Amanda Charland

Embracing Our Cooperative Nature

“The world has not been given to us to contemplate it but to transform it.”
—cooperative thought leader Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta

Hello to our cooperative community!

Over the last few weeks, we have launched information about the updates to our compensation plan. Co-op employees attended drop-ins held throughout our locations and asked questions. The conversations at these meetings were thoughtful and incredibly valuable. We heard about a lot of things on people’s minds, including:

  • hopes for more recognition and appreciation
  • uncertainty about career advancement
  • curiosity about recruiting and hiring
  • concern about connections to other locations
  • opportunities for operating differently

One important theme that resonated with me was the desire to embrace and leverage our cooperative nature. How do we do this? As many of our employees suggested, the key is to be different from other grocers, operate at a higher standard than the industry norm, and create a culture that is people-first. Thankfully we can do all of these things, thanks to the member-owned, cooperative structure of our business.

While there is clearly a lot of work to do and some important systems that we need to build or change, leveraging what makes us different and putting people first is the way we will transform. We’re not in business for the same reason as our competitors. Let’s embrace that and build something new together.

UPDATES

White River Junction

Speaking of cooperation in action … THANK YOU to all of the employees who navigated the White River Junction store power outage and refrigeration failures this week. The storm that ripped through the area left many downed trees and power lines in its wake. The store’s response was a huge team effort and incredibly well-handled. People found creative ways to support one another within the store and from other locations. Great work everyone!

More “Town Hall” Sessions

One thing that was very clear in our sessions last week was that we need more of these discussions. I plan to host similar all-staff sessions monthly.

Directors

We will have a new Finance Director starting on July 25th, and we are in the final stages of hiring a new HR Director. As we bring on new directors, I’ll bring them around to introduce them to all Co-op employees.

Thanks to all of our members and reach out to me anytime.

—Amanda

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Amanda Charland

Amanda Charland

Amanda Charland is the General Manager of the Co-op Food Stores. She was first hired as the Co-op's Sustainability Coordinator in 2012, and joined the Co-op Leadership Team as Member Services and Outreach Director in 2014. She earned a Master's Degree in Cooperative Management in 2017, and she was promoted to Director of Cooperative Engagement in 2018. She was hired by the Co-op Board of Directors as General Manager in 2022. Contact her at acharland@coopfoodstore.com.