Who Do You Know? (That Would Make a Great Board Member?)

by Lisa Barclay, Elections Committee Chair

As a democratic organization, The Food Co-op relies on its member-owners to participate by serving on the board. Of course, not everyone has the time or desire to serve, but everyone probably knows someone they think would make a good board member—someone who loves the Co-op and our community and who can work collaboratively within a group. Now is the time to give that friend or acquaintance a gentle nudge.

Being on the board is fun and educational. I’ve learned a lot in the six years I’ve been on the board. I have a much better understanding of the history of cooperatives and their importance in helping communities survive and even flourish. I’ve also gradually gotten a deeper understanding of how our co-op operates and some of the intricacies and difficulties of running a small natural foods store in today’s market. I’ve gotten to work with our pretty wonderful staff much more—I’m continually impressed with their dedication.

The board is also a great place to hone your writing, organizational, and facilitation skills, as well as learn about governance. But most importantly, being on the board is an opportunity to make our community stronger by supporting local businesses and farmers—and of course, by feeding our community!

The first step on the road to board service is to come to a board meeting. We provide training to potential candidates before they run, which takes some time, so come to a board meeting no later than November—but earlier is better! For more details, see the Path to Candidacy page of the Food Co-op website. Look under Governance (Board of Directors).

Board meetings are 5:30 pm the first Tuesday of each month at the Co-op Annex (2110 Lawrence Street). We usually begin with an hour dedicated to learning about and/or discussing some topic or issue important to the Co-op. Then we share a simple meal brought by a board member before moving on to the more technical parts of board work, like reports and proposals.

We look forward to seeing you—or someone you nudged—at a board meeting soon!

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