Hello to our cooperative community!
For those who don’t know me, I’m Amanda Charland, the incoming Co-op General Manager. I will officially take over for Paul Guidone after he retires on April 30.
First and foremost, let me say this message to you is a particular honor for me because it’s the culmination of something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ve been at the Co-op for 10 years, and early on in my career, I became obsessed with the cooperative business model and its power to do good in the world. It’s a way of doing business unlike anything else—it’s people-centric, rooted in community, and exists to make people’s lives better. And it has a unique way of captivating those of us who are involved with it.
Many members have reaffirmed this for me over the years as I’ve heard you recount tales of why you joined the Co-op, what has kept you here for decades of your life, or why you are so passionate about the success of our business. With this in mind, I’d like for you to do something for me today. That is, take a moment to reflect upon what brought you here in the first place and what has kept you here. Then think about the thousands of other Co-op members and realize that many share a similar unique connection to our business. Co-ops are built by communities for the benefit of people. In the push and pull of daily life, it’s easy to forget we’re all part of something that has empowered people worldwide and helped entire communities thrive.
As I shared with Co-op staff in an email this week, the driving vision I have moving forward is to start with what makes us who we are—to embrace our shared cooperative identity. We are not several businesses, loosely connected. We are one cooperative, made up of the most amazing people I know. We’ve got a strong foundation, a bright future, and we’re going to keep building, together.
Thank you and reach out to me anytime. I look forward to seeing what we can create together in the years ahead.