Minutes of 2021 Annual Membership Meeting

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HPIA Annual Membership Meeting

November 12, 2021 at 3:00 

The meeting was held on zoom because of the State of Hawaii’s restrictions on in person meetings.

The meeting began at 3:05 to give everyone a chance to login to the zoom meeting.  A total of 11 members attended.  Notice to the meeting and the zoom invitation was sent out by both email contacts (if available), by physically handing a paper invitation or by mail.

President’s Message

A copy of the President’s message is posted in the newsletter section of our website, http://www.hawaiipapaya.com.  Eric Weinert read the message to the attending members which stated the importance of working together as a group to meet challenges and adapt to an ever changing environment.  The message described the change in dues structure made by the Board to adapt to the loss in revenue due to the expiration of the exclusive right to propagate Rainbow seed as well as the accomplishments by HPIA working with SHAC to promote Hawaii Papaya in foreign markets, most specifically Canada.

Treasurer’s Report

Our treasurer Ken Ogawa presented the current financial status of HPIA.  By cutting office expenses HPIA has a balanced budget given the current level of membership.  The Balance Sheet shows approximately $75K in cash and a Rainbow seed inventory of 21 pounds valued on the books at $16.5K.  Liabilities are for $12 K for a social media campaign to promote papaya in the Western United States and $19K for growers training videos planned for 2022.

By-Law change was passed by a majority of HPIA members.

The vote was authorized by the Board at their July meeting to send to the general membership for a vote.  This change allows for all association members to be allowed to serve on the board of directors of HPIA the by-laws.  Before this change, only growers and handlers are voting members. Only voting members could serve on the board of directors.  Additionally, before adopting this amendment, the by-laws restricted newer members from serving on the board. This amendment was needed to allow all members to serve as a Board Member.

Before the amendment: 

Article V   Board of Directors

Each member of the Board shall serve for a term of two (2) years.  Each member of the Board shall continue to serve beyond the date of expiration of his/her term until a successor has been named and certified by the President of the organization.  Director shall be elected by the voting membership at the annual meeting.  Board members must be a voting member in good standing for not less than three (3) consecutive years.

After adopting the amendment our By-Laws now read:

Each member of the Board shall serve for a term of two (2) years.  Each member of the Board shall continue to serve beyond the date of expiration of his/her term until a successor has been named and certified by the President of the organization.  Director shall be elected by the voting membership at the annual meeting.  Board members must be a member in good standing.

SHAC report

The two HPIA representative to the Shared Hawaii Agricultural Committee are Chantal Vos and Eric Weinert.  Chantal reported on the SHAC highlights regarding HPIA in 2021.  SHAC is Coffee, the Floral Industry, Macadamia Nuts and Papaya working together to leverage grant money to promote our industry.  Using 2020 funds (no additional cost to HPIA) HPIA will run a 3 month promotional social media campaign in Canada to build consumer awareness about the nutrition, uses and Hawaii branding of Hawaii papaya.  They will also be distributing brochures to consumers and hope to expand the number of retailers carrying our papaya with a target of moving distribution further East into Toronto and Quebec.

No other business was brought up by members at the meeting.

The HPIA By-Laws specify that the election of the Board of Directors take place at this annual meeting.

Toshi Aoki objected as to the method of getting votes for the by-law change and so question the legitimacy of this election, or if it could be held, but did not specify how it should have been done to be proper.  Eric acknowledged his objection but stated that everything had been done in accordance with the by-laws and proceeded with the election of the Board.

Nominations were taken from the floor.  Eleven persons were nominated; Chantal Los, Eric Weinert, Ken Ogawa, Darren Strand, Toshi Aoki, Lowell Jose, Koji Okamura, Orlando Manuel, and Ichimaru.  The by-laws allow for a maximum of seven board members.  A discussion followed and the group felt that preference should be given to those attending the meeting as the meeting date was known well in advance and none of the nominees who were not in attendance gave notice not to attend.  The slate of  Chantal Vos, Eric Weinert, Ken Ogawa, Darren Strand, Toshi Aoki, Lowell Jose, and Koji Okamura was adapted for a vote of the general membership.  It was determined that there was a quorum to hold a valid because the requirement for 10% of the voting membership was met.  Only a majority of members attending the annual meeting is required to elect the Board of Directors.  The final vote count was 9 votes for the slate, 2 persons abstained, 0 votes against.   The new Board is duly elected.

The general meeting was adjourned followed by a brief meeting of the new Board of Directors.

According to the by-laws, the new Board elected the officers for 2022 from the newly elected Board Members.

Eric Weinert – President

Toshi Aoki -Vice President

Ken Ogawa – Secretary

Chantal Vos – Treasurer

A committee meeting for webpage is scheduled for Friday December 10 at 3:00 via zoom