Board of Directors
The Food Co-op's Board of Directors writes the policies and crafts the long-range strategies that help us fulfill our Mission and Principles. We write policies to set out the direction and parameters, working with the general manager, who implements these strategies and policies in the day-to-day operations of the store. The board does not direct day-to-day operations—that is, we do not make decisions about what we stock, the specifics of personnel issues, or the layout of the store. Rather, we set the policies and, through monitoring reports, check to make sure the policies are followed.
Member-owners are welcome to attend our monthly meetings, on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm at the Co-op Annex at 2110 Lawrence Street. You can also join a committee or run for the board. We’d also love to see you at our Annual Member Meeting and the other periodic events the board puts on. Check the Member-Owner Board at the front of the store (the one with the photos of the board) to learn what is coming up. See you soon!
Contact the Board
Owners can contact the board by placing a note in the board’s correspondence box below the Member-Owner bulletin board (the one with the photos of the board) or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Meet the Board
Owen Rowe, President
First elected in 2016, this three-year term expires in 2019
I first visited Port Townsend in 1994 and moved here three years later; PT offered relief from city traffic and prices with an urban level of culture. I soon left my software career and have since tried my hand at teaching Italian, arts administration, and literary translation. I’ve studied everything from systems design and cognitive science to comparative literature and crossword puzzles, and my current roles in community organizations bring together a surprising number of those threads. I’ve been involved with local cultural institutions for many years, and I’m honored to serve on the board of the Food Co-op. It’s a cultural institution, too, both in the way it champions our local collaborative spirit and in the access it provides to local cuisine and agriculture.
Juri Jennings, Vice President
First elected in 2017; re-elected in 2018, this three-year term expires in 2021
I have been exposed to both American and Japanese cultures since childhood, having lived in both countries back and forth over time. Through this upbringing, I have experienced the difficulties and joys of learning two distinctly different languages and cultures. This journey has taught me that the future belongs to tight communities. I would like to dedicate my time on the Co-op board to taking part in and extending the positive vibes throughout our incredible community. In my free time, I like to sing, practice karate, hike, and tend to the garden.
Lisa Barclay, Secretary
First elected in 2013; re-elected twice; this three-year term expires in 2020
I grew up in Redmond when it was a one-stoplight town known for its bike derby instead of for Microsoft. Much later, after living for ten years in Virginia, where you park at the top of the Shenandoah Mountains and walk down, John and I moved back home to our much wilder Olympics and Cascades. We love hiking, food, music, and nice people, so Port Townsend is the perfect town for us. I joined the Co-op board because I treasured our extraordinary store, and I’ve stayed on because I’ve come to appreciate the importance of cooperatives in our flawed economic system and because I think a strong community is essential.
Monica le Roux, Treasurer
First elected in 2013; re-elected once, this three-year term expires in 2019
I was born in Missoula, Mont., and I’ve lived in and enjoyed both rural and urban settings from Orcas Island and Port Townsend, to Seattle, New York City, and Washington, D.C. I’ve worked in a university library, various doctors’ offices, a corporate real estate firm, and a tall ship galley or two. Currently, I am a clerk at William James Bookseller and an employee of the Rose Theatre. I have traveled in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, visiting grocery stores in every place along the way where I adore finding ingredients I’ve never heard of and experimenting. I love Port Townsend, have put down roots here, and am looking forward to finding new ways to participate in this community.
Jennifer Dimon-Hardesty, Board Member
Appointed in Oct 2018, this six-month term expires in June 2019
Jen grew up in a small town called Cherokee in California where she was raised among chickens, cows, sheep, goats, a horse, and her favorite... a pig named Rosie. She was swept away by a passion for ballet and went to a ballet boarding school in Massachusetts for high school. After moving to San Francisco for university and then Portland to receive her doctorate in physical therapy she sought out the smaller town feel again and magically found herself in Port Townsend. She sees the preciousness of living in a region so full of valuable farm and ranch land and knows the important role the Co-op plays in providing local foods to the city of Port Townsend. She hopes the Co-op can stay strong and continue to grow far into the future.
SERVING ON THE FOOD CO-OP BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
THE PATH TO CANDIDACY
As a cooperative, The Food Co-op depends upon its members to provide leadership by volunteering for board service. We need member-owners who bring a desire to learn and a willingness to work together.
