by Doug Johnson, WSGC Board Member
Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find the ballot for this year’s election for the Board of Directors. You may already know why this is important to you. If you do then you can skip the rest of this article; otherwise, keep on reading.
The Board of Directors is nine members of the Co-op who are elected by the membership at large to oversee this business that we all own together. The Board hires a general manager to take charge of the operations of the store. The Board sets goals and monitors the performance of the business. It doesn’t get involved in the day-to-day running of the store, but it establishes policies that set guidelines about how the store should be operated. The Board, in conjunction with the management, engages in strategic planning to set the course for the future of our Co-op. In addition, the Board has a responsibility to you, the owners, to protect the assets that you have invested in the business.
This is an important job and not one to be taken lightly. Board members have significant legal and fiduciary responsibilities that require a commitment of time and skill. A good Board member needs to be honest and competent and open-minded. They need to be enthusiastic about the mission of the Co-op and able to work well in a group. They need to be able to dedicate the time necessary to prepare for and attend Board and committee meetings. A sense of humor helps a lot, too!
Your job as an owner of this business is to carefully consider the candidates that are standing for election to the Board and to pick the ones that you believe will best represent you and your interests. This isn’t something that you should just leave for others to decide for you. The people that are selected to be Directors will have a profound effect on what happens to this business and you should have your opinion counted in this important decision. This is one of the benefits of being one of the owners of the Co-op and is one of the many things that set us apart from your run-of-the-mill corporate grocery store. You have the power! Exercise it!