As they say, “Sweet April showers springs May flowers” or “April showers bring May flowers.” We could not be more excited to see the natural abundance emerging into bloom as we make the transition from the wet winter conditions into springs floral bounty. Speaking of which, you will see seeds and starters popping up around the patios and aisles of the Co-op. Local spring favorites like ramps, sweet spinach and watercress are on the scene. Along with the excitement of warm weather and great food comes some exciting for your Co-op.
Annual Customer Survey is included in this issue of the Reader
Each year we ask our Owners and customers for input about how we’re doing in serving your needs and what can we do differently to better serve you. In this issue of the Reader you will find a survey, which I wholeheartedly invite you to complete and return to us for review and consideration. With the size of our membership growing ever larger, the challenge of seeking out Owner input only increases. This survey presents a great opportunity for your voice to be heard and for us to ask the questions and really listen to what our Ownership thinks. Thanks in advance for your time and valuable input!
And speaking of surveys, the Co-op contracted with a third party to perform our biannual staff engagement survey this year. We have received the results of that work, and we will use that input to focus time and attention on hopefully improving our employee work environment. As we continue to identify those areas that require attention and engage our staff members to collaborate on addressing these issues, our hope is that the Co-op will only become a more attractive place to work and shop.
Community Reinvestment Fund Grant Reception
In 1992, the Co-op established our Community Reinvestment Fund, which allows us to donate abandoned equity to qualified nonprofits and cooperatives to support developmental and educational projects. I am excited to report that including this year’s distribution, we have contributed over $400,000 to our community. Read more about our CRF on pages 9-10. The award ceremony is scheduled for Monday, May 22nd from 6:00-8:00pm at Willy East.
Upcoming Board Elections
The Election Process for 2017 Board Candidates is now underway! If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to be on our Board of Directors, download the 2017 Board Application Packet from our website or reach out to one of our current Board members. You might also want to review Board Member Jess Pernsteiner’s “5 Reasons You Should Run for the Board!” that was printed in the April Reader issue. The position of Board Member is a crucial one to the Co-op. The Board of Directors is tasked with choosing the direction that Willy Street Co-op will take, or plotting our ship’s course if you will. It is a greatly challenging role, requiring the ability to take a broad perspective and see beyond the short-term issues of operations to the bigger picture of our Co-op’s mission and place in the community.
While Board Meetings are always open to Owners who want to attend, and you may find yourself running into a Board member shopping at one of our locations, you may not know much about what it is the Board Members actually do. One of the major facets of the Board’s governance work is the process of policy monitoring. By creating policies for how the Co-op should be operated and then reviewing performance against these policies, the Board ensures that standards are met and that their prescribed Ends are fulfilled. Most important of all, the Board serves as the representative voice of all Ownership. A Board member must weigh their decisions on what is in the best interest of Co-op and also what will meet the needs and desires of our 34,000 Owners. If you are a strong leader with a the ability to work collaboratively and a passion for our cooperative, please consider applying. The deadline to submit an application and to attend the prerequisite meetings for candidacy is June 1st. You can pick up an application at the Customer Service desk in any of our stores or you can find it on our website, www.willystreet.coop.
Special store hours May 29th
Stores are open until 7:30pm on Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day, and the unofficial start of summer!