Board service is fun and rewarding, but it does require a substantial amount of time and effort. Below you’ll find FAQs about board service as well as an outline of the steps required to become a candidate for the board.
The first step is to come to a board meeting, held the first Tuesday of each month between 5:30 and 8:30 pm at the Co-op Annex at 2110 Lawrence Street. In order to be ready to submit a candidate application by February, a member must begin the process no later than the November board meeting, but we encourage interested members to come to an earlier meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the board of directors?
The board is a group of member-owners who are elected by the membership to represent them in the oversight of the Food Co-op.
What does the board do?
Simply put, the board sets the direction of the Co-op by crafting long-range strategies to fulfill our mission while upholding our values, and we monitor to see that we successfully go in that direction.
There are many aspects to this work, but in particular, the board creates a strategic plan, which we review and revise every five years; we also periodically update our mission and values statements, which put our aspirations for the Co-op into words; and we write policies that set parameters for how we fulfill our goals. To do this work effectively, the board spends much of our time researching issues pertinent to the Co-op, discussing our future possibilities, and asking our members and staff what they think, need, and want.
The board uses a management system called policy governance, which helps us focus on the larger policy issues of the organization rather than day-to-day decisions. We work closely with the general manager, who implements the strategies to fulfill our goals. Each month, the general manager reports on various aspects of those efforts, so the board can monitor that we are moving towards the ends we have established.
What does the board NOT do?
The board does not involve itself in operational details. We do not make decisions about what we stock, the specifics of personnel issues, or the layout of the store. The board governs by declaring, through its policies, the results it wants as well as the actions the general manager should avoid while achieving those results.
What are the qualities needed in a board member?
A board needs members with a variety of interests and experiences who can work constructively together. We look for candidates who exemplify our co-op’s values and who either have or want to learn governance leadership skills. Key strengths we expect:
• Collaboration—Participate actively in board and committee deliberations, while keeping comments focused.
• Collegiality—Listen carefully and actively. Communicate cordially and respectfully.
• Accommodation—Recognize that opinions can legitimately vary, even on crucial issues. Strive to see others’ points of view and reach workable solutions.
• Strategic Thinking—Be future oriented and endeavor to see the big picture.
How much time must I commit?
In all, you can expect to devote around 10 to 20 hours a month to board service—sometimes more, sometimes less. Board members attend board and committee meetings as well as board work sessions and cooperative conferences. Some of these events necessitate a commitment of several days and they may be out of town.
Ok, I’m interested. What’s next?
Come to a board meeting! Board meetings are held at the Co-op Annex at 2110 Lawrence Street from 5:30 to 8:30 on the first Tuesday of the month. Then you’ll meet with the Elections Committee to learn more about the responsibilities of board service.
Still have questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overview of The Food Co-op Board Candidate Process
The process to become a candidate for the board has three stages: 1) learn about the board and its governing process; 2) become a board associate; and 3) become a candidate. In order to complete the process in time for the board elections, you must begin no later than the November board meeting, but you may begin earlier, of course.
Learn About the Board and Its Governing Process
The first step is to come to a board meeting! There, you’ll receive a candidate “passport” and arrange to meet with the Elections Committee. They will give you more information about board service and the process to become a candidate. Over the following several months, you will attend board meetings, committee meetings, and board “book clubs” to discuss and learn about board work.
Once you have successfully completed this work, the Elections Committee will propose to the board that you become a board associate. Board associates are eligible to attend work sessions, conferences, etc., and receive the board stipend, but they do not vote. On occasion, the Elections Committee may ask for further steps before inviting you to become a board associate.
When you become a board associate, you will receive a board manual and have orientation meetings with the board president, the Co-op’s general manager, and the board assistant. You’ll participate in a board work weekend in January. You will continue to attend board meetings and “book clubs,” and you’ll join a committee.
Once you successfully complete these steps, you’ll be ready to become a candidate.
To become a candidate, you’ll submit your application in early February and continue to attend board meetings and work on your committee. If a candidate event or meeting is organized, you’ll attend.
Members vote from May 1 to May 14. New board members are seated at the June board meeting, and after completing the previous steps, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!