Are you an Owner? Do you love the Co-op? Do you care about making a difference in your community? Well, you guessed it; I’m about to suggest that running for the Board might be for you.
There are many reasons why you should run for the Board. Maybe you thought of a few reasons. Maybe it’s even been in the back of your mind already. But just in case it’s helpful, I’ve got a few reasons to share.
1. Because you care!
As Anya recently stated in her article in the February edition of the Reader, “we exist because of our Owners, and our continued success is based on you.” As an Owner, you have a right to send your comments to both Willy Street Co-op staff and the Board, and even attend Board Meetings, but maybe you want another way to contribute and connect to your Co-op. Well, run!
2. Because you love this community!
If you have a passion for building a stronger community, then you’re already making a difference by shopping at the Co-op. The Co-op is one of the most community-focused organizations I’ve had the privilege to connect with here in Madison. Not only are Owners asked to CHIP® to Community Shares which in turn provides financial support for nearly 70 local nonprofits, but we also “allocates funds to contribute, donate to, or sponsor events and activities throughout the greater Madison and Middleton area communities.”
As a Director, you can help ensure the Co-op continues its commitment to the community, and may even have the chance to serve on the Community Reinvestment Committee, which for the past 25 years has ensured that a total of $367,000 is reinvested back to provide funds for various organizations within the greater Madison area. And if that’s not enough, you have the privilege of representing over 34,500 fellow Madisonians who are current Owners of the Co-op, which provides a chance not only to make a difference, but also to connect with so many people in this community.
3. Challenge yourself!
Maybe you’ve never run for anything (I hadn’t until the Co-op—not even for class president in middle school). Maybe the idea of a Board of Directors and the cooperative structure are intimidating. However, maybe you also bring practical experience that would be relevant and a willingness to share your knowledge and skills. If you’re intimidated, it’s okay. Run anyway!
4. Learn something! (Or many things!)
Serving on the Board has given me a much greater understanding of running a business, of learning and applying policy governance framework. It also provides opportunities to work with individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, to collaborate with Co-op staff and to further expand your leadership skills.
5. Because now is a great time!
I know, in reality, with most things in life, it’s rare that something happens at a perfect time. But, this is a pivotal time for the Co-op. With 3 locations, now is the time to get involved and dedicate a small amount of your time to help ensure that Willy Street Co-op remains a “cornerstone of a vibrant community.”