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Run for the board

Summer is here—time for a little exercise…
Summer is finally upon us and if you’re reading this, it’s safe to say you survived one of the most brutal Wisconsin winters we’ve had in a long time. Congratulations!

This is my favorite time of year for many reasons, but specifically in terms of being part of the Willy Street Co-op community, it’s a really exciting time to exercise our rights as Owners.

I’m not talking about taking to the streets on foot, on bike, with a ball, bat, glove or Frisbee in hand—though there is an abundance of opportunitiesfor all those activities now too. What I mean is over the next several months, you, as a Co-op Owner, have the opportunity to participate in the fundamental elements of our Co-op structure.

Run for the Board
We are currently looking for passionate and dedicated Owners to run for our Board of Directors. Three seats are up for election. Each year, we look to our pool of Owners for individuals who are interested in representing our Ownership-at-large by serving on the Board and helping to set the governance and strategic directions for the Co-op in order to further our strength and success as a socially responsible, healthy and environmentally sound business.

The Co-op clearly benefits from having a sound, high-functioning team of Owners working together to serve as our Board. But there are many benefits to the individual as well. I don’t know many other volunteer opportunities that allow for as much personal growth and development opportunities, to hone your leadership skills, to practice setting strategy for a successful business, to have a positive impact on our community, to learn and brush up on business and financial knowledge…the list goes on and on. I feel extremely honored to serve on our Board, and I know I get just as much out of it as I put into it.

Does this pique your interest? Are you interested in running for the Board? Take a look at the application packet at www.willystreet.coop/files/2014-WSGC-Board-Candidate-Packet.pdf (and available at each store’s Customer Service desk) to learn more. You have until 9pm on July 10th to submit your application and we hope you’ll consider taking us up on this vital role for the Co-op!

Vote for your fellow owners to serve on the Board
If you’re not ready, interested or able to run for the Board yourself, that’s okay…you can still help determine the direction of the Co-op by voting on which candidates you wish to serve on the Board. This element of exercising your rights is nearly as important to our successes as the candidates who choose to run. Your vote is your voice telling us how you want to be served. Please take advantage of this opportunity. Once all applications for those choosing to run for the Board are received, we will issue candidate statements to all Owners, and you will have the opportunity to place your vote in August.

Vote for important changes to our bylaws
In addition to the voting on the open Board seats, the ballot will contain important updates and changes to the Co-op’s policies that the Board recommends in order to improve and position the Co-op for continued success into the future. This August’s ballot will contain a couple updates that the Board asks foryour vote on. One is proposing a change to the voting process in 2015 that will adjust the timing of the election cycle and allow for Owners to place votes at the Annual Meeting and Party. The Board believes this will better enable Owners to vote while attending the meeting, and increase voter turnout, which gives us a more accurate representation of our Owners’ needs. Another policy change is focused on the Board compensation structure, to continue to be able to attract and retain quality Board members and be more aligned with standard practices of our co-op industry peers. More information on these bylaw changes will be included in the July and August Reader issues. Please stay tuned and get ready to exercise your rights as Owners through the voting period in August!

WaterduMark E. SaundersTenney Nursery & Parent CenterHeartland Credit Union

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