Just about this time last year, I contemplated running for the Willy Stree Co-op Board of Directors. My family and I decided I should go for it. That was a very good decision—being a member of the Board of a sustainable cooperative business is very rewarding.

This year the Board has three seats up for election. Each seat is a three-year term. As of yet, no incumbents have decided for sure to run. After all, we all have to balance our work, personal, and volunteer activities.

Why run for the Co-op’s Board of Directors? First, let me say I have served on many boards and this is the best by far. You’ll work with talented and energetic folks and be able to make a solid contribution to the community. You will be able to help a progressive organization grow and flourish. You’ll learn a great deal about how the Board works to lead the Cooperative (through policy governance) and have the opportunity to focus on short and long range strategic goals.
Nomination questions

The Board Nominations Committee has developed the following list of questions for potential Board members to answer.

  1. What skills or abilities will you bring to the Board of Directors in any of the following areas: finances, communications, short-/long-term planning, or cooperatives? Feel free to add other qualities you would bring to the Board.
  2. What leadership positions have you held and what have you accomplished in those positions?
  3. Please describe your experience with, and approach to, group decision-making processes. What do you think makes for good group process and what are some of the challenges?
  4. What do you think are the major issues the Co-op’s Board needs to address over the next five years? How will you use your skills to contribute to addressing those issues?
  5. How would you help to encourage greater Owner involvement in elections, Owner forums and meetings?

Nominations along with answers to questions and a photograph are due by July 8th (the Annual Meeting & Party!). The specifics for running can be found on the Willy Street Co-op website at www.willystreet.coop/bod.

Each nominee will need to submit their answers to these five questions in 450 words or less (total, not per question!) along with a high-resolution photograph by July 8th. (Note: responses that exceed 450 words total will have the last sentence(s) deleted to keep it at or under this length.) All of the candidates’ answers and photographs will be printed in the Reader for all Co-op Owners to review. All candidates should also plan on to attend the Annual Meeting & Party on July 8th, and be prepared to make a brief statement and answer Owner questions. Elections are then held from August 1st until August 17th, when the Board will hold their special membership meeting to receive a tally of the votes.

Our goal is to have many nominations in order to allow Owners more choice in shaping their Board. We strive for contested elections.

If you or someone you know is interested in running for the Board of Directors, please contact Stephanie Ricketts ( or 251-6776) for a Nominations Packet. She will provide you with all of the information you need to run as a candidate in the upcoming elections. Again, the last day for submitting nomination materials (including answers to the questions above) is July 8th, during the Annual Meeting & Party.


  • At the regularly scheduled April meeting Board members discussed Community Reinvestment in 2011, CCMA attendance, and the upcoming Board elections.
  • The group also had an open forum on Strategic Planning.
  • Prior to the April meeting, Board members discussed Board Development during their Educational Session—how it’s been going, what’s on the horizon, etc.


  • At the June meeting the Board will review a variety of reports and continue to work with the Nominations Committee on specifics relating to the 2010 Board Election.
  • Expansion reports will be reviewed.


  • The Board’s one standing committee, the Finance Committee, reviews monthly financial reports at each of its meetings.
  • The Nominations Committee has once again been formed and continues working on the content and processes for August’s elections.
  • The Patronage Refund and Non-Owner Surcharge Committee is considering input provided by Owners and non-Owners during the comment period and drawing closer to a final decision.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee will work with the Board on further developing a greater Willy Street Co-op vision for the future—look for opportunities for input!


  • The Board of Directors will be engaging in educational sessions from 6:00pm–6:45pm, immediately prior to the Board meeting. This month’s Educational Session is on Cooperative Structures. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend! Be sure to check out the Owner Forum as well, from 5:30pm-6:00pm, outside under the portico. Snacks are provided!

Remember, you can always catch play-by-play board minutes at: https://board.willystreet.coop/board_minutes/board_minutes_home.