In the spring of 1936, not long after our Co-op was formed, volunteers edited, mimeographed, and delivered informational bulletins to the homes of other Co-op members. These deliveries, made by bicycle on dusty dirt roads, led to many informal face-to-face conversations among members about how to make our cooperative strong and resilient for generations to come.
In that spirit, I’d like to invite you to join us this July for a series of conversations we’re calling “Understanding Our Co-op.” This isn’t your usual business forum. Like those early front-porch member meetings, these are relaxed, informal opportunities for all of us to learn from each other. I’ll be there with CFO Paul Guidone to answer your questions about our Co-op’s finances, business strategy, competitive market, and recent investments in technology and infrastructure. Other members of the Management Team will be there too, and we’ll have plenty of information and good food on hand to share with you. We’d love to see you there.
Here is the complete schedule:
Understanding Our Co-op
• Monday, July 17, 1 and 6 pm, Hanover Board Room
• Wednesday, July 19, 1 and 6 pm, Lebanon Food Store Conference Room
• Saturday, July 22, 11 am—noon, LISTEN Center, White River Junction
Why do this?
I’ve written before that Co-op membership is not just a privilege, but a responsibility we all share. We own a business together, after all. And one of the best ways we can keep that business strong is to share ideas, insights, and information with each other. This approach has been a cornerstone of our cooperative from the beginning.
In short, talking business is part of our heritage. The price and promise of cooperation is that we all must participate in it to make it work. As Paul Guidone so wisely says, our Co-op can’t run on autopilot. Those early members, riding bicycles on dusty dirt roads, knew that was true. And I write this today mindful of their vision and dedication.
So get your questions and ideas together and we’ll see you soon. In the meantime, if you would like to reach out to me, please contact me anytime. My door is always open to you.