Dear Co-op Community,
Recently we were saddened to read a Valley News column in which a Co-op employee expressed grievances over the General Manager (GM) hiring process. We take any accusations of discrimination very seriously, and we fully support the right of all employees to challenge practices they view as unfair. Today I would like to personally thank all of you for your patience over the past few days while the Board diligently reviewed the facts.
At the outset, I want to share that upon review, the evidence does not support the accusations directed at the Board in the column.
The Board is confident in the integrity of the GM selection process. The Board worked hard to provide a fair and equitable application, interview, and decision process for the general manager position. This was our top priority from the beginning. Early on we hired an outside, independent, third-party consulting firm with broad experience in finding qualified GM candidates for cooperative markets. The company is considered one of the best in the country and has worked with many of our sister cooperatives regionally and nationwide.
We have the fullest confidence in our new GM, Amanda Charland, who has stepped into an incredibly challenging situation with the grace and professionalism for which she is so widely known.
Amanda is highly skilled and qualified, community-oriented, and forward-thinking. She served on the management team for many years and has a deep practiced and studied knowledge of cooperatives. We are confident that we have hired the right person in the right position at the right time to serve the Co-op.
Out of respect for our employees’ privacy, we cannot offer more detailed comments on specific personnel matters that the column referenced. What we can offer is this—it is both the Board of Directors and the Co-op’s top priority to maintain a safe and equitable workplace for every member of our team, and it’s also our commitment to our membership. We will not tolerate any acts of discrimination, nor will we tolerate any verbal or physical abuse of the Co-op’s employees, members, or other guests in our stores.
We are consistently looking for ways to improve ourselves, our processes, and how we conduct business to uphold our mission and our commitment to our team and our members. One of the best ways to do that is through candid and open dialogue. If you have thoughts, questions, or concerns you would like to share with the Board, please reach out to us. We would love to speak with you anytime.
From all of us on the Board, thank you for your dedication to the Co-op and the communities we all serve.
President, HCCS Board of Directors
Board of Directors
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