An update to members on TSSEC activities over the past year.

Third Annual General Meeting, June 17, 2014

The President, Elizabeth White, reported on the progress made by TSSEC in 2013 and early 2014. For those members unable to attend the AGM, a copy of the presentation is available on request.

A new Board of Directors was elected and officers appointed. They were: Elizabeth White (President), Peter Lamb (Secretary Treasurer), Clare Cullen, Ellie Langford-Parks and Jon Healey. Subsequently, Ellie resigned and two new directors were appointed by the Board; Ann Wheeler and Donald McLennan who also took over the position of Treasurer. Peter was appointed Vice-President and Secretary.

We are authorized to have up to 7 directors and we would welcome any member interested in joining the Board. Appointments can be made by the Directors to fill vacant positions until the next AGM in 2015.

Project Updates
We have now completed two short-term loan projects; an Off-road Pathway (Island Pathways) and an Electric Vehicle Charging Station (Transition Salt Spring Society) at ArtSpring.

Our third project is a 2-year loan to the SSI Agricultural Alliance toward the completion of the final phase of the SSI Abattoir on Fulford-Ganges Road. This loan is still outstanding until January 31, 2015, although a 20% partial repayment has been made to TSSEC and returned to investors in the project.

We are currently investigating some potential opportunities for further TSSEC investments while planning a drive to recruit more members, recognizing that successful projects should attract more investors. Priority areas for TSSEC include renewable energy production (such as solar PV arrays, wind generators), energy efficiency programs, more electric vehicle charging stations and community food projects.

Future directions
Our Strategic Goals and Objectives are to build capacity and increase public awareness of TSSEC as a well-managed and growing cooperative association that provides a useful contribution to Salt Spring’s  emerging green economy- which includes for-profit businesses, non-profit social enterprises and individuals.

As Elizabeth noted in her report to the AGM, “TSSEC continues to explore its potential roles. Your directors believe that starting small and slowly building on a history of successful projects, supported by a solid membership base is the best way to do that. At the same time, we do want to see progress and that means we need viable projects in which to invest, and members willing to invest in them.”

Accordingly, we invited proposals for suitable projects through the Driftwood and Salt Spring Exchange as well as informal referrals from the Salt Spring Foundation. This outreach has enabled your board to connect with and advise several young entrepreneurs but has not yet resulted in a lending or investment. Personal referrals of potential projects from members are certainly welcome.

TSSEC is also seeking to expand its capacity for members to assist in other ways, according to your experience and interests. If you are open to helping promote TSSEC, mentoring of small enterprises and/or reviewing proposals for TSSEC investment, please let us know.

To link TSSEC with the wider cooperative world of resources, we have decided to join Cowichan Cooperative Connections which also gives us membership in the BC Cooperative Association and access to their support programs.

Currently, TSSEC has 40 members. In order to qualify for dealer registration and prospectus requirement exemptions in securities regulations, membership in TSSEC is limited to 150 who may each invest up to $5,000, including the cost of the membership share. TSSEC also has the ability to raise funds for larger projects using an Offering Memorandum Exemption. Please feel free to contact any of the Directors to discuss these details.

Member Gathering
We will be hosting our third annual member gathering on the evening of February 3, 2015 in the SSI Public Library. This is an informal opportunity to meet other members, review what we have done to date and discuss plans for the future direction of TSSEC. An invitation will be sent later this year.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Elizabeth (250-537-2616) or Peter (250-537-4859) or any of the directors if you have any questions or comments.

From the Board of Directors