What is the Board of Directors and what does it do?
The Board of Directors is the governing body for the Member-Owners of Co-op Market Grocery & Deli. It is composed of nine people, elected by the Member Owners. Terms for Directors are two years. The Board is responsible for ensuring organizational performance on behalf of all of Co-op Member Owners. This work includes developing clearly stated expectations through written policies; delegating responsibility for, and authority over, the achievement of stated objectives; and monitoring compliance with written policies.
The Board of Co-op Market should be strategic and visionary with its view toward the future of our cooperative, rather than focusing solely on the short-term. The Board governs the organization and delegates all operational duties to one employee, the General Manager. The Board is involved in strategic planning, financial oversight, Ownership linkage, and community outreach.
What does the Board of Directors NOT do?
The Board of Directors does not make decisions about, become involved with, or take part in any of the day to day activities or decisions regarding the operation of Co-op Market. The Board’s sole official connection to the operations of the cooperative is through the General Manager.
What are the requirements for running?
Directors must be Member-Owners of Co-op Market in good standing without a substantial conflict of interest resulting from an affiliation with any enterprise that is in competition with the Co-op.
Once elected, Directors must sign a Statement of Agreement and publicly disclose any potential conflicts of interest. As for personal qualifications, Board experience is helpful, but not a prerequisite for Directorship.
More important are the willingness to work closely and cooperatively with the other Directors; commitment to providing the time and energy necessary to accomplish the Board’s objectives and fulfill the required term; the ability to learn quickly; and organizational skills.
How much time would I need to put into serving?
The Board holds one regular meeting for two hours each month, at which attendance is expected. Beyond this regular meeting, the time commitment for a Director typically averages out to an additional two to three hours per week, including preparation for regular monthly meetings as well as special Board meetings called by the Chairman of the Board.
Member-owners are always welcome to attend the meetings of the Board of Directors on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:15 PM at Stone Soup Café. You can see how the Board functions and meet the current Directors. You may gain useful perspectives on the issues currently facing Co-op Market.
When will elections be held?
The annual election begins in the fall with the mailing of our yearly newsletter Fudz. You can bring your completed ballot into the store, vote online or bring your ballot to the annual Board Meeting (need date). The 2013 election will begin on September 26th. This year’s annual meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 pm at Birch Hill Recreation Center.
OK, I’ve decided to run – now what?
To help the Membership make an informed decision regarding the Directors they elect, we ask you to fill out the Board Candidate Application. Please request an application by emailing email@example.com and email your completed application back to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 16, 2013 at 5 pm. Your personal statement, answers to the essay questions, and a photograph of yourself will be published in the Fudz Newsletter in October, online, and through other avenues.
It sounds like a big step! And worthwhile! As a cooperative, Co-op Market is only as strong as its Ownership.