It’s that time of year again. We bring in our gardens, turn off the outdoor waterline, and pull out our favorite soup recipes. Fall is a time of turning inwards. It gives us an opportunity to reflect and plan for next spring. On the Co-op board, it’s time to start looking towards the next board year. Every year, 4 seats (with 3 year terms) on our 12-seat board are up for election. With elections in the month of April, we start thinking now and over the winter about inviting prospective candidates to get to know our processes, culture, and role in the organization.
I’ve served on several boards, and I can tell you that the
Co-op board is my favorite.
It is because of the culture of cooperation each director embodies. Challenges are an opportunity for us to come together as a team, not to stir division. It is gratifying work that has taught me, in new ways, about what it means to be part of a community.
The board can seem intimidating, and there can be a learning curve. We use Policy Governance to govern the General Manager at a high level rather than being involved in daily operations. This can take some getting used to. However, don’t let that concern you if you’re considering running for the board. The takeaway is that you do not need to know everything about the grocery industry or business management to be an effective and valuable board member.
I believe the most important trait a director (or prospective candidate) can have is values. You don’t need prior experience on a board to have values; who you are as a person is enough.
If you care about your community, believe in cooperation, and have 5 to 10 hours a month to give, you could be the ideal candidate to run for the Co-op Board of Directors.
If you want to learn more about the board or our election process, feel free to reach out to me or April Harkness, our governance specialist here at the Co-op. We hope you will consider what you can bring to the Co-op Food Stores and maybe even join us at one of our meetings this fall or winter as you reflect on running for one of those 4 seats in the spring.
We meet in the evening on the fourth Wednesday of every month. You can always find our meeting information on the Co-op website.
November and December are a little different. We’re meeting on the third Wednesday in November. On December 7th, we’re having a special meeting to learn more about the Co-op’s progress towards its net zero emissions goal. There is no regular December board meeting.
April Harkness: AprilHarkness@coopfoodstore.com
Board President: firstname.lastname@example.org