Amanda Charland

We Can Choose How We Show Up

This week in my conversations with people throughout our cooperative, two common themes have stuck out to me.

The first is that things are tough right now. For two years we’ve been dealing with a pandemic, unpredictable supply chains, a challenging employment landscape, rising gas prices, and more. As if all of this wasn’t hard enough, the world around us can be divisive, scary, and unpredictable, too. And it’s all changing at a rate unlike anything we’ve seen before, making it harder to adapt to.

That’s leaving many of us filled with a mix of emotions about the world and the future. All at once, we’re feeling fearful, hopeful, angry, compassionate, frustrated, optimistic, etc. It’s exhausting. The world can feel—and often has felt—overwhelming.

But we’ve also become incredibly resilient and strong. Look at all we’ve come through and where we are today. We continue to find our way through this storm and navigate uncharted waters successfully. And we’re doing it in large part by working together and relying on one another in ways we’ve never done before.

Which brings me to the second theme I heard overwhelmingly: we’re stronger together. We don’t always know the way we’ll get through these tough times, but the one resounding theme I heard time and time again is that, “If we work together, we’ll find a way.”

And we’re doing it. The power and strength of collaboration is shining brightly in areas all across our cooperative. Just this week I’ve been so awestruck by the incredible examples of people collaborating. Department managers working together across stores to get products to customers, service desk teams cooperating between stores to staff desks, mechanics and service writers collaborating to manage workflow between locations, kitchen and PFD teams finding unique, problem-solving ways to manage staffing challenges—and so many other examples.

We are incredibly resilient when we stand together. I know that people hope to see even more collaboration in the future, and we will. The more we work together, the more we will continue to see the power in it, and the more it will spread.

We can weather this storm, but we can’t do it alone. The storm might not get easier—it may calm at times or rage in unexpected ways. But if we continue navigating with courage, together, we’ll find our way.


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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

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