, and will need to do tons of manual labor.  We will hire full-time employees: a Brewmaster, a General Manager, and taproom staff.  We will file for permits and liquor licenses. We will buy and install a commercial brewhouse and will brew hundreds of barrels of beer.

And then we will drink that beer.  In our brewery.  With 1,000 of our friends.

I would like to personally thank the Board of Directors and our advisors.  Kevin Badger, Brian Cadwell, David Wiegand, Steve Manghi, Tim Dery, Melissa Kerson, Mitch Johnson, Erinn Hale, Lyndsay Gordon, Shawn Becker, Ashley Badger, Dan Schmidt, Katy Clark Eggink and many others have put in countless hours of work into this project and I am very grateful to have you all on this team.

I also want to thank our entire membership for your patience, support, and enthusiasm.  We wouldn’t be here without you.  Remember, this is Member Driven Beer.  What can we do better?  How can you help?   If you have thoughts, comments, complaints, suggestions, or anything else constructive please speak up and chip in!  This is YOUR brewery!  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Make sure you’re getting our monthly newsletters via email.  Contact us at members@flyingbike.coop.



